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
Your final 6.033 grade will have the following components:
|30%||Recitation Section Participation and Assignments
|10%||Writing Tutorial Participation, Design project 1 memo, Design project 1 proposal,
Design project 2 presentation.
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.
Two design projects require you to develop a detailed system design to solve a real-world problem. Each project will extend over roughly half the semester. The first will be an individual project; the second will be done in teams of three students from the same recitation. The first project will involve a brief memo-form proposal, a longer design proposal, and an extended report. The second project will include an executive summary, an oral presentation, and an extended report.
The proposal for design project 1 will be graded by both your TA instructor and your communication instructor. Your Communication Instructor will evaluate it according to the grading rubric and assign a grade. Your TA will evaluate the proposal to make sure your design is on the right track and assign a grade of check-/check/check+ that will factor into your final DP1 grade. Your TA will also discuss common mistakes during tutorial.
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.
You must turn in both design projects in order to pass 6.033.
If you have not turned in either of the two design projects,
you will automatically receive an F.
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 assignments.
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.
According to the Communication 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 projects.
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 have read.
Lectures will be held on Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:00pm-3:00pm in
32-123. Recitations are on typically Tuesdays
(for group A) and Thursdays (group B). Friday sessions will usually be tutorials, but we use some of the Friday hours
for lectures by the staff of the M.I.T. Communication Program, and some for
quizzes. See the schedule for the exact dates of
||Kaashoek and Katabi
|Writing Program Recitations
||Unger, Stickgold-Sarah, Volaitis, Sutliff, Schoenstein, Jackson, Delaney, Melvold
||TR, section dependent
||Chlipala, Devadas, Rudolph, Shavit, Strauss, van Dijk
||F, section dependent
||Benitez, Dehnert, Kumar, Li, Simosa, Thomson, Wang
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
||kaashoek at csail.mit.edu
||dina at csail.mit.edu
|Marten van Dijk
||martenvdijk at gmail.com
||adamc at mit.edu
||devadas at mit.edu
||rudolph at csail.mit.edu
||shanir at csail.mit.edu
||jastr at mit.edu
Office hours are held weekly in the locations listed below.
||sbenitez at mit.edu
||adehnert at mit.edu
||swarun at mit.edu
||frankli at mit.edu
||jdsimosa at mit.edu
||alect at mit.edu
||xiwang at mit.edu
||donunger at mit.edu
||jmss at mit.edu
||lydiav at mit.edu
||lsutliff at mit.edu
||juergen at mit.edu
||norajack at mit.edu
||tdelaney at mit.edu
||melvold at mit.edu
Course staff mailing list: 6.033-staff at mit.edu.
Use this mailing list to contact all the 6.033 staff members.