UCLA Extension

Digital Signal Processing: Theory, Algorithms, and Implementation

A 3-Day Short Course

Over the last 25 years, Digital Signal Processing (DSP) has emerged as the primary enabling technology for a wide range of applications, such as modem communication, digital telephony, second and third mobile communications, wireless data and voice communication, multimedia, high-fidelity audio, and video and audio compression. This course presents the core theory and algorithms of DSP and demonstrates through laboratory sessions the real-time and real-world considerations for implementation of digital signal processing strategies. The course has been evolved over the last 15 years and ensures that all participants leave knowing both the rudiments and the advanced concepts of DSP. It is intended for practicing electronic engineers, communication engineers, RF engineers, programmers, project management staff, or those working in DSP but looking for a refresher to update their knowledge in the field. Each morning, the course presents the mathematical tools and theory of DSP, while afternoons feature practical laboratory sessions that allow participants to simulate and implement advanced DSP systems, such as acoustic echo controllers, adaptive equalizers for multipath mobile communications, or DSP-enabled radio systems.

Participants should obtain the tools and materials necessary to apply DSP methods immediately at their workplace.

Skill Goals

  • Analyze discrete time systems using time domain mathematics
  • Analyze discrete time systems using frequency domain/Z-domain mathematics
  • Understand the fundamental theory relating to sampling rate, quantization noise, and the architecture of a generic DSP system
  • Design and implement FIR, IIR, and adaptive digital filters for real-world applications in digital audio and acoustics and telecommunications
  • Understand the theory of adaptive signal processing systems and how to apply to real-world problems, such as equalization and echo cancellation
  • Understand the fundamental DSP theory and techniques for signal coding and compression
  • Understand the key theory and achievable advantages of oversampling, multirate, noise shaping, and undersampling strategies
  • Undertake DSP system design using advanced analysis and design software
  • Understand the advantages and disadvantages of implementation using DSP processors, ASICs, and FPGAs
  • Apply DSP theory and algorithms in the application domains of modern computing, multimedia systems, and communication systems
  • Integrate theoretical and practical skills to undertake a DSP design project

Course Format

  • Approximately 60% lectures
  • Approximately 40% hands-on DSP design/simulation


The following experience is useful: computer programming principles and use of an operating system; electrical engineering principles; and bachelor’s or master’s degree-level mathematics.

Course Materials

A comprehensive four-volume set of notes (more than 1,000 pages) is distributed to participants on the first day of the course. These notes include:

  • A Digital Signal Processing A-Z reference glossary
  • Introductory DSP class notes and tutorial notes
  • Advanced DSP class notes and tutorial notes
  • Digital communications class notes and tutorial notes
  • DSP e-software workbook

A copy of the DSPedia DVD is provided to each participant, featuring:

  • Hypertext PDF versions of all printed notes
  • More than 60 DSP audio demonstrations
  • More than 300 DSP simulations (quantization, digital filtering, adaptive DSP, frequency domain, nonlinear techniques, coding, telecommunication channels, etc.)

The notes and DVD are for participants only and are not for sale.

Laboratory Sessions

Participants use multimedia PCs in a UCLA Extension computer lab, with the DSP design and professional DSP simulation and design software. A complete workbook and more than 300 design examples are provided. (The examples can be run after the course using the various facilities provided on the DVD.) Participants can use their own laptop PCs for these sessions (minimum specifications: 1GHz Pentium, 1GB RAM, 100MB free disk space, 16-bit soundcard/ speakers).

Coordinator and Lecturer

Robert W. Stewart, PhD, Faculty Member, Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom. Prior to his current position, Dr. Stewart was a visiting professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Minnesota in 1990, and a visiting scholar at the University of Southern California in 1986-1987. At Strathclyde University he currently manages a group of researchers working on projects that include equalization and synchronization, wireless/mobile DSP physical layers, adaptive beamforming, oversampling strategies for sigma delta ASICs, and high-speed DSP on FPGAs. Dr. Stewart has consulted extensively on DSP to many large and small companies, and in 2004 took the position of Chief Technical Officer at Steepest Ascent Ltd. Over the last 20 years, he has published more than 160 technical papers and presented many industry DSP seminars and courses in the U.S., Europe, and China.

Daily Schedule

Day 1

  • Signal Processing Review
  • Signals, Systems, and Applications
  • Analog Processing
  • Distortion or Noise?

The Generic Baseband DSP System

  • ADCs and DACs
  • Signal Conditioning
  • Anti-Alias and Reconstructions Filters
  • Quantization Error and Noise
  • The Nyquist Sampling Rate
  • Linear Systems
  • z-Domain Representation

DSP Hardware/Software Implementations

  • DSP Software/Hardware Perspective
  • The Generic DSP Processor Architecture
  • DSP Design and Analysis Software
  • High-Speed DSP with FPGAs

Frequency Domain Analysis

  • Periodic, Aperiodic, and Random Signals
  • The DFT, FFT, and Power Spectra
  • Spectral Leakage and Data Windowing
  • Modern Spectral Analysis
  • Time/Frequency Representation

Digital Filtering

  • Finite Impulse Response (FIR) Digital Filters
  • Infinite Impulse Response (IIR) Digital Filters
  • Digital Filter Design Parameters and Methods
  • Magnitude and Phase Response
  • z-Domain Poles and Zeroes

Laboratory: Time Domain Design, Frequency Analysis, Digital Filtering

Day 2

Digital Filtering (continued)

  • Minimum Phase/Non-Minimum Phase
  • Marginally Stable Filters (Oscillators!)
  • Low Computation Cost Filter Blocks
  • Differentiators, Integrators
  • Moving Average and Cascade Integrator Comb Filters
  • Fixed-Point Arithmetic FIR and IIR Implementation

Adaptive DSP

  • Algorithms and Architectures
  • The Wiener Hopf Solution
  • Least Mean Squares (LMS)
  • RLS/QR Algorithms
  • Channel Equalization—Baseband and Bandpass
  • Decision-Directed and Decision Feedback Equalizer (DFE)
  • Echo Cancellation and Acoustic Echo Control

Oversampling and Multirate

  • Sample Rate Change; Decimation and Interpolation
  • The Oversampling Advantage
  • Sigma Delta and Noise Shaping ADC/DACs
  • Dithering and Quantization Noise Spectra
  • Subband Filter Architectures
  • Polyphase Implementation
  • Multirate-Based Audio Coding/Compression

Laboratory: Adaptive DSP, Oversampling, Multirate DSP

Day 3

DSP Baseband Communication

  • Bit, Symbols, Constellations, and Information Theory
  • ISI, Pulse Shaping, and Channel Bandwidth
  • Matched Filtering and AWGN Channels
  • Bit Error Rates-Generating BER Curves
  • Eb/No and Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR)
  • Symbol Synchronization: Early-Late Gate
  • Phase Rotations

DSP Bandpass Communications

  • Modulation Review
  • Shift Keying (ASK, PSK, FSK)
  • Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM)
  • Quatenary Phase Shift Keying (QPSK)
  • Carrier Synchronization; PLL and Costas Loops
  • Complex Modeling of Bandpass Communications
  • TDMA/FDMA/CDMA DSP Implementations

DSP-Enabled Radio

  • Numerically-Controlled Oscillators (NCO)
  • Direct Digital Downconversion (DDC)
  • Bandpass Sigma Delta
  • Digital IF ADC Systems
  • The DSP “Software” Radio
  • DSP with FPGAs

Laboratory: Digital Communication, QAM System Simulation, Synchronization

For more information contact the Short Course Program Office:
shortcourses@uclaextension.edu | (310) 825-3344 | fax (310) 206-2815