Features of a 400-level H-version course

Specific content to be added to honors sections is up to the instructor, but could include the following in roughly decreasing order of importance. Examples from hypothetical 412H or 417H are included.

  • An overview of department research opportunities in the area, possibly near the end of the semester.
  • Projects that extend or complement recent local research, e.g., a strategic BitTorrent client or distributed file system.
  • Occasional use of primary source material, e.g., original research papers for congestion control, Chord, path MTU discovery, RAID, log structured file system, Google file system, Ken Thompson's turing lecture, etc.
  • Projects that build upon prior projects, with the expectation that students will complete intermediate milestones without falling behind, to permit students to build "cool," complete things.
  • Open ended exam questions that encourage creativity and synthesis over recall.
  • Guest lectures for of-the-moment content, e.g., to describe the latest security failure (Sony Playstation passwords), wireless technology (LTE?), or programming language (Dart?).
  • A report-writing component. A smaller class size may enable writing assignments that otherwise do not scale well.
  • Projects that are less well specified or are trial projects for wider adoption, with the expectation that students may be more patient and helpful as testers.
  • Honors courses must be taught in separate classroom, specifically, not code-shared with graduate courses. Students may take graduate courses if they wish.