[CSE]  Advanced Operating Systems 
COMP9242 2013/S2 
UNSW
CRICOS Provider
Number: 00098G

PRINTER Printer-Friendly Version

On-Line Survey 2010

Survey ID1295
TitleCOMP9242 10
DescriptionCourse Evaluation Survey for COMP9242 Advanced Operating Systems. Version for Session 2, 2010.
AnonymousYes
Fill Ratio100% (7/7)
# Filled7
# Suspended0
# Not Filled0
(required) indicates required field
Your comments will help us to assess and improve our courses, not only for future generations, but for your further study in CS&E. We really look at the results and appreciate your feedback! Several changes to the course over the years were a direct result of student feedback. And, as always, we'll publish the uncensored results on the course web site.


Note: Please do not enter "no comment" or something similar into comment boxes. If you don't have anything to say, just leave the box empty.
1. Quick Evaluation
1. Give a high rating if you have a good opinion of something (e.g. interesting, useful, well-structured, etc.). Give a low rating if you have a bad opinion of something (e.g. too slow, confusing, disorganised, etc.)  (required)
Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button
  Excellent Satisfactory Poor
Gernot Heiser (57%) (29%) (14%) (0%) (0%)
Kevin Elphinstone (57%) (43%) (0%) (0%) (0%)
Guest lecturer Leonid Ryzhyk (43%) (14%) (29%) (14%) (0%)
Guest lecturer Godfrey van der Linden (57%) (14%) (29%) (0%) (0%)
Tutors/demonstrators (71%) (29%) (0%) (0%) (0%)
Reference material (29%) (29%) (43%) (0%) (0%)
Course web pages (29%) (57%) (0%) (14%) (0%)
Computing resources (29%) (29%) (43%) (0%) (0%)
Exam (29%) (29%) (29%) (14%) (0%)
COMP9242 overall (57%) (43%) (0%) (0%) (0%)
2. General
2. Which factors most influenced your decision to enrol in this course?  (required)
Question type : Multiple answer -- Check Box
Interest in operating systems as an area of study (86%) chart
Chance to build a system (86%) chart
Chance to get fingers really dirty (86%) chart
Would like to do some systems research (43%) chart
Looking for a challenge (100%) chart
Looking for an easy course (0%) chart
Friends told me it was good (57%) chart
3. Other factors not mentioned above?
Question type : Short-answer
Answer at the bottom page (1 comments)
4. Would you recommend this course to another student such as yourself?  (required)
Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button
Yes (100%) chart
No (0%) chart
5. The course is heavy on design and implementation issues. It also tries to remain close to present research issues (although that aspect has suffered with the move to 12 teaching weeks). What do you think about the content allocation?  (required)
Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button
  Too
much
Just
right
Too
little
Theory/general principles (0%) (14%) (71%) (14%) (0%)
OS design and implementation (0%) (0%) (86%) (14%) (0%)
Current research issues (0%) (0%) (43%) (57%) (0%)
6. What were the best things about this course?
Question type : Long-answer
Answer at the bottom page (7 comments)
7. What were the worst things about this course?
Question type : Long-answer
Answer at the bottom page (6 comments)
8. How does the workload in this course compare to workloads in other ...  (required)
Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button
  Much
Lighter
Similar Much
Heavier
COMP courses at this level (0%) (0%) (14%) (29%) (57%)
COMP courses in general (0%) (0%) (0%) (14%) (86%)
Courses in general (0%) (0%) (0%) (14%) (86%)
9. How does the overall quality/value of this course compare to other ...  (required)
Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button
  Among
the best
Average Among
the worst
COMP courses at this level (71%) (29%) (0%) (0%) (0%)
COMP courses in general (71%) (29%) (0%) (0%) (0%)
courses in general (71%) (29%) (0%) (0%) (0%)
10. What background knowledge do you think you were missing that would have helped you in this course? Is distinction in COMP3231/9201 a suitable preparation? Is it too harsh?
Question type : Short-answer
Answer at the bottom page (5 comments)
3. Content/Syllabus
11. Please rate the relevance/appropriateness of the lecture topics.  (required)
Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button
  Very
relevant
Average Inappropriate N/A
L4 general and L4 API (57%) (43%) (0%) (0%) (0%) (0%)
Microkernels in General (57%) (43%) (0%) (0%) (0%) (0%)
Threads and Events (57%) (29%) (0%) (14%) (0%) (0%)
Caching & TLBs (57%) (29%) (14%) (0%) (0%) (0%)
Virtual Machines (43%) (29%) (29%) (0%) (0%) (0%)
Computer Security (29%) (43%) (14%) (14%) (0%) (0%)
Performance Evaluation (43%) (43%) (0%) (0%) (0%) (14%)
Device Drivers (57%) (14%) (14%) (14%) (0%) (0%)
SMP and Locking (29%) (14%) (14%) (29%) (0%) (14%)
OS X Audio (29%) (43%) (0%) (14%) (0%) (14%)
Local OS Research (29%) (29%) (29%) (14%) (0%) (0%)
12. Please tell us how interesting you found the lecture topics.  (required)
Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button
  Very
interesting
Ok Boooooring! Skipped
L4 general and L4 API (0%) (29%) (43%) (14%) (0%) (14%)
Microkernels in General (43%) (14%) (29%) (14%) (0%) (0%)
Threads and Events (29%) (43%) (29%) (0%) (0%) (0%)
Caching & TLBs (14%) (71%) (14%) (0%) (0%) (0%)
Virtual Machines (57%) (14%) (14%) (14%) (0%) (0%)
Computer Security (43%) (14%) (29%) (14%) (0%) (0%)
Performance Evaluation (29%) (29%) (14%) (14%) (0%) (14%)
Device Drivers (43%) (14%) (43%) (0%) (0%) (0%)
SMP and Locking (14%) (43%) (14%) (0%) (14%) (14%)
OS X Audio (57%) (0%) (14%) (14%) (0%) (14%)
Local OS Research (57%) (14%) (14%) (0%) (14%) (0%)
13. Which material do you think will be most useful to you in the future?  (required)
Question type : Long-answer
Answer at the bottom page (7 comments)
14. Which material, not currently in this course, would you liked to have seen covered?
Question type : Long-answer
Answer at the bottom page (3 comments)
15. Which of the current topics would you like to see scaled back or excluded?
Question type : Long-answer
Answer at the bottom page (3 comments)
4. Lectures
16. What factors caused you to attend lectures?  (required)
Question type : Multiple answer -- Check Box
I had enough spare time (57%) chart
The lectures were too good to miss (71%) chart
Given the pace and lack of a textbook, I could not afford to miss the lectures (57%) chart
It was as good a place as any to take a nap (14%) chart
I wanted to be seen to be there (43%) chart
None, I skipped most (14%) chart
17. What were the reasons for skipping lectures?  (required)
Question type : Multiple answer -- Check Box
Overall workload in this and other courses (57%) chart
Lecture notes and references cover the material adequately (29%) chart
Lectures are boring (14%) chart
There was not enough material to justify attending lectures (0%) chart
First half of the course was more interesting than second half (0%) chart
None, I attended (almost) all (71%) chart
18. Any suggestions for improving lectures?
Question type : Long-answer
Answer at the bottom page (5 comments)
5. Project
19. What was the level of difficulty various parts of the project?  (required)
Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button
  Too easy Just right Too hard
Milestone 0 (14%) (29%) (57%) (0%) (0%)
Milestone 1 (29%) (29%) (43%) (0%) (0%)
Milestone 2 (0%) (43%) (57%) (0%) (0%)
Milestone 3 (14%) (0%) (86%) (0%) (0%)
Milestone 4 (0%) (0%) (86%) (14%) (0%)
Milestone 5 (14%) (0%) (86%) (0%) (0%)
Milestone 6 (0%) (0%) (71%) (29%) (0%)
Milestone 7 (0%) (14%) (86%) (0%) (0%)
Milestone 8 (0%) (14%) (71%) (14%) (0%)
System documentation (0%) (0%) (86%) (14%) (0%)
Project overall (0%) (0%) (86%) (14%) (0%)
20. How well was the project specified?  (required)
Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button
  Very clear Ok Confusing
Milestone 0 (43%) (0%) (57%) (0%) (0%)
Milestone 1 (29%) (29%) (43%) (0%) (0%)
Milestone 2 (14%) (29%) (43%) (14%) (0%)
Milestone 3 (14%) (14%) (57%) (14%) (0%)
Milestone 4 (29%) (29%) (43%) (0%) (0%)
Milestone 5 (14%) (0%) (57%) (29%) (0%)
Milestone 6 (14%) (0%) (71%) (14%) (0%)
Milestone 7 (29%) (0%) (29%) (43%) (0%)
Milestone 8 (14%) (14%) (43%) (29%) (0%)
System documentation (29%) (0%) (43%) (29%) (0%)
Project overall (14%) (0%) (86%) (0%) (0%)
21. What was the quality of...  (required)
Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button
  Excellent Ok Poor
Documentation/reference material (0%) (14%) (29%) (43%) (14%)
Supplied code (0%) (14%) (57%) (29%) (0%)
Hardware platform (29%) (43%) (29%) (0%) (0%)
Consultation time help/support (57%) (14%) (29%) (0%) (0%)
On-line help/support (0%) (29%) (43%) (29%) (0%)
22. Any suggestions for improving the project?
Question type : Long-answer
Answer at the bottom page (5 comments)
6. Anything Else
23. Any other comments/suggestions that might help us to improve the course in the future?
Question type : Long-answer
Answer at the bottom page (4 comments)

3. Other factors not mentioned above?
1: Chance to learn real OS skillz in a world-class course
6. What were the best things about this course?
1: * Wrote an operating system! That worked! * Use of real hardware (with all the joy that comes with this) * hands-on appreciation for microkernels and other OS concepts
2: Fun of making own OS. Exam was pretty good.
3: It's a challenge
4: The assignment :D. Being taught current research instead of dated techniques from years ago.
5: The project and an introduction to real world applications and research
6: a new insight on OS design issues like security and reliability
7: opportunity to design and build an os
7. What were the worst things about this course?
1: * 12 weeks * documentation * library code * Kenge does a complete rebuild after midnight
2: Doing it by myself.
3: It's quite a challenge
4: Time. Having the assignment due in week 12 limited my being able to do any bonuses, especially with other assessments due in week 12. It would be awesome if you submitted a working solution on time and were able to submit diffs to complete some bonus tasks afterwards. Most of the time my partner and I stayed a week ahead on deadlines, until we decided to do ELF loading and process management at the same time, which made some difficult bugs harder to find.
5: limited consultation time for the project.
6: not enough emphasis on research paper critical reading and evaluation during the semester which turned out to be a main component of final exam at the end of semester while programming project keep making us busy and unaware about other aspect of the course.
10. What background knowledge do you think you were missing that would have helped you in this course? Is distinction in COMP3231/9201 a suitable preparation? Is it too harsh?
1: Distinction in Comp3231 is essential.
2: Distinction is suitable
3: It
4: distinction in 9201 does not seem to be necessary
5: pre-reqs were fine
13. Which material do you think will be most useful to you in the future?  (required)
1: * Local OS research ... ;) * Performance evaluation (+ crimes) * Microkernels in general
2: threads/events and VM
3: C skills
4: General understanding of how operating systems work and microkernel design.
5: In the immediate future, SMP/Locking. Otherwise everything.
6: The lecture on Mac OS audio was great, i think this course should contain more info on drivers and
7: microkernel
14. Which material, not currently in this course, would you liked to have seen covered?
1: I though the OS X audio lecture was the most interesting lecture simply because of content: it presented a complete case study of one of the best audio subsystems (perhaps) in any general OS. If you had more time (you didn't) and more researchers like Godfrey who were in the right place at the right time (probably not many) then more stuff like that would have been awesome.
2: The lecture on Mac OS audio was great, I think this course should contain more info on drivers for monolithic operating systems.
3: booting processes
15. Which of the current topics would you like to see scaled back or excluded?
1: Cant think of anything in particular, I guess thats a good sign.
2: Maybe SMP+Locking ... I didn't really learn anything useful in this lecture, we don't have to deal with it in this course, and I know enough locking from previous courses (Extended OS and Foundations of Concurrency).
3: locking have been covered well in the previous OS course
18. Any suggestions for improving lectures?
1: 3 hour lectures are shit. Also, NICTA seminar room is terrible. Get a real lecture theatre... or anywhere where the chair don't slide around and we have desks.
2: 3 hours of listening alone is difficult... perhaps reserve the last 30-60 mins for interactive discussions?
3: Add another option above 'illness/misadventure'.
4: Cake ... ? More comfortable chairs!
5: Comfy chairs, maybe it was just me but i didn't like those chairs.
22. Any suggestions for improving the project?
1: For milestone 0, having some choice methods pointed out would be nice. Mainly because there are multiple ways to do the milestone, some easier than others. I took the highroad, partner found it harder by using more low level functions. it would have been nice to have the caching lecture BEFORE we implemented page tables and.
2: Some more exciting drivers would be nice.
3: Some of the specifications were far too vague, and were assessed on criteria that were not revealed to the students. More consistency in this respect would have been nice.
4: The biggest problem with the project is the loading time. Perhaps it would be best to get ELF loading operational first, then expand the functionality of other components
5: although from practical point of view the project was a good programming experience, all theoretical principal of mandatory parts of the project were covered in 9201. Maybe it would be usefull if student have to leverage some properties of microkernel to implement a more reliable or secure OS.
23. Any other comments/suggestions that might help us to improve the course in the future?
1: It was not clear to my group partner or I that you have to write a 1 to hardware to reset it. This made the driver milestone harder than it actually was. I *guess* it makes sense now, but a more gentle introduction to hardware would have saved us a lot of time! Some more information on Kenge/build system would have helped us to properly configure this too.
2: Maybe you should make it an individual project?
3: Thanks!
4: auto marking scripts are helpful to resolve conceptual problems which may not have been apparent from the specification. It can also be used to make sure that the milestone is complete such that a back log of required amendments do not arise

Last modified: 04 Nov 2010.