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Advanced Communication Systems

  • Instructor: Dr. David R. Carey
  • Email: david.carey@wilkes.edu
  • Phone: 570-408-4807
  • Office: SLC-221
  • Office Hours: As posted on office door or by appointment.

Lecture and Location:

  • T 18:00-20:45 SLC 224

Prerequisites: Graduate Standing in MSEE Program.

Course Description: This course is a graduate level introduction to the principles of digital communication systems. A digital communication system is one that transmits a source (voice, video, data, etc.) from one point to another, by first converting it into a stream of bits, and then into symbols that can be transmitted over channels (cable, wireless, storage, etc.). The use of the digital bit-stream as the interface between the source and the channel is universal regardless of what kind of source and channel are involved. Digital communication principle, with "bit" as the most important concept of the information age, and applications in computer science, Internet, wireless, etc., is one of the most successful stories of applying mathematics in engineering designs. The course gives an overview of the designs of digital communication systems. The student will learn the mathematical foundation of decomposing the systems into separately designed source codes and channel codes. It will introduce the principles and some commonly used algorithms in each component, to convert continuous time waveforms into bits, and vice versa. There is a comprehensive introduction to the basics of information theory, a rather thorough treatment of Fourier transforms and the sampling theorem, and an overview of the use of vector spaces in signal processing. The course would be beneficial particularly to students who are interested in doing research in fields related to communications, networks, and signal processing. The general principle and philosophy of the engineering designs discussed in this course are inspiring to all engineering majors. Review of signal and system analysis, sampling theorem and Nyquist's criteria for pulse shaping, signal distortion over a channel, study of digital and analog communication systems, line-coding, signal to noise ratios, performance comparison of various communication systems. This will include theory and hands-on application.

Couch: Leon W. Couch II, Digital & Analog Communication Systems, 8th Ed., Prentice Hall (ISBN 9780132915380)


  • Leon W. Couch II, Digital & Analog Communication Systems, 8th Ed., Prentice Hall (ISBN 9780132915380)
  • MATLAB® & Simulink® Student Version http://www.mathworks.com/academia/
Recommended readings:
  • Digital communications: J. Proakis,
  • Random process: G.R. Grimmett and D.R. Stirzaker,
  • Estimation and detection: H.V. Poor,
  • Information theory: T. M. Cover and J. A. Thomas,
  • Error correct coding: P.Sweeney, Error Control Coding

Lectures: You are responsible for all material covered in the textbook and in lecture, including any announcements made or special handouts distributed in lecture. If you must be absent during a given lecture, check with a friend to make sure you know what was covered.

Reading Assignments: Students are expected to read the relevant text book chapters and all handouts by the assigned class period.

Computer Use: Students are expected to use computers to do analyses, to prepare reports, and to conduct out-of √class assignments. Computers will be used to analyze data, prepare engineering graphs for reports, and perform analytic studies. Knowledge of word-processing, spreadsheet, and analysis software (i.e., PSpice, Word, Excel, Matlab, etc.) is required.

Homework: The weekly assignments represent by far the most important element of the course, and where you will learn the most. I encourage you to work on them in groups if you like; the assignments will occasionally be difficult and may require more than one head! However, be convinced in the depths of your soul that letting others do the work for you will lead to disaster at test time. A good technique for many students is to try the assignment individually, then to get together with a friend or in a group for the tough ones. Many years of experience have shown that students who do not work the assignments thoroughly do not really understand the material and perform poorly at test time. Reading the text is never sufficient! You are expected to do your homework assignments by their due dates and have them available in class. Since the homework assignments are not graded, you may receive help on these or even work with another student. However, if you do this, please indicate the degree of your own involvement. If you simply submit a xerox copy of another student's work, explain your own role in doing the assignment, which should not be limited to just operating the copier. The degree to which students participate in doing homework will be subjectively judged and may influence the final grade by up to a point in either direction in borderline cases, as well as affecting the subjective "class participation" part of the grade. The intent here is to allow any degree of cooperation and help on the homework, and use the pop quizzes as the grading mechanism to motivate doing homework.

Grading: You are welcome to discuss the assignments with other students or with the instructor after you have made an effort by yourself. However, you must turn in your own work, not work identical to that of another student. Be sure to credit at the top of your assignment anyone with whom you discussed ideas. It is an honor code violation to simply copy someone else≠s work or refer to solutions from previous years.

All material will be graded on a basis of 0-100. On tests and the examinations some questions may be "compensated" if large numbers of students miss them (indicating possibly a badly posed question or inadequate coverage of the topic in class). On such questions, some proportion of the "lost" credit will be returned. This is the only form of "curving" of grades in the course. All written work is expected to be neat and well presented. A penalty of up to 10% will be assessed for poor presentation, and in extreme cases perhaps more.

If you miss an assignment for a valid, verified emergency, see your instructor. Letter grades will not be based on a curve but rather on the following fixed scale:

  • 93-100 = 4.0,
  • 88-92 = 3.5,
  • 83-87 = 3.0,
  • 77-82 = 2.5, Anything below 3.0 is not acceptable performance in MSEE program.
  • 70-76 = 2.0,
  • 65-69 = 1.5,
  • 60-64 = 1.0,
  • below 60 = 0.0.

The advantage of the fixed scale is that you are not competing with other students to get ahead of the curve. Everyone who works hard can do well in the class. It is possible that the entire class can receive A(s) (all scores would be 93% or better). Those who do not do the work will score accordingly

  • Class Participation 10%
  • Test 1 20%
  • Test 2 20%
  • Final Exam 40%
  • Homework 10%
How to succeed in this course:
  1. It is expected that a successful student will invest at least two times the lecture period studying and problem-solving per week. Do not expect a good grade if you are not prepared to work at least this much.
  2. Read the assigned text before coming to lecture. The importance of this cannot be overemphasized.
  3. Work as many problems as possible on a weekly basis; the assigned ones represent the minimum recommended. Do these on your own, if possible; then work with other students to solve the problems.
  4. Keep up on a regular basis; cramming doesn≠t work.
  5. No late homework will be accepted.
  6. Plagiarized homework from another student will result in an automatic zero for all parties involved.
  7. No make-up exams will be given.
  8. Class attendance will be considered in the assignment of final grades for borderline situations.

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This Page was last update: Monday, February 2, 2015 at 12:58:13 PM
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