ECE: Electrical & Computer Engineering
Accredited by ABET
Undergraduate Programs

ECE 2704 Signals and Systems


Fall 2015 textbook list

The Fall 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 2704 Signals and Systems (3C)

Analysis techniques for signals and systems. Signal representation, including Fourier and Laplace transforms. System definitions and properties, such as linearity, causality, time invariance, and stability. Use of convolution, transfer functions and frequency response to determine system response. Applications to circuit analysis. Hands-on projects to illustrate and integrate the various concepts.

What is the reason for this course?

This course introduces the mathematical analysis tools needed for the study of signals, signal processing, system description, and system response. These tools include Fourier methods, Laplace transforms, and frequency response concepts that constitute the fundamental analysis methods in all of engineering. The various concepts are illustrated and integrated by means of a couple of hands-on projects. This course prepares students for further study in all areas of electrical engineering, but is especially critical in communications, control systems, and electronics.

Required for all EE and CPE majors. Typically offered: Fall, Spring. Program Area: Systems/Controls.

Prerequisites: C- or better in 2004; C- or better in MATH 2214.

Why are these prerequisites or corequisites required?

This course requires the students to know basic circuit analysis methods, differential equations, and complex numbers. Because this material is traditionally taught in the first and second years of the engineering curriculum, the student must have sophomore-level skills in order to successfully complete this course.

Department Syllabus Information:

Major Measurable Learning Objectives:
  • Describe a physical process in terms of signals and systems and describe the properties of the system.
  • Calculate the Fourier series of a periodic signal.
  • Calculate the spectrum of a signal using the Fourier transform.
  • Solve a differential equation using the Laplace transform.
  • Calculate the steady state output of a system from the frequency response plots.
  • Make experimental measurements on simple physical systems and compare these results to analytical results from time and frequency-domain analysis of mathematical models of these systems.

Course Topics
Topic Percentage
1. Definition of signals, systems, and the properties of linearity, causality, time invariance, and stability 10%
2. Convolution representation 10%
3. Fourier series 15%
4. Fourier transforms and continuous-time filtering 20%
5. Laplace Transforms 20%
6. Transfer functions and frequency response 15%
7. Hands-on applications to circuits and other physical systems 10%

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