ECE 2704 Signals and Systems | ECE | Virginia Tech

Undergraduate PROGRAMS

Course Information


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.

Why take 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. Course 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.

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 the results to time and frequency-domain analytical results

Course Topics


Percentage of Course

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%