ELEC 320: Signals and Linear Systems
Bucknell University, Fall 2006


Our goal in this course is to understand the basic analysis and design techniques for signals and linear systems. We will study both continuous-time and discrete-time signals and systems, and we will learn to work in the time domain as well as various transform domains. The material in this course is fundamental to many areas of electrical engineering, including communication systems, digital signal processing, statistical signal processing, control systems, image processing, speech processing, biomedical signal processing, analog and digital filter design, acoustics, radar, artificial neural networks, and others. The techniques that we study are general and also apply to other engineering systems, including optical, mechanical, thermal, and chemical systems.

Instructors and Office Hours:

The course will be co-taught by Professors Margaret Wismer and Rich Kozick. Professor Kozick will teach the lectures and Professor Wismer will teach the laboratories.

Richard J. Kozick (Lectures)
Office: Rooms 301A Dana and Breakiron 67
Phone: (570) 577-1129
FAX: (570) 577-1449
Email: kozick@bucknell.edu
Margaret Wismer (Labs)
Office: Room 304 Dana
Phone: (570) 577-1269
FAX: (570) 577-1449
Email: wismer@bucknell.edu

The office hour schedule for Professor Kozick is as follows:
(Refer to the course home page for the most up-to-date office hours)

Monday      1-2  PM
Tuesday     9-10 AM
Thursday    1-2  PM
Friday      1-2  PM
All office hours will be held in my Dana 301A office.
Other times can be arranged - please talk to me in class, send email, or call.


ELEC 225-226 (Analog Circuits) and MATH 212 (Differential Equations).

Required Textbook:

B.P. Lathi, Signal Processing & Linear Systems, Berkeley Cambridge Press, 1998.

Other Books:

The library has many books that cover the topics of this course. The titles usually contain the words "linear systems" or "signals and systems." I encourage you to read a variety of books in order to see different explanations and additional examples.

Course Web Page:

The web page for the ELEC 320 course is at
It can also be accessed by following the link from Prof. Kozick's personal home page at

The course web page contains the homework assignments, lab assignments, syllabus, and other course information. Data files and sample MATLAB programs will sometimes be posted on the web page that you will download and use for homework and laboratory assignments.


Three in-class exams (13% each)            39%
Short quizzes (announced and unannounced)   6%
Final exam                                 20%
Homework                                   15%
Laboratories                               20%

Exams and Quizzes:

Three in-class exams will be given on the following dates:
Monday, September 25
Monday, October 23
Friday, November 17 (may move to Nov. 27 or 29)
The course will conclude with a comprehensive final exam.

Short quizzes (announced or unannounced) will also be given to check your understanding of the material as we proceed through the course. Missed quizzes cannot be made-up, but your lowest quiz grade will be dropped.


Homework will be assigned regularly to give you practice with the course material. It will be due at the beginning of class on the specified due date. Late assignments will not be accepted because solutions will be distributed and reviewed during class on the due date.

You are allowed and encouraged to work on the homework with groups of your classmates. The purpose of the homework is to practice with the material and to improve your understanding. We encourage you to learn from each other, and also to ask us when you have questions. However, the homework solutions that you submit for grading must be written individually. Be sure that you understand the reasoning for each problem, even if you initially solved the problem with help from your classmates.


Professor Wismer will teach the laboratory sessions, and students will work in pairs on the labs for this course. Some of the lab exercises will serve as illustrations of the course material, while others will be design projects in which you choose the topic. You will be asked to write a lab report and/or present your project to the class.

Attendance at all laboratory sessions is expected and required. If you have a legitimate reason for missing lab, please see Prof. Wismer or Prof. Kozick as soon as possible to make arrangements for making up the lab session. Please attend during your assigned lab section.

We recommend that you keep a lab notebook for this course, but we will not collect your notebooks. The lab notebook will serve two purposes. First, it is a good way to organize the notes and data that you'll need to prepare the lab report. Second, it provides a good reference for future labs that you can use to remember how to perform certain operations with the instruments.

ABET Course Outcomes:

Please see the ABET link on the course home page.

Tentative Outline:

The course topics will be chosen from the following chapters in the Lathi text. The material in Chapters 1-7 will be emphasized more than Chapters 8-13.
Chapter B (Background):
Review complex numbers, sinusoids, phasors, impedance, and frequency response.

Chapter 1: Introduction to Signals and Systems
Classification of signals and systems; signal operations and models.

Chapter 2: Time-Domain Analysis of Continuous-Time Systems
Impulse response; convolution; zero-input and zero-state responses.

Chapters 3 and 4: Frequency-Domain Analysis of Continuous-Time Signals and Systems
Signal representation by Fourier series; trigonometric and exponential Fourier series; Fourier transform; frequency response of LTIC systems; filters; Application: amplitude modulation (AM) in communications.

Chapter 5: Sampling
The sampling theorem; reconstruction of continuous-time signals from samples; discrete Fourier transform (DFT) and fast Fourier transform (FFT).

Chapters 6 and 7: Laplace Transform Analysis of Continuous-Time Systems
Review of Laplace transform; application of Laplace transform to LTIC systems; block diagrams of systems; frequency response of analog filters; Bode plots; analog filter design.

We will include some topics from the following chapters:

Chapters 8-12: Discrete-Time Signals and Systems
Impulse response; convolution; Fourier transform; Z-transform; digital filters.

Chapter 13: State-Space Analysis
State equations and their solution.