Stan Kurkovsky, PhD
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Computer Communications Networks & Distributed Processing
(aka Computer Networks)

CS 490 - Fall 2012

Catalog description

Prerequisites: CS 253 and 254. Study of networks of interacting computers. The problems, rationale, and possible solution for both distributed processing and distributed data bases will be examined.


Dr. Stan Kurkovsky, Professor of Computer Science
MS 303-08
(860) 832-2720
(860) 832-2712
Office hours
MW 2:00-3:00pm and TR 3:00-4:30pm, or by appointment
Class meetings
MW 3:05 pm - 4:20 pm @ MS 223

Textbook and other reference materials

Learning outcomes

Program objectives and outcomes are supported by the following learning outcomes achieved by students upon a successful completion of this course:

  1. Understand fundamental underlying principles of computer networking (a,b);
  2. Understand details and functionality of layered network architecture (a,j);
  3. Apply mathematical foundations to solve computational problems in computer networking (a,j);
  4. Analyze and summarize research literature describing P2P file sharing system architectures (e,g);
  5. Understand ethical, legal, security, and social issues related to computer networking (e);
  6. Participate in a medium scale team project utilizing modern software development tools (a,b,c,d,i);
  7. Design and implement a P2P file sharing application utilizing several application and transport layer protocols (a,b,c,i,j,k).

Tentative schedule

Please note that this schedule may change as we progress through the course material

Reference: KR - Kurose & Ross, Computer Networking

Week 1: August 29 - August 31

  • Lecture: Introduction; course overview and objectives.
    Reading: none

Week 2: September 3 - September 7

Week 3: September 10 - September 14

Week 4: September 17 - September 21

Week 5: September 24 - September 28

Week 6: October 1 - October 5

  • Test 1

Week 7: October 8 - October 12

Week 8: October 15 - October 19

Week 9: October 22 - October 26

Week 10: October 29 - November 2

Week 11: November 5 - November 9

Week 12: November 12 - November 16

Week 13: November 19 - November 23

Week 14: November 26 - November 30

Week 15: December 3 - December 6

  • Assignment 3 is due
    Project demonstration
  • Project part 3 (final deliverables) is due

Final: December 17

  • Final exam: Monday, December 17, 2:00 - 4:00 pm


Midterms are non-cumulative and are designed as elementary evaluation devices and to prompt the student to stay abreast of assigned topics. Each test will take 50 minutes. Make-up tests may only be given if a student can provide a written proof of a serious reason for missing a test (such as illness or accident).

 Questions on a test may include:

  • True/false questions,
  • Multiple choice questions,
  • Fill in the blank questions,
  • Short answer questions.

Final exam

Final exam is a cumulative objective test of representative content of the entire semester's course offerings.

Lab assignments

During the labs students will work on hands-on problems focusing on the material covered in class lectures and reading assignments. Students can work on lab assignments individually or in teams of two. Deliverable for each lab is due no later than two weeks after the lab date. Deliverables for each lab assignment must be submitted via Blackboard Vista - no other submissions will be accepted.


Each assignments will consist of a set of mostly theoretical problems based on the textbook and lecture material. Students must work on assignments individually and turn in printed or neatly hand-written solutions. All submitted pages must be stapled together; the first page must have the student name and the assignment number.

Course project

While working on the course project, students will use the knowledge and skills obtained in this course covering many if not all of the course topics. Working in teams of two (preferably the same teams as on the labs), students will design and implement a simple peer-to-peer file sharing system. Course project is delivered in three stages: a survey paper discussing different existing P2P architectures for file sharing; a detailed design of of the system to be implemented including its protocols (students are strongly encouraged to use UML, in particular, sequence and class diagrams); and the final demonstration of the working system (all source code and any changes to the design document must also be submitted at that time).

More details on deliverables and their due dates are available here.

Academic misconduct

All students are expected to demonstrate integrity in the completion of their coursework. Academic integrity means doing one's own work and giving proper credit to the work and ideas of others. It is the responsibility of each student to become familiar with what constitutes academic dishonesty and plagiarism and to avoid all forms of cheating and plagiarism. Students who engage in plagiarism and other forms of academic misconduct will face academic and possibly disciplinary consequences. Academic sanctions can range from a reduced grade for the assignment to a failing grade for the course. From a disciplinary standpoint, an Academic Misconduct Report may be filed and a Faculty Hearing Board may impose sanctions such as probation, suspension or expulsion.

For further information on academic misconduct and its consequences, please consult the Student Code of Conduct and the Academic Misconduct Policy.


All students are expected to attend class sessions regularly. However, recognizing individual differences, each student is responsible for his/her own attendance and for making-up any missed study or work. Limited assistance will be offered to those with plausible reasons for absences; unexcused absences will result in the student being totally responsible for the make-up process.

Help with computers

The University offers some student assistants who may be of value in helping students with basic computer functionality only, not with program writing.

Students with disabilities

Any student who feels s/he may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact me privately to discuss your specific needs. I will need a copy of the accommodation letter from Student Disability Services in order to arrange your class accommodations. Contact Student Disability Services, Room 241, Copernicus Hall, if you are not already registered with them. Student Disability Services maintains the confidential documentation of your disability and assists you in coordinating reasonable accommodations with your faculty.

Grades and evaluation

Students will be evaluated regularly during the semester and should be aware of their progress continuously during the semester. The final course grade will be reported according to the stated University policy.

The final course grade will be calculated according to the following distribution of points:

Tests, 2 @ 10 points each    20
Assignments, 3 @ 5 points each       15
Labs, 3 @ 5 points each 15
Project: survey paper 5
Project: design 5
Project: final deliverable        15
Final exam 20
Class participation 5
Total 100

Course letter grade will be determined as follows:

A A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D D- F
94-100 90-93.99 87-89.99 84-86.99 80-83.99 77-79.99 74-76.99 70-73.99 67-69.99 64-66.99 60-63.99 0-59.99