Dependable Computing Systems

ECE/CS 4434/6434
Spring 2021


Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, all the course activities will be carried out online.
For the latest updates, please visit UVA's Return to Grounds page.

Computing systems are used in various critical domains including aerospace, energy, transportation, healthcare, and commerce. Failures of these systems may lead to catastrophic consequences such as injury, loss of life, damage to equipment, or financial loss.
This course focuses on techniques for designing and analyzing dependable computing systems that can continue to operate correctly in the presence of software and hardware problems. We will learn what can go wrong, how we can predict, prevent, and detect faults/errors, and how we can design systems that can tolerate faults and recover from failures.


Time: Tue/Thu 11:00am - 12:15pm
Location: Online via Zoom

Virtual Instructor Office Hours: Tuesdays 2pm or by appointment - via Zoom
Virtual TA Office Hours: Wednesdays 3pm - via Zoom
UVA Collab Site (For lecture notes, homework submission, grading)
Piazza (For questions, discussions, and polls)

Pre-requisites: This course is intended for graduate and senior-level undergraduate students. A basic knowledge of probability and computer architecture is required. A working knowledge of programming is required for homework and final project.
Undergraduate requirements: APMA 3100 or APMA 3110 - CS 3330 or ECE 4435 (co-req) - ECE 3430 (preferred)


Class Participation/Activity5%
-- Short presentations on real-world reliability/safety/security incidents/issuesUG: 5% - GRAD: 5%
-- Paper PresentationsUG: 0% - GRAD: 10%
HomeworkUG: 25% - GRAD: 15%
Final Project30%
Midterm Exam15%
Final Exam (Take Home)20%
There will be a 10% penalty for late homework (per school day). You will also have a grace period of three days for the whole course to address any unexpected events such as sickness, traveling, other deadlines, interviews, etc. This means that you can always submit late assignments (except the presentation slides and the final exam), but if you don't use more than three late days, you will not be penalized in any way. The late penalties and the grace period will be accounted at the end of the semester. Also, your lowest grades for homework and class activity will be dropped.