Carnegie Mellon University

Electrical and Computer Engineering

College of Engineering

Course Information

18-441: Computer Networks




The Internet has transformed our everyday lives, bringing people closer together and powering multi-billion dollar industries. The mobile revolution has brought Internet connectivity to the last-mile, connecting billions of users worldwide. But how does the Internet work? What do oft repeated acronyms like “LTE”, “TCP”, “WWW” or a “HTTP” actually mean and how do they work? This course introduces fundamental concepts of computer networks that form the building blocks of the Internet. We trace the journey of messages sent over the Internet from bits in a computer or phone to packets and eventually signals over the air or wires. We describe concepts that are common to and differentiate traditional wired computer networks from wireless and mobile networks. Finally, we build up to exciting new trends in computer networks such as the Internet of Things, 5-G and software defined networking. Topics include: physical layer and coding (CDMA, OFDM, etc.); data link protocol; flow control, congestion control, routing; local area networks (Ethernet, Wi-Fi, etc.); transport layer; and introduction to cellular (LTE) and 5-G networks. A final project asks you to a build a HTTP video server of your own.

This course is cross-listed with 18-741--both editions will share Lectures and Recitations. However, students in the two courses will receive different exams and will have a different project. The students in the two versions of the course will be graded on a separate curve.

Prerequisite: 18-213

Last Modified: 2024-06-27 4:49PM

Semesters offered:

  • Fall 2024
  • Fall 2023
  • Fall 2022
  • Spring 2022
  • Spring 2021
  • Spring 2020
  • Spring 2019
  • Spring 2018
  • Fall 2004