Spring 2005


Hot Links: Quiz 3 Notice


All assignments will be posted from the schedule page, which you should check regularly for updates. 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 21, 2005

Quiz 3 Solutions are now available.

May 20, 2005

You may now pick up your graded Quiz 3 from your TAs. To pick up your quiz from Bret, Kyle or Stan you may stop by 32G-918 from 2-5 PM today. For other TAs, e-mail to schedule the time of your pickup.

May 18, 2005

2003 Quiz 3 Solutions are available from the Quiz 3 Notice.

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

  • 6.805 (Profs. Abelson, Fischer) Ethics and Law on the Information Frontier.
  • 6.823 (Profs. Arvind, Asanovic) Computer System Architecture.
  • 6.824 (Profs. Morris, Kaashoek) Distributed Computer Systems Engineering.
  • 6.826 (Prof. Lampson) Principles of Computer Systems.
  • 6.828 (Prof. Kaashoek) Operating System Engineering.
  • 6.829 (Prof. Balakrishnan) Computer Networks.
  • 6.830 (Prof. Madden) Database Systems.
  • 6.857 (Prof. Rivest) Network and Computer Security.

May 17, 2005

Slides covering selected portions of the Quiz 3 Review are available (PDF, Postscript).

May 16, 2005

Keith and Kyle will run the Quiz 3 Review tomorrow (Tuesday) night at 7pm in 34-101.

Stan and Bret will have office hours Wednesday from 3-7pm in the 32G-9 Lounge.

May 12, 2005

The Quiz 3 Notice is posted.

Quiz 3 will include a question based on Professor Abelson's lecture about the interactions between law and regulation and computer systems. The corresponding lecture slides are now available.

May 6, 2005

There are no tutorials today.

May 5, 2005

The guide to DP2 presentations that will take place on Tuesday is now online.

May 3, 2005

DP2 tutoring hours from the Writing Program will be available Wednesday from 2:30-5:00pm (32-083). No appointment necessary. The Writing Program is also offering virtual tutoring on Tuesday and Wednesday. Please contact Mya Poe (myapoe atdomain mit.edu) or Thea Singer (thea.singer atdomain comcast.net) for virtual tutoring assistance.

May 2, 2005

Keith and Kyle will be holding marathon office hours Wednesday starting from 7:30pm in the 32G-9 lounge.

May 1, 2005

For the week of May 2nd, Bret's office hours will be held on Wednesday, from 2-4pm in 32-G918.

May 1, 2005

The atomicity requirement concerning done() in DP2 has been clarified. Check the DP2 Errata page to see what has changed.

Apr 28, 2005

Class on Wednesday, May 4th has been canceled.

We have prepared a short note on quorum consensus that might be useful in your DP2 design..

Apr 27, 2005

Hands-on 7 has been amended to clarify that the key we ask you to use has expired.

Apr 26, 2005

If on DP1 you receive a grade of B- or less from the writing staff, you will have to revise DP1 and submit the revised version to the writing staff for re-evaluation. This is the only assignment that needs to be revised. The due date for the revision is listed on the feedback sheet attached to the DP1 report you submitted to the writing program.

Apr 26, 2005

Tutorials 6 (Apr 29) and 7 (May 6) are canceled.

Apr 24, 2005

Hands-on 7 has been posted. It is due April 28th in recitation.

Apr 21, 2005

Quiz 2 Solutions are now available.

Apr 16, 2005

DP2 Proposals are due Thursday, April 21st. The TAs have scheduled additional office hours on Wednesday, April 20th in the 32-G9 lounge as follows. Kyle, Miguel: 12-2pm; Bret: 4-6pm; Stan: 6-8pm. Since Drop Date is Thursday, April 21st, the TAs can return your Quiz 2 during office hours on Wednesday.

NOTE: You must see the TA associated with the recitation you attend to get your quiz back.

Apr 14, 2005

Keith will hold office hours today from 4-6pm. Kyle will hold office hours today from 5-7pm. All office hours will be in the 32-G9 lounge.

Apr 12, 2005

Reminder: Quiz 2 review session will be held tomorrow, on April 13th, 7 PM - 9 PM in room 2-190.

Apr 8, 2005

Quiz 2 is scheduled for Friday, April 15. Additional details, including past exams, can be found here.

Apr 7, 2005

Tutorials (which are mandatory) will resume tomorrow at their normal times and locations. Make sure you read DP2 prior to tutorial.

Apr 7, 2005

The DP2 discussion forum has been created for students and staff to post questions and answers about DP2. Following the link, select "Academic conference." You will need your MIT certificates.

Apr 5, 2005

DP2-FAQ is now online and will be updated regularly.

Apr 4, 2005

Note regarding the formation of teams for the Design Project 2: there should be three people per team, all enrolled in recitation sections taught by the same instructor.

E-mail your TA the names of people in your group by Thursday. Also, e-mail a note prior to Thursday in case if you are unable to find the requisite teammates.

Apr 3, 2005

Hands-on 5 is now available. It is due in recitation on April 7th.

Note the following deliverables for DP2; these are described in more detail in the Design Project 2 assignment.

  • One copy of your list of team members, due in recitation on Thursday, April 7.
  • Two copies of your your design proposal due in recitation on Thursday, April 21.
  • One copy of your design report due in recitation on Thursday, May 5.
  • A short presentation on your team's solution in recitation on Tuesday, May 10.

Apr 1, 2005

Design Project 2 is now available.

Mar 25, 2005

There will not be any tutorials on Friday, April 1st. Tutorials will resume the following week.

Mar 24, 2005

Hands-on 4 (DNS) is now available and is due March 31 in R15.

Mar 16, 2005

DP Late Policy:

You may submit DPs late, subject to the following penality. We reduce by one letter grade the maximum grade your DP can receive for each recitation after the due date it is submitted. Note, this is a ceiliing, not a deduction, and we round up to the next recitation.

For example, if the assignment is due in R13, and you submit it after R13, but on or before R14, the maximum grade your DP can get is a B.

This policy means, for example, that an "A+, A, A-, or B+" paper is capped at a B, but a B paper stays a "B".

If you hand the paper in after R14 but on or before R15, the maximum grade is "C".

Note that you have to submit DP1 on or before the last day of class to pass 6.033.

Mar 15 2005

TAs are holding marathon office hours in Stata G9 loung to answer any last-minute questions regarding Design Project 1, tomorrow from 3PM and until the cows come home.

Mar 14 2005

Please be sure to read the DP1 FAQ which clarifies some important points about the poject.

Mar 13 2005

DP1 Writing Tutorial Slides and DP1 Writing Program Consultation Hours are now available. Here is the example introduction to the NuBus specification used in the writing tutorial.

Students may pick-up late DP1 proposals from outside the Writing Program office, 32-083.

Mar 7 2005

Quiz 1 Solutions are now available.

Location change: The DP1 Tutorial 3 will take place in 32-123 at 2PM on Friday.

Mar 4 2005

The traceroute hands-on is now available.

Mar 3 2005

Quiz 1 solutions from 2004 are now online for your preparation.

Mar 2 2005

Quiz 1 FAQ is now available HERE.

Please note new Quiz 1 location for all students: QUIZ 1 WILL TAKE PLACE IN WALKER MEMORIAL GYM (50-340)

Feb 28 2005

To help you prepare for the quiz, the TAs are holding marathon office hours this week. Stan Rost will be available in the 32-G9 lounge on Wednesday 4:30-7:30. Miguel Ferreira will hold office hours on Thursday 5:30-7, at the same location.

When handing in your DP1 proposal tomorrow, remember to hand in two copies. Also, do not forget to add to your submission the list of people with whom you have collaborated.

Writing program requirement change: only DP1 needs to be rewritten if a writing grade lower than B- is obtained.

Feb 25 2005

TA office hours have been updated.

Feb 24 2005

The final word: Quiz 1 review session will be held on Thursday, March 3rd, in 32-123, 7 PM - 9 PM.

Feb 23 2005

The initial installment of the Design Project 1 FAQ is now online. The FAQ is expected to evolve within the next few days, so please check back periodically.

Feb 22 2005

The second (and final) installment of the course notes will be available on Thursday, February 24, 2005. This supplement will include chapter 11 and a chapter on problems and solutions. You can obtain these materials (over 380 pages in all) from CopyTech for about $13.

There will be a Quiz 1 Review Session on Thursday, March 3, 7 PM - 9 PM in 32-123.

Feb 21 2005

The schedule now contains locations, dates and times of Quizzes 1-3.

Feb 15 2005

Design Project 1 has been posted.

Also check out the section on the "General Information" page for how 6.033 meets the CI-M requirements and what the related writing requirements for 6.033 are. If you have questions about this policy, contact Professor Balakrishnan.
As noted in the FAQ, the tutorials are mandatory.
Notes from the writing program lecture are now available HERE and from the schedule page.

Feb 14 2005

If you are still having difficulties with One-Pager #2, you may focus on the use of pipes in the Unix shell and ignore the use of the pipe() command. If you can't think of any negatives, then you may discuss some ways in which pipes make it easier to compose programs together than other methods for program composition that you know of -- for example, linking, which we learned about in Lecture on Monday.

Feb 10 2005 Assigned: Hands-on #2 (X-Windows), due in REC 6, February 17th.
If you have not received your graded one-page essay #1 yet (two copies, one graded by the Writing Program), they may be among the remaining graded essays that will be returned on Friday at the end of the writing lecture.

Feb 9 2005

On Friday, February 11, there will be a writing lecture in 32-123 at 2pm. It is not an optional lecture. Since a significant fraction of your grade in 6.033 is based on your ability to organize and present technical material well in your project papers and one-pagers, this lecture is important and will help greatly.

Feb 8 2005

Tutorial assignments and locations are available now. If you have a scheduling conflict, go to the other tutorial section led by your recitation TA.

Assigned: One-pager #2, due in REC 5, February 15th.

Feb 2 2005

6.004 is a strict prerequisite for 6.033 (see FAQ). We won't assign students to sections if they have not finished 6.004 yet. If, after reading the FAQ, you still have questions about this policy, please contact Professor Balakrishnan.

Assigned: One-pager #1, due in REC 3, February 8, 2005

Jan 31 2005

Printed reading materials are available from CopyTech, in the basement of Building 11.

CHANGE: the R11 recitation section at 2pm will now be held in Room 34-304 instead of the room previously assigned. Click here for recitation section details.

Jan 29 2005

Welcome to 6.033! Please read the class FAQ and General Information and check this site often for updates.

There are nine recitation sections this term, not twelve as was previously indicated on Websis. So, if you pre-registered for a section, it is possible that the section you pre-registered for is no longer available. Please consult this list of available recitations and go to one of them on Tuesday, February 1 2005 (the first day of classes). During recitation, you will be given recitation preference sheets on which you can list your recitation and tutorial preferences. By 10pm on Wednesday February 2 2005, we will assign a binding list of recitation assignments for the rest of the term.


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

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