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Classroom Card #3536
What You Learn is more than What You See: Signal Processing Education using EML
Updated: 11/9/2023 6:11 AM by Yufeng Lu
Reviewed: 12/18/2023 11:00 AM by Michael Johnson
Learning signal processing through a collaborative project involving product development for biomedical applications
Three weeks

The card serves as one of class projects in Signals and Systems course. When students start to work on this project (the card), they are expected to know a little bit of MATLAB or similar programming language.  The instructor may run the project within 3 weeks, in parallel with lectures in introducing signals & systems concepts such as Z transform, frequency response, and filters.

Prerequisites: basic MATLAB programming; Corequisites: signals and systems concepts

Signals and Systems is one of the required Electrical Engineering core courses for second-year or third-year students. It is a place where physics and mathematics meet, and where circuit and digital system are integrated. This mathematics-oriented course raises the abstraction level when compared to other courses in the curriculum, and as a result it has historically been one of our most challenging for students from a learning perspective. Additionally, the feedback from students often focuses on the lack of connection between the course material and actual applications.

The activities in this card provide students in Signals and Systems with opportunities to practice what they are learning on actual applications. Using an entrepreneurially minded learning approach, students work in groups actively and collaboratively to complete the project in a 4-week period.  About 3 hours of lectures times are devoted to the project discussion and presentation. More information can be found in Instructor Tips section and the master teaching plan file under Instructor Resource folder. Activities with brief information are listed as follows:

Activity #1:  A hook statement and In-class 10 - 15 minute discussion to discover information (Curiosity)

Activity #2:  Jigsaw or Gallery Walk for in-class 30 - 35 minute discussion to discover information (Curiosity), and out-of-class assignments to discover information (Curiosity), make connection, and create value

Activity #3: In-class 50 minute discussion on biomedical signal processing(reference, data, algorithm, and programming)

Activity #4 (optional): In-class 10 - 15 minute discussion on design cycle of a typical senior design project

Activity #5: Out-of-class assignments for project teamwork (Curiosity, Connection, and Create Value)

Activity #6: In-class presentation (about 5 minute presentation per student group)

Activity #7: Out-of-class self- and peer- evaluation and reflection


  • Demonstrate constant curiosity about our changing world
  • Integrate information from many sources to gain insight
Creating Value
  • Identify unexpected opportunities to create extraordinary value
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