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Teaching An Operating System Course To Cet/Eet Students

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Curriculum in Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology: Part I

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.1124.1 - 14.1124.7



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Paper Authors

author page

Xuefu Zhou University of Cincinnati

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Teaching an Operating System Course to CET/EET Students


This paper describes the motivation for teaching an operating system course to computer engineering technology (CET) and electrical engineering technology (EET) students. It presents course topics and teaching approach. The accompanying laboratory exercises are also briefly described.

1. Introduction

An operating system (OS) provides a well-known, convenient, and efficient interface between user programs and the bare computer hardware. As a service provider, it provides the basic function on every computer so that application software can be run. Operating systems are necessary and so important for any use of the computer. For computer and electrical engineering technology (CET/EET) students, it is imperative to understand the principal concepts and mechanisms of operating systems since most of them will practice in the industry and be seriously involved in computer system development and application. They should acquire sound OS knowledge. Specifically, CET/EET students should know how an operating system works, what its major components are, how to utilize an operating system’s resources and service to efficiently develop applications, how to tune an operating system for optimal performance, and how to select an operating system for a particular application (i.e., real-time industrial controllers).

Though OS is one of the fundamental and core courses of computer science or computer engineering disciplines, it is not commonly offered in CET programs. This paper describes an operating system course taught to CET/EET students. The remainder of this paper is organized as follows. Section two discusses course development, including course context, course objectives, course content and laboratory exercises. Section three presents our teaching experience and reflection, and Section four gives the conclusion.

2. Course Development

2.1 Curriculum Context and Course Objectives

In our CET curriculum, Computer Architecture, Object Oriented Programming (Data Structure) and Computer Security are three courses pertaining to the operating system course. The first two are prerequisites for the operating system course, and the operating system course itself is one of the prerequisites for computer security course. OS is a required course for CET students while EET students can take it as a technical elective. The primary goal of this course is to have students understand the internal components and underlying activities of an operating system, and learn how to utilize operating system resources to develop their own applications.

Upon completion of this course the student will be able to


Zhou, X. (2009, June), Teaching An Operating System Course To Cet/Eet Students Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5032

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