Ali Erkan

Associate Professor and Chair, Computer Science


Computer Networks

This course is an introduction to computer networks and is centered around the underlying models, technologies, and protocols. Our main case study is TCP/IP networks, although we also spend some time on ATM networks just to exposed to a second design alternative. The hands-on component of the course is the development of a number of Java based networking programs.


Partial lecture transcript from Fall 2005. Ali's thoughts are in parantheses. Thanks to Jared, Alex W. and Ric- err- Ryan - oh, whatever, for the details:

Ali: Okay, let's get started [Alex W walks in late with a skateboard]. How is it that you are always late, and you have a skateboard?!

Alex W: Hey, Ali, are we going to talk about ARP today?

Ali: No, not today.

Alex W: I mean really, I just like saying ARP. ARP, ARP, ARP!

Ali: (That was funny the first 100 times) Good one Alex. So everybody go load up your packet sniffers. [Nobody moves]. Oh, come on, somebody? [Rich stands up to go to a computer]. Thank you Ric- err - Ryan - I mean... - uh...

Rich: "Hey, You!" works... [Class laughs]

Sig: Yeah it said it was missing some libraries...

Ali: That's because I don't want you to capture real packets.

Sig: Oh, really? 'Cuz I installed them and I just captured your password and credit card number. [Outside, someone on a cellphone walks by]

Jared: I _HATE_ it when people talk on cell phones! [Stands up and angrily slams the door]

Ali: [In sheepish tone] Remind me not to mess with you for the rest of the day. Anyways, forget the packet sniffers. Let's talk about the paper. So, Brian, what was your take on it?

Brian: What? I don't get it. I mean... I didn't get it.

Ali: That's Okay. So, anyone?

Colin: [Eating a salad, raising his hand] mmmmmffff.... gaallllllblbll.

Ali: (Why does he do this every single day?) Anyone who isn't eating? Alex?

Alex W: ARP!

Ali: No, not you! The other Alex!

Alex D: Well... I mean...

Ali: (Oh boy, here we go)

Alex D: ...From what I understood, it was talking about networks-- specifically, computer networks-- and like, their implementation, or something.

Ali: Did you even read the paper?

Alex D: Uhh.....

TJ: Well, the main problem with the Java API is that it's highly propriatery and relies on funding from the GOP. If we were concious about our life decisions, we would use Python running on a Debian installation. In fact, even these Dells are giving one to the man.

Ali: What?!?

Diyan: So, when is our exam?

Ali: Monday night.

Jon: Monday is no good. There is a Victoria's Secret show.

Jared: Yeah, we can't take the test that night.

Ali: What does a Victoria's Secret show have anything to do with networking?

Jon: Well, you could have a collision on the runway... Just like Ethernet packets. [Class laughs]

Ali: (Heh, heh, that was really good) Guys, will you please grow up?

Sig: Do you think I should take a thermodynamics course at Cornell so that I can write a better C# compiler?

Ali: Yes, you should... You should definitely take a thermodynamics course at Cornell (that ought to get you out of my hair).


The following actually happened. Thanks to Jon for remembering it because I would have not:

[Ali and Jon are walking towards each other in Williams]

Ali: [With an attitude] Jon, you know the exam started at 7:30, right?

Jon: Yeah, but I talked to you just yesterday about taking it one day late.

Ali: Did we actually have that conversation?

Jon: Yes!

Ali: Are you being serious?

Jon: Are you being serious?

Ali: Sorry, I haven't had much sleep laterly.

[Moments later, Ali and Jon walking away from each other]

Ali: [Mumbling to himself] Who the heck was that guy?

[Jon was right, the conversation did take place]