CMPU-383-51 Applied Research in Computer Networks - Spring 2020 syllabus

Computer networks are a key driver behind the ever increasing role computers have on society, and a very active research area. This intensive course focuses particularly on wireless networking, which has already revolutionized where and how computing is done, and is at the root of the future Internet of Things (IoT).

Students work in teams to answer research questions related to the usage of wireless communication between moving vehicles and roadside infrastructure.

The major intended outcome is familiarity and experience with the application of the scientific method to networking research and computer science in general. The secondary outcome is familiarity with the tools used in such research, such as scripting programming languages, statistics, and machine learning.

No prior computer network knowledge is required.

Topics covered include:

  • Basics of computer networks
  • IEEE 802.11 Wi-Fi wireless networks
  • Basics of the research process
  • Computer systems research methodologies
  • Research tools
    • Statistics
    • Machine learning
    • Python programming language
  • Scientific writing
  • CMPU-203

Rui Meireles


Email: (expected response time: 24 business-day hours, i.e. no response on weekends)

Office: Sanders Physics 304

Office hours: Mondays and Thursdays, 3:00-5:00 PM. Other times by appointment.

There is no single textbook. Reference materials for different parts of the course will be provided in time.

CMPU-383 is a pass/fail course. This binary decision is based on the quality of work performed by the student.

The course will feature a multitude of assignments. These can include, but are not limited to:

  • Presentations on specific topics of relevance
  • Data analysis exercises
  • Writing of scientific reports

Concrete details about assignments shall be announced as the course progresses.

The course features no exams.

Class attendance is not mandatory but strongly encouraged. Students are responsible for all information given in class, whether or not it is presented in any other form.

If a student misses a class they should consult with classmates to find out about any information-academic, administrative, or other-that they may have missed.

Use of electronic devices for class-related purposes is permitted and encouraged. However, devices must be in silent mode at all times so as to not disturb other students.

The use of electronic devices for non-class related purposes is prohibited.

  • The Quantitative Reasoning Center ( helps students improve their analytical skills pertaining to quantitative subjects.
  • The Writing Center ( helps students improve the clarity and cogency of their writing.

Academic accommodations are available for students registered with the Office for Accessibility and Educational Opportunity. Students in need of ADA/504 accommodations should schedule an appointment with the professor early in the semester to arrange for said accommodations.

Vassar College is committed to providing a safe and respectful learning environment for all students. An environment free of all forms of discrimination and harassment, including sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. Vassar College has staff members trained to support students in navigating campus life, accessing health and counseling services, providing academic and housing accommodations, helping with legal protective orders, and more:

The SAVP website and the Title IX section of the EOAA website ( have more information, as well as links to both on- and off-campus resources.