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From Block Diagrams To Graphical Programs In Dsp

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.513.1 - 6.513.11



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Paper Authors

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Marlin Viss

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Murat Tanyel

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

Session 1320


Marlin Viss, Murat Tanyel Dordt College


Recent Control Systems, Communication Systems and Digital Signal Processing (DSP) courses have relied heavily on MATLAB and/or C, representing the state of the art in textual programming, for their standard computer tools. Many textbooks are published containing examples, if not sections, utilizing these textual languages. Whereas this environment may be efficient in manipulating equations, textual implementation of processes best described by block diagrams loses its intuitive substance. In this paper, we will describe experiences in a DSP course with an alternative graphical programming environment, namely LabVIEW, from both a student’s and an instructor’s perspective. We will describe the adjustments that have to be made by individuals trained in conventional, textual programming environments during the transition to the graphical environment. We will give examples of implementations that are better left graphical, such as direct form, canonical, transpose of canonical and cascade realizations of IIR filters. We will conclude with a summary of student feedback on the effectiveness of the graphical programming environment in the presentation of DSP topics.

I. Introduction

As computer applications become indispensable tools in electrical engineering curriculum, we observe that a number of applications have become widespread computer tools in electrical engineering textbooks. Spice and its derivatives pervade courses that cover circuit analysis and electronics, with most standard textbooks on these subjects devoting sections or having supplements available with simulations in this application1-7. MATLAB and its derivative SIMULINK have become the standard computer tool for control systems8-11, communication systems12-14, digital signal processing (DSP)15-16 and even circuit analysis1. The C programming language has replaced FORTRAN in the electrical engineering curriculum, as the more senior author has observed this transition from his undergraduate studies in the late seventies to graduate studies in the eighties. Numerical recipes in C, either in software or printed book form17, have helped many a graduate student in getting through different projects. With the exception of SIMULINK and the graphical interface for PSpice, these different computer tools of the trade are text-based environments, as opposed to a newer breed of programming environments that take advantage of the more recent development of the graphical interface.

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Viss, M., & Tanyel, M. (2001, June), From Block Diagrams To Graphical Programs In Dsp Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9295

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