MIT catalog description
Prereq.: 6.004 and 6.02
Topics on the engineering of computer software and hardware
systems: techniques for controlling complexity; strong modularity
using client-server design, virtual memory, and threads; networks;
atomicity and coordination of parallel activities; recovery and
reliability; privacy, security, and encryption; and impact of
computer systems on society. Case studies of working systems and
readings from the current literature provide comparisons and
contrasts. Two design projects. Students engage in extensive
written communication exercises. Enrollment may be limited. 4
Engineering Design Points.
Goals Map gives a dynamic graphical display connecting the class
outcomes with the outcomes of other subjects in the Course 6
Underground Reviews (require an MIT personal certificate):
For announcements and assignments, the Web is our authoritative
form of communication. We expect students to check the 6.033 home
page and schedule for both news and assignments regularly, every
couple of days. If you hear a rumor, check it there.
MIT Web Certificates
Access to a number of documents on the course web site is
restricted to its students, using MIT Web
Certificates. Protected documents include some of the reading
materials with copyright restrictions, and the recitation/tutorial
Note for enterprising students reading the course webpage early:
Everything below is subject to change, but will be set before the
spring semester begins.
Your final 6.033 grade will be determined by your participation in the
recitations and writing tutorials, two design projects and their related
assignments, and two quizzes.
|10%||Paper critiques, writing tutorial participation
|10%||DP proposal, DP presentation
|30%||Recitation Section Participation and Assignments
Note that over a third of your grade comes from written
assignments: we expect you to take writing seriously in this class.
The section part of your grade reflects your overall level of
participation in recitation and tutorial as well as a series of
weekly hands-on projects that support recitation. Section
instructors will base at least half of the evaluation on your
communication skills: oral communication skills as observed in
recitation paper discussions in class and written communication
skills as evaluated by your instructor and your teaching
assistant. The remainder of your section grade is based
on the quality and enthusiasm of your participation, your
understanding of the papers, and on whether you handed in the
assignments, since the exercises aid your ability to discuss the
During most weeks, you will be expected to complete a hands-on
experiment that requires a computer, usually an Athena
workstation, and sometimes using the Web. The idea is to reinforce
some of the abstract concepts from the lectures or papers that
week and find out how things really work.
A portion of your grade will also be based on your participation
in writing tutorials and on your understanding of communication
concepts and skills, as demonstrated by your work on the design
projects and evaluated by your communication instructor.
The design project requires you to develop a detailed system
design to solve a real-world problem. This project will extend over
roughly two thirds of the semester, and will be done in teams of three
students from the same recitation. The project will involve a design
proposal, an oral presentation, and an extended report. The feedback
we give on your proposal and presentation will aid in writing your
The proposal for the design project will be graded by your
Recitation Instructor and your Communication Instructor. Your
Communication Instructor will evaluate it according to the grading
rubric and assign a letter grade. Your Recitation Instructor will
evaluate the proposal to make sure your design is on the right
track; you should incorporate their feedback into the presentation
and report. Your TA will also discuss common mistakes during
One of the teaching assistants' primary roles is to tie the design
projects into the topics covered in lectures and recitations. On
some Fridays, they will be teaching tutorials to explain the design
projects' requirements and some of the tradeoffs inherent in the
projects. Like lectures and recitations, these tutorials are
required. Students are also welcome to ask questions about the
design projects during TA office hours.
The presentations and reports will both be graded by your
Recitation Instructor. Your presentation should reflect the
feedback you got on your proposal; feedback on your presentation
should inform your final report.
You must turn in the design project report in order to pass 6.033.
If you have not turned it in, you will automatically receive an
One of the goals of 6.033 is for students to be able to analyze and
critique technical papers. We will assign three paper critiques
during the semester. Each will be between one and three pages long.
These critiques will be graded by your TAs and Communication
Instructors, and assigned a grade of check/check plus/check minus.
The expectations for each individual critique will be detailed in
the tutorials. As your skills at analyzing and reading
technical papers mprove throughout the semester, we will expect
your critiques to reflect that.
MIT implemented the Communication Requirement in 2000 in response
to alumni feedback. Alumni said that they had received an
outstanding technical education at MIT but needed more training in
writing and speaking to succeed in their professional careers.
The 6.033 faculty have worked with the MIT Writing Across the
Curriculum (WAC) program for more than 10 years to design 6.033
writing and speaking assignments. We have chosen assignments that
are similar to the kinds of writing you will do in the engineering
workplace: memos, proposals, design reports, and design
presentations. Communication assignments are designed to help you
conceptualize and develop the design project.
Several of the Friday recitations will teach the communication
theory and practices of this course, and assist you in preparing for
the assignments. At these recitations, you'll become fluent in a
variety of communication genres, develop strategies and skills needed
to present technical concepts to different audiences, learn how to use
writing to develop and deepen your technical understanding--and get
specific, directed instruction on writing and presenting your 6.033
Your communication instructor will give feedback and assign a grade
on two of your written assignments: the DP1 memo and the DP1
proposal. Your CI instructor will also meet with you to give
feedback and work to revise your DP2 presentation. Communication
grades will be assigned according to a set of criteria that will be
provided as a part of each assignment. Attendance to the writing
recitations will be included in your grade.
Requirement webpage 6.033 satisfies CI-M for Course 6-1, 6-2, 6-3,
6P, and 18-C. If you are not in these programs, 6.033 does not satisfy
the CI-M requirement for you.
One quiz is held during the term. A second quiz (1.5 hours in length) will
be scheduled during finals week. Each quiz will focus on a half of the
class's material, but keep in mind that later topics in 6.033 build heavily
upon the earlier topics. The quizzes count as 15% each.
You must hand in assignments when they are due, and you must attend
quizzes at the scheduled times. If you feel you have a compelling
reason for not handing in an assignment on time, or for not attending
a quiz, please talk to your recitation instructor or one of the
lecturers in advance. If you miss an assignment deadline, you
should still hand in the assignment; we'll give you feedback even
though we won't give you credit for your final grade. Furthermore,
doing assignments is the best way to prepare for exams and design
You may not collaborate on quizzes. On all other assignments you
are welcome to discuss ideas with others, but your writing should
be your own and you should acknowledge all contributions of
ideas by others, whether from classmates or from papers you
Lectures will be held on Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:00pm-3:00pm
in 26-100. Recitations are on
typically Tuesdays and Thursdays. Friday sessions will usually
be tutorials, but we use some of the
Friday hours for lectures by the staff of the MIT. Communication
Program, and some for quizzes. See the
schedule for the exact dates of these events.
|Writing Program Recitations
||TR, section dependent
||Arvind, Day, Katabi, Madden, Rinard, Sollins, Szolovits
||F, section dependent
||Finch, Goehring, Goyal, Horn, Long, Naik, Nguyen, Ousterhout, Yan
These four types of sessions are all required. For the
first recitation, attend whichever one you want. After that, you
will be assigned a permanent recitation.
For details about your recitation and tutorial time and place,
consult the recitation and tutorial
||katrina at csail.mit.edu
||hari at csail.mit.edu
||arvind at csail.mit.edu
||mday at mit.edu
||dina at csail.mit.edu
||madden at csail.mit.edu
||rinard at csail.mit.edu
||sollins at csail.mit.edu
||psz at mit.edu
Office hours are held weekly in the locations listed below.
||finche at mit.edu
||dggoeh1 at mit.edu
||ameesh at mit.edu
||webbhorn at mit.edu
||qlong at mit.edu
||mnaik at mit.edu
||tanguyen at mit.edu
||aousterh at mit.edu
||congy at mit.edu
||berezin at mit.edu
||amymarie at mit.edu
||aherb at mit.edu
||norajack at mit.edu
||melvold at mit.edu
||juergen at mit.edu
||jmss at mit.edu
||mtrice at mit.edu
Course staff contact: To contact the course staff, please
use Piazza unless you need to email a staff member individually.
You can post a private question on Piazza if you do not want your
communication to be visible to the other students in the class.