CSCI-4220 Network Programming Syllabus

Instructor: Jasmine Plum [she/her] ()

Graduate TA: Leo Liu ()

Office Hours:
Instructor: T/F 12:30-1:30pm Amos Eaton 205
TA: M/Th 12-2pm Amos Eaton 118

Class Times: Tu/F 10-11:50am LOW 3051

Undergraduate Mentors:

Submitty Link:

Like the Constitution, this syllabus should be considered a "living document" in that it is subject to change. You will be notified of any changes made.

Pre-requisites: CSCI 2300 Intro to Algorithms; CSCI 2500 Computer Organization or equivalent

About the Course: Programming with an overview of the principles of computer networks, including an overview of the OSI reference model and various popular network protocol suites. Concentration on Unix interprocess communication (IPC), network programming using TCP and UDP, as well as client-side and mobile programming. Programming projects in C++ are required.

The first half of each class will be classic lecture-style while the second half of class will be closer in nature to a lab. Accompanying documents will be available via Submitty. Students should bring their laptops as they will be required for the lab portion.


The grades will be broken down as follows:

Grades will be curved, and approximate cutoffs for A-, B-, C-, and D will be kept up to date throughout the semester via Rainbow Grades on Submitty. Grade modifiers will be used in this class. See the course catalog for more details. There is no A+ nor is a D- allowed under the RPI Grade Modifier Policy.

Grade disputes must be made within 10 days. After 10 days have elapsed, the grade on record will stand.

Attendance: Attendance at lectures is not required, but be aware that I may include material not necessarily covered in the text or on the web page. You are responsible for all announcements made in lecture (e.g., any change in due dates).

Late Assignments Policy: Three late days are permitted for assignments. They will be consumed in whole day increments. In other words, if you are one hour late, that will count as one day. 25 hours late will count as two days, etc. Once these are exhausted, late assignments will not be graded. However, additional late days can be earned for every six points (not labs) earned through labs.

Late Labs Policy: Late labs will not be accepted. Your lowest 3 lab scores will be dropped.

Required Textbook: Unix Network Programming, Volume 1: The Sockets Networking API, 3rd Edition (2003), by W. Richard Stevens et al [Amazon]

Assignment Grading Criteria: Your submission must include the following items:

Programming assignments are graded as follows: 25% for proper comments (e.g., each function should indicate what it does) and 75% for a correct working implementation. We typically divide the correctness points over key functions working. For example, reading -- worth 20 points, writing -- worth 20 points, and then doing the calculation correctly -- worth 35 points. Note that programs that either don't compile or generate a core dump typically get no more than 20 points of the 75. Thus, your max score for a "properly commented" program that fails in some fundamental way is only 45 points even if you spent 100 hours of time on it.

Compatibility: All assignments MUST compile with clang++ and run on Ubuntu 18.04. This is the compiler and operating system on Submitty so you will have no problems meeting this requirement. It is worth noting that not all valid C programs are valid C++ programs. All C files must compile cleanly with clang++. Be careful when using C library calls to not rely on undefined behaviors.

Accomodations: Federal law requires all colleges and universities to provide specified types of assistance to students with disabilities. If you require such assistance, please obtain an authorizing memo from Disability Services for Students by contacting the Student Health Center. Information about a student's special needs will be treated as confidential. Please submit a copy of your authorizing memo to your professor well in advance of any affected exam or assignment. Failure to do so may result in a lack of special accommodations.

Academic Integrity: While I strongly encourage you to form study groups and work together in learning this material, programming assignments are to be done individually unless otherwise noted by the assignment/project specification. What this means is that you should do whatever is necessary to ensure your work remains your work. If during in the grading process, it is determined that students shared or duplicated work, those students will automatically score a zero for the offense. For a second offense, the student or students involved will fail this course and a report will be sent to the Dean of Students office which could result in additional disciplinary action. Additionally, undergraduates offenders cannot mentor in the future. In the event a graduate student is caught cheating, that student will fail.

Learning Outcomes: By the end of this course, you will be able to:

Schedule: This will be updated as the semester progresses:

8/31History / OSI model; Unix commands
9/4High level UDP and TCP/IP; UDP sockets
9/7tftp; Sorcerer’s Apprentice
9/11Linux basics, C system calls, fork
9/14Signals, Byte ordering, misc. inet functions
9/18TCP sockets (SOCK_STREAM); Client / server model ; Daemons
9/21Fall 2018 Career Fair - lecture canceled
9/25select (I/O Multiplexing); Bonjour (Zeroconf) / Service Discovery
9/28TCP 3 Way Handshake, TCP States, TCP Close
10/2Non-Blocking I/O
10/5TCP congestion control, ACK, windows, ECN
10/16Application Layer Protocols; Telnet; FTP
10/26IPv4/IPv6 addressing, DNS, gethost*(), nslookup
10/30Bit Torrent/ DHT / P2P
11/2Socket Options
11/6Out of Band Sockets
11/13Security Basics
11/16Security Basics II
11/27RPISEC Guest Lecture
12/7SDNs/ OpenFlow / Mininet
12/11Buffer Bloat

Schedule of Assignments and altered class days:
This will be updated as the semester progresses.

All due dates refer to 11:59:59 PM unless otherwise specified.