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Computer and Information Technology Tools in Signals & Systems

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Curricular Issues in Computing and Information Technology Programs I

Tagged Division

Computing & Information Technology

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Paper Authors


Cheryl Xu Florida State University

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Dr. Chengying Xu received the Ph.D. in 2006 in mechanical engineering from Purdue University, U.S.A., and the M.S. in 2001 in mechanical manufacturing and automation from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, China. She currently is an associate professor at the Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida. Her research interests include high temperature sensor design, intelligent systems and control theory, manufacturing of advanced materials. Dr. Xu has co-authored a textbook: Intelligent Systems: Modeling, Optimization and Control (CRC Press, 2008, 433 pages) and four book chapters. She has authored and coauthored more than 30 journal papers and 30 refereed conference proceedings. She has served as an organizing committee member and session co-chair for a number of national and international conferences. She also worked as an organizer for the Symposium Sensor Technology for the International Congress on Ceramics in Japan. She served as the Guest Editor for Transactions of the ASME, Journal of Micro- and Nano- Manufacturing, and has been an Associate Editor of the International Journal of Nanomanufacturing since 2008, and has been on the Board of Editor of Journal of Aviation and Aerospace Industry Manufacturing since 2010 and International Journal of Computational Materials Science and Surface Engineering since 2007.

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Seyed Hossein Mousavinezhad P.E. Idaho State University

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Dr. Mousavinezhad was the principal investigator of the National Science Foundation’s recent research grant, National Wireless Research Collaboration Symposium 2014; he has published a book (with Dr. Hu of University of North Dakota) on mobile computing in 2013. Professor Mousavinezhad is an active member of IEEE and ASEE having chaired sessions in national and regional conferences. He has been an ABET Program Evaluator for Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering as well as Engineering Education. He is Founding General Chair of the IEEE International Electro Information Technology Conferences. Hossein served as 2002/2003 ASEE ECE Division Chair. He was IEEE Education Society Membership Development Chair and now serves as MGA Vice President (2013/2014) and Van Valkenburg Early Career Teaching Award Chair. Dr. Mousavinezhad received Michigan State University ECE Department’s Distinguished Alumni Award, May 2009. He is recipient of ASEE ECE Division’s 2007 Meritorious Service Award, ASEE/NCS Distinguished Service Award, April 6, 2002, for significant and sustained leadership. In 1994 he received ASEE Zone II Outstanding Campus Representative Award. He is also a Senior Member of IEEE, has been a reviewer for IEEE Transactions including the Transactions on Education. His teaching and research interests include digital signal processing (DSP) and Bioelectromagnetics. He has been a reviewer for engineering textbooks including Essentials of Digital Signal Processing, Cambridge University Press, 2014, "DSP First", published by Prentice Hall, 1998 and Signal Processing First, Prentice Hall, 2003. He is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the international research journal Integrated Computer-Aided Engineering.

Professor Mousavinezhad was EE/EECS Department Chair, 2007-2013 and teaches classes in circuits & systems, digital signal processing and communication systems. Before joining Idaho State University in 2007, Dr. Mousavinezhad served as Electrical/Computer Engineering Department Chair and Professor at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan. He has been an invited keynote speaker for national and international conferences. He has been a Program Evaluator for ABET Electrical/Computer Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering programs in the US and for international programs.

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Computer and Information Technology Tools in Signals & Systems

ABSTRACT. Signals and Systems course is a junior-level course offered in engineering programs including Electrical/Computer Engineering, Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering. There are several excellent textbooks available for the subject matter but students still have difficulty in grasping many seemingly abstract concepts like various transform methods (Fourier, Laplace and z), modeling of signals & systems in time/frequency domains, discrete power spectrum, energy spectral density, bandwidth, filter input/output relations, Parseval’s theorem, convolution, signal-to-noise ratio, and transfer (system) function. Software packages like MATLAB, MATHCAD and WFILTER are useful computer IT tools so problems, examples can be presented in the class and simulations discussed after analytical results are obtained for the given problem. In our school we have offered a Signals & Systems course with pre-requisites of circuits I & II as well as differential equations (which is a co-requisite.) Since Matlab/Mathcad programs are available in our computer laboratory, these are used throughout the course. The textbook (third edition) by Kamen & Heck are used for the course and students can access the accompanying website at Georgia Tech. It should be noted that some class examples use Mathcad but the textbook uses Matlab. In our school we also have an elective course in analog and digital filters using the software tool called WFilter accompanying the textbook. As engineering educators teaching undergraduate courses we are all aware that these tools should be used at the right time, right place. Usually a problem is worked out using the analytical approach as much as possible, then software tools are used for presenting calculations, plots and extension of the problem using simulations. Since many advanced courses such as Control Systems, Analog and Digital Communication Systems, and Digital Signal Processing use the Signals & Systems course as pre-requisite and background information, it is very critical that students have a good understanding of the basic concepts before doing the simulations and “number crunching” on the computer and their graphics calculators. Authors have broad backgrounds in Mechanical Engineering as well as Electrical/Computer Engineering and use practical examples in the class to discuss the difficult concepts. Many techniques learned in the Signals & Systems course are applicable to all engineering systems such as: Electrical, Mechanical, and Chemical. The course starts by presenting many different kinds of signals including analog, digital (discrete-time), energy, power, periodic, deterministic and random. The linear, time invariant systems are presented next. Signals are analyzed in the frequency domain by using transform tools of Fourier Analysis (integral and series), discrete-time Fourier series, discrete-time Fourier transform, discrete Fourier transform (also FFT), Laplace transform and z-transform. By using the system (transfer) function the response of a given system is computed in both time & frequency domains.

Xu, C., & Mousavinezhad, S. H. (2016, June), Computer and Information Technology Tools in Signals & Systems Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26552

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