course resources, activities, and policies.
Please come by during my office hours to discuss course content, get extra help, or just talk about how the course is going. Note that if multiple students have similar questions or issues, we may work together as a group. If you cannot attend a scheduled office hour, you may also email me to schedule an appointment; please include 3-4 possible meeting times so I can pick one that works for me.
I enjoy getting to know my students, but I generally prefer to
reserve office hours for academic and advising matters. If you would
like to have a mroe informal conversation, I would be delighted to
accept an invitation to lunch, or you may join me for my daily walk.
(See my calendar outside my door.)
Email is also a reliable way to contact me, but please allow 24 hours for a resonse (except on weekends, when I do not read email as regularly. You may also call me in my office (641-269-4306, or x4306 on campus).
Our textbook is
This text uses Internet protocols to illustrate principles for building communication networks. After giving a broad overview of the Internet's structure and history, it begins with the familiar application-layer protocols, such as HTTP (Web) and SMTP (email), and works down to the physical layer.
This is a new textbook for me; I've heard very good things about it
I'm excited to be trying it out. An alternative textbook, which you may
borrow from the CS Learning Center, is
This textbook covers pretty much the same topics, but with a different organization, emphasis, and style.
This class meets three times per week, 10:00 - 10:50 on Monday,
and Friday. Although this is nominally a lecture
class, don't expect much lecturing from me! Our focus will be on discussion,
answering questions, and solving
problems. I may lecture some, but I will try to keep my lectures brief.
I am asking you to do some reading and warm-up exercises to prepare for
We'll approach our topic in a number of ways:
class will be very small and will include at least one auditor.
Auditors are expected to read the textbook, complete WarmUp exercises,
and participate in class on Mondays and Wednesdays (at
Auditors may want to read the abstract papers and try the lab
exercises, but they need not write up their findings.
much of our work in this course
involves collaboration and discussion, you will be evaluated on your
participation. Since our class is small, I expect each of you to participate in discussion or team problem solving every day. If you are quiet, you can expect to be called on.
To get the most out of the textbook, try the SQ3R
To get you started thinking about the reading before class, I will assign reading questions or (hopefully) small problems. You will always have an opportunity to ask questions of me or the class---and I strongly encourage you to do so! Our small class this semester provides an exciting opportunity to learn through discussion and problem solving.
Warm-up assignments will be posted in each week's schedule along with the reading assignment. You should email me your responses by 9 a.m. before class. Please CC yourself so that you retain a record of what you wrote! I will use your responses to focus our time in class---so, no late work will be accepted.
Any response showing a reasonable effort will earn 1 point; I may occasionally award extra credit. You may miss up to two warm-ups without penalty.
You may have noticed that there are no regularly scheduled homework
assignments in this class. Instead, I will suggest problems to
complete along with each reading. You may attempt these problems before class, after class, or while preparing for exams. You
may use your to me with your warm-up exercises to suggest a problem you would like us
to do together in class.
intended to give practical experience and may or may not be directly
connected to the textbook material from the preceeding week. The labs
will include a variety of activities: observing real networks using
Wireshark and standard tools; experimenting with Emulab, a network
emulator; and implementing network protocols.
Laboratory exercises will typically be assigned and due on Mondays at the beginning of class. Most will be submitted as part of a Wiki-based lab notebook. Each will specify whether you must complete the lab individually or whether you may work in a small group. We will have an weekly informal lab session in the afternoon or evening (TBA) for collaboration and asking questions.
Labs will be graded by contract. I will clearly state what work must be completed to earn an A or a B.
You will have opportunities to demonstrate what you have learned through two exams, a midterm due Monday, March 5 and a final due at noon on Wednesday, May 16. These will be open-book, limited-time, take-home exams. I will futher explain the format of the exams as the time approaches.
For most assignments, collaboration is encouraged. You are allowed to discuss approaches to solving problems or completing lab exercises with anyone in the class. You may use information from the textbook (of course!), other books, and the Web, with appropriate citation. However, copying solutions from any source (person or book) is not allowed, nor may you give answers away. As a rule of thumb, you should not leave your discussions with anything written down. If you have any questions about what is appropriate or inappropriate, please talk to me.
Addendum on lab notebooks (Jan 23, 2012): In
the spirit of wikis, foswiki permissions are fairly liberal. You are on
your honor not to copy another student's lab notebook; you are expected
to collect your own data and make your own interpretations. There are situations in which you may wish to add to another student's lab notebook
(e.g., if you are collaborating on a lab or have advice about a problem
they are facing). Note that each page has an edit history, so everyone
will be able to see what you changed.
Because I intend the exams to assess your own individual understanding of the material, collaboration on exams is not permitted. You should not talk to anyone (except me) about take-home exams before they are due. You should not discuss the problems on the exam, nor your answers. You should not give any information about your progress on the exam (e.g., which problems you have completed or which you found difficult), and neither should you ask others about their progress. If you have any doubt about what is and is not permissible, ask me.
If you have specific physical, psychiatric, or learning disabilities and require accomodations, let me know early in the semester so that we can work together to meet your learning needs. You will also need to provide documentation of your disability to the Academic Advising Office, located on the third floor of the Rosenfield Center (x3702).
Although your participation is important, I know that sometimes things happen. Therefore, one unexcused
absence (your "oops" day) will
no effect on your participation score. If you are absent, I would
appreciate a written explanation (email is appropriate). If you know in
advance that you will be absent for any reason, please notify me in
writing (again, email is fine) at least 7 days in advance so we can
make suitable arrangements.
Assignments are due at the beginning
of class on the specified date.
A grace day is an automatic extension until the next class period. Each student will be granted three grace days that can be used for any assignment (except exams) for any reason. I would appreciate hearing in advance by email if you intend to use a grace day; however, any assignment submitted late will automatically use a grace day if you still have one. Please use your grace days wisely. (For example, you may need them if you fall ill.)
Deadlines for lab exercises will automatically be extended by at least one class period if MathLAN is down for an unscheduled period of 3 or more hours during the three days preceeding the lab due date.
Barring exceptional circumstances, late work will not otherwise be
Absolute deadline: All work must be turned in by Friday, May 18 at 5 p.m.
I will use the following scheme as a basis for computing final grades.
I do not believe in "grading on a curve." I may adjust grades upward if I feel they are not representative of your learning, but I will not adjust them downward. I would be thrilled if you all earned A's in this course.
Janet Davis (email@example.com)Created January 14, 2009