EE E6761 Computer Communication Networks

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Lecturer/Manager  Professor Dan Rubenstein
Office hours: Location: CEPSR 816
Weekly time: Monday, 2-3.
Extended until 4 if busy until 3.
Also at other times by appointment 
Office phone: (212) 854-0050
Email address:
Day & Time Class  
Meets on Campus:
Tue 4:10-6:40pm 
Location: 1127 Mudd Bldg
Credits for Course: 4.5
Class Type: Lecture
Teaching Assistant: Vassilis Stachtos (
  • Office: CEPSR 801
  • Office Hours: Thursday, 3pm - 5pm Updated!!
  • Mailbox: E2 (by the EE main office)
  • Phone: (212) 854-2498 Updated!!
  • Prerequisites: 
    • Familiarity with data structures and algorithms.
    • C or C++ programming.
    • A course in probability is recommended. 
    Description:  We are rapidly approaching an era in which the Internet will be the primary means of communication and information exchange. Already, millions use e-mail as a routine form of communication, and the World Wide Web (WWW) has become a primary source for gaining access to enormous volumes of information, as well as to a variety of services, such as on-line shopping, stock trading, and banking.

    This course is designed to bring students up to the state of the art in networking research with a focus on Internet technologies, and to provide the tools necessary to allow students to stay current after the course ends. The course will cover a blend of theoretical topics and cite practical examples, mainly from the Internet.

    Since this is a 4.5 credit graduate-level course, the pace will be fast, and the workload will probably be quite heavy.  

    Required text(s): 
    • James F. Kurose and Keith W. Ross, Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach Featuring the Internet, Addison-Wesley, 2000. ISBN 0-20-147711-4 

    Reference text(s): 
    • Alberto Leon-Garcia and Indra Widjaja, Communication Networks: Fundamental Concepts and Key Architectures, McGraw-Hill, 2000. ISBN 0-07-022839-6. 

    • Dimitri Bertsekas and Robert Gallager Data Networks (2nd ed.), Prentice Hall, 1992. ISBN 0-13-200916-1. 

    • Larry L. Peterson and Bruce S. Davie Computer Networks: A Systems Approach (2nd ed.), Mogran-Kaufmann, 1999. ISBN 1-55860-514-2 

    • Andrew S. Tanenbaum, Computer Networks (3rd ed.), Prentice Hall, 1996. ISBN 0-13-349945-64 

    • Also, additional readings, class notes, copies of slides and reference documents will be available on Columbia machines. 
    Homework(s):  Between 5 and 10 written homework assignments, plus 3 to 5 programming assignments. 
    Project(s):  Students are expected to complete a project that involves preliminary exploration into a current networks research topic. It is preferred that the project is performed in groups of 3-5 students. 
    Paper(s):  Additional readings will be assigned throughout the term to provide additional details on selected topics. 
    Midterm exam:  Date and format (open / closed book) to be decided in class 
    Final exam:  There will be no final exam 
    Grading:  Assignments 25%, midterm 25%, project 50%, 
    Computer hardware and software requirements:  Computer account. Access to a Linux or Solaris machine is assumed. Programming projects can be done in C or C++. 
    Homework submission:  For off-campus students and programming assignments, by electronic mail to the teaching assistant. On-campus students submit written assignments on paper at beginning of class. 

    Course Outline

    Schedule subject to change.
    Date  Topics/chapters covered  Assigned  Due 
    9/5  Course Information; Introduction; Protocol Layering; Socket programming HW #0
    PA #1 
    HW #0: 9/6
    PA #1: 9/12 
    9/12  Internet Hardware / Addressing / DNS HW #1  9/19 
    9/19  Transport layer services: connection setup / reliability / flow control    
    9/26  Transport layer services: TCP, multicast, anycast    
    10/3  Switching / Routing: LAN, bridge, gateway, lookups, queueing    
    10/10  Routing algorithms: unicast, multicast, anycast    
    10/17  Catch up on material / midterm review, or midterm    
    10/24  Lower layers: physical / data-link protocols / wireless    
    10/31  Real-time / multimedia networking    
    11/7  10  NO CLASS    
    11/14  11  Network measurement and inference / RED    
    11/21  12  Network fairness, pricing, reservations, and differentiated services    
    11/28  13  Security    
    12/5  14  Additional topics / catch-up / project summaries    

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    For information on taking this class remotely via the Columbia Video Network, please contact