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A Vertically Integrated Application Driven Signal Processing Laboratory

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.105.1 - 10.105.11



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Paper Authors

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Leslie Collins

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Lisa Huettel

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

Session #1526

A Vertically-Integrated Application-Driven Signal Processing Laboratory

Lisa G. Huettel and Leslie M. Collins

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Duke University, Durham, NC


Hardware-based laboratories have been successfully integrated into individual Digital Signal Processing (DSP) courses at many universities. Typically, most hardware-based DSP laboratory experiences are offered to upper-level students and focus on programming the signal processor. Although fundamental concepts are explored in laboratory exercises, the emphasis often remains on the mechanics of hardware implementation. Thus, topics are not presented in the context of realistic applications. While such an approach may be ideal for preparing motivated upper-level students for future careers in signal processing, it is not suitable for students with no prior experience in the field. The signal processing laboratory being developed at Duke University is modeled, in part, after existing successful signal processing laboratories, but introduces two innovative features. First, the new laboratory will be integrated into multiple courses from the sophomore to senior level, rather than a single course. Second, the laboratory exercises will be application-driven and will emphasize the development of signal processing algorithms to be implemented on the hardware. As the students advance through the signal processing curriculum, they will transition from high-level algorithm generation to hardware-level design and implementation. This hierarchical training will provide a thorough, extended, and increasingly focused exposure to signal processing.

1. Introduction

Digital signal processing (DSP) is central to modern Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) undergraduate curricula. The discipline of signal processing combines an extensive mathematical background with practical design skills. To prepare for a successful career in signal processing, whether in industry or academia, students should develop expertise in two domains: the theoretical understanding of signal processing problems and the design of devices or algorithms to solve those problems. As part of its ongoing curriculum reform, the ECE department at Duke University has implemented a new DSP laboratory that impacts student instruction in multiple courses. In this paper, we describe the motivation for creation of our DSP laboratory, its pedagogical principles, its implementation in our undergraduate major, and the key challenges that remain.

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Collins, L., & Huettel, L. (2005, June), A Vertically Integrated Application Driven Signal Processing Laboratory Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15372

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