CSE 20189 is the one of the core classes in the Computer Science and Engineering program at the University of Notre Dame. The purpose of the course is to introduce students to the Unix programming environment and to familiarize students with a wide variety of Unix commands and tools, shell scripting, and Python programming. Although this is primarily a practically-oriented course, along the way students will explore concepts such as filesystems, processes, pipes, and network sockets.

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Utilize unix commands to navigate filesystems, edit files, manage processes, explore system and network properties, produce documents and plots, and manipulate multimedia files.

  2. Employ Unix development tools to compile, link, build, debug, trace, profile, and test software applications.

  3. Install Unix software from source distributions and using package managers.

  4. Compose shell scripts to automate tasks.

  5. Construct regular expressions and small programs to filter and process a variety of datasets.

  6. Develop basic Python applications that utilize system calls that manipulate files, control processes, and communicate over pipes and sockets.

  7. Discuss the core tenets of the "Unix Philosophy" and how it is applied to modern software development.

  8. Describe how processes interact with each other via various forms of inter-process communication such as files, pipes, and sockets.

Class Information

M/W/F 12:50 PM - 1:40 PM
102 DeBartolo Hall
Mailing List (Class)
Mailing List (Staff)


Peter Bui (pbui@nd.edu)
Office Hours
M/W/F 2:00 PM - 4:30 PM, and by appointment
Office Location
350 Fitzpatrick Hall

Help Protocol

  1. Think
  2. IRC
  3. Think
  4. Email
  5. Think
  6. Office

Teaching Assistants

Teaching Assistant
Whitney Choo (wchoo1@nd.edu)
Office Hours
Tuesday 3:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Office Location
Jordan Cafe Area
Teaching Assistant
Breanna Devore-McDonald (bdevorem@nd.edu)
Office Hours
Thursday 3:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Office Location
LaFortune Basement (Innovation Lab)
Teaching Assistant
Patrick Drumm (pdrumm@nd.edu)
Office Hours
Sunday 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Office Location
Teaching Assistant
Nicholas Jones (njones7@nd.edu)
Office Hours
Thursday 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Office Location
Teaching Assistant
Christopher Maheu (cmaheu@nd.edu)
Office Hours
Tuesday 4:45 PM - 6:45 PM
Office Location
O'Neill Hall (24 Hour Lounge)
Teaching Assistant
Anna McMahon (amcmaho4@nd.edu)
Office Hours
Thursday 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Office Location
1st Floor of the Library
Teaching Assistant
Charles Shinaver (cshinave@nd.edu)
Office Hours
Thursday 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Office Location
Engineering Library
Teaching Assistant
Claire Sonderman (csonderm@nd.edu)
Office Hours
Tuesday 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Office Location
Engineering Library
Teaching Assistant
Dina Vu (dvu1@nd.edu)
Office Hours
Wednesday 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Office Location
Engineering Library
Unit Date Topics Assignment
Introduction 01/13 Introduction, Syllabus, Shell Slides Slides
01/15 Git, Markdown Slides Reading 00
Files and Processes 01/18 MLK Day Reading 01
01/20 Files Slides
01/22 Processes Slides Homework 01
I/O Networking 01/25 I/O Slides Reading 02
01/27 Networking Slides
01/29 Networking Homework 02
Developer Tools 02/01 Compiling, Building Slides Reading 03
02/03 Building, Debugging
02/05 Debugging Homework 03
Software Installation 02/08 Custom Software Slides Reading 04
02/10 Package Management
02/12 Exam 01 Checklist 01
Shell Scripting 02/15 Shell Scripting Slides Reading 05
02/17 Shell Scripting
02/19 Shell Scripting Homework 04
Filters 02/22 Regular Expressions Slides Reading 06
02/24 Filters
02/26 Filters Homework 05
02/29 Filters Reading 07
03/02 Filters
03/04 Exam 02 Checklist 02
Spring Break
Document Tools 03/14 LaTeX Slides Reading 08
03/16 GNU Plot
Python: Basics 03/18 Control Flow, Data Structures Slides Homework 06
System Calls: Files, Filesystem 03/21 Files Slides Reading 09
03/23 Filesystem
03/25 Easter Break Homework 07
System Calls: Processes 03/28 Easter Break
03/30 Processes Slides Reading 10
04/01 Processes
Python: Paradigms 04/04 Functional Programming Slides
04/06 Object-oriented Programming Homework 08
04/08 Exam 03 Checklist 03
System Calls: Networking 04/11 Sockets Slides
04/13 Sockets
04/15 HTTP
Distributed Computing 04/18 HTCondor Slides
04/20 Work Queue Homework 09
04/22 Makeflow
Lightning Talks 04/25 Graph Processing
04/27 TBD Homework 10
Final 05/05 Exam 04 Checklist 04


Component Points
Readings Weekly reading assignments and corresponding writing prompts. 10 × 4
Homeworks Weekly programming homework assignments. 8 × 15 + 2 × 20
Exams Periodic examinations, covering material discussed in class. 4 × 25
Total 300


Grade Points Grade Points Grade Points
A 280-300 A- 270-279
B+ 260-269 B 250-259 B- 240-249
C+ 230-239 C 220-229 C- 210-219
D 180-209 F 0-179

Bitbucket Repository

All your Reading and Homework assignments are to be submitted to your own private Bitbucket repository before the class period on the day assigned in the schedule above.



Students are expected to attend and contribute regularly in class. This means answering questions in class, participating in discussions, and helping other students.

Foreseeable absences should be discussed with the instructor ahead of time.

Classroom Recording

Notre Dame has implemented an Echo360 classroom recording system. This system allows us to record and distribute lectures to you in a secure environment. You can watch these recordings on your computer, tablet, or smartphone. The recordings can be accessed within Sakai. Look for the tool labeled "Echo360 ALP" on the left hand side of the course.

Because we will be recording in the classroom and/or using an active learning environment, your questions and comments may be recorded. (Video recordings typically only capture the front of the classroom.) If you have any concerns about your voice or image being recorded, please speak to me to determine an alternative means of participating. No content will be shared with individuals outside of your course without your permission except for faculty and staff that need access for support or specific academic purposes.

These recordings are jointly copyrighted by the University of Notre Dame and your instructor. Posting them to other websites, including YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, or elsewhere without express, written permission may result in disciplinary action and possible civil prosecution.

Late Work

In the case of a serious illness or other excused absence, as defined by university policies, coursework submissions will be accepted late by the same number of days as the excused absence.

Otherwise, there is a penalty of 25% per day late (except where noted). You may submit some parts of an assignment on time and some parts late. Each submission must clearly state which parts it contains; no part can be submitted more than once.

Honor Code

All work that you submit must be your own. Collaboration is encouraged but must be disclosed by all parties. Print or online resources are allowed, but must be disclosed. However, you may not look at solutions from other current or past students, or any other source.

Students with Disabilities

Any student who has a documented disability and is registered with Disability Services should speak with the professor as soon as possible regarding accommodations. Students who are not registered should contact the Office of Disabilities.