Network Specialist Scott Arena Brings 38 Years of Industry Experience to the Classroom
Senior Lecturer, Computer Science
MS, Boston University; BS, Merrimack College; AS, Daniel Webster College
What is your area of expertise?
I spent the last 38 years of my career working in the research and development field of telecommunications and high-order networking at Bell Labs, AT&T, and Verizon Lab, among others, and my expertise is anchored in those areas.
Tell us about your work. Can you share any current research or recent publications?
I have several patents in networking and security. Regrettably, however, having recently taken early retirement, I am contractually obligated to “not say much” about my work.
How does the subject you work in apply in practice? What is its application?
The application actually arises in high-order networking. And while the TCP/IP protocol suite works for the LAN environment, the areas of data and telecommunications integrate in significantly different architectural implementations.
This architecture space actually serves as the backbone of today’s internet that we so heavily rely on. As users, we connect at the low-order access level, where the Tier-2 and Tier-1 internet providers operate at the high-order level, using completely different architectures and equipment.
What courses do you teach in the program?
I have had the good fortune of teaching at BU MET for the past 23 years as a part-time faculty member, and it has been my recent pleasure to be fortunate enough to convert to full-time. While the courses I teach have varied over the years, I currently instruct Business Data Communication and Networks (MET CS 625) and Digital Forensics and Investigations (MET CS 693).
Could you please highlight a particular project within these courses that most interests your students? Given your previous experience in industry, what “real-life” exercises do you bring to class?
In my opinion, what interests students the most is taking the time to stop and ask, “Does that make sense?” Right from day-one, I tell the class that I am not here to merely teach them the book, but to make sure that they each get what they are paying for, and that is a graduate-level class.
As for the benefits of my real-life expertise, I take every opportunity available to ensure that students understand the difference between businesses marketing ads towards them and what the technology can actually do, which are often two completely different things.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Yes—even after twenty-three years of being the guy up in front of the class, I enjoy the challenge of trying to make what can be perceived as “dry” material interesting, while making sure that we exceed past what students might come out of any competing class with.