Dale R. "Zai" Fox, Ph.D.



Office Hours:

5:00 - 6:00 PM Wednesday
or by appointment





Myers, Network+ Certification: All In One, McGraw Hill, 2002.

Recommended References: Velte and Velte, Cisco: A Beginner's Guide, Osborne, 2004.

Forouzan, Data Communications and Networking, McGraw Hill, 2004.

Bardwell and Akin, CWNA: Certified Wireless Network Administrator, 3rd Edition, Osborne, 2005.

Roshan and Leary, 802.11 Wireless LAN Fundamentals, Cisco Press, 2004.


Grades will be based on homework, tests and labs.  But since the labs don't seem to be forthcoming this will be reduced to just homework and tests. 

Overall homework will count for 50% of your grade and there will be three of these.  The other 50% of your grade will be based on two tests, a midterm and a final.

In order to receive full credit on any homework assignment it must be turned in on time.  If it is between one and three days late you lose 10 PTS.  If it is more than three days late you lose 20 PTS.

Jargon Page: An Overview of Some Jargon
Description: This course will focus on the basics of computer networks.

I like to take an approach that is often called "bottom up".  I start by talking about moving information across networks in packets and develop all kinds of ancillary and concomitant issues.  I think it is important to have some serious comprehension of these sorts of aspects of networking in order to develop intelligent implementations and make intelligent decisions.

I have chosen to use text that helps to prepare people for the Network+ certification.  But much of this course was developed and structured to prepare people for the old CCNA exam.  But I think it is very important to not limit ourselves to Cisco views of things, but they tend to work at a level that is most akin to my views.

To see more about the course content you should look at the links for the course below.

Cases: Link to Networking Cases


Weekly Topic Coverage


Week 1


A Bit of History of Computer Networking
Why Network?
A Bit About Packet Switching

The OSI Model

Week 2

Categorizing Networks
Categorizing Networks by Physical Scope
Categorizing Networks by Administrative Methods/Interaction Type
Categorizing Networks by Operating System
Categorizing Networks by Protocol
Categorizing Networks by Topology
Categorizing Networks by Architecture

Some Background on Number Systems

Some Mathematics Associated with Networking

Homework 1

Week 3

Some More Network Communication Concepts
The OSI Model Revisited
Networking Standards

Some Background on Signals
Some Signal Characteristics

Signaling and Communications Quality

Signal Modulation, Encoding and Multiplexing


Week 4

Media Access Methods

LAN Links
Ethernet Background

More on Ethernet
More on CSMA/CD

Token Ring

Asynchronous Transfer Mode

Gigabit Ethernet
Cisco Presentation - Gigabit Ethernet to the Desktop
Gigabit Ethernet and ATM

WAN Links
WAN Hardware
WAN Topologies
Network Switching Types

Week 5

Network Interface Cards
Wire Based Network Media
Network Connecting Devices
Some Current Switches
Some Current Routers

Week 6

Some Topics to Integrate through the Course

Gigabit Ethernet

10 GB Ethernet

Fiber Optic

Design of Networks


Another Protocol that Runs System Level stuff below TCP/IP

Much more about Networking Devices and how to cost and how to select and read Company Info

Week 7


Homework 2

Week 8

IP Addressing
IP Addressing
Some More on IP Addressing

Designing IP Addressing
Implementing IP Addressing

TCP/IP Utilities

LAN/WAN Connectivity

Working in the Finance Computer Lab

Week 9 Midterm
Week 10 The Internet and Routing Protocols
Some Background on the Internet
The Internet and the World Wide Web
An Atlas of Cyberspaces
TCP/IP Routing on the Internet
Some More on Routing Protocols
Characterizing Routing Protocols

Homework 3

Week 11 Remote Access
Remote Access Connectivity Devices
Remote Access Servers
Remote Access Configuration and Security

Background on Virtual Private Networking
VPN Protocols
VPN Security and Performance

Week 12

Homework 4

Week 13 Some Background on Desktop Operating Systems
Files and File Systems
Some Common Desktop Operating Systems

Survey of Network Protocols
Network Administration
Overview of Some Network Operating Systems

Some Background on Directory Services
Some Popular Directory Services

Hybrid Networks
Multiple Protocols
Multiple Operating Systems
Multiple Hardware Platforms

Week 14 Protecting the Network
Network Security
Implementing  Security

How Security Components Work
Security Policy
The More Technical Side of Security Policy
Disaster Protection and Recovery




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