Course Prerequisites: No prerequisites except interest and desire to learn, and curiosity. More details: This course covers computer science topics, but all material will be presented in a way that is accessible with or without a strong technical background. Unlike other networking courses, the mathematics included here are no more complicated than adding and multiplying numbers. While mathematical details are necessary to fully specify the algorithms and systems we investigate, they are not required to understand the main ideas. We use illustrations, analogies, and anecdotes about networks as pedagogical tools in lieu of detailed equations.
Grading and evaluation:
Midterm and final exams (45%): There will be two midterm exams and one final exam. Each exam will cover two modules of the course.
Homework (written and hands-on) (40%): There will be 4 homework. These will consist of a few problems that are generally more challenging than the examples covered in class.
Weekly Quizzes (15%): A quiz will be posted on Gradescope each Thursday, due the following Friday (with three exceptions for the weeks of midterms exams). These are very short quizzes (~15-25 minutes) to make sure that you are following the material.
Late submission policy: It is essential that the homework is completed on or before the deadline. No work will be accepted after the deadline unless you have a valid medical reason that is approved by the instructor before the deadline.
Disability Services: UMass Amherst is committed to making reasonable, effective, and appropriate accommodations to meet the needs of students with disabilities and help create a barrier-free campus. If you have a documented disability on file withDisability Services, you may be eligible for reasonable accommodations in this course. If your disability requires accommodation, please notify me within the first two weeks of the course so that we may make arrangements in a timely manner.
There are near 7.5 billion people on earth, and almost 8 billion mobile cellular telephone subscriptions and nearly 4.5 billion internet users. The number of other devices being connected to the internet – cameras, sensors, appliances, control systems, cars, picture frames and more – is also increasing rapidly. Our planet is already “A Networked World”.
In this course, we’ll cover the technical, social, policy, and economic for these networks. We’ll focus mostly on the internet and the popular services built on top of the internet, but also cover telephone (mobile and landline) and critical infrastructure networks. A few sample question that we will try to answer are as follows:
What makes WiFi faster at home than at a coffee shop?
How does Google order its search results from the trillions of webpages on the internet?
Why doesn’t the internet collapse under congestion?
How information is routed among billions of Internet devices?
how the internet has been able to scale from a network with less than a hundred devices 40 years ago to several billion devices today?
How does Netflix recommend movies for me to watch?
Is it really true that we are connected in six social steps or less?
Who is this course for? This course is intended for students who want to learn about communication networks, particularly the internet and internet services, and how they work. The course will provide a conceptual, technological, social, legal, policy, and economic foundations of the internet. The course intended for Informatics majors.
Course Origins: Most materials will be based on the course developed and taught byChristopher Brinton and Mung Chiangat Purdue University and Princeton University.
Schedule and Topics
Module 0: Introduction and Overview
Module 1: Sharing in Networks
Module 2: Ranking in Networks
Module 3: Networks of Networks
Module 4: Data in Networks
Module 5: Scaling up Networks
Module 6: Reaching through Networks
Module 0 (overview)
PoN CH. 12
PoN Ch. 13
PoN Ch. 13
Amazon and Product Rating
Holiday – Veterans’ Day
Netflix and Recommendation
PoN Ch. 7
Netflix and Recommendation
YouTube and Information Cascade
PoN Ch. 9
Discussion and Grading
We will use Piazza for discussions and posting lecture notes. We will use piazza for communication and interaction outside of class hours. We will sign you up using your email address on SPIRE. Please let us know immediately if you are unable to access the piazza or if you need another email address included. We will use Piazza for discussions and other interactions outside of class hours. On Piazza, you can ask questions about the course material, discuss solutions to problems, etc. You can even ask questions anonymously if you wish to do so. Please make sure you monitor piazza regularly throughout the semester.