Course Number

FSEM 136

Course Title

The Unreliable Internet

Course Date

Fall 2018

Course Level


Professor or Professors' Departmental/Program Affiliation

Aaron Gember-Jacobson, Computer Science

Document Type



First-Year Seminar


In our hyperconnected world, we expect the Internet, and its abundance of information, entertainment, social networking, e-commerce, and more, to always be accessible. Our expectations are usually satisfied thanks to a complex system of cables, specialized devices, and software. However, this infrastructure is susceptible to human error, cyber attacks, and censorship that compromise our ability to access (parts of) the Internet. In this course, we’ll examine how the Internet works and the ways in which it can malfunction or restrict access to content. Through a combination of readings, lecture, discussion, and experiments, we’ll explore flaws and limitations in the Internet’s design, and we’ll consider a variety of technology- and policy-based solutions for making the Internet more reliable and open.


The syllabus may not be applicable to the current semester. Be sure to verify content with the professor(s) listed in the document.