ISQS 6341 
Fall, 2003


Data Communications and Network Management

Instructor: Zhangxi Lin
Office: BA 708
Phone: 742-1926 (office)
Class meetings: TTh 2:00-3:20p, BA 268
Office hours: TTh 10a-12p or by appointment

Important Notes

A. Course Content:

This course is an introduction to the fundamentals of data communications and computer networks. The course is designed to: 1) provide the student with a conceptual foundation for the study of data communications using the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) layered architecture model; and, 2) allow the student to research and explore leading edge distributed applications, products, or services that are being used in today's business and home environments. Both technical and managerial aspects of data communications and networks will be covered. After completion of this course, the student should have an extensive knowledge of data communications technology and know how it can be used to fulfill companies' organizational and functional needs. The student should also have a broad view at the latest data communications technology, which is helpful to carrying out further research in the area.

B. Textbook:
Required Textbook:

Business Data Communications and Networking, 7th edition
Jerry Fitzgerald and Alan Dennis
John Wiley & Sons

ISBN 0-471-39100-X; 2002.

Optional Material:

Business Data Communications, 4/e
William Stallings
Prentice Hall 2001, 558 pp.
ISBN 0-13-088263-1

C. Grading Policy:

  • Two midterm exams and one final exam, total 200 points. One of the exams will be dropped, whichever with the lowest score.
  • Five quizzes, total 60 points. One of the first four quizzes will be dropped, whichever with the lowest score. The last quiz is required
  • Group projects for non-PhD students, 100 points
    • Two short projects, each 20 points
    • One major project, 40 points
    • Skillfullness in Internet applications 20 points (group webpage development, class website utilizations, Internet services utilizations)
  • Projects for PhD students, 100 points
    • Term paper, 80 points
    • Skillfullness in Internet applications 20 points (group webpage development, class website utilizations, Internet services utilizations)
  • Class participation 10 points
  • Total 370 points
  • Extra bonus credit up to 20 points

D. Attendance:

Attendance will be taken in group presentations only.

E. Examinations:

The exams are close-book and close-notes, based on recent 3-4 topics lectured. Only two of them will be taken into account. The exam with the lowest score will be dropped. If a student, by the last day of the classmeeting, 1) has earned total 222 points in the exams and quizzes, and 2) has maintaimed A- or A in all projects, he is allowed to skip the final exam. This is not negotiable if any of the two conditions is not met.

You are required to take the test in the class room at the scheduled date and time, unless you have disabling conditions. In which case, alternative place and time may be discussed. Most questions will be chosen from the questions at the end of the chapters and from the supplemental materials distributed in the class.

Make-up test may be available in the case that you could not take the test at the specific time due to medical emergencies or unexpected travel plans. If you need to reschedule a test, you must contact the instructor before the scheduled test.

No make-up test for quiz. If you have to skip a quiz you need the permision from the instructor. Then your credit from the quiz will be based on four quizzes.

F. Homework Assignments and In-class Exercises:

Homework assignments are available for each chapter. Submission is not required and students can self-evaluate according to the answer keys posted on the class web site. Tests are closely relevant to the assignments. Working seriously on the homeworks will guarantee you high outcomes in tests .

G. Projects:

Non-PhD students

Groups of 2-3 students would work on two short projects and one major project. The short projects are assignments helping students to understand better the course materials. The major project request students to address state-of-the-art network technologies, products, services, or distributed applications. The details of the short projects are to be posted online.

PhD students

PhD students do not need to form project group. However, participating in the discussion of any project group or forming a study group is encouraged. PhD students need to submit a term paper by the end of the semester. The size of the term paper is 3000-5000 words. Topics include but are not limited to the following:

1. Mobile commerce

Mobile commerce was supposed to revolutionize e-commerce, enabling impulse purchases anywhere, at any time. The reality of m-commerce, however, has been extremely disappointing. The problem goes beyond the inherent physical limitations of mobile phones with their tiny screen and keyboard. Research shows that users want purchases on mobile devices to depend on where they are, rather than the desire to buy a particular item. "Location-based" services, mobile advertising and "context aware" applications are new attempts to address the specific needs of the mobile user.

2. Network and Internet Security

The focus is on all aspects of security related to Information Systems in the increasingly networked environment of organizations, households and individuals. Teaching, technical and research issues are of interest to the mini-track. Possible sub-topics are:

  • frameworks and paradigms for network and Internet security
  • theory building and empirical studies of network and Internet security
  • research on network and Internet security aspects of data base, systems development, etc.
  • analysis, design and implementation of network and Internet security systems
  • network and Internet security

3. New network technologies and their applications, for example:

  • grid computing
  • web services 
  • OFDM

4. Network management

5. E-commerce, such as C2C, B2C, B2B e-businesses.

Project deliverables

There will be project deliverables throughout the semester for non-PhD students, at least including:

  1. web site updates,
  2. group presentation sldies, and
  3. project reports/summaries.

The report should reflect your research ideas and original work. Both printouts and electronic files of the report are required on the scheduled date. Programming is encouraged but not mandatory.

PhD studnets' delieverables include:

  1. personal webpage
  2. research paper proposal
  3. extended proposal
  4. final term paper 

Students must sign up to the class wesite individually at the beginning of the semester and then register the group for the projects.

H. Extra Bonus Credit:

In the following cases you may earn extra credits:

  • Presenting a topic in mini-presentations, one credit each time. Available to those experienced students.
  • Active involvement in class discussions.
  • Any recognized contribution to improving teaching and researching for this course.

I. Mini-presentations:

Mini-presentations are assigned to those experienced students. A mini-presentation normally lasts 5-10 minutes focused on a specific topic and scheduled at beginning of a class meeting. Presenters need to contact the instructor in advance to discuss the presentation topic. At most 4 mini-presentations can be scheduled through the semester

J . Course Schedule:

See here.

K. Others