CS 7934 — Computer Systems Seminar, Fall 2021

Fridays, 2:00–3:30 PM, 3485 MEB (also Interactive Video Conference)

Instructor: Eric Eide


Week Date Topic(s) Facilitator(s) Paper(s)
1 8/27 Eide organizational meeting
2 9/3 compiler testing Eide Gauntlet: Finding Bugs in Compilers for Programmable Packet Processing. Fabian Ruffy et al. In OSDI ’20, Nov. 2020.
3 9/10 software-defined networking Maricq Orion: Google’s Software-Defined Networking Control Plane. Andrew D. Ferguson et al. In NSDI ’21, Apr. 2021.
4 9/17 edge computing Watson Sledge: A Serverless-first, Light-weight Wasm Runtime for the Edge. Phani Kishore Gadepalli et al. In Middleware ’20, Dec. 2020.
5 9/24 transport protocols Wong A Linux Kernel Implementation of the Homa Transport Protocol. John Ousterhout. In ATC ’21, Jul. 2021.
6 10/1 NIC-CPU codesign Johnson The nanoPU: A Nanosecond Network Stack for Datacenters. Stephen Ibanez et al. In OSDI ’21, Jul. 2021.
7 10/8 OS architecture Ricci The Demikernel Datapath OS Architecture for Microsecond-scale Datacenter Systems. Irene Zhang et al. In SOSP ’21, Oct. 2021
8 10/15 no meeting — University fall break
9 10/22 partial memoization Felix ShortCut: Accelerating Mostly-Deterministic Code Regions. Xianzheng Dou et al. In SOSP ’19, Oct. 2019.
10 10/29 user tracking Ahmed UTrack: Enterprise User Tracking Based on OS-Level Audit Logs. Yue Li et al. In CODASPY ’21, Apr. 2021.
11 11/5 file system development Christensen High Velocity Kernel File Systems with Bento. Samantha Miller et al. In FAST ’21, Feb. 2021.
12 11/12 RDMA Rahaman PRISM: Rethinking the RDMA Interface for Distributed Systems. Matthew Burke et al. In SOSP ’21, Oct. 2021.
13 11/19 overlay networks Allred PARTISAN: Scaling the Distributed Actor Runtime. Christopher S. Meiklejohn et al. In ATC ’19, Jul. 2019.
14 11/26 no meeting — Thanksgiving break
15 12/3 TCP amplification attacks Erb Weaponizing Middleboxes for TCP Reflected Amplification. Kevin Bock et al. In USENIX Security ’21, Aug. 2021.
16 12/10 fuzzer evaluation Remes UNIFUZZ: A Holistic and Pragmatic Metrics-Driven Platform for Evaluating Fuzzers. Yuwei Li et al. In USENIX Security ’21, Aug. 2021.


The fall 2021 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. There is no preset “focus topic” for fall 2021. 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 2021 no focus topic chosen; many OS design papers
Fall 2020 no focus topic chosen
Spring 2020 no focus topic chosen
Fall 2019 no focus topic chosen
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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