ECE 6960 Syllabus

6960 Section 002: Advanced Random Processes and Applications, Fall 2010

  • Lecture: Tuesday and Thursday, 12:25 PM - 1:45 PM at WEB 2470
  • Prerequisite: ECE 5510, Random Processes (or equivalent)
  • Credit: 3 hours
  • Instructor: Neal Patwari
  • Office: MEB 3120
  • Office Hours: preliminary: Tue 3:30-5; Thu 2-3:30
  • Email: npatwari@ece... you know the rest.
  • Phone: (801) 581-5917
  • Grader: none
  • Web Page:
  • Matlab: One of Matlab, Octave, or Python is a required part of the homework assignments.


My lecture notes from ECE 5510 are available online for review of probability and basic random processes. I will also produce lecture notes through the semester, which will be posted on the schedule after each lecture.


This is the second time this special topics course has been offered. It was last offered in Fall, 2007. We hope to allow students the the tools necessary for graduate study in the systems areas. Today's research in signal and image processing, communications, and controls requires many tools not covered in our ECE 5510 course. In addition, the use of these tools in biology, networking, data mining, and economics, has led to new understanding and new breakthroughs. It is my belief that mastery of these tools will provide an increased ability to read and understand the relevant literature and to contribute to the research, in many fields of study.


Course grading will be calculated based on:

  1. Homework: 10% (lowest homework score is dropped)
  2. Exam 1 (Thu., Sept. 30): 30%
  3. Exam 2 (Thu. Nov. 18): 30%
  4. Project: 30%

Grades are copied onto WebCT's grade book, so that you can verify that your grade has been recorded properly, and so that you can compare it with the class statistics.


We will use the homework "portfolio" concept. I will grade your homework for completeness, but not for correctness. It is your job to verify that your homework solutions are correct, by checking my solutions, which will be posted on WebCT after the deadline. You will be allowed to have your homework solutions (your "portfolio") with you on the exam, so it is beneficial for you to ensure their correctness and to make sure that you know the reasoning for each step of the solution.


Students will do an individual course project, including a written report, and a oral presentation. The oral presentations will be presented in class during the final two class meetings. The written report will be due December 9, the final day of class. The course project requires students to apply the tools of the course to a particular application. A project may involve either experiment or simulation, and must apply the tools from the course to analyze or model a random process. The project must involve a random process, rather than simply a random variable. From the beginning of the semester, students should scan the readings in an effort to understand the breadth of the course topics in order to formulate ideas for an interesting and challenging project.

Collaboration Policy

You are encouraged to work together on homework assignments whenever possible. Discussing things is a great way to learn. After making a genuine attempt to solve the homework problems, you are encouraged to discuss the answers with other students currently enrolled in ECE 6960 to check the answers and compare solution approaches. However, after such a discussion, you must complete your answers on your own, without referring to the solutions of other students, to solutions from previous terms, or to the solutions manual for any textbook. When working on Matlab problems, you may not use or copy code written by another student. Doing so will be considered plagiarism and will result in a zero grade for the assignment and possible further sanctions.

Grading Scale

Tests, project, and the homework assignments are designed so that you can demonstrate your mastery of each of the topics. Your grade percentage will reflect the percentage of the course topics which you have demonstrated proficiency. Competition is not necessary, since every student can get an `A' grade. The letter grade is encoded as follows:

  • A: >= 92
  • A-: >= 90 and < 92
  • B+: >= 88 and < 90
  • B: >= 82 and < 88
  • B-: >= 80 and < 82
  • C+: >= 78 and < 80
  • C: >= 72 and < 78
  • C-: >= 70 and < 72
  • D+: >= 68 and < 70
  • D: >= 62 and < 68
  • D-: >= 60 and < 62


  • Find another student or students to help you (or to help them) when you (they) have trouble with homework problems. Do that now, from the start!
  • Read the corresponding section in the book before lecture.
  • Come to office hours.
  • Do additional problems, beyond the homework.

Students with Disabilities

The University of Utah seeks to provide equal access to its programs, services and activities for people with disabilities. If you will need accommodations in the class, reasonable prior notice needs to be given to the Center for Disability Services, 162 Olpin Union Building, 581-5020 (V/TDD). CDS will work with you and the instructor to make arrangements for accommodations. All written information in this course can be made available in alternative format with prior notification to the Center for Disability Services.