Dr. Alexandra Duel-Hallen

Dr. Alexandra Duel-Hallen

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Phone: 919-515-7352
Fax: 919-515-5523
Instructor Website

ECE 515 Digital Communications

3 Credit Hours

A first graduate-level course in digital communications. Functions and interdependence of various components of digital communication systems will be discussed. Statistical channel modeling, modulation and demodulation, optimal receiver design, performance analysis, source coding, fundamentals of information theory. The focus of this course is on design and analysis of general communication systems. Specific communication systems will be discussed in class as time permits and addressed in group projects.


Courses in Probability and Stochastic Processes and in Digital Signal Processing. +/- grading policy will used.

Course Topics and Objectives

  • Basic elements of digital communication systems; communication channels; mathematical models; brief history; performance measures.Objectives: Students will learn to identify functions of different components of a digital communication system.
  • Bandpass Signals and Systems, Signal Space Representations, Digitally Modulated Signals.Objectives: Students will convert a digital bandpass signal into an equivalent complex lowpass signal and represent a digital signal using several modulation methods.
  • Characterization of Additive White Gaussian Noise Channels; Optimum Receivers; Correlation and Matched Filter Receivers; Performance of the Optimal Receiver.Objectives: Students will design correlation and matched filter receivers, compute the probability of error for several modulation methods, and compare modulation methods based on their error rates and spectral efficiencies.
  • Introduction to Information Theory— Entropy, Source Models, Source Coding, Average Mutual Information, Channel Models and Channel Capacity.Objectives: Students will compute theoretical bounds on the rates of digital communication systems and employ codes for data compression.
  • Specific communication system examples.Objectives: Students will apply the theoretical principles learned earlier in the course to investigate specific digital communication systems in their group projects. Applications will also be discussed in lectures (if time permits).


Proakis, G., Digital Communications, McGraw-Hill, Fourth Edition. ISBN: 0-07-232111-3 or Fifth Edition (co-authored by Salehi, M.), ISBN 9780072957167

Computer and Software Requirements

Please review the minimum computer specifications that NC State University and Engineering Online recommend.

Updated: 11/01/2022