Department of Physical Science and Engineering
Engineering Program
Welcome to Signals and Systems: Modeling, Computation, and Analysis!
EGR 2050 Signals and Systems: Modeling, Computation, and Analysis
Number LE01
Fall 2011

INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Scott D. Johnson, Associate Professor, Engineering Coordinator, Physical Sciences and Engineering


OTHER LOCATIONS: CH-100 (Department), the classroom proper, and the Cyber Cafe

PHONE NUMBERS: 301-322-0420 (Department Main Line) or 301-386-7536 (Office)


To facilitate e-mail communication with me, please include the following code: CCGP07 along with the course designation (EGR 2050) in the subject of any e-mails to me during the Fall 2011 semester. (The code stops legitimate e-mail messages from being evaluated wrongly as SPAM but does not allow e-mails that contain a virus or illegal attachment into our network.)

Example: EGR2050: Need help on roots of equations: CCGP07

All credit students (with the exception of Howard Community College students enrolled at Laurel College Center) are required to use Owl Mail for all college communication.



OFFICE HOURS: MW 7:15-8:30pm, TTH 2:15-3:30pm, by appointment all other times

Note: Part or all of the office hours might be in the classroom (CAT-305) as student questions warrant.


Solving high-level applications in engineering, physics, chemistry, and biology require an understanding of modeling at a system level. To fully prepare a student, this course emphasizes system analysis. Crucial to modeling in the modern world is an understanding of the computational modeling as well as the mathematical formulation, therefore a variety of numerical/computational methods will be reviewed in the first part of the course and extended for the purpose of understanding the computational methods required to do modeling in a modern setting. Subjects to be studied include error analysis, roots of non-linear equations, solving systems of linear equations, eigenvalues, eigenvectors, and eigenfunctions, optimization, curve fitting including splines, Fourier analysis, modeling, numerical differentiation and integration, and numerical solving of differential equations including, but not limited to, predictor-corrector methods and finite element analysis. It will be assumed that the student is at least partially familiar with this concepts from previous mathematics class. Extra study may be required for a student lacking these skills.

These concepts will be extended into computational methods that are useful in analyzing signals and systems. Topics will include representation of systems and signals, transfer functions, and filters.

The relationship between linear systems and both discrete time and continuous time signals and sampling will be explored and used to better understand real world applications. Practical issues of representation and sampling of signals will be explored with particular emphasis best case solutions.

This will be extended in to the study and use of a number of filters, in particular digital filters. Topics will include OTFs, DFTs, Laplace transforms, Z-transforms, Radon transforms, and convolutions.

Lastly, extensive surveys of a number of advanced subjects include molecular dynamics, percolation, and Monte Carlo simulation methods. Some new mathematical concepts will be introduced in the class.

A number of software packages and languages important to engineering are surveyed with primary emphasis on mastering one high-level language such as MATLAB/Octave, C/gcc/g++, or Fortran/gfortran. This course, recognizing the fact that all engineers and scientists need the aforementioned topics, will emphasize a number of case studies in such areas as mechanical, civil, environmental, electrical, aerospace, chemical, and biological engineering, as well as in the sciences.

Team work along with communication skills (oral, written, and graphical) are exercised throughout the course.


EGR 1010, EGR 1140, and MAT 2420.


Upon successful completion of the course a student will be able to

  1. Give an error on solutions to numerically solved problems and qualify that error.

  2. Demonstrate the ability to use the appropriate numerical methods to solve complex science or engineering problems.

  3. Use a software package to aid in the solution of a complex science or engineering problem.

  4. Solve for the roots, minimum, and maximum of an equation, solve a system of equations,fit a curve to a set of data, and perform numerical differentiation and integration.

  5. Demonstrate an understanding of the numerical techniques to solve differential equations.

  6. Solve basic linear algebra systems. In particular show the ability to apply eigenvalues and eigenvectors.

  7. Demonstrate an understanding of the basic concepts of signals and linear systems, Laplace Transforms, z-transforms, and development and application of FFTs.

  8. Demonstrate an understanding of frequency analysis of signals in continuous and discrete-time.

  9. Demonstrate an understanding of systems analysis.

  10. Demonstrate an understanding of how to apply techniques to model real-world systems.

  11. Demonstrate an understanding of how to apply a digital filter in signal processing applications.


Digital Filters 3rd Edition.  Hamming, R. W.   Dover Publications, Inc. New York (1989).
A First Course in Numerical Analysis 2nd Edition.  Ralston, A. & Rabinowitz, P.   Dover Publications, Inc. New York (1978).
Schaum's Outline of Signals and Systems 2nd Edition.  Hsu, H.  McGraw-Hill (2010).
Schaum's Outline of Numerical Analysis 2nd Edition.  Scheid, Francis.  McGraw-Hill (1989).
Schaum's Outline of Finite Element Analysis 1st Edition.  Buchanan, George.  McGraw-Hill (1994).

Recommended books:

Pocket Book for Technical Writing for Engineers and Scientists 3rd Edition.  Finkelstein, Leo.  McGraw-Hill (2007).
Numerical Methods for Engineers 6th Edition. Chapra,Steven and Canale, Raymond. McGraw-Hill. (2009/2010).
MATLAB DeMystified. McMahon, David. McGraw-Hill(2007).


  1. Pens, Pencils, Eraser, Straight edge, Paper, Textbooks, and Calculator are required for every class.


As with any class an amount of time at least equivalent to two times the credit hours is expected to be performed for homework and labs. Please allot sufficient time for homework.

Homework will be assigned each week including the first week.


Evaluation of student performance is to be based on:

  1. Unannounced quizzes and homework will account for approximately 25% of the semester grade. Homework consists of essays that are to be written in standard English format and problem sets.

  2. Four extensive projects will be assigned that will constitute 60% of the total grade. These projects are to be an original individual work. A grade of zero will be given to anyone who copies their projects. All work is subject to re-grade if academic dishonesty is suspected. Turn work in on time.

  3. A four to five page essay surveying the material in the course. This essay is to include not just the methods but a practical guide on when to use the different numerical methods. This is worth approximately 15% of the semester grade.This project is to be an original individual work. A grade of zero will be given to anyone who copies their projects. All work is subject to re-grade if academic dishonesty is suspected. You must turn this in on time, NO exceptions.


Students are expected to attend and participate in class activities. Students who either never attended the class or who ceased attendance during the first 20 percent of the course will be assigned a "Q" grade by the instructor. The Q grade is a final grade and will not be replace with a different grade at a later time. Although the Q grade will not impact students' GPA, the issuance of a Q grade will likely decrease students' financial aid awards.

Faculty are required to report the date of last attendance for each student receiving Q or F grade(s) in order for the college to report this date to a variety of federal agencies as mandated. The date of last attendance is considered the date of the student's termination from the course, regardless of the date of grade submission. Early termination from a course may result in reduction in student loans and financial aid (e.g., Pell, VA benefits) and may require the student to reimburse funds to the funding agency.


  1. Homework is due at the start of class (or before) except for in-class projects.

  2. Laboratory work is to be submitted in appropriate binders follow any standard laboratory format (this will be reviewed in class).

  3. Make-up homework, quizzes, and/or tests are up to the discretion of the teacher (excused absences only). No makeup will be possible for laboratory work, sufficient time should be available to recover if an absence is necessary.


New topics are to be covered each week and include but are not limited to the following subjects. This outline is subject to change.

Week 1 Introduction to Computational Methods for signals and systems and beyond

Week 2 Modeling and Error Analysis

Week 3 Review of numerical analysis: Roots of Equations, optimization, curve fitting

Week 4 Review of numerical analysis: Numerical differentiation and integration

Week 5 Linear Algebraic Equations (eigenvalues,eigenvectors,eigenfunctions

Week 6 Linear Algebraic Equations

Week 7 Linear systems: Signals and sampling

Week 8 Linear systems: Signals and sampling

Week 9 Filters, in particular digital filters, transformations

Week 10 OTFs, DFTs, Laplace transforms, Z-transforms, Radon transforms, and convolutions

Week 11 Fourier Analysis and other similar analysis techiques

Week 12 State-space Analysis

Week 13 Differential Equations

Week 14 Finite Differences and Finite Element method

Week 15 Simulation methods: Molecular Dynamics, Monte Carlo, and Percolation

A new chapter should be read each week usually following the title of the topic above. Problems will be based off of the reading.

Quizzes will all be unannounced so be prepared.

Tests will be announced a week before and will depend on our progress in the classroom.


  1. Food and drink in limited quantities (snacks, not meals) are permitted in restricted areas (not near electronics) and will be revoked if proper cleanliness is found wanting.

  2. Cell phones must be in vibrate mode and are only to be answered for emergencies (step outside please).

  3. Common courtesy is to apply at all times.


First Day of classes (Canceled -- Flooding and Earthquake (5.8)

Mon., August 29

First Day of classes

Wed., August 31

Labor Day - College closed - No classes

Sat.-Mon., September 3 - September 5

Last day to apply for fall graduation

Thurs, September 15

Last day to change from "audit to credit" or "credit to audit" for full-semester classes

Friday, September 23

Midterm - middle of semester; class will speed up

Wednesday, October 19

College Enrichment Day - No classes (for students)

Tuesday, October 25

Last day to withdraw from full-semester classes

Friday, November 18

Thanksgiving Break Start - No classes

Wed., November 23

College closed - no classes

Thurs.-Sun., November 24-27

Last Day of Classes

Thursday, December 8

Final exam period/last week of classes

Wednesday, December 14 (4:00pm)

Open Registration begins (Engineers should register NOW)

December 1

Winter Break - College closed

Thursday-Wednesday, December 22 - January 4

Registration begins (Engineers should have registered already...if you have not; do it NOW)

Thursday, January 5

Classes begin Spring 2011

Monday, January 23


Computer programming maybe done in class (CAT-305) on the portable PCs during designated time periods.