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A Practical Introduction To Digital Signal Processing Through Microsoft Visual C++ And Lab View Programming

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.37.1 - 3.37.14



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Richard R. Schultz

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3532

A Practical Introduction to Digital Signal Processing through Microsoft Visual C++ and LabVIEW Programming*

Richard R. Schultz University of North Dakota


Conventional wisdom has relegated the introduction of digital signal processing (DSP) fundamentals to the senior year of the electrical and computer engineering curriculum, since a background in complex variables is required for the frequency domain analysis and design of digital filters. However, practical aspects of DSP can be taught to students at the sophomore level, since only a minimal proficiency in mathematics is required to understand concepts such as analog-to-digital (A/D) and digital-to-analog (D/A) conversion, sampling, and data analysis. “Computer Aided Measurement and Control” has been taught to electrical engineering sophomores at the University of North Dakota during the past several years. This course has evolved as a means of not only introducing students to the C++ and LabVIEW programming languages, but also as a practical introduction to DSP fundamentals. Students begin the course by learning programming skills, writing simple Microsoft Visual C++ programs which perform linear circuit simulation, random number generation and the calculation of statistics, digital function generation, and digital filtering. These experiments pave the way for discussions on A/D and D/A conversion and sampling. Next, the National Instruments NI-DAQ software library is linked with the students’ C++ object code to perform relevant instrumentation experiments using the Lab-PC-1200 data acquisition card. Finally, LabVIEW, a graphical programming language developed by National Instruments specifically for instrumentation purposes, is introduced as an alternative to writing text-based source code. Since LabVIEW incorporates the same programming constructs as C++, namely selection structures and loop control statements, students are able to quickly grasp the design of LabVIEW virtual instruments. In addition, the visualization capabilities provided by LabVIEW help the students achieve an intuitive understanding of sampling, time-frequency duality, and filtering. The natural progression of exposure to (1) Microsoft Visual C++ programming; (2) practical DSP fundamentals; (3) the NI-DAQ software library; and (4) LabVIEW provides the students with a number of real-world engineering skills that can be applied in any instrumentation laboratory.

1. Introduction

Traditionally, digital signal processing (DSP) has been taught to electrical and computer engineering (ECE) seniors and graduate students from the classic text by Oppenheim and Schafer1 or a similar text which relies on the Z-transform to aid in the analysis and design of digital filters in the frequency domain. More contemporary DSP textbooks, such as the text by Mitra2, use MATLAB and other computer tools to aid in the visualization of sampled signals in both time and frequency. For these texts, a high degree of mathematical proficiency--particularly in the area of complex variables--is required to

* This work was supported in part by the National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program, grant number MIP-9624849. In addition, this material is based upon work supported in part by the U.S. Army Research Office under contract number DAAH04-96-1-0449.

Schultz, R. R. (1998, June), A Practical Introduction To Digital Signal Processing Through Microsoft Visual C++ And Lab View Programming Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/1-2--7351

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