Review of an Alternate Signals and Systems Textbook (for ECE301)

I am reviewing Fundamentals of Signals & Systems by M. J. Roberts as an alternative to the current textbook for ECE 301.

Chapter 1: Introduction

In this chapter, signals and systems are defined. My four biggest impressions after reading this chapter were:

1) The author uses examples which are much better explained than those that the current textbook offers.

2) This textbook is much easier to understand. The current textbook is a little bit dense, and it sometimes takes a few times of reading through a section to figure out what it's going on about, but this one was much clearer.

3) Important words/words that are currently being defined are listed in BOLD. That makes it a lot easier to pick out the important terms (and is possibly one of the reasons I find it easier to understand).

4) I really only have one complaint with this book so far. Sometimes it feels like the author has gotten distracted by his own example and the writing rambles on a slight tangent for a while, before coming back to the topic that he was originally discussing. This is slightly distracting.

Another interesting note from the first chapter is that the author says that he will present MATLAB examples throughout the book. That could be really helpful/useful, if he uses good examples

Chapter 2: Mathematical Description of Continuous-Time Signals

In this chapter, various types of continuous-time signals and functions that will be used throughout the book are defined. Some are simple definitions, such as sine or complex exponential. However, for the unit step and impulse functions, the author goes into a lot of detail. A lot more of the math behind these was explained, which I liked. However, I'm not sure that it's totally necessary.

One interesting thing that comes out in this chapter is that the author has a tendancy to represent frequency as $ 2\pi f $ as opposed to $ \omega $

Finally, the author continues to offer excellent examples, and rambles much less in this chapter. However, this chapter might be a little more in depth than is really necessary for ECE301.

Chapter 3: Mathematical Description of Discrete-Time Signals

Coming soon!

Back to ECE301 Spring 2011 Prof. Boutin

--Cmcmican 19:30, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

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