For many years, I have been teaching DSP (Digital Signal Processing) lab courses
using various TI (Texas Instruments) DSP platforms. One question I have been getting
from students in a consistent way is, “Do we have to know C to take DSP lab
courses?” Until last year, my response was, “Yes, C is a prerequisite for taking DSP
lab courses.” However, last year for the first time, I provided a different response by
saying, “Though preferred, it is not required to know C to take DSP lab courses.”
This change in my response came about because I started using LabVIEW to teach
students how to design and analyze DSP systems in our DSP courses.
The widely available graphical programming environments such as LabVIEW
have now reached the level of maturity that allow students and engineers to design
and analyze DSP systems with ease and in a relatively shorter time as compared
to C and MATLAB. I have observed that many students taking DSP lab courses,
in particular at the undergraduate level, often struggle and spend a fair amount of
their time debugging C and MATLAB code instead of placing their efforts into
understanding signal processing system design issues. The motivation behind writing
this book has thus been to avoid this problem by adopting a graphical programming
approach instead of the traditional and commonly used text-based programming
approach in DSP lab courses. As a result, this book allows students to put most of
their efforts into building DSP systems rather than debugging C code when taking
DSP lab courses.
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