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Computer Networks

Instructor: Assistant Professor Xiaowen Zhang

Xiaowen Zhang is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the College of Staten Island (CSI) and a doctoral faculty member at the CUNY Graduate Center. His research areas are information security, cryptography, RFID, biometrics, and wireless communications. Prior to joining CSI, he worked in both academia as a lecturer and industry as a software and electronic engineer. He received a PhD in Computer Science from the City University of New York in 2007 and a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Beijing Jiaotong University in 1999.


Computer networks are the most wonderful human invention which makes information presentation / communication available, all human beings connected one another, anytime anywhere anyway possible. Computer networks is an important Computer Science subject with a lot of fascinating research topics such as reliability, routing, optimization and scheduling, new network architectures/topology, congestion control, error detection/correction, wireless MAC layer, wireless coverage schemes, preventing computer hackings, viruses, malwares worms, ect. Computer networks also is a foundation for better understanding almost all other Computer Science subjects: algorithms, computer security, big data and computational science, neural networks, semantic web, computer architecture, AI, NLP, machine learning, graph theory, etc.

Course Content 

This course is designed for graduate students in Computer Science programs who have knowledge in undergraduate level Computer Networks, Algorithms and some familiarity with probability theory. This course covers an in-depth review of fundamental principles of network architecture and protocols, introductions on advanced computer networks, and advanced principles of the design and evaluation for computer networks. Specifically, we will review fundamental computer network architecture, principles of Circuit Switching and Packet Switching, the protocol stack, and essential design principles and network protocols of each network layer. Advanced topics in computer networks, such as Wireless and Mobiles networks and Network Security will be introduced. In addition, we will explore some common protocol design techniques, such as signaling, randomization.


Aassignments/projects 40%, Midterm exam 30%, Final exam 30%.


Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach (6th Ed), James F. Kurose and Keith W. Ross. Pearson 2012.