0518 - Computer Engineering and Communication Networks (CECN)

Instructor: Prof. Dr. Burkhard Stiller
Assistants: Eder Scheid, Sina Rafati
Scope: Lecture with exercises, 4 SWS, BSc 
Lecture & Exercises: Thursdays, 08:15-9:45, 10:00-11:30
Remote Class: Webex telco - link provided by a personal e-mail
Remote Exercise: Webex telco - link provided by a personal e-mail

Thursday, 14.01.2021 at 08:15 - 09:45

*(Fully on-line as a single choice examination)

Download of mandatory examination information in PDF (PDF, 388 KB)

This class will be held on-line. A Webex (videoconferencing tool) link will be shared for the class by e-mail to those students, who did register formally by September 10, 2020 with the UZH module booking tool. There will be one link valid for the first week only (September 16-17, 2020) and one different link for all other weeks following in term. The exercise classes will follow the same organization and use the same link provided to all students, who have had registered
    For all students, who plan to attend, but have not yet registered, please (a) sent an e-mail to the assistants of this class (see above) from their UZH e-mail address and inform them about your participation plans such that you can be added to the class and (b) do register with the UZH module booking system afterwards.
    Note that you need to mail from and read your UZH mail account to make these steps successful. Additionally, this information will reach you on your UZH mail address, too. Thanks.


The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) age has arrived with our daily life, not only during work and business hours, but at entertainment and social interactions. Thus, the society has to cope with such changes of the digitization. Many of those human-centric public statements only talk about or try to analyze the impact of these changes and the society. However, in very many cases the basics to derive reliable, correct, and transparent conclusions requires the know-how of basic computer engineering and communication networks.

Thus, the processing of information - typically performed at the hardware level in binary digits (bit of value zero or one) and pillar one of our ICT-based society - is driven by programs, which assume a multitude of factors and experiences of the past 75 years. Within part one of this lecture the understanding of these basics, the foundations of Boolean logic to make such information processing possible, the basic gates and computer components as well as their interactions will provide suitable grounds for the understanding of essential operational constraints, such as inaccuracies or processing delays. Once stand-alone systems are discussed, their interconnection across physical boundaries of an office or building site forms the major development as pillar two of the ICT society. Thus, fundamental communication architectures will introduce the possibilities achieved over the past 100 years, from telephone communications to today's Internet. Protocols, reliable, unreliable, and secure services, algorithms for finding the corresponding data receiver, and basic mechanisms for Internet operations will cover this lectures part two. A higher level perception of technology in our daily life will be contemplated and concrete impacts as well as influences of ICT technology will become possible and guided by basic facts and key methodological knowledge.


Students will receive the required insights into basic foundations on computer engineering and communication networks. More specifically, the lecture will teach computer arithmetics, combinatorial circuits, sequential circuits, computer architectures and organization, communication architectures, network building blocks, shared links, packet switching, end-to-end protocols, security mechanisms, and selected Internet applications. Overall, students will be able to understand which performance restrictions computer hardware involve, how inaccuracies in computing may occur, which communications can be reliable, which ones may be secured, and how the basic inter-operations of the Internet works.


The lecture "Computer Engineering and Communication Networks" runs as a basic course on basically no major requirements, however, basic mathematical and programming language skills help.

Course Material

Mandatory literature will be announced in the first lecture. Lecture slides and additional material can be found here, too. Details on the exercises can be found here as well.


The information contained on this page complements the official page at the Vorlesungsverzeichnis (VVZ). In case of doubt, the official information from the VVZ is always considered valid.