CS 7934 — Computer Systems Seminar, Fall 2019

Fridays, 2:00–3:30 PM, 3485 MEB

Instructor: Eric Eide


Week Date Topic(s) Facilitator(s) Paper(s)
1 8/23 Eide no meeting — organizational email
2 8/30 fuzz testing Eide GRIMOIRE: Synthesizing Structure while Fuzzing. Tim Blazytko et al. In USENIX Security ’19, Aug. 2019.
3 9/6 cloud performance debugging Li Seer: Leveraging Big Data to Navigate the Complexity of Performance Debugging in Cloud Microservices. Yu Gan et al. In ASPLOS ’19, Apr. 2019.
4 9/13 performance of analytics frameworks Duplyakin Making Sense of Performance in Data Analytics Frameworks. Kay Ousterhout et al. In NSDI ’15, May 2015.
5 9/20 latency measurement Ricci Lancet: A Self-correcting Latency Measuring Tool. Marios Kogias et al. In ATC ’19, Jul. 2019.
6 9/27 hypervisor design Johnson Protecting Cloud Virtual Machines from Hypervisor and Host Operating System Exploits. Shih-Wei Li et al. In USENIX Security ’19, Aug. 2019.
7 10/4 attacks on LTE Wong Breaking LTE on Layer Two. David Rupprecht et al. In IEEE S&P ’19, May 2019.
8 10/11 no meeting — University fall break
9 10/18 heap attacks Shahini HeapHopper: Bringing Bounded Model Checking to Heap Implementation Security. Moritz Eckert et al. In USENIX Security ’18, Aug. 2018.
10 10/25 compiler fuzzing Hatch Compiler Fuzzing: How Much Does It Matter? Michaël Marcozzi et al. In Proc. ACM on Programming Languages, 3(OOPSLA):155:1–155:29, Oct. 2019.
11 11/1 compiler debugging Watson Compiler Bug Isolation via Effective Witness Test Program Generation. Junjie Chen et al. In ESEC/FSE ’19, Aug. 2019.
12 11/8 exploit generation Shahini KEPLER: Facilitating Control-flow Hijacking Primitive Evaluation for Linux Kernel Vulnerabilities. Wei Wu et al. In USENIX Security ’19, Aug. 2019.
13 11/15 programmable storage Zhang Narrowing the Gap Between Serverless and its State with Storage Functions. Tian Zhang et al. In SoCC ’19, Nov. 2019.
14 11/22 compiler fuzzing Darragh Finding and Understanding Bugs in FPGA Synthesis Tools. Yann Herklotz and John Wickerson. In FPGA ’20, Feb. 2020.
15 11/29 no meeting — Thanksgiving break
16 12/6 OS performance Maricq An Analysis of Performance Evolution of Linux's Core Operations. Xiang (Jenny) Ren et al. In SOSP ’19, Oct. 2019.


The fall 2019 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 2019. 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.

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 2019 no focus topic chosen
Fall 2018 no focus topic chosen
Spring 2018 no focus topic chosen; many SOSP ’17 papers
Fall 2017 no focus topic chosen
Spring 2017 no focus topic chosen
Fall 2016 no focus topic chosen; many SIGCOMM ’16 papers
Spring 2016 no focus topic chosen
Fall 2015 no focus topic chosen; many systems security papers
Spring 2015 no focus topic chosen
Fall 2014 no focus topic chosen; many OSDI ’14 papers
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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