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1. ECE260 — Continuous-Time Signals and Systems

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1.1 Showing Support for Open-Access Learning Resources for Students

Textbook and Lecture Slides. The instructor invested a very substantial amount of time developing the textbook and lecture slides used in the course. If you find the textbook and lecture slides to be valuable resources for learning, the instructor would very much appreciate if you could show your support of them by posting reviews of them online. Reviews can be posted using the following links:

(Information about posting reviews can also be found in the handout Showing Your Support for Affordable Learning Resources for Students.)

Video Lectures. If you find any of the videos prepared for the course to be particularly helpful for learning, the instructor would appreciate very much if you could "like" some of them on YouTube or subscribe to his YouTube channel:

Additional Remarks. Since the textbook, lecture slides, and video lectures are all publicly available, you are also most welcome to share these learning resources with people outside the course.

1.2 Other Courses Offered By Instructor

Some other courses offered by the instructor are briefly described in the sections that follow. These courses are not necessarily offered every year. Refer to the ECE Department website for a list of upcoming courses.

1.2.1 SENG475 — Advanced Programming Techniques for Robust Efficient Computing (With C++)

SENG475. Do you want to learn the C++ programming language at a more advanced level or further develop your programming skills? If so, you might be interested in this course. For more information on this course (including when it is likely to be offered next), visit the course website, which can be found at https://www.ece.uvic.ca/~mdadams/courses/cpp. Also, a detailed set of lecture slides on C++ and some corresponding lecture videos can be found on the companion website for this course, which is located at https://www.ece.uvic.ca/~mdadams/cppbook. All of the lectures for the 2019-05 offering of SENG475 are available in video format from YouTube via the links given at https://www.ece.uvic.ca/~mdadams/cppbook/#2019_05_seng475_videos.

1.2.2 ECE486 — Multiresolution Signal and Geometry Processing With C++

ECE486. Are you interested in digital signal processing (e.g., audio, image, video processing or 3-D computer graphics? Do you want to learn the C++ programming language or improve your C++ programming skills? Do you want to learn OpenGL, the industry standard library for high-performance 2-D and 3-D computer graphics (which is used on everything from mobile phones and notebook computers to high-end graphics workstations)? If you answered "yes" to any of the preceding questions, then you may be interested in taking this course as an elective. For more information on this course (including when it is likely to be offered next), visit the course web page, which can be found at https://www.ece.uvic.ca/~mdadams/courses/wavelets. Various reference materials for this course are also available from the two companion websites for this course, namely, https://www.ece.uvic.ca/~mdadams/cppbook and https://www.ece.uvic.ca/~mdadams/waveletbook.

1.3 Accessing Course Materials

Some of the course materials associated with this web page (such as assignment solutions and exam papers/solutions) may be stored in a protected area. Typically, links to private areas of the website are marked by a padlock . In order to access protected course materials, you will need to know the appropriate username and password to use for the web server. The username and password can be found in a post in the Announcements section of the Brightspace site for this course. See the Brightspace Site section for more information.

Warning

As explained above, the username and password for the course website are not the ones for your Netlink/faculty/departmental account!

1.4 Instructor

Michael Adams
E-Mail: mdadams (append "@ece.uvic.ca" for the complete address)
Office: EOW 311

More sordid details about the instructor can be found on his personal page.

1.5 Teaching Assistants (TAs)

The tutorial TAs and their email addresses are as follows:

The marker TAs and their email addresses are as follows:

Some information relevant to the marker TAs is as follows:

1.6 Course Outline

The course outline is available through the following links:

Hardcopies of course outline. In order to reduce paper waste, hardcopies of the course outline are not normally provided. A hardcopy can be printed from the electronic copy if desired.

Course Grade Calculation. The following document provides very detailed information about how the final course grades are calculated:

1.7 General Teaching Strategy

This course employs a flipped classroom approach to teaching. With this approach, students are first introduced to the course materials through prerecorded video lectures prepared by the instructor. Then, students are given the opportunity to engage with the course materials in interactive lecture sessions held by the instructor during the lecture time slots. For more details on how the lecture sessions will be run, refer to the Lecture Sessions section.

1.8 Brightspace Site

In addition to the website currently being viewed, the course also has a Brightspace site. A direct link to the Brightspace page for the course is as follows:

Although the course has a Brightspace site, the primary online source of information for the course is the website that is currently being viewed, not the Brightspace site. Brightspace is only used in a limited capacity for the course. In particular, Brightspace is used only for the following:

  • posting important course announcements and other information, such as: assignment submission deadlines, exam dates, and the username and password required to access password-protected areas of the course website;
  • submitting (and grading) assignments; and
  • providing students with a means to review their grades in the course.

Students are responsible for reading all announcements posted on the Brightspace site in a timely fashion. For this reason, it is strongly recommended that students enable notifications (via email) for new announcements and other events on the Brightspace site.

Information on Brightspace. Some links regarding Brightspace that are likely to be helpful to students are as follows:

1.9 Online Meetings

Some meetings in the course are either held exclusively online or have the provision for online attendance. So, it is important for students to know how to attend online meetings. Detailed information on how to attend online meetings in the course can be found in the following document:

Meeting IDs and Passwords. The meeting IDs and passwords needed to join online meetings in the course can be found at the following password-protected link:

(Refer to the course outline for information on where to find the username and password required for accessing password-protected areas of this website.)

1.10 Lecture Sessions

The lecture time slots (that are not used for the purposes of administering exams) will be used by the instructor to hold interactive lecture sessions that are intended to assist students in learning the course materials more effectively. The lecture sessions will employ one of the following two formats:

  1. face-to-face with provisions for online attendance;
  2. face-to-face only (i.e., no provisions for online attendance).

If the instructor has the hardware and software necessary in order to accommodate online attendance, the first of these formats will be used. Otherwise, the second format will be employed as a fallback. (If online attendance is supported, details on how to attend online meetings can be found on the Online Meetings section. How exactly the lecture sessions will be utilized will depend on the needs, interests, and preferences of the students. Some of potential uses of these sessions include (but are not limited to):

  • providing a brief summary of course materials covered;
  • discussing aspects of the course materials that are typically more problematic for students and addressing common misunderstandings;
  • working through additional examples;
  • answering student questions about the course materials; and
  • giving software demonstrations to illustrate practical applications of the theory covered in the course.

First Lecture Session. The first lecture session will be used to provide an overview of the course and address many administrative matters. All students are required to attend this first lecture session.

Lecture-Session Attendance. Since the core course content is delivered through prerecorded video lectures, students are not required to attend the lecture sessions, except when explicitly indicated by the instructor. This said, however, each student is strongly encouraged to attend at least some of the lecture sessions, as this will very likely lead to an improved understanding of the course materials.

Recording of Lecture Sessions. Normally, the lecture sessions will not be recorded by the instructor. There are several important reasons for this:

  • the main objective of the lecture sessions is to provide an opportunity for the instructor and students to engage with one another interactively in real time, and recording the lecture sessions would run completely contrary to this objective;
  • recording any interactions with students raises many privacy concerns which are best avoided whenever possible;
  • some students are much less likely to participate (or may not participate at all) in lecture sessions if they are being recorded;
  • students are permitted to take photos/screenshots of materials presented during the lecture sessions (which reduces the need to record materials for future reference); and
  • all of the core instructional content for the course is already available in video format so none of the material covered in the lecture sessions is essential for the course.

1.11 Office Hours

Office-hour sessions will be held by the instructor in order to provide extra help with the course materials as well as discuss other course-related matters with students. These sessions will be offered online only. (For details on how to attend online meetings, see the Online Meetings section.) Any private/confidential matters will be discussed one-on-one with the student in a breakout room. Any questions about course materials will be answered in the main room (i.e., not one-on-one) so that all students can benefit from the questions asked.

Office-Hour Schedule. The office-hours sessions are held via Zoom only (i.e., not face-to-face) using the same Zoom meeting ID/password employed for the lecture sessions. The office-hour sessions are scheduled (as determined via Brightspace survey) as follows:

  • Tuesdays 08:00-08:50 with the following exceptions (if any):
    • none (currently)

Changes to the above schedule may sometimes be necessary. The above information will be updated as the term progresses, and changes to this information will be announced to the class as well.

Other Remarks on Office Hours. The instructor's office hours are cancelled during reading break (and on holidays). Also, the above office hours only apply up until the last day of classes. So, these office hours do not apply during the final exam period. Since all of the exams for this course are scheduled prior to the final exam period, no office hours will be held during the final exam period.

1.12 Tutorial Sessions

The tutorial time slots will be used by the tutorial TAs to hold sessions in order to help students with course materials. These sessions are to be held face-to-face. A TA may also provide an option for online attendance of tutorial sessions, if feasible to do so. (In most cases, however, it is likely that this will not be feasible.) If a particular tutorial section provides an option for online attendance of the tutorial sessions, the online meeting information (i.e., meetings IDs and passwords) will be included along with the information for online meetings in the Online Meetings section. The names and contact information for each of the tutorial TAs can be found in the Teaching Assistants section.

Attending Sessions for Different Tutorial Sections. Sometimes a student may be unable to register in a tutorial section in a manner that is free of scheduling conflicts. If this situation arises, it is okay for the student in question to attend a session for a tutorial section different from the one in which the student is registered as long as this does not prevent students who are registered in the tutorial section from having a seat in the tutorial classroom. In general, it is okay to attend the sessions for other tutorial sections as long as the tutorial classroom has sufficient space. If the tutorial classroom does not have sufficient space, priority must be given to those students who are registered in the tutorial section.

1.13 Video Lectures

The core instructional material for the course is delivered via prerecorded videos that are available on YouTube via the instructor's YouTube channel (i.e., https://www.youtube.com/iamcanadian1867). Although these video lectures can be accessed through a playlist on YouTube, it is strongly recommended that they instead be accessed through the catalog found in the video-lecture information package (described below). This information package allows for much easier navigation of the lecture material than the YouTube playlist.

1.13.1 Video-Lecture Information Package

As mentioned above, all of the core instructional material for the course is available as prerecorded videos on YouTube. In order to help students better utilize the video lectures, an information package is provided that includes:

  • a copy of the (2020-05-ECE260) version of the slides used in the video lectures (in PDF format);
  • a copy of all of the worked-through examples (including annotations) from the lectures (in PDF format);
  • a fully-cataloged list of the slides covered in the lectures (in PDF and HTML formats), where each slide in the list has a link to the corresponding time offset in the YouTube video where the slide is covered.

This information package is available in the form of the following Zip archive:

A short video describing the contents of this package can be found at:

Extracting the Zip Archive. When extracting the above Zip archive, it is important to preserve the directory/file layout and naming used by the archive (i.e., do not rename the extracted directories/files or move them relative to one another). If the layout and naming are preserved, the hyperlinks in the slide deck that point to the external documents in the slides_supplemental directory should be able to be used to jump directly to those documents (assuming the use of a reasonable PDF viewer).

Remark on Lecture Slide Editions. The official edition of the lecture slides for the course (i.e., the edition identified on the course outline) is not the same as the 2020-05-ECE260 edition used in the video lectures. The official edition of the lecture slides is newer and has a few small improvements relative to the edition used in the video lectures. This said, however, in a practical sense, it probably does not matter very much which of these two editions a student chooses to use as they are quite similar in their basic content.

Video-Lecture Catalog. For convenience, the catalog of the slides used in the course video lectures (which is included in the above information package) can also be accessed directly via the following links:

Video-Lecture Examples (With Full Annotations). For convenience, the document containing all of the examples used in the course video lectures (which is included in the above information package) can also be accessed directly via the following link:

Known Errors in the Video Lectures. A list of all known errors in the video lectures (e.g., errors due to typos) can be found in the following document:

1.13.2 Video-Lecture Schedule

The following document provides a schedule for viewing the video lectures:

It is critically important that students follow the guidelines given on this handout. Not following these guidelines will place a student at great risk of a poor outcome in the course (e.g., failing).

1.14 Required Texts/Materials

The required texts/materials for the course are listed on the course outline under the "Required Texts/Materials" heading (and consist of a textbook and lecture slides). These items are available from the University Bookstore.

The following handouts relate to the textbook and lecture slides:

Textbook Website. The textbook has a website, which can be found at:

The preceding website contains resources that are potentially of interest to students in this course. In particular, the website provides several versions of the textbook (including the most recent version) as e-books in PDF format.

1.15 Optional Texts/Materials

If an additional source of information for the material covered in the course is desired, the following optional textbook is recommended:

  • A. V. Oppenheim and A. S. Willsky with H. Nawab, Signals & Systems, 2nd edition, Prentice Hall, 1997; ISBN: 0-13-814757-4; picture of textbook.

At least one copy of the optional textbook is available on reserve in the library. Some additional information regarding the optional textbook and its relationship to the material covered in the course is explained in the following handout:

1.16 Course-Materials Bug-Bounty Program (CMBBP)

By participating in the Course-Materials Bug-Bounty Program (CMBBP), you can earn extra marks in the course. If you are interested in obtaining extra marks, then read the following document on the CMBBP:

The following document lists all bugs reported to date as part of the CMBBP:

1.17 Feedback on Course/Teaching

Feedback on the course and teaching is always most welcome! The instructor will never hold any of your comments against you, but please be constructive in your criticism. Several options are available for providing feedback. You can provide feedback through:

  • in person (whether it be virtual or face-to-face);
  • normal e-mail;
  • anonymous e-mail (e.g., through a Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo account);
  • Rate My Professors website (or follow this link for my most recent ratings).

1.18 Assignments

Assignment Submission. Assignments are to be submitted via Brightspace. All submissions must be in PDF format.

Assignment Marking Issues. If you have any concerns about the marking of an assignment, please directly contact the TA (or TAs) who marked the assignment. For TA contact information and a list of which TAs marked which assignments, please refer to the Teaching Assistants section.

Assignment Handouts. The assignments problem sets are given on the following handouts:

Other Assignment Materials. Some other assignment-related downloads are as follows:

Assignment Solutions. The solutions for the assignments submitted to date are as follows:

1.19 Exams

Exam Schedule. All exams will be held during a lecture time slot. The exams for the course are as follows:

  • Exam 1:
    • to be held on date specified on Brightspace site
    • covers Appendix A (Complex Analysis), Chapter 1 (Introduction), Chapter 2 (Preliminaries), Chapter 3 (CT Signals and Systems) (and possibly MATLAB, since MATLAB is fair game for all exams)
    • Exam 1 information.
    • Exam 1 study guide.
  • Exam 2:
    • to be held on date specified on Brightspace site
    • explicitly covers Chapter 4 (CT LTI Systems) (and possibly MATLAB, since MATLAB is fair game for all exams)
    • Exam 2 information.
    • Exam 2 study guide.
  • Exam 3:
  • Exam 4:
  • Exam 5:
    • to be held on date specified on Brightspace site
    • explicitly covers Chapter 7 (Laplace Transform) and Appendix B (Partial Fraction Expansions) (and possibly MATLAB, since MATLAB is fair game for all exams)
    • Exam 5 information.
    • Exam 5 study guide.

Exam Questions, Solutions, Grading Information, and Other Commentary. The problems and solutions for the exams to date are as follows:

Policy on Missed Exams. The policy on missed exams can be found in the following document:

1.20 MATLAB

Access to the MATLAB software is required in order to complete some assignments in the course. Therefore, students should install MATLAB on their computer. For information on how to obtain MATLAB, visit the following website:

Most computers in the various undergraduate labs in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering allow remote login via Secure Shell (SSH). Since many of these computers also have MATLAB installed, students may also be able to access MATLAB on these computers via SSH.

Some computers in various labs in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering can be accessed using a web browser (via Apache Guacamole) with the following link:

It should also be possible to access MATLAB in this way.

The textbook used for the course has a detailed introduction to MATLAB in Appendix D (titled "MATLAB"). Aside from the textbook, some other potentially helpful references on MATLAB include:

MATLAB Code Examples from Lecture Slides. All of the MATLAB code examples from the lecture slides can be found in the companion Git repository for the textbook. To obtain these code examples packaged as a Zip archive, use the following link:

If you know how to use Git, you can also obtain the repository via Git at:

1.21 Practice Exams

Some handouts related to review and preparation for exams are as follows:

1.22 New Textbook Exercises

A number of new exercises have been prepared for inclusion in the next edition of the textbook (but are not in any edition of the textbook published to date). In some cases, a new part has been added to a previously-existing exercise, while in other cases a completely new exercise has been added. Some of these exercises are given below, since they are likely to be helpful to students. Only the exercises themselves are given (i.e., without full solutions). The exercises numbered as x.y with 100 ≤ y < 200 normally have an answer key, however.

1.23 Solutions to Lecture-Session Exercises

The following are solutions to exercises that were completed in the lecture sessions:

1.24 Miscellany

Extra Practice Problems (with Solutions). The following may be helpful as additional sources of practice problems (with solutions), assuming that these website remain operational for the duration of the course:

Miscellaneous Handouts. Some other handouts include:

Old Tutorial Materials from Past TAs. Some old tutorial materials from past TAs include:

Other Links. The following links may also be of interest: