Distributed Systems W4995-1 Fall 2014
Class Location: MUDD 233
Time : Monday Wednesday 2:40am - 3:55pm
Credits: 3 units
Instructor: Roxana Geambasu
Office Hours: Monday 4:00-5:00pm
Office: 461 Computer Science Building
Class Discussion: Piazza
TA: Mathias Lecuyer
Office Hours: Wed and Fri, 9-10am
TA Location: CEPSER 6LW5
TA: Vaggelis Atlidakis
Office Hours: Tue, 5-6pm
TA Location: Mudd 490
Distributed systems help programmers aggregate the resources of many networked computers to construct highly available and scalable services. This class teaches the abstractions, design and implementation techniques that enable the building of fast, scalable, fault-tolerant distributed systems. Topics include multithreading, network programming, consistency, fault tolerance, consensus, security, and several case studies of distributed systems.
- COMS W3137 Data Structures and Algorithms
- COMS W3157 Advanced Programming (or good working knowledge of C and C++)
- COMS W3827 Fundamentals of Computer Systems.
- W4118 Operating Systems is not required, but it is a big plus for your homework assignments.
The other requirement is that students be able to send and receive email, access courseworks.columbia.edu, access the class web page, and download and print pdf files from the class web page.
You need to get get a CS account for access to the CLIC machines, because we will grade all your programming assignments on these machines.
The grading formula is:
- 65%: Homework (in total, 55% for programming parts plus 10% for written parts)
- 20%: Exams (final for sure, probably a midterm, too)
- 15%: Class participation (ask/answer questions)
Please see our policies regarding late submission, re-grading assignments, and collaboration rules.
Textbooks and Resources
- Distributed Systems: Principles and Paradigms, Andrew Tanenbaum and Maarten van Steen, Prentice Hall. (Second edition recommended for easy mapping with chapter numbers.)
Optional textbooks and other resources:
- Principles of Computer System Design. Jerome Saltzer and M. Frans Kaashoek, Morgan Kaufmann
- Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment. W. Richard Stevens The C++ Programming Language. Bjarne Stroustrup. Addison Wesley
- Google C++ Coding Style Guide
- UNIX Network Programming. Volume 1: Networking APIs: Sockets and XTI. W. Richard Stevens.
This course builds upon several existing distributed systems courses from other universities:
- MIT’s distributed systems course (6.824), developed by Robert Morris and Frans Kaashoek
- NYU’s distributed systems course (G22.3033), developed by Jinyang Li
- CMU’s distributed systems course (15-440), developed by David Andersen
We leverage different aspects from the above courses. For example, we use a subset of MIT’s lab assignments, the lecture schedule, notes, and presentations from the MIT, CMU, and NYU courses, and much of NYU’s web page structure.