CS555 Computer Communication and Networks

Location: Synchronous Online
Meeting Time: Tuesday 4:30
Instructor: Dr. Robert Simon
Office 5322 Engineering Building
Phone: 703-993-1556
E-mail: simon AT gmu dot edu
Office Hours: Online over Blackboard, Tuesday 2:00 to 3:00, or by appointment
Teaching Assistant: TBD


This course introduces concepts and design principles of modern computer and telecommunication networks. It uses the Internet TCP/IP protocol suite to discuss how computer networks operate and how and why they have evolved over many years to meet the requirements of today’s networking applications. The focus will be on both - fundamental networking and communication techniques, and protocols used in the preseent day complex Internet architecture.

Topics include DNS and HTTP protocols at the application layer, TCP and UDP at transport layer, routing algorithms and forwarding with BGP and OSPF at network layer, and multiple access technologies along with Ethernet and WiFi LANs. Concepts of network security and related protocols like the Transport Layer Security (TLS) suite and DNS’ Security Extensions (DNSSEC) will also be introduced.


(Undergraduate level CS 310) and (Undergraduate level CS 367) and (Undergraduate level Stat 344). In order to succeed in the class you must be an expert in programming in either C, Python or Java.


The main resource for this class is the lectures delivered by the instructor, supported by the course slides and the primary textbook. We will be using the textbook extensively, so it is considered required. The primary textbook is

The following textbooks are recommended:



All class materials, including lecture notes and programming assignments, are available through your Blackboard accounts. You are responsible for obtaining the textbook(s).


Your grade will be calcuated as follows:

A final exam score of less than 50 results in an F for the course. If you think your work as not be correctly graded then you must initiate contact with the grader within a week of receiving the grade (either in the lecture during which it was first handed out or on the Blackboard). Grade contesting beyond this time window will not be allowed.



If you have a learning or physical difference that may affect your academic work, you will need to furnish appropriate documentation to GMU Disability Resource Center. If you qualify for accommodation, the DRC staff will give you a form detailing appropriate accommodations for your instructor. If you have such a condition, you must talk to the instructor during the first week of the term about the issue.

Disability Resource Center


The GMU Honor Code will be strictly enforced. Please make sure that you are familiar with it. We will discuss this further in class. Below is the link to the code.

Honor Code

  • We reserve the right to use MOSS to detect plagiarism.