Lam, email: lam AT cs DOT utexas DOT
edu office hours: TuTh, office:
Teaching assistant: Mubashir Adnan Qureshi
mubashir AT cs DOT utexas DOT edu
office: TA Station Desk
2, GDC 1.302 weekly
office hours: Tuesday noon - 1 p.m., Wednesday noon
- 1 p.m.
special office hours on days when
programs are due: (Sept. 30th and October 28th, Fridays) This course is an introduction to the subject of computer networks
emphasis on the Internet. The following topics will be covered:
network and protocol
communication and switching
application and transport
flow and congestion control
network layer and routing
link layer and local area
wireless networks (802.11 only)
network security (selected topics)
We will emphasize fundamental concepts and key ideas, and try to
minimize coverage of implementation details. However, some details are
unavoidable in a course on protocols and networking. Also, to understand why certain ideas
design decisions are better than others, there will be some amount of
mathematical performance analysis (in lectures, homework, as well as
The following coursework with a grade of at least C- in each: Computer
Science 439 (or 372) or 439H (or 372H). Familiarity with calculus and basic
J. F. Kurose and K. W. Ross, Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach,
7th edition, Addison Wesley, 2017. Reading assignments of selected chapters
and sections in the text will be posted on the class web page. I plan to
cover the first six chapters of the textbook (with omission of some
sections). Selected topics from Chapter 7 and Chapter 8 will also be covered. Please
Chapter 1 of the textbook as soon as possible.
Lecture slides (pdf
files) are available on the class web page. (Note that some slides
may be revised and not finalized until the day after their use in a lecture.) Do not use laptops, cell
any other electronic devices during class.
Course Averages and Letter Grades
Your course grade averages will be computed with the following
Homework assignments (five): 20%
labs (three): 2% for first, 5% for second, 5% for third
(two): 6% for first, 12% for second
Two in-class exams:
Plus and minus grades will be used for final course grades. If you average 87% for the course, you are guaranteed a letter grade
of A- or better.
If you average 80% for the course, you are guaranteed a B- or better. I will
consider the distribution of course grades for the class as a whole and
give more A's and B's according to a curve.
Homework and Wireshark
assignments: Both homework and Wireshark
lab assignments will be due, in hard copies, at the beginning of class on due date. Late
submissions will not be accepted. (There will be a 5-minute grace period in
case you arrive late to class. If you arrive within the first 5 minutes of
class, please locate the TA in the classroom and give your submission to him quietly.)
Note: Wireshark lab
assignments will be done
on your own PC or laptop.
Programming: The objective is for
you to learn how to use the sockets interface to
provide client-server (also peer-peer) communications. There will be two
programming assignments requiring the use of TCP and UDP socket calls. You
will do these assignments in Python. Your programs
must be able to run on UTCS linux computers and interact
CS356 server running on my UTCS linux
computer. You will submit your programs by uploading your
files to UT's Canvas
system for the TA (see instructions on
Exams: There are two in-class exams
(October 13, 2016 and December 1, 2016). Each is a closed-book
of 1 hour
15 minutes long. You are allowed one 8.5" x 11" page of notes (on
one side of paper only). You may also bring a
calculator or use the calculator function in your cell phone. No access to any materials online, in calculator,
in cell phone, or in any electronic
device, is permitted.
You will be allowed to make up a missed exam only with prior
from the instructor. To get approval, you need a compelling reason.
policy: You can discuss homework and lab assignments with
classmates. Similarly, you can talk to fellow students about
concepts, data structures, and language constructs needed for
assignments. However, everyone must write up his/her own solutions
for submission, and everyone must write and test his/her own programs
individually. Do not look at or copy someone else's
any homework, lab, or programming assignment, including solutions by
a previous offering of this class. Please refer to the
Student Code of Conduct document for additional information. You are
required to abide by the Student Honor Code of the University of Texas at
Class web page & email announcements
All assignments, lecture slides, as well as special
announcements are posted on the class web page with the
URL: http://www.cs.utexas.edu/users/lam/cs356. I do not have a fixed schedule for posting updates, but it is a
to check the master
several times a week
for assignment due dates and exam dates.
You are responsible for downloading and printing the homework,
programming assignments from the class web page. There will be
hard-copy handouts of these in class.
The class web page will have links
to the TA web page, with information on office hours, homework solutions,
instructions for programming assignments and submissions, etc. If you
have questions about homework, labs, exams, and programming, please email
the TA, or visit during him office hours. He will be responsible for grading homework, Wireshark
labs, and programming assignments as well as the two exams.
Exception: Grades will be posted on the CS 356 course page
Occasionally, when there is an
urgent announcement, we
will email you. The TA will compile a list of student email
addresses from the
CS 356 class roster. If you would like such notices to be
delivered to a
different email address or you are not sure which email address of yours
the class roster, please notify the TA of your preferred email
soon as possible.
1. Students with disabilities may request appropriate academic
accommodations from the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement,
Services for Students with Disabilities, 512-471-6259,
. If you have an accommodation request, you must talk to the instructor in
person about details of your request first (a request sent by email is not
2. By UT-Austin policy, you must notify the instructor of your pending
absence at least fourteen days prior to the date of observance of a
religious holy day. If you must miss a class, an examination, a work
assignment, or a project in order to observe a religious holy day, you will
be given an opportunity to complete the missed work within a reasonable time
after the absence.
3. The following recommendations regarding
emergency evacuation from the Office of Campus Safety and Security,
Occupants of buildings on The
University of Texas at Austin campus are required to evacuate buildings when
a fire alarm is activated. Alarm activation or announcement requires exiting
and assembling outside.
Familiarize yourself with all exit doors of
each classroom and building you may occupy. Remember that the nearest exit
door may not be the one you used when entering the building.
requiring assistance in evacuation shall inform their instructor in writing
during the first week of class.
In the event of an evacuation, follow
the instruction of faculty or class instructors.
Do not re-enter a
building unless given instructions by the following: Austin Fire Department,
The University of Texas at Austin Police Department, or Fire Prevention