Better than a night out

Introduction to Digital Signal Processing - Digital Fundamentals
November 24, 2000

How often have you picked up a book titled "Introduction to ..." and quickly concluded that either the author is striving to maintain the mystery of his subject, or else that an introductory text it is certainly not? Have no fear of this experience from Bob Meddins's Introduction to Digital Signal Processing .

The scope of the text is deliberately limited to the core material of digital signal processing (DSP) as studied at second or third-year undergraduate level. The reader is led from the basics of discrete-time systems, via digital filters, to the FFT (Fast Fourier Transform). The material is presented clearly. A great strength of the text is the large number of worked examples that the reader can comfortably accomplish given a modest level of prior knowledge of the s-plane and complex numbers. Helpful recap sections are provided for those who feel rusty.

The software package Matlab is introduced for simulating DSP systems, as is commonplace in this subject. This is very welcome and having access to a copy of the software and manual will enable the reader to take full advantage of the examples. An introductory text cannot be expected to offer the depth or broader scope sought by an inquiring reader, but Meddins competently achieves his objective of introducing his subject.

Thirty-four £ of hard-earned student loan will buy a good night in the union bar or a paperback copy of Digital Fundamentals by Thomas Floyd. This top-notch text benefits from ten years of development and now represents, both for student and instructor, a highly refined learning resource. The scope and level of the book make it appealing for first-year undergraduate courses in digital electronics with the added bonus of some introductory material on microprocessors and integrated-circuit technology. The main topic areas of digital electronics are well represented, including combinational and sequential circuits, numerical processing, programmable and memory devices. The layout is very engaging with helpful use of colour diagrams and photographs. As an aid to learning, Floyd has included a large number of problems (with solutions) together with guided work within the electronics Workbench System supplied with the book.

In a crowded sector of the textbook market, Floyd offers an excellent package, well balanced between practical and theoretical content, clearly presented and with comprehensive supporting materials. Highly recommended.

Patrick Naylor is senior lecturer in electronic and electrical engineering, Imperial College, University of London.

Introduction to Digital Signal Processing: First edition

Author - Bob Meddins
ISBN - 0 7506 5048 6
Publisher - Butterworth Heinemann
Price - £16.99
Pages - 161

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