Charlotte, North Carolina
June 20, 1999
June 20, 1999
June 23, 1999
4.489.1 - 4.489.5
Session 1309 Teaching Signal Processing Using Notebooks Richard Shiavi, Ph.D. Biomedical Engineering, Vanderbilt University Nashville, Tennessee 37235
Signal processing is now being used in many disciplines of engineering because of the omnipresence of desktop computers and sophisticated application environments. Many concepts involved in signal processing are difficult to learn because: they are embedded in discrete mathematics and not easy to visualize; and the background in which to embed the learning is lacking. This usually leads to erroneous implementation of a technique and difficulty in finding relevance of the material. In order to address these issues and teach techniques such as frequency analysis and signal modeling, a series of interactive notebooks have been developed. These notebooks are written in the integrated environment of Microsoft Word and MATLAB. Each notebook presents a principle and demonstrates its implementation via script in MATLAB. The student is then asked to exercise other aspects of the principle interactively by making simple changes in the MATLAB script. The student then receives immediate feedback concerning what is happening and can relate theoretical concepts to real effects upon a signal. He is finally required to implement the learned procedure on a signal from a database of actual measurements. Signals measured from real-world applications are used as much as possible. Students enjoy learning in this environment because it helps them visualize immediately the results of the mathematical manipulations and enables them to explore interactively.
Signal processing is now being used in many in many phases of engineering because of its proven usefulness and it has become an essential component in the curricula for electrical and computer engineering1. The omnipresence of desktop computers and sophisticated application environments have made it possible for almost anyone to implement the techniques. The lowered cost of laptop computers is now making the possibility of using them in any classroom a feasibility in the future. The recognition of these facts have prompted NSF to support a database of information that is accessible via the WWW2. However, many concepts involved in signal processing are difficult to learn because they are embedded in discrete mathematics and not easy to visualize for many students. This usually leads to erroneous implementation of a technique. A recent (1994) National Science Foundation Panel (NSF) on "Signal Processing and the National Information Infrastructure" has found that although interactive teaching and learning modalities have developed very rapidly for simple textual data, there is a great need to develop interactive teaching modalities in signal processing. Several environments have been proposed. They range from using JAVA with a web browser to developing the entire set of exercises in C++ to using MATHCAD3,4,5. However, none of these environments are easily changeable by the instructor or use the environment of choice for industry and education – MATLAB2.
Shiavi, R. (1999, June), Teaching Signal Processing Using Notebooks Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina. https://peer.asee.org/7974
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