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					TC 201: Introduction to Technology
Fall 2006

Instructor:            Cliff Lampe
Office Phone:          432-1334
Office Address:        419 ComArts
Office Hours:          Wed 12:30-2:30

The absolute best way to contact Professor Lampe is by email. Phone is rarely checked.

Class Location:        116 Farrall Ag Eng Hall
Class Times            Mon-Wed 3:00 p.m. – 4:50 p.m.

Welcome to the TC 201 Class Angel site. This site serves as the course syllabus for the
Fall 2006 semester. In this course, our goals are to enable students to:

      obtain a basic understanding of the technologies that enable today's commercial
       telecommunications-based products and services.
      become familiar with currently available telecommunication systems and devices.
      develop skills to critically analyze upcoming telecommunication solutions.

Essential Guide to Telecommunications, The (4th Edition) (Essential Guides (Prentice
Hall)) Annabel Z. Dodd.

Additionally, CPS units are recommended, but not required for the course.

Exams, Assignments and Grading
Class attendance is strongly advised as there appears to be a high correlation between
coming to class and a student’s final grade. There will be five tests during the semester,
and your worst test out of these five will be thrown out. The remaining best four test
scores will count for 60% of your grade (15% for each test). There will also be one
paper/project due at the end of the semester that is worth 20% of your grade. The
remaining 20% of your grade will come from assigned homework (10%) and from your
participation in in-class exercises (10%). There is no final exam.

Course Communication
Except for exams, this will be a paperless class. All messages and announcements will be
posted on the class website and sent via email to the MSU mail account of students
registered in the class. As noted on the welcome page, this site will serve as the only
course syllabus, including the schedule and all assignments. You will be responsible for
all information posted on this site, so it is recommended that you bookmark it and check
it frequently. If you would like to reach the professor and/or TA directly, please feel free
to contact us via phone, e-mail or in-person.

Make-Up Policies

      Exams must be taken during the scheduled exam time. A make-up exam can only
       be taken if the student presents proof of a valid medical excuse or extenuating
       circumstance. Medical excuses and extenuating circumstances will be verified and
       judged as warranting a special case by the course instructor or assistant.
      In-class exercises cannot be made up for any reason.
      Written assignments: Late papers and assignments will be marked down by half a
       grade point for each day.

Academic Dishonesty
Michigan State University adheres to the policies on academic honesty as specified in
General Student Regulations 1.0, Protection of Scholarship and Grades, and in the all-
University Policy on integrity of Scholarship and Grades, which are entitled “Spartan
Life:1998 Student Handbook and Resource Guide“ and are also available on the MSU
web site.

Plagiarism is defined as presenting another person’s work or ideas as one’s own. You are
expected to do your work on all assignments. Students who plagiarize will receive a 0.0
in the course.

Accomodations for Disabilities
If you are a student with a disability who requires reasonable accommodations, please
contact the MSU Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities, telephone: 353-9642
(voice) or 355-1293 (TTY).

Dropping the Course
The last day to drop the course with no grade reported is March 2, 2005. You may drop
this course after the middle of the semester only to correct verified errors of enrollment or
because of a catastrophic event. Failing this course is not a catastrophic event.

Religious Observance
If you wish to be absent from class to observe a religious holiday, make arrangements in
advance with the instructor or assistant.

Participation in a required activity
If you must miss a class to participate in an officially-sanctioned athletic game or in a
required activity for another course, provide the instructor with adequate advanced
notice, such as a team schedule or written authorization from the faculty member of the
other course.
Extra credit opportunities
Traditionally there are several extra credit opportunities that become available. Anyone
can particpate when such opportunities arise. There are no guarantees for extra credit and
it is each student’s responsibility to be aware of and take advantage of such opportunities.
Each extra credit opportunity (e.g. attending a public lecture related to the course,
participating in a research activity) will count for 1% out of a possible 100% of the class
grade, with a maximum of 3% allowable over the semester.

Date           Topic                                   Assignment

                                 Introduction and Basics

Mon        Course Introduction Review Syllabus and Course Readings
Aug 28

Wed        Waves and Signals     Wikipedia: radio waves, frequency, amplitude,
Aug 30                           electromagnetic spectrum, Hertz, and bandwidth

Mon        No class, Labor       no assignment
Sep 4      Day Holiday

Wed        Basics of             Wikipedia: Telecommunication (Be sure to explore
Sep 6      Telecommunication     hyperlinks, including transmitter, line, channel,
           Technologies          multiplexing, and receiver).
                                 Dodd pages 4-19

Mon        Basics of             Dodd pages 94-107
Sep 11     Transmission

Wed        Modulation            Wikipedia: Modulation, Amplitude Modulation, and
Sep 12                           Frequency Modulation
                                 HowStuffWorks: How Radio Works

Mon        Digital Basics        HowStuffWorks: How Bits and Bytes Work
Sep 18                           Notes on representation in Resources folder

Wed        Test 1                Study hard!
Sep 20

                                    Telephone Systems

Mon      Basics of Telephony   HowStuffWorks: How Telephones Work
Sep                            Dodd 46-49 ( and then skim) 49-58.
Wed   Wireless Telephony     HowStuffWorks: How Cell Phones Work
Sep                          Dodd 420-437

Mon   Broadband          HowStuffWorks: How DSL Works
Oct   Telecommunications HowStuffWorks: How Cable Modems Work

Wed   Next Generation        Dodd pages 437-458
Oct   Wireless Telephony

Mon   Test 2                 Study hard!

                                  Data Networks

Wed   Basics of Data         Hardware Fundamentals: Data Communications Part I
Oct   Communication I        Article on Computer Architecture

Mon   Introduction to Data   Hardware Fundamentals: Data Communications Part 2
Oct   Networks               Hardware Fundamentals: Networking

Wed   LANs, MANs, and        Dodd pages 19-43
Oct   WANs

Mon   Wireless Data          Dodd pages 470-493.

Wed   Test 3                 Study hard!

                             TV, Radio and Video Games

Mon   Basics of Video and    HowStuffWorks: How Television Works
Oct   TV                     HowStuffWorks: How HDTV Works
30                           Dodd pages 301-313

Wed   Storage media:         HowStuffWorks: How VCRs Work
Nov   VCRs, DVRs,            HowStuffWorks: How DVRs Work
1     DVDs                   HowStuffWorks: How DVDs Work
Mon   No class                Professor Lampe is traveling, so use this day well.

Wed   Video Games             HowStuffWorks: How Video Game Systems Work

Mon   Test 4                  Study hard!

                  The Internet and Future Telecom Technologies

Wed   Internet                HowStuffWorks: How Internet Infrastructure Works
Nov                           Dodd 334-346

Mon   Internet applications   Dodd 352-364
Nov                           HowStuffWorks: How Encryption Works

Wed   Independent work on work on your papers!
Nov   project: Have a great
22    Thanksgiving

Mon   Collaborative           Usability First: Groupware
Nov   Systems                 Recommender System article in Resources folder

Wed   VoIP                    HowStuffWorks: How VoIP Works

Mon   Future Telecom          New directions in cell phones.
Dec   Topics
4                             PC Magazine: Technologies to Watch

Wed   Test 5                  Study hard!

Fri   Papers due by 5:00      Submit electronically in the course Angel site drop box
Dec   pm!
Tues   Scheduled Final         no assignment – i.e. relax, no final exam for this course.
Dec    Exam Meeting Time
       3:00-5:00 p.m.

There are two grading components for this course. The first component includes 5 exams
over the course of the semester. The exams are not cumulative, and account for 60% of
your final grade. Of these exams, four will count towards your exam grade. That means
that your lowest exam score will be dropped before final grades are calculated.

The other component of your course grade will be a series of class assignments. There
are three types of assignments in TC 201: a paper/web project, in-class activities, and
homework. In addition, to qualify for honors option credit, an extended version of the
paper/web project is required.

   1. Technology Paper or Web Project
      First, there is one paper/project required of all students, due by 5:00 pm on
      Friday, December 8, the last day of regular classes during the spring semester. It
      will be worth 20% of your grade. Papers must be submitted electronically in the
      drop box of the course Angel site. There are two options for this project:

       Option 1: A Strategic Assessment of an Emerging Telecom Technology
       Choose one of the company types provided below. For your chosen company,
       prepare an analysis that identifies at least one emerging telecommunication
       technology that will have a significant impact on the way that company does
       business. It might be that the company must invest in a new network technology,
       or will have to face one or more new competitors that have entered its market
       with new technology.

           o   Describe the existing company's telecommunication infrastructure. How is
               it currently providing service to the market it serves?
           o   Describe the emerging technology? How does it work? What are the
               technical foundations of the technology? Where possible, support your
               discussion with an illustration.
           o   Contrast the new technology with the existing approach used by your
               company, noting improvements in performance and/or cost that it offers.
               What new services will your company, or its new competitors be able to
               offer because of this emerging technology.
           o   Discuss any other important considerations - such as problems with
               standards battles, likelihood that the technology will be ready in time,
               licensing requirements, social or ethical concerns, need for backward
       compatibility, etc. that might influence your company's decision to use the
       technology (or the viability of any new competitors that try to use it).

Your work should be supported by references to the telecommunications trade
literature (either online or offline - see the resources page on the class web site).
You may implement this project as either:

           a. a type-written paper of 5 double-spaced pages, plus a separate page
              for references. All references must be cited at the place where they
              are used in the text, using an author-date citation style, e.g.
              (Lampe, 2006), with full bibliographic information (including
              URL and access date) provided in alphabetical order by authors
              last name on a separate reference page.
           b. a web-based project that incorporates the above content, and
              provides links to the sources used.

Possible Company Types (if you wish to use a type of company not on the list,
please get my approval).

   o   A cable TV company serving a town like East Lansing
   o   A mobile telephone company using CDMA here in the U.S.
   o   A chain of movie theaters
   o   A local network-affiliated broadcast TV station
   o   A local network affliated FM radio station
   o   A regional Internet service provider
   o   A video rental chain
   o   A regional telephone company like SBC
   o   A long distance telephone company like MCI
   o   A direct broadcast satellite TV company like DirecTV

Option 2: A Tutorial Explaining an Emerging Telecommunications

In this option, you are to choose an emerging technology from the list below (or
have one not on the list approved by me), and prepare a paper or web-based
tutorial explaining in detail what it is and how it works. This is a "how stuff
works" type of format. Your tutorial must be original, and must be highly
graphical in its presentation in order to illustrate the various aspects of the
technology (e.g. where it resides in the spectrum, what type of transmission
method it uses, what a network configuration might look like, any physical
features that are noteworthy, etc.).

If implemented as a paper, it should be five double-spaced pages including
graphics with a separate page for references and additional sources of
information. If implemented as a web project, it should be roughly five screens,
and a resources page.
   Possible topics for a tutorial

       o   New display formats - e.g. HDTV
       o   New display technologies - e.g. OLED, plasma, etc.
       o   New wireless data techniques - e.g., W-CDMA, other CDMA (e.g.
           EVDO), WiMax, LMDS, other fixed and mobile wireless
       o   Next generation Internet - (e.g. IPv6, Internet 2 architecture, etc.)
       o   Digital radio - terrestrial or satellite
       o   Low earth orbiting satellites or other new satellite concepts like near space
           balloon relays, etc.
       o   New wire based broadband technologies for local access - improvements
           to DSL, cable modems, power line communications, etc.
       o   New backbone transport technologies - e.g. new techniques using optical
       o   New storage technologies for media - e.g. HD-DVD vs. Blue Ray, or
           PVR/DVR (e.g. Tivo)
       o   New local and personal area network technologies - Bluetooth, Body area
           networks, evolution of WiFi, ultrawideband, near field communications
       o   New services made possible by new networks - e.g. VoIP, Internet TV,
           Mobile video, etc.

   Honors Option Students
   You can qualify for honors option credit by extending either of the two project

   For option one, the length requirements would double. One way to extend this
   analysis is to use a real company, and provide background and market
   information that you are able to find about this specific company. Your strategic
   analysis would thus be based on real competitive threats or opportunities that face
   this company, and should be backed by materials you find in the trade literature.

   For option two, you should provide a more advanced tutorial, perhaps extended
   by including animations that illustrate the operating principles. Another way to
   extend it is to supplement the tutorial with supporting description including
   related economic, market, social, and policy information about the technology. An
   extended set of links to alternative sources of information is also expected.

2. In class activities
   The second type of assignment is an individual or group exercise that will be
   completed in class on the day it is assigned. Over the semester a number of these
   exercises will be announced during class, without advance notice. Thus, there is a
   distinct advantage to attending class. Class time will be made available to work on
   the exercise, and prepare a brief write-up. These exercises cannot be made up, and
   will be used as a class participation grade, which is worth 10% of your overall
   class grade.
3. Homework
   The third type of assignment is an occasional short homework assignment
   designed to help you gain competence in a topic or explore the implications of a
   topic on your own. These will be noted here, and will be worth 10% of your
       0. Aug. 30: First homework assignment. Find 3 telecommunication devices
           at home that you commonly use that either receive or send (or both)
           signals over the air. Make a table and for each one note (as applicable):
                in what band the signal is found
                what specific frequencies in the band it uses
                what the bandwidth is of the signal it provides
       1. Sept. 6: Consider the following telecom systems and try using terms from
           today (Sept. 6) to describe them. That is, for each type of system below, to
           the extent possible identify the source, receiver, what the links might be,
           the type of circuit (dedicated, switched, virtual or other), type of
           transmission (analog, digital), type of multiplexing (FDM, TDM, other),
           and type of switching (not switched, circuit or packet) for each of them.
           Type up your results and turn in either on paper in class, or submit as a file
           to the Homework Drop Box now available on the class Angel site.
                WDBM Impact89 FM
                Your mobile phone
                A computer connected to the MSU Web server
                The fixed line at your parent's home
       2. Sept. 26: To help us prepare to discuss next generation wireless services
           from our cellular telephone carrier, do a little research on your cellular
           telephone provider (if you do not have your own cellphone service, then
           please pick one local provider to research). Answer the following four
           points in a brief report and submit as a file to the Next Generation
           Wireless Homework Drop Box now available on the class Angel site.
                Name of the company
                What technology they are using to provide high speed data services
                    like Internet access
                What their fee structure is - how much does it cost?
                What you would be likely to spend to do the things you'd like to do
                    if you subscribed to their high speed data services
       3. Oct. 18: Use your new knowledge about local and wide area data networks
           to diagram a data network that would meet the needs of a company
           described in the homework assignment. Download the pdf page with the
           full assignment in the resources folder. A Drop Box for this homework
           will be available on the class Angel site. The homework is due by class
           time on Monday, October 23.
       4. Nov. 20: Find an example in your incoming email of a phishing attempt by
           a bank or other financial entity that might hold account information on
1. copy the message as it looks in html (might need to take a
   screenshot) and paste into a word document
2. view the message source text and then copy and paste this into
   your word document
3. find the URL in the source text where you are being directed in
   order to input your personal info
4. find out to whom the IP address or domain is registered and note
   this in your homework file
5. if pretending to come from a recognized soure (e.g. a specific
   bank, or paypal, or visa), then compare with the IP address of the
   actual business that is being represented by the attempted phisher
   and note this
6. Upload your document to Angel to the folder named phishing
   homework by next Wednesday (11/29) start of class