CIS 553: Networked Systems - Spring 2015

Last updated: April 12, 2015
Lectures: Moore 216, Mondays and Wednesdays, 12-1:30pm

Instructor: Jonathan M. Smith
Email: jms AT
Office hours: Mondays 4-5pm, Wednesdays 11-12pm, Levine 604

Head TA: Joel Hypolite
Email: jhypolit AT
Office hours: Tuesdays 12-1pm, Thursdays 1:30-2:30pm, Moore 102 (Distributed Systems Lab)

TA: Rohit Dureja
Email: rohit AT
Office hours: Mondays 3-4pm, Fridays 4-5pm, Moore 100

TA: Shengda Ding
Email: shengda AT
Office hours: Mondays and Wednesdays 10-11am, Moore 100

TA: Avinash Repaka
Email: avinashr AT
Office hours: Wednesdays and Fridays 2-3pm, Moore 100

Links: Piazza, Canvas

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to fundamental concepts in the design and implementation of networked systems, their protocols, and applications. Topics to be covered include: Internet architecture, network applications, addressing, routing, transport protocols, network security, and peer-to-peer networks. The course will involve written assignments, examinations, and programming assignments. Students will work in teams to design and implement networked systems in layers, from routing protocols, transport protocols, to peer-to-peer networks.


CIS 121 (Programming Languages and Techniques II), or equivalent programming experience, or permission of instructor. Data structures and basic probability. Course projects require knowledge of C/C++.

Undergrads interested in this course should email the instructor directly, cc to Mike Felker (mfelker@seas) to get permissions to enroll in this course.


There will be no official textbook this semester. Lecture notes will be posted to Piazza. Additional material will be drawn from selected research publications. If you prefer a textbook, the following is recommended: Computer Networks: A Systems Approach (5th Edition). Larry L. Peterson and Bruce S. Davie. (E.g. Amazon). You can use the 4th edition too if you prefer to buy a used copy.


We will be using Piazza and Canvas this semester. Piazza use is encouraged and part of the class participation grade. We will post materials (e.g. code, slides, homeworks, and sample exams) to Piazza. We will try to respond quickly to questions posted on Piazza.

Evaluation / Grading

Please note that we insist that students follow Penn's Code of Academic Integrity, and that academic dishonesty, as defined in the Code of Integrity will not be tolerated. More details on our collaboration policy can be found here.

Rough Outline of Semester: