Digital Audio Basics
Units: 1.0 CU
Terms: Spring 2021
When: Lecture WF 9:00--10:am, Lab M4:00-6:00pm
Instructor: DeHon (office hours
T4:15pm-5:30pm, Zoom Link)
|Aaron Shurberg||T 7-8pm||Zoom
|Nathan Baker||W 2-3pm||Zoom Link|
|Esther Amao||R 8-9pm|
Prerequisite: Some prior programming experience (CIS110 or AP sufficient)
Catalog Level Description:
Primer on digital audio. Overview of signal
processing, sampling, compression, human psychoacoustics, MP3, intellectual
property, hardware and software platform components, and networking
(i.e., the basic technical underpinnings of modern MP3 players and cell phones).
Covid-19 Spring 2021
Spring 2021 offering will plan to accommodate the ongoing Covid-19 challenge
which includes, students that cannot be physically present on campus at
Penn (due to travel restrictions, housing restrictions, and personal safety
concerns) and the need for social distancing even for those that are on
campus. Our plan will evolve with
and guidance from the University. Our current plan includes:
See the Provosts Covid-19
Academic Information and Resources
and Penn COVID-19 Response
for further University-wide information and guidance.
- Online (Zoom) lectures
- Synchronous delivery that includes interactions with students who
can attend; we recommend students attend the synchronous delivery.
- Recordings of synchronous delivered lecture available on Canvas
for asynchronous viewing by those who cannot make the lecture or wish
to get a refresher.
- Online office hours (Zoom, Google Meet)
- Teams as per usual (pairs for homework) that may collaborate
remotely -- we expect remote collaboration over Zoom or Google Meet.
- Remote labs
- Penn will send out kits with components for labwork
- Zoom sessions for teamwork and help from lab staff
- Open-book, flexible-time, honor-system exams within a fixed time-window.
Projected topics by week:
- Sampling / PCM / Digital Audio
- Lossless compression
- Time-Frequency Conversion
- Nyquist-Shannon sampling theorem
- Human Perception
- Psychoacoustical Compression
- Hardware Organization
- Operating System (sharing hardware)
- User Interface
- Intellectual Property
By the end of the course, you will be able to:
- perform mathematical optimization for audio encoding
- conduct and analyze psychoacoustic experiments (frequency
sensitivity and masking, sampling and aliasing)
- conduct and analyze networking experiments
- identify and quantify tradeoffs between quality and costs
- conduct and analyze experiments to understand hardware bottlenecks
and software behavior
- demonstrate understanding of the role of Intellectual Property
- appreciate role of User Interfaces and making technology usable by lay public
- identify applications enabled or impacted by compression
- understand how hardware performance enables new capabilities
- understand performance of contemporary hardware elements
- use an oscilloscope to analyze an audio waveform
- program for simple signal processing and visualization tasks (e.g., matlab)
- program lossless compression
- use spreadsheets to generate data for experiments
- use performance counters for benchmarking and profiling application performance
- write a formal lab report
Grading is based on:
- Quizzes and Class Participation [10%]
- Weekly Lab Writeups [50%] (will drop lowest attempted lab; not turning in a
lab writeup does not count as an attempt)
- One Formal Lab Report [20%]
- Midterm [5%]
- Final [15%]
|Grade||Percent Point Range|
(If you score in the specified range, you will at least receive the
stated grade. We reserve the right to be more generous.)
Writeups must be done in electronic form and submitted through
Each individual should turn in a lab writeup.
Labs will be performed in pairs and joint data collection and in-lab work
is expected. Prelab and final writeups should be done individually.
Formal lab report writeup should be done individually. Turning in
identical or substantially copied lab reports is an academic integrity violation.
All assignments will be turned in electronically through the Penn Canvas
website. Log in to canvas with your PennKey and password, then select ESE 150 from the Courses and Groups dropdown menu.
Select Assignments from the links on the left and select the assignment you
wish to submit for. Submission should be as a single file (preferably
Lab reports must be turned in by the published due date to receive credit.
Late assignments will not be accepted.
In general, you are expected to abide by Penn's
Code of Academic Integrity. If there is any uncertainty, please ask.
Use the Penn
Course Absence Report (CAR) in Penn-in-Touch to report absences.
Preclass worksheets will only be available
at the time of
the lecture with which they are
associated. You are responsible for collecting them and keeping them to
use for review. If you will miss a lecture, have a friend in the class
pickup a copy for you (and report your absence with the CAR described above).
There are points for every lecture that contribute to class participation.
You will have two ways to earn these points:
Either way, you should keep up with the course lectures.
- Attend synchronous lecture recording and answer questions
- Complete lecture quiz before next lecture or lab
Make sure you call any problems with grading to our attention immediately
and not later than the next class meeting after they are returned or posted
on canvas. To submit a request for a review of a credit assignment on
a lab assignment send an email to the instructor stating the nature of the
problem and the remedy you desire. We will not consider any requests for
grade adjustments that are submitted later than the one week grace period
after the grades are posted on canvas. You are responsible for checking
your posted grades in a timely manner.
Last modified: Wed Jan 27 11:14:53 EST 2021