ECE: Electrical & Computer Engineering
Accredited by ABET
Undergraduate Programs

ECE 3704 Continuous and Discrete System Theory


Spring 2015 textbook list

The Spring 2015 ECE textbook list is available online for students.

Current Prerequisites & Course Offering

For current prerequisites for a particular course, and to view course offerings for a particular semester, see the Virginia Tech Course Timetables.

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ECE 3704 Continuous and Discrete System Theory (3C)

Continuous- and discrete-time system theory. Block diagrams, feedback, and stability theory. System analysis with Bode diagrams. Discrete-time stability, difference equations, Z-transforms, transfer functions, Fourier transforms, and frequency response. Sampling of continuous systems and an introduction to digital filtering.

What is the reason for this course?

This course introduces the practical applications of signal and systems analysis in continuous and discrete time. Whereas EE 2704 introduces the fundamental mathematical tools necessary for the study of individual circuits and signals, this course broadens the applications to interconnected networks of filters, plants, and signal sources. Concepts such as stability and stabilization via feedback are important for design work in controllers, communications systems, and power systems. The study of signals and systems in discrete-time prepares the students for modern computer implementations, digital filtering, and numerical methods.

Required for all EE majors; Technical elective for CPE majors. Typically offered: Fall, Spring, Summer II. Program Area: Systems/Controls.

Prerequisites: C- or better in 2704.

Why are these prerequisites or corequisites required?

This course requires the students to be familiar with the analysis tools (specifically, transform methods and frequency response) taught in EE 2704, Signals and Systems. EE 2704 is therefore a prerequisite for this course.

Department Syllabus Information:

Major Measurable Learning Objectives:
  • Describe complex systems with the use of block diagrams and signal flow graphs.
  • Analyze the performance and stability of interconnected linear systems, including feedback systems.
  • Construct Bode plots for systems and interpret these plots to predict system responses.
  • Solve difference equations by using Z-transforms.
  • Analyze discrete-time systems with Z-transforms and transfer functions.
  • Sample continuous-time systems to create a discrete-time system model.
  • Compute discrete-time Fourier transforms and use fast Fourier transforms.

Course Topics
Topic Percentage
Review of stability 5%
Block diagrams and signal flow graphs 10%
Introduction to state equations 5%
Bode plots 10%
Difference equations and Z-transforms 15%
Sampling of continuous-time systems 10%
Z-domain analysis, transfer functions, stability, and 20%
frequency response
Discrete Fourier transforms and FFTs 10%
Introduction to digital filtering 15%

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