CS 7934 — Computer Systems Seminar, Spring 2017

Fridays, 2:00–3:30 PM, 3485 MEB

Instructor: Eric Eide


Week Date Topic(s) Facilitator(s) Paper(s)
1 1/13 Eide no meeting — organizational email
2 1/20 IoT security Eide Smart Locks: Lessons for Securing Commodity Internet of Things Devices. Grant Ho et al. In ASIA CCS ’16, May–Jun. 2016.
3 1/27 OS design Hibler Light-weight Contexts: An OS Abstraction for Safety and Performance. James Litton et al. In OSDI ’16, Nov. 2016.
4 2/3 state machine replication Wong Just Say NO to Paxos Overhead: Replacing Consensus with Network Ordering. Jialin Li et al. In OSDI ’16, Nov. 2016.
5 2/10 library operating systems Johnson EbbRT: A Framework for Building Per-Application Library Operating Systems. Dan Schatzberg et al. In OSDI ’16, Nov. 2016.
6 2/17 random testing McConville Coverage-based Greybox Fuzzing as Markov Chain. Marcel Böhme et al. In CCS ’16, Oct. 2016.
7 2/24 no meeting — student research posters
8 3/3 malicious peripherals Duerig Defending Against Malicious Peripherals with Cinch. Sebastian Angel et al. In USENIX Security ’16, Aug. 2016.
9 3/10 edge computing Eide Fast, Scalable and Secure Onloading of Edge Functions Using AirBox. Ketan Bhardwaj et al. In 1st IEEE/ACM Symposium on Edge Computing, Oct. 2016.
10 3/17 no meeting — University spring break
11 3/24 mobile web Li Flywheel: Google’s Data Compression Proxy for the Mobile Web. Victor Agababov et al. In NSDI ’15, May 2015. Errata.
12 3/31 compiler testing McConville RandIR: Differential Testing For Embedded Compilers. Georg Ofenbeck et al. In Scala ’16, Oct. 2016.
13 4/7 in-network resource allocation Hancock Evaluating the Power of Flexible Packet Processing for Network Resource Allocation. Naveen Kr. Sharma et al. In NSDI ’17, Mar. 2017.
14 4/14 in-process private memory Li Shreds: Fine-Grained Execution Units with Private Memory. Yaohui Chen et al. In IEEE S&P ’16, May 2016.
15 4/21 network resource management Ricci Flexplane: An Experimentation Platform for Resource Management in Datacenters. Amy Ousterhout et al. In NSDI ’17, Mar. 2017.
16 4/25 system administration Eide Tuesday 4/25 at 12:00 PM:
Doom as an Interface for Process Management. Dennis Chao. In CHI ’01, Mar.–Apr. 2001.


The spring 2017 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 spring 2017. 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)
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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