6.853: First MIT Student Symposium on Computer Systems (SOCS)

The goal of 6.853 is learn to do research in computer systems. 6.853 will involve learning to critique papers/ideas, picking a research topic, building a system/executing a project, analyzing the results, writing it up in a conference-quality paper, and creating an effective presentation. 6.853 is intended for Course 6 Meng students and MS/PhD students.


  • Study, discuss, and critically judge the recent literature of computer systems.
  • Execute a research project in teams of two/three by implementing a cool idea, evaluating it, and writing a 10-page paper on it.

    Topics covered

    Computer architecture, networks, operating systems, programming language/system interface, network protocols, file systems, replication, protection, transactions, database systems, computer graphics, user interfaces, and application systems.


    Projects are done in teams of maximal 3 students. Suggestions for topics for projects will be provided by the staff, but you are free to make your own proposal for a project. Some of the suggested projects will be executed using the exokernel operating system. Projects may overlap with the research for your thesis (if the thesis is in the area of computer systems and your advisor does not mind).



    Highly motivated to do some cool hacking and sufficient background in the areas of 6.004, 6.033, 6.035, and 6.170 (or equivalents thereof)

    Collaboration policy

    Do the right thing. Individual assignments are for an individual and team assignments are for teams.