Carnegie Mellon
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Computer Science Department

15-412 Projects


Successful completion of 412 requires activities other than hacking! Below are some examples from previous semesters.

Inventory of an existing code base
Code Inventory (P9PPC project)
Project proposal (presentation form)
Porting Plan 9 to the PowerPC Architecture (P9PPC project)
Technical-topic presentation
The Story of a Page ("CART for Linux" project); the P9PPC project also has several good examples of technical-topic presentations.
Project documentation/overview material
README and code map (NetWatch project)
Project blog
Linux CGroups: Subsystems as Modules (note: 22 posts in a 15-week semester); the NetWatch project also has a good blog.

Project Archive

Here are selected entries from the project archive...

Add loadable-module support to the Linux cgroups infrastructure
Status: completed by Ben Blum
AC'97 Audio Device Driver for the Plan 9 research operating system
Status: Completed by Bankim Bhavsar and Deepti Chheda
Namespace crossings for the Plan 9 research operating system
Status: Proof-of-concept completed by Wes Filardo
Implement the CART page-replacement algorithm in the Linux kernel
Status: completed by Rahul Iyer
Port the Plan 9 research operating system kernel to 32-bit PPC Macintosh systems
Status: proof-of-concept operational; submission in progress.
An overlay file system for the Plan 9 research operating system
Status: completed by Chao-Kuo Lin.
Adapt OpenAFS to the relevant Linux 2.6 kernel cataclysms
Status: completed by Jonathan Curley.


Useful proposal elements (not all elements apply to every proposal):

  • Brief summary of what project does (link to summary page is fine)
  • Statement on what you want to add
  • Features of the existing code base:
    • brief outline of chunks of code base (e.g., per-platform "modules" vs. common-code "modules"), with lines-of-code breakdown by chunk
    • approximate percentage which is assembly language
    • status of compiler/linker/debugger tool chain (if non-standard)
    • license flavor
  • Elements of what you propose to accomplish:
    • Lines of code you expect to write
    • Type of code you expect to write (plug-in, device driver, mutate 1% of every existing file, ...)
    • Rough count of files you intend to add/change (add one 2-file module; lightly edit 100 files, ...)
    • Rough milestone list (four or five phases, with a rough estimate of how many weeks per phase)
    • Vague responsibility breakdown (Terry will work on X, Kelly will work on Y; or maybe: Pat will be the hardware expert and Lee will be the software expert)
  • Documentation
    • What necessary documentation do you already have?
    • What necessary documentation are you hoping you can find? Does the work depend on somebody agreeing to release something to you?
    • Are you expecting to rely on some body of source code as as documentation? If so, explain briefly.
  • Expected start-up obstacles:
    • Does the work depend on a language you don't fully know?
    • Will it be necessary to install, configure, and learn some emulation environment?
    • Is there a tool which you will need to adjust/extend for your work?
    • Are you proposing to extend a protocol which you don't yet know?
  • Hazards?
    • Is there some thing which you could discover which would put a stop to the whole project?
    • Is there some element of outside-CMU cooperation which might fall through?
  • Hardware/space resources:
    • How many machines of what type will be necessary?
    • Which machines do you plan to provide? Do you have spares?
    • What equipment, if any, do you hope to install in the 412 lab? How many IP addresses do you expect to need?

These are probably elements for a second draft:

  • As far as you know, are others working on similar goals?
  • How will you test your work?
  • What is the standard acceptance process for code in this project?
  • Project road-map: maybe a 20-item todo list, or a boxes-and-arrows dependency chart showing what needs to happen before other things.

[Last modified Thursday September 24, 2015]