EE 421G Signals and Systems

Fall 2007



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My new office hour is every Thursday between 1:30am and 5pm in 687B FPAT.


We will have a “jam section” to discuss homework every Thursday between 5 and 6 pm at OHR C226 starting next week.

It is not mandatory and no new material will be introduced.


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Dr. Sen-ching Cheung (cheung at
Office: 687B FPAT (7-9113 or 7-1257 ext. 80299)
Office hours: Th, 9:30am-5:00pm

Teaching Assistant

Yang Liu (optimumyang at

Office: 520 CRMS (7-6262 ext. 204)

Office hours: WTh, 3-4pm


Regular class: MWF 11:00am-11:50pm (OHR C226)

Final Examination: 12/10/07, Monday, 10:30am – 12:30pm (OHR C226)

Course Description

EE 421, Signals & Systems provides an introduction to some of the essential modeling and analysis tools used by practicing engineers.  The concepts covered include discrete and continuous LTI systems, convolution, Fourier series and transforms, Laplace transforms, modulation and bandwidth concepts.  This is a large number of topics to cover in a single semester.  Because of this, we will move fairly quickly from one topic to another, with enough time to work only a few examples on each topic in class.  Additional examples will be provided through the regular assignment of homework.  In order to do well in this course, it is essential that a student diligently complete and understand each homework assignment.

Expected outcomes of student learning

1.        Classify systems based on input-output relationships.

2.        Understand the relationship between sampling rate and aliasing errors in the sampled signal.

3.        Analyze and synthesize signals using Fourier series and transform definitions and properties for both continuous and discrete time.

4.        Analyze practical continuous-time and discrete-time systems, such as modulators and filters.

5.        Analyze continuous-time and discrete-time systems with Laplace and z-transforms.

6.        Characterize input-output relationships of linear time-invariant systems using impulse response and transfer function representations for both continuous and discrete time.

7.        Apply convolution to determine the output of linear time-invariant systems for both continuous and discrete time


EE421G Topics

1.    What is a signal? (1 week)

2.    What is a (LTI) system? (2 weeks)

4.    How to compute the output of a system? (2 weeks)

5.    Time versus Frequency – different Fourier representations (2 weeks)

6.    Sampling (1 week)

7.    Building systems in continuous time – Laplace Transform (2 weeks)

8.    Applications: Op-Amp, Seismometers, Accelerometers and Modulation (1 week)

9.    Building systems in discrete time – Z Transform (2 weeks)

10.  Testing and review (2 weeks)


Your grade will be based on:


Homework and Quiz


Midterm 1


Midterm 2


Midterm 3 


Comprehensive Final Examination



  • The letter grade assignment is based on the following scale: from 100 to 90 pts => A, from 89 to 80 pts. => B, from 79 to 70 pts => C, from 60 to 69 pts. => D, from 59 to 0 pts. => E.   
  • Homework will be assigned weekly from the course website and is due in class. Each student must do his or her homework.

·        Graduate students will be given additional assignments and exam questions throughout the semester.  The additional work will generally be more advanced than the material covered in class.

  • Late homework will not be accepted without prior notice. NO EXCEPTION.
  • Pop quizzes will be given to assess class attendance.  They are open-book.
  • Three midterms and a comprehensive final will be given. They are closed-book and cheat sheets are allowed.
  • Students who have turned in all homework and taken all the quizzes will automatically receive 25% bonus towards his/her final examination (or 5%  of the overall course grade)
  • Failure to take a midterm during the assigned class period will result in a grade of zero for that test. Make-up exams will be given if the student contacts the instructor prior to the exam and receives permission to make up for the test.

Text and Lecture Notes

  • Chi-Tsong Chen, Signals and Systems, Third Edition, Oxford University Press, 2004. (Required)
  • Lecture Notes will be posted online.



MA 214 and a “C” or better in EE 221 (Coreq:  MA320).  Students taking EE 421 must be able to: differentiate and integrate sums and products of polynomials, sinusoids, and natural exponentials; solve linear, constant-coefficient ODEs; perform arithmetic operations with complex numbers and some familiarity with random distribution to understand examples of noise signals.

Sen-ching Samson Cheung
Last modified: 02/11/2006