New Undergraduate Networks Courses:
Version: Thu, 26 Feb 2009 16:08:22
The Computer Science Department has decided to split CS 4514 "Computer
Networks: Architecture & Implementation" into two new courses. Starting in
the Fall 2009 semester, we will:
- Stop offering CS 4514
- Offer CS 3516 "Computer Networks"
- Offer CS 4516 "Advanced Computer Networks"
As you prepare to register for courses for AY 09-10, note that the two new
courses are currently labeled with the numbers CS351X and
CS451X. See the
CS course schedule for more details.
Note that the title of CS451X may be incorrect on the Registrar's draft
This change is designed to provide students with the ability to learn
computer networking concepts in a broad way without a significant networks
programming project. CS3516 will contain some socket programming, but the
goal is to make the course load reasonable for IMGD tech majors and RBE
By offering a second course, CS4516, we will be able to cover new topics
such as wireless networks and wireless sensor networks in more depth. The
second course is intended for those students who want to concentrate in the
systems/networking area or those students planning to work in the computer
networks field. Note that CS4516 is a Category II course. Unless enrollment is
high, the CS Department will only offer this course once every other year.
CS3516 - Computer Networks
This course provides a broad view of computer networks. The course
exposes students to all seven layers of OSI Reference Model while
providing an introduction into newer topics such as wireless
networking and Internet traffic concerns. The objective is to focus on
an understanding of fundamental concepts of modern computer network
architecture from a design and performance perspective. Topics covered
include: physical layer considerations, network protocols, wide area
networks, local area networks, wireless networks, switches and
routing, congestion, Internet traffic and network security. Students
will be expected to do systems/network programming and make use of
simulation and measurement tools to gain an appreciation of current
network design and performance issues.
Recommended background: CS2303 or CS2301.
Intended audience: computer science, RBE and IMGD majors.
CS4516 - Advanced Computer Networks
This course provides an in-depth look into computer networks. While
repeating some of the areas from CS3516, the goal is to go deeper into
computer networks topics. This in-depth treatment in topics such as
routing, congestion control, wireless layer protocols and physical
signaling considerations will require the use of basic queuing theory
and probability to provide a more formal treatment of computer
networks performance. Other topics covered include: LAN and WLAN
technologies, mobile wireless networks, sensor networks, optical
networks, network security, intrusion detection and network
management. Students will be expected to do more sophistical network
programming than seen in CS3516 and will conduct laboratory activities
involving measuring the performance of modern networking applications
running on both wired networks and infrastructure wireless networks.
Undergraduate credit may not be earned both for this course and for CS 513.
Recommended background: CS 3013, CS3516 and knowledge of probability.
Intended audience: computer science majors.
Responses to questions:
1. If I have already taken CS 4514, can I take CS 3516 or CS4516 for credit?
Answer: No. Students completing CS4514 prior to A09 who are
interested in furthering their knowledge in networks cannot take
either of these courses. Instead, they should consider taking the
grad course, CS577 "Advanced Computer Networks", in the Fall 2009
semester. Undergrads have successfully completed this graduate level
course in the past.
2. Can I take CS 4516 without previously taking CS 3516?
Answer: Maybe. This is WPI and we do NOT have hard pre-requisites. However
CS4516 will assume prior knowledge of computer networking basics plus
exposure to socket programming in C or C++. If you are considering this
path, talk to either Professor Claypool or Kinicki to make sure you are
adequately prepared to take CS4516.
3. What course(s) are recommended prior to CS 3516?
Answer: The course description says only Systems Programming
(either CS2301 or CS2303) is needed. Taking CS3013 "Operating Systems"
prior to CS3516 is helpful, but this background is not essential to
doing well in CS3516.
4. What specific advice is there for non CS majors?
Answer: One of the goals of this change is to make it possible for more
students (especially IMGD and RBE majors) to take a course in computer
networks. Thus, non CS majors who have passed Systems Programming should be
able to successfully complete CS3516.
If you have any other specific questions, please send an email or meet
with Professors Claypool or Kinicki.