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ELEC5721: Foundations of Signals and Systems (2014 - Semester 2)

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Unit: ELEC5721: Foundations of Signals and Systems (6 CP)
Mode: Normal-Day
On Offer: Yes
Level: Postgraduate
Faculty/School: School of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Unit Coordinator/s: Dr Yi, Xiaoke
Session options: Semester 2
Versions for this Unit:
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: None.
Brief Handbook Description: This unit aims to teach some of the basic properties of many engineering signals and systems and the necessary mathematical tools that aid in this process. The particular emphasis is on the time and frequency domain modeling of linear time invariant systems. The concepts learnt in this unit will be heavily used in many units of study (in later years) in the areas of communication, control, power systems and signal processing. A basic knowledge of differentiation and integration, differential equations, and linear algebra is assumed.
Assumed Knowledge: Basic knowledge of differentiation & integration, differential equations, and linear algebra.
Lecturer/s: Dr Yi, Xiaoke
Timetable: ELEC5721 Timetable
Time Commitment:
# Activity Name Hours per Week Sessions per Week Weeks per Semester
1 Lecture 1.00 2 13
2 Laboratory 2.00 1 6
3 Tutorial 2.00 1 6
4 E-Learning 1.00 1 13
5 Independent Study 2.00 2 13
T&L Activities: E-Learning: Seminar and onlin discussion/assessment

Independent Study: Self-study

Attributes listed here represent the key course goals (see Course Map tab) designated for this unit. The list below describes how these attributes are developed through practice in the unit. See Learning Outcomes and Assessment tabs for details of how these attributes are assessed.

Attribute Development Method Attribute Developed
Problem based learning and project based learning are used in lectures and tutorials to encourage ability of design and problem solving. Design (Level 2)
Ability to analyse engineering signals and systems using appropriate mathematical techniques. Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 3)
Apply time domain and transform techniques for modeling basic signals and systems, and understand linear time invariant (LTI) systems. Maths/Science Methods and Tools (Level 3)
To encourage deep thinking, students need to do additional information searches to obtain necessary supplementary materials. Information Seeking (Level 2)
Ability to communicate knowledge in written report and in oral presentation Communication (Level 2)
MATLAB based group projects are conducted in tutorials and assignments. Project and Team Skills (Level 1)

For explanation of attributes and levels see Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table.

Learning outcomes are the key abilities and knowledge that will be assessed in this unit. They are listed according to the course goal supported by each. See Assessment Tab for details how each outcome is assessed.

Design (Level 2)
1. Capacity to solve electronic circuit and telecommunication problems using principles of signals and systems.
Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 3)
2. Ability to determine the system impulse response and explain system stability issues.
3. Ability to formulate time and frequency domain descriptions for continuous time signals and linear time invariant (LTI) systems.
4. Ability to determine system response to internal and external input.
5. Ability to build a signal and system model using transform techniques, such as Laplace transform, and Fourier transform.
Maths/Science Methods and Tools (Level 3)
6. Ability to understand basic signal and system concepts, including size of the signal, classifications, system models.
7. Proficiency in applying concepts, principles and techniques to analyse the electric network.
Information Seeking (Level 2)
8. Ability to identify information needs and target information searches effectively and efficiently using varied sources such as internet, library databases and electronic publications as part of specific engineering projects.
Communication (Level 2)
9. Fluency in communicating concisely and accurately using varied formats such as written and oral, to deliver specific engineering project information.
Project and Team Skills (Level 1)
10. Capacity to work in a team and promote creative team interaction to encourage contribution from all members to deliver specific engineering projects and assignments.
Assessment Methods:
# Name Group Weight Due Week Outcomes
1 Lab exercises Yes 9.00 Multiple Weeks 2, 4, 6, 9, 10,
2 Quizzes No 6.00 Multiple Weeks 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,
3 Mid-Semester Exam No 15.00 Week 9 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7,
4 Final Exam No 70.00 Exam Period 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7,
Grade Type Description
Standards Based Assessment Final grades in this unit are awarded at levels of HD for High Distinction, DI (previously D) for Distinction, CR for Credit, PS (previously P) for Pass and FA (previously F) for Fail as defined by University of Sydney Assessment Policy. Details of the Assessment Policy are available on the Policies website at . Standards for grades in individual assessment tasks and the summative method for obtaining a final mark in the unit will be set out in a marking guide supplied by the unit coordinator.
Policies & Procedures: See the policies page of the faculty website at for information regarding university policies and local provisions and procedures within the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies.
Prescribed Text/s: Note: Students are expected to have a personal copy of all books listed.
  • Linear Systems & Sygnals
Note on Resources: Recommended:

A. V. Oppenheim, A. S. Willsky and S. Hamid, "Signals and Systems," 2nd Edition, Prentice-Hall.

M. Mandal and A. Asif, "Continuous And Discrete Time Signals And Systems," Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Note that the "Weeks" referred to in this Schedule are those of the official university semester calendar

Week Description
Week 1 Introduction: signals and systems.
Week 2 Continuous time signals & basic properties of systems.
Week 3 Linear time-invariant (LTI) systems
Week 4 Time domain analysis and convolution integral.
Week 5 System response and stablity.
Week 6 Laplace transform: definition and properties.
Week 7 System analysis based on Laplace transform.
Week 8 Basics of Fourier series.
Week 9 Fourier synthesis and decomposition.
Assessment Due: Mid-Semester Exam
Week 10 Fourier transform: definition and properties.
Week 11 Frequency response.
Week 12 Filter design and signal modulation.
Week 13 State space analysis.
STUVAC (Week 14) .
Exam Period Final Exam
Assessment Due: Final Exam

Course Relations

The following is a list of courses which have added this Unit to their structure.

Course Year(s) Offered
Master of Professional Engineering (Electrical) 2013, 2014
Master of Professional Engineering (Power) 2013, 2014
Master of Professional Engineering (Software) 2013, 2014
Master of Professional Engineering (Telecommunications) 2013, 2014

Course Goals

This unit contributes to the achievement of the following course goals:

Attribute Practiced Assessed
Design (Level 2) Yes 12.15%
Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 3) Yes 56.99%
Maths/Science Methods and Tools (Level 3) Yes 27.29%
Information Seeking (Level 2) Yes 0%
Communication (Level 2) Yes 1.8%
Project and Team Skills (Level 1) Yes 1.8%

These goals are selected from Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table which defines overall goals for courses where this unit is primarily offered. See Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table for details of the attributes and levels to be developed in the course as a whole. Percentage figures alongside each course goal provide a rough indication of their relative weighting in assessment for this unit. Note that not all goals are necessarily part of assessment. Some may be more about practice activity. See Learning outcomes for details of what is assessed in relation to each goal and Assessment for details of how the outcome is assessed. See Attributes for details of practice provided for each goal.