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6.033: Computer System Engineering - Spring 2004

News Archive
Reading List

General Information
Staff List
Student List
TA Office Hours
Class notes errata
Writing Practicum
Excellent Writing Examples
2003 Home


All assignments will be posted from the schedule page, which you should check regularly for updates. Click on the recitation number or lecture number to see the assignment for that class meeting. If an assignment refers to a chapter or section of a chapter, it is from the 6.033 class notes. If an assignment refers to a paper number, it typically is the number of the paper in the reading list. For your convenience, we have also posted electronic versions of most papers. If an assignment requires you to hand in something, then we expect you to do so at the beginning of the class meeting.


May 24, 2004: Curious about why the sensor fault specification kept changing around the time DP2 was due? The staff was trying to figure out how to solve it. We've put together a short analysis of a couple of ways that this problem can be approached, along with the probability calculations we used to estimate the performance of these designs.

May 24, 2004: 6.033 wrapup. You can now pick up your graded Quiz 3 from your TA. 6.033 final grades will be available on WebSIS as soon as the registrar has entered them.

Where to go from here. Take some more systems classes:

  • Prof. Kaashoek offers 6.828, on the design and implementation of operating systems, in the fall.
  • 6.824, offered next spring, will cover distributed systems and network programming.
  • 6.857, offered in the fall, covers network security in more depth than was presented in 6.033.
  • For the mathematically inclined, 6.875 explores the theory behind cryptography.
  • 6.823, computer system architecture, picks up where 6.004 left off.
  • 6.826, lectured by Prof. Lampson, offers a rigorous treatment of computer systems.
  • 6.829 covers networking in more detail.

May 20, 2004: Quiz 3 solutions have been posted. [PS] [PDF] (MIT certificate required)
[view distribution]

May 17, 2004: As a reminder, Quiz 3 will be held in Johnson from 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM on Thursday, May 20, 2004. Check the Quiz 3 page for more details.

May 17, 2004: The TAs will hold a Quiz 3 review on Tuesday, May 18, 2004, from 7 PM to 9 PM, in 35-225.

May 5, 2004: Yet another DP2 FAQ entry has been posted.

May 5, 2004: Instructions for design project 2 presentations has been posted to the schedule.

May 4, 2004: Another DP2 FAQ entry has been posted.

May 3, 2004: New DP2 FAQ entries have been posted.

May 3, 2004: Due to the power outage, lecture was cancelled today. Instead, we will have lecture on Wednesday, May 5 and Friday, May 7 at 2 PM in 34-101. Friday's tutorial has been cancelled; everything else is normal. Today's reading was Chapter 9, sections A and B; make sure you've read them before Tuesday's recitation.

May 2, 2004: The Writing Program has set up tutoring hours for those who would like a little extra help with the DP2 writing. Those hours are:

Tuesday 12:00-7:00
12-2 contact Karen Boiko boiko (Room 14N-328)
2-4:30 contact Kim DeVries kdevries (Room 14N-212)
4:30-7:00 contact Amy Yu thessaly (Room 32-083)

Wednesday 12:00-7:00
12-2 contact Karen Boiko boiko
2-4:30 contact Kim DeVries kdevries
4:30-7:00 contact Amy Yu thessaly

For any other times, please contact Mya Poe myapoe

May 1, 2004: Vincent Yeung's DP1 report and executive summary is an excellent example of the level of detail we are looking for in your DP2 reports.

Apr 29, 2004: MIT Facilities (or somebody acting upon their behalf) noticed that Professor Jerry Saltzer has a favorite space in our classroom:

Apr 25, 2004: A new DP2 update and FAQ entry have been posted.

Apr 23, 2004: We've posted a FAQ about quiz grading.

Apr 22, 2004: Quiz 2 Solutions are posted. Stats:


Apr 15, 2004: There aren't really any "quiz review notes" from Tuesday's quiz review, since we discussed previous years' quiz problems that are already in the class notes. For your reference, we covered problems from 2003 quiz 2 (solutions), 2002 quiz 2 (solutions), and 2001 quiz 2, as well as 5.3, 5.5, and 26 in the back of the class notes.

Apr 14, 2004: The DP2 FAQ and version history have been updated with important information. Read them.

Apr 12, 2004: Again, Quiz 2 will be at 2:00 PM on Friday, April 16, 2004. The quiz review will be from 7:00 to 9:00 PM on Tuesday, April 13, in 4-370.

Apr 12, 2004: We've posted solutions to the crypto hands-on.

Apr 10, 2004: Important news for DP2: The DP2 FAQ and a slightly revised DP2 have been posted. The file history.html will tell you about the differences between the original DP2 and the revised one.

Apr 10, 2004: A FAQ item addressing the question "Should I rewrite design project 1?" has been added.

Apr 9, 2004: If you enjoyed the 6.033 topics on networking and naming, you might consider the CSAIL distinguished lecture Distributed hash tables and Internet Architecture by Scott Shenker, on Thursday, April 15.

Apr 7, 2004: The Writing Program has posted the grading scheme [doc] used for evaluating DP1 projects.

Apr 5, 2004: The DP2 team formation deadline has been moved to tomorrow, Tuesday, at midnight. If you don't have a team yet, use tomorrow's recitation to form one!

Apr 5, 2004: Quiz 2 will be at 2:00 PM on Friday, April 16, 2004. The quiz review will be from 7:00 to 9:00 PM on Tuesday, April 13, in a room TBA.

Mar 31, 2004: From the Writing Program:

Got a good design report? Then submit it for the annual Ilona Karmel Writing Prizes and win money! Category: THE WRITING AND HUMANISTlC STUDIES PRIZE FOR ENGINEERING WRITING. First prize = $200.

Please see the following for more info: http://web.mit.edu/humanistic/www/prizes.shtml

Entries are due FRIDAY, APRIL 2ND, 5pm, in room 14E-303.

Mar 31, 2004: The version of Chapter 6 section B handed out at the beginning of term was out of date. The updated version is available in lecture today and recitation tomorrow, or in Neena Lyall's office 32-G970A after tomorrow.

Mar 31, 2004: Design Project 2 has been posted to the Web.

Mar 16, 2004: Simson Garfinkel will move his office hours section on Wednesday, March 17, at 1:00pm to room 36-155. This is for sections #8 and #12, although students from other sections are welcome to come.

Mar 16, 2004: Even though we asked you for two copies of your DP1, please make three copies of your DP1 to recitation on Thursday. (We may not have access to photocopiers because of the move to the Stata Center.)

Mar 15, 2004: The TAs will be staffing DP1 marathon office hours on Wednesday, March 17, in the NE43 5th floor lounge. (Or in a nearby conference room if the lounge is swamped with people packing for the Stata move.) Someone will be available to answer questions from noon until 11:00 PM.

Mar 15, 2004: The DP1 late policy is: Your DP1 must be handed in at the beginning of recitation section. There are no extensions. For every recitation section late, your maximum possible grade is reduced by one full letter grade. (You must hand in a DP1 to receive a passing grade in 6.033.)

Mar 12, 2004: The slides from the DP1 Writing Lecture have been posted.

Mar 9, 2004: Quiz 1 Solutions have been posted. Certificates required.

Mar 9, 2004: Information about how Design Project 1 was graded has been posted to the website. Please be sure to read this document, even if you like the grade that you got: this document has lots of items that you will want to put in your final design project as well!

Mar 4, 2004: Notes from yesterday's quiz review have been posted. Don't forget that the quiz tomorrow is at 2:00, and you should go to either Walker or 34-101 depending on your last name!

Feb 29, 2004: The THERAC-25 Grading Standards that the MIT Writing Program used to determine student grades on the THERAC-25 assignment have been posted.

Feb 24, 2004: Quiz 1 will be at 2:00 PM on Friday, March 5, 2004. More details can be found here. In summary: the quiz is open book. You will be in either Walker or 34-101, depending on your last name. If you have a conflict, you should contact Professor Kaashoek. Finally, there will be a quiz review from 7:00 to 9:00 PM on Wednesday, March 3, in 34-101.

Feb 24, 2004: The registrar has posted the final exam schedule. The 6.033 final will be held on Thursday, May 20 at 1:30 PM in Johnson (Upstairs).

Feb 24, 2004: The DP1 FAQ has been posted, with yummy information about the DP1 proposal.

Feb 23, 2004: Solutions for the Unix Hands-on have been posted.

Feb 13, 2004: Professor Karger's 2pm Recitation has been moved to 36-112.

Feb 12, 2004: Design Project 1 has been posted to the Web, along with the assignments for next week:

Before Friday's tutorial, try to read the DP1 assignment. Don't worry if you're confused by all the technical terms we throw around; that's what the tutorials are for. Just skim it and try to get an idea of what kind of system we want you to design.

Feb 10, 2004: Can't find the assignment due on a day? Click on the label (L1, R17) for that day on the schedule page. You are expected to read the assignment for every day, not just days that have a "Due" heading on the schedule.

Feb 9, 2004: Please submit two copies of your Therac-25 assignments in recitation on Tuesday, February 10th.

Feb 8, 2004: The Therac-25 assignment is due Tuesday, February 10th, the date that appears on the class schedule. Due to a typographical error, the Therac-25 assignment web page mistakenly said that the assignment was due on "Thursday, February 10th." Of course, there is no Thursday, February 10th. The assignment web page has been corrected. We apologize for any confusion that this error may have caused.

Feb 6, 2004: To avoid conflicting with 6.033, the class 6.042 (Mathematics for Computer Science) is expected to shift its meeting time thirty minutes later, to MWF 3-4:30PM, starting on Wednesday, February 11. The change won't be definite until they find an available classroom; check the 6.042 web site for updates. If you want to sign up for 6.042, go to the 6.042 registration site.

Feb 6, 2004: Friday's Writing Program lecture will be at 2pm in 34-101. There are three types of Fridays:

  • Writing lectures, which will be in 34-101 at 2:00, and will discuss good practices in technical writing. These will be especially useful for your design projects.
  • Quizzes, which are at 2:00 in various quiz rooms around campus. Each of the three quizzes will cover one-third of the class; together, they count for one-third of your final grade.
  • Tutorials, which will be on every Friday without a writing lecture or quiz. Tutorials will focus on the design projects, which together will count for a third of your final grade and which won't be directly addressed in lecture or recitation. Each student will be assigned to either a 1:00 or a 2:00 tutorial taught by their regular TA. We'll post another news item when we schedule tutorials.
All students are expected to attend all three types of Friday activity. Check the schedule to see which of these is scheduled for each Friday.

Feb 4, 2004: The section assignments are posted. You'll need an MIT certificate to view them.

Feb 2, 2004: Coupons for the class notes and readings, along with sign-up sheets, will be handed out in recitation tomorrow.

Jan 28, 2004: The first recitation session is on Tuesday, February 3. If the section assigned by the registrar doesn't work for you, just attend whichever one is most convenient. We'll collect sign-up sheets and load-balance the recitations later. The list of recitations can be found here.

Jan 27, 2004: Important note! The Registrar has been rather confused about 6.033's schedule. We have lecture on Mondays and Wednesdays from 2 to 3 pm in 34-101, recitation at various times on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and tutorials, writing lectures, and quizzes on Fridays.

Older news can be found in the news archive.

Questions or comments regarding 6.033? Send e-mail to the TAs at 6.033-help.

Questions or comments about this web page? Send e-mail to 6.033-webmaster.

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