CSCI-P 538 Computer Networks
(Fall 2014)

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Policies and Logistics


Your performance will be evaluated based on the following weighting.

Attendance 10%
Class participation 5%
Projects (4) 35% (Breakdown: 5% + 12% + 4% + 14% = 35%)
Weekly Quizzes 25%
Final exam 25%

Announcements and Class Readings

Read emailed announcements carefully!

Announcements will be made via email to the course list. You are responsible for reading each announcement carefully. If you have opted to not receive OnCourse mailings, you are responsible for checking your OnCourse email at least once a day. You can also access the email archive on OnCourse.

You are expected to read all the assigned readings posted on the schedule page before class.

Attendance and Class Participation

Be engaged, and don't be late!

Students are expected to participate actively in class. Classes will be interactive and involve discussion; be active and show initiative in group discussions. Attendance in lectures will be taken regularly and is part of your participation grade. You will be treated as absent if you are more than 5 minutes late.

The attendance portion of the grade will be a straight percentage of the classes you are marked as present. Unplanned absences will be excused only when a medical note or a Dean's note is provided. Planned absences may be excused only when requested at least 2 weeks in advance and must be for university related travel (such as job interviews).

The class participation grade will be determined by the instructor based on various factors such as engagement in class discussions, adherence to laptop/phone policy, and punctuality.


Instead of having a single class midterm, we will have weekly 15-minute quizzes at the beginning of each class. These quizzes will be closed-book and will cover (a) material that you should have read for that day's class, and (b) all the material covered since the previous quiz, including in-class discussions.

We will drop your lowest three quiz scores. Use these freebies wisely — they are meant for circumstances such as falling ill or interviewing. I will not grant any additonal drops.

When you come in late, it is disruptive to other students taking the quiz. Those students who enter class after the quiz has officially begun will be penalized 10% (of the maximum score) on the quiz. For example, if you receive a 9.5/10 (before the penalty), your score after the penality would be 8.5/10.

Group work

Students will work in pairs of two on their projects. See the Honor Code below regarding acceptable collaboration (e.g., your project writeups must be your own).

Project Late Policy

Manage your time well, and start early!

Grace periods: To accommodate for unavoidable circumstances, you will be given a 3-day grace period for each assignment. Beyond the deadline (and grace period if applicable), you will be penalized 1% per hour. For example, if you score 73% and are 5.5 hours late, you will be penalized 6% for 6 hours, resulting in a score of 73 – 6 = 67%).

Use these free extensions wisely — they are meant for circumstances such as falling ill or interviewing. I will not grant any additonal extensions.


All writeups must be submitted in PDF format via OnCourse. Pages must be formatted with 1-inch margins, 11-point font and single spacing.


Since a single AI will be grading the same portion across all assignments, we do not expect any discrepancies in grading. Nevertheless, if any unfairness in grading is perceived, you must bring me both your assignment and the other student's assignment where the discrepancy is observed. If a discrepancy is demonstrated, both scores will be revised to the fair score (which could be the lower score).

Laptop, Tablet and Cellphone Use

Let's concentrate in class! No electronic devices may be used in class — bring a pen and paper. In case of observed infractions (e.g., reading/writing something on your phone/table/laptop), you will be treated as absent.

Honor Code

Give credit where it's due and don't plagiarize. Don't copy or read others' solutions. Remember, when you cheat, you cheat yourself above all else.

Make sure you have reviewed my slides on plagiarism.

IU's Honor Code and policies apply to your conduct in this course.

You may discuss readings with other students in the course or with me. Work on project assignemts will be performed in groups, but each student must submit their own writeups to questions on the assignments. You may not read or copy anybody else's written answers, not even your project partner's work — all submitted work must be your own, based on your own understanding of the content after such discussions. In particular, you may not read solutions for assignments on the Web (including websites for previous semesters, inside or outside of IU).

Credit your sources. In your assignments, list all your collaborators (e.g., "I discussed this assignment with Alice, Bob, ...") and credit any sources (including software) used. You must also credit sources that are permitted by the instructor. For example, you must credit code that we give you if it helps you with your work (either by direct use of the code, or by simply enhancing your understanding by reading the code).

Violations of the Honor Code will be treated seriously and reported to the university for further disciplinary action. Please let me know if you have any questions—better to be safe than sorry!

Special accommodations

Please let me know before the end of the second week of the semester if you have any disabilities and would like me to make appropriate accommodations. All discussions will remain confidential, although the Disability Services office may be consulted to discuss appropriate implementation of any accommodation requested.

Religious Observances

I realize that some students may wish to take part in religious observances that fall during this academic semester. Should you have a religious observance that conflicts with your participation in the course, please come speak with me before the end of the second week of the semester to discuss appropriate accommodations. See IU's policy for Fall 2013.

General Emergencies

If a class is cancelled, an attempt will be made to send an email out using Oncourse by 1 hour prior to the class. Always try to check your OnCourse email 1 hour prior to the class. There is only one event that triggers an automatic cancellation: a declared IU emergency (see If you feel you cannot safely get to class, or something prevents you getting to class, please contact an instructor or associate instructor as soon as possible. If the fire alarm goes off during class, we will stop immediately and you should proceed in an orderly fashion out through the nearest clear exit without further instruction.

Winter Weather

As described above, a decision will be made and emailed out by the instructor 1 hour prior to the class, based on the weather conditions. If there is a winter weather warning or advisory and we do decide to run the class (for details on current warnings and advisories see National Weather Service forecast site) then we will not take attendance for the class and will not reduce anyone's attendance grade for missing the class (but it will be up to you to catch up). If you feel you cannot safely get to class because of the weather, then you should not attend in these circumstances.