Understanding Networked Applications: A First Course

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Morgan Kaufmann, 2000 - Computers - 623 pages
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Designed for use in undergraduate and graduate courses in Information/Library Science, Telecom, Business, Engineering and Medical Infomatics programs, this textbook offers nonexperts an accessible, thoughtful introduction to the applications and infrastructure in networked computing, providing information to make the right technological and organizational decisions in working with developers to design or acquire effective computing solutions.

Understanding the rich conjunction of networking and computing is essential for anyone involved in the formulation and implementation of new application ideas, whether in business, education, or government. Most non-computer science students entering the IT profession today have not been adequately prepared to work with, let alone take advantage of the computing infrastructures they'll encounter in the real world. The only courses that currently discuss aspects of this environment in any detail are in Computer Science departments, and are at a level that is considerably too advanced for their needs and backgrounds. And these courses are not likely to cover the economic, societal, and governmental issues that are also important for them to understand.

This is probably the first book in computing that takes a top-down approach, starting with applications. The focus is on explaining core concepts and terminology, getting into technical detail only where necessary. Example and analogies from everyday life help students to better understand concepts such as object-oriented programming, data mining, encryption, firewalls, etc. which might otherwise seem intimidating. Peppered throughout are sidebars that contain anecdotes, more detailed explanations, and additional examples that give students a refreshing break from the running text.

* Takes a functional, top-down approach, moving from application opportunities to a forward-looking view of the possibilities and limitations of networking and computing technologies.
* Uses plain English to explain important networked computing terminology and concepts, such as security, middleware, and electronic payments.
* Offers frank and enlightening discussions of general application categories, hardware and software infrastructure, up-and-coming communication technologies, and policy issues--social, economic, and governmental--affecting the future of networked computing.

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About the author (2000)

David G. Messerschmitt is the Roger A. Strauch Chaired Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at the University of California at Berkeley. From 1993-96 he served as Chair of EECS, and prior to 1977 he was with AT&T Bell Laboratories in Holmdel, N.J. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and is the 1999 recipient of the IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal recognizing "exceptional contributions to the advancement of communication sciences and engineering".

Messerschmitt's current research interests include wireless access to packet networks, network management, the role of mobile code in network infrastructure, the convergence of computing and communications, and the economics of networks.

Messerschmitt is active in new curriculum development bringing highly relevant social science concepts to engineering students and educating a broader crossection of students in information technology. He has initiated both undergraduate and graduate courses in networked applications and computing aimed at social science and business students, and Networked Applications is an outgrowth of this effort. With Hal R. Varian, he also initated a graduate course in the non-technical factors contributing strongly to the success or failure of new high-technology products. Networked Applications is also used in this course, which is taught to a mixture of engineering and business students.

Messerschmitt is a co-founder and Director of TCSI Corporation, and a Director of Coastcom Inc. He is on the Advisory Board of the Fisher Center for Management & Information Technology in the Haas School of Business, the Kawasaki Berkeley Concepts Research Center, and the Directorate for Computer and Information Sciences and Engineering at the National Science Foundation. In the University of California Academic Senate, he

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