Asee peer logo

Explorations In Communication Systems Using A Virtual Tool Kit

Download Paper |


2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Computed Simulation and Animation

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.559.1 - 8.559.11



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Murat Tanyel

Download Paper |

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

Session xxxx


Murat Tanyel Dordt College


A typical communication systems course is rich with processes that are best described by block diagrams. While a typical textbook on the subject may provide examples on the applications of these processes, students are motivated when these block diagrams come alive as they implement these processes and are able to test signals at each block. Such an endeavor requires hardware, space and time allocations that not every institution is prepared to commit. The next best teaching tools are computer simulations in which students can observe signals at each stage of the process. Preparation of such simulations is simplified by software development tools tailored for digital signal processing, such as MATLAB, which has become the standard package most recent communication systems books have adopted. Recent development of data-driven graphical programming languages has provided an improvement over textual languages such as MATLAB by enhancing the conceptual link from the block diagrams of these processes to their computer simulations. This paper is a follow-up on last year’s presentation1, which discussed the development of a virtual toolkit in LabVIEW. It will report on the use of the toolkit in a three-credit Communication Systems course, with examples of how this toolkit was used as an exploratory tool to probe further into the simulated systems.

I. Introduction

This paper is a follow-up on a recent paper that describes a simulation toolkit for communication systems and its development with a freshman as the programmer1. In that paper we stated that in the absence of hardware that would reinforce the theoretical presentation, computer simulations of the systems described in class are the next available tools to bring these concepts alive. We also described the particular class environment and the process in which the software development tool, namely LabVIEW, was chosen. Although MATLAB is the standard software tool employed in the areas of signals and systems, as evidenced by the proliferation of books2-4 devoted to MATLAB based exercises in those subjects, the choice of the software tool is justified in 1, 5, 6. In a separate paper, Adams and I discuss this choice from an engineering design aesthetics point of view7.

This paper will report on the first-time use of the toolkit in EGR 363, Communication Systems course offered at Dordt College in Spring 2002. Section II will provide an overview of the in- class presentations that made use of the toolkit while Section III will review some examples that reveal the exploratory facet of the toolkit. Section IV will discuss the student projects and will

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, Amer ican Society for Engineering Education

Tanyel, M. (2003, June), Explorations In Communication Systems Using A Virtual Tool Kit Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11390

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2003 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015