6.824 - Spring 2015

General Information

Structure // Grading policy // Staff // Office Hours // Acknowledgements //


6.824 is a core graduate subject with lectures, labs, an optional project, a mid-term exam, and a final exam. 6.824 is 12 units. 6 EDPs.

Class meets TR1-2:30 in 54-100. Most class meetings will be part lecture and part paper discussion. You should read the paper before coming to class, and be prepared to discuss it. You can find out what paper to read for each meeting in the schedule.

We will post a question about each paper 24 hours before the beginning of class. Your answer need only be long enough to demonstrate that you understand the paper; a paragraph or two will usually be enough. We won't give feedback, but we will glance at your answers to make sure they make sense, and they will count for part of the paper discussion grade.

6.824 will have an exam during class in the middle of the term, and a final exam during finals week.

There are programming labs due every week or two throughout the term.

Towards the end of the term you have the option of either doing Lab 5, or doing a project. If you decide to do a project, you'll form a team of two or three students, and choose an idea to work on; the project must involve ideas covered in 6.824. You'll hand in a short project proposal at the start; then design and build a system; at the end of the term you'll hand in a summary of your results and do a short presentation and demo in class.


Final course grades will be based on:

In order to help you cope with unexpected emergencies, you can hand in your lab solutions late, but the total amount of lateness summed over all the deadlines must not exceed 72 hours. If you don't hand in an assignment at all, or don't hand it in by the last day of classes, we'll give the assignment an F. If you hand an assignment in late, and your total late time (including the late time for that assignment) exceeds 72 hours, and you hand it in by the last day of classes, then we'll give it a D or an F depending on whether it seems to basically work. You can divide up your 72 hours among the labs however you like; you don't have to ask or tell us. You can only use the 72 hours for the labs; for example, you are not allowed to use late hours for any aspect of the project. If you want an exception to these rules, please ask S3 to send us an excuse note.

Collaboration policy

You must write all the code you hand in for the programming assignments, except for code that we give you as part of the assignment. You are not allowed to look at anyone else's solution (and you're not allowed to look at solutions from previous years). You may discuss the assignments with other students, but you may not look at or use each other's code.

You may discuss the questions for each discussion paper with other students, but you may not look at other students' answers. You must write your answers yourself.


Please use the mailing list (6.824-staff@pdos.csail.mit.edu) to send questions or comments about the course to the staff.

Robert Morris 32-G972
Teaching assistants
Steven Allen
Rohan Mahajan
Steven Valdez

Office hours

Day Time Location
Wednesday 2:00-4:00 Stata G9 Lounge (will probably move)
Thursday 3:00-5:00 Stata G9 Lounge (will probably move)
Friday 1:30-3:30 Stata G9 Lounge (will probably move)


Frans Kaashoek and Nickolai Zeldovich developed much of the 6.824 course material.

Questions or comments regarding 6.824? Send e-mail to 6.824-staff@pdos.csail.mit.edu.

Top // 6.824 home //