Syllabus and general information for MCS-394: Networking (Spring 2002)
We will examine several key challenges of networking, such as
application-level interoperability, transport-level congestion control,
and network-level routing. For each of these challenges, we will
examine the specific response embodied in the current Internet
protocol suite and the systems implementing it. However, we will also
keep an eye out for the broader possibilities for potential future
protocols and systems.
I will be available in my office (OHS 303) 11:30-12:20 Tuesdays,
1:30-2:20 Wednesdays, 2:30-3:20 Thursdays, 1:30-2:20 Fridays, and by
appointment. Or try your luck: just stop by and see whether my door
You may send me electronic mail at email@example.com or call me at
extension 7466. I'll try to put any updates to my office
hours on my web page, so check
there if in doubt.
World Wide Web
All course materials will be available through my World Wide Web page.
The URL for this course is http://www.gustavus.edu/~max/courses/S2002/MCS-394/.
After this syllabus I will give hardcopy handouts only to those
students who want them.
Text and readings
The primary text for the course will be Computer Networking: A
Top-Down Approach Featuring the Internet by James F. Kurose and
Keith W. Ross, Addison-Wesley, 2001.
There will be four lab assignments. The due dates for the labs are
shown in the syllabus below. We'll meet in the OHS 326 or 329 lab as
shown in the syllabus (subject to change).
Attendance is expected for all lab days. (If you turn in a lab report
early, you are excused from the remaining days devoted to that lab.)
I will excuse up to two absences per student, for any reason. Use
yours wisely. If you exceed this allowance, I may reduce your course
grade by one letter grade.
Homework assignment policy
I will assign homework problems.
You may turn in any individual homework problem whenever you think you have it
solved. I will return it to you as quickly as I can, but normally
with only an indication of whether it is acceptable or needs more
work. (Sometimes I may give a brief indication of what area it needs
more work in.) If a problem needs more work, and you aren't sure what
sort of work it still needs, you should treat that as an invitation to
come talk with me about it. Once you've done the additional work, you
may turn the problem in again. In fact, you may turn in each problem
in as many times as you like, until it is marked as acceptable. Your
grade for the homework portion of the course will be based on the
fraction of homework problems that you eventually did acceptably.
Normally homework problems may be turned in at any time up until March
15th, for chapters 1 to 3, until 2:30 on April 24, for chapters 4 and 5,
and until 2:30 on the last day
of classes, for the remainder. However, if we would
benefit from discussing a homework problem in class, I may issue a
"last call" for solutions to that problem, at least a week in
Unless I indicate that a particular problem must be done individually,
you may work on any problem in a group of two or three students.
One copy of the solution produced by the team should
be turned in, with all team members names on it. Write "we all
contributed fairly to this solution" and have all team members sign
under that statement.
There will be two intra-term exams and a final exam. You will be
given one and a half hours for each intra-term exam. Unless you tell
me otherwise, I will assume that you are taking each exam in OHS 321
from 7:00-8:30 pm, with the first exam on March 18th, and the second
on April 25th. If these times will not work for you, please contact me
to arrange an alternative one and a half hour block of time. The final
exam will be as scheduled by the registrar. For each test, you may
use one 8.5x11 sheet of handwritten notes. (Both sides of the sheet
On two occasions, we will examine how networking plays out in actual
sites. The first one (a warm up) will be an examination of the
Gustavus campus network, which we will do during a normal class
period. The second one will involve a more extended time period, as
we will be driving up to the Twin Cities in college vans to get a tour of
a major Internet application and hosting site.
Dates for these trips are shown in the syllabus, but should not be
taken seriously. I will poll the class the first week concerning
scheduling constraints, and then set up a date for the trip to the
based on those constraints. The Gustavus tour may also be rescheduled
to maintain the property that it is before the Twin Cities trip.
Students are encouraged to discuss the course, including issues raised
by the assignments. However, the solutions to assignments
should be individual original work unless otherwise specified. If an
assignment makes you realize you don't understand the material, ask a
fellow student a question designed to improve your understanding,
not one designed to get the assignment done. To do otherwise is to
cheat yourself out of understanding, as well as to be intolerably
Any substantive contribution to your solution by another person or
taken from a publication should be properly acknowledged in writing.
Failure to do so is plagiarism and will necessitate disciplinary
The same standards regarding plagiarism apply to team projects as to
the work of individuals, except that the author is now the entire team
rather than an individual. Anything taken from a source outside the
team should be be properly cited.
One additional issue that arises from the team authorship of
project reports is that all team members must stand behind all reports
bearing their names. All team members have quality assurance
responsibility for the entire project. If there is irreconcilable
disagreement within the team it is necessary to indicate as much in
the reports; this can be in the form of a ``minority opinion'' or
``dissenting opinion'' section where appropriate.
Late lab assignments
All lab assignments are due at the beginning of class on
the day indicated. Late assignments will be penalized by one ``grade
notch'' (such as A to A- or A- to B+) for each weekday late or fraction
thereof. However, no late assignments will be accepted after graded
assignments are handed back.
If you are too sick to complete an assignment on time, you
will not be penalized. Simply write ``late due to illness'' at the
top of the assignment, sign your name and hand it in. Other circumstances
will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Please point out any arithmetic or clerical error I make in grading,
and I will gladly fix it. You may also request reconsideration if I
have been especially unjust.
I will provide you with a letter grade on each lab
assignment and test, in addition to the mid-term and final
grades, so that you may keep track of your performance. As a
guideline, the course components will contribute to your final grade
in the proportions indicated below:
- 24% Labs (4 @ 6% each)
- 25% Homework (based on fraction done; see above)
- 51% Exams (3 @ 17% each)
All homework and lab reports should be readily readable, and should
not presuppose that I already know what you are trying to say. Use
full English sentences where appropriate (namely almost everywhere)
and clear diagrams, programs, etc. Remember that your goal is to
communicate clearly, and that the appearance of these technical items
plays a role in this communication process. Be sure your assignments
are always stapled together and that your name is always on them.
Please contact me immediately if you have a learning or physical
disability requiring accommodation.
This is my best guess as to the rate at which we will cover material.
However, don't be shocked if I have to pass out one or more revised
|2/12||1.1-1.5||Introduction, part 2||
|2/13||1.6-1.10||Introduction, part 3||
|2/15||2.1-2.2||Application layer and HTTP||
|2/19||2.3-2.4||FTP and email||
|2/26||3.1-3.3||Transport layer and UDP||
|2/27||Lab 1, in OHS 326||
|3/4||3.4||Reliable data transfer||
|3/5||Lab 1, in OHS 326||
|3/11||3.6-3.7.1||Congestion control||Lab 1
|3/12||Lab 2, in OHS 329||
|3/13||3.7.2-3.8||TCP congestion control||
|3/18||4.1-4.2.1||Link state routing||
|3/19||Lab 2, in OHS 329||
|3/20||4.2.2-4.3||Distance vector routing||
|3/26||4.6-4.7||Routers and IPv6||
|3/27||4.8-4.9||Multicast routing||Lab 2
|4/8||5.1-5.2||Error detection and correction||
|4/9||Lab 3, in OHS 329||
|4/15||5.6-5.7||Ethernet boxes and wireless||
|4/16||Lab 3, in OHS 329||
|4/17||Lab 3, in OHS 329||
|4/19||5.8-5.9||PPP and ATM||
|4/22||5.10-5.11||Frame relay||Lab 3
|4/23||Lab 4, in OHS 326||
|4/30||Lab 4, in OHS 326||
|5/1||6.5-6.7||Quality of service
|5/3||6.8-6.10||RSVP and differentiated services||
|5/7||Gustavus networking tour (in class time)||
|5/8||Lab 4, in OHS 326||
|5/9||TLR networking briefing/tour 10:00-4:15||
|5/10||7.3-7.4||Authentication and integrity||Lab 4
|5/13||7.5-7.6||Key distribution and secure email||
|5/14||7.7||SSL and SET||
|5/22||Review, catch-up, and evaluation||
Course web site: http://www.gustavus.edu/~max/courses/S2002/MCS-394/
Instructor: Max Hailperin <firstname.lastname@example.org>