IS496 - Computer Networks - Spring 2024


Monday: 1 pm - 3:50 pm, 315 Gregory Hall


  • Prof. Dong Wang
    dwang24 at illinois dot edu
    Office Hours: By Appointment: Monday - Friday

  • Course Assistant: Lanyu Shang
    lshang3 at illinois dot edu
    ffice Hours: By Appointment: Monday - Friday

  • Teaching Assistant: Zhenrui Yue
    zhenrui3 at illinois dot edu
    Office Hours: Monday 10 am - noon, or By Appointment
    Office Location: 614 E. Daniel St, Room 5012

  • Textbook

    Larry L. Peterson and Bruce S. Davie, "Computer Networks, A Systems Approach", Morgan Kaufmann Publishers (Elsevier), 5th Edition, ISBN-10: 0123850592 | ISBN-13: 978-0123850591.

    Getting Help

  • Office Hours - Please refer to the above schedule.
  • Email - Contact Prof. Wang for questions about grades, course policies, etc.
  • Grades and Lecture Notes and Handouts are available on Canvas.
  • Course Overview

    The goal of this course is to introduce students to fundamental topics of principles, design, implementation, and performance of computer networks. In addition, students will explore networking techniques and protocols through hands-on experiments. This course will provide the Computer Networking foundation necessary for more advanced courses, including Network Management, Distributed Systems, Cloud Computing, Network Security, etc. Topics include: Internet architecture, protocols, socket programming, congestion control, switching and routing, local area networks, Internet of things (IoT), network security, the end-to-end arguments and resource allocation.

    Course Documents

  • Syllabus

  • Programming Team Sign Up on Canvas

  • Student Machine Instruction

  • Programming Assignment 1

  • Homework Assignment 1

  • Programming Assignment 2

  • Homework Assignment 2

  • Programming Assignment 3

  • In-Class Paper Presentations

  • Course Mini-Project (Graduate Students Only)

  • Homework Assignment 3
  • Tentative Schedule

    Note: Lecture notes are available on Canvas Modules.

    Note: The dates of the assignments are tentative and subject to changes and the confirmed dates will be released under Course Documents listed above.

    Week Lecture Readings
    Jan. 22 Introduction to Computer Networks I Reading:
    Chapter 1: Section 1.1-1.5
    Extra Reading: Evolution of Computer Networks
    Programming Group Sign-up, due on Jan. 29
    Jan. 29 Introduction to Computer Networks II Reading:
    Beej's Guide to Network Programming
    Socket Programming in Python
    Extra Reading: Wireshark
    Programming Assignment 1 is out and due on Feb. 19
    Feb. 5 Socket Programming I and II Reading:
    Chapter 1: Section 1.5
    Extra Reading: History of Ethernet
    Feb. 12 Socket Programming III and Network Performance Reading:
    Chapter 2: Section 2.1
    Extra Reading: A Seminal Paper in Wireless Networks
    Homework Assignment 1 is out and due on March 1
    Feb. 19 Connecting to Network I and II Reading:
    Chapter 2: Section 2.2-2.4
    Extra Reading: 3D Animation: How Packet Travels in Network
    Programming Assignment 2 is out and due on March 18
    Feb. 26 Connecting to a Network II and III Reading:
    Chapter 2: Section 2.5-2.8
    Mar. 4 Local Area Networks and Mid-term Exam (Take-Home)
    Mar. 11 Spring Break
    Mar. 18 Coding Session Reading:
    Chapter 3: Section: 3.1-3.2
    Extra Reading: Hub vs Switch vs Router
    Homework Assignment 2 is out and due on April 5
    Programming Assignment 3 is out and due on April 15
    Course Mini-Project (Graduate Students Only) is out and prposal is due on April 1 and final report is due on May 6
    Mar. 25 Internet Protocol I and II Reading:
    Chapter 3: Section: 3.2
    Extra Reading: Wireshark IP
    In-class Paper Presentation is out and the paper selection is due on April 1
    Apr. 1 Internet Protocl II and Routing Reading:
    Chapter 3: Section: 3.2-3.3
    Extra Reading: What is IoT?
    Apr. 8 TCP and Network Security Reading:
    Chapter 5: Section: 5.1-5.2;
    Homework Assignment 3 is out and due on May 1
    Apr. 15 Student Selected Topics Presentations I
    Apr. 22 Student Selected Topics Presentations II
    Apr. 29 Grad Student Project Presentation and Course Summary

    May 6
    Final Exam