MAS.160 / MAS.510 / MAS.511 Signals, Systems and Information for Media Technology

Fall 2007

Diagram of Huffman Coding for phrase 'How much wood can a woodchuck chuck?' overlaid on photo of various iPods.
This course explores the mathematical foundations of digital media. For instance, see recitations 6 and 7 for an explanation of MP3 compression using the phrase "How much wood can a woodchuck chuck?" (iPod photo courtesy of >> GUM <<.)

Course Description

This class teaches the fundamentals of signals and information theory with emphasis on modeling audio/visual messages and physiologically derived signals, and the human source or recipient. Topics include linear systems, difference equations, Z-transforms, sampling and sampling rate conversion, convolution, filtering, modulation, Fourier analysis, entropy, noise, and Shannon's fundamental theorems. Additional topics may include data compression, filter design, and feature detection. The undergraduate subject MAS.160 meets with the two half-semester graduate subjects MAS.510 and MAS.511, but assignments differ.

Technical Requirements

Special software is required to use some of the files in this course: .m.

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Dr. V. Michael Bove
Prof. Rosalind Picard

TA (Recitations):
Dr. Quinn Smithwick 

Course Meeting Times

2 sessions / week
1.5 hours / session

1 session / week
1 hour / session


Undergraduate / Graduate