What is Signals & Systems?

Signals & Systems is the study of how to effectively send and process information.  Information can be sent as 0s and 1s on an electrical device, or it can be send through the air as an electromagnetic wave, like radiowaves or microwaves.  Signal & systems engineers design communication protocols for everything from cell phones to satellites in space.  The electrical signal being sent can represent many different types of information, like a human voice, written text, or an image.  Signals & systems engineers also have to find effective ways to interpret signals from sensors, like a heart rate monitor or air quality sensor.  One exciting, but difficult, problem our faculty are working on is computer vision, which is the study of how to enable computers to “see” and process information from pictures like humans do.  As the world becomes more and more interconnected with wireless devices and sensors, it will become increasingly important to have effective and efficient ways to exchange, collect and store data in our technology-driven world.


ECE X5xx = Signal Processing/Communication

ECE 3500 Signals and Systems is a foundational course for this area.

ECE 3530, Probability and Statistics and ECE 3300 Electromagnetics are also requirements for some of these courses.

Fundamental Electives

Class Non-yearly Options
5510 Random Processes Online

Class Non-yearly Options
5520 Digital Communication Systems
5530/6530 Digital Signal Processing Online
5325/6325 Wireless Communications Odd years Online

Advanced Electives

These classes require the above classes as prerequisites.

Class Non-yearly Options Prereqs
6532 Digital Image Processing Online 5530
6590 Software Radio Even years 5510, 5530
6550 Adaptive Filters Even years 5510, 5530
5960/6960 Special Topics: Analyzing Neural Data Online, IVC
5960/6960 Advanced Optimization Methods for Machine Learning Hybrid, IVC

Class Non-yearly Options Prereqs
6521 Error Control Coding Odd Years 5510, 5520
6520 Information Theory Odd years 5510, 5530
6540 Estimation Theory Even years 5510,5530
5960/6960 Computational Photography

Sample Four-Year Course Plan