CSE952: Course Syllabus

Course: CSCE 952, Advanced Computer Networks, 3 credits, Fall 2020 (Code 18656).

COVID-19 Updates The course will be offered in synchronous online format. Lectures are online on Zoom. Zoom recordings and transcripts will be made available on Canvas under Modules after each lecture. Please email or use Canvas chat to notify me in case you are not able to join the Zoom session or have trouble connecting to the server. Lectures will be supplemented with pre-recorded content (such as DETER lab tutorials) using VidGrid. Any passwords will be announced in the first lecture and on Canvas. Please note that the first week of classes (Aug. 17-21) is completely online and asynchronous; there will be no lectures during this week on Zoom.

Lectures: MWF 10:30 a.m. – 11:20 a.m., Online. (Canvas link)

Instructor: Prof. Byrav Ramamurthy, 213 Schorr Center, (402) 472-7791, byrav@cse.unl.edu

Office Hours: I am usually available on Zoom to meet with students. Please feel free to send me an email to set up a meeting time. The regular office hours are 9:30am-10:20am Wednesdays and by appointment.

Prerequisite: Course Communication Networks (CSCE 462/862) or equivalent.

Grading: Letter; pretest (1%), participation (2%), quizzes and tasks (12%), homework assignments (30%), midterm exam I (15%), midterm exam II (15%), final project (25%).

Course Description:

This is an advanced-level course on the recent developments in computer networks. The topics to be covered include current topics of research and development such as Routing, Congestion Control, Multicasting and Resource Reservation in the Internet, Wireless Networks, including wireless ad hoc networks, Peer-to-peer networks (P2P), Performance Study of Computer Networks, Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), and if time permits, Network Security and Optical Networking. This is a graduate class and hence, the emphasis will be on in-depth critical analysis of (a few) current research problems and proposed solutions. We do not attempt to provide a broad overview of the entire area of computer networking! We will have a special emphasis on Future Internet including topics such as Software Defined Networking (SDN), Network Function Virtualization (NFV), Data center networks, Multimedia networking, Internet of Things (IoT) and Content-Centric Networking (CCN).

Course Handouts:

Any software distributed for the class will be here or in the class directory ~cse952 on   cse.unl.edu, or in subdirectories; see the README file in each directory for more information. You can access the handouts via the World Wide Web; the URL is http://canvas.unl.edu for the UNL Canvas site.

Class Mailing List:

The class mailing list is cse952-ml@cse.unl.edu. We will use the Canvas Discussions for discussions.

Information about this class, homework assignments, office hours, and so forth, will be posted to the Class Announcements page. Read postings on this forum daily, especially near the time assignments are due. You are responsible for reading everything posted to this forum. Discussing something in Canvas Discussions forum is perfectly fair! If you have any questions about the course (class, homework, exams, etc.), you should post it to this forum, rather than sending e-mail to me. If you have a question about the homework, you are probably not alone. So, please post such questions to the forum, except under the following circumstances:

In no case should you post anything that gives away the answer to a homework question.


Larry L. Peterson and Bruce S. Davie, Computer Networks - A Systems Approach (Fifth* edition), Morgan-Kaufmann, 2011, ISBN 0123850592  (Recommended).  *Recent editions are usually fine too.

Articles from recent journals and conferences will be assigned throughout the semester. Relevant chapters from other textbooks will also be made available, as necessary.

Homework Assignments

There will be around 4 homework assignments in this class. There will be simulation and/or programming based questions in these assignments. You will have around two weeks to turn in each homework. Any deadline extensions will be announced in class on through Canvas/email. Late submissions will incur a 10% penalty per day or portion thereof (up to 3 days) and will not be accepted after solutions have been posted.


Quizzes and Tasks will be conducted several times during the semester.

Final Project

The final project is the most important part of this class! This is your opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of the subject material and your abilities as a researcher. Your projects may be of any one (or more!) of the following types:

The focus of the project is to stimulate creative thinking and originality! If you are not able to come up with a project on your own, you may choose from a list of projects which will be made available to you at a later date. You are encouraged to discuss project ideas with me early on in the semester!

Project reports are due during the FINALS week (Canvas). Project presentations will be scheduled during the DEAD week (November 16, 18 and 20 during class times).

More information regarding the project will be made available through the Final Project module on course Canvas.

Academic Integrity

All homework assignments, quizzes, exams, etc. must be your own work. No direct collaboration with fellow students, past or current, is allowed unless otherwise stated. The Computer Science & Engineering department has an Academic Integrity Policy. All students enrolled in any computer science course are bound by this policy. You are expected to read, understand, and follow this policy. Violations will be dealt with on a case by case basis and may result in a failing assignment or a failing grade for the course itself.

Attendance Policy

Attendance at all officially scheduled class meetings is expected. Students are responsible for knowing all material discussed in class meetings. Changes to class schedules and assignments will be announced in class or through Canvas/email.


Midterm exam I, On or around Friday, October 9 (online).

Midterm exam II, On or around Friday, November 6 (online).

Examination must be taken at the times announced; there are no make-up examinations, except for health reasons.


In general, papers/assignments to be considered for regrades must be turned in no later than one week after the graded papers/assignments were made available, not from when the student picked up her or his paper. Similarly, any misrecorded grades must be reported within a week of their posting, except as will be announced at the end of the semester. Note, that you may not (re)submit any material during the regrading process.

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact the instructor for a confidential discussion of their individual needs for academic accommodation. This includes students with mental health disabilities like depression and anxiety. It is the policy of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to provide individualized accommodations to students with documented disabilities that may affect their ability to fully participate in course activities or to meet course requirements. To receive accommodation services, students must be registered with the Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) office, 232 Canfield Administration, 472-3787.


Please send e-mail to me, byrav@cse.unl.edu (to be read by the instructor only!) or post them on the Canvas Discussions forum for the class (preferred!). Urgent announcements to the class will be sent by email to the class mailing list: cse952-ml@cse.unl.edu or through Canvas announcements.

It is CSE Department policy that all students in CSE courses are expected to regularly check their email so they do not miss important announcements.

The CSE Department has an anonymous contact form that you may use to voice your concerns about any problems in the course or department if you do not wish to be identified.

The CSE Department's Student Resource Center is located in Avery 12: http://cse.unl.edu/src

Last changed: August 12, 2020.