Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session
Optional Tutorial: 1 session / week, 1 hour / session
Both courses share a common lecture sequence and reading list. 15.565 assumes a deeper technical background and is primarily intended for MIT undergraduates, non-MBA's, and ESD students. 15.578 assumes more background in strategy and organization and is primarily intended for Sloan MBA's.
The course is divided into four, roughly equal, parts.
Part 1: Strategic Connectivity (Overview Frameworks & Applications)
We will start by addressing the strategic benefits and implications of intra- and inter- organizational communications and connectivity and the needs for information integration.
Part 2: Physical Connectivity (Data Communications Technology)
This part will focus on basic and emerging communications technologies, such as hardware, (e.g., fiber optics, cable), software/protocols (e.g., TCP/IP, ADSL, ATM), and architectures (e.g. Local Area Networks, Wide Area Networks), needed to interconnect systems.
Part 3: Logical Connectivity (Database / AI / Web Technology)
This part will focus on new technologies to aid connectivity, especially to address the syntactic and semantic mapping requirements. That is, you get "profit" data from two divisions - but they do their accounting differently. How do you reconcile these differences to make effective comparisons? This part of the course will present recent developments, mostly from the fields of Heterogeneous Distributed Database Management Systems, Web Services, and the Semantic Web.
Part 4: Organizational Connectivity (Organizational and Policy Factors)
The final part of the course will focus on the organizational implications and management policy challenges encountered in actually making effective use of systems that span normal organizational boundaries. Theories of loosely-coupled organization and development of standards will be explored.
Most of the readings will be articles from the literature since no single book covers the range of topics that we will be focusing on.
You will be held responsible for reading the assigned materials and being prepared for class discussion. Optional or suggested readings may also be identified for various topics to allow further study for those interested in more depth.
Other useful materials can be found at the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Digital Library and the Institute for Electronics and Electrical Engineers (IEEE) Digital Library.
There are 3 kinds of assignments in this class: (1) assigned readings, (2) 4 written homework assignments (HW), and (3) a computer project (CP) or term project (TP).
Computer Project (CP) and Term Project (TP): 15.565 students are expected to do the Computer Project. Most 15.578 students will do the Term Project, but may select to do the Computer Project.
Each assignment is due in class on the date indicated on the syllabus. These due dates are firm. If you anticipate a problem, see the instructor beforehand!
Since partial credit is given, it is much better for you to turn in a partially complete assignment than to turn in nothing at all. Points will be subtracted for late homework. These assignments are important because: (1) they help to reinforce the concepts presented in class, (2) they prepare you for the examinations, and (3) they constitute a significant portion of your final grade.
All assignments, except if indicated otherwise, are to done individually.
However, the Term Project and Computer Project are intended to be team efforts. In those cases, all members of the team are expected to contribute equally.
Grades will be assigned based on the following guidelines (subject to change):