Internet Laboratory

Professors: Marco Mellia

Official description of the course: here

Internet is nowadays commonly used in every engineering disciplines, from Bioengineering to Computer Engineering, from Electronic to Management. This course aims at offering engineering students the critical knowledge and ability in correctly understanding these systems, by offering them a practical and experimental approach.

The whole course focuses around experimental laboratories where students are asked to run experiments in controlled environment to understand the limits and constraints a user faces when using the Internet and communication systems in general. The course focuses on experiments to understand what happens when we use the Internet, and which constraints we face when using it.  This is of relevance for all students: both for those enrolled in Engineering degrees closer to Internet applications (Computer Engineers, Biomedical Engineering, Cinema and Media Engineering), and for those enrolled in Engineering degrees where the the focus is more on physical aspects (Electronic Engineering, Electronic and Communications Engineering and Physical Engineering). The course can be of interest also for students outside these degrees but with a minimal level of prerequisites.

Students will work in small groups of three elements each, so to eventually compensate and recover lacks of competences. At the end of the course, the student will become familiar with the basic of Internet technologies. Students will work using Linux running on a common PC. By setting up a Local Area Network, interconnecting PCs and using common applications that run on the Internet, students will go through experimental laboratories of increasing complexity. The laboratories will cover from simple “ping” experiments, to more complicated analysis of a “portscan” attack at a local area network.

The goal is to give the student both a practical and a critical capacity of addressing problems, with a an experimental methodology. Working in groups, the student will also get used to the team working and sharing methodologies.