Henning Schulzrinne

Apr 2021

Please stay away from this class! Henning seems like a nice guy but his classroom delivery is horrible and it is very difficulty to keep up with his lectures. You would be going through a lot of facts about computer networking but it's almost impossible to understand (or even memorize) them all. The homework is very time consuming and uninteresting. Exams are impossible (but I think this is due to the fact that the exams are changed to open book format due to the COVID situation; the professor is making the exams a lot harder than usual to make up for making them open book).

Apr 2021

DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS! Extremely disorganized, time-consuming, and boring.

Jan 2021

DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS! I thought this class would be very interesting because I am a computer science major interested in politics. It was so boring, the lectures were not interesting or engaging. The lectures felt like he was just reading us a bunch of random facts for no reason for 3 hours. I don't know if it was because of zoom but it was very boring and most people didn't show up to class (30 ish people registered and on average there were 8 students attending class live) The expectations were also very unclear. We were never given a syllabus and the homework assignments often had questions that were very different from the class content. It was hard to know what they were looking for on the homework. The final project had bi-weekly progress reports and a proposal at the beginning but we didn't get any feedback on the proposal or progress reports. Overall no one in the class knew what was going on, the grading was harsh with no explanations, and it was a waste of time because I'm not going to use anything I learned ever again.

Sep 2019

You probably don't want to take this class. Came in thinking that it was going to be a class on the future of the world and tech, turned out to be a class on the history of the internet in the US. Prof was very smart but a bad lecturer, could not hear what he said half the time. Some of the content was quite interesting (especially the econ part), but most was just google-able facts that we were supposed to memorize for the exams and that seemed quite useless. I'd recommend the class if you have a specific interest in working closely with the professor on a research project relating to internet technology

Jan 2009

I agree with the previous reviewer. Stay way clear of this class unless they change the layout of it severly. The lectures were just student presentations of different more or less interesting subjects. It was supposed to be seminar style but since no one had a good VoIP background the presentations (including mine) were naturally shallow and buzz word centric. The labs (30%) were enormously time-consuming and not very rewarding. My group had hands on experience with setting up VoIP servers before, otherwise I would had been completely screwed. The presentations were alright but harshly graded. The projects were rather vague and too wide in scope and in my opinion most of the groups did not produce anything of substantial value. Even though this was the class that caused me the most stress and took almost as much time as OS I still got a rather lousy grade compare to other classes. This class gave me almost nothing. I still don't know how VoIP works :-)

Dec 2008

Steer clear of this course. It is supposed to be a research course, but except for the project (40%), everything else is a lot of manual (I'd prefer the word 'menial') labor that comes to nothing. Schulzrinne is probably a brilliant professor, but this course is the worst I have ever taken in my whole life, and this course is also the worst mistake I made in Columbia. As it seemed to me, there is nothing worthwhile taught in the class, the TA was not very useful if you went up to him with problems, the labs (3, 30%) were long and monotonous that didn't teach you anything about how VoIP really worked, 2 presentations (30%) that is supposed to make you research the topics and give a talk on (but everybody just makes short work of it). The project can be really meaningful if you choose a good topic, but make sure you either do it alone or get a partner who is sincere about the work and is not looking for a free ride. The TA was not very helpful in resolving either technical or interpersonal problems. You might get a mentor in one of the professor's PhD students, but remember that you might not get a lot of help unless you put it yourself. Everyone I went to talked in arcane terms that they expected you to know, but you wouldn't know anything about them unless you have prior background in that field. And compared to the fact that it has a 40% weightage, the professor does expect a little more than that. If you do take this course, brace yourself for some boring moments in the semester, and do not take up a project that would require you to write a lot of code from scratch. No one seemed to care that writing original, running source code for a nascent idea wasn't trivial (that was what my project was about, and unfortunately I had a partner who thought his job was only to supervise). I wouldn't recommend this to anyone, but to each his own.

Apr 2007

Pure hell. Though Shulzrinne is a very competent lecturer, who fills the powerpoint-driven class with his vast array of knowledge and with up-to-date news (he even brought up on the screen to be sure of the size vs. price of hard disks today) the course itself is probably the most intense you will EVER see in this department. Be prepared for a very new kind of programming; you won't be writing anything from scratch (save perhaps the first project where you write the unix Shell). Instead you will have to understand lots of cryptic code and obscure structs in the kernel in order to piece together half of an understanding of what is going on before you can actually make changes. The development cycle, far from being the simple 'javac; java blah' will instead be tweaking small sections, recompiling the kernel, and rebooting, which can take the bulk of your time. The three TAs, however, were very available and ready to help out.

Jun 2004

The AIS course is one of the most intensive courses. People grumble to high heaven about this class. Fact is, this course has 2 major parts. One is the theory about multimedia on the Internet. This stuff is all bleeding edge - so be prepared to google, read RFCs and chase down details. The second part is the programming part. You **have** to be very good in programming - particularly in threads, locking, networking ... all that low level stuff. You **will not** learn that here, rather the projects will expose you to them. The projects all build up to a software radio, which is a really cool thing to build. (Interviewers are really impressed to hear about this.) And you will become a battle hardened programmer at the end of it all. If you have not done this kind of programming before, then be prepared to spend 10-20 hours a week in the lab. It will be worth it. Prof Schulzrinne is really into his stuff. He knows it inside out. Okay his lectures are not that detailed. But he is amazingly responsive via email (I got a reply back within half an hour - at 1am!). If you go to him prepared, then you'll find a knowledgeable and responsive person; if you go unprepared or ask stupid questions he will make you feel exactly that ... unprepared and stupid. Don't complain. Learn to deal with him on equal terms and you'll learn a heck of a lot in the class.

Dec 2003

no text book , many google things,need to read lots of RFC and papers. most topic base on sildes, anyway, it is a difficult course.

May 2002

Despite the grumbling from other people in the class, I found this class very valuable. As a graduating senior heading out into the computer science workforce, I found the presentation of a broad range of topics very helpful. Though Prof. Shulzrinne didn't have time to go into great depth about any one topic (except maybe C programming), I felt that the overviews given (along with references to website where we could get more info) gave me a much better understanding of the tools & languages that are out there and what can be done with them. Other people in the class hated how we had to go searching for documentation around the web to find how to do certain things, but I thought it was actually very good preparation for the "real world" of software development jobs, where research of this kind is an essential part of the job. The class was taught exclusively with PowerPoint slides, which at times were the same as reading "man" pages, but Prof. Schulzrinne did provide a lot more related information in class (i.e. go to class). I don't know if the class really should be a replacement for softe, because (having taken that prior to this course), I found they were both useful, and that students will probably get more out of AP if it is taken after softe. Finally, and maybe most importantly, I need to commend Prof. Schulzrinne on his accessiblity (via e-mail). He answered all of the [many] questions that came to the e-mail mailing list, and always seemed to reply to e-mails very quickly. How many other professors do you know who would write back to you within an hour when you send an e-mail to him at 12:05 AM on a Saturday morning??

Apr 2002

This class is supposed to replace Softe, and from the initial looks of the syllabus, it seems very worthy. This is the first time it was given, so expect some changes, but it covers a bunch of real tools in the marketplace, such as BASH, C, XML, SOAP, RPM, TKL, among many others. Its also apparently looked at as a precursor to Operating Systems for students who like to focus on coding instead of the theories behind it. What happens as the semester goes on, however, is that the usefullness of the subjects as they're taught varies inversely with their actual importance in the "real world". The class ends up wandering aimlessly as Schulzrinne simply presents bits and pieces of each subject through his powerpoint presentations. Then when homeworks come around, they're often on subjects hardly covered in class, and you're expected to google your way to tutorials provided elsewhere. This is especially the case with XML/Java (an very active & useful topic), where a few scant lecture slides leave you with nothing useful for the homework, and you end up learning it as though you're not even in a class that's supposed to teach it! Oreilly books to the rescue! When Schulzrinne ventures into talking about the marketplace of OpenSource vs PeopleSoft vs Proprietary and the like its like reading a weeks worth of slashdot. It occured to me that the people that are the most interesting to listen to on those subjects are out in the industry actually shaping their fates, not in the classroom. The bottom line is that, common to other Schulzrinne reviews on CULPA, he expects you to learn it based largely on unspecified non-class materials. And common to most all CS classes I've taken, the HWs serve as a good lesson in doing the HW, not necessarily in learning the subject (to be fair, the C assignments were a bit better as we spent about 5 weeks with it). I finish each one thinking about how next time I have to use whatever tool I'm going to have to learn the syntax mostly from the beginning anyway. The syllabus will probably improve after it gets reviewed a couple times, but the core experience is not much more educational than getting a linux machine and playing with these technologies on your own time. The only difference is that here you'll get a grade and 3 credits for it. I don't know if its better than softe, but from conversations I've had with friends it sure sounds like there's significantly less work and stress.

Jan 2000

Another reminder that this is a research university, not a teaching center. Schulzrinne means well, and he is into his work, but lectures are no more than powerpoint versions (no joke) of the mediocre book, and the material is poorly organized, poorly presented, and unfairly tested. The assignments are unrealistic, support from the book is nonexistant, and a lot of students realized too late in the course that this was one they should have dropped. On the other hand, the subject is a fascinating one, and the few assignments that students are able to finish are cool things to be able to tell people you did. Just be forwarned: it's a cool subject, but you're on your own to explore it, and there is no helpful book to fall back on.