ECE 671 - Computer Networks
Computer networks are the fabric that connects our information society. To achieve the ubiquity, scalability, and performance of today's Internet, numerous challenges have to be addressed. In this course, we will explore the concepts that build the foundation of current computer networks. We will see that there are a number of different techniques that can be employed to investigate and solve such research problems. The goal is to expose you to broad range of topics that are interesting to graduate students in the networking area as well as to those whose focus is in other areas.
The skills that will be emphasized in this course are both of theoretical and practical nature. I expect that students read a book chapter and several related research papers per week and be able to contribute meaningfully to the in-class discussion. Technical writing skills for writing assignments and lab reports are expected.
There are several components to this course:
Lectures and Reading Assignments
The lecture time will be used for traditional lecture-style presentations and in-class discussions of the assigned reading material. You are expected to have read the assigned material and be able to answer simple questions about it. If you have questions about the material, you are welcome to ask those during lectures or in office hours.
There will be short homework assignments between lectures. These assignments will be available through the SPARK website and must be answered online. The deadline for each homework is the beginning of the next lecture.
This course requires that you complete four lab projects. You will need to complete the assigned tasks for each lab exercise and submit a lab report. The lab report grade will be based on the correctness of your results, the quality of your experimental work, and the overall presentation. A rubric will be provided at the time of the assignment.
For the final project, you may select between a writing assignment and a lab project. The exact topic of either will be discussed on an individual basis to ensure a suitable challenge:
Course project reports must adhere to the formatting and style guidelines provided.
There will be three exams. The exams will be held during class meetings.
The grading will be determined by weighing each course component as follows:
The final grade will be norm-referenced (i.e., "curved").
To manage homework assignment, lab report submissions, and grades, SPARK (https://spark.oit.umass.edu/) will be used (OIT login required).
Late / Make-Up Policy
Assignments are due as posted on the course web page (or stated in the syllabus). Late submissions will not be accepted unless by prior arrangement with the instructor. Scheduling conflicts regarding exams should be reported to the instructor immediately. In case of a medical emergency, late submission or a make-up exam can be requested if a note from a medical professional is provided. The note must indicate that the student was medically incapable at the time of the exam. If advanced notice is possible and not given, the instructor may refuse the request.
Consultation with fellow students is encouraged. However, directly copying another student's work (past or present) defeats the purpose of the assignments and exams and is an honor code violation. Unless otherwise noted, you are expected to complete all assignment individually. Violations will result in serious penalties including course failure and possible disciplinary action. If in doubt, please consult the instructor or the official UMass guidelines regarding academic honesty (http://www.umass.edu/dean_students/code_conduct/acad_honest.htm).