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Comment: Re:Why is this a news story? (Score 1) 128

by philip.levis (#41706201) Attached to: Take a Free Networking Class From Stanford
You're absolutely right, I posted this to seek publicity. But not publicity for Stanford or for me, but for the course. I'd like as many people as possible to know about it, so they can take it. My motivation is 100% educational. I realize that there are a lot of career professionals on Slashdot for whom this course would be a waste of time. But there are also a lot of teenagers, people in developing regions, and others who don't necessarily have access to an educational resource for some of this material. I'd like them to know about it so they can learn. I can't speak to other instructors and other courses, but Nick and I have spent hundreds of hours preparing the materials for the course because we genuinely want to make it easier for people to learn about the Internet, a piece of fascinating technology that its transforming the world around us. This course obviously isn't for you -- but that doesn't mean it isn't for anyone.

Comment: Re:Excellent idea, but... (Score 3, Informative) 128

by philip.levis (#41579107) Attached to: Take a Free Networking Class From Stanford
Talking about packet formats is difficult if the student doesn't understand the idea of bits, bytes, and memory addresses. How memory is laid out isn't mean to imply segments, pages, virtual memory, caches, registers, or anything like that, just the idea that you have cells of bytes.

Looking forward, I agree with you -- it would not be hard to figure out how to present some background material on these topics to make the course more accessible. But this is just the first time we're teaching it. We'll learn and adjust the content appropriately. For this first time, though, we didn't want to venture too far from what we're used to teaching. It's enough of a change to move from live lectures to recorded videos and handle all of the structural differences in an online course.

Comment: Re:IPv6 (Score 1) 128

by philip.levis (#41579087) Attached to: Take a Free Networking Class From Stanford
No, it wouldn't. IPv6 deployment does not mean IPv4 will disappear. There are a lot of market and backwards compatibility reasons (e.g., the monetary value of IPv4 addresses). The course's coverage of IPv6 is mostly in the realm of names and addresses. We don't go into the mechanisms (such as ND, RA, etc.), mostly because it is much easier for students to interact and observe IPv4 networks than IPv6 ones. Generally speaking, for introductory material like this it's better to teach about a certain today than a hypothetical tomorrow.

+ - Free Networking Class from Stanford->

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philip.levis writes "Nick McKeown and I are offering a free, online class on computer networking. We're professors of computer science and electrical engineering at Stanford and are also co-teaching Stanford's networking course this quarter.

The free, online class will run about 6 weeks and is intended to be accessible to people who don't program: the prerequisites are an understanding of probability, bits and bytes, and how computers lay out memory. Given how important the Internet is, we think a more accessible course on the principles and practice of computer networks could be a very valuable educational resource. I'm sure many Slashdot readers will already know much of what we'll cover, but for those who don't, here's an opportunity to learn!"

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Comment: Re:Innovative (Score 3, Informative) 244

by philip.levis (#35213312) Attached to: Two-way Radio Breakthrough To Double Wi-Fi Speeds
Hey, it's just a news article. Here's the more technical stuff: Short answer is the fact that the two transmit antennas are at different distances means they need a power difference in order to match amplitude at the receive antenna. This in turn limits the depths of nulls at distance.

We all like praise, but a hike in our pay is the best kind of ways.