Computer Science 375
Computer Networks

Computer Science 375
Computer Networks
Spring, 2005

Instructor: Jessen Havill
Office: Olin 208, x6582
Web site:
Office Hours: Please see the schedule to the left of my office door.


In this course we will study issues facing the designer of a computer network, and how such a network is built from the ground up. Our focus will primarily be on the software of network protocols, although we will also consider the software's relationship to underlying network hardware. Specifically, we will study how network software is desgined to bridge the gap between basic hardware capable of shuttling bits back and forth and sophisticated applications that require much more than the hardware alone can offer. This gap is filled by a network architecture which usually consists of several layers of protocols, each relying on the one below for service. Each layer adds new capabilities. Some such capabilities are routing, internetworking, reliability, and congestion control.


Computer Networks: A Systems Approach, Third Edition by Peterson and Davie

TCP/IP Sockets in C: Practical Guide for Programmers by Donahue and Calvert

WWW Resources

I will maintain a web page for the class which will contain reading assignments, homeworks, answer keys, and other useful things. It would be wise to check it regularly. The URL is:

Attendance, Homework, and Other Responsibilities

Your attendance is expected at each class meeting. I reserve the right to take into account attendance in instances of borderline grade assignments. Of course, excused absences (sickness, family emergencies, athletic) will not be held against you.

You are responsible for the content of reading assignments, lectures and handouts, as well as announcements and schedule changes made in class whether or not you are present. If you must miss a class, be sure to check with me or another student to get what you missed. Exams will be given in class on the day scheduled and may not be made up.

There will be a number of homework assignments given during the semester which will be due in class on the date specified. No late homework assignments will be accepted, unless I grant an extension to the class, or arrangements have been made with me well in advance. Since it may not be obvious how long an assignment might take, you are well advised to start early.

You may discuss homework problems with other students in the class, but written work must be your own. In other words, you may talk about homework problems with your peers, but when it comes time to write your solutions, you are on your own. You may not get help on homework from students outside the class. Of course, you are always welcome to come see me during office hours.

You must type your homework solutions using a word processor of your choice. Most mathematicians and computer scientists use a typesetting program called LATEX. I would encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to learn LATEX, but this is not required. For more information, come talk to me.

Final Grade Determination

Homework and Projects 50%  
2 Exams 15% each  
Final Exam (May 6 at 9:00am) 20%  

Course Topics


Any student who feels he or she may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact me privately as soon as possible to discuss his or her specific needs.Ê I rely on the Office of Academic Support to verify the need for reasonable accommodations based on documentation on file in their office.

Have a great semester! If you need anything, let me know.