Hey guys, what should I review for these EE classes?

  • #1
Hello electrical engineers and hobbyists of PhysicsForums! This is my first post (I think... I might have posted before) and I am a junior-year EEE student at a local University. I have some free time this summer and want to study/review some concepts to be fresh when I need them for my upcoming classes next semester. Here are the classes I am taking:

1) Signals and Systems

2) Introduction to Microprocessors

3) Electronics 1 (solid-state devices)

I was thinking of reviewing series and sequences, and maybe some differential equations for numbers 1 and 3, and I am pretty good with C++ which hopefully will help with #2. I do not have the syllabi for these classes yet but I can get them for 1 and 2 to see what I might run into there. I'm a bit nervous about Electronics 1 because I have heard it is very challenging and not very intuitive so any prep I can do now will help.

Any suggestions are welcome but please do not post if you are going to be rude or sarcastic (unless it's really, really, really funny.) Thanks!
  • #2
For #1, acquiring expertise in Fourier transforms will be valuable. Also complex variables.
  • #3
For signals and systems, you should review any trig you're uncomfortable with. If you've done any Fourier stuff or Laplace transforms in the past, now would be a good time to brush up on those too, though you'll probably get a thorough treatment of them in the course. I'm not sure what else, mathematically, though. My signals and systems course covered signals, including transformations (scaling, time shifting, etc.), special functions (Dirac delta, step functions), system response, Laplace transform, Fourier series and transform, discrete Fourier transform, discrete-time Fourier transform, discrete-time Fourier series, continuous and discrete filters, and Z-transforms. Like marcusl said, Fourier transforms (and I'd add Laplace transforms, but you'll find out they're almost the same thing) are key.

For microprocessors, it's highly dependent on the instructor and university. We have two instructors and they teach completely differently, one focusing on essentially assembly programming and one taking a more high-level approach. The syllabus might help here.

The third one: is it focused on circuit-level solid state devices, or the physical characteristics of solid state devices? If it's the former, obviously you need to know your circuit laws very well--KVL and KCL, voltage and current division, dependent sources, etc. It's just circuits but with a few more rules. If it's the latter, then E&M is fairly important to review.
  • #4
Laplace transforms are part of any complex variables study.
  • #5
Thank you all for the replies. I feel veey comfortable with kvl and kcl in both time and s domain, also pretty good with laplace and have only done a tiny hit of Fouroer analysis for thongs like square waves and triangle waves. Ill see if I can learn some more Fourier stuff beforehand. I remember watching an MIT video on z transforms to see what they are about and was very confused, but I had never seen one before . Also just took EM and passed with an A so hopefully that will help.

One question though, by complex variables do you mean a variable with real and imaginary parts? We did a wholllee lot of phasor stuff this semester and I gor pretty good with it, and those are like complex values that change wrt time, so I would like to think that I'm good with complex variables too as long as we are talking about ax + jb kind of stuff. I like to think of them as vectors in the Re-Im plane but if this is the wrong idea please let me know so I can go in the right direction. Thanks again for all the help!
  • #6
Yes, but by complex variables I mean analytic functions (important if you will be talking about analytic representation of baseband signals and Hilbert transforms), residues, poles and zeroes for understanding filters, stability and frequency response, and contour integration for evaluating residues and Laplace transforms. Don't know if all this will be in your class, but I wouldn't be surprised if a senior level course included them.
  • Like
Likes slick_willy
  • #7
Awesome thank you!

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