Doctoral Subject Exam in Networking

Professors Bestavros, Byers, Crovella and Matta

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Exam Overview:

The doctoral subject exam in networking is intended primarily for those students who plan to pursue a Ph.D. in topics associated with computer networking. 

For the purpose of this exam, we intend for computer networking to be defined broadly--roughly spanning all of the general topics covered in CS 655 (Graduate Introduction to Computer Networks), CS 670 (Graduate Introduction to Performance Analysis), and CS 556 (Advanced Networks), as well as additional topics from classical and recently published research papers. The emphasis is on state-of-the-art network measurement, network modeling, network protocols, performance evaluation, and systems building. 

The exam is not designed to test basic knowledge (as for example a CS 655 final exam would), nor is it designed to quiz students on details which require specialized knowledge. Instead, it is an exam which is designed to test whether students have a sufficiently comprehensive and nuanced understanding of the field of computer networking to be able to pursue a Ph.D. in the field.

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Exam Format:

The exam will be a 72-hour open book examination. You should expect to spend about 30 of those 72 hours preparing answers to the questions --- we do NOT expect students to stay up all night, miss classes, etc. You may consult any paper, textbook or online document you wish during the exam (and you will be expected to cite your references), but you MAY NOT discuss any aspect of the exam with ANY other individual during the exam. If you have any doubt as to the interpretation of a question, make a reasonable assumption and explain your interpretation in your answer. No explanations will be given during the exam period.

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Exam Topics:

The exam will be based on three sources:
bulletFoundational materials which are mostly covered in textbooks
bulletClassical research results from the networking literature
bulletRecent advances in networking research

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Preparation Tips:

While many of the answers in your examination will not be found directly in the papers included in the syllabus (or in any paper, for that matter), studying and comprehending the main ideas in the papers on the syllabus will provide the background with which to tackle the questions on the examination. We strongly suggest that you work with other students and set up study groups in order to most efficiently and effectively learn the material in the papers. There is no need to memorize any of the details in the papers, as the exam will be open book, and you may freely refer to the papers during the examination.

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Archive of Past Exams:

bulletNetworking Subject Exam for AY'2010/11
bulletNetworking Subject Exam for AY'2009/10
bulletNetworking Subject Exam for AY'2008/09
bulletNetworking Subject Exam for AY'2007/08
bulletNetworking Subject Exam for AY'2006/07
bulletNetworking Subject Exam for AY'2005/06
bulletNetworking Subject Exam for AY'2004/05
bulletNetworking Subject Exam for AY'2003/04
bulletNetworking Subject Exam for AY'2002/03

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This page was updated last on: November 14, 2011