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Department of Telecommunication,
Information Studies & Media


3 Credits, Fall 2006. Tues & Thurs., 8:30 to 9:50 a.m. 1279 Anthony Hall
Total credits: 3 Lecture/Recitations/Discussion. Hours per week: 3(3-0)
Prerequisites: (TC-200 and TC-201): Recommended Background: (TC-310)
Instructor: Thomas A. Muth, Ph.D. J.D., Professor
Associate: Paul Zube, Doctoral Student
Undergraduate Assistants: (To be announced)

Catalogue Course Description: “Introduction to data communication concepts and applications. Basic data communication protocols and local area network approaches. Fundamentals of databases.”

Description of Course as Offered Fall 2006: This introductory IT/IM/IS course relies on pragmatic information seeking and study of fact-based settings by students to gain understanding of concepts by direct treatment of data and related communication information protocols and applications. These are found in varied but related network system and service approaches. Initial exercises will introduce various data communication fundamentals (through text & problems) while applications (through projects) will offer more applied comprehensive learning.

The course features an integration of fundamental planning for data communication system, services concepts, applications as well as content. An overview of basic data and related communications is offered at the course outset. Students demonstrating comprehension of data communication essentials will quickly be identified to lead student “teams”. Students will then conduct extensive analysis of a set of existing or created field works while being instructed and informed by off and online readings, class discussion, lectures and recitations. Reports on this analytic work are central and required. For example analysis might include study of communication applications of the nodal and regional variety in wire and wireless local area and related networks. At the outset of the course we note that information needed in IS/IT/IM and related fields and for this course depends extensively on teamwork. In this students should carefully note that material needed for study – rooted in technology and planning approaches – as well as teamwork is always changing, being revised, and is solved or found by application of unique perspectives in unusual settings.

Students expecting to be most successful in this course and as professionals in areas of telecommunication information systems services and media must learn to engage in self-motivated and self-directed information seeking techniques and teamwork. These approaches need to be learned by each TC-361 student.

Class Attendance & Participation: Students are required to attend and participate extensively in all classes or activities of the course. Participation will be scored as part of student grades. (See “grading”) Students will be frequently called upon both for recitation and to lead discussion.
Facilitation:: To facilitate the above process each student must prepare a printed name placard that must be displayed in all classes. Cardstock of having test weight of 110 and dimensions of 8.5x11 inches are to display the full name of the student in the LARGEST sans serif point bold typeface possible. NOTE: the student’s first name is to be first and last name last. The placard is to be printed on a printer in landscape format so that the student name is as large as possible on the placard. This will allow students to display their names for ready recognition and point award in class. Such recognition is integral to the course and for grading as will be explained and demonstrated during the initial classes. In addition student ID photos provided by the MSU Office of the Registrar will be employed by the instructor for identification purposes in class discussion. Further each student will form or be assigned to a team. In each class each student will be required to use the specific seat/desk and section assigned to their team.
Class Organization: Approximately 65 students are enrolled in this course. You will be organized into about 10 teams such that coursework can be executed both as a team and individually. This will be explained fully in initial class meetings. Across the semester teams will each have different assignments with individual students (team members) having individual assignments within each team.
Course Sequence: The initial part of the course, (generally September 2006) will ask and direct students to learn to seek and study information for discussion in classes. The latter part of the course, (generally October & November) will ask students to apply information sought and learned at the outset and throughout the course.
Course Requirements: [1.] Assessment exam at the beginning of the course. (Value = no points) [2.] Classroom participation. (Value = 200/1000 points) [3.] An initial graded quasi-essay exam about 9/26-28 /06. (Value = 100/1000 points). [4.] One or more team and individual class presentation/s in the latter 2/3 of the course. (Value: [A] Team = 200 /1000 points), [B] Individual =100/1000 points [5.] (A.) A comprehensive but succinct written semester report by each team (Value 100/1000 points) and also, (B.) a comprehensive but succinct written semester report by each by each individual on each team will be due toward the end of semester on a schedule to be announced. (Value = 200/1000 points) [6.] An “integrated” Final Exam experience per University schedule, 12/12/06, 7:45-9:45 a.m. Note: this “integrated” element of the score and grade will be explained during latter classes of the course. (Value 100/1000 points.)
Grading: The maximum points awarded for work in this course are 1,000. Grades are determined by meeting course requirements following schedule set under Course Requirements, (that is):
[1.] No points, (assessment exam only).
[2.] Class Participation = 200 points,
[3.] Exam Oct. 19 = 100 points.
[4.] Presentation –
(A) Team = 200 points
(B) Individual = 100 points.
[5.] Report –
(A) Team = 100 points,
(B.) Individual = 200 points.
[6.] Final “integrated” exam experience = 100 points.
Maximum Points for course = 1000

Grade Scale: 4.0 = 950 to 1000 points, 3.5 = 850 to 949.5 points,
3.0 = 800 to 849.5 points, 2.5 = 755 to 799.5 points,
2.0 = 700 to 754.5 points, 1.5 = 655 to 699.5 points,
1.0 = 600 to 654.5 points, 0.0 = below 600 points

Course Materials:
In a very fundamental and factual manner you will be seeking and reporting information on, in and about pre-planning and organization of data and related communication systems and services. This directly entails the “information seeking” learning approach noted above that operates in conjunction with project planning development. It is intended as a critical and essential educational element of the course and for the fields of telecommunication information systems and media services. Please be forewarned that these processes (information seeking, initial project planning and development) may be rather confusing at the outset of the course. However this confusion will abate as the course progresses. The approach being used in TC-361 has been very successful in assisting telecom, information, media students and students with similar interests to find learn and use material and resources needed for success in understanding and preparing planning in these areas – that is, those of telecommunication, information studies, system and services (TISSS). It matters not that you are highly knowledgeable of or new to the TISSS field/s! The course is intended to allow you to work at a pace that assures learning at your level of understanding. A goal is that you remain reasonably comfortable yet encounter rather rigorous challenges to your present insights. As we approach the initial classes make certain you are familiar with types of heuristic online learning. It is suggested for example that you begin this process by going to a search engine such as “Google” and input the phrase “how stuff works network projects” and look for a phrase generally entitled “what is project planning for VDSL…” This is a reasonable example. Additionally ask the questions “What is MS Project?” or “What is network analysis?” Open and read these and related links. When finished open the link found under relational databases entitled “Whatis.com: Project” and read that link. Continue this process of opening, reading, and reviewing links to assure you become aware of the substance you find through the phrase “how stuff works network… (and)… projects” Now return to How Stuff Works as well as Google and begin finding articles on or associated with project planning and networking that seem interesting to you.. You will need to learn at least all of this “Stuff” for success in this course. Thus repeat the process of opening a subject (of keyword/s) that is/are of interest to you and follow it into links then return to the central “How Stuff Works” home site. Follow similar references / keywords in a search for using Google or another search engine (i.e., Firefox) and begin to learn as much as you can about their use in pre-planning for data and related communication concepts and applications, basic communications protocols, local area network approaches and check to see what you might know on the fundamental of search techniques. (Here’s a URL to read for some thought and discussion in an early class http://www.seochat.com/c/a/Search-Engine-News/The-Future-of-Search/ .) In the course we will move into project planning but this is merely and initial approach. As the course proceeds you will find categories, articles and material will be periodically assigned for your general reading, but the above initial exercise will get you started in learning what is expected for this course. .One caution is suggested in using online information – if you use or reference material from “Wikipedia” you are required to have non-related collateral sources (not related) to “Wikipedia” to support information you use or cite from Wikipedia”. We will certainly further discuss this point in class!

On enrolling this course you are not expected to have detailed knowledge of network protocols but it is helpful knowledge. Thus in early stages of the course you will want and need to be or become familiar with network protocols. We will overview this material in early classes and discuss protocols to the degree needed generally for the course. If you have no knowledge or understanding of network protocols you will probably discover a need for a reference handbook on the material for this course. We will use Network Protocols Handbook (the most recent is the 3rd edition with publication date: March 2006, -- however earlier editions are quite acceptable), Javvan Technologies Inc. ISBN: 978-0-9740945-7-1 (0-9740945-7-9) * (see below Textbooks”)

Other Course Considerations, Issues and Propositions
1.] Another course requirement is to learn how teams or teams and individuals successfully function in understanding, assessing and developing data communication networks, systems, services, databases and related matter. For this semester we will address interesting though somewhat vexing problems found in the U.S. and particularly in the State of Michigan. Using rather readily available census and other data in programs and projects we will consider how to best develop or grow broadband network infrastructures, terminations and content management in short and long range settings. Some problems that are suggested for early consideration can be found in various community, municipal, county or related websites. For example consider the set of sites presented by the State of Michigan http://www.michigan.gov/ and more specifically review pages and programs of the MI Dept of Information Technology as well as the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Compare these to sites such as http://www.otsego.org/gov/city/citygov.htm or http://www.cityoflansingmi.com/index.jsp or http://www.alpena.mi.us/ or http://www.infomi.com/city/hillman/gov.html and do not ignore http://www.allband.org/
We will be discussing these websites and underlying networks and data structures in early classes.
2.] From work done in prior MSU Telecom Info & Media courses seek out through Google or a similar search process MSU projects such as “M-SITE” or “MSITE” and other websites and articles that focus on wire and wireless broadband infrastructure and termination development in the state of MI. (You are probably aware that with Google the use of quotation marks will readily isolate a specific project.) The role of various prior broadband wire and wireless MI network projects and approaches in TC-361 this semester will be detailed in documents distributed online or under separate cover. After our initial classes. These will include a selection of suggested topics
Through online search and by separate materials that will be provided in early classes topics for a number of hands-on / real world programs and projects will be suggested. These will be semester projects to be completed by individuals and teams. Under separate cover shortly after the outset of the course a number of these topics will be introduced to the class and the full scope of the semester project by individuals on teams will be explained.

3.] Finally, while the central educational approach in this course is ‘information seeking’, experience across many years discloses that students may need and appreciate texts that treat material included in and associated with the course. Thus a number of texts are identified below that students may use for this course. They will or should be particularly useful in the first month of the course. Some students may find some texts valuable to retain in a personal / professional library. From this list you are likely to find the initial books and related material of most value. The initial books (Items below # [1], [2] & [3]) are texts (some with CD-ROM’s) that offer instruction on project development, networking in wire, wireless communication systems service and analysis thereof. These will be treated as “self paced” books or types of “training kits.” Note a text book detailing “MS Project” & materials will be used in the TC-361 course. Ss well as text and self-paced learning this may offer an opportunity to use programs typically not found in university courses. Further, in some instances students may select texts that prepare for some basic Certifications – thus some course text materials may offer each of you the possibility of dual learning. (NOTE: Helpful info is available at http://compnetworking.about.com/od/networkcertifications/ and we will explain and discuss certifications more fully in early class meetings of the course!) As discussed below, the entire list of textbooks and materials are “RECOMMENDED” although some are more important than others. Note that these text overlap somewhat such that all TC-361 students should review their individual backgrounds and make determinations to acquire via library loan, individual or purchase the recommended books/texts that will best assist in your individual interests and learning. We note that some technical books are quite costly, thus several students could elect to form a “buying cooperative” to share the materials and save on the books. These books are collected and available at the various East Lansing book stores that supply text and related materials under the heading TC-361, F. 2006. Many are available from online sources.

Initial Texts and Related Materials
The books and materials below range in price from $29 to about $80. They are available from local text bookstores or any online bookseller if the local stores cannot handle the order -- however from past experience it is usually best to get texts at the local stores.

[1.] Microsoft Office PROJECT (2002 OR 2003) STEP BY STEP, Carl Chatterfield and Timothy Johnson ISBN 8-7356-1955-7 $29.95 (new)
[2] *Network Protocols Handbook (the most recent is the 3rd edition: March 2006, -- however earlier editions are quite acceptable), Javvan Technologies Inc. ISBN: 978-0-9740945-7-1 (0-9740945-7-9) (Syllabus acronym is (NPH)
[3] Fundamentals of Wireless Networking by Ron Price, McGraw Hill, © 2007, (paperback) ISBN 13:978-0-07-225668-0
[4] Networking Analysis Architecture & Design, James D. McCabe, © 2003, ISBN 1-55860-887-7 (if bought new price approx $70, used versions available)
[5] “Building Wireless Community Networks, 2nd ed.”
Publisher: O’Reilly, ISBN: 0-596-00502-4, approx 100 pages
[6] Introduction to Telecommunication Networks
Author: Gordon F. Snyder Jr.
ISBN 1-4018-6486-4
Publisher: Thompson / Delmar Publishing
Copyright (c) 2003

Texts and Materials Suggested: (useful but more indirectly related to course):
The following texts offer readings that a student may need or want for reference and are thus merely recommended or suggested for this course. These are intended to provide background reading for TC-361 and subsequent IT/IM type courses.

1.] Books from the ”Step by Step” series published by Microsoft -These are self study kits.
(Available @ bookstores new and used)
MS is offering opportunities to beta/try their new “Project 2007” which may be of interest for your planning project – See: http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview/programs/project/highlights.mspx [[[ http://www.microsoft.com/learning/default.mspx ]]]

2.] Computer Organization & Design, 2nd Ed
Kaufman , ISBN 1-55860-428-6
3.] Computer Networking, 2nd Ed; The Top Down Approach Featuring the I-net
Kurose and Ross
ISBN 020-1477114
4.] Multimedia Fundamentals
Steinmetz & Nahrstedt
ISBN 0130313998
5.] Internet (The Complete Reference) 2nd Ed.
Margaret Levine Young
ISBN - 0072194154
6.] Database Design for Mere Mortals
Michael J. Hernandez (1996)
ISBN 0201694719
7.] Modern Systems Analysis & Design
Hoffer, George and Valacich (1998)
ISBN 0805360549
8.].Absolute Beginner's Guide to Databases
John V. Peterson (2002)
ISBN 078972569x
Other Materials Used For The Course: Throughout the course website and online sources will be included in daily assignment. These will be called to your attention and accessible through the TC-361 website. (The course website will be opened after the initial class of the semester)
Note – Work should be completed BEFORE CLASS! In beginning weeks of the course plan daily to spend NO LESS than 1.5 to 2.5 hours using the required self-paced texts and/or online materials. If you require more time to comprehend materials notify your UA who will help arrange assistance. The first exam at the end of September will be based upon selections from the initial material. REQUIRED READINGS MAY COME FROM ONLINE SOURCES, THROUGH INFORMATION SEEKING OR FROM TOPICS IN VARIOUS COURSE TEXTS
Class Meet #, Date Topics
1. & 2. 8/29–8/31 Course Introduction, Orientation & Pretest/s [A] Establishment of teams & leader selection. [B] Introduction to semester project options
3. & 4. 9/5-7 Data Com - Perspectives on networks & service planning. Overview of network communication architecture and protocols. Mapping network service and system protocols. Begin perspectives on networks & service planning; mapping network service / system protocols.
5. & 6. 9/12-14 Information seeking of data for networks project planning. Continue consideration of protocols. (TCP/IP, Security & VPN, Voice over Internet Protocols (VOIP), .
7. & 8. 9/19-21 Network concepts, typologies and applications. Project selections by Team and individual. Continue protocols (i.e., WAN, LAN, MAN, SAN, RAN)
9. & 10. 9/26-28 Overview: Network Analysis, Architecture & Design Processes. (ISO protocols in OSI 7 layer Reference Model
11. & 12 10/3-5 Overview:: Wireline vs. Wireless Networks
13. & 14. 10/10-12 Regional area networks (RAN) & socio-community considerations
14. & 15. 10/17-19 Preparation for exam and (10/19) EXAMINATION.
20. & 21 11/7-9 Teams 1 through 4 & Individual Presentations
22. 11/21 Teams 5 and 6 & Individual Presentations
23&24. 11/28-30 Teams 7 through 10 & Individual Presentations
25&26 12/5-7 LAST CLASS Remaining Presentations (if any) & course summary
Exam Week: “Integrated” Final. Exam Experience. Period for TC-361 per MSU is Thu.. 12/12/06, 7:45 – 9:00 a.m., Rm. 1279 Anthony Hall (Fully discussed prior to exam week)