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ECE Teaching and Learning: Challenges in Teaching Digital Signal Processing

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Electrical and Computer Division Technical Session 6

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

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Paper Authors


Seyed Hossein Mousavinezhad P.E. Idaho State University

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is the principal investigator of the National Science Foundation’s 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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Cheryl Xu Florida A&M University/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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ECE Teaching & Learning: Challenges in Teaching Digital Signal Processing

A B S T R A C T. Digital Signal Processing (DSP), together with subjects including Electromagnetics, Power Engineering and Communications/Control Systems, are among subjects that students & educators consider to be difficult to teach and learn. In our school(s) DSP is taught at the senior, first year graduate level; students have already completed circuits, signals & systems classes before taking the course. The course topics usually include abstractions such as various transforms (Laplace, Fourier and z), differential/difference equations as models of systems, convolution, transfer function, design of filters (analog and digital), power spectrum, energy spectral densities, algorithms such as FFT, HT, DCT, finally DSP applications (see block diagram below, showing a cellphone system with several DSP components) and project report/presentation. Some programs may include a laboratory section especially for the undergraduate part of the course.

There are some excellent textbooks available for use in teaching DSP, some at introductory level, some more advanced and for graduate offerings. The authors have used several software packages (modern tools) as well to help student better understand and visualize some of the more abstract concepts in the course. MATLAB/TOOLBOXES are widely used in many schools as well as in the textbooks, we have found that MATHCAD can be useful for certain topics in the course and manipulating symbolic expressions. When designing filters in addition to these software packages, WFilter which comes with its own textbook, has been used in DSP and other elective courses.

Based on our experience engineering educators need to be careful as to when/where to use software packages, sometimes it may be useful for students to use “back of envelope” simple calculations before using the tools for more complex problems. We are planning to include DSP project next time the course is offered so students can choose a DSP topic, write a term paper and make the class presentation. In the paper we will include examples of problems discussed during lectures and results obtained by simple calculations as well as simulations and graphical representation of the results obtained by using DSP tools available for educators.

Cellphone System Block Diagram:

Mike ----> CODEC (Amplifier, Filter, ADC ) -----> D S P ----> R F ------> Antenna

Speaker <------ CODEC (Amplifier, Filter, DAC) <------- D S P <---------- Antenna

Keypad Display

Mousavinezhad, S. H., & Xu, C. (2017, June), ECE Teaching and Learning: Challenges in Teaching Digital Signal Processing Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28195

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