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Network Science Certificate


This course is derived from GMU's Network Science Certificate (NSC), which is intended to educate technical professionals to become entry-level network engineers. The Network Science Certificate provides a graduate-level technical background in telecommunications principles, electronic telecommunications practices for both fixed carrier and wireless systems, data communications, local and wide-area networking protocols, network security, and network management.

Prerequisites: bachelor's degree and working experience in any branch of engineering, mathematics, or physical science discipline. Students are expected to have a working knowledge of mathematics that includes calculus and statistics/probability. Students who have not been admitted to a GMU graduate program may enroll in non-degree status using this non-degree application form .

Delivery: The voice and graphics are recorded from a live presentation and can be played back from a server. To use the system, you must download the software and test your reception before you try the first class. See presentation for information and to connect.

Grading policy: NSC distance students receive normal graduate course grades and are allowed up to the end of the semester for completion. Grades are proficiency-based. Cutoffs will be in the vicinity of (and no higher than)
A-:90% B-:80% C:70%.


  1. Noll, Introduction to Telecommunications Electronics , 2nd Ed., Artech House, 1995
  2. Stallings, Data and Computer Communications , 5th Ed., Prentice-Hall, 1997
  3. Tanenbaum, Computer Networking , 3rd Ed., Prentice-Hall, 1996
  4. Comer, Internetworking with TCP/IP , Vol. I, 3rd Ed., Prentice-Hall, 1996
  5. Stallings, High-Speed Networks , Prentice-Hall, 1998
  6. Opplinger, Internet and Intranet Security , 2nd Ed, Artech House, 2002
  7. Freeman, Fundamentals of Telecommunications , Wiley, 1999
  8. Pullen, Understanding Internet Protocols Through Hands-On Programming , Wiley, 2000
  9. Peterson and Davie, Computer Networks: A Systems Approach , 2nd ed., Morgan Kaufman, 2000
  10. Mauro and Schmidt, Essential SNMP , O'Reilly, 2001


Course notices will be provided via email. Students will be provided with a password for download of slides They may use GMU or other account or email, which they are responsible to read regularly. Homework assignments will be posted to and submitted through WebCT. Slide files will be available on three days before they are presented in class. Students are responsible for all material presented in class as outlined in the lecture slides.


COM: Telecommunications Principles (Lin)

1. introduction/overview; circular trigonometric functions review; electromagnetic waveform properties; waveform analysis; spectra; filters, Fourier representation (reading: Freeman chapters 1-2)

2. speech signals; oscillators; frequency translation; spectrum sharing; frequency translation; spectrum sharing; frequency division multiplexing; analog modulation; decibels measurements (reading: Freeman chapters 3-4)

3. double sideband full carrier amplitude modulation; demodulation of amplitude modulation;  frequency modulation; modulation index; FM spectrum; FM gain (reading: Freeman chapter 9)

4. sampled signals; delta modulation; adaptive delta modulation; pulse amplitude modulation; pulse code modulation; time division mutliplexing; digital communications (reading: Freeman chapters 5-6)

5. data codes; baseband line codes; noise and its effects; modulation and demodulation methods; amplitude shift keying; frequency shift keying; phase shift keying; differential phase skift keying (reading: Freeman chapter 10)

LAN: Data Communications and Protocols (Pullen)

1. link and LAN basics; vocabulary; review of communications model; network concepts; OSI reference model and layering; data coding; analog/digital communications review; Shannon's law (reading: Peterson & Davies sections 2.1, 2.2)

2. sampling theorem; quantization; quantization noise; aliasing; North America/Japan T carriers; European E-carriers; multilevel signalling; hybrid signalling (reading: review Freeman chapter 6) 

3. physical layer and data link control; transmission media; link performance; bit stuffing/destuffing; digital transmission; switching and multiplexing; commercial digital link standards; DLC functions (reading: Peterson & Davies sections 2.3, 2.4)

4. DLC protocols; timing and efficiency; flow control; stop-and-wait; alternating bit protocol; selective repeat; go-back-n; framing and bit stuffing; error control; link management; common link protocols (reading: Peterson & Davies section 2.4)

5. local area networks; basics/definitions; media access control; LAN performance; LAN standards, rings and buses; bridging and frame relay (reading: Peterson & Davies sections 2.6, 2.7, 2.8,  2.9, 3.2)

WAN: Wide Area Networks and  Protocols (Simon)

1. OSI reference model review; packet network layer functions; connection-oriented and connectionless packet switching; X.25 and X.75 standards (reading: Peterson & Davies section 3.1)

2. routing methods; internetworking; Internet Protocol concepts; IP subnet protocols; ICMP; Internet routing protocols; multicasting; multimedia; multicast routing (reading: Peterson & Davies chapter 4 and section 6.5)

3. transport protocols; User Datagram Protocol; Transmission Control Protocol; OSI transport layer; advances in TCP/IP; IPv6 (address space, variable headers, auto-configuration); effective of mobility and wireless on IP and TCP (mobile routing, naming, effect of losses) (reading: Peterson & Davies chapter 5)

4. client-server model; Domain Name system; telnet; File Transfer Protocol; Simple Mail Transfer Protocol; Simple Network Management Protocol; Hypertext Transfer Protocol; NET2 summary and homework review (reading: Peterson & Davies chapter 9)

5. ATM and cell switching; PNNI; AALs; next generation switched networks; high-throughput and QoS constrained applications; overview of 100Mbps LANs, frame relay, ATM, NG Internet; advanced flow control mechanisms; congestion avoidance (reading: Peterson & Davies sections 3.3, 3.4, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4)


SEC: Network Security (Pullen)

1. security objective, threats and techniques; network firewalls: packet filtering and proxies 

2. firewall architectures; firewall limitations; secret key and public key cryptosystems 

3. cryptographic services and building blocks; authentication and key distribution protocols

4. cryptography in network protocols; IPSEC; SSL; secure RPC

5. securing the networking infrastructure: secure DNS and routing protocols 

MOB: Mobile and Wireless Telecommunications (Simon)

1. fundamentals of radio transmission; the wireless communication channel (terrestrial and satellite); digital modulation for wireless communications, digital receiver principles

2. cellular and satellite communication networks; multiple access methods; mobility management

3. wireless LANs, existing and emerging standards, IEEE 802.11

4. mobility support in wide area networks, CDPD

5. Mobile IP; case study

MGT: Network Management (Gross)

1. introduction to network management; network management Functions

2. standards bodies; network monitoring; SNMP network management concepts

3. management interface bases; ASN.1; RMON

4. network management security issues, SNMP V2 and V3; CMIP; network management tools

5. network management case study and review

Last updated: 11/29/08