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  • who: Michael Swift
  • where: Room 7369
  • when: Tuesday 1-2, Thu. 1:30-2:30
  • email: swift 'at'


  • when: Tues./Thur. 9:30-10:45
  • where: Computer Sciences 1257
  • list: compsci739-1-f14 'at'



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Welcome to CS 739 - Distributed Systems

Fall 2014


No class Tuesday, December 9th.

Final exam: Wednesday, December 17th at 12:25-2:25 in room CS 1325 (note this incorrectly used to read 1235). Covers material since the first exam.

Project 2 report due: Tuesday, December 16th at 2 pm

Project 2 poster session: 9:30-11 on Thursday, December 11th.

Reading Assignment


Welcome to distributed systems! This course will cover an exciting range of materials from the broad field of distributed systems and cloud computing, including communication, replication, consistency, scalability, security, storage, programming models, manageability and data centers. We will examine influential historical systems and important current efforts, extracting lessons both on how to build systems as well as how to evaluate them.


There is no textbook for this course. Instead, we will read the original research papers covering the major advancement in distributed system design. We will read several papers grouped around major topics, such as communication, consistency, scalability, etc. While most of the papers focus on seminal ideas, a few focus on evaluation and measurement or future directions in research.

We will read approximately 2-3 papers per week. You will have to write a one-page review for one paper a week and submit it to the review blog before class.


The class entails 1-2 programming projects focusing on solving problems in distributed systems. You will do projects in small groups.


There may be a midterm and a final or second midterm..


The success of this class depends on your participation in class. Therefore, class participation counts for a large portion of your grade. You are expected to have done the readings and contribute your thoughts in class.

Reading and class participation25%
Project 110%
Project 235%

Late assignments will be docked 25% per day late.

Reading assignment summary

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Page last modified on December 16, 2014, at 03:27 PM