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What was most helpful understanding Signals and Systems?

  1. Jun 23, 2016 #1
    Hey guys! This is my first day on the forum so, hey! I'm a third year electrical engineering student and I'm really having some trouble with Signals and Systems so I want to know what helped other people understand it so that maybe I could try some of their methods.

    What were your biggest conceptual hurdles and what helped you get over them? What tools or methods help you understand S&S more holistically and what just made it easier to do?

    Thanks all!!!!!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 23, 2016 #2

    Dr Transport

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    Operational mathematics..... otherwise known as transform calculus (FFT, Laplace etc....)
  4. Jun 23, 2016 #3


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    Hello, welcome to forum.

    Your question is rather broad, just what part of the course are you having difficulty with? Are you decent using linear algebra, it's generally pretty important for the subject. Other than that, some specific questions would help garner more replies I reckon.

    As far as tools, a lot of students will use Matlab for their S&S courses. So becoming familiar with the signal processing and communications toolboxes and general Matlab syntax can be helpful.
  5. Jun 23, 2016 #4
    Thanks for the replies guys,

    I suppose the types of concepts that I'm having the most trouble grasping are the most fundamental ones such as what is an LTI vs LTV System? Also BIBO stability is one that I've had a hard time grasping. I will try to become more familiar with Matlab, hopefully that will assist in a more in depth comprehension of some of these concepts. Thanks!
  6. Jun 23, 2016 #5
    Honestly FFT and Laplace transformations are pretty simple to me. I think the I just have a hard time grasping what these transforms translate to in practical application (e.g filter/signal types)
  7. Jun 24, 2016 #6


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    Hello Woa90210, welcome to PF. Third year here. I survived S&S...:oldbiggrin:
    Well yes, If you are really bent on completely understanding S&S practically in third year, you need a decent dose of intuition! :DD
    Nothing much, learn Matlab well, it's a boon for S&S students like you.
    You need to be imaginative enough, and understand the application of mathematics you have learnt till date.
    Whenever you feel stuck, try putting that scenario on a system you are already familiar.
    Then relate the math that comes out of it with the real time output.
    Spend time understanding concepts in time and frequency domains, probably you need to be good at this, if you want to understand transforms.
  8. Jun 25, 2016 #7
    Thanks soooo much PhisicoRaj! This is moreso what I was looking for :) Thanks a ton. Gonna spend some more time in the beginning chapters of my S&S book and more time with MATLAB. Thanks again!!!
  9. Jun 25, 2016 #8


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    Hey Woa90210.

    If you understand what the basis of these transforms represent and put them in context then it should be a lot easier to interpret how the space organizes information and what the coefficients of each space represent.

    This is for any sort of harmonic analysis space/transform (Fourier, Laplace, Wavelets, etc).

    What is happening is you are projecting information to a basis, doing something in a new space and then often reconstructing the new information.

    Many spaces deal with certain kinds of "frequencies" but there are many kinds of spaces that signals can be projected to with all interesting properties.
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