Summary: This document explains the goals, format, and mechanics for written homework and lists the homework assignments.



In homework for this class, you will

Each homework will be different depending on the material it addresses. You may be called upon to perform computations, explain protocol behavior, make graphs, draw diagrams, run programs on the MathLAN, annotate program output, or debug code. Some problems will be from the textbook, and others I will make up.


As currently scheduled, there will be eight homework assignments (including the introductory survey) distributed throughout the semester. Unless otherwise specified, you should plan to turn in a hand-written paper or a formatted printout. I expect solutions to be clear and legible and to leave me some space in which to write comments.
  1. Introductory survey, due Wednesday, January 24
  2. Performance and Implementation, due Wednesday, January 31.
  3. Mechanisms for Link Layer Reliability, due Friday, February 16.
  4. Switching and TCP analysis, due Friday, February 23.
  5. Resource Allocation and IP, due Friday, April 6.
  6. Investigating Internet Routing, due Friday, April 20.


Students who format their assignments using the LaTeX typesetting system (when appropriate) will receive a small amount of extra credit. It looks nice, and since LaTeX is commonly used in the CS, math, and physics communities, being able to write LaTeX markup is a useful skill. I recommend using pdflatex to render LaTeX into PDF; LaTeX references are available in the MathLAN (SCI 2417).

Collaboration and academic honesty: Homeworks will be submitted individually. The work you turn in should be your own and written in your own words.  For problems involving computation or mathematical analysis, show intermediate steps.

That said, I strongly encourage you to discuss homework problems with me and with other students. I'm also aware that solutions to textbook problems are likely posted on the web somewhere. You are permitted to search for such solutions if you are stumped. 


Deadlines: Your assignment is due at the beginning of class. Unless other arrangements have been made prior to the due date, your assignment will be marked down 33 1/3% for each class meeting that it is late. (That is, after one week there is no point in turning a late assignment in as you will earn zero points.)

Grading: Each homework assignment will contain one or more subparts. I will specify a weight for each subpart. 

Within each subpart, your work will be graded on the following scale:

10 - shows excellent understanding/everything works
9 - shows good understanding/most things work
8 - shows some understanding/some things work
6 - shows minimal understanding/most things don't work
3 - minimal attempt/most requirements not addressed
0 - nothing turned in

I will drop your lowest grade on a homework assignment from the computation of final course grades.

Janet Davis (davisjan@cs.grinnell.edu)

Created January 18, 2007
Last revised April 17, 2007