Institution: University of Illinois (Coursera)
Date: February 2, 2015 - March 15, 2015
Bio: Part of a four course specialization on Cyber Computing. This first course introduces concepts such as membership, multicast, snapshots, and more.
The course does a good job illustrating the core concepts by covering the history of cloud computing and how some of it's concepts have been built off of older models of p2p systems. It looks at several implementation protocols and shows their trade offs, such as between consistency and availability.
The homework is quite substantial, covering several weeks of course material each and often requiring open ended or analytical answers rather than just multiple choice.
There was also an optional programming assignment, where given a template that simulates a cloud network students were suppose to implement a membership join protocol that handled fault detection by implementing either all-to-all, gossip, or SWIM style membership protocols. However this assignment had several issues which the course instructor is hoping to fix in the next course offering.
Accomplishments: I completed the homework and final exam with distinction (over 90%) but did not have time to finish the optional programming assignment given the technical difficulties with the course.