CSIS 350 Data Communications and Networking

Course Description

An introduction to the field of communications among computers and computer systems, with an emphasis placed on the 5-layer Internet Protocol Stack and the services and responsibilities it provides.


Dr. B. Wilson (bwilson at georgefox dot edu)
Office hours: Wood-Mar 224 (see schedule)





Data communications and networking may be the fastest growing technologies in our culture today. One ramification of that growth is the dramatic increase in the number of professions where an understanding of these technologies is essential for success. We will use the Internet five layer model for the backbone of the course. This is chosen because it is not protocol specific, however it is the foundational model on which networks and their protocols are built. We will start at the top of the model and work our way down the levels as we move through the semester. Knowing how computer networks actually work is a key skill for any CSIS student.

Course Organization

Attendance and participation are critical in this course. This course requires group work; group membership is therefore mandatory. Groups will be formed randomly and assigned by the instructor and will be set for the remainder of the course.

The course will include regular homework and/or programming assignments. Unless otherwise specified, assignments are due before midnight on the due date. There will be no credit given for late assignments (without an excused absence)—turn in as much as you can.

Reading assignments should be completed before the lecture covering the material. Not all reading material will be covered in the lectures, but you will be responsible for the material on homework and exams. Quizzes over the assigned reading may be given at any time.


See the GFU CS/IS/Cyber policies for collaboration and discussion of collaboration and academic integrity. Most students would be surprised at how easy it is to detect collaboration in programming—please do not test us! Remember: you always have willing and legal collaborators in the faculty.

Almost all of life is filled with collaboration (i.e., people working together). Yet in our academic system, we artificially limit collaboration. These limits are designed to force you to learn fundamental principles and build specific skills. It is very artificial, and you'll find that collaboration is a valuable skill in the working world. While some of you may be tempted to collaborate too much, others will collaborate too little. When appropriate, it's a good idea to make use of others—the purpose here is to learn. Be sure to make the most of this opportunity but do it earnestly and with integrity.

Engineering Your Soul

The mission and vision statement of the Computer Science & Information Systems (CSIS) program states that our students are distinctive by "bringing a Christ-centered worldview to our increasingly technological world."

As one step towards the fulfillment of this objective, each semester, the engineering faculty will collectively identify an influential Christian writing to be read and reflected upon by all engineering faculty and students throughout the term. As part of the College of Engineering, CSIS students participate in this effort, known as Engineering Your Soul (EYS). This exercise will be treated as an official component of every engineering course (including CSIS courses) and will be uniquely integrated and assessed at my discretion, typically as a component of the quiz grade.

Students should read the assigned reading each week. Regular meetings will be scheduled throughout the semester that can be attended for chapel elective credit. Students should attend these meetings prepared to discuss the assigned reading, or email a reflection on the assigned reading on or before each meeting date.

It is our hope that students will not view this as one more task to complete, but as a catalyst for continued discussion ultimately leading to a deeper experience of Jesus Christ.

University Resources

If you have specific physical, psychiatric, or learning disabilities and require accommodations, please contact the Disability Services Office as early as possible so that your learning needs can be appropriately met. For more information, go to ds.georgefox.edu or contact Rick Muthiah, Director of Learning Support Services (503-554-2314 or rmuthiah@georgefox.edu).

My desire as a professor is for this course to be welcoming to, accessible to, and usable by everyone, including students who are English-language learners, have a variety of learning styles, have disabilities, or are new to online learning systems. Be sure to let me know immediately if you encounter a required element or resource in the course that is not accessible to you. Also, let me know of changes I can make to the course so that it is more welcoming to, accessible to, or usable by students who take this course in the future.

The Academic Resource Center (ARC) on the Newberg campus provides all students with free writing consultation, academic coaching, and learning strategies (e.g., techniques to improve reading, note-taking, study, time management). During the 2021 spring semester, the ARC is offering physically distanced, in-person appointments as well as virtual appointments over Zoom. The ARC, located in the Murdock Learning Resource Center (library), is open from 1:00–8:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 12:00–4:00 p.m. on Friday. To schedule an in-person or virtual appointment, go to the online schedule at arcschedule.georgefox.edu, call 503-554-2327, email the_arc@georgefox.edu, or stop by the ARC. Visit arc.georgefox.edu for information about ARC Consultants' areas of study, instructions for scheduling an appointment, learning tips, and a list of other tutoring options on campus.

Health & Safety Protocol

For those who do not know me yet, I have a very medically fragile and immunocompromised wife and daughter that live at home and both are considered extreme high risk for most viruses, especially COVID-19. I have been able to keep them safe since the start of the pandemic, but I do not know for how much longer. I need your help protecting my family. You will see that I will still be wearing a face mask for the time being and I want you to understand why.

In my decades here at GFU I have watched 'the wave of ick' cascade across campus every year with coughs, colds and flu. Since we spend much/most of our time in the computer science laboratories and classrooms the following protective guidelines can help us all stop the wave or at least not perpetuate it within our labs/classrooms:


Grading Scale

Current Grades

The final course grade will be based on:

Tentative Schedule

Week 1

Computer Networks and the Internet

Ch. 1
Ch. 1 pptx

Week 2

Application Layer

Ch. 2
Ch. 2 pptx

Week 3

Application Layer cont.

Reading: Ch. 2 [Tue: Ch 2 Quiz]

Week 4

Transport Layer

Ch. 3
Ch. 3 pptx

Week 5

Transport Layer cont.

Reading: Ch. 3 [Tue: Ch 3 Quiz]

Week 6

Network Layer: Data Plane

Ch. 4
Ch. 4 pptx

Week 7

Tu-Ch. 4 cont., Th-Project Presentations

Reading: Ch. 4 [Tue: Ch 4 Quiz]

Week 8

Tu-Midterm Prep, Th-Midterm: Ch. 1–4

Week 9

Network Layer: Subnetting

Week 10

Network Layer: Subnetting cont.

Week 11

Subnetting Quiz & Network Layer: Control Plane

Ch. 5
Ch. 5 pptx

Week 12

Network Layer: Control Plane

Ch. 5 [Tue: Ch 5 Quiz]

Week 13

The Link Layer

Ch. 6 - Thurs:Thanksgiving
Ch. 6 pptx

Week 14

The Link Layer cont.

Reading: Ch. 6 [Tue: Ch 6 Quiz]

Week 15

Wireless and Mobile Networks

Ch. 7
Ch. 7 pptx


Final exam

Reading: Mostly Ch. 5–7

This page was last modified on 2023-08-26 at 11:54:27.

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