The required textbook for this course is Computer Networks: A Systems Approach (5th edition) by Peterson and Davie. Earlier editions are also acceptable, but the reading assignments will use section numbers from the 5th edition. While each lecture will be supported by accompanying readings from the course text, the lectures may, from time to time, introduce material that is not in the textbook. You are expected to read the assigned portions of the textbook before coming to class, as they will serve as the basis for the in-class presentation.

Readings are not a substitute for lectures. You are responsible for all material covered in lecture, whether or not it appeared in any assigned readings.


This course will have roughly bi-weekly homework assignments, two substantial programming assignments, a midterm, and a final. Discussion sections will be held weekly to review the lecture material and answer questions about the readings, homeworks, and projects. Grades for this class will be based on:

  • 12% Homework
  • 42% Programming projects
  • 21% Midterm
  • 25% Final

Final grades will be curved.

No late assignments will be accepted. Exceptions for documented medical emergencies, death of an immediate family member, or other such life-altering situations must be requested from the instructor as soon as practical.


Date Topics Notes Readings
Fri 09/28 Class overview
Mon 10/01 Layers & Framing
Project 1 out 1.3, 2.3
Wed 10/03 Error handling
Fri 10/05 Reliable transmission
HW 1 out 1.5, 2.5.1
Mon 10/08 Flow Control
Wed 10/10 Transport protocols
Fri 10/12 Bridging
HW 1 due 3-3.1
Mon 10/15 From Networks to Internetworks
Wed 10/17 Internetworking
Fri 10/19 Addressing
HW 2 out 3.2.5
Mon 10/22 IPv6
Wed 10/24 Naming
3.2.6, 9.3.1, Sidebar p.335
Fri 10/26 Link-state Routing
HW 2 due 3-3.3.1, 3.3.3
Mon 10/29 Distance-vector routing
Project 1 due 3.3.2
Wed 10/31 Midterm Exam
Fri 11/02 Interdomain routing
Mon 11/05 Border Gateway Protocol
Project 2 out 4.1.2
Wed 11/07 Router design
Fri 11/09 Buffering and Scheduling
HW 3 out 6.1
Mon 11/12 Veterans Day
Wed 11/14 Traffic Management
Fri 11/16 Congestion control
HW 3 due 6.3-4
Mon 11/19 TCP Congestion Control
Wed 11/21 Links and signaling
Fri 11/23 Thanksgiving
Mon 11/26 Modulation
HW 4 out 2.2
Wed 11/28 Media Access Control
Fri 11/30 Class cancelled
Mon 12/03 Ethernet
HW 4 due
Wed 12/05 802.11
Fri 12/07 Review
Project 2 due
Wed 12/12 Final Exam (8:00-11:00am)

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