Wireless Networks


Dr. Sen-ching “Samson” Cheung

Email: sccheung@ieee.org

Physical Office: Room 217, Davis Marksbury Building (859-218-0299)

Office Hours: Schedule appointment at http://drcheung.youcanbook.me

Course Description:

This course is a survey course on computer networking with a special emphasis on wireless networks. We will study the concepts and fundamental design principles that have contributed to the phenomenal success and growth of different types of wireless networks, and how they form an integral component of the global internet. Topics covered in this course include wireless transmission basics, radio propagation issues, digital modulation, spread spectrum, error control, packet/circuit switching, addressing, congestion control, routing and internetworking. Important standards including TCP/IP, WiFi, Bluetooth, Cellular Networks, etc. will also be covered.

Expected Outcomes of Learning

A student who has successfully completed this course should be able to:

  1. Understand and appreciate how frequency spectrum are allocated for different wireless communication networks
  2. Characterize physical aspects of wireless transmission including antenna patterns, path loss, fading, and other channel impairments.
  3. Analyze basic modulation schemes such as ASK, FSK, and PSK, as well as understand advanced schemes including multicarrer modulation and spread spectrum.
  4. Describe basic functionalities and list examples of protocols used in different network layers
  5. Analyze error handling and congestion avoidance of TCP, as well as how it is affected by wireless and mobile transmission
  6. Understand challenges and design principles of different wireless networks including IEEE 802.11 (Wi-Fi), Bluetooth, IEEE 802.15 (IoT), and 4G LTE.
  7. Implement and analyze a substantial wireless networking application

Course Assignments

  1. Homework and Laboratory Exercises
    • Each assignment is a team project for two students. It must be typed and submitted online to Canvas.
    • Each student must be in at least 3 different teams throughout the semester.

2. Course Participation

    • Insightful comments and questions, active participation of in-class lab exercises

3. Lecture Quizzes

    • Online end-of-chapter quizzes

4. Midterms

    • Two closed-book midterms will be given.
    • One double-sided chat sheet is allowed for midterm 1 and two for midterm 2.
    • Make-up exams will only be given if the student contacts the instructor prior to the exam and receives permission to make up for the test

4. Final project

    • It is a team project for up to three students.
    • Grading is based on an in-class presentation+demo and a project report.

5. Term paper (Graduate student)

    • A 6-page double-column term paper on an instructor-approved topic in the broad area of wireless networking topics

Required Text

  • Beard & Stallings: Wireless Communication Networks and System, first edition, Pearson, 2016. (website) (amazon)
  • Stewart, Barlee, Atkinson & Crockett: Software Defined Radio using MATLAB & Simulink and the RTL-SDR (website)

Optional Text


  • Prior experience with Matlab and Linux
  • MA 320/STA 381 or proficiency in basic discrete probability
  • EE 421 or general knowledge of Fourier representation
  • CS 215 or ability to program in a high-level programming language
  • Have access to a laptop PC (windows or windows emulator) to which you have administrative right to install programs.

Course Policies:

  1. Submission of Assignments - All submissions are done through Canvas. Late homework will only be accepted if acceptable excuse is provided to the instructor before the deadline. Otherwise, 50% will be deducted if the submission is less than 24 hours late and the submission window will be closed after 24 hours.
  2. Excused Absences - Students need to notify the professor of absences prior to class when possible. S.R. defines the following as acceptable reasons for excused absences: (a) serious illness, (b) illness or death of family member, (c) University-related trips, (d) major religious holidays, and (e) other circumstances found to fit “reasonable cause for nonattendance” by the professor. Students anticipating an absence for a major religious holiday are responsible for notifying the instructor in writing of anticipated absences due to their observance of such holidays no later than the last day in the semester to add a class. Information regarding dates of major religious holidays may be obtained through the religious liaison, Mr. Jake Karnes (859-257-2754). Students are expected to withdraw from the class if more than 20% of the classes scheduled for the semester are missed (excused or unexcused) per university policy.
  3. Verification of Absences - Students may be asked to verify their absences in order for them to be considered excused. Senate Rule states that faculty have the right to request “appropriate verification” when students claim an excused absence because of illness or death in the family. Appropriate notification of absences due to university-related trips is required prior to the absence.