Instructor: Amit Levy
Office Hours: By appointment
Location: Zoom (requires Princeton login to access)
Systems need to balance how much extensibility, safety, and performance they provide applications. This is one of the fundamental trade-offs in system design. The goal of this seminar is to make you a better systems builder, paper reader, and systems researcher, by identifying this trade-off in various settings and thinking of ways to subsume it.
There is neither a midterm nor a final exam for this course. Instead, grades are based on participation in class discussions, reading annotations, and
Each week we will read 2-4 papers from the systems literature. Many of these papers are dense with information. Understanding them in depth requires reading actively.
To facilitate engagement, you are required to make 5 substantive annotations on each paper using Perusall by noon the day before class (you’ll still be able to respond to each other after the deadline). An annotation can be a question, summary, or insight. You’ll be able to see, and comment on, other students’ annotations. Please do so (though you are not required to comment in excess of your annotations)!
In addition, each student (or in groups) must submit a final report and give a final presentation. You have a choice of either:
Writing a literature on a sub-field of systems (e.g. extensible key-value stores) that could serve as the background section.
A course project. Ideally this is either augments research you are doing anyway or an early bootstrap of a research project.
The final report should be an appropriate length to showcase your work succinctly. Most reports should probably be 4-6 pages, excluding references, in USENIX conference style.
30% Participation: For each reading, you’ll be asked to post substantive comments or questions using Perusall. Comments and questions are due 24-hours before the class for which the reading is assigned.
30% Attendance: Class is only as valuable as you showing up! You have 8 “slack days” that you can use at your disposal to miss scheduled class without impacting your grade.
40% Final report and presentation: You have a choice of submitting a final report for either a literature review or course project.