CS356 - Computer Networks (Fall 2006)

(with agenda,

& Lab FAQ
Text's Online Resources

Scores Statistics




News & Announcements
12/12 Mansoor will be holding extra office hours this Friday (12/15) in PAI 3.08 from 12:30 to 1:30 for any course-related or grading-related questions that you may have.
10/20 Lab 1 FAQ page is up. Sign up for a time slot of your choice by 5pm Monday Oct 23.
10/19 The deadline for the second engaging find has been extended till November 30, 2006.
Exam details (syllabus, format etc.) for Midterm 1 are available here.

Older announcements are archived here.
Course: CS 356: Computer Networks
Unique #: 56410.....TTh 12:30-2:00 RAS 310
Instructor: Chris Edmondson-Yurkanan   Taylor Hall 4.136.....Phone: 471-9546
chris (at sign) cs (dot) utexas (dot) edu
(my for fun email alias: replace the 'chris with 'dragon' -- is it short for dragonslayer? or dragon's lair? You decide.)

Office Hours: Mon 11-12, Tues 2:15-3, Wed 1:30-2:30, or by appointment
Teaching Assistant: Mansoor Jafry     email: mansoor (at sign) cs (dot) utexas (dot) edu
Office Hours: In PAI 3.08 Wed 10:45-11:45, Thu 11:15-12:15, or by appointment
FYI:  Mr. Jafry's Master's Thesis: Adaptive QoS Management Mechanisms for Multimedia Applications in Wireless Home Networks
Class Information:
Required Textbook: Computer Networking Complete Package, 3/e (the package with BOTH the hardback red/black/white cover, and the paperback Study Companion for Computer Networking ), by Jim Kurose and Keith Ross, Pearson Addison Wesley,with a new ISBN ISBN-10: 0321418492, copyright 2007.    The package includes a separate, new Study Companion along with the 3rd edition  that I think you will like (and they promised no price increase).

Packet of Slides is at the Welch duplication center (WEL 2.228). The cost is $9.70.

Course Catalog
Description:   Introduction to computer networks, including common terminology, basic design issues, and types of networks and protocols. Prerequisite: The following courses, with a grade of at least C in each: Computer Sciences 310 or 310H, 336 or 336H, and Mathematics 408D; While the catalog says CS352 is a pre-req or a co-req, the dept. will give you permission, if you haven't taken CS352.

Topic Outline

This semester we will examine the principles of modern computer networking, focusing on current examples of how we use the Internet and the protocols that implement it.   At the beginning we will discuss network infrastructure, topology, sources of delay, and use the "layered" abstraction;  then will investigate common applications: the Web (HTTP, web caching, content distribution, cookies, etc), email (SMTP/POP/IMAP/HTTP), domain names and DNS (i.e. how do we find anything?), peer-to-peer protocols (with Skype as the focus), etc.  Later on, we'll examine infrastructure protocols (UDP, TCP, IP, Ethernet, and "wifi"). Security topics (firewalls, encryption, certificates) and typical attacks will be examined as well.  We will have 25 lectures (plus the equivalent of 3 lecture periods devoted to the course intro, exam reviews, exams, and a course wrapup)

Student Evaluation Process

There will be 2 types of assignments: homeworks and projects:

Your performance in this class will be evaluated through the above assignments along with three exams. The weights of each of these components is listed below:
There will be no make-up exams.

Attendance Motivation:

Many members of the CS Department have been discussing that attendance can have a strong association with both exam performance and overall course grade.  Typically, without an attendance policy, students who miss several lectures are much more likely to NOT pass the course.  Our goal is to help students balance their heavy course loads and time demands, while appreciating the heavy cost to missing lectures in courses.  The attendance policy elsewhere has been very successful and generally very well received by students. 

Students will lose 1.5% of their final course grade for each absence, up to 4.  Attendance will be taken at the beginning of each lecture and discussion section.  Students who are more than 5 minutes late will be counted at absent.  If you know that you are going to be late to a lecture, please make prior arrangements with your instructor or TA.

The attendance policy is intended to be both a strong incentive for attendance and to help students be aware of the importance of attendance and participation on academic performance in this course.   This is currently an experiment - any feedback is desired.

Classroom Distractions:

CS 356 specifics of the Student Collaboration Policy

General UT Policies:  The homework, programs, and exams must be the work of students turning them in. University policy (see Dean of Students' policies on academic integrity) will be followed strictly.

Acts that exceed the bounds defined by the approved collaboration practices will be considered cheating. Such acts include:

We urge everyone in the class to take appropriate measures for protecting one's work. You should protect your files, homework solution sheets, etc. as deemed reasonable.

Please come talk to me if you are unsure about how to work together with your friend in a legal, helpful manner. Remember, it is always ok to "work together" with your professor or TA!

Your Responsibilities in This Class: