Design And Setup Of A Networking And Distributed Processing Lab For Recruiting, Teaching, And Research
2008 Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings
In our continuous efforts to enhance the undergraduate curriculum in the Computer and Information Sciences department, we have created a new infrastructure networking and distributed processing lab (UTB/TSC-NDPL). The primary goal of this infrastructure is to enhance the existing curriculum in the undergraduate level by providing a state-of-the-art environment, isolated from the university campus network, in which Computer and Information Sciences (CIS) students can get hands on experience in
... on experience in areas such as Networking, Ad Hoc Computing, Wireless and Mobile Networking, Operating Systems, Image and Video Processing, Computer Vision and Distributed Processing. The involved faculty, joined by top selected students, went through three distinct phases in creating the networking and distributed processing lab (NDPL): design and setup, specification and implementation, and integration into CIS curriculum. The design phase of the project relates to setting up the physical and logical topology of the network. We enclose a copy of the final design adopted as an appendix. The implementation phase relates to the choices of the equipment purchased and the different factors that influenced these choices as well as their overall role in the lab. As the design and implementation phases were completed, the CIS faculty created a new set of courses and lab modules to take advantage of the NDPL. Some new courses were created after the completion of the lab that include Internet/Intranet Server, Internet Communications, and Web Sever Support and Maintenance. Additionally, many lab modules were created to support current and existing courses and to improve research related to NDPL. These lab modules range from simple network setup and configuration to more advanced topics such as firewalls, streaming media, parallel computing, and distributed processing. The paper describes in detail the lab modules and how they relate to different competencies and course objectives set up by the department and based on accreditation authorities in the field. Since its inception and based on enrollment figures NDPL has played a vital role as a catalyst in retaining students in CS/CIS by allowing them to create and work in realistic real-world environments. Such unprecedented exposure is facilitating certification and licensure and is increasing the students' competitiveness in the job market as well as preparing them for graduate studies in Science and Engineering should they choose to pursue that avenue.