Introduction to ICT
Bridging module for students from non-computing backgrounds
The overall aim of the module is to provide students with a basic knowledge of the key Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) that are being deployed in the current and emerging information industry. The technologies will be presented at an overview level, but with an attempt to teach the underlying principles so that students understand what lies behind the many acronyms and product titles in this field.
The course is taught in 10 sessions, with each session lasting for two hours, and will involve a mixture of lectures and breakout active learning sessions. The topics are as follows (note that the earlier sessions are concerned with fundamentals while the later sessions will examine contemporary research issues and trends):
- Inside the Internet - fundamentals of networking: networking and internetworking; layering and protocols. Example (inter)networks. Introducing the Internet: The Internet architecture; the TCP/IP protocol suite; names, addresses and routes. Case studies.
- Inside the World Wide Web - an examination of the WWW, how it has evolved, and the impact it has had on the design, operation and use of the Internet.
- Distributed Systems - definition and motivation. Potential problems. The client-server paradigm. Remote procedure calls (RPC); Inside RPC technology. Open distributed processing and middleware. Styles of middleware. Focus on distributed object technology. From objects to components.
- Security - security in distributed systems. Principles of security. Basics of cryptography: secret key encryption; public key encryption. Authentication and key distribution: the Needham and Schroeder protocol.
- Mobile Computing - the emergence of mobile computing. Impact: mobility and IP; mobility and the WWW; mobility and middleware. The essence of mobility. Context awareness. Example applications: applications at Lancaster; the Guide system.
- Multimedia - a look at multimedia applications and systems along with an examination of the demands these place on ICT systems.
Ubiquitous Computing - Mark Weiser's vision; enabling technologies: devices; communications; case study: The Internet Alarm; ubiquity and middleware: problem analysis; resource discovery platforms; focus on Jini.
Note that because of the nature of the subject, the precise details will be subject to change.