Tangible Computer Networking

Course numbers

This course is being taught under the number CSCI 373.001 at UNCA.

Lectures, Problem Sessions, and People

The course instructor is J Dean Brock. The course lectures will be delivered on Monday from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM in Robinson 223.

Class home page

All class handouts, including homework assignments, can be found through the following URL:

Official course description

Computer networking with an emphasis on sensor-based communication: data communications, TCP/IP, client/server programming.

What does that mean

If you can touch it, it is "tangible." Examples of a tangible networking application would be a networked toaster, refrigerator, blu-ray player, or tire pressure monitor. Several years ago a home computer network seemed unlikely. Now, cars and clothing are networked.

Student learning outcomes


There are no required textbooks; however, there will be an reading list of materials available on the internet.


In order to take this class, you need to have taken the equivalent of a one semester introductory programming using a language from the C/C++/Java family. Some of the programs of this course will be written in Python.

Grading Policy


Grades will be based on points earned from two in-class exams, one final exam, and homework (which includes programming assignments) as given in the following table.

Two in-class exams 30%
One final exam 30%
Homework 40%


The following numerical scale will be used in assigning grades based on Score, the weighted score computed using the preceding table.

Score ≥ 97A+
Score ≥ 93 & Score < 97A
Score ≥ 90 & Score < 93A-
Score ≥ 87 & Score < 90B+
Score ≥ 83 & Score < 87B
Score ≥ 80 & Score < 83B-
Score ≥ 77 & Score < 80C+
Score ≥ 73 & Score < 77C
Score ≥ 70 & Score < 73C-
Score ≥ 67 & Score < 70D+
Score ≥ 63 & Score < 67D
Score ≥ 60 & Score < 63D-
Score < 60F

There will no rounding-up in computing the final grade. A score of 72.95 is less than 73 and results in a grade of C-.


All exams will be closed book and closed notes. Often, a reference sheet will be distributed which provides detailed information useful for some problems.

Attendance at all exams is mandatory. Only University-approved excuses will be accepted, provided that they are accompanied by the appropriate official documentation. Makeup exams may be given for excused absences, at the discretion of the instructor. If you miss an exam without an acceptable excuse, you will receive a zero for that exam.

Do not ask for permission to take the final exam early or late because of family travel plans. These requests will not be granted.


There will be frequent homework assignments. Some homework assignments will be simple fill-in-the-blank forms. Others will be programming projects.

Individual effort

Each programming assignment must represent your own individual work. It is acceptable to talk with another student about approaches to the assignment or to discussing a particular programming problem that you are having with another student. It is not acceptable to modify someone else's program and submit it as your own or to submit a solution “found” on the Internet. If two (or more) students turn in an assignment with trivial differences, such as variable names, the students will be asked to justify the similarities of their submitted programs before the assignment will be graded.

Email Communication

The the Dean of Students at UNCA has told instructors that all email protected by the federal Family Educational Right to Privacy Act (FERPA) must be sent to your official university email address. FERPA protected information includes not only recorded grades, but any information that would reveal that you are a student in this class.

For more information

The best way to get in touch with me is to send email to brock@cs.unca.edu. Please include the course number in the subject line. If you need to see me, send me email to arrange an appointment.