Syllabus for Computer Science 425a/525a, Theory of Distributed Computing. Instructor: James Aspnes.
1. Meeting times
Lectures are Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 1:30pm to 2:20pm in AKW 400.
2. On-line course information
On-line information about the course, including copies of all handouts, can be found using the URL http://pine.cs.yale.edu/pinewiki/CS425. This will also be the main location for announcements about the course, lecture schedules, and so forth. Please check it frequently.
3. Synopsis of course
Models of asynchronous distributed computing systems. Fundamental concepts of concurrency and synchronization, communication, reliability, topological and geometric constraints, time and space complexity, and distributed algorithms.
Nancy A. Lynch, Distributed Algorithms. Morgan Kaufmann, 1996. ISBN 1558603484. QA76.9 D5 L963X 1996 (LC). Definitive textbook on formal analysis of distributed systems.
The prerequisites are CS 323 and CS 365. You are strongly encouraged to take these courses before you take CS 425/525. I will, however, accept students that have not taken these courses as long as they have comparable knowledge of systems programming and algorithms. See me if you aren't sure.
6. Course requirements
Six homework assignments and a final exam. The final exam will count for approximately 4 homework assignments.
7. Use of outside help
Students are free to discuss homework problems and course material with each other, and to consult with the instructor or a TA. Solutions handed in, however, should be the student's own work. If a student benefits substantially from hints or solutions received from fellow students or from outside sources, then the student should hand in their solution but acknowledge the outside sources, and we will apportion credit accordingly. Using outside resources in solving a problem is acceptable but plagiarism is not.
8. Clarifications for homework assignments
From time to time, ambiguities and errors may creep into homework assignments. Questions about the interpretation of homework assignments should be sent to the instructor at <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Clarifications will appear in the on-line version of the assignment.
9. Late assignments
Late assignments will not be accepted without a Dean's Excuse.