Grading & Expectations

  • Participation & Attendance: 40%
  • Production Assignments: 40%
  • Class Notes: 20%

Participation & Attendance

Showing up on time, engaging in the class discussion, and offering advice and critique on other projects in the class is a major part of your grade. Please be present and prompt. Class begins at 3:20 PM, and I expect everyone to be in place and ready to begin at 3:20 PM. Lateness will hurt your grade. If you're going to be late or absent, please email your instructor in advance. Three non-emergency absences or more will lead to a failing grade. If you have an emergency, please let your instructor know as soon as you can. Please turn in assignments on time as well.


There are two assigned books for this class, Linked: How Everything Is Connected to Everything Else and What It Means by Albert-Laszlo Barabási, and Making Things Talk by me. We will discuss the material from these books in class, as it's all highly relevant to how we put networks together. Reading assignments are listed each week. There are also several online links throughout the semester. I'll expect that you've read the chapters listed for the following week, along with any online links from the syllabus. Be prepared with questions about the readings, or disagreements or ideas from them that you want to explore further. Discussion of this material will be a significant part of the class.

Although not required, you may want to read Interop: The Promise and Perils of Highly Interconnected Systems by John Palfrey and Urs Gasser, as it's also very relevant to this class.

Production Assignments

For production assignments, you'll be expected to present your project in class on the day that it's due. If you're working in a group, all group members should be present, on-time, and should participate equally in the presentation.


As with other classes at ITP, you should keep a record of your work, and you should document your projects. An online site for them is helpful, both to you as a reference to point to, and to others as a place to learn from. Keep a blog and link it to the class site.

Always cite the sources of your code, the places you learned techniques from, and the inspirations of your ideas. This is the equivalent to citing your sources in a written paper, and copying code or techniques without attribution is plagiarism. few ideas come out of the blue, and your readers can learn a lot from the sources you learned from or were inspired by.

Class Notes

The Class Notes section of the site contains notes taken in-class or posted after class discussion by participants. Everyone will be assigned to take notes in the wiki for at least one class period. The notes can be very useful to both you and your classmates. A list of who's assigned on what weeks will be posted in week 2.

Networked Devices in Class

Though this is a class on networked devices, you should not let the use of them disrupt the class, or your direct participation in the discussion.

  • If it's a device where the outside world can contact you disruptively, don't let it disrupt the rest of the class.
  • If it's a device where you can initiate contact with the outside world, refrain from using it when others are presenting or a class discussion is in progress. The one exception to this is if you are taking notes for the class.