CSE Department Special Topics courses in 2021 Diwali Semester

COL851 Special Topics in Operating Systems

Instructor: Prof. Abhilash Jindal

Website: http://abhilash-jindal.com/teaching/2021-1-col-851/

Lecture slot: Slot AB (Mon, Thu, 15:30-17:00)

This course will‌ survey current important research directions in systems. The course targets entry-level graduate students and upper-level undergraduate students.

In almost every lecture, we will discuss a research paper. First half hour of the discussion will be led by a student presenter. Each student is expected to submit a paper review for every paper.

Because you learn systems the best when you build one, this course includes a semester-long project which can be entrepreneurial, or explores a research hypothesis. Near the end of the course, students present their projects. For research projects, students showcase reasonable experiments that validate/invalidate their research hypotheses. For entrepreneurial projects, students should make a business case with a plan to validate/invalidate their market hypotheses and showcase a minimum viable product. Handful of projects will be marked as “best projects” that will continue to receive instructor support after the completion of course.

Prerequisites: COL331 or equivalent.

Tentative evaluation criteria


Paper reviews: You are encouraged to discuss the paper with your peers. But each review must be written independently. If two student reviews are found to be copied, both reviews will be penalized. It is encouraged to note in the header: “Paper discussed with student XYZ”.

Paper presentation: You are allowed to reuse slides from other presentations. But this has to be acknowledged at the start of the presentation.

Project: Report and presentations should clearly distinguish between original work and cite work from other sources.

Entrepreneurial projects

Since this is a systems course, the basis of project evaluation for grading will be on systems work. Project proposals shall declare the systems metrics they should be evaluated upon.

Sample project idea

Video indexing service

Invalid project idea

Explaining computer systems through animation such as this channel for Math.

COL860 Special Topics in Parallel Computation

Instructor: Prof. Rijurekha Sen

Mon, Tue: 12 noon - 1:30 pm, hands-on tutorials on some Fridays

Tentative topics

  1. NVIDIA GPU Architecture, CUDA programming, libraries and toolkit (compilers, debuggers, profilers), optimizations for GPUs
  2. DNN compilers and graph optimizers (e.g. TVM, XLA, GLOW), popular DNN frameworks (e.g. TensorFlow, PyTorch, TensorRT — what happens at compile time and runtime?)
  3. Other accelerators: Non-NVIDIA GPUs with OpenCL programming, DLA, NPU, TPU. Operating system drivers for these heterogeneous co-processors. Memory management.
  4. Research paper readings

Evaluations will be based on exam, programming assignment and a course project.

COL863 Special Topics in Theoretical Computer Science: Quantum Computing

Instructor: Prof. Ragesh Jaiswal

Quantum information is fundamentally different from the classical notion of information. We will try to understand quantum information and design efficient quantum algorithms for problems that do not have known efficient algorithms in the classical setting. The course will be taught at the level of senior undergraduate/beginner graduate.

Topics: Quantum bits/circuits/algorithms/information/measurement, Bell’s inequality discrete logarithm, factoring, quantum search, error correction.

Lectures slot: Slot AA (Mon, Thu, 2:00-3:30)

Prerequisites: Discrete Math (COL202 or equivalent), Algorithms (COL351), Linear Algebra (MTL104)

Textbook: Quantum Computation and Quantum Information by Michael A. Nielson and Isaac L. Chuang.


Grading component # Weight
Homework (best 3 out of 4) 4 25%
Quiz (best 3 out of 4) 4 20%
Minor 1 20%
Major 1 35%

COL868 Special Topics in Database Systems

Instructor: Prof. Maya Ramanath

Our main focus of the course are the following topics:

  1. Data discovery/data lakes
  2. Data cleaning
  3. Data versioning

The course will be run in seminar mode. Students will be expected to give presentations and participate in discussions. This is a research level course, so you will be expected to do a lot of paper reading. If you would like to know more, please do attend the first meeting this Thursday.

COL874 Special Topics in Compilers and Language Implementation: Advanced Compiler Techniques

Instructor: Prof. Sorav Bansal