By: Hailey Temple

In an effort to integrate modern networking technology and to provide hands-on education for students, the Center for Convergence and Emerging Network Technologies (CCENT) has been given the opportunity to test the latest in wireless networking technology at the School of Information Studies (iSchool)

CCENT students focus their efforts on understanding the future of computer networking technologies by working with and understanding the industry’s latest products and developments. This summer, a donation to CCENT’s efforts allows iSchool graduate students to get hands-on experience configuring and testing the performance of Wireless Local Access Networks (WLANs) from top vendors.

“The testing has proven to be a great experience for the students and a couple of the competitive vendors” says Associate Professor of Practice David Molta, who is the faculty leader for CCENT’s summer network testing.

For students who are a part of the iSchool’s Telecommunications and Network Management (TNM) graduate program, the opportunity offered by CCENT is a valuable way for students to both work with the latest networking technology and understand how the devices work. “This project has challenged us with many hurdles and solving them has helped us improve our technical skills. There is only so much that we can learn from reading. This project gave us an opportunity to get hands on real world experience,” says Nilesh Hirve, a second-year student in the TNM program. “I am confident to say that I am ready for a job in the real world after working on this project.”

For students like Richard Festante, who is also a second-year student in the TNM program, CCENT’s project has allowed the opportunity to work with students to find solutions to networking problems. “It’s great working alongside intelligent and driven individuals that are genuinely interested in seeing a final goal and result. This project gives us freedom to test various wireless scenarios that may spark our interest.  If we do the proper work to show what we want to test next, it can come to fruition.”

Festante and Hirve, along with student team members Rohit Sijoria, Long Ren, Sneha Mohan Phadke and Harshit Kedia will continue to work together to test the vendors’ networking devices throughout the summer.