ECE 453/553 -- Computer Networks --- Spring 2021

Instructor: Micah Beck
Office: Min Kao 433
Office Hours: Request an appointment by email.


Course Curriculum


We will use Version 6.1 of this book available for free download from


An Interview With the Inventor of the Spanning Tree Protocol

Radia Perlman is an American computer programmer often described as the 'Mother of the Internet' for her invention of the spanning-tree protocol.

Tutorial on Netowrk Port Address Translation

Some recent papers on Network Architecture

"On The Hourglass Model"
Micah Beck
Communications of the ACM, July 2019, Vol. 62 No. 7, Pages 48-57.
Interview with Dr. Beck.

"Interoperable Convergence of Storage, Networking and Computation"
Micah Beck, Terry Moore, Piotr Luszczek, Anthony Denalis
Future of Information and Communication Conference, 14-15 March 2019, San Francisco.

Course Requirements and Grading

The final course grade will be calculated as


For example, a student who scores 70 on midterm 1, 84 on the final, and 75 on the homework will have an overall score of

The intention of this grading scheme is that students have two chances to show their mastery of the material covered in the midterm: on the midterm and on the cummulative final. The 90% of the course grade that is awarded on the basis of exams is available to every student at the time they take the final.

While it is possible for a student to skip the midterm exams and rely solely onn the homework and final for their course grade, students are strongly advised against this approach. Here are some reasons for this advice: