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A Computer Utility Incorporating the FFT Algorithm for a Signal and System Theory Course

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3 Author(s)

One of the problems in effectively teaching a course in signal and system theory is the difficulty of performing the mathematical operations involved in the application of theory to meaningful problems. In theory, the Fourier transform, convolution and correlation operations usually are readily grasped by the student but the application often proves to be difficult. Performing the integral operations requires painstaking care to get proper limits on the integrals, displacing functions properly, etc. It seems that the student gains little insight to the problem under analysis by these manipulations. Typically, only the simplest type of functions are handled by this analytic approach. This paper describes the Signal Analysis Program, a computer utility which employs the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) algorithm and is designed to relieve the user from time consuming and tedious calculations. Classes of problems and signal functions, previously deemed too complicated to treat in an undergraduate course, require little more concern than the simplest of problems. The effectiveness and applicability of this utility has been demonstrated by students applying it to many other areas where it is not a course requirement.

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Education, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:16 ,  Issue: 1 )