New textbook provides streamlined guide for undergrads studying Signals and Systems

The textbook, authored by Prof. Stéphane Lafortune, covers the main material students need to know for continuous-time signals and systems with a focus on linear time-invariant systems and their response to different classes of input signals.
Cover of "A Guide to Signals and Systems in Continuous Time"

A new textbook, A Guide to Signals and Systems in Continuous Time, provides a guideline to the main material covered in introductory undergraduate Signals and Systems courses. The book is published by Springer and is authored by Stéphane Lafortune, the N. Harris McClamroch Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

“I hope that this book will be a useful guide to undergraduate engineering students who want to learn about linear time-invariant systems and specifically why, when, and how to use transform techniques à la Fourier and Laplace in their study,” Lafortune writes in the preface.

Designed to function as a supplementary resource, rather than a primary textbook, the guide focuses on material students need to know when studying linear time-invariant systems and their response to different classes of input signals. It offers detailed summaries of the key concepts and results to help reinforce students’ understanding of the material.

The book is based on the presentation slides that Lafortune developed over the years while teaching the material for EECS 216, the introductory signals and systems course offered by the department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan.

The book is organized in parallel to the course and covers:

  • Time-domain analysis of continuous- time linear time-invariant systems using the convolution integral
  • Consideration of periodic signals and introduction of the Fourier series representation of the input and output signals
  • Generalization to aperiodic eternal signals and frequency- domain analysis using the Fourier transform
  • Application of the preceding technique to study filtering and communication systems, along with a brief discussion of sampling
  • Further generalization to the s-domain for right-sided signals and causal systems using the unilateral Laplace transform, along with complete solution of linear constant-coefficient differential equations with non-zero initial conditions
  • A brief introduction to feedback control and PID compensators

The ebook is free to members of the U-M community (as well as students at other universities that subscribe to SpringerLink). A softcover is also available for $24.99 and a hardcover at $49.99.

Stephane Lafortune

Lafortune is a Fellow of the IEEE (1999) and of the International Federation of Automatic Control (2017). He received the Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation in 1990 and the Axelby Outstanding Paper Award from the Control Systems Society of the IEEE in 1994 (for a paper co-authored with S.-L. Chung and F. Lin) and in 2001 (for a paper co-authored with G. Barrett). He obtained his degrees from École Polytechnique de Montréal (B.Eng), McGill University (M.Eng), and the University of California at Berkeley (PhD), all in Electrical Engineering. He joined Michigan in 1986.

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