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Mathematical Preparation

t I c i s t as iiicasurcd by faculty cxpcct:itions, sophoiiiorcs

entering E<:H 210 have rnccliorre matlicmatical sltills. This is \ t r y miicb in line with decliniog math sltills overall in the US, wlicrc tlic vidco/Intcriict generatioii is bcttcr equipped to absorli material iii sinall bytes, than tacliliiig deep matlicmatical concepts that inny profit fro111 lionrs o r days ofcotitcmplatiori. liicrcdibly, most ofour students have coiitinisd to hlme their \ w y through calculus and tiiffcrential equations (including l o t s of advanced placement ci-edit) ivliilc exhibiting serious gips ill their iiiidcrstaiiding. llius, tlie reader should rcasooalily ask, Y o u ;ire teaclling Fourier transforiiis to this gcncritioii orsoplioiiio is, i\hsolutcly! O u r stntlents iiiiist learn mathematics inore coinplctcly at sonic point. W h y not take on this project as sooii ;is they liavc finished thcir calculus and differential cquntions coiirses? Why wait? After iiiinicroiis ofhiiigs of R<X 21 0, ancl hased on student t)iitcoincs on cx<iiiis, it is clear tlwt the large iiiajority of sophomores caii Icarn coiivdution, Laplace trmsforiiis, ,itid Foirricr transforms qiiitc well. However, this docs iiot conic without soiiic patience ( : i d good liniiior) o n tlic part of tlic iiistructot-. At tlie heginning of tlie seincstcr, we poke fun ;it oiir studcnls (many of whoin

have straight As in their math cotirscs), tclling ~lieiii that we are flilly aware that they do 11ot yet k11ow calculus, hut that they will by the clid of the sciiicstcr. We take care to insert sc topics and homework I>rotilcms to give cticc in meas of mathematical wedwcss. We mplcx iiuinbcrs, co~n~ilex-\.aliicd signals, and fiinctiotis o f a complex variable in great detail, iliaking siirc to trcat all complex quailtitics as ordered p i r s of rcal qiiaii~itjcs, s o that the mystery is removed in the tiotation j = . wc iiitroducc tIic impulse clistriliiition i i i a rigorous way, .iltliougli we carry this no further tliaii iiccticrl for the purpose ofthe COII~SC. Overall, o u r stiidciits arc h r more iiiatliciiiaticnlly sophisticated coining oiit of ECE 210 tliaii they were entering. lkspite this, we should iiot set our expectattioils too high. LVc do not claim that the mathematical abilities d o u r student.; are ccliinl to those of


studcnts who have completed :I junior-level signals and s!~stcms course. We only maintain that t l i e :IW close. All studcnts aspiring to work o n tlic sigilals and El: should take Follow-on c o u r s e s in D S P , co~iiiiii~~ii~ri ctmtrol, t i o ~ ~ ~ etc. , to fiirther improve their matlicmatical sltills. Ihc additional hours a t i d scrncst iii.irtc avnilnblc Iy our new curriculum increase tli opportiiiiity to do so.

tiilicii Ixtcr. Overall, we fiiid tlic argumciits to bc highly coiiipclling.

f i x ailalog first

There is no single tcnthoolc that povitics adcqliatc coverage olthc inaterial iii li(:E 210. Ihis has posed lcw difficulties, Iio~?cvcr. We use a coniprchcnsivc set of course notes dcvclopcd by Munsoii, ,icconipanicd by a signals and systcins ccxtl)ooli I 1.11. Instructors who arc iiitcrcstcd in cxpcrimcnting with O L I ~ approach may o h t n i n t-lie co~irsc iiotcs h y sending a i l cinail to ci-~iiiii~son~iiiuc.ctlu.

Digital Signal Processing First Jamcs H. McClellaiz alzd l<onnldW. Scbnfk (;engin Imtctzttc of T c c l i n o l i g y

A.T o d w

lhe-Hiulinan InsLitute 1 f l ecbnoli~q~l For at least tlic past 50 years, most e1cctric;il engineering (M) progl-ams havc used R first coiirsc in circuit theory to provide basic knowlcdgc and sliills. Within that time pctiod, the Ht! field has moved froin its roots in electric power tlirotigh : I long period chring w h e n clcctr(inics was a domiiiaiit thcmc. <:ircuit tlicory has evolved to supp o r t the major ideas i i i clcctronic systems, so it provitlcs a

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solid bacliground in lumped parameter circuit analysis as well as introduction to lineai tell1 theory. I n the t y p iiitrodLictol-ycircuits coursc is tisually in electronics, clcctroinagncticq, i l i a ions, controls, digital systcins, a d digital signal processing (1)St). Electrical cnginccring is entering a iicw p l w x This is the iiiformation age in which computers arc ciiicrging as the tlominant tlicmc. E,viciencc of this is the trend within the past five to 10 pears ofcoiiil)utcrciigiiiccring ((hipE) ciirollmeiit outstripping El! lcvcls. The concepts oflincar system theory will survive because liiicar systciiis provide an abstract view of signals as in1i)niiatioii-heariiig a t o n x coiicrctc im~~lciiiciitatioii of signal processing, Iiowr, is now a macro-system in mhicli the hcliavior of illdividual electronic circuits is no longer visible for iiiost engineering ticsign. Comlxrter programs, i1iicroprocc~sors, ;uid gate arrays arc Fast bccoiiiing the iinplciiiciitatioii scenario for the practicing engineer. O n e olthc reasons for the relatively rccciit cmcrgcnce 01 separate CiiipF, programs (often within EE dcpartiiiciits) has been the fict that t-lie tladitioilal ordering of HI: courses ciocs not allow fir the carly introduction of critical coinpiiter engineering concepts i n digital systciiis and computcr architecture. However, close linliagc bctween El: ;iiid C h p E is very dcsirahlc a n d can be ciillallccd by a co111111011corc ofco1rrscs at the carly stages of both disciplincs. In the dcsigii of a new semester-based corriculum at Georgia Iccli, 1Xl has assumed a pivotal role in uiitiiig El< and C h p E . The r c a s o ~is i tliit 1)SP is hasically the computerized vcrsioii of linear system tlicory, aiid hciicc, it lies hctwccn computcr ciiginccring and traditional electrical cngiiiccring. Sincc a worldwiclc tcch) S i nological revolution hascd on cinbcddcd systciiis, 1 hardware, and software imtlemcritatioiis is now i i i fiill swing, DSl is a critical subject arca fix both disciplines. Ncvertliclcss, at tlic present time, most uidcrgrntluatc C h p E and Et! program begin with circuit theory and do not introtlucc 1)SP concepts until tlic tail end of tlic uiidcrgraduate program. lhc new curriculum at Georgia Tech tiiriis this arouiid. Tlic corc Lindcrgraduatc program for both EE m t i C h p E studciits hegins with ai introcluctioii to IXI. lliis iicw approach traces it roots to 1993 when w e first started ccaching such a 1)Sl coiirsc in the ( h p E ctrrricuIiiin at Georgia lecli, which at that time was complctcly separate froin the EE curriculum. Ihc original co~irse used a combinatio~i of computer tools (MAT1,AR) and I h a n d s - o n laboratory approach to bring I N theory from the senior Ic17cI down to a i iiitrociuctorg lcvcl for sophomores. The rationale was tlic following: 1)Sl concepts provide a valuahlc hasis for later co~irscs; tlic subject, by its very iiatiirc, provides an idcal setting to explore tlic litilis bctwccn computers and linear spstciii theory; and it is relatively casy to link theory and coiiiptcrs to re31 cnginccring application, tlicrchy increasing student motivation. lhis appro:ich provctl very successful, culiiiinatiiig

i n 1098 in tlic publication by lrcnticc-Hall 01 tlic h ~ ~ l i / C ~ l ) - l < Ocombinatioii M called I)SI F i ~ s tI 1 1. 111 iitially tlic s.iiiic course was introclucctl at l h c - H u l m a n Institute oflcchnologv with similar S L K cess. 111 the iicw sciiicstcr-based program at C;corgia Tech, the first electrical and coinputer cnginccriiig (F,CX) cotirsc (for EB aiid C m p E iiiajors alilic) is a coinpiiter-iiitcnsivc sophoinorc-l I co~irsc tliat introduces studciits to basic 1)Sl concepts and to a sophisticated coniputer-enhancecl Ic:irning cnvironmcnt. This c o t ~ r s c changes the El; and (hipF, programs ill many ways. M o s t iniportantlp, it dratnaticall!r cliaiigcs tlic way i i i wliich suhscqLicnt C O I I ~ Y C S in the ctirrictiIuIi1 can (and sliotild) he taught. I(ccausc the stuticnts will acquire both linear systems kiiowlcdgc and stronger cornpiiter cxpcriciicc vci-y carly in tlic curriculum, it is now possiblc nnd tC;Ich ;dl the other Ldcrgt-aduatc C O L I ~ S C S difl
Why Teach DSP First? Ihc idea of using signal processing as the first coiirsc in electrical engineering is not iicxv. Sonic have proposed tcaching analog signal processing prior to circuit theory, s o that a systciii viewpoint is prcsciitcd prior to the dctciils of circuit implciiiciitatioii 141, IS]. Ow approLich li;Is lxcn to start with l X P , aiid thcn iiiovc into analog

tciiis. lliis matclics quite well with the cvcryday cxp

ciiccs of mast o i our students who havc cspcrtisc with software pacltagcs that coiitaiii 1)SP caphilitics (e.g., image c i i l i a n c c m c n t i i i a program such as Adohcs 1 1tlicl)SI.finc approach is dcrivcci froin t notably those of Stciglitz at Princctoii

clli)rt that was ahcad ofits time hccausc the softwxc to support haiids-on processing \viis ixitlicr widely a\iailablc nor casy to tisc in the 1970s. A rccciit Ix)oli by Stciglitz presents IX1 mntcrial to cornpiiter sciciicc stiidciits who havc a Itccn interest in digital audio and coinputer music 13 I. Roth ofthcsc hoolis Invc Ilxi strong intlucncc 011 our efforts lcrhaps the most coinpelling ~C;ISOIIl i x teaching DS1 hcCorc circuits is concerned with the issue oflcvcls ofabstmctioii in system aiialysis a n t i dcsign. When designing and huilding a particular system, it is possiblc to approach tlic cicsigii at many dillcrciit I Is I-anging from a high-lcvcl view of ovcrall system hcliavior (e.g., how a n audio system plays C:l)s), to a I>locli d i x p i i i , to icical coliipoiiciits (e.g., idcal filters), to filter appr~isimations, to circuit siin~ilatioiis, to circuit schematics, and finally to I<: layouts. Ioclaysengineering stLidciits need to he coinfi)rtablc tliinltiiig at many I Is of abstraction s o tli,it tiicy can iiitclligcritlp iisc the powcrfiil computer-aided dcsigii and siiiiulatioii tools that arc avail~ihlc to tllcm. A notahlc clisacivantagc of circuit theory is that it is lhirly low 011 the laddcr of ahstriction because the circuit equations relate to particular discrete-component iiiiplciilcI1Cations. In the civcuits first approach, trcatiiiciit of higlwr-level abstractions conic Inter i n tlic educational process, so that



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studclits i i i ~ not y apprccintc that circuits arc j u s t O I K w ~ y to synthesize a licqticiicy rcslioiisc until their sciiior yc~ir. Tlicrc is sonic basis i n learning theory that shows sonic learning styles pi-cfcr this bottom-(11) q q ~ r o a c l i n which tlic s t u d e n t iiiovcs liom spcciiic to g c i i c d c.iscs. /\lso, the difticultp in presenting multiple alistraction I tits ~i pctlagogical xgtiinciit li)r heusing

iiig of tliscrctc-tiiiic sigiials arid systcins. A iiumbct of acioptcrs o f /)SI' Fznt arc usiiig it in cotirscs ii)r iioii-iii;ijors, 'l'liw, a i l "iiitrocluctory I)Sl'" cot~rsc will lie attractive to otlicr majors I>ccausctlic iiiatcrial would iiot be tied to a long prcrcqiiisitc chain .is is now tlic case. Iiistc;icl, sccontlor third-year stiitlciits coiild liiivc a glimpse ol'compiitcr iiig m e t h o d s that might iiicludc applic.itions ft.0111 their own area.

I n tlic top-tlown tiictlioil, gciicral ideas arc pr.csciitcd f i r s t and tlicii filled in with dctailcd csamplcs. Altlio~~gli Course Description we I1.1vc IlOt aLloptcd the top-dclwn m o d c l conlplctcly, Il'oiic csaiiiiiics circtiit theory for its o u r aim has bccii to illustrate iiiorc ahstr,ictioii Icvcls in rclntivcly easy t o identill conccpts tlid tlic first I:XX cotirsc. 'l'liis is fc;isil)lc I)ccausc \vc have pact. Hiit it is jiist as easy to find topics tli'it oiily rclatc t o powcrfiil soltwirc tools for iiii~~lciiicntati~in tliat we crin circuit implcmcnt.itioii in a ii;irrow sciisc. It is also possiiisc to clclvc into tlic l o w e r I Is quickly ( a s p i r t of' tlic Idc to iclcntiiji activities i i i tlic course that arc priiicipally lab). Students o l i c n ask, "Where cnii I 'ipply this stthjcct?" slcill 1,uilding fbr Im)hlciii solviiig, 'l'hc hrcncl-based tot>With discrete-time sigiinls ;iiicl systems it is c ~ s k)r y tliciii ics iiicluclc Ihisors, coiiiplcs cspoiiciitial signals, frcto answer this qiicstion li)r tlicmscl\#csI)y, for example, q w i i c y rcspoiisc, in~)ut-oiitpiitcliaractcri./..ition of n ~)roccssiiig audio 'incl video sigluils. At tlic sallie liiiic, \vc sjrs tciii , I< i rcli li() Il's Ia w s , a Ii d tra o s i i m i i s , '1'1 ic I1arrt )wcr can maintain a liiglicr-lcvcl viewpoilit i n ti)cus is tonnd i l l sticli topics as special circuits viti t ~ i i i s sciitatioiis. l'liis iihility t o float amoiig I 1i)rmation ofcirciiits. Skills include such tliiiig;s as writing t i o i i is ;I ncccssary skill in cngiiiccriiig dcsipi. ccltiilihrium cqii:itions, rcctncing complicatecl circuit cs-

I alxtraction Iiicnr'I'lic lalx lit w e l l with the multi-l clip? bccausc tlicy ciicour'igc studclits to think d x i u t t l i c tlicorcticcil iiiatcrial .it t w o Icvcls: equations that cicfinc tlic processing and coiiipiitcr progrmis that iinplcmcnt tlic processing. MA'I'I AI3 171 .ilso siipports this easy iiiovciiiciit among ahstfiictions. 'L'lic dcvclopnicnt oi' .i complete proccssiing 'tell1 Illay take o n l y a l'c\\J IloLIrs oiicc tlic system is de, ibcd i l l tcriiis ol'its iiccluciicy retciii block diagram. 'I'his top-ciowu :il)it possihlc to iisc I)S1' to show theory, applicatioiis, and implciiicnt~iticiiistogether i i i a11 iiitroductory coursc.
DSP, More Thon Just for EEs Anotlicr iiiiportxit rmsoii to ciiipliasizc 1)Sl' as ; I liiiiciatiiciital cot~rsc is tlm the sltills ;incl products ol' the clisci-

plinc :ire n o longer the sole provincc oI El;,. III tkt, tlic sttidciit hasc is swinging toward coiiiptitcr ciiginccring and computcr science, niid it is .iIso highly rcIcv:iiit t c i m o s t o t h e r engineering m d science majors. (Sec .ilso tlic article by C;rovcr in this issue.) l'lic typical 1iE service co~irsc liw 0 t h m;ijors has alwiys hccn circuits, o r a watcrctl-down iiiix ol'circuits and clcctroriics. I n tlic liitarc, 1)SI' is niuch iiiorc lilicly to bc uscliil to i i i o s t cngiiiccrs and scientists. We often get questions lioiii rcscnrclicrs iii otlicr liclds about kccpciicy spcctriim estimation iiicthods for their data, which i i o w conics i i i digital ii)riii liom ui /\-to-l) converter 011 any computing pl.itli)rm. It is quite lilicly t l i x students i i i ciiginccriiig anti sciciicc will worli with cspcrimental data that intist bc analyzcd with tlic FF'l' o r iiiorc sophisticated mcthoils, so a liindamciital background in ntial. l:or cs;implc, mccli.iiiical ciiginccrs tind signifcant iisc ti)r sigiial processing in iiicastirciiicIIt systcins, 'incl computcr sciciitists involved i n multimcdia applications can bciicfit greatly Liom a ciccpcr tiiidcrstm(1SEPTEMBER 1999

prcssions, solving dilli.rciitia1 equations h r transients, aid complcs iiuiiibcr m,iiii~~tilation. All 01' tlicsc circuit theory activities 'ire iiiiportant i i i their own coiitcst, hut they iiccd i i o t bc first i n the RI:, curl-iculum. Some iticas iiiiist bc planted in the first cotirsc, hut it is just as casy to present such .is phasors o r ft.cq~iciicy response by iisiiig digital filters, as it is by using circuit as tlic cxaiiildc system. 'l'lic essential coiiccpts tiitis( Ix covcrccl i n ' I Insic cot~rsc, h u t tlic tinderlying implcmciitation caii vary. Fig. 1 s h o w s the Table of. Contents p:igc 01' the 1lSI' f:zi,st Cl)-l<Ohl.'I'lic (:I) has many resources iiir leariling the sirhjcct including : i rich set ofticnicis and coinpiiter v stializ,ition a i d , laboratoiy cspcrimcnts to lie done with MA1'1,AB, slid 21 large sccoflio~iic\vodt ~ ) ~ O I I I C I I ~id S SOlutioiis. l'lic otitliiic in Fig. 1 shows that tlic iden is t o start simple conccpts sticli ;is siiinsoidal waveforins and tlicii move to the representation of tlicsc signals with complcs cwpoiiciitial signals. Sums ot'complcs csponcntial signals lead to tlic conccpt ol'tlic slicctrum as tlic i i i ii)rmation required to specify the iimplitucics, pllascs, and licqucncics ofall the coiiipo~ic~its iii ; I sun1 ofsinusoitls. 'l'hrough h n n c t s - o n cspcriiiicnts such ;is sy-nthcsi;.,iiig music liom a score risiiig sinusoids, studclits 1c; interesting signals c a i h e rcl~rcsciitcc'las siiiiis ofsinusoids. Saiiipliiig of' sintisoids lcacis easily to tlic i.onccpt of diasiiig. 1:I I 1 systems provide a siniplc introduction t o the inptit/otitpiit iicscription of a system, a d tlic propcrties of lincarity 'ind time-iuvariancc. 'l'lic coiii:cpt of' frcqiiciicy rcspoiisc is dcfiiicd niatlicmatic~illy, ;ind demos and cspcrimcnts iiivolving audio and image filtering give coiicrctc meaning to tlic ahstl-act conccpts. 1IR filters proviilc tlic o p ~ ~ o r t ~ i i ito i r yiiitrotlucc z-tl'ai isforins and their implicit simpliticnric,ns t o signal and system rcprcsciit~itioiis.I n o u r cprtcr-length vcrsioii of the course,


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this is w11crc w e stopped. I n a scmcstcr-length version of the coiirsc, iiirtlicr topics co11ccrnccl with contintiotis-tiiiic sigiials and systems c a n be treated. (:ontintious-tiiiic c:onvolution and the Fourier transform arc the basic iiiatlicinaticnl tools, and tlicy arc ~ised to help understand how tiltcriiig and moclulation works for continuous-time signals. The last part of the course closcs tlic loop hy revisiting the prohlcms of sampling and discrete-time filtering of colltiliuotls-tilnc sigiials using the Fourier transform
Impacts of Teaching DSP First

so the viewpoint o f b c u l t p for tlicsc new cotirscs can be

The piirposc of the introductory I X P c o ~ r s c is to introtudcnts to the abstr.ict rclmxntation ofsignals a n d systems and the basic conccpts of filtering, frcc~ticiicy rcsponse, ancl 1:ourier tl-ansfbriiis in discrete acid contiiiuoils tiiiic. At the ctid ofsuch a course, students can analyze tlic kcqucncy rcsponsc o f a system and solve hasic tilatheinatical prohlcms in Fourier analysis and z-transfi)rms. I n addition, students can implement MATLAl3-bascd systciiis that pcrform discrcrc-time tiltcring, signal synth a i i d frcquc11c!~;iiialjisis with the FFT.

(~iJM~J?,ltcl-l~aSi~d !daflgy Oiir rccciit cxpcriciicc with the integration of co111putcr-bascd material into this I)SP class has sliowo that engaging a sttidents active itivolvcmcnt is tricky. (:omp~itcr dcmos, Iiowcvcr flaslip, do not necessarily fiiltill the slogail if you build it, they will coiiic. O n the other hand, n e w sottwarc tools for coLIrsc managcmcnt (such as Wch<:T [ 61) o f k r a possildc solution by traclting student usage of comptitcr dcmos and interactive resources. A change in pedagogy is ncccicd to malie this activity an intcgral part of the studcnts collrscworli, perI1a~sby assigning liomcworli that iiivohcs comptitcr cxploritions. Another variation on this tlicmc is t o u s e c o n piiter-generated aiid gradcd qui , We arc cxpci-imcnting with short c~tiizzcs at the hcginning cach lab gciicrate iminectiatc fccdback to the professor and the s t w dents, as well as to inotivatc sttidcnts to lcecp pace with wccltly topics. With computer grading, the ovcrhcad of correcting many problcins is removed, although the intcrbcc to the sttidents is impersonal.
h p a c t an leachers

shapcd bp a tCalll approacl1. Hands-On Learninfl 1)Sl 1x1s otl1cr IlatLlral ad\~lntagcs. 1 1 1 iiig ac.adcniia inaildates that coinputcr technology be used in the support otlcarning. Wlacrc docs lX1 fit in? A large part ofthc rcvolution involves the u s e of multimedia prcsciitatioii inctliods (over the web), but those niultiiiicdia presentations arc, in het, digital audio, digital images, o r digital video. S t u d e n t s accustomcd t o sccing wch-lxiscd prcscntations arc curious to learn ahout their iiiiicr worliings, so they arc primed to lemi ahout 1 X P . To take this oiic step furthcr, consider liow o n c would t c x h the concept of Imqxiss filtering and filter design. 1Iic m:ithcmatical approach is known to anytrnc who practices lN, even though the work is ~ i o w carried out by coinpiiter progl-ams. But a cruci;il question in the learning process s h o d d be iincicrstandiiig the liltcr spccs. 111 many cpscs, the specs coiiic from an imprecise proccss that evaluates the cpility of signals processed by the filter. This Icids an educator to ask tlic question: How llxuny of m y studcnts have acclrally SccIl o r lacard the cffccts o f a lowpiss filter? 111other words, how many have proccsscd sotiiid through lowpass liltcr a n d listened to the result? Nowadays, it is not a difficult t:isli tn iiiipleiiiciit a lowpass liltcr and process audio, hut how nianp 1)Sl courses require this crpcrimciit? llic facilities to do simple, but mcaningfiil, cxpcriiiiciits in 1)SI arc now coiii~~ioiiplacc. We tisually choose software implciiicntations hccausc gciiclal-purpose conipiitcrs arc so acccssihlc (with programs lilic MKT1 AH), and many bool~s have iiow i i d u d c d MA
/ /

Changing tlic first co~irsc koni circuits to 1)SP exposes a crucial linli--thc faculty. As long as the introductory DSP coLirsc is tauglit hy a subset of tlic faculty whose specialty is DSl, the coiitciit o f t h c course will be consistent. However, wlicii taught hp faculty from related a cas s u c h as t c l c c o m ~ i i u n i c a t i o n s , c o n t r o l s , a n d electronics, the ciiiplxisis hroadcns; when taught by the Gculty at large, the cssciicc oftlic I X P co~irsc might be lost. Sincc tlit. co~irsc has t-o scrvc as a n introduction for a11 B < X students, the broader perspective is good. O n e way to establish this broader perspective is to talic an integrated approach to the revision and teaching of both tlic DS1 course and the circtiits cotirsc. Ihc set offaculty involved in tlicsc two ~ O L I I Sshould ~S be ncarly tlic same,

A 1. roble of contents from DSP First CD-ROM.



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Fiirtlicrmorc, with devclopiiicnt kits supplied by Lcxas Instrutuents 181, Motorcila 191, Analog Ikviccs 110 1, or Lucent [ I 11,for example, it is not out ofthc question for lower level students to experiment with rea-time implctncntations. In fact, dcvclopmcnt cnvirocimcnts liltc chosc produccd by Hyperccptioii 112I allow students to program real LX1 chips by just drawing a block diagram. Iliis allows students to do real-tirnc I X P cxpcrimcnts while interacting with the L W hardware at the system level instcad of the C: or assembly laiiguage level. lliis is another arca whcrc I>SP has a notable advatitagc ovcr ailalog circuit theory. It is difficult to construct a useful circuit without extensive lah infrasrructurc and a relatively long Icxiiiiig curve. I N Iciids itself t o programinablc iinl)lemeiitations thit quiclily hccomc sophisticated spstcins.

The Impact o f DSP First on Teaching Circuits Ilic fundamcntal dclxirtiirc froin a traditional ordering of coiirscs in tlic FX cLirriculum, i.c., t h e presentation of 1)Sl as the introdrictory cngin iiig cotirsc, has an cnorinous i i n p c t on tlic circuits coursc. Stlide1il.s enter the circuits course with an undcrstaiiding ot scvcral fLindamental priiiciplcs, including the conccpts o f linearity,
tiiiic-iii,,ri,iicc, convolution, and Fourier transforms (both coiltinuoils-tiiiic and discrete-time), Studclits are also proficient with manipiilating complex c:spoiiciitials and complex numbers, and they arc cxpcriciiced with a tiL1lliher of coIliplIter-hascd tools s d i x MfYll ,At<. The circuits c o ~ r s c tiiust iiicorpofiiw and Ixiild upon this base o f linowlcdgc aiicl sliills. k i n g f iicccssity of introducing basic concepts, the circuits coiirsc can focus on fiindaiiiciital cnginccring concepts within the coiitcxt o f circuits as impleiiicntations oflincar s)~stcms. Given this chaugc in student background, circuits arc iitcd as csamplcs o f lincar, time-iiivarimt systems. lhc course outline can lx rearranged so that tlic behavior of circuits to complex cxpoiiciitial inpits i?; presented carly. This iiiakcs it possible to discuss tlie system liinctiou aiid the ficqticiicp response of a circuit in coiijuiiction with its tiinc rcspoiisc. Ihcsc iiicludc t h e intcrrclatioiisliips bctwccn the timc-dom,iin and frcqticiiy-domaiii bchaviors of circuits, such as tlic role playcd h y the poles ofthc system Ihnction in detcriiiining the transient bcluvior of the system. Studciits who liavc coinplctcd the introductory DS1 co~irsc also I~avc coiisidcrablc experience in the deskn of systciiis as well as in their analysis. To maiiitain this dcsign inoinciittiiii, at GcorgiaIccIi,the circuits course also introduccs operational ainplilicrs as circuit clcinciits carly in the semester. l,atcr, t h e students learn to L I S thcsc ~ for implemciiting circuits tllat liavc arbitrary trmsficr functions, so tllat they can tlicii design and implciiicnt circuits with prcscriibcd ficquciicy responses.

Motivation is a licy issue in corc courses. Most ciiginecring students w o i i l d prohahly tcstifp that their initial courses arc endured, not ciijoycd. Many recent curricuIiin changes at the entry lcvcl liavc turiicd this attitude around by involving students in projects and activities that convey sonic iiitcrcsting aspect of the engineering process. Tlic goal is almost always to motivate further study and questioning, and this is wlicrc IN has soinc ivatural ad\rantagcs. An carly tour lioiild liavc intcrcsting projects based on realistic systems that arc readily 1111derstaiidahlc to hcginning students. Audio, speech, and mmic tit that description; so docs digital iinagc proccssiiig. Progt-amming a simple music syntlicsis algorithm is a modcl-atcly challeiiging task that gives a sciisc of ~ccoiiiplishincnt when tlic song plays correctly. Firrtticrinorc, it should be easy for tlic instroctor to l i i i l i theory to such projects. In the music syntlicsis example, the theoretical hackbonc is tlic fYcqiiciicy spcctriiin. Continuing this style in other core courses may be more challengiiig bccpusc thc link bctwccn theory and coinincm applications is iiot as tight. Impact on Advanced 11SP and CowmunicatinnsChums Otic risk with the />Sljvstapproach lies in the theoretical dcvclopmcnt of methods for signals and systems. I ,ater courses in lN, coiitrds, and tclccoiiiiiiiiiiications tend to be very mathematical, but a sophomore-level coursc will he liinitcd i n its mathematical sophistication. This shifts the burden onto the senior-level cotirscs for the inatliematics training of the students. rlic t.ationalc for this approach is that a hroad coursc that serves all ECB students c;iiiiiot provide the in-depth theory iiccdccl by specialists in that arca. 111other words, students with interests ranging from coiiiputcrs to iiiicroclcctronics will benefit from a basic education in l>Sl, but tlicy iiecd further study to acquire a strong worlting knowledge of thc subject. On the other hand, ri broad C ~ U I S Cbeliefits stiidents who talic more signals/systcms courses because the initial cc)tirsc Ibcuscs on concepts with wide applicability.


Summary Thcsc dcvclopmcnts pose intcrcstiiig cliallctigcs to cngiiiccriiig educators. 1)igital signal processing is invading every technical ciirriculum to the point that it is a basic sliill that all cngiiiccrs and scientists shotild know. Ihc whole curriculuiii, riot just HE, iniist rcspoiid t o the pressures of a computer-doiiiiiiatc~~ profession by cducaring students within the coiitcxt of the latest tcchnologp a n d the most powerful software tools. At the same time, iiiost educators agrcc that wc must also give o u r students a flrm theoretical base from which to use tlicsc powcrftil tools. 111short, our cliallcnge is nothing less than teaching our students how to tbinlz (in terms of both theory a n d p c t i c c ) when they sit dowti at a conipiter! DSP provides this unified approach to coinpitcrs and theory.


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Virtti;iIl!~all electrical cnginccriiig dcsigiis wcrc realized

aiirl/or modclcd with annlog circuits. l'liis siiiglc tcchnology scrvcd all tlic main a r c x of. clcctrical cngiiiccring: c[)iiiiiiiiiiicatioiis, clcctroiiiagnctics, and po\vcr systems. 111tlic iiiiddlc ol'tlic 20th century, t l i i i n ;in 18-month period tliat Lislicrcd i n huge ch.ingcs in clcctricnl ciigiiiccring. 'I'hcsc events cvcrc tlic dcmoiirtr,iiioii ol'tlic clcctrotiic digital conipiitcr ( 1946), iwciitioii of'tlic transistor ( 1947-X), , i d the publicntion of S l m iioii's iiiforiii.itioti tlicory ( 1948). Soiiiccvliat Iiitcr ( i n tlic c ~ r l yI960s), tlic laser w a s invented, and iiirthcr c11Ii;inccrl the tcchriologics tli;it were ~ ~ v d ~ l iSince l c . tlic mitldlc ol'thc cciitiiry, tlicsc tiiiidamciital rcsc;ircIi results Ii.ivc h c c n rcfiiicd and claboratcci, anti li'ivc hccomc tcchiiologics t h t , along with aiinlog circuits, comprise implciiicnt.itioti choices for design. 1)uc to this csplosion of tcchnology .uid tlicory, the c l c ~ t r i ~ami a l comptitcr ciigiiiccr c'iii rcalix clcsigns in variety ol'\wvs. 'l'hc choiccs tire m i i i y : wlicrc s l i o u l d analog .uid digital rcalizntions he used, \\JIlcrc slioulcl 11ardwarc alld softwarc he LISCd, dlld liow should systcms intcrfiicc with coiiqxiwr rlctworks? (~lc:ii-ly, iio single core sulijcct can be idcncilicd hitoc1;iy's ciiginccr; tlic hncliclor's Icvcl cnginccr nccds to uii-

A Different First Course dcrstand dcsigii alternatives rxlicr than 1i)cus oil one in Electrical Engineering implciiicnt'itioii iiiodc. I n fact, tcchnologicd dcvclopl h n H. Jiilmsm and J.1). Wasc,11.. iiiciits scciii to I x occurring at an iiicrcasingly rapid p;icc, Kice Unii~emiq which lias the cflkct o f rcndcriiig s o m e design choices Introductory courses 1i:ivc changed in iii.iii ohsolctc. No longer d o coiiiponciit-b,iscd designs tlomiour inhrmal survey rcvc~ilcii tIi,it i n m y strc nxc; iiistcnil, design rcvolvcs :irotiiicI ollltlic-sliclfcliips o r ciit coiiccpts r.itlicr than acldrcssing idmt c( ciistoiii iiitcgratcci circuits. Software lias 11ccoiiic iiicrcasbe taught. Most stLidics ofthc curricultuii liicus on tlic oringly importxit, wliicli lias enabled tlic algorithni to he an dering of iiiatcrial rather than concentrating oil what importait cnginccriiig coiisidcratioii. What iicw impors h o u l d he taught 1 1 1, 1 21. For example, the sigii~lprot a i t algol-ithins or tcchiiologics will ciiicrgc iii the next 10 ccssiiig coiiiiiiniiity has sliowii the bcnclit of tcacliiiig J J ~ W S is piircly giicssvvort, with university liculty no more digital signal processing as the first exposure to clccrrical or less ablc to predict tlic fiiturc tliaii people iii iiidustry. engineering concepts 1 4 1 ,15 1. l h i s tack 'itiioLiiits to 1:ngiticcring progrmis strivc to prclxirc their stiidcnts showing that lincar sigii.iI and systcni theory provides .I t o cope with change and adapt to it. '1'0 o u r \vny oftliinltgood springboard, with diqitnl signal Ixwccssing allowiiig the student to cxpcrinicnt using tools s i d i as M a t l h 111 ing, no single tcchnology (like circuits, be they analog or digital) nor approach (lincar system theory L'wglit either contrast, we w o n d c r c d if wc \vcrc tcacliing tlic right material, We w c r c not i~itcrcstcdi l l tlchatiiig \vI~crIicra~i.~log tkom analog o r digital viewpoints) captiires iiiodcrii clcctried aiid c o n i p t c r engineering. 'loday, liarciwarc vs. or ciiscrctc-time analysis should bc taught lirst, ;itid did soti-ware, analog W . digital, optical vs. clcctrical, not question tlic value ol'liiicw signals aiiti systciiis aiiJyuit-switched, arc aiiiong tlic crli1,acltct-switcliccl vs. sis. RI1 electrical cnginccriiig curricula have iiiliiscd iiiorc 11111St malic. 'l'hus, t l l C latter half cia1 clccisioiis cngiii coinputer engineering into coiirscs .rvliilc tossing out i i i a 0111 the first not otily iii tccliliolof this century diffc tcrial deemed less rclcwiiit. At Ilicc, this proccs\ lias ocogy, b u r also i n cngincc ~'~"O"c11, i l Si?/& a1 years, rcsultiiig i n ati cvoliitioiiary . A curriculum iiiiist p1.c-c1ILi1~cILt ~ech1zokl~l$y 120 lo?@ approach with isnl,itcd issiics (Iiltc "What p e s into this course?") as tlic focus rather tliiin hrmd curricul~r go~ls. c s p l o r c tcchnology, providing studcnts with the sliort-tern1 Iknowlcdgc of\vhat tccliiiologics arc availahlc, More pointcclly, co~ild t h e r e he .i fiamcworli for structtirand with the long-term cspcriciicc oflio\v tcchnologp ating wliat material t o tcacli clcctrical x i c l coiiiputcr cngiI'ccts tlcsign decisions. Wc know wlxit the tccliiiologics nccring uniicrgrdiatcs, a n d li)r teaching tliat matcrial? arc; liow docs one chart the curriciilw iilap witli s o many To palaphr,isc thouglits presented hy l k . Andrew choices? Faccd with this issLtc, w e dccidccl a ciirriciiluiii Vitcrbi during his Rricc 1,ccttirc given at Rice i n 1996, s h o u l c l rest on why technologies arc king iisccl: What 1x1s the long-staiiclingmocicl for clcctrical cnginccring cducation w a s that thejrndaccnzcntnl Li:clinnligy(r) ncedcd l ! r ~111- iiiotivatcd invciitions and what drives engineering applidcelpadzmtcs .rJ?odd bc ? m g J 9 t cn~[ynnd @ ~ F J . (;crtairily catioiis? Our corlclusioii is that Zz,fb777m?i07i iindcrlics bcforc 1950, one licy tcchiiology siifticcd: circuit theory. tilost of modem clcctrical a i d comptitcr cngin



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