Course Description - CSCI 551, Spring 2003, TuTh Section

The main focus of this course is on networking (mainly the Internet) protocols. There is no required textbooks (but there are recommanded ones). The required reading materials mainly come from a list of technical papers.
Academic Integrity Policy
Please make sure you read the Academic Integrity Policy of this course.
Recommanded Textbooks
  • L. L. Peterson and B. Davie, Computer Networks: A Systems Approach, 2nd Edition, Morgan Kaufman, 1999.
  • John W. Stewart III, BGP4, Inter-domain Routing in the Internet, Addison-Wesley, 1999.
  • W. R. Stevens, Unix Network Programming: Volume 1: Networking APIs: Sockets and XTI, 2nd Edition, Prentice Hall, 1998.
  • B. Nichols, D. Buttlar, and J. P. Farrell, Pthreads Programming, O'Rielly & Associates, 1996.
Syllabus / Topics Covered
Please see the list of technical papers covered in this course.
Lecture Slides from Fall 2002
The PowerPoint files below were used by Prof. Christos Papadopoulos in his CSCI551 class in Fall of 2002. They are copyrighted and may not be redistributed. They are provided here for your information. Our class may not follow these slides exactly. They are provided here for your information.

(Please note that this list may be incomplete.)

There will be 2 to 3 homework assignments consisting of problems.

Assignments will be based on readings and class discussions. Written assignments should be in typed or computer-generated output, with the exception of formulas, drawings, tables etc., which you are free to do by hand so long as they are neat and legible.

A major programming project to be writeen in C or C++. Please see the projects specifications for details.
A midterm and a final examination will be given. The date of the midterm examination will be posted in the News section of the class page. The date of the final examination is listed in the class home page. Any schedule conflicts regarding the midterm exam date must be resolved with the instructor at least one week before the exam date.
Homeworks:   5%
Projects:   35%
Midterm Exam:   25%
Final Exam:   35%

Pleaes also note the following:

  • Final grades (A,B,C,D,or F) will be determined using a modified curve (i.e., we won't necessarily assign an equal number of failing grades as passing grades!)

  • We will assign grades of C and below to individuals who do not perform satisfactorily in the above areas. (i.e., you should not assume a B- or even C if you perform unsatisfactorily.) However, we hope that everyone will perform well.

  • Your assignments are your own work! No group assignments are allowed or will be tolerated. You are free to talk to other students about assignments but no actual material (files, photocopies etc.) should be shared. We will act harshly at any sign of copying.

  • We will not assign incompletes unless it is for a documented medical reason (in accordance with USC policy).
Late Policy
All homeworks and project assignments must be turned in on time. Late submissions will receive severe penalties. Due to clock skews, electronic submissions of projects and homeworks assignments will be accepted within 15 minutes after the specified deadlines without penalties. If your submission is beyond the 15 minutes grace period, you will receive 75% of your grade if your submission is 15 minutes late beyond the grace period; you will receive 50% of your grade if your submission is 30 minutes late beyond the grace period; you will receive 25% of your grade if your submission is 45 minutes late beyond the grace period; and you will receive a score of zero otherwise.

Written homeworks are to be turned in at the end (when the instructor leaves) of specified classes. Written homeworks are to be turned in at the beginning of specified classes. You may also leave written homeworks in the instructor's mailbox by the end of specified classes at your own risk.

If you are unable to complete a homework or a programming assignment due to illness or family emergency, please see the instructor as soon as possible to get an extension. A doctor's note is required as proof of illness or emergency.

Regrading Policy
All requests to change grading of homework, programming projects, or exams must be submitted in writing within one week of the time the initial grade was given. Requests must be specific and explain why you feel your answer deserves additional credit. A request to re-grade an assignment can result in the entire assignment being re-evaluated and as a result the score of any part of the assignment be increased or lowered as appropriate.
Office Hours
Office hours are held twice a week for one hour each. The instructor will be at the designated office for the first 15 minutes. If no students is waiting to see the instructor 15 minutes into the office hour, the instructor may cut the office hour short. You are always welcome to make an appointment to see the instructor. So, if you plan to show up after 15 minutes into the office, you are better off making an appointment.
Extra Credits
No extra credit assignments will be given for this class. So, there is not need to ask. Try your best from the beginning and don't slack off!
Class Newsgroup
The class newsgroup is usc.class.csci551b. The main purpose of the class newsgroup is for the students to discuss about homeworks and projects. Students may not exchange answers here because it would violate academic integrity. Posting of small code segments is allowed as long as it is meant to clarify discussions. The instructor and the TA do not normally read the class newsgroup. Please do not post questions for them here.

Please note that you may not be able to access the class news server if you are not on campus.

Implicit Student Agreement
All work including homeworks, programming assignments and exams must be that of the individual student. It is often productive to study with other students. However, if any portions of homeworks or programming assignments are found to be shared between two (or more) students, zero credit will be given to all students concerned and all students will be disciplined. This policy is in the interest of those students who do their own work, which hopefully applies to all of you in this class. 

This policy also holds for  programming assignments. In this class, we will use sophisticated automated program checkers to detect cheating. Be aware that the program checkers have demonstrated very good results and are widely used within the academic community. Any student caught cheating will be given zero credit and will be disciplined.

It is the students responsibility to submit their assignments to the TA in time. 

For students who satisfied the CS402 prerequisite at other universities or through work experience, this course assumes that you understand concurrency, synchronization, and UNIX programming. You should be able to write large programs in C/C++. No special assistance or consideration will be offered if your background is inadequate.

Student Responsibilities
During the semester you are responsible for completing the assigned readings, homeworks, programs, and exams.

You are expected to read all the papers in detail. Not all details will be covered in class.  We will assume knowledge of material covered in EE450 and a C language programming proficiency from CS402 or its equivalent. If you covered the introductory material at some other school it is YOUR responsibility to fill in any missing background. Feel free to ask me for advice on appropriate introductory readings if you feel your background is insufficient.

We expect you to attend every class meeting. If you do happen to miss a session, you are responsible for finding out what material was covered and if any administrative announcements were made. You must do so BEFORE the next session (e.g., if there is an assignment given during the missed session, you are still responsible for completing it by the next week along with the other students).  You are advised to read the papers for a particular lecture before attending the lecture. This will greatly enhance your understanding of the subject matter.

Most class related announcements will be done through e-mail via an e-mail reflector setup by the instructor. Please see instructions on how to get on this list.
Additional Resources

[Last updated Mon Apr 7 2003]    [Please see copyright regarding copying.]