CSc 450: Web Technologies and Performance


Prof. Brian D. Davison


The WWW has become commonplace and an integral part of how much of the world works and communicates. This course is designed to review (as needed) the technologies underlying the Web, but especially to generate and cultivate student ideas on how to improve Web performance. The course will attempt to take a problem-based learning approach, and is thus flexible to allow developments in unexpected directions. A number of good ideas are expected, and hopefully a few will be novel enough to be explored further.


Graduate status in computer science or computer engineering, or advanced undergraduates with strong backgrounds. Expertise in using the WWW (writing HTML, searching). Familiarity with principles of algorithms, operating systems and computer networks encouraged.


In addition to active participation in class discussion, students will make class presentations, including tutorials and overviews of recent papers. Students will also be required to write one or more paper summaries, and develop a research proposal/project to explore a way to improve the Web. There will be no exams, but there may be small quizzes.


In-class participation, presentations, reports, project/proposal, self and peer reviews.

Topics expected to be covered

Course Syllabus


Web Protocols and Practice: HTTP/1.1, Networking Protocols, Caching, and Traffic Measurement
By Balachander Krishnamurthy and Jennifer Rexford
Addison-Wesley 0-201-71088-9 (2001)

Other readings

A variety of recent conference and journal publications.

Last revised: 20 November 2001