Sunday, August 24, 2008

Updated Syllabus for Fall 2008

CS 0165 NETWORKING 1Swarts 236Tuesday 6:00:00 PM- 8:30:00 PM

Course website: CourseWeb ( and
Professor: Jeremy Callinan
Office hours: Tues 8:45-10:00 on site and online, Wednesday 8:00-10:00 online ( for Google Talk, jeremycallinan for AIM)

Guide to Networking Essentials, 5th Edition, Thomson Course Technology, 2007, ISBN: 1-4188-3718-1

About Me

I will introduce myself, and we’ll go around and learn a bit about everyone. This will be your favorite part of the class.

The purpose of this course is to provide a baseline level of knowledge for success in industry and preparation for networking certifications, including the MCSA, MCSE, CNA and CCNA designations. Students are exposed to new industry topics such as Networked Attached Storage (NAS), Cable Installation and Management, as well as Fixed and Mobile WiMAX. With a focus on networking operating systems, this course provides up-to-date coverage of Microsoft Windows XP and Server 2003 technologies along with UNIX, Red Hat Linux, and Novell Netware operating systems.

Specific topic coverage includes:

• Introduction to Networks and Networking Concepts
• Network Design Essentials
• Networking Media
• Network Interface Cards
• Making Networks Work
• Network Communications and Protocols
• Network Architectures
• Simple Network Operations
• Understanding Complex Networks
• Introduction to Network Security
• Supporting a Small Business Network
• Network Administration and Support
• Enterprise and Wide Area Networks
• Solving Network Problems

Course requirements include three exams (including a comprehensive final) and a presentation to the class.

The amount of material in this field is immense and there are so many opportunities for further study. Consequently, one of the final requirements is to create a presentation covering some aspect of communications or networks that we have not covered, or to expand on a topic we have, with my permission and your choosing.

Subject to change, but this is the general idea.

Course format:

Every week will include the following sections (excluding exam weeks):

We will begin with a short (5-10 minute) review of material presented the previous week. You are expected to read the section of the book mentioned at the end of every week. I’ll discuss the topics for that week (roughly ½ hr. to 45 minutes), with you asking questions as necessary (and appropriate, hopefully).

Then I will do a real world example (marked RWE below) each week if possible so you see applications of the technology, and we will delve deeper into the details of both theory and practice. This will be an activity that you will participate in.

I will assign you appropriate RWEs , including a report to post in the discussion boards (for example, “Download PGP and encrypt a message, post it in the message board with your public key”, or “Configure a router to allow inbound FTP and Web access, and outbound web traffic. Include screenshots”).

I want to balance lectures with RWEs both in class and in your grade.
We will recap in the last 15 minutes of class, discuss what you should pick out of the homework reading, and conclude. The text book has enough information to fill 3 or 4 semesters. I will not expect you to be tested on all of it.

Exam weeks will include a longer Q&A session if needed, and no demonstration, as that will be the exam time.

Note: there will be extra material on CourseWeb and the blog, expanding upon what is taught in class (tutorials, links, interesting articles). These are to help round out your understanding, and hopefully give you more to chew on for subjects you like. Extra credit questions on exams may be culled from this material.



CourseWeb Introduction, personal Introduction, Introduction to computer networks and communications; standards organizations; 7-layer open systems model (OSI); 5-layer Internet model. Chapter 1 – Introduction to Networks and Networking Concepts.
Common protocols:
TCP (Transmission Control Protocol)
• UDP (User Datagram Protocol)
• FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
• SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol)
• TFTP (Trivial File Transfer Protocol)
• SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol)
• HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol)
• HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure)
• POP3 / IMAP4 (Post Office Protocol version 3 / Internet Message Access Protocol version 4)
RWE: using NET STAT and other tools to track down spammers through the OSI layers

Chapter 2 – Network Design Essentials


Chapter 3 – Networking Media
RWE: Demonstration of various pieces of hardware related to the topic

Chapter 4 – Network Interface CardsRWE: A look at USB drivers, Bluetooth programming, and other devices (RFID, remote controlling devices, etc.)

Chapter 5 – Making Networks Work EXAM

Chapter 6 – Network Communications and Protocols RWE: Protocol Party

Chapter 7 – Network Architectures

Chapter 8 – Simple Network Operations

Chapter 9 – Understanding Complex Networks.

Chapter 10 – Introduction to Network SecurityRWE: Tracking down spammers and hacking web servers

Chapter 11 – Supporting a Small Business NetworkChapter 12 – Network Administration and SupportRWE: Looking at Small Business Server

Chapter 13 – Enterprise and Wide Area NetworksRWE: Looking at Ciscos and Sonicwalls

Chapter 14 – Solving Network ProblemsRWE: The Tale of the SQL Server NightmarePresentation week: You pick a topic that I approve before October 1st. Your presentation to the class will be 10-15 minutes, and will discuss a popular issue in networking, or a new protocol available, or a new encryption algorithm available, a theoretical product, or an application with source code you have worked on (or, another topic you get approved with me). The point of the presentation is to give you a chance to explore a networking topic in depth, and should not be a 10 minute talking head report, but a demonstration of the use of your topic (bring a laptop and do something, or have a PowerPoint with screenshots if need be). You will have to submit a 1-2 page Microsoft Word document detailing your presentation in a written form (such that someone who missed class could understand it). Extra credit can be applied here.

Review – The Quiz Show: I will script a review lecture of roughly 45 minutes with questions to you. Extra credit could be awarded to those who answer correctly. You will have time to ask me and each other questions also. Unfortunately I cannot receive extra credit, but if you can stump me, you may get some. Attendance and participation is mandatory.

Final Day of class: I will mark off 45 minutes for your last chance to ask questions before the final exam. I do not want to be responding to questions 45 seconds before the final starts.
This class will also have a guest lecturer and demonstration*. I am leaving this day flexible based on how the semester goes.

Final Exam
* Guests maybe have to cancel, no guarantee. Class will go on. And you are stuck with me, sorry.
Exam 1
Exam 2
Final Exam
Bonuses (Extra credit)

100% is highest possible
Grades are on traditional A+- scale - e.g. A+ - 97>, A96-94, A- - 93<

The final exam is scheduled for our normal class time. PLEASE NOTE: This date is known many months in advance and should be taken as scheduled. Any activities such as work schedules, vacations, trips, etc. must be planned around this date. Let me know soon if you have issues.

Class Policies

NOTE: ALL OF MY POLICIES are superseded and overrode by Pitt’s policies if in conflict.

1. I will not have questions on exams and quizzes that I have not talked about directly, or are not in the book explicitly. I will not include trick questions that are out of left field. That is not fair to you.

2. All persons are responsible for the coding of their own program and writing of their own assignments. Copying is plagiarism and will be dealt with. I do not plan on assigning programming tasks, however in projects and small homework assignments referencing and using open source code is fine. It is a good idea. If you take an open source project and attempt to crib the whole work as your own, I will be able to tell. Remember this for your other classes.

3. If you miss any exams, and I have no notice, you will receive a 0 for that exam. However, if you have a legitimate conflict with a scheduled exam, arrangements can be made to take it some other time and such arrangements MUST be made prior to the original exam date. Same for the final.

4. If you miss a day of class, it is your responsibility to obtain the notes for that day. I will have some items online, but I am not your secretary.

5. I am not planning on providing opportunities for extra credit work beyond the 5 points listed. It’s been my experience that those who ask for extra credit work haven’t even done the required work. If you have a bad grade on an assignment or exam, put your efforts towards the remaining work that must be done. High scores in later assignments and exams can offset lower scores in earlier work and I WILL take that into account if appropriate.

6. I will be taking attendance in class. Missing more than one full class is worth 2 points on your final grade. Again if there is a legitimate reason that is OK. Being tired or engrossed in EverQuest is not legitimate.

7. Everything is optional – even passing.

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