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Electrical Engineering (EE) Courses (2023-24)

Ph/APh/EE 118 c. Physics of Measurement: Moonbounce and Beyond - Microwave Scattering for Communications and Metrology. 9 units (3-0-6): third term. Prerequisites: Ph 118a, and a course in microwave physics and engineering (e.g., Ph 118b, EE 153, or equivalent), or permission from the instructor. In 1944, the possibility of bouncing radio waves off the moon was first discovered inadvertently. Since then, radio wave echoes have been recorded from other planets, asteroids, tropospheric disturbances, and airplanes aloft. Microwave scattering provides a rich platform enabling exploration of long-range microwave communications, remote sensing, and interesting astrophysical measurements. This class will cover the physics of microwave propagation and scattering, low-earth orbit (LEO) satellite trajectories and communications, moonbounce, and the principles of ultrasensitive instrumentation - for both transmitting and receiving - enabling remote sensing with microwaves. One formal lecture per week will cover the fundamentals. The second weekly class meeting will be an extended hands-on workshop - starting mid-afternoon and going on into the evening - to assemble all aspects of a high-power microwave scattering system operating at 23cm. Students will set up tracking software for satellites and planetary objects, assemble an ultrasensitive software-defined radio (SDR) system, implement 1kW microwave power amplification at 23cm, and explore antenna and feed horn theory and practice. Also implemented will be powerful weak signal communications methods pioneered by Prof. Joe Taylor (Physics, Princeton) enabling ultraweak signal extraction through GPS synchronization of remote sources and receivers. We will employ Caltech's fantastic resource for this project - a 6-meter diameter microwave dish atop Moore Laboratory. Prospective students are encouraged to obtain an FCC Technician license (or higher) prior to spring term to permit their operation of the system. For information see: Instructor: Roukes.
Ph/APh/EE/BE 118 ab. Physics of Measurement. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. Prerequisites: Ph 127, APh 105, or equivalent, or permission from instructor. This course explores the fundamental underpinnings of experimental measurements from the perspectives of information, noise, coupling, responsivity, and backaction. Its overarching goal is to enable students to develop intuition about a diversity of real measurement systems and the means to critically evaluate them. This involves developing a standard framework for estimating the ultimate and practical limits to information that can be extracted from a real measurement system. Topics will include the fundamental nature of information and signals, physical signal transduction and responsivity, the physical origin of noise processes, modulation, frequency conversion, synchronous detection, signal-sampling techniques, digitization, signal transforms, spectral analyses, and correlation methods. The first term will cover the essential underpinnings, while second-term topics will vary year-by-year according to interest. Among possible Ph118 b topics are: high frequency, microwave, and fast time-domain measurements; biological interfaces and biosensing; the physics of functional brain imaging; and quantum measurement. Instructor: Roukes.
EE/Ma/CS 126 ab. Information Theory. 9 units (3-0-6): first, second terms. Prerequisites: Ma 3. Shannon's mathematical theory of communication, 1948-present. Entropy, relative entropy, and mutual information for discrete and continuous random variables. Shannon's source and channel coding theorems. Mathematical models for information sources and communication channels, including memoryless, Markov, ergodic, and Gaussian. Calculation of capacity and rate-distortion functions. Universal source codes. Side information in source coding and communications. Network information theory, including multiuser data compression, multiple access channels, broadcast channels, and multiterminal networks. Discussion of philosophical and practical implications of the theory. This course, when combined with EE 112, EE/Ma/CS/IDS 127, EE/CS 161, and EE/CS/IDS 167, should prepare the student for research in information theory, coding theory, wireless communications, and/or data compression. Instructors: Effros, Hamkins.
EE/Ma/CS/IDS 127. Error-Correcting Codes. 9 units (3-0-6): third term. Prerequisites: EE 55 or equivalent. This course develops from first principles the theory and practical implementation of the most important techniques for combating errors in digital transmission and storage systems. Topics include highly symmetric linear codes, such as Hamming, Reed-Muller, and Polar codes; algebraic block codes, such as Reed-Solomon and BCH codes, including a self-contained introduction to the theory of finite fields; and low-density parity-check codes. Students will become acquainted with encoding and decoding algorithms, design principles and performance evaluation of codes. Instructor: Kostina.
EE/Ma/CS/IDS 136. Information Theory and Applications. 9 units (3-0-6): third term. Prerequisites: EE 55 or equivalent. This class introduces information measures such as entropy, information divergence, mutual information, information density, and establishes the fundamental importance of those measures in data compression, statistical inference, and error control. The course does not require a prior exposure to information theory; it is complementary to EE 126a. Instructor: Kostina.