Shaum's Outlines, Signals and Systems Review (for ECE301)


I have attempted to critique Shaum’s outlines of Signals and Systems in comparison to the ECE 301 course text book Signals and System’s 2nd edition (Oppenheim, Willsky and Nawab) from here on referred to as Oppenheim. This is my review of Shaum’s and it may not be compatible with another person’s who may have a different style of learning. Thus yet, I have tried to write as a general review as possible. I assume that anyone reading this is trying to figure out if this book can replace the Oppenheim and so I will be reviewing the Chapters from that point of view.


Here are some highlights of the book:

• The book has chapters dedicated to LTI systems, Laplace Transfer of CT LTI systems, Z Transform, Fourier Analysis. Which means this book explains material covered over Midterms 1 and 2 thoroughly.
• Shaum’s has a total of 571 solved problems.
• Problems are solved in a clear, easy to follow manner.
• The book has proofs for all of the system properties, which are explained slightly, better than the Oppenheim.
• Main topics are explained in concisely.
• The book is priced at $15 or less on amazon
• Shaum’s is a good book to follow along with the lectures and look over the consecutive solved problems as the professor goes over them in class, in addition to other resources (e.g. Rhea.)


Things that could be improved:

• Not all chapters in the book coincide with the chapters in the Oppenheim, this makes it hard to look for specific problems.
• There are not too many sampling problems in the book which I was hoping to see more of cause I had trouble with those.
• There is a lack of figures in the chapter explanations, adding figures in would be very helpful.


I would suggest this book as a reference for solving problems, in addition to the Oppenheim book. I would not recommend this as a text book for ECE 301 unless some happens to be exposed to this material before taking the class. Another exception would be someone who has a rich resource for this course outside of this book and can find examples on concepts that this book neglects.

A more detailed review of each chapter is provided below.

Shaum’s, Chapter 1: Signals and Systems:

Shaum’s uses the same convention as the Oppenheim textbook, which makes following the first chapter easy. A brief summary of all concepts in the Oppenheim is provided. It doesn’t have examples of system properties but this is compensated for with the 61 solved problems for Chapter 1

Shaum’s Chapter 2: LTI Systems:

One thing to notice right off the bat for this chapter is the lack of figures in Shuam’s. This could be a downside to anyone using this book as a textbook for this course. It does cover properties of both CT and DT LTI systems. Shaum’s also introduces eigen functions of DT LTI systems and difference equations. This chapter is followed by 65 solved problems.

Shaum’s Chapter 3:

Laplace Transform and CT LTI System: This third chapter in Shaum’s actually refers to the ninth chapter in the Oppenheim called “The Laplace Transform.” This chapter has 62 solved problems.

Shaum’s Chapter 4:

The z-Transform and DT LTI System: This chapter corresponds to the tenth chapter in the Oppenheim and as the name suggests, it focuses on the Z-transform which is the DT counterpart of the Laplace Transform. This chapter has has 60 solved problems.

Shaum’s Chapter 5:

Fourier Analysis of CT Signals and Systems: This chapter corresponds to the fourth chapter in the Oppenheim. There is a brief overview of filtering but what bothers me is the lack of mention of the Sampling Process. However, there are a couple of sampling examples present in the 77 solved problems in this chapter.

Shaum’s Chaper 6:

Fourier Analysis of DT Signals and Systems: This chapter corresponds to chapter 5 in the Oppenheim. It lacks a detailed Sampling section. Again, there are a couple of sampling examples present amongst the 82 solved problems.

Shaum’s Chapter 7:

State and Space Analysis: A chapter regarding the minimum required information that is sufficient to determine the state and output of the system. We have not covered this in class.

Abbreviations used:
CT: Continuous Time
DT: Discrete Time
LTI: Linear Time Invariant

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