Training the next generation:

Dana Hudes dhudes at
Tue Aug 24 04:12:41 UTC 1999

Hi !
 I'm teaching networking this year at CUNY Hunter College here in Manhattan. I would like your input as industry members what skills would have value to you in a new graduate computer science major (the students are seniors). 
Fall course is "Telecomputing"; the syllabus I created for the course uses Tannenbaum's _Computer Networks_ and tries to cover a range of things. Course project will likely be design and implement a bridge, possibly including source-route and certainly including spanning tree. Early on, coverage of WAN include project with PCM and such.
A syllabus is posted at
Students will have a broad base in a variety of networking topics. Focus on Ethernet in the LAN and PPP and ATM in the WAN.

Spring is a "special topics" course. I've some flexibility here. I'm weighing two alternatives, and want some feedback.
Of all possible things, the acting chair and I narrowed to two possible courses:
1. A course in TCP/IP. Use Comer, _Internetworking with TCP/IP_ and his syllabus from Purdue as a starting point.
No time in this course for any physical layer or data link stuff beyond a cursory overview of Ethernet as we move at high speed to the network layer and IP forwarding.  Comer's graduate course has students build a router but this is probably too much for undergraduates. Instead an OSPF implementation, including all the options (especially NSSA) . A cursory introduction to sockets programming with the course focus on routing algorithms (i.e. RIP, OSPF, and BGP4).
Can this one course (my fall course hasn't sufficient registration to make the 2 semester sequence in networking we'd hoped; maybe next year).

2. Network application programming. Java clients, Perl and Apache server side (or perhaps Java servlets).  Hunter students know C++ fairly well by their senior year; Java is an easy transition. The entire class would divide into teams with assignments that comprise various parts of the client and server portions.  The project would be a turn-based simulation game (I used to play these and have a number of appropriate games with play-by-mail options, game rule design and/or game theory is not part of the course).  While this won't teach them to be router engineers -- or developers, it should have some industry relevance.

Most Hunter graduates stay in the Greater NYC metropolitan area. Given this, which of these options is better for the industry? who is in shorter supply?

Prompt feedback greatly appreciated. Registrar is asking for the course description ASAP or sooner.

Dana Hudes
CUNY Hunter Computer Science
former ISP

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