525.793.81 - Advanced Communication Systems

Electrical and Computer Engineering
Spring 2024


This course provides a basic introduction to the various building blocks of a modern digital communications system, focusing on the physical layer (PHY). We will first review basic concepts in digital communications, including Shannon theory, Nyquist sampling theory, optimal detection under Gaussian white noise, and basic modulations. We will then treat several building blocks of a digital receiver, including time and frequency synchronization, adaptive equalization and precoding, and error-correction coding/decoding. We will also introduce some advanced communication technologies such as Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing (OFDM) and Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO). Finally we will apply the knowledge to some practical wireless and wired systems.


Default placeholder image. No profile image found for Feng Ouyang.

Feng Ouyang


Course Structure

The course materials are divided into modules which can be accessed by clicking Modules on the course menu. A module will have several sections including the overview, content, readings, discussions, and assignments. You are encouraged to preview all sections of the module before starting. Most modules run for a period of seven (7) days, exceptions are noted in the Course Outline. You should regularly check the Calendar and Announcements for assignment due dates.

Course Topics

Course Goals

Expanding upon the foundational knowledge imparted in EP 525.616 – Communication Systems, this course transitions students into adept digital communication engineers focusing on the physical layer. Students engage in an exploration of principles, concepts, and analytical formulations of modern digital communication technologies, gaining the ability to critically assess and select appropriate techniques and parameters for specific applications. They will acquire the skills to design, simulate, and optimize transmitters and receivers, balancing performance requirements and complexity constraints. Furthermore, the course serves as a launch pad for the student to conduct research and innovation in digital communication.

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)


Ouyang, F. (2019). Digital communication for practicing engineers. IEEE Press.

Student Coursework Requirements

Due Dates

All module-related assignments are designed for your completion after watching all lectures and completing the reading material. The assignments are available to you on Day 1 of the module, and due dates are outlined in subsequent sections for various assignment types. All due dates are 11:59 PM Eastern time on the specified day.

Assignments submitted after the due dates will not be accepted unless prior permission for an extension is given by the instructor for rare circumstances, such as medical conditions or family emergencies. Personal or business travel is not grounds for an extension. If an extension is granted by the instructor, no grading penalty will be applied.

Instructor Feedback

The instructor’s feedback and grading can be expected within 7 days of the due date for written assignments, projects, and research papers.

Grading Policy

All assignments are given basic points for completion and bonus points for exceptional work.

The final grade is computed as follows.

  1. For each type (written assignments, class discussions, quizzes, mid-term projects, and research papers), the grade ratio is the total points obtained divided by the total possible basic points (not including bonus points). If you receive bonus points, the grade ratio can be larger than 1. 
  2. The grade ratio from each type is multiplied by the corresponding percentage weight listed below, and the results are summed and multiplied by 100 to obtain the total grade. If one achieves full basic points for all assignments, the total grade will be 100. With bonus points, one may achieve a total grade higher than 100.





    Mid-Term Project

    Research Paper







  3. The total grade is converted to the final letter grade based on the following table:

    Total Grade

    90 or higher



    Lower than 70

    Letter Grade





Academic Policies

Deadlines for Adding, Dropping and Withdrawing from Courses

Students may add a course up to one week after the start of the term for that particular course. Students may drop courses according to the drop deadlines outlined in the EP academic calendar (https://ep.jhu.edu/student-services/academic-calendar/). Between the 6th week of the class and prior to the final withdrawal deadline, a student may withdraw from a course with a W on their academic record. A record of the course will remain on the academic record with a W appearing in the grade column to indicate that the student registered and withdrew from the course.

Academic Misconduct Policy

All students are required to read, know, and comply with the Johns Hopkins University Krieger School of Arts and Sciences (KSAS) / Whiting School of Engineering (WSE) Procedures for Handling Allegations of Misconduct by Full-Time and Part-Time Graduate Students.

This policy prohibits academic misconduct, including but not limited to the following: cheating or facilitating cheating; plagiarism; reuse of assignments; unauthorized collaboration; alteration of graded assignments; and unfair competition. Course materials (old assignments, texts, or examinations, etc.) should not be shared unless authorized by the course instructor. Any questions related to this policy should be directed to EP’s academic integrity officer at ep-academic-integrity@jhu.edu.

Students with Disabilities - Accommodations and Accessibility

Johns Hopkins University values diversity and inclusion. We are committed to providing welcoming, equitable, and accessible educational experiences for all students. Students with disabilities (including those with psychological conditions, medical conditions and temporary disabilities) can request accommodations for this course by providing an Accommodation Letter issued by Student Disability Services (SDS). Please request accommodations for this course as early as possible to provide time for effective communication and arrangements.

For further information or to start the process of requesting accommodations, please contact Student Disability Services at Engineering for Professionals, ep-disability-svcs@jhu.edu.

Student Conduct Code

The fundamental purpose of the JHU regulation of student conduct is to promote and to protect the health, safety, welfare, property, and rights of all members of the University community as well as to promote the orderly operation of the University and to safeguard its property and facilities. As members of the University community, students accept certain responsibilities which support the educational mission and create an environment in which all students are afforded the same opportunity to succeed academically. 

For a full description of the code please visit the following website: https://studentaffairs.jhu.edu/policies-guidelines/student-code/

Classroom Climate

JHU is committed to creating a classroom environment that values the diversity of experiences and perspectives that all students bring. Everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect. Fostering an inclusive climate is important. Research and experience show that students who interact with peers who are different from themselves learn new things and experience tangible educational outcomes. At no time in this learning process should someone be singled out or treated unequally on the basis of any seen or unseen part of their identity. 
If you have concerns in this course about harassment, discrimination, or any unequal treatment, or if you seek accommodations or resources, please reach out to the course instructor directly. Reporting will never impact your course grade. You may also share concerns with your program chair, the Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, or the Office of Institutional Equity. In handling reports, people will protect your privacy as much as possible, but faculty and staff are required to officially report information for some cases (e.g. sexual harassment).

Course Auditing

When a student enrolls in an EP course with “audit” status, the student must reach an understanding with the instructor as to what is required to earn the “audit.” If the student does not meet those expectations, the instructor must notify the EP Registration Team [EP-Registration@exchange.johnshopkins.edu] in order for the student to be retroactively dropped or withdrawn from the course (depending on when the "audit" was requested and in accordance with EP registration deadlines). All lecture content will remain accessible to auditing students, but access to all other course material is left to the discretion of the instructor.