ELEC_ENG 378: Digital Communications

This course is not currently offered.


ELEC_ENG 302-0 or equivalent


1. Basic Information and Coding Theorems: entropy, Huffman Codes, Mutual Information, Channel Capacity, Shannon’s theorems; 2. Error Control Coding: Coding Principles and Hamming Bound, Block Codes and Syndrome Decoding, Hamming codes and Cyclic codes; 3. Basic Detection Theory and Digital Transmission Systems: Matched Filters and Optimum Detection, Nyquist Pulse Shaping, Inter-symbol Interference, Probability of Error Performance, Basic Digital Modulation Techniques; 4.  Introduction to Cryptography: Cipher Systems and Private Key Cryptography, Key Equivocation theorem, Perfect Security and One-Time Pad, Computational Security Concept and Public-Key Cryptography, One-Way Functions and Discrete Logarithm, Diffie-Hellman key Exchange and RSA.


  • Simon Haykin, Digital Communications, Wiley 1988, 2014 (recommended)
  • D. Salomon, Coding for Data and Computer Communications, Springer, 2005 (reference)
  • R. Bose, Information Theory, Coding and Cryptography, McGraw-Hill, 2008. (reference)



  • Probabilities (very important)
  • Basic Fourier transform and theorems, linear filtering, bandwidth, and signal-to-noise ratio (will be reviewed)


Week 1: Introduction to information theory and coding: probabilistic information measure and entropy

Weeks 2-3: Source coding and source coding theorem, prefix coding and Huffman codes, mutual information and channel capacity concepts, Shannon theorems  

Weeks 4-5: Introduction to error control coding, channel coding theorem, linear block codes, Syndrome decoding, cyclic codes, error detecting and ARQ versus forward error correcting

Week 6: Basic signal detection theory, match filters, matched-filter receivers and probability of error performance

Weeks 7-8: Baseband digital signaling, bandwidth efficiency, inter-symbol interference, Nyquist pulse shaping

Week 8-9: Introduction to Cryptography: Cipher Systems and Private Key Cryptography, Perfect Entropy and One-Time Pad

Weeks 9-10: Computational Security Concept and Public-Key Cryptography, One-Way Functions and Discrete Logarithm, Diffie-Hellman key Exchange, RSA


  • Homework: 20%
  • Midterm exam: 40%
  • Final exam: 40%

COURSE OBJECTIVES:  This course introduces the fundamentals of digital signaling, information theory and coding, digital transmission and reception. The goal is to equip the students with basic knowledge for designing, analyzing, comparing, and managing digital communication systems ranging from data networks and internet to mobile data communication systems such as cellular and WiFi systems. Specifically, the students will learn from this course how to compress data to use less channel bandwidth without sacrificing information by using source coding techniques, how to protect transmitted data from noise and interference  by employing channel coding methods, how to manage communication system resources including bandwidth and power by selecting a proper signaling and/or digital modulation scheme, and how to achieve secure communication by using modern encryption/decryption methods based on private-key and/or public key cryptography.

The course is designed for students who has learned basic signals and systems concepts with or without analog communication system background

ABET CONTENT CATEGORY: 100% Engineering (75% science, 25% Design).