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Syllabus - ECE 370

The successful engineer must deal with systems with uncertain properties, whether this task includes component selection and design, reliability, digital signal processing, weather, or stock market predictions. This course will give you basic tools to both understand and quantitatively tackle these real-world situations as well as prepare you for more advanced courses in this subject. The mathematics involved in this course is not particularly complex, but the understanding behind it will require time and thought to build the intuition necessary to be successful in this course.

Learning Outcomes

The objective of ECE 370 is to help you develop the following technical skills:

  • Reasoning. A basic understanding of probabilistic reasoning and the foundations of probability theory: sample spaces, event algebras, classical probability, and Kolmogorov's axioms.
  • Probability An understanding of random variables, distribution functions, probability mass functions, and probability density functions, including the uniform, binomial, Poisson, exponential, and Gaussian distributions.
  • Variables An understanding of multivariate distributions, independence, conditioning, and functions of random variables, including the ability to compute expectations, moments, and correlation functions.
  • Functions An understanding of characteristic functions and their relationship to linear transformations and independence.
  • Convergence Concepts An understanding of convergence concepts, including the central limit theorem and the law of large numbers.
  • Probability Theory The ability to apply probability theory to the analysis of engineering systems.


Bertsekis, Tsitsiklis, Introduction to Probability, Athena Scientific, 2E.

Hsu, Schaum's Outline of Probability, Random Variables, and Random Processes, Schaum's Outline Series, 2E.


Math 313


Final grades in the course will be based on the following distribution:

Homework 20%
Quizes 25%
Midterm 25%
Final 30%

Grading Scale: A (93-100), A- (92-90), B+ (87-89), B (83-86), B- (80-82), C+ (77-79), C (73-76), C- (70-72), D+ (67-69), D (63-66), D- (60-62), E (59 and lower).


Homework problem sets will be posted on the course website. Most of the solutions to the problems can be found within the text and on the publisher's website. All problems should first be attempted without aids to build understanding. It is expected and encouraged that students will work together in solving homework. However, all students must submit their own individual work. Homework is due in the fourth floor homework box by 3PM on Friday. Late homework will not be accepted. The lowest two homework scores of the semester will be dropped in computation of final grades. Some homework assignments will include MATLAB programming assignments that must be completed for full homework credit.

Students should write their names on the TOP RIGHT CORNER of the FRONT SHEET. This will help our secretarial staff in alphabetizing and sorting your homework.


On Fridays a 10-minute closed-book quiz will be given at the beginning of class on material covered in recent lectures, reading, and homework. No make-up quizzes will be offered. The lowest three scores from the semester will be dropped in the computation of final grades. If you have more than three university-excused absences on quiz days, your grade will be computed using the remaining quizzes.

Midterm Exam

The midterm will be held in the testing center during the week of October 22-26. The exam will be open book, open notes, open calculator. There will be a three hour time limit.

Final Exam

The scheduled date for the final exam is Thursday, December 13, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The exam will be open book, open notes, open calculator.

Teacher Evaluations

At the end of the semester I will send out information about on-line teacher evaluations. Teacher evaluations are an important part of faculty evaluation and development. The success of the program depends upon student participation. To encourage participation, I will give 5 extra credit points on the final exam to those who fill out the form. To let me know that you have filled out the form, either (1) check the box that allows your name to be released on the evaluation form (note that names will not be correlated with evaluations), or (2) send me an email indicating that you have filled out the on-line form.


Office Hours

Please respect my office hours. If they are not accommodating, make an appointment with me via email. If I am in my office but the door is closed, then I am not available for tutoring or consultation.

Honor Code Standards

In keeping with the principles of the BYU Honor Code, students are expected to be honest in all of their academic work. Academic honesty means, most fundamentally, that any work you present as your own must in fact be your own work and not that of another. Violations of this principle may result in a failing grade in the course and additional disciplinary action by the university.

Students are also expected to adhere to the Dress and Grooming Standards. Adherence demonstrates respect for yourself and others and supports an effective learning and working environment. It is the university’s expectation, and my own expectation in class, that each student will abide by all Honor Code standards. Please contact the Honor Code Office (4440 WSC, 422-2847, if you have questions about the standards.

Preventing Sexual Discrimination or Harassment

Sexual discrimination or harassment (including student-to-student harassment) is prohibited both by the law and by Brigham Young University policy. If you feel you are being subjected to sexual discrimination or harassment, please bring your concerns to the professor. Alternatively, you may lodge a complaint with the Equal Employment Office (D-240C ASB, 422-5895, or with the Honor Code Office (4440 WSC, 422-2847,

Students with Disabilities

If you have a disability that may affect your performance in this course, you should get in touch with the office of University Accessibility Center (1520 WSC, 422-2767, This office can evaluate your disability and assist the professor in arranging for reasonable accommodations.