Advanced Web Development

Title Advanced Web Development (52554)
Quarter Autumn 2017
Instructor Jeffrey Cohen (


This course builds upon MPCS-52553 to enable students to gain mastery over modern web architectures, web services, and visual design.  

Today's consumer-facing and business applications must consume external services and publish services of their own.  Students will build interconnected chains of services, with a particular emphasis on efficiency, security, and sustainability using modern web frameworks such as Rails, React, Node, and more.


Course Contents

The primary topics to be covered are:

  • Modern Front-End Development: Javascript framworks, CSS frameworks
  • Javascript ES6 and beyond
  • AJAX and the asynchronous web
  • Advanced HTTP semantics and implementation
  • CORS and related security essentials
  • Consuming web services both client-side and server-side
  • Publishing RESTful web services with Rails, Node, and/or other platforms
  • "Single-Page App" architecture using React, Vue.js, and/or other frameworks
  • HTTP 2.0 binary protocol architecture

Some examples of the kind of services we will use and/or rebuild are:

  • Traffic statistics (Google Analytics, Clicky, etc.)
  • Link shortenting   (, etc.)
  • Stock exchange simulation with HTTP streaming
  • Credit card processing (Stripe, PayPal, BrainTree, etc.)
  • Weather data (OpenWeatherMap,, etc)
  • Messaging (Twilio, Mandrill, etc.)
  • Geolocation and Geocoding (Google Maps, OpenMaps, etc.)


Coursework & Grading


1. Three programming assignments, worth 20% each.  All assignments start with a prewritten
Rails application which must be modified according to certain requirements.

2. Three brief, in-class quizzes are administered at the beginning of weeks 3, 6, and 9.  Quizzes are worth 5% each and consist of fixing a small program that's broken, a set of multiple choice quesitons, or a combination of both.

3. One Final Project worth 25%.  The project consists of a Rails (or equivalent) application, deployed to a live internet address, that provides as useful service, provided as a REST-compliant JSON endpoint, allowing for public signups and providing an admin interface to its users.

Required Textbooks

* "RESTful Web Services Cookbook" by Subbu Allamaraju; O'Reilly/Yahoo Press, 2010.  Amazon link:

* "JavaScript and JQuery: Interactive Front-End Web Development" by Jon Duckett; Wiley 2014. Amazon link:

Prerequisites (Courses)

MPCS 52553 - Web Development

Students who have not taken Web Development but can demonstrate proficiency in a suitable web framework (Rails, Django, Node, .NET MVC, or a Java framework) can request permission from the instructor. Permission is not guaranteed, and will require submission of at least one live web application complete with source code.

Prerequisites (Other)




Thursday 5:30-8:30 pm


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