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Experience-based Approach for Teaching and Learning Concepts in Digital Signal Processing

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Computer Science, Computer Engineering, and Digital Systems Education 2

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.717.1 - 26.717.33



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Paper Authors

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Daniel Raviv Florida Atlantic University


Juan D. Ramirez Florida Atlantic University

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Juan Ramirez is pursuing his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering at Florida Atlantic University and expects to graduate in December of 2014. Some of his research interests lie in the areas of power electronics, control systems, and engineering education. He has held leadership positions in organizations such as Tau Beta Pi, IEEE, and SHPE. Upon graduation he plans to start working with General Electric. His long-term goals are to work in the earn a graduate degree, work in the renewable energy industry, and promote STEM and engineering education.

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Experience-Based Approach for Teaching and Learning Concepts in Digital Signal Processing This paper focuses on the use of daily real-life experiences to explain concepts in DigitalSignal Processing (DSP). The concepts are presented in an intuitive and engaging mannerthrough the use of visual examples, stories, interactive games, animations, and puzzles. Thepaper focuses on two DSP concepts, i.e., on sampling and filtering. Additional work on otherDSP topics is ongoing. Students are often times overwhelmed with equations used to explain concepts inelectrical engineering. Although it is important and valuable to understand the mathematicsbehind concepts, many students comprehend ideas more effectively (at least initially) whenpresented with examples that relate to everyday life. DSP is clearly one topic that involves agreat deal of mathematics. Unfortunately it is typically taught in a conventional lecture-focusedtheoretical manner, with very few visual and intuitive examples. This paper shares examples using a multi-modal visual approach. It focuses on theteaching and learning of sampling (including under sampling and over sampling) and basicconcepts in filtering. The emphasis of this research is on presenting the concepts in a way thatallows students to easily grasp concepts by providing many real-world examples, images (andstories), animations, experiments, games, and puzzles. Specific examples in the paper are relatedto experiences such as driving, talking over the mobile phone, and entertainment. In addition,STEM-based examples, e.g., from medicine and physics are presented. We have informally assessed students’ response to the new way of learning, and receivedvery positive feedback. In addition, in order to get a large set of high quality examples, studentshave been given extra credit assignments that encourage them to explore and report on real-lifetopic-focused instances/activities. These assignments motivate students to think critically andalso help them to better comprehend topics in DSP. It should be emphasized that the work is not meant to replace an existing DSP textbook.Instead it is designed to be used as supplemental material to the learning of topics in signalprocessing.

Raviv, D., & Ramirez, J. D. (2015, June), Experience-based Approach for Teaching and Learning Concepts in Digital Signal Processing Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24054

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