CS 591 Foundations in Systems and Networking

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A range of fundamental theoretical concepts and tools are invaluable for researchers in systems and networking. This seminar course surveys several of those topics with lectures given by CS and ECE faculty who are experts on the respective topics. Each lecture or pair of lectures will act as a brief introduction to the topic and as a teaser for a full course. Lectures will generally cover

  • basic definitions and principles,
  • major results,
  • example applications, and
  • references to more complete material (courses, survey papers, or books).

We meet every Wednesday 4:00 - 4:50 p.m. in 1109 SC, beginning January 27. The seminar is organized by Klara Nahrstedt, Indy Gupta, and Brighten Godfrey.

Student responsibilities include attendance and one of the following two options:

  • Scribing: In a group of two, scribe a lecture and post the notes on the wiki. Notes should be posted by the day before the next lecture (i.e., you have six days to post the notes). The scribe notes should contain 2-3 pages of text based on the lecture. In addition, scribes should post external links, recommended books or papers on the topic (beyond the speaker's recommendations).
  • Paper review and presentation: In a group of two or alone: For one lecture, find and read a systems or networking paper that applies the theory. Post on the wiki a short (at most one page) description of what the paper does and how it uses the theoretical concepts and results we studied. At the end of the course, give a very brief (2-4 minute) presentation describing the paper and how it applies the theory.

Signup: The sections below have a bullet for each scribed lecture or presentation slot. Please put your name after one of the bullets where there is a free slot (up to two people for scribes; one presenter for now, and we'll increase the number of presenters if necessary.)

In addition, we encourage students to contribute resources to this wiki---comments, pointers to particularly good survey papers or other external resources, etc. The wiki will be a public resource for graduate students in systems & networking and other areas.


Date Speaker Topic
Jan 27 Indranil Gupta Course introduction and the scientific method
Feb 3 Klara Nahrstedt Statistics
Feb 10 David Nicol Simulation
Feb 17 Tamer Basar Game Theory
Feb 24 Tamer Basar Game Theory
Mar 3 R. Srikant Optimization Theory in the Internet
Mar 10 R. Srikant Optimization Theory in Wireless
Mar 17 Seminar canceled  
Mar 31 Sean Meyn Control Theory
Apr 7 Sean Meyn Control Theory
Apr 14 Jeff Erickson Randomized Algorithms and Data Structures
Apr 21 Jeff Erickson Randomized Algorithms and Data Structures
Apr 28 Grigore Rosu Formal Methods
May 5 Students Student paper presentations

Resources by topic

This section collects the course resources by topic, including lecture slides, scribe notes, and pointers to external resources.




Game Theory

Optimization Theory

Analytic Modeling

  • Lecture scribe notes (Shivaram Venkataraman, Abhishek Verma)
  • Presenter(s):

Control Theory

  • Lecture 1 scribe notes (Ying-Yi Liang, Mirko Montanari)
  • Lecture 2 scribe notes (Jung Eun Kim, Man Ki Yoon)
  • Presenter(s): Yusuf Sarwar

Randomized Algorithms and Data Structures

Hash Tables

Data-stream Algorithms

Future Classes

  • CS 598: Randomized Algorithms, to be offered by Sariel Har-Peled in Fall 2010.
  • CS 598: Data Structures, to be offered by Jeff Erickson in Spring 2011.

Formal Methods

Additional topics

We can hardly cover (even briefly) all theoretical tools that are useful in systems & networking. In particular, we have not covered queueing theory, coding theory and network coding, machine learning, information theory, random graph theory, network flow, and many other topics. Below are a few survey papers and courses on topics not covered in this seminar.

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