System and device programming
The exam consists of a written test and an optional group project. The course does not include any oral examination, but the optional group project will be openly presented by the students belonging to the same group during one of the examination sessions. The target of the written test is to check the acquire theoretical knowledge in the area and to verify the ability of the candidate to solve medium-size problems in the operating system and device programming area (such as device management, system resource management, concurrent programming, etc.). The target of the project is to force the student to work and to coordinate his/her effort with his/her peers, and to face more complex and complete problems in the same area.
The Written Test
The written test includes questions and exercises on both theoretical and practical aspects of the entire course. Theoretical questions may include open and closed puzzles. These are formulated to test the candidate’s knowledge on all topics presented during the course and his/her ability to solve problems related to theoretical aspects. Practical questions and exercises test the ability of the candidate to solve system, device and concurrency problems writing programs in different environments and programming languages (UNIX/Linux, Windows, C, C++, etc.).
The written test is divided into two sessions following the previously described parts of the course. Both parts may include theoretical and practical aspect, involving respectively:
• Operating system internal topics
• System, device and concurrent programming aspects.
Both parts amount up to 13 points on the final evaluation mark. Each part has a passing threshold of 7 points. Thus, to pass the exam, a pass grade (larger or equal than 7) is required on both parts. The final mark is the sum of the two evaluations. As a consequence, the maximum grade that can be reached with the written test is equal to 13+13=26 out of 30. The exam is considered as passed only if the written mark is larger or equal to 18.
The time allowed for each written part may vary from 60 to 120 minutes, depending on the examination text. No books, notes, portable devices, or other material is allowed during the written text.
The two written parts can be taken during different examination sessions, but these sessions must be placed within a period corresponding to one academic year (e.g., if one take the first written text in September the second one must be taken at most in the summer session, i.e., June/July of the next year).
It is possible to reject a written mark only when the mark is delivered or when it is coupled with a previous mark. In other words, as soon as both parts have been passed, and their sum is larger or equal to 18, the written marks are considered as final, i.e., they can be improved only with the mark eventually obtained with the project. Moreover, any final mark will be registered as soon as possible, i.e., as soon as the mark of the project (if the project has been taken by the student) will be available.
On the contrary, when the validity of one written part expires, it will be automatically lost. In this case the candidate will have to retake the corresponding written test.
The Optional Project
An optional project, on either one of the two course parts, may be taken to improve the candidate’s knowledge on the course’s topics and eventually amend the final mark. Anyway, the exam is considered as “passed” only if the written test is passed.
Projects are specified yearly before then end of May, and must be selected by all students who want to apply for it before the end of June. Projects are usually taken by group of candidates (from 2 to 4).
To balance the teachers’ load during each academic year, there is a limit on the number of projects that are delivered on each one of the course parts. Project will be assigned to group of students on a first-come-first-served basis.
It must be noticed that each candidate is entitle to take a project at most once in his/her studying career at Politecnico, either during the first year he/she is enrolled in the course or in one of the following year.
The project mark will follow a short presentation given by the group of candidates. The purpose of this presentation is to present the main algorithmic flow, the main criteria and ideas used to solve the problem. To enroll for a project presentation the group of student must upload the entire project kit on the portal web page (at the “Materiale” session) before the written test date of that examination session. This has to be done within the same academic year the project has been offered and more specifically in one of the 4 examination sessions following each course. The beginning of the course of the following academic year will automatically erase all pending projects (i.e., projects without a final mark). Once that the final mark for a project has been obtained there is no time limit to its validity.
Each project can add from -2.0 to +6.0 marks to the final written evaluation. Marks can be different for different students within the same group, depending on the effort they put into the project and on the final presentation delivered.
The maximum mark which can be obtained with both the written test and the group project amount to 26+6 = 32 out of 30. Marks equal to 31 or 32 will be automatically converted into 30 with honor.