Electrical and Computer Engineering 370

Winter Semester 2012

Section 1: 381 CB on M W F at 02:00 pm - 02:50 pm

Instructor Information

Instructor: Brian MazzeoOffice: 448 CBOffice Hours: M 3-4 PM

Office Hours:

W 3-4 PM

Office Hours:

F 3-4 PM

Office Hours:

I am often available at other times. Please make an appointment.Office Phone: 801-422-1240Email: bmazzeo@ee.byu.eduWebsite Address: http://www.et.byu.edu/~bmazzeo/ECEn_370_W12/index.phtml

Course Information

Texts & Materials

Required Vendor Price (new) Price (used)
Introduction to Probability, 2nd Edition (2nd) By Dimitri P. Bertsekas ISBN: 9781886529236 Athena Scientific (2008-07-15)
Schaum's Outline of Probability, Random Variables, and Random Processes, Second Edition (Schaum's Outline Series) (2nd edition) By Hwei Hsu ISBN: 0071632891 McGraw-Hill (2010-08-02)
Optional Vendor Price (new) Price (used)
Probability and Random Processes for Electrical and Computer Engineers, Second Edition (2nd edition) By Charles Therrien ISBN: 9781439826980 CRC Press (2011-09-20)

Supplementary Reading

Probability, Statistics, and Random Processes for Engineers (4th Edition) (4th edition) By Henry Stark ISBN: 9780132311236 Prentice Hall (2011-08-20)

Supplementary Reading



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.


Math 313

Grading Policies

Please check your current grades on gradebook.byu.edu where they will be posted. Any curving or extra credit will be available and applied uniformly to the entire class: individual exceptions will not be made. Teaching assistants will grade homework and quizzes. If you have questions about your grades on those assignments, first consult them. The professor will grade and answer any questions about exams.

Grading Scale

B83-86C-70-72E59 and lower

Learning Outcomes

  • 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.


Point Breakdown

Midterm (Testing Center)25
Final Exam (Scheduled)30
Total Percent100

Assignment Descriptions


The midterm will be held in the testing center during the times specified in the syllabus. The final exam will be held at the University-scheduled time and place.


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.


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 9 AM on Friday mornings. It will be collected at a random time between 9 AM and 10 AM. 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.

University Policies

BYU Honor Code

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 ensures 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 call the Honor Code Office at 422-2847 if you have questions about those standards.

Preventing Sexual Discrimination and Harassment

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits sex discrimination against any participant in an educational program or activity that receives federal funds. The act is intended to eliminate sex discrimination in education. Title IX covers discrimination in programs, admissions, activities, and student-to-student sexual harassment. BYU's policy against sexual harassment extends not only to employees of the university, but to students as well. If you encounter unlawful sexual harassment or gender-based discrimination, please talk to your professor; contact the Equal Employment Office at 422-5895 or 367-5689 (24-hours); or contact the Honor Code Office at 422-2847.

Students with Disabilities

Brigham Young University is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere that reasonably accommodates qualified persons with disabilities. If you have any disability which may impair your ability to complete this course successfully, please contact the Services for Students with Disabilities Office (422-2767). Reasonable academic accommodations are reviewed for all students who have qualified, documented disabilities. Services are coordinated with the student and instructor by the SSD Office. If you need assistance or if you feel you have been unlawfully discriminated against on the basis of disability, you may seek resolution through established grievance policy and procedures by contacting the Equal Employment Office at 422-5895, D-285 ASB.

Academic Honesty Policy

The first injunction of the BYU Honor Code is the call to be honest. Students come to the university not only to improve their minds, gain knowledge, and develop skills that will assist them in their life's work, but also to build character. President David O. McKay taught that 'character is the highest aim of education' (The Aims of a BYU Education, p. 6). It is the purpose of the BYU Academic Honesty Policy to assist in fulfilling that aim. BYU students should seek to be totally honest in their dealings with others. They should complete their own work and be evaluated based upon that work. They should avoid academic dishonesty and misconduct in all its forms, including but not limited to plagiarism, fabrication or falsification, cheating, and other academic misconduct.

Plagiarism Policy

Writing submitted for credit at BYU must consist of the student's own ideas presented in sentences and paragraphs of his or her own construction. The work of other writers or speakers may be included when appropriate (as in a research paper or book review), but such material must support the student's own work (not substitute for it) and must be clearly identified by appropriate introduction and punctuation and by footnoting or other standard referencing.

Respectful Environment Policy

"Sadly, from time to time, we do hear reports of those who are at best insensitive and at worst insulting in their comments to and about others... We hear derogatory and sometimes even defamatory comments about those with different political, athletic, or ethnic views or experiences. Such behavior is completely out of place at BYU, and I enlist the aid of all to monitor carefully and, if necessary, correct any such that might occur here, however inadvertent or unintentional."
"I worry particularly about demeaning comments made about the career or major choices of women or men either directly or about members of the BYU community generally. We must remember that personal agency is a fundamental principle and that none of us has the right or option to criticize the lawful choices of another." President Cecil O. Samuelson, Annual University Conference, August 24, 2010

"Occasionally, we ... hear reports that our female faculty feel disrespected, especially by students, for choosing to work at BYU, even though each one has been approved by the BYU Board of Trustees. Brothers and sisters, these things ought not to be. Not here. Not at a university that shares a constitution with the School of the Prophets." Vice President John S. Tanner, Annual University Conference, August 24, 2010


Course Schedule

Date ExportTopics ExportAssignments ExportQuizzes/Exams Export

W - Jan 4

Introduction and Sets Background, 1.1

Get started on two-week HW 1!


F - Jan 6

Probability Laws, 1.2


M - Jan 9

Conditional Probability, 1.3


W - Jan 11

Total Probability Theorem, 1.4


F - Jan 13

Independence, 1.5

HW 1 Due (AM)

Quiz 1

M - Jan 16

Martin Luther King Jr. HolidayNo class-

W - Jan 18

Counting, 1.6, 1.7


F - Jan 20

Discrete Random Variables, 2.1

HW 2 Due (AM)

Quiz 2

M - Jan 23

Probability Mass Function, 2.2


W - Jan 25

Functions of Random Variables, 2.3


F - Jan 27

Expectation, Mean, Variance, 2.4

HW 3 Due (AM)

Quiz 3

M - Jan 30

Joint PMFs of Multiple Random Variables, 2.5


W - Feb 1

Conditioning, 2.6


F - Feb 3

Independence, 2.7

HW 4 Due (AM)

Quiz 4

M - Feb 6

Summary of Discrete Random Variables, 2.8


W - Feb 8

Continuous Random Variables and PDFs, 3.1


F - Feb 10

Cumulative Distribution Functions, 3.2

HW 5 Due (AM)

Quiz 5

M - Feb 13

Normal Random Variables, 3.3


W - Feb 15

Joint PDFs of Multiple Random Variables, 3.4


F - Feb 17

Conditioning, 3.5

HW 6 Due (AM)

Quiz 6

M - Feb 20

Presidents Day HolidayNo class-

T - Feb 21

Continuous Bayes' Rule, 3.6


W - Feb 22

Summary of Continuous Random Variables, 3.7


F - Feb 24

Derived Distributions P1, 4.1

HW 7 Due (AM)

Quiz 7

Midterm Begins (TC)

M - Feb 27

Derived Distributions P2, 4.1


Midterm Continues (TC)

T - Feb 28


Midterm Ends (TC)

W - Feb 29

Derived Distributions P3, 4.1


F - Mar 2

Covariance and Correlation, 4.2

HW 8 Due (AM)

Quiz 8

M - Mar 5

Conditional Expectation and Variance Revisited, 4.3


W - Mar 7

Transforms, 4.4


F - Mar 9

Sums of Independent Random Variables, 4.5, 4.6

HW 9 Due (AM)

Quiz 9

M - Mar 12

Markov and Chebyshev Inequalities, 5.1


W - Mar 14

Weak Law of Large Numbers, 5.2


F - Mar 16

Convergence in Probability, 5.3

HW 10 Due (AM)

Quiz 10

M - Mar 19

Central Limit Theorem, 5.4


W - Mar 21

Strong Law of Large Numbers, 5.5, 5.6


F - Mar 23

Bernoulli Process, 6.1

HW 11 Due (AM)

Quiz 11

M - Mar 26

Poisson Process, 6.2, 6.3


W - Mar 28

Discrete-Time Markov Chains, 7.1


F - Mar 30

Classification of States, 7.2

HW 12 Due (AM)

Quiz 12

M - Apr 2

Steady-State Behavior, 7.3


W - Apr 4

Absorption Probabilities, 7.4


F - Apr 6

Continuous-Time Markov Chain, 7.5

HW 13 Due (AM)

Quiz 13

M - Apr 9

Further Applications


W - Apr 11

Final Review


Th - Apr 12

Exam Preparation DayNo class-

F - Apr 13

Exam Preparation DayNo class-

T - Apr 17

Scheduled Final: 3-6 PM


TA Information

Name: Alok Desai
Email: alokdes1986@gmail.com
Hours: T 2-4 PM


W 4-6 PM


Th 3-10 PM


F 11 AM - 2 PM

Location: CAEDM Lab, 4th Floor
Name: Yaeji Lim
Email: yaeji27@gmail.com
Hours: T noon-2 PM


Th 9:30 AM - 3 PM


Th 6 PM - 8:30 PM

Location: CAEDM Lab, 4th Floor

Library Information

Librarian Information

Name: Peter Zuber

Office: 2321 HBLL

Phone Number: 422-6011

Email: peter_zuber@byu.edu

Reference Desk Information

Name: Science / Maps

Phone Number: 422-2987

Email: science_reference@byu.edu

Hours: M-Th : 8am-9pm; F: 8am-6pm; Sat: 10am-6pm