ECE 453/553 -- Computer Networks --- Spring 2024

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

TA: Brendan Sweet

Course Curriculum


We will use Version 6.1 of this book available for free download from We may also use some material from Version 2.0.11 of this book available for free download from

Reading Assignments

Date Assignment
1/26 Peterson & Davie Sec. 2.1-2.4
1/31 Peterson & Davie Sec. 2.5
2/5 Peterson & Davie Sec. 2.6
2/7 UUCP (Unix-to-Unix copy)
2/9 Peterson & Davie Sec. 3.1-3.2
2/14 End-to-End Arguments in System Design
2/16 On The Hourglass Model
2/19 Is Universal Broadband Service Impossible?
Data Logistics: Toolkit and Applications
Connecting the Last Billion Is A Solved Problem
2/23 Peterson & Davie Sec. 3.3
2/26 Peterson & Davie Sec. 3.4
3/1 Peterson & Davie Sec. 4.1
3/4 Peterson & Davie Sec. 4.3
3/6 Peterson & Davie Sec. 5.1-5.2
Congestion Avoidance and Control
3/18 Peterson & Davie Sec. 9.1
3/20 Peer-to-Peer
3/22 Peterson & Davie Sec. 4.2
3/25 How We Ruined The Internet
4/1 Peterson & Davie Sec. 9.3
4/3 FTC Chair Lina Khan on Digital Oligopoly


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: