Introduction to Computer Networks
Hours per Week
/ 5.0 Difficulty
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This class is okay. The textbook is good and you should read it although it is verbose. The author has lectures on YouTube that are a lot better than the lectures in the explorations. The skeleton code for the projects is really pretty bad and seems to get in the way more than helps. It’s like someone trying to write Java code using Python — overuse of object oriented programming and an overall non-standard style. Spend time to thoroughly understand the skeleton code and its quirks before starting. Exams are open note and textbook and follow the summary exercises and practice exams pretty closely. You should still study and prepare because running out of time may be an issue if you need to constantly reference your book or notes.
Submitted Sat Aug 19 2023
The textbook is great. Read it! The instructors, Samina and Eric, are terrible, as are the explorations and the assignment descriptions. For example, the project rubrics were something like "5 points for a pdf explaining the program and 70 points for the code", and the instructions themselves were vague and unclear. Then, some graders would take of 20 points for formatting output improperly, even though the instructions were not specific and they refused to provide guidance on Ed. The explorations confused more than they explained, so I stopped reading/watching them after a few weeks. Basically, anything touched by someone at OSU was terrible, but the textbook was great. Also, the textbook's authors have video lectures that I've heard were pretty good. All this said, I'm glad I took the class because the book taught me how the internet works, and I feel like that's an important thing to understand as a programmer.
Submitted Fri Apr 21 2023
Get the labs done early, they're annoyingly long. The lecture videos are awful, just read the textbook and you'll be fine. Grading is sometimes totally subjective and off-rubric... For that reason, take advantage of all extra credit opportunities. Power through and you'll be in cloud in no time (if you're not taking this for cloud's pre-req, take something else... worst class I've taken at OSU)
Submitted Fri Mar 24 2023
This is absolutely the worst experience I have ever had here. The course is purely self-study and an exercise in search. What's worse is that you will not find out your actual standing in most of your grades well past a month. Why is this relevant? Because decisions that could have been made like dropping a class cannot be made because you won't know where you stand The projects are graded harshly even though the Professors outright tell you there's no guidance on how to actually do them. Oh and don't bother trying to learn from your mistakes. They won't show them even after you have taken your weekly quiz.
Submitted Thu Mar 23 2023
In short, this class is kind of a mess right now. It feels packed with busy work that doesn't provided substantial value. On the other hand, the textbook is great. If you read the textbook and can locate the textbook author's lectures they will prove far more valuable to your learning experience than anything in the class material itself. As a result, if you're good at self-studying I would choose to do that instead of taking this class. However, I wouldn't skip on learning Networks.
Submitted Mon Mar 20 2023
This course is a lot of work. That said, I think the excessive amounts of time I spent reading, doing WireShark labs, doing programming assignments, and doing the weekly quizzes, help a lot of the basic networking concepts stick. Like others have said, the book is great (book based assignments included). For me, I benefit from guided learning and I think this course is god for that. I never would have touched WireShark, the Python Socket Library, nor would I have taken time out of my day to learn networking terminology, bit transmission calculations, etc. i have taken a networking course before, but this was far more hands on and I appreciate that. Having Eric and Saminah oversee the course are also a huge benefit, considering comments about their predecessor. If you need someone to force you to learn technical networking, the class is worth it. If you can self teach and prefer other electives this is course is quite replaceable.
Submitted Sun Mar 19 2023
Don't. This course has a great textbook and all the materials (videos, activities, etc) that you'd need to learn all about networking are online, and free (well, not the book): https://gaia.cs.umass.edu/kurose_ross/eighth.php So if you're interested in the topic - you should be, it's fascinating and useful! - take the time to watch the videos on there and maybe buy the book if you're a book person. OSU literally just takes this UMass class, dumps a bunch of crappy and confusing content on top of it, and charges you $2000. It's also got a ton of busywork and the assignments are confusing.
Submitted Sun Mar 19 2023
The problem with this course is the teaching staff. Very little activity from any instructional staff on Ed, some of the answers will seem to contradict project specs (I don't think this is intentional, honestly, I think it's laziness). Two of the TAs never seemed to bother to hold office hours, which made it difficult to ask questions/get help. There was one instructor who tried to answer student questions. The book is necessary. Get it and read it. Assume the projects need to be researched prior to starting and you'll be OK. Give yourself plenty of time for the labs, they can be tedious and time consuming.
Submitted Thu Dec 08 2022
I was nervous going into this class because of the negative reviews, but I found the reviews to be mostly incorrect. Sure, the professor can be vague and frustrating. However, if you have any interest in learning about the internet or the network side of a computer, you will probably find this class enjoyable. Don’t take this class over the summer (11 weeks smashed into 8); it was rough. Take this class before 344. I liked the course content, mostly the book. I recommend watching the videos and reading the required reading since this content will be on the weekly quizzes and exams. Make sure to record all of the knowledge checks and quiz questions since these will greatly help when taking the exams. Many students struggled with Traceroute and RDT. Traceroute was hard because the instructions were vague. However, if you follow the introduction to Traceroute and not the section in the book, you will finish the project quicker than most. It can be an easy assignment if you stick to the introduction’s description of Traceroute. RDT was a fun assignment and was time consuming because there were so many layers to the project; see some Reddit reviews of the course if you are struggling and you might find helpful suggestions to start the project. The grading was lenient. If you meet the project requirements in any of the assignments, then you will probably get an A on each of them. The last assignment, client server chat, can take 2 to 3 hours depending on what references you read. The extra credit could take longer. I didn’t do it since I didn’t need the extra credit.
Submitted Sat Aug 13 2022
Overly stuffy with constant busywork and vague assignments. Lowest quality course taken so far but not hard to get an A with time. The review below me sums everything best.
Submitted Sat Aug 13 2022
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