This a course on computer networking, CS 414 for undergraduate students and CS 515 for graduate students. Unless otherwise mentioned explicitly, everything in this note applies to both CS 414 and CS 514. The course is divided into six two-week sections. See the schedule for details.
The prerequisite for CS 415 is Computer Architecture (CS 286). The prerequisite for CS 515 is Theoretical Foundations of Computer Science (CS 502). A good understanding of operating systems (CS 438 or CS 505) is also helpful.
The class meets in Howard Hall 316 (the computer science conference room) on Mondays and Thursdays from 1:00 pm to 2:50 pm. Classes start on Thursday, 24 January. Undergraduate midterm grades are due on Tuesday, 12 March. Monday, 1 April, is the last day for withdrawing from the class with a W. There are no classes during Spring Break, Monday and Thursday, 18 and 21 March. Classes end on Monday, 6 May.
Learn about computer network design, implementation, and operation. Emphasis placed on medium access control and MAC-layer protocols, the network, transport and TCP/IP, and session layers.Diligence and perseverance in this class should move you in a direction to eventually be able to
There are three tests, one every two sections starting with section 2; see the schedule. Tests are given in class, and are open book with notes; calculators and computers are not necessary. The tests are cumulative, covering everything taught up to and including the class before the test. Tests should take no more than an hour to complete, and will be given in the first half of the class. Test answers will be made available off the schedule. There are no mid-term or final exams.
There are six homework assignments, one per section starting with section 2 and ending with section 7. Homework problems will be available at the start of the section and are due at the end of the section (that is, by 1:00 p.m. of the last Monday of the section).
The final grade is a straight, unweighted average of the three test grades and the five highest homework grades — the lowest of six homework grades is dropped. The final grade comprises eight grades total; each constituent grade constitutes one-eighth (12.5%) of your final grade.
I use the usual grade ranges:
CS 414: CS 514:
95 ≤ A 90 ≤ A- < 95 86.6 ≤ B+ < 90 83.3 ≤ B < 86.6 80 ≤ B- < 83.3 76.6 ≤ C+ < 80 73.3 ≤ C < 76.6 70 ≤ C- < 73.3 60 ≤ D < 70 F < 60
95 ≤ A 90 ≤ A- < 95 86.6 ≤ B+ < 90 83.3 ≤ B < 86.6 80 ≤ B- < 83.3 76.6 ≤ C+ < 80 73.3 ≤ C < 76.6 70 ≤ C- < 73.3 F < 70
All grades are kept with one digit of precision to the right of the decimal point and 0.05 rounded up. No grades are adjusted to a curve; that means that 89.9 is always B+, never an A-.The final grades.
Pop quizzes occur spontaneously. A pop quiz is no more than five minutes long, and is given as soon as the class period starts. A pop-quiz grade ranges from 0 to 5 (inclusive on both ends) and is unappealable; see the pop-quiz rules for full details.
There are many computer networks textbooks, all more or less the same. This course has a textbook, but it doesn’t have an assigned textbook. Instead, pick a textbook or two you’re comfortable with. As a first cut, compare the book’s table of contents with the schedule to make sure the topics mentioned in the schedule appear in the table of contents. You can glean further advice from a small annotated bibliography of computer networks books.
Please do not interpret “There’s no assigned textbook for this course” to mean “Great! I don’t need a textbook.” Absorbing everything you need to know from lectures won’t be possible, not the least because there won’t be time to cover everything in lectures. Working it out over a textbook or two will give you the time and space to learn what you need to know. In addition, the tests are written assuming knowledge found in basic computer networks textbooks.
Mail relevant to the class will be stored in a
tinyurl.com/mucscns13m ). If your message is of general interest to the class, I'll
store it, suitably stripped of identification and along with my answer, in the
tinyurl.com/mucscns13h). I’ll make the class notes, assignments, and tests available off the schedule at
tinyurl.com/mucscns13s); you should get in the habit of checking the schedule regularly.
vimeo.comon the mucscn channel (
tinyurl.com/mucscns13v, rss feed ). Screencasting is experimental, and lecture availability will most likely be unreliable.
identi.ca/mucs514, rss ) or twitter (
twitter.com/mucs514). The same messages appear on both services. Despite their names, these feeds are for CS 414 and CS 514.
My attendance policy applies only to lecture attendance; it does not apply to other kinds of attendance which may be required for the course. Repeated failures to meet the attendance expectations set for tests, meetings, projects, labs or other forms of course work will have a bad influence on your grade.
First, the only complaint that matters is that something got marked wrong when it was actually right. When you come to complain, be prepared to present, in explicit detail, what it is you did and why you think it’s right.
Second, complaints about a particular test or assignment are only valid until the next test or assignment is due; after that point the book is permanently closed on all previous test or assignment grades.
A late assignment is penalized ten points a day for each day it’s late. I use a 24-hour clock running from midnight to midnight to measure days; note this means that an assignment handed in the day after it’s due is penalized ten points: five for the day it was due and five for the next day.
A make-up test must be scheduled to be taken by the date of the test following the missed test (or the final exam if you miss the last test). If a missed test is not made up by the time of the next test, you get a zero for the missed test.
There will be only one make up given per missed test. If more than one person misses the same test, those people will have to coordinate among themselves to pick a mutually agreeable date for the make up.
Learn computer networks from the comfort of your home courtesy of the Computer Science and Engineering department (including David Wetherall) at the University of Washington and Coursera.The last time I taught this course.