Master Course Description

No: EE 235


Credits: 5

UW Course Catalog Description

Coordinator: Mari Ostendorf, Professor, Electrical Engineering

Goals: To study signal analysis, linear systems, and frequency analysis. To begin learning and using MATLAB for signal analysis in the time and frequency domains

Learning Objectives:

At the end of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Describe signals in different domains (time, frequency, and Laplace) and map characteristics in one domain to those in another (e.g. periodicity in the time domain with impulses in frequency and poles on the jw axis).
  2. Understand the implications of different system properties and how to test for them.
  3. Perform convolutions for arbitrary and closed-form continuous-time signals.
  4. Analyze LTI systems given different system representations (including input-output equations, impulse response, frequency response and transfer function), and translate between these different representations.
  5. Understand how the sampling rate affects the frequency components of the sampled signal.
  6. Use and understand standard EE terminology associated with filtering and LTI systems (e.g. LPF, HPF, impulse response, step response, etc.)
  7. Implement simple scripts and functions in Matlab; synthesize, plot and play time functions.

Textbook: A. Oppenheim, A. Willsky and S. Hamid Nawab, Signals and Systems, Prentice Hall, 1996.

Reference Texts: C. Phillips, J. Parr and E. Riskin, Signals, Systems and Transforms, Prentice Hall, 2003.

Prerequisites by Topic:

  1. Calculus
  2. Complex numbers and signals
  3. Computer Programming


  1. Chapters 1 and 2: Introduction, continuous time signals and signals (2 weeks)
  2. Chapter 3: Convolution and continuous time linear time-invariant systems (2 weeks)
  3. Chapter 4: Fourier series (1.5 weeks)
  4. Chapters 5 and 6: Fourier transforms, frequency response, applications (3 weeks)
  5. Chapter 7: Laplace transforms (emphasis on bilateral case), region of convergence, inverse transforms via partial fractions, analysis of LTI systems (1.5 weeks)

Course Structure: The class meets for four lectures a week (MTWF) and also has a weekly 2-hour lab section with a Teaching Assistant. There are weekly homework assignments.

Computer Resources: The course uses MATLAB for the laboratory exercises and also for checking homework problems. The recommended platforms are PC workstations in the EE Computer Labs, but students can do some of the labs on personal laptops with the student edition of Matlab. Outside of the two-hour lab section, students spend an additional hour per week on average to complete the labs.

Laboratory Resources: (see Computer Resources)

Outcome Coverage:

(A) An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering. The majority of the course concerns learning fundamentals of continuous time signals and systems. Students demonstrate their ability in pencil & paper homework and assignments in Matlab. (H)

(D) An ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams. Some of the computer labs are conducted in teams. (M)

(E) An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems. Students routinely solve problems concerning fundamental continuous time signal processing in homework and examinations. (H)

(G) An ability to communicate effectively. Students are expected to provide clear, concise answers to questions in exams that include only information relevant to the question. In addition, they answer questions about lab assignments orally during laboratory sections, and some instructors include a brief writing assignment. (H)

(I) A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning. Students are asked to pick an example of modern technology and learn how some aspect of signal processing plays a role in this technology. (M)

(J) Knowledge of contemporary issues. In lectures and homeworks, applications of analysis tools are used to explain fundamental aspects of communication theory, image processing and signal processing. Motivating examples are drawn from applications such as music on CDs and AM radio transmission. Laboratories include simplified models of current technology, including sound synthesis. (H)

(K) An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice. Students are introduced to Matlab - a fundamental analysis software package used extensively in engineering. The demonstration of their ability to perform Matlab assignments constitutes about 10-20% of their grade (depending on the instructor). (H)

Prepared By: Eve A. Riskin

Last revised: 8 April 2010 by Mari Ostendorf, Howard Chizeck and Maya Gupta