CIS 415 Data Communications and Networking (3)

Catalog Description:

This course introduces the basics of data communication and networking. Students will develop an understanding of the general principles of networking as implemented in networks connected to the Internet. Specific attention will be given to the principles of network architecture and layering, multiplexing, network addressing, routing and routing protocols. Activities include setting up a local area network, the internet, security, network management and network performance analysis. (Offered fall semester, odd years.)


CIS Junior or Senior status

Required Course Materials:

Andrew S. Tanenbaum and David J. Wetherall, Computer Networks, 5th edition, Prentice Hall, 2011 (ISBN: 978-0-13-212695-3)

Course Coordinator:

D. Scott Weaver, Assistant Professor of Computer Science

Course Audience:

Optional 400 level course for CIS majors.

Course Objectives:

The goal of this course is that the student will develop an understanding of the underlying structure of networks and how they operate. At the end of this course a student should be able to:

  1. Explain basic networking concepts by studying client/server architecture, network scalability, geographical scope, the Internet, intranets and extranets.
  2. Identify, describe and give examples of the networking applications used in everyday tasks such as reading email or surfing the web.
  3. Describe layered communication, the process of encapsulation, and message routing in network equipped devices using appropriate protocols.
  4. Design and build an Ethernet network by designing the subnet structure and configuring the routers to service that network.
  5. Construct a patch cord to connect a host computer to a network.


  1. Overview of computer networks, the Internet, the OSI model and TCP/IP stack.
  2. Ethernet, Token Ring, and Wireless and the methods they use of connecting to the physical layer.
  3. Data Link Layer responsibilities.
  4. Internet protocols on the Network layer and subnetting LANS.
  5. Router hardware and configuration.
  6. Routers, routed and routing protocols.
  7. TCP/IP segment, IP packet and Data Link frame formats.
  8. Network timing and Congestion Control.
  9. Peer-to-peer and client-server programming using sockets in TCP or UDP.
  10. Reliability, Connection-Oriented and Connectionless protocols on the Transport Layer, namely TCP and UDP.
  11. Applications used in every-day network-related tasks.
  12. Wireless and Mobile networks.


Revised: October 2013 (textbook); February 2013 (course renumbering); September 2010

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