SYLLABUS FOR ECE 315 - PROBABILITY FOR ENGINEERS
ALAN FELZER - ECE DEPT - CAL POLY POMONA - FALL 2003
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Electrical signals are never perfect. They are distorted by everything from frequency selective circuits to nonlinearities to noise.The main objective of ECE 315 is to develop tools for characterizing random noise signals so that the noise performance of different circuits and systems can be evaluated and improved. ECE 315 also includes an introduction to basic statistics. PREREQUISITES: ECE 209, Math 215.
1. WAKEUP QUESTIONS - Each class period will begin with a question - a question that is designed to be straightforward if you've done the day's investigation.
2. TRANSITION LECTURES - After the Wakeup Question there'll be a "Transition Lecture" summarizing where we've been, where we are and where we're going.
3. INVESTIGATIONS - After the Transition Lecture the class will break up into groups of about four to discuss and correct the day's Investigation. Each such investigation is a series of problems designed to provide a "guided tour" of the day's material. This way of teaching is based on the belief that we learn more from the feedback we get when we're actively participating in solving problems than when simply listening to lectures. An investigation will be due at the beginning of each class period. Each one should take you about two hours. All work done on the investigations before class is to be done in pencil; all work done in class in blue pen and all corrections done after being returned in red pen.
4. CHECKLISTS - Every Investigation must include a checklist verifying that the Investigation is in the correct format with solutions that are clear, legible and easy to follow - solutions that make it obvious "at a glance" what each problem is, how you're solving it and what your result is. The checklist form also has a time log. The idea for a time log comes from the Harvard Assessment Report on Teaching which found that students who consciously budget their time invariably do better.
5. NUTS AND BOLTS QUESTIONS - I will periodically interrupt the group discussions to ask a question for you to first work on alone and then discuss with your group before before turning in. I will then go over the answer. These questions give both you and me the feedback we need to know how well the material is being understood.
6. ANSWERS TO INVESTIGATION PROBLEMS - At the end of each class period I will give answers to the Investigation Problems.
7. FINAL ESSAY - Everyone is required to write a one page essay at the end of the quarter in the form of a letter to a friend that summarizes the main results of the class, what prerequisites are really important, what key ideas and concepts should be learned cold and how in general to do well in the class.
8. CULTURE ASSIGNMENT - Scientists and engineers should, at the very least, be the best sources of information they can be as society grapples with how to best make use of technology. To help you broaden your outlook on the world - to better see both the pros and cons of technology - I ask you to read at least one essay from The Medusa and The Snail by Lewis Thomas. This book is in the reserve book room of the library. You are only being asked to read a few pages in the book - but with the hope that you'll read more.
9. NOTEBOOKS - Everyone is to keep a notebook with all your work. The notebooks - containing all your class work - must be accopress binders (Senior Project Binders), must be neat and must contain the following items in the following order with dividers as indicated -
1. WHAT GETS POINTS AND WHAT DOESN'T - My goal is to make grading as non-invasive a procedure as possible. So neither homework or daily wakeup and nuts and bolts questions will be graded for correct answers since their goal is to help you learn the class material. But there will be points for the following
Note that late work will be accepted only under extenuating circumstances like illness. Midterms in other classes are not extenuating circumstances. Also note that engineering students cannot drop after the third week of class without extenuating circumstances. See College of Engineering Policy.
2. GOOD THINGS TO DO IF YOU WANT AN A OR B -