Study Options
Course Listings
MSIT 411: Fundamentals of Communication Systems



Basic communication engineering concepts: signals, spectra, and bandwidth; attenuation, distortion, and noise; filtering, equalizing, and companding; modulation and multiplexing; information measurement, source and channel coding, channel capacity and Shannon theorems; baseband data transmission, digital modulation and spread-spectrum systems; local area networks and architecture and performance; layered network architecture, protocols, switching techniques, TCP/IP, traffic engineering and basic capacity analysis.

REQUIRED TEXT: Computer Network, by Andrew Tanenbaum, 5th Ed., Prentice Hall, 2010

COURSE GOALS: To equip students with the signals and systems aspect of telecommunication systems, data networking, and wireless technologies.


Week 1: Signals, spectrum, bandwidth, and filtering;
Week 2: Channel impairments and countermeasures;
Week 3: Modulation and multiplexing, digitization, waveform coding;
Week 4: Bit rate, baud rate, and bandwidth, introductory information theory: entropy, source coding and channel coding;
Week 5 - 6: Digital modulation and spread spectrum, circuit-based spectrum sharing techniques: FDMA/TDMA/CDMA, telephone and cellular networks;
Week 6 - 7: Trunk capacity and erlang-B, statistical multiplexing concept, traffic engineering, circuit versus packet switching technologies;
Week 7 - 8: Link delays/latencies and their implications on future network technologies and protocols;
Week 8 - 9: Link-layer error and flow control, Multiple access concepts;
Week 9 - 10: LAN, Wireless LAN, Multiple-hop networks;

HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS: Weekly practice questions for individuals and homework questions for study groups (one submission per group).  EXCEL data and formula manipulations and graphing skills are important for homework assignments.


  • Homework: 20%
  • Midterm: 40%
  • Final: 40% 

COURSE OBJECTIVES: As a result of this course students will be able to strengthen the engineering foundations and technical/ analytical capabilities and confidence for: managing, deploying, integrating, comparing, and projecting the future of, telecommunication and networking technologies.

Faculty Profile

Michael Honig, Ph.D