EECE2150 --- Circuits and Signals --- Fall 2017

Prof. DiMarzio
TA: Yuyi Wei and Khishigbadral Ganzorigt
| Course Syllabus (.pdf) | Labs| Quizzes |

Office Hours:
Prof. DiMarzio: 302 Stearns, Office Hours Thu 10-12 in 302ST or by appointment
Office hours with TAs Mon. through Fri. 6:00-8:00pm in the lab. There will be different TAs each evening so that we can cover all five nights. You can attend any evening.

Tutoring by Eta Kappa Nu is available for this course. Eta Kappa Nu (HKN) is the honor society for ECE students. The tutors are students who have taken the course in the past few years.

To access class video, go to You may want to use this if you have a seat with an obstructed view.

Announcements (Updated 17 December 2017)

(17 Dec 2017) I have completed the grading on Blackboard and shortly will post the official grades on Banner. You will probably not see the official posting until the registrar runs the grades sometime Monday night. You can see the Final Grade Histogram. The black vertical lines show the "official" breakpoints for letter grades. I adjusted a couple of them to the red dashed liness that no one "just missed" the next letter grade.

Overall, I'm very pleased with the results. Looking at the final exams, I'm impressed with how much everyone learned in a very challenging course. Thanks to everyone for being part of the class and for your helpful feedback during the term. I'll be doing some fine-tuning of my presentation for next year, as a result of your input. I look forward to seeing you in future classes. I wish you a good holiday break and the best in your engineering careers.

(16 Dec 2017) I have just finished grading the final exams, and I was generally pleased with how much everyone had learned. I am about to post the final exam grades on Blackboard. The histogram for the final is available now. At this point, don't pay much attention to the course grade on Blackboard because I am not ready to (1) Verify that the Blackboard calculation is correct, and (2) consider extra credit or corrections to grades that students have reported during the term. Those will happen tomorrow, but during that time the course grades may fluctuate as I make corrections. I will announce here when the numbers are finalized.

(13 Dec 2017) Take a look at the table of Fourier transform pairs here. This will be attached to the final exam. You do not need to bring it with you, but I wanted you to see it and be comfortable with it before the exam.

(12 Dec 2017) In case you missed it, our final is in 150 Dodge, 3:30 to 5:30 on Thursday the 14th. Other sections have the final at the same time, but in different locations. Make sure you go to the right location. I will grade the exams for my section.

You will be allowed the use of a calculator and one page 8.5 by 11 inches of notes (both sides of the page). You will be given a table of Fourier transforms that you may find useful during the exam.

We are announcing several topics that will NOT be on the exam: Thevenin and Norton, Dependent sources, Mesh analysis.

(8 Dec 2017) There will not be dependent sources on the final exam.

(6 Dec 2017) Please remember to compete the TRACE survey for the course.

6 Dec 2017) See Tuesday's posting about practice finals. When I put that up, I managed to miss the solution set for the 2015 exam. It is now there. We don't have solutions for the others.

(6 Dec 2017) The schedule for problem sessions is as follows (we'll keep updating as things change. We are still waiting for confirmation on the rooms, so check back here before going to one.

Friday Vakili 10AM to 12Noon Lab
Friday McGruer 2:30PM to 4PM 104WVG
Monday DiMarzio 1:35PM to 3:05PM 104WVG
Wednesday Brooks 1:30PM to 3PM 119 Dodge

(5 Dec 2017) Some practice finals are at practicefinals/. One has answers.

(22 Nov 2017) Labs 14 and 15 are both in the labs webpage. There is also a link to specs-and-manuals which includes spec sheets you will need. Read the instructions for both Lab 14 and Lab 15 before coming to class on Monday. It is my intent to do very little lecturing next week. You will learn a lot by trial and error, as we normally do when building something new. Happy Thanksgiving.

(21 Nov 2017) Homework 10 is now posted. Note that it says HW9 on the .pdf file, but is really our HW10. It is due on Wednesday, 29 November, and will be the last homework assignment. Starting Monday the 27th, we will concentrate on the ECG project almost exclusively.

(17 Nov 2017) In case anyone else is having trouble with the PUBLISH function in Matlab, you cannot put it inside the script you are trying to publish. If you do, it will go into an infinite loop.

(Thu 16 Nov 2017) Here's the table of Fourier transforms that was posted on the Bluejeans chat. It's also in the supplementary material below.

(Wed 15 Nov 2017) Usually I have about one student per week having a disagreement with Mastering Engineering homework. Out of 32 students and 10 problems that's not too bad. However, this week it seems a bit worse and there are fewer problems. If you feel that you got the right answer and the machine disagrees, send me some documentation by email and I'll take it into consideration.

(Mon 13 Nov 2017) For those of you who tried to use stft_sound_plot.m for Lab 12, you presumably got an error about a missing function, plot_frequency_content.m. That function is now in the lab directory and also in the matlab directory.

(Fri 10 Nov 2017) Homework 9 is the problem we worked in class. Now that it is a homework assignment, we'll raise the bar a bit and expect correct amplitudes and appropriate labels on axes, etc. Please submit one .pdf file as per the instructions by next Friday, 17 November. There will be a place to submit your file in Blackboard.

(8 Nov 2017) For the quiz, focus on active filters. Know about time constants, cutoff frequencies, mid-band gain, and dB. See the dB cheatsheet in the supplementary material below. There will be nothing on Fourier transforms. That's next week.

(Tue 7 Nov 2017) Homework 8 is posted on Mastering Engineering. It's a short assignment and probably the last of Mastering Engineering because the focus of the rest of the course is more on signals. The assignment is due next Wednesday, the 15th, as I know some of you have a heavy workload this week.

(Mon 6 Nov 2017) We're working on the next homework assignment. It should be out today.

(Thu 2 Nov 2017) The histogram of grades has been corrected. Evidently, the lab reflections were erroneously included in the homework grades. I am not sure if the scale of 10 points affected the result or not, so I've made a new column for HW1, scaled to 100, and used that in the calculations. I believe everything is working now, from spot-checking 3 students, but please report anything that doesn't look right.

(Wed 1 Nov 2017) To prepare for the quiz tomorrow, study the filters in Lab 10. Be able to deal with any combination of R,L,C in the input and feedback arms. Understand how to find voltage (or current) as a function of time, given a freqeuncy and the voltage phasor or complex representation. I have posted a cumulative histogram of the grades to date, through quiz 5 and HW7. I will discuss these in class after the quiz.

(Thu 26 Oct 2017) Office hours will end today shortly before 11AM. I will be recruiting for Dialogues of Civilization in the Indoor Quad of the Student Center. I can do office hours there if you come to our table (and of course check out our Dialogues program too). Ask for our table at the front of the room.

Quizzes are now posted with solutions. Look at the top of this page right beside the link to "labs."

(Wed 18 Oct 2017) Homework 6 is on Mastering Engineering. It should appear tonight at 11:59pm, and is due next Wednesday night. It is incorrectly called HW05. I cannot change that once I've created the assignment, so it will stay that way. Reminder: Quiz 5 is tomorrow.

(Wed 11 Oct 2017) Homework 5 is posted. This one is not a Mastering Engineering assignment. It is due next Wednesday at the beginning of class.

(Thu 5 Oct 2017) I am not able to hold office hours today. I have a doctor's appointment that is in conflict with the time. Please email if you would like to meet at another time today or tomorrow.

(Wed 4 Oct 2017) Lab 7 and HW 4 are posted. The Matlab script for Lab 7 is in the lab secton and in the supplementary materials section below and here; supplementary/sampled_sine_example_2150.m There is no prelab for Lab 7.

Submit reflections for Lab 6 on Blackboard. The assignment label may say Lab 5, but if it does, just ignore that. I made a mistake and I can't see any easy way to change it.

Quiz 4 is Thursday. If you have done the summing circuit in Lab 6, and understand it, you should be able to handle the quiz. There will not be anything on non-inverting or differential amplifiers.

(Fri 29 Sep 2017) Lab 6 is now posted. We will probably start on Monday. There is a pre-lab assignment and a post-lab reflection for this experiment.

(Tue 26 Sep 2017) Homework 3 is posted and is due next Tuesday night.

(Mon, 25 Sep 2017) Greetings from somewhere south of Philadelphia. I understand you have covered Thevenin and Norton equivalent circuits, and power transfer. We will have a quiz on Thevenin equivalent circuits on Thursday at the start of class. Homework 3 will be assigned shortly and you'll have a week to do it.

(17 Sep 2017) (1) Lab 4 is now posted. We will probably not start it until Wednesday. There is no formal pre-lab activity but it would be a good idea to read the lab instructions. (2) Homework 2 is now posted on the ME site. It is due Friday. (3) If your Homework-1 grade was affected by the incorrect grading rules, please send me an email with the details and I will make the appropriate correction on the gradebook. (4) Monday we will discuss Chapter 4 in the text.

(14 Sep 2017) Today we'll begin with lab work. Finish Lab 3 if you have not done so. Also try Lab 2.5 (the light bulbs), and think about why your answers are surprising (assuming they are).

I have moved the homework deadline to Friday night as promised. There's a little "finish and save" button on the settings panel that I missed earlier.

Lab 3 reflections report is due Monday by 11:59 on Blackboard.

(11 Sep 2017) Remember there is a quiz at the beginning of class on Wednesday. There is no pre-lab for Lab 3. However, for this one we do require a report after the lab.

(Fri 8 Sep 2017) Homework 1 is now posted on the Mastering Engineering site, and is due next Thursday. You should be able to access this from the Blackboard site. If you have problems, let me know, and I'll work with the publisher. One note: On Mastering Engineering, values are usually reported to 3 significant figures, and the tolerance for a correct answer is 1 to 2 percent. If you are using a computer or calculator, you should have no problem getting answers close enough to be counted as correct. Often on an exam or lab, I'd accept a larger error; very frequently component tolerances are as much as 10%, and in such cases, I'd expect your answers to have a similar accuracy. I probably shouldn't admit that when I was a student, we did the calculations with a slide rule and it was just about impossible to get better than a few percent.

(Thu 7 Sep 2017) Monday I'll begin with a lecture and then we'll start Lab 2. Complete the prelab in your notebook before class (the material highlighted in yellow in the lab instructions). We will have a quiz at the beginning of class on Wednesday, and will begin Lab 3, which we should complete by the end of the week. There will be a homework assignment posted shortly.

(6 Sep 2017) For PRELAB tomorrow, there are two circuits on Page 1 of the lab writeup. Draw the circuits as you would build them on the forms on Pages 3 and 4. Do not build the circuits; just bring the drawings to the lab tomorrow. Page 2 shows a completed example.

(4 Sep 2017) The syllabus is posted above. I will use Blackboard for grading and for files that I don't want to share with the world (usually because they belong to someone else). Everything else will be posted here.

Welcome to EECE2150. I'll post announcements and other useful information here throughout the semester. Our first class is Wednesday, 6 September, 1:35 to 3:55 in 009 Hayden.

I'll have a syllabus posted on this site later this week or weekend. There is a note above about tutoring by HKN. That should be started in the second week of classes. We will be making use of Matlab and PSpice software. You probably have Matlab on your computer from your freshman GE course. PSpice can be downloaded if you have a Window's machine. You can also use it on the COE Virtual Lab. There will be more information about this later.

Files Used in Class

pictures (directory)
Matlab (directory)

Textbook and Mastering Engineering Info:

There are three ways to gain access to the Mastering Engineering website, which will be used for this course.

1. To input the Mastering access code that you paid for at the NEU Bookstore. All Mastering access codes purchased at the bookstore grant access to the Nilsson eText. If you purchase a hard copy Nilsson text at the bookstore, they will want to make sure that it is packaged with the Mastering access code.

2. The bookstore is also stocking Mastering access code cards without the textbook.

3. You can purchase Mastering access directly from Pearson via the registration process. You will pay $111 (no markup) for Mastering access that includes the Nilsson eText.
You can also purchase Mastering access without the Nilsson eText, also via the registration process, for $61 (no markup.) This is a good option for the student who already has access to a hard copy of Nilsson.


Pspice information (Thanks to Prof. McGruer) PSpice (Available on NU computers or download for free). We will extensively use PSpice. The student version of PSpice is available for free. You may use any version of PSpice that you wish, but you may find it helpful to be consistent in your versions. You cannot save in version 9.1 and use in version 8.0. In fact, sometimes there is difficulty in saving in version 8.0 and then using in version 9.1, but less so. Pspice is avaliable at .
Thanks to Prof. Onabajo and one of his students for instructions for Windows-10 users.

You may also use PSPICE on the COE Virtual Lab from anywhere, including off-campus. If you have good eyesight and small fingers, you can even use it on your phone.


Matlab is available to students, faculty, and staff for use on a home computer. See for more information. You may also use MATLAB on the COE Virtual Machine.

COE Virtual Lab

For information on the virtual lab, see There is a lot of useful software there, including PSPICE and MATLAB, and more.

Please note that there are going to be changes to the campus VPN in September 2017, so if you use the Virtual Lab off campus, watch for email from the University about the changes.

Supplementary Information

Coding Standards and Recommendations Thanks to Prof. Brooks
Good Wiring Practices (Protoboards) Thanks to Prof. McGruer
Lab Test Equipment Thanks to Prof. McGruer
Electronics Lab 1 with another discussion of test equipment
File for Lab 7 Thanks to Prof. McGruer supplementary/sampled_sine_example_2150.m
Cheat Sheet for Complex Arithmetic supplementary/complex.pdf
L di/dt
Inductor Power Demonstration html/inductor.html
AC/DC Circuit Models From EECE2412
Survey Results surveyresults.txt.pdf
RC Demonstration Matlab code for demonstrating RC filter behavior matlab/rc2students.m
RC Demonstration (2) Function called by the script above matlab/rcfilter.m
Eli the Ice Man Current and Voltage in Steady-State Sinusoids
decibels A little help with converting to and from dB
Fourier Transform Pairs A bigger table than is in the book.

ABOUT THE BACKGROUND: My favorite winter passtime is skiing. I put this background together from a detail of a photograph taken at Park City, in 2003. There are four copies in different orientations so that the tracks (and more importantly, the brightness levels) line up as the pattern repeats.