Fall 2019 Course Info

ELEC 421

Digital Signal Processing

Fall 2019

What is Signal Processing?

Why study Digital Signal Processing?

Class Hours

Lectures: Mon 11:30, Tue 11:30, Thu 12:30 (JEF 234)
Tutorial: Thu 13:30 (JEF 234)
Laboratory: Tue 18:30 (BMH 214) see lab schedule below


Geoffrey Chan
Phone: 613-533-2939
E-mail: geoffrey.chan@queensu.ca
Contact: please make an appointment by e-mail

Teaching Assistant

Amin Edraki

E-mail: a.edraki@queensu.ca

Contact: please make an appointment by e-mail

Course Material

The textbook is J. G. Proakis and D. G. Manolakis, "Digital Signal Processing: Principles, Algorithms and Applications;" 4th edition, Prentice Hall, 2007.

Homework assignments, model solutions, and laboratory instructions and code are posted to onQ.

Other DSP books include books that can serve as alternate textbooks (Mitra, Oppenheim), have a practical slant (Ifeachor, Ambardar), provide Matlab examples (Mitra, Ingle), focus on experiments (Smith), and show how to program TMS320C6x digital signal processors (Kehtarnavaz).  Matlab has extensive DSP functions and application examples. DSP code is widely available on the web including Github.


Week 1-2: Review of sampling theorem. Analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog conversion. Non-ideal behaviours. Aliasing and quantization distortions. (Sec. 1.4, 6.1-6.3)

Week 3: Review of z-transform, LTI systems, and frequency response. Rational systems. Poles and zeroes. Inverse, minimum phase, and allpass systems. (Sec. 3-3.5, 4.2.9-4.4, 5.4 (omit 5.4.3 & 5.4.7), 5.5-5.5.2)

Week 4-5: FIR and IIR filter structures. Coefficient quantization. Digital computation. (Sec. 9.1-9.2.1, 9.3-9.3.1, 9.3.3-9.3.4, 9.6-9.6.2, cursory coverage in class: 9.4-9.5) Program structures. Real-time computation. Complexity.

Week 6-7: Properties of linear phase FIR filters. Delay. Design of FIR filters using windows. Equipripple design. (Sec. 10.1.2-10.2.2, 10.2.4, 10.2.7) Design using Matlab.

Week 7-8: Properties of causal IIR filters. Design from continuous-time filters. Bilinear transformation. (Sec. 10.3, 10.3.3-10.3.4) Design using Matlab.

Week 9-10: Frequency-domain sampling. Discrete Fourier transform. DFT properties. Circular convolution. DFT applications: spectral analysis, filtering. (Sec. 7.1-7.1.2, 7.1.4, 7.2-7.3.1, 7.4)

Week 11: Fast Fourier transform. Radix-2 algorithms. Complexity. (Sec. 8.1-8.1.1, 8.1.3) (Overviewed in 1 lecture)

Week 12: Lattice filter (Sec. 9.2.4) and Schur-Cohn test.

Marking Scheme

  • Final exam 60%
  • Quizzes 20%
  • Labs 20%

*** The final exam and quizzes are "open book and open notes". A FEAS approved (gold-stickered) calculator is permitted. No other electronic device may be used. ***

Please familiarize with the academic honesty rules and policies.


Quizzes will be held in the tutorial. The best 1 out of 2 quizzes will be used to calculate the course mark.

Absence from any quiz must be supported by approved documentation. Acceptable documentation is issued by the Faculty of Applied Science or the office of Health, Counselling, & Disability Services (HCDS). Please consult the verification of illness policy.

No makeup quiz will be offered. With documented and approved absence from one quiz, the remaining quiz will be worth 20%.  With documented and approved absence from both quizzes, the final exam is worth 80%.


Students will do four experiments, each conducted over a three-hour laboratory session. Students work in teams of two persons each. The experiments are scheduled as follows:

Experiment Dates

Lab Report Due

1 Oct 8 In lab @ end of Oct 8 lab period
2 Oct 29 In lab on Nov 5
3 Nov 5 In lab on Nov 12
4 Nov 12 In class on Nov 19

Instructions and DSP code for the experiments are posted to onQ. Students are expected to prepare for each experiment before coming to the laboratory. Lab attendance is compulsory! The experiments are designed to be finished in three hours, but only if the student comes to the laboratory with adequate preparation. Preparation includes reading through the instructions and background material, thinking through the steps, and solving prelab problems in accordance with the given instructions. Put your prelab work into a prelab report and bring it to the laboratory. The TAs will check that each team has a complete prelab report at the beginning of each experiment. A team without a complete prelab report at that time will lose 2.5 out of the maximum 10 points given to the lab report.

The lab report should present clearly experimental data, observations, conclusions, answers to questions posed in the lab instructions, and any deviations from prescribed steps and any additional design or preparation performed. The prelab report must be submitted with the lab report. See the schedule above for the lab report due dates. Each team need only submits one report. There is no dropbox for submitting the reports.