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Signals and Systems For Dummies 1st Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1118475812
ISBN-10: 111847581X
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Learn to:

  • Grasp the core concepts of signals and systems for success in the classroom
  • Apply complex concepts such as discrete-time and continuous time signals, signal processing, and control systems
  • Solve problems and work through real-life examples

Getting mixed signals about signals and systems?

The concepts covered in a typical signals and systems course are often considered by engineering students to be some of the most difficult to master. Thankfully, Signals & Systems For Dummies is your intuitive guide to this tricky material, walking you step-by-step through some of the more complex theories and mathematical formulas in a way that's easy to understand.

  • Signals and systems 101 — understand the language of signals and systems, and get an overview of the basic concepts and techniques necessary for tackling this course
  • The time domain — get a plain-English intro to differential and difference equation system models, which are used to represent electronic circuits, the audio equalizer on your MP3 music player, and more
  • Between worlds — drill down on the frequency domain and the world of system design, and bridge the gap between the continuous- and discrete-time worlds
  • Know your domain — understand the s- and z-domains — a third domain system that engineers use to view the world — and understand why poles and zeros rule here
  • Open source tools — solve example problems with Python using PyLab, along with a custom function module written for the book

Open the book and find:

  • Continuous-time signals and systems
  • How to establish a general input/output relationship
  • Difference equations in the time domain
  • Worked through examples of real-world signals and systems applications
  • The Fourier transform for continuous-time signals
  • The scoop on sampling theory
  • The discrete Fourier transform and FFT algorithms
  • The Laplace transform for continuous-time signals

About the Author

Mark Wickert, PhD, is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. He is a member of the IEEE and is doing real signals and systems problem solving as a consultant with local industry.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 1 edition (June 4, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 111847581X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118475812
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #211,151 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book could be a nice refresher, but mainly it seems useful to someone who is taking a signals and systems class, who is a already up to speed, who wants a little better understanding of the material then their textbook or professor provides.

I was hoping for a quick reference, that explains signals and systems operations step by step in a clear and concise manner. I wanted a book with some examples worked out and explained from beginning to end. Most of all, I wanted a book that included refreshers of the math required for each calculation. This book is none of those things. I've never read a "For Dummies" book before, but I took the name at face value. In truth, I found it helpful, but only because I was already familiar with the material. If I had been coming in without a long list of prerequisites, this book would be next to useless.
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Format: Paperback
I would have given the book one star but that would just be giving in to an emotional response. Honestly, the book appears from the onset to be a very solid text. However, the online content mentioned in chapter one that accompanies the text is seemingly not available anymore - the modules created by the author, i.e., python (ssd.py) & maxima (ssd.wxm).

For those of you that are hands on learners (like myself). The missing content that is provided to supplement the text, takes away from the overall experience, thus the two stars.

For what it's worth. I initially attempted to leave a message on the author's Amazon page. Amazon however prompted me with a message stating the page was not a recognized web page and failed to execute my message. That said, if I can get access to the associated files I would be willing to increase my rating.

EDIT: 1/16/2015

Bumping my rating from 2 stars to 4. Someone replied to my thread regarding the material. See below.

Adding the two extra stars because this book is definitely a value and that much better with the associated material.

"You can find the up to date downloads on Dr Wickert's info page for the courses he teaches...
http://www.eas.uccs.edu/wickert/ ...."
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I've never particularly appreciated the "for Dummies" branding, it is unappealing and derogatory to me. However, there is no denying the marketing success of this series. This is the first "Dummies" book to which I have have been exposed... and it is surprisingly intelligent! I now see the title terminology is certainly cheeky, but not derogatory at all. It is simply a means of stated that the information within the book is meant for those that have had little exposure to the topic, a beginner perhaps. Signals & Systems for Neophytes, perhaps.

The information contained within is golden. The introduction is paced well with a quick brush up of fundamental math and a high level discussion of discrete and continuous time signals. Next the book lowers the reader into the topic of the time domain, which contains a bit of differential and difference equations. Don't worry though, everything is still manageable and presented in a clear manner.

The book then progresses into more difficult topics: line spectra, Fourier transforms, and sampling theory. Some topics may be a little much, but the reader will indefinitely be able to hold an intelligent conversation on the subjects after reading these chapters.

I can't help but give this book 5 stars. It's a complicated subject and 350 pages is not a lot of space to cover it. But all 350 pages are packed from edge to edge with signal nutrition. If you have a reasonable mathematical background, you are interested in the subject, and are ready to lay down a solid base of knowledge, this book comes highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have taken many courses related to signals and systems and I have worked in the field for almost 15 years. Dr. Wickert is a theory guy, who has made this subject more accessible to non-theory people. My mind is definitely more sharpened on his whetstone after reading. I did not really "get this" until almost a decade after I started my Undergrad in Electrical Engineering. Most of the experts in this field are in their 40/50s and so there is typically an age gap by how books are written. Not so here. If you can recall even a quarter of the information in this book, you'd impress in a job interview. Looking at the book from a practical perspective, it mentions several software tools I have used previously (Mathematica, Maple, Matlab, Octave) and includes newer open source software such as Maxima and Python (which Dr. Wickert uses in the book). That's where the rubber meets the road and this book is well rounded with frequent code snippets to play with. The price tag makes this a real bargain compared to my equivalent Undergrad textbooks, which were $100.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I wish this book would have been around when I went to college. This book is such understandable terms, it is perfect for the new student or someone who needs to refresh old skills.

The two things I cannot rave enough about are the refresher on calculus and the use of real life systems, such as a smartphone, to illustrate the concepts. By associating technology that is readily accessible, it helps to make the topics much easier to comprehend.

The other key takeaways from the book are "The Parts of Ten". These two chapters identify the 10 most common calculation mistakes, and 10 properties that you should absolutely remember.

This is a fantastic reference for students and practicioners.
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