Grades will be computed as follows:
- 5% Paper evaluations
- 10% Class participation
- 10% Programming assignments
- 10% Quizzes
- 30% Exam
- 35% Course project
One goal of this course is to encourage discussion of the research issues in computer networks among all of class members. As such, students are encouraged to ask questions, point out weaknesses, and make observations during the lecture. In systems research, good ideas are often borne through discussion of existing systems, perceived weaknesses, etc.
The homework portion of your grade will be determined by a combination of written assignments (potentially involving programming) and evaluations of research papers for in-class discussion.
To ensure interactive class sessions and to test for understanding
of the material, students are required to read and evaluate papers in the
reading list in advance of each class session. An important research skill
is the critical reading of related research papers. For each paper, students will post on the course blog a 1 page maximum evaluation listing: (i) the three most
important things the paper says, (ii) the most glaring problem with the paper, and (iii) the future research directions of the work.
Clearly, you may have changed your mind by the end of the class discussion; that's OK (and even expected).
The evaluations will be graded as follows. Each evaluation will be graded on a 0-3 scale. A zero indicates that you did not turn in an evaluation or made very little effort. A three indicates that you thought hard about the paper you read. Grading will start off relatively easy but will become progressively harder as the semester progresses. You can skip up to 1/4 of the papers and still receive maximum credit for paper reviews if your evaluation of the other papers is satisfactory. Late homework will not receive credit for any reason. The homework summaries should reflect your understanding of the paper. It is not acceptable to turn in a summary if you have not made an honest effort to read the paper.
In addition, each student is required to select two additional papers to read and evaluate; since these reviews are posted to the course blog, it is hoped that these additional reviews will benefit the whole class.
The major portion of this course will consist of a term research project culminated by a talk and paper. The research should be carried out in teams of two or three. Talk to me if you would like to work in a different sized group. I will provide a number of ideas that can serve as a starting point for many projects. Students can also work with me to define a separate project in an area related to the course. The project will make up the bulk of the course. Students will spend the first part of the course defining the project and researching related work. The actual work on the project will be completed in the last six weeks of the course.