Technological innovations have revolutionized the way we view and interact with the world around us. Editing a photo, re-mixing a song, automatically measuring and adjusting chemical concentrations in a tank: each of these tasks requires real-world data to be captured by a computer and then manipulated digitally to extract the salient information. Ever wonder how signals from the physical world are sampled, stored, and processed without losing the information required to make predictions and extract meaning from the data?
Students will find out in this rigorous mathematical introduction to the engineering field of signal processing: the study of signals and systems that extract information from the world around us. This course will teach students to analyze discrete-time signals and systems in both the time and frequency domains. Students will learn convolution, discrete Fourier transforms, the z-transform, and digital filtering. Students will apply these concepts in interactive MATLAB programming exercises (all done in browser, no download required).
Part 1 of this course analyzes signals and systems in the time domain. Part 2 covers frequency domain analysis.
Prerequisites include strong problem solving skills, the ability to understand mathematical representations of physical systems, and advanced mathematical background (one-dimensional integration, matrices, vectors, basic linear algebra, imaginary numbers, and sum and series notation). Part 1 is a prerequisite for Part 2. This course is an excerpt from an advanced undergraduate class at Rice University taught to all electrical and computer engineering majors.
MOOCs stand for Massive Open Online Courses. These arefree online courses from universities around the world (eg. StanfordHarvardMIT) offered to anyone with an internet connection.
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To register for a course, click on "Go to Class" button on the course page. This will take you to the providers website where you can register for the course.
How do these MOOCs or free online courses work?
MOOCs are designed for an online audience, teaching primarily through short (5-20 min.) pre recorded video lectures, that you watch on weekly schedule when convenient for you. They also have student discussion forums, homework/assignments, and online quizzes or exams.
Discrete Time Signals and Systems, Part 1: Time Domain is a 4-week introduction to discrete time signals offered by Rice University through the edX platform. This course was originally 8 weeks, but edX split it up into two parts, one covering the time domain and one addressing the frequency domain. Major course topics
Discrete Time Signals and Systems, Part 1: Time Domain is a 4-week introduction to discrete time signals offered by Rice University through the edX platform. This course was originally 8 weeks, but edX split it up into two parts, one covering the time domain and one addressing the frequency domain. Major course topics include signal properties, signals as vectors, linear time-invariant systems and convolution. The course requires some linear algebra and calculus (it has a pre-course assessment) as well as some basic programming in MATLAB. You don't need to know any MATLAB going in, but if you do you can skip the tutorial. Grading is based on a combination of comprehension questions, homework quizzes, peer graded free responses and a final exam. All of the course content other than assignments is available immediately so you can work ahead if you want to.
Discrete Time Signals and Systems started around the same time as a similar signal processing course on Coursera called "Digital Signal Processing." I found Discrete Time Signals to be much more approachable than the Coursera course; it introduces concepts at a steady but manageable pace and doesn't overload you with math right out of the gate. The course isn't easy, but it isn't too difficult considering the topic. The lecture videos are well-done and the instruction is very good, although some videos could stand to be broken up into multiple parts. Professor Baraniuk tends to stutter, but it didn't really bother me or detract from the quality of the instruction. The MATLAB programming questions are baked right into the edX website and let you get some hands-on experience with the concepts. The final exam is "closed book" which I think is a mistake as it promotes guessing over learning.
All in all, Discrete Time Signals and Systems Part 1 is an excellent introduction to signal processing that is likely to be more accessible than other courses on the same subject you may find elsewhere. The stage is set for a deeper dive into signal processing in Part 2.