In this chapter we begin the development of a quantitative framework for signals and systems. Although much of our initial effort must be spent on analysis, the eventual goal is equally the more exciting and challenging one of synthesis. Synthesis is the major task of a designer who, faced with a host of possible solutions to an engineering problem, chooses a particular one which is both technically sound and effective in its use of resources. However, synthesis depends upon analysis, and goes hand-in-hand with it. Without analytical skills, one can neither appreciate how existing systems work, nor evaluate tentative new designs in a critical way.
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