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MSIT 432: Networks: Applications, Principles & Protocols



The goal of this course is to understand the basic principles of communication networks including layered architectures, medium access control, switching, addressing, routing, congestion control, and quality of service. These concepts are illustrated by discussing protocols used in the Internet including Ethernet, IPv4, IPv6, UDP, TCP, and DNS.


  • Charles M. Kozierok, The TCP/I{P Guide, No Starch Press, 2005.
  • James F. Kurose and Keith W. Ross, Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach, Pearson, 6th edition, 2012.

REFERENCE TEXT: The slides from MSIT 411 may also be helpful.

COURSE GOALS: To provide students with knowledge of the basic principles of networking and an understanding of how real networks operate.



  • Network requirements, Performance measures.
  • Network Architecture: Layering, IP architecture.
  • Some History.

Link layer protocols:

  • Medium Access Control
  • Ethernet
  • Layer 2 switching
  • PPP

Packet switching:

  • Virtual circuits and datagrams
  • High speed router designs


  • IPv4
    • Fragmentation
    • Addressing/subnetting
    • ARP/DHCP
  • NAT
  • IPv6

Network layer OAM protocols:

  • ICMP
  • IGMP
  • ICMPv6


  • Key concepts – shortest paths, dynamic routing.
  • Interior routing protocols: (RIP, OSPF)
  • Exterior routing (BGP)
  • Multicast routing
  • QoS routing

Transport layer protocols

  • Basic concepts
  • UDP
  • TCP
  • Congestion control

Name services

  • DNS

Quality of Service Architectures

HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS AND EXAMS: There will be quasi-weekly homework assignments. Students can (and are encouraged to) work on these assignments in their study groups, but each student is expected to understand each problem. One homework assignment per study group is to be submitted on the indicated due date. Solutions will be available after the homework is submitted. Each study group will also be required to make a short presentation on an advanced networking topic that is related to the course material. Presentations will be spread throughout the quarter based on the topic. There will be two (open book) exams: a midterm and a final. These will be held in class during the 6th and 10th weeks of the quarter, respectively.


  • Class participation: 5%
  • Group presentation: 10%
  • Homework: 15%
  • Midterm: 35%
  • Final: 35% 

COURSE OBJECTIVES: As a result of this course, students will be able to understand the history and design of major communication protocols, be able to converse with other IT professionals about networking and use this knowledge to make more informed decisions regarding network deployment and operation.

Faculty Profile

Randall Berry, Ph.D