Introduction to Digital Signal Processing

Digital Signal Processing is central to the software-defined radios (SDR) and digital modes which are an increasingly important part of Amateur Radio.

Radio operators interested in beginning to learn about the mathematical underpinnings of the digital side of their hobby are encouraged to take advantage of the Introduction to Digital Signal Processing maintained by Tom O’Haver, Professor Emeritus, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry University of Maryland at College Park, as a retirement project and an international community service.

In his Introduction, Professor O’Haver writes:

This essay covers only basic topics related to one-dimensional time-series signals, not two-dimensional data such as images. It uses a pragmatic approach and is limited to mathematics only up to the most elementary aspects of calculus, statistics, and matrix math. For the math phobic, know that this essay does not dwell on the math and that it contains more than twice as many figures as equations. Data processing without math? Not really! Math is essential, just as it is for the technology of cell phones, GPS, digital photography, the Web, and computer games. But you can get started using these tools without understanding all the underlying math and software details. Seeing it work makes it more likely that you’ll want to understand how it works. But in the long run, it’s not enough just to know how to operate the software, any more than knowing how to use a word processor or a MIDI sequencer makes you a good author or musician. 1

Start this free exploration of Digital Signal Processing at

Professor O’Haver’s essay is also available as in indexed printable document (in Open Docucument, Word, and PDF formats) and as a complete HTML archive. Please contact, or join their Facebook group if you have a question or suggestions.

  1. “Introduction”, A Pragmatic Introduction to Signal Processing, Retrieved December 30 2018, [return]