Professor Howard Blum 
(212) 346-1871
Fall 2013
Thurs. 6:10 - 9:00
CRN CS633 - 72184
CS388 - 72524
 Room E326


    This course provides a foundation in digital communications as a basis for modern telecommunications, wireless systems, and the Internet. It progresses from the elements of data, voice and video signals and information transmission to the techniques and components for point-to-point data communication and an introduction to the principles of local area networks and the Internet.
  • Introduction - The role of data communications and evolution of telecommunications and computer networks. The fundamental issues of transmission rate, response time, reliability, security, architecture, networking. Standards and layered architectures: the OSI model and TCP/IP. 
  • Data, Signals and Information Transmission - Binary and m-ary data. Analog and digital signals, frequency and wavelength, Fourier analysis, bandwidth and data rates, impairments. Encoding information. Capacity formulas: Nyquist and Shannon. Voice, data and video signal examples. 
  • Transmission Media - The characteristics of twisted pair, coaxial cable, and fiber-optic media for signal transmission. Wireless media: microwave, satellite, and cellular. Capacity and cost. 
  • Coding and Modulation - Digital signal formats. Amplitude, frequency and phase modulation of carrier signals; modems. 
  • Digital Voice and Image (Multimedia) - The sampling theorem and analog to digital conversion. Basic PCM voice and digital video, codecs and compression.
  • Physical-Layer Interfaces - Synchronous vs. asynchronous, and balanced vs. unbalanced transmission. Interfacing standards: e.g., EIA-232, USB,  Ethernet and Wi-Fi. 
  • Error Control Strategies - Error rates. Reliable transmission over unreliable links. Error-detection and error-correction schemes, combined strategies. 
  • Link Layer Protocols - Acknowledgments, flow control and error control. Delay and sliding windows. Link-layer protocols: HDLC, SLIP and PPP. 
  • Multiplexing - Sharing communication media: time, frequency and code-division multiplexing. Statistical multiplexing and queuing models for capacity and delay on shared links.
  • Introduction To Networking - Networking resources and strategies. LANs vs. wide area networks. Packet vs. circuit switching. Principles of LANs and the Internet. 
  • Report - Students are expected to prepare and present a paper describing an application or technology for data communication. 
    Howard Blum, Introduction to Data Communications and Networking, 2013. 
    (This is a manuscript being prepared for publication.)

Last Updated:  9-5-13