Our objective in this course is to introduce digital signal processing (DSP) on the computer. In engineering practice, DSP system conception, design, verification and implementation are done almost entirely on computers with various application, or software, packages. Mathematical programming languages are used extensively early in the design process. We shall use a mathematical programming language in this course. This will enable you to more rapidly acquire, integrate and make interesting applications of, knowledge about DSP, in a context similar to that encountered in practice.



Technology for Learning


We will use the mathematical programming language Mathcad. It is interactive, with mathematical (numerical and symbolic), graphical and textual capabilities which are integrated in a natural worksheet interface. Such an environment naturally enforces some of the reality of digital signal processing systems. We will use an interactive book which is a set of hyperlinked Mathcad documents. Also, we will be using a computer classroom in which each student and the instructor will have access to a computer running the interactive book.


We will use this technology to enable a degree of self-selected content, self-selected pacing and group activity. By "seeing, listening and doing", with text and active mathematics and graphics, it is expected that the rate of acquiring and integrating the course content will be dramatically increased and that diverse learning styles will be accommodated to a greater degree.





The Textbook for the course is An Introduction to Digital Signal Processing with Mathcad which I have written for this course. It is a hyperlinked set of Mathcad worksheets and supporting documents that runs as an Electronic Book under Mathcad. It is installed on the PCs in the computer classroom. (An earlier version in installed on the file server in the Engineering PC computer facility.) The book has been published by PWS Publishing, which has a CD-ROM that includes all required files. It contains instructions for installing the Textbook on your own PC. A traditional book will not be assigned. The Textbook makes detailed references to popular DSP books that will be placed on reserve in the Engineering Library.



Methods of Learning


The class sessions will be in the computer classroom. Each class session will cover roughly one chapter in the Textbook. You are expected to have read and worked with the chapter before it is taken up in a class session. Exercises and Problems will often be discussed and projects introduced. Learning methods will always involve student participation and may be led or mentored by the instructor; often self-mentoring is encouraged. Your varied participation in group activity is encouraged at times. (Working in a group is a learning technique and is a facility desired by many employers.) You can maintain an annotated copy of the Textbook- little note-taking is necessary- and you will create your own documents. (Bring a diskette to class to save your annotated copy of the book and other work you do in class!)





The course core content is covered in Chapters 1-10 and 15-20 of the Textbook. Conventional design methods are discussed in Chapters 10-14 and 21-23. Modern design methods and applications are discussed in Chapters 11 and 24-32. The class sessions will be devoted to the core content, supplemented in accordance with your and others' interest. You will be expected to master the core content and augment it with material chosen from the remaining material and other sources of your choosing.





Your learning progress will be evaluated with short – possibly unannounced – quizzes (20%), required projects (30%), portfolios (25%) and a final examination which is a final design project (25%).


The quizzes may be drawn from Exercises and Problems in the textbook. A quiz is likely submitted on paper in class.


The projects may be drawn from the Projects in the textbook. A project is submitted entirely as a Mathcad document. (The mode of submission is discussed below under "Communication")


A portfolio is a collection of your work that displays your attained knowledge and skills. A portfolio’s contents will be at least partly selected, by you – e.g., from Exercises, Problems and Projects given in the Textbook, and may be supplemented by yourself. A portfolio will consist entirely of Mathcad documents. (The mode of submission is discussed below under "Communication")


The Final Examination will be a Group Final Project, due at the scheduled Final Examination Time and which your group will present to the class in the computer classroom. The ability to make presentations is an important professional skill. This will be an opportunity to begin learning how to do so- and in a friendly setting! Your attendance for the full period is required. The group size is four people and you may choose your own groups; all will participate fully in the group activities, including its 20-minute presentation. You will be asked to evaluate each group member’s contribution. The report will also be submitted as discussed below under "Communication".


A demonstration of competence in the core content and in some design methods will merit an above average grade (B). Evidence of your own creative work, especially in the Final Project, will merit a higher grade (A).


In order to continually improve the course you may be asked to complete questionnaires evaluating the course, learning methods and instructor.





My e-mail address is I normally read my e-mail at least once a day. e-mail has been found to be an effective means of communication and typically handles most of the needed extra-class communication. Office appointments can be requested. My AV Williams office is Rm. 1365 and the telephone is 405-6082. (As they are infrequently needed and as I am a (retired) Professor Emeritus, my office hours are irregular and appointment times should be requested – e.g., by e-mail - before or after, and near, class periods. Also, I work at my home office: if you need an "immediate answer", the telephone number is 301-762-0093. My fax number is 301-762-3506.)


The projects, portfolios and Final Project will be submitted by diskette or file transfer. For file transfer use the address ~harger/coursework/425; you have write-only permission; create a subdirectory – with your initials as the first three characters - for multiple document submissions! Your grade will be returned on the submitted diskette or by e-mail.


There is a "class web site" at ~harger/ that contains relevant Mathcad documents. Supplementary Mathcad documents- e.g., projects worked on in class by us and also examples of student projects- will be placed on this Web site. Examples of student work may be added to the class Web site at my option. Files may be transferred by FTP. Also, Mathcad (6.0+ or 7.0) has a built-in Web browser that is convenient; Mathcad can also be installed as, e.g., a helper application in Netscape. The Computer Science Center's free WITS and INET packages enable communication from your home PC.




Class Attendance: required! You are expected to participate in the class learning process! Chapters to be discussed should be read in advance. (Frequent, unexcused absences can result in a reduced course grade.)


Late work: not accepted, in the absence of a valid excuse, in fairness to other students.


The Final Project: will be presented to the class in the computer classroom on


Monday December 14 8-10 AM


Your attendance for this entire exam period is required.


Academic Dishonesty: see the Guidelines in the Undergraduate Catalogue.


Disabilities: if you have a documented disability and wish to discuss academic accommodations with me, please contact me as soon as possible.





Mathcad 6.0+ is installed on the PCs in the Computer Classroom and in the Engineering Computer facility. The Textbook is written in version 6.0+ . You can purchase the current version of Mathcad, 7.0, at the bookstore.