The emphasis of CPSC 633a is on doing research in computer networks. There are three things I want you to take away from this class: 1) how to do research in computer networks; 2) how problems were solved in the Internet; 3) the problems facing the current Internet. As a result of these objectives, we will review papers and emphasize problems and research methodology. For each paper, we will first identify the problem that a paper is trying to solve. We need to think whether or not the problem was a real problem at that time. We will also need to think whether or not the problem is still important today. We will then evaluate its solution approach. We need to think why the solution approach is a good approach: under what conditions is the approach still a good approach, and how the authors justify the approach. We also need to think whether the solution approach is still good today. If possible, we will also try to come up with a better solution.
If we say the emphasis of CPSC 633a is the path from the past Internet to the current Internet as well as the potential path from the current Internet to the future Internet, the emphasis of CPSC 433b will be a comprehensive snapshot of the current Internet. The goal of CPSC 433b will be a broad introduction. Even though we will still talk about the problems facing the current Internet, the emphasis will be on how the Internet works. Given this goal, my plan is to follow a textbook and have a systematic study on the Internet. We will also have a project in CPSC 433b; however, the objective of the project will be programming, instead of problem formulation, as in CPSC 633a.