CS 7934 — Computer Systems Seminar, Fall 2014

Fridays, 2:00–3:30 PM, 3485 MEB

Instructor: Eric Eide


Week Date Topic(s) Facilitator(s) Paper(s)
1 8/29 Eide no meeting — organizational email
2 9/5 memory forensics Eide DSCRETE: Automatic Rendering of Forensic Information from Memory Images via Application Logic Reuse. Brendan Saltaformaggio et al. In USENIX Security ’14, Aug. 2014.
3 9/12 future Internet architectures Webb XIA: Efficient Support for Evolvable Internetworking. Dongsu Han et al. In NSDI ’12, Apr. 2012.

Supplementary: XIA: Architecting a More Trustworthy and Evolvable Internet. David Naylor et al. ACM SIGCOMM CCR, 44(3):50–57, Jul. 2014.
4 9/19 restricted transactional memory Wong Using Restricted Transactional Memory to Build a Scalable In-Memory Database. Zhaoguo Wang et al. In EuroSys ’14, Apr. 2014.
5 9/26 return-oriented programming Johnson Stitching the Gadgets: On the Ineffectiveness of Coarse-Grained Control-Flow Integrity Protection. Lucas Davi et al. In USENIX Security ’14, Aug. 2014.

Supplementary: Return-Oriented Programming: Systems, Languages, and Applications. Ryan Roemer et al. ACM TISSEC, 15(1), Mar. 2012.
6 10/3 secure scripting Hibler Shill: A Secure Shell Scripting Language. Scott Moore et al. In OSDI ’14, Oct. 2014.
7 10/10 network management Quinn A Network-State Management Service. Peng Sun et al. In SIGCOMM ’14, Aug. 2014.
8 10/17 no meeting — University fall break
9 10/24 cellular networks Nguyen Robust Assessment of Changes in Cellular Networks. Ajay Mahimkar et al. In CoNEXT ’13, Dec. 2013.
10 10/31 fast in-memory storage Subramanian MICA: A Holistic Approach to Fast In-Memory Key-Value Storage. Hyeontaek Lim et al. In NSDI ’14, Apr. 2014.
11 11/7 persistent memory Burtsev System Software for Persistent Memory. Subramanya R. Dulloor et al. In EuroSys ’14, Apr. 2014.
12 11/14 shielded execution He Shielding Applications from an Untrusted Cloud with Haven. Andrew Baumann et al. In OSDI ’14, Oct. 2014.
13 11/21 multikernel design Li Decoupling Cores, Kernels, and Operating Systems. Gerd Zellweger et al. In OSDI ’14, Oct. 2014.

Supplementary: The Multikernel: A New OS Architecture for Scalable Multicore Systems. Andrew Baumann et al. In SOSP ’09, Oct. 2009.
14 11/28 no meeting — Thanksgiving break
15 12/5 embedded system security Erickson TrustLite: A Security Architecture for Tiny Embedded Devices. Patrick Koeberl et al. In EuroSys ’14, Apr. 2014.
16 12/12 kernel design Jacobsen “Lightweight Capability Domains: Decomposing the Linux Kernel.” Charles Jacobsen.

Supplementary: Chapters 1–4 of seL4 Reference Manual: API version 1.3. Trustworthy Systems Team, NICTA. Jul. 2014.


The fall 2014 offering of CS 7934 will cover a variety of systems topics, with an eye toward two goals.

The first is to increase participants' familiarity with recent and important results in the area of computer systems research. Attendees will read and discuss papers from recent and imminent top-tier systems conferences: e.g., SOSP, OSDI, NSDI, SIGCOMM, FAST, systems-related security conferences, and so on. Attendees will typically discuss one paper each week. Papers will be selected for their relevance to participants' research or upcoming Utah visitors. In contrast to some recent offerings of the seminar, there is no preset “focus topic” for fall 2014. One can anticipate, however, that the semester will include discussions about operating systems, distributed systems, cloud computing, datacenters, networking, and security.

The second is to be a venue for student presentations. Every student participating in the seminar will be required to lead at least one meeting during the semester. This may be a “formal” research presentation—ideally of a student's current work—or it may be an analysis of the research papers chosen for a seminar meeting.

CS 7934 is often called “the CSL seminar.” The name CSL is historic.

Mailing list

To get on the class mailing list, use Mailman to subscribe to csl-sem.


The course syllabus contains important information for students, including the course's policies on grading and cheating.


Students may enroll for one (1) credit. Although the University lists the course as “variable credit,” the two- and three-credit options are not currently available. Please contact the instructor if you would be interested in enrolling for more than one credit.

Those taking the course for credit must read all of the assigned papers, submit a short summary of each assigned paper prior to class (PDF, LaTeX), participate in each discussion, and facilitate at least one seminar meeting during the semester. Refer to the syllabus for further information.

Potential Papers

Upcoming and recent conference proceedings are good sources of papers for discussion. Below are links to some relevant conference series.

Past CSL Seminars

Semester Focus Topic(s)
Spring 2014 no focus topic chosen; many systems security papers
Fall 2013 no focus topic chosen; many SOSP ’13 papers
Spring 2013 reversible and “time-traveling” debugging
Fall 2012 modern networking and network management; peer-review process
Spring 2012 systems approaches to dynamic problem detection and repair
Fall 2011 datacenter architectures and issues
Spring 2011 malicious software, i.e., malware
Fall 2010 systems approaches to security
Spring 2010 testbed-like infrastructures for cloud computing and scientific computing
Fall 2009 no focus topic chosen; many SOSP ’09 papers
Fall 2008 no focus topic chosen; many OSDI ’08 papers
Summer 2008 no focus topic chosen; informal biweekly meetings
Spring 2008 no focus topic chosen
Fall 2007 no focus topic chosen; many SOSP ’07 papers
Fall 2006 no focus topic chosen; many OSDI ’06 papers
Fall 2005 no focus topic chosen; many SOSP ’05 papers
Spring 2005 no focus topic chosen; many NSDI ’05 papers

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