Directed Study in Applied Computer Science: Computer Communications
- Class Times: 1:00-1:50 PM MWF
- Location: SC 354
- Office Hours: MWF 2-3:30 pm
This course will be a top-down investigation of computer communications.
Have you ever wondered what really happens to that email message between
the time you click send and the time your friend reads it? Would you like
to understand what happens behind the scenes when you browse the web? We
will begin by discussing important applications of computer communication
like telnet, ftp, send-mail, web browsers etc. These applications and others
like them form the top layer of the ISO reference model, the application
layer. We will continue from there down the layers of the ISO reference
model into proceedingly lower levels of computer networking technologies.
We will discuss how computers send messages through the internet including
information about addressing, routing and congestion control. We will talk
about reliable vs unreliable transport protocols. Time allowing, we will
discuss related topics such as security and the history of communication.
CS142 or equivalent
Each student must have the ability to post their own personal class web
page reflecting their own exploration of the class material.
Larry L. Peterson and Bruce S. Davie, Computer Networks: A Systems Approach,
2nd ed., Morgan Kaufmann
For each class, "web-surfing" assignments will be given to allow the
students to gain an appreciation of the on-line resources related to this
Approximately every other week problem sets will be assigned. Students
will have the option to complete these probelms and turn them in for a
grade OR to write a 1-2 page summary/reaction to some related reading
chosen from a list provided by the instructor. In either case, students
should review the solutions to the problem set to make sure they understand
There will be one class project. Students will be able to choose projects
of their choice ranging from a programming assignment to a 10-15 page
There will be a midtem and a final exam.
Attendance and Participation
You will be graded not only on whether you learn the exact material presented
in this class but also on whether you actively participate in the quest
for exciting information related to this class AND on how effectively you
communicate that information to others. I expect that each of us will be
both teacher and student throughout the course of this semester.
- 20% Student's class web page and class participation
- 20% Bi-weekly written homeworks
- 20% Class Project
- 20% Midterm
- 20% Final
Internet and Computing
I will rely heavily on the class web page and on a class mailing list for
distributing information to the class. Please check it at least once before
each class. In addition, each student will be assembling a class web page
documenting their own exploration of the class materials.