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Digital Signal Processing, Theory And Practical Considerations

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Innovations in ECE Education II

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.546.1 - 12.546.13



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Paper Authors

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S. Hossein Mousavinezhad Western Michigan University

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Liang Dong Western Michigan University

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

Digital Signal Processing, Theory & Practical Considerations


Digital Signal Processing (DSP) is an important and growing subject area within electrical and computer engineering (and also computer science). With the availability of “powerful” tools, software packages and hardware/software systems for use in DSP courses, we need to be careful and use professional judgment as to where/when to use and introduce these teaching aids and tools. The authors have taught both graduate and undergraduate DSP and real-time systems courses, established industry-certified laboratory in the home university where students can do projects without the actual experiments in lecture-only courses. Even “DSP on wheels” concept was used in an attempt to show some practical applications of the subject matter. But students still consider the subject to be highly mathematical and maybe too much on the theoretical side. In this paper we will show some examples of actual classroom projects, homework assignments trying to present a balance between theory and practice. With term projects and papers to be submitted, we have also used electronic (web-based) portfolio system so that project reports and documentation can be uploaded, then instructor can go online and review the work and submit feedback and assessment to the student.

There is also a good collection of textbooks available in the DSP for both undergraduates and graduate students, these are fairly recent texts but because of the inclusion of more simulation type examples maybe theory and underlying principles are being left out. Again the question of balance between theory and practice comes up for discussion among engineering educators. There are a few examples in the paper (mainly using MATLAB and MATHCAD) to show the tradeoffs and importance of understanding the theory and logic for the students before they attempt using computational routines and simulation programs. A discussion needs to be started on the actual time of offering a DSP course in the curriculum (before or after circuits?), how much DSP can/should be included in a freshman engineering type of courses that many schools are starting to offer.


For a number of years in our school we have offered both graduate (ECE 555) and undergraduate (ECE 455) courses on digital signal processing, these are each a three- hour lecture-only course. The Oppenheim-Schafer-Buck textbook1 for the graduate course is widely used in many schools. We use the book by Proakis and Manolakis2 as a reference which was also used as an undergraduate text. The book by McClellan- Schafer-Yoder3 is an interesting one for signal processing first approach used in some programs. The book by Smith4 is also available online and students can download it for free.

The first author has taught both ECE 455 and 555 courses for the past few years. The experience has shown that students like the course materials especially when examples are worked out in the class, with live demonstrations used when possible. The IEEE

Mousavinezhad, S. H., & Dong, L. (2007, June), Digital Signal Processing, Theory And Practical Considerations Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1519

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