ASU Summer 2017 Session C Week 3

Another insanely busy week. While still over a week away, I’ve started prepping and studying for the upcoming closed book/closed notes EEE 203 midterm. A bit nervous about this one. Lots to remember and a lot of complex math dealing with trig to exponential conversions.

I keep meaning to write up more about the EEE topics and some of the problems I’m working on, but just flat out haven’t had a chance to go into detail.

This week in EEE 203 I started looking at the Fourier Series. Over 15 lectures this week covering:

  • Complex Exponentials as Eigen Functions
  • Continuous Time Fourier Series
  • Continuous Time Fourier Series Properties
  • Discrete Time Fourier Series
  • Discrete Time Fourier Series Properties
  • Fourier Series LTI System Continuous Time
  • Fourier Series LTI System Discrete Time
  • Filter Details

The EEE 203 homework is taking me a bit longer to work through this week and I probably won’t get to the week 3 quiz until Saturday or Sunday. There are a couple questions I think I need to double check that I did earlier in the week after seeing the instruction teams responses on the Piazza discussion board. So far though, I’ve gotten perfect scores on the homework and quizzes and still have a small surplus of extra credit in the bank.

The topics are interesting but definitely a lot of math involved in this course. I wish I had taken it closer to the completion of MAT 265/266/267. I’ve gotten rusty! I keep hoping that an “easier” way will present itself, but so far its definitely some very detail oriented math work to calculate the various functions of Fourier series coefficients. It’s so easy to misplace a negative sign along the way.

The professor recommended a supplemental book titled “Schaum’s Outlines – Signals and Systems by Hwei P. Hsu. I’d ordered it last week and it finally showed up today. Hoping that will help me get a different perspective and better understand this stuff.

In CHM 114, I took the first exam on Tuesday and scored an 88/100 with the average at 72% so feeling pretty good about that. I haven’t gone back to review what I missed yet, just haven’t had time.

This week, only two chapters were covered:

  • Chapter 6 – Electronic Structure of Atoms
  • Chapter 7 – Periodic Properties

This week’s lab covered Spectroscopy Analysis and the two activities were on Spectroscopy and Atomic Energy Levels and a second on Photoelectron Spectroscopy.  In addition, also had two chapters worth of Mastering Chemistry homework and the weekly discussion board post to do.

I am tired. Feels like all I have do is wake up, sit at the computer and do homework and watch lectures. Definitely feeling a bit burned out this week.

ASU Summer 2017 Session C Week 2

So far so good in EEE 203. Pulled off perfect scores on the first quiz, plus four extra credit points and then got full credit on the homework for Week 1. Hopefully that trend will continue. This week’s material got a bit more challenging. Lectures this week included the following topics:

  • Discrete Time Signals as Impulses
  • Discrete Time Convolution
  • Continuous Time Signals as Impulses
  • Continuous Time Convolution
  • Linear Time-Invariance Properties
  • Stability

The convolution for both discrete and continuous time signals took me a bit to get my arms wrapped around. I’m still not 100% comfortable with those topics, but the TA has posted some additional lecture videos. I plan to get through those in the morning before taking Quiz 2.

I’ve been tinkering a bit with MATLAB in attempt to better visualize some of the convolution problems. The professor has had some MATLAB examples to look at. Lots of good information, just need more hours in the day.

The study group for EEE 203 has been pretty helpful. I was getting pretty frustrated earlier in the week and I was glad to find out I wasn’t alone. Its been good to be able to bounce ideas off fellow students.

In CHM 114, two chapters were on the menu:

  • Reactions in Aqueous Solution
  • Thermochemistry

This week’s lab had us working with Enthalpy Change. The Late-Nite-Lab site seems to be working okay. In part of the lab, we had to head water to 60 degrees Celsius and it actually took a minute or so to heat the water. Hopefully I got all the significant figures reported correctly!

The activities for this week had us looking at Limiting Reactants and Alternative Fuels and Heats of Combustion. Both were interesting and help to reinforce the topics studied. Next Tuesday will be my first CHM 114 exam. 60 minutes for 25 problems covering Chapters 1-5. I took the practice exam and scored pretty well so hopefully will do okay on the first exam.

ASU Summer 2017 Session C Week 1

Summer session started up on Tuesday officially. This session I’ve got CHM 114 – General Chemistry for Engineers and EEE 203 – Signals and Systems I. CHM 114 actually came online back on May 9th which was nice to have some additional time. EEE 203 opened up on Saturday.

For EEE 203 textbook is Signals and Systems by Alan V. Oppenheim, 2nd edition. CHM 114 is using Chemistry, The Central Science, 13th edition by Brown, Lemay and Bursten. I found a good deal on a loose leaf binder edition of the chemistry book for 35 bucks which was a great price for a textbook. I wish all books were that price!

I’d heard that CHM 114 was a lot of work. Usually the courses have between 15-30 tasks between homework assignments, tests, etc that will be turned in and graded. CHM 114 comes in with over 50! 17 chapters are to be covered, 17 Mastering Chemistry homework assignments one for each chapter with multiple questions that have multiple parts, 14 guided activity assignments that have multiple segments with multiple parts, 3 tests that are closed book and closed notes so there is a lot of elements, ions and other bits of chemistry knowledge to memorize, 7 labs and a final that is closed notes and closed book. If that wasn’t enough, there are weekly posts on the discussion board and responses to other student posts that are required. It has been non-stop chemistry and feels like I’m barely making a dent.

Week 1 covers 3 chapters:

  • Ch 1 Matter and Measurement
  • Ch 2 Atom, Molecules and Ions
  • Ch 3 Stoichiometry

The chemistry labs are done through a website called Late-Nite-Labs. No lab coats, goggles, beakers, flasks, chemicals, etc. Seems to be okay, but I think you lose out a bit on having to accurate measure chemicals and work with actual lab gear. I did enjoy the chemistry labs for the most part back at UCR so hopefully they won’t be too bad completing online through a simulation website.

The 1st guided activity looked at Global Warming and Measurements and the 2nd covered nomenclature. Both were pretty interesting and seem to give more practice on two important chemistry topics and how to relate that topic to some real world application.

So I’m going to go on a bit of a rant here. I can’t believe how many Mastering Chemistry problems there are to work on. You have six attempts on a problem, but each wrong answer gets you marked off 3% of the points. Multiple choice questions are graded more harshly. I think the lowest 3 homework sets are dropped, but this class is no joke and I keep wondering why I am putting myself through this much work. I do find chemistry pretty interesting, but this seems to be beyond trying to drink from a firehose. Maybe it’s more in line with being in the middle of the Red Sea after Moses parted it and the water is crashing down. I hope not to drown!

I’m frustrated by how much time this chemistry class is taking. It’s cramming two semesters into one class. My work at UCR didn’t transfer over which bugs me, but not much can be done there. It is what it is and CHM 114 will be the last non-electrical engineering course I’ll have. I just have buckle down and get through it. Others have been successful and made it through and each problem completed gets me one step closer. Enough of my ranting, I’ll try and be more positive next week.

Luckily EEE 203 Signals and Systems I doesn’t have as many assignments to turn in and isn’t moving at the death march pace that CHM 114 is. There is more content to the video lectures than what the EEE 202 lectures had last semester. The professor has provided additional resource links which look really interesting and the few I looked at really helped to clarify some questions I had. I hope to have more time to look through them.

This week EEE 203’s lectures were on:

  • Continuous Time and Discrete Time Signals
  • Complex Numbers and Sinusoids
  • Discrete-Time Sinusoids
  • Unit Functions
  • Continuous-Time and Discrete Systems
  • System Properties

In addition, there was a bit of the calculus and series math review that we’ll be using which I really appreciated. It’s been a while since I’ve looked at series, but looks like they will come into play a bit with the discrete time signal analysis.

Each week for EEE 203 there is a homework assignment to complete and a quiz to work through. The homework has a dozen or so problems and we need to show our work and turn in a hand written scanned pdf or typed up word or pdf document. I haven’t tackled the first quiz yet, but looks like we get 60 minutes and 2 attempts to complete it. All assignments for the week are due on Mondays. Hopefully it won’t be too bad.

The professor has provided a lot of worked examples to review and example videos. In addition, there are some MATLAB examples scripts that look pretty neat. I haven’t had a chance to look at those yet. Overall, looks like a really well organized course. Hopefully this weekend I’ll more time to review some of the additional material.

There will be one midterm and a final. The professor has mentioned that there will be some extra credit opportunities at the end of the quizzes and an extra credit assignment in MATLAB. Hopefully won’t need them, but I’m really interested in this course and don’t mind putting in some additional work to be successful. I just hope I have the time and can balance both CHM 114 and EEE 203.

ASU Spring 2017 Session B Complete

Spring 2017 Session B is officially complete. I took my PHY 241 final last Saturday and did well. Walked away with an A+ in PHY 241. PHY 241 was a really neat class that brought a lot of the topics from PHY 121 and 131 together and sets the stage for further studies into Modern and Quantum Mechanics.

PHY 241 is not as demanding as the previous two ASU physics courses from a time perspective, but still require the proper respect. Lectures were good, although some a bit long, but I found them quite interesting. A lab component would have been interesting, but after how much time PHY 122 and PHY 132 required I was glad to not have one to deal with. With the completion of PHY 241, I am official done with the 3 physics classes at ASU, but of course, it is quite applicable to EE so I’m sure I haven’t seen the last of it.

EEE 202’s final was brutal. I got my butt kicked, but still walked away with an A somehow. I really enjoyed the class. It took a lot of math and physics to get there, but I can honestly say I used just about all the various math tricks that I’d studied.

Next up for me, CHM 114 – Chemistry for Engineers and EEE 203 – Signals and Systems I. Classes don’t officially start up until May 16th, but hopefully they both will be online so I can get a jump on the summer material.

ASU Spring 2017 Session B Week 7 Update

This week my head really feels like it is going to implode. I caught another cold and have felt miserable. EEE 202 has had so much information coming at us the last few weeks and the darn lecture videos are so short. I definitely think EEE 202 would be much more enjoyable at a slower pace with time to digest the material over a full semester. So much good stuff and 7.5 weeks just doesn’t do it justice. I really like it, but I need time to think and ponder and assimilate new information and there just hasn’t been a free moment to do much of that.

This week in Circuits I no lab to mess with, but it’s been all about Laplace Transforms. Specifically:

  • Laplace Transform
  • Inverse Laplace Transform
  • Solving Differential Equations with Laplace Transform
  • Circuit Analysis in the Laplace Domain
  • Transfer Functions in the Laplace Domain

The unit step and impulse function showed up as well. I don’t remember seeing those much in MAT 275, but I can see how they can be useful. I have a list of topics I want to review over the summer before Fall starts up. Definitely need to keep practicing so as not to forget before I have four EEE classes in the fall!

So remember that MAT 275 Differential Equation class! Pay attention and learn that Laplace transform stuff in there. It comes back big time for the last week of EEE 202. It’s quite elegant how the different mathematics all come into play in Circuits I.

This week in PHY 241 the class had its last test prior to the final. I did better than I thought I was going to do and pulled a 91/100 somehow. I had a couple of very lucky guesses. The test covered Relativity and Modern Physics from chapters 36-39. In addition to the test, Chapter 40 on Quantum Mechanics in One Dimension was covered and we’ll see a few questions from there on the cumulative final. Feels like there is a whole lot more that could be said on that topic, and just barely scratched the surface there. Feels weird to have all my Mastering Physics homework questions complete, but glad I’ll be applying all that physics knowledge to EEE problems moving forward.

All that remains now for me is to wrap up the finals. Saturday I’ll have my PHY 241 final and Tuesday May 2nd I plan to take EEE 202. PHY 241 is worth 30% and EEE 202’s is worth 40%!. EEE 202 seems extremely high to me, but it is what it is. Hopefully I can make it through them all in one piece. EEE 202 has me a bit nervous, but at least both will be open book and open notes. Not much time to look stuff up, but with only 7.5 weeks, just no way to memorize all the formulas and circuit analysis techniques.

ASU Spring 2017 Session B Week 6 Update

I missed my 10am posting today. To say I’ve been busy this week is an understatement. Ended tonight on a high note and did well on the weekly quiz in EEE 202. This week, EEE 202 has been focused on:

  • Variable Frequency-Response Analysis: Network Functions
  • Frequency Response Using Bode Plot
  • Series Resonant Circuits
  • Parallel Resonant Circuits
  • Filter Networks

I really struggled with the Bode Plots for some reason. Didn’t catch the part about using the magnitude initially and still not 100% comfortable with them. I’m missing something on how they can be drawn quickly by hand to determine what’s happening with a transfer function. I just haven’t had the time I would have liked to really focus on them. I’ll see my cousin the mechanical engineer next week and hope to pick his brain a bit on them and see what he knows…

This week our final lab project was due and it took me a bit longer than usual to piece everything together. Once I got the RC circuit part down, the RL part was pretty straight forward. Had to use a couple of new parts of LTspice, MATLAB and the Digilent Waveforms software. Hopefully I did it all correctly.

I just hope I can pull all these pieces together for the final that is coming up on May 2nd! So much information so quickly.

In PHY 241 this week we went over two chapters

  • Chapter 37 – The Foundation of Modern Physics
  • Chapter 38 – Quantization

In addition, I also knocked out the homework that is due on Monday for Chapter 39 – Wave Functions and Uncertainty. Interesting topics, but again, just wish there was more time to better understand it all and absorb it. More time, more time, more time! I feel like all I have been doing lately is waking up, sitting at my desk and working away and still need more time. So much interesting stuff I wish I could give more attention to!

Next Tuesday, the class has the last test covering the past four chapters, then one more chapter and the final on April 28th-29th. (No it’s not a two day final, probably a 2 hour exam taken either day.) Definitely glad I’m down to 9 more homework problems in Mastering Physics. Its a neat system, but will be glad when I’ve run the physics gauntlet and can turn my attention to EE full time once CHM 114 – Chemistry for Engineers is done over the summer.

ASU Spring 2017 Session B Week 5 Update

It’s been a busy and tough week school wise, but I’m ahead enough that I’m hoping to enjoy the Easter holiday with family and not have to worry about school.

In PHY 241 this week I took the second test on Tuesday. I did well and scored a 101/100. The professor had it 108/100, but I keyed in the wrong value in the calculator and didn’t catch it. Had it down on paper correct. I hate it when that happens, but I’ll gladly take that score and hope to not make that kind of careless mistake again.

With Waves and Optics done, the class turns its attention to relativity and modern physics. Chapter 36 cover’s Einstein’s Principle of Relativity. All new info for me. I remember the famous E=mc² formula, but don’t remember ever really having to work with it. Hopefully over the next few days I’ll better understand it and the other topics discussed like time dilation, the Lorentz transformations and relativistic momentum, velocity and energy. It’s all very interesting stuff.

So far though, PHY 241 has been a much more straight forward set of lectures and homework than the other two classes here at ASU.

EEE 202 was really interesting this week. More crazy math, but once I figured out how to switch my calculator over to polar and work with it, the math was really pretty straight forward. This week the class had us looking at AC Steady State Analysis so thinks like sinusoids and phasors, phasors and complex numbers, impedance and admittance and frequency domain analysis.

The lectures for the class are still far too short but between the recitation sessions and the worked homework solutions I’ve been studying, slowly making my way through the material. Just wish I had more time to really practice and study. I’m having the worst time remembering the different formulas and need to put together another Anki deck. I should have done that sooner, but no use lingering on what I should have done.

This week’s Lab 5 was really neat. It look me a little bit to sort out, but we were studying first order RC and RL circuits. The lab asked us to put simulate them in LTspice, then use MATLAB to plot the response and then finally we built them, setup a custom wave form and then use the oscilloscope to view the waveform.

The waveform was a pretty standard pulse that was on for 100 microsecond then off for a total period of 200 microseconds. It had a 1 microsecond rise and fall though. It took a little bit of tinkering in MATLAB and I learned about the Heaviside capabilities MATLAB has to solve the problem. Once I had the equation for the current, it was pretty straightforward then to find the voltage through the resistor and the inductor or capacitor. It was a nice feeling to see the MATLAB plot match what I had in LTspice when it all came together.

At first I neglected to enter the rise and fall into the waveform and had some really odd oscilloscope readings. It took a little bit to figure out the custom wave form options in the Digilent software, but if anyone is interested, here is an Excel workbook, Graves Lab 5 Waveform, that could be saved as a CSV and then imported into the Digilent Waveform software to save some time. This cleared up the issue and the oscilloscope waveform match the simulation and MATLAB.

Here’s a shot of one of the pretty MATLAB plot:


Good stuff!