CS 487: Computer Networks

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Last modified: Fri Sep 18 11:18:10 MDT 1998
Barney Maccabe
Office hoursT Th 2-3:30


Interesting Web Sites


Communication Networks: A First Course (Second Edition)
by Jean Walrand
McGraw-Hill, 1998
errata sheet


Intro to Communication NetworksChapters 1 & 22 weeks
The InternetChapter 32.5 weeks
Local Area NetworksChapter 42.5 weeks
Midterm Exam 10/13
ATMChapter 51 week
Data Link and Retransmission ProtocolsChapter 62 weeks
The Physical LayerChapter 71.5 weeks
Security and CompressionChapter 81.5 weeks
Performance Evaluation and MonitoringChapter 91.5 weeks
Final Exam (5:30-7:30 pm) 12/17


PercentDue date
Homework 15%  
Glossary 10% 11/24/98
Term Paper 15% 12/3/98
Midterm Exam 25% 10/13/98
Final Exam 35% 12/17/98


There will be two exams during the semester. Both exams will be administered as in-class, closed book, closed notes exams. The midterm exam will be given on Tuesday, October 13 (the class meeting just before Fall Break). The final exam will be given in the regularly scheduled exam period on Thursday, December 17 from 5:30 to 7:30 in the evening. The midterm exam represents 25% of your grade while the final exam represents 35%.

Term Paper/Project

Each student is required to write a term paper or to complete a programming project. The term paper/project represents 15% of your grade. Papers and projects must be turned in by Thursday, December 3

Term Paper

Students opting to write a term paper are required to turn in a 10-15 (typeset, single spaced, with standard margins) page paper that surveys an aspect of current research in communication networks. The term paper should present your interpretation of the approaches taken by at least two related research activities (i.e., approaches taken by two different research groups.). If there are more than two groups working on the problem, you should briefly mention the approaches taken by all groups, but do not need to give in-depth coverage to more than two groups.

Each term paper is to be written by an individual student. I am primarily interested in your interpretation of the research. All quoted material (whether taken from a Web site or paper) must be cited appropriately. Moreover, quoted material should not constitute a significant portion of your paper.

You are required to turn in a one page proposal for your term paper by Thursday, October 29. This proposal should include a brief description of the research activity that you will survey along with citations for six reference materials (a mix of published papers and Web sites).

Term Project

Students opting for a term project are required to complete a project that implements a new network service and turn in a 3-5 page report describing the project. The choice of service is arbitrary, but should be of general interest and should have a fairly open-ended set of subservices. Each project is expected to include on the order of 3000 lines of source code.

Each term project is to be completed by an individual student. Any code that is obtained from other sources should be clearly documented in the project report.

You are required to turn in a one page project proposal by Thursday, October 29. This proposal should include a brief description of the network service that you will implement along with a list of milestones to be met during the project.


Each student is required to a glossary that provides definitions for 30-35 terms related to communication networks that were unfamiliar to you before the start of this class. Your definitions should be short (a couple of sentences) and should reference related terms.

The glossaries are due Tuesday, November 24 and represent 10% of your grade. Like the homework assignments, glossaries must be completed on an individual basis.


Homework assignments will be made throughout the semester and represent 15% toward your grade. Homework assignments are to be completed on an individual basis. You are welcome to discuss the material with other people; however, the homework solutions must be your own.


Every student is required to turn in a term paper or project write-up. In addition, all students must attend the final exam (or have an appropriately signed medical excuse). Failure to meet these requirements will result in a failing grade for the class.

If you miss the in-class portion of the midterm exam, your grade on the in-class portion of the final exam will be used in place of the grade for the in-class portion of the midterm exam.

Missing homework or glossary will result in lost points.

Late homework assignments or glossaries will not be accepted.

Any changes to these policies will be announced in class and posted to the Web page.