I started out this week by attending the 2021 REU Orientation. Here, I gained a much better idea about the expectations for the program as well as for undergraduate research in general. I enjoyed getting to briefly meet the other student researchers though I must admit, the sheer size of the program made introductions a little bit overwhelming. I’m expecting that future events with participants will offer more opportunities to better get to know my peers and their projects.

After orientation, I helped setup the a Discord server to help keep in contact with my peers in DIMACS. Yousef and I worked together to set everything up. People seem to like it and I’m glad that we’ve got a social space outside of the more formal organized spaces. I designed a custom icon for the server too based on the DIMACS logo (it’s the same as the favicon for my site).


This week overlapped with my finals week at Lafayette so in the weeks prior to (and including) this one, I had been reviewing some of the introductory and graduate level networking lectures Srinivas had assigned to me. I definitely have a base understanding of many of the key topics though I expect to further flesh out this knowledge in the coming weeks. I’ve completed the lectures in Internet Technology (352) units 12, 13, 14, 15, and started unit 18. I’ve also done the same for Computer Networks (552) units 10 and 11.

When studying link-state routing, I found it difficult to follow Dijkstra’s algorithm but watching this example video really helped clear things up. I’m still a little bit unsure of how speculative parsing works inside a programmable parser so I may try to brush up on that next week. I’d also like to know more about how routers are managed and provisioned in the cloud. With so many things deployed via IAAS, I’m curious how packets make their way between different virtual networks and how routers are configured to automatically handle that.