EE 343: Communications Systems II
  Course Syllabus, Spring 2008
Lecture: 103 EECH, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 2:00 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.

Instructor: Dr. Chengshan Xiao
Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering
229 EECH, 341-4539 (o),

Office Hours: Fridays: 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. or by appointment


  • El Eng 243 (Communications Systems I) -- Basic concept in communication systems, waveform and RF (radio frequency) modulation in the transmitter, and demodulation in the receiver.
  • Proficiency in Matlab programming -- programming with matlab commands for basic operations such as vector and matrix computation, signal generation, filtering, and transform, etc.

    Course Description
    We will study the basic principles and applications of digital communications systems. Modern digital communications systems have found wide-spread applications in Public Service Telephone Networks (PSTN), computer systems and networks, wireless cellular phone services, Wi-Fi and WiMax, satellite communications, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), facsimile, audio CD and iPod, Digital Video Disk (DVD), digital/satellite TV, etc., etc. The principle of these digital communication systems tries to address the following questions:

  • What consists the useful information that we would like to transmit from one location to another?
  • What are the characteristics of the communication medium (i.e. the channel) and what is the maximum data rate it can support with a specified bandwidth and transmission power (i.e. the channel capacity)?
  • How to design a transmitter to achieve maximal data rate with minimal costs?
  • How to retrive information from the distorted signals received at the receiver and achieve minimum bit errors?
  • How would multiple users share the same transmission medium (i.e. the communication channels) without interfering each other?

  • In this course, we will briefly study the basic concept of information, the basic Additive White Gaussian Noise (AWGN) channel and its capacity. We will investigate in considerable details the basic structures and signal processing techniques of digital transceivers and the performance evaluation of communication systems. We will also cover multiple access techniques if we have time.


  • Required textbook: Digital Communications: fundamentals and applications, 2nd Edition, by B. Sklar, 2001, Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-084788-7.
  • Lectures, Homeworks, and Exams:

  • You are expected to attend every lecture. You are solely responsible for anything you miss in classes, including announcements, handouts, assignments, and exams, in addition to the course topics discussed in the class.
  • There will be six to eight homework assignments and one to two projects.  
  • Homework assignments are due at 2:00pm on the designated date.
  • There will be two exams.  The exams are closed-book.
  • Makeup exams will not be given unless you have a very unusual excuse with the instructor's permission in advance, or a documented medical/family emergency. 
  • If you disagree with the grading of an exam or a homework, you must contact the instructor within one week from the day the exam/homework is handed back to you.  After that time, no request for regrading will be accepted. A regrade can result in an increase, a decrease, or no change in the grade.
  • The project(s) will be computer simulation of digital communication systems using Matlab.
  • Grading:
    The grading scheme is given by

    Homework and projects: 45%
    Mid-term Exam: 25%
    Final Exam: 30%

    Important dates:
    Please inform the instructor any religious or traditional holidays that you may wish to observe.

    Feedback: Your feedback is very important to have good lectures. In addition to the semester-end teaching evaluation required by the department, I'll frequently solicit your feedback. Your comments are appreciated and are welcome throughout the semester.
    Feedback and communication with the instructor can be made via in-class questions, office hours, emails, and anonymous letters dropped in my mailbox or in the department office. Your emails will be read everyday during the week. But due to the large volume of emails I receive every day, I may reply only when needed. Common questions will be answered in class.

    Class Behavior and Academic Honesty:

  • When in class, please turn off all cell phones, pagers, and other devices that ring, buzz, or otherwise might disrupt the class.
  • Academic honesty is fundamental to the activities and principles of a university. All members of the academic community must be confident that each person's work has been responsibly and honorably acquired, developed, and presented. Any effort to gain an advantage not given to all students is dishonest whether or not the effort is successful. The academic community regards academic dishonesty as an extremely serious matter, with serious consequences that range from probation to expulsion. When in doubt about plagiarism, paraphrasing, quoting, or collaboration, consult the course instructor.
  • Discussion on homework assignments and project(s) between students is permitted, but each student should solve the problems and write report(s) separately. Other examples of cheating are
  • ADA Statement: If you need assistance or accommodations due to a disability, please notify the instructor immediately.  Reasonable effort will be made to accommodate your special needs.