The Nature of Code Processing Foundation via Kadenze

Networks: Friends, Money, and Bytes

 with  Mung Chiang
You pick up your iPhone while waiting in line at a coffee shop. You google a not-so-famous actor, get linked to a Wikipedia entry listing his recent movies and popular YouTube clips of several of them. You check out user reviews on Amazon and pick one, download that movie on BitTorrent or stream that in Netflix. But suddenly the WiFi logo on your phone is gone and you're on 3G. Video quality starts to degrade, but you don't know if it's the server getting crowded or the Internet is congested somewhere. In any case, it costs you $10 per Gigabyte, and you decide to stop watching the movie, and instead multitask between sending tweets and calling your friend on Skype, while songs stream from iCloud to your phone. You're happy with the call quality, but get a little irritated when you see there're no new followers on Twitter. You may wonder how they all kind of work, and why sometimes they don't. Take a look at the list of 20 questions below. Each question is selected not just for its relevance to our daily lives, but also for the core concepts in the field of networking illustrated by its answers. This course is about formulating and answering some of these 20 questions.


  1. What makes CDMA work for my smartphone?
  2. How does Google rank webpages?
  3. How does Netflix recommend movies?
  4. Why do AT&T and Verizon Wireless charge me $10 a GB?
  5. How does traffic get through the Internet?
  6. Why doesn't the Internet collapse under congestion?
  7. Why is WiFi faster at home than at a hotspot?
1 Student
Cost Free Online Course
Pace Self Paced
Institution Princeton University
Provider Coursera
Language English
Hours 3-5 hours a week
+ Add to My Courses
Teachers expand your re

Reach beyond the boarders of your physical classroom. Go global.

Learn basic Italian

Learn basic Italian and explore Italian culture, with a free online course.

FAQ View All
What are MOOCs?
MOOCs stand for Massive Open Online Courses. These are free online courses from universities around the world (eg. Stanford Harvard MIT) offered to anyone with an internet connection.
How do I register?
To register for a course, click on "Go to Class" button on the course page. This will take you to the providers website where you can register for the course.
How do these MOOCs or free online courses work?
MOOCs are designed for an online audience, teaching primarily through short (5-20 min.) pre recorded video lectures, that you watch on weekly schedule when convenient for you.  They also have student discussion forums, homework/assignments, and online quizzes or exams.

1 review

Write a review
4 years ago
profile picture
Anonymous completed this course.
dropped this course, the topic sounded exciting but at some point I lost focus...
Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO

Write a review

How would you rate this course? *
How much of the course did you finish? *
Create Review
1 rating
1 review

Networks: Friends, Money, and Bytes

Receive email notifications about course start dates and new sessions.
Follow Class