Forums

DSP History

Started by Rick Lyons 5 years ago7 replieslatest reply 5 years ago255 views

For those of you interested in the history of DSP, you might find the following article noteworthy:

Oppenheim-2012-Algorithm-Kings.pdf

capture_31435.jpg


[ - ]
Reply by SteveSmithMarch 12, 2018

Thanks Rick, really interesting.  I learned DSP from Tom Stockham, the guy on the left.       

[ - ]
Reply by Rick LyonsMarch 12, 2018

Hi Steve.  Ah ha.  That explains a lot!  

Thomas Stockham was one of the most productive and famous of the early DSP Algorithm Kings.

[ - ]
Reply by SteveSmithMarch 13, 2018

Here's a tidbit that will strike home...

I took two years of graduate level DSP courses in the 1980's from Tom Stockham.  He seldom wrote an equation on the board... his lectures were all about the concepts, drawing pictures, waving his hands to show the motion of signals, talking about applications.

Dr. Stockham was the first DSP guru at MIT in the 1950's. But by the next generation at MIT, typified by Alan Oppenheim, the entire approach to the field had changed.  Oppenheim's classic book, Digital Signal Processing, explains DSP with mathematics, not conceptual explanations. And the more complicated the mathematics, the better.  Oppenheim's mindset has been passed down through the academic community to today, and Stockham's has largely been lost. If fact, much of my professional life has been dedicated to bring back Stockham's conceptual approach.          

[ - ]
Reply by Rick LyonsMarch 13, 2018

Hi Steve. I understand exactly what you talking about. The clear, thorough but not overly-complicated, conceptual approach is so very obvious in your "Scientist and Engineer's Guide to DSP" book. Many years ago when I first read one of the chapters of your book online I quickly realized; The author of this book is a person of whom the English poet Chaucer would say, "Gladly would he learn and gladly teach."

[ - ]
Reply by neiroberMarch 13, 2018

Rick,

I was working on analog video modulators back in the early '80's.  Little did I know that these DSP pioneers had set in motion the technology that would replace it, way back in the 1950's. I wound up working on digital set-top terminals by the early '90's.

I took a DSP course at OSU back around 1976 -- we did all the calculations in pencil and paper!  Kind of hard to get a feel for things that way...

Thanks for the article.

Neil

[ - ]
Reply by Rick LyonsMarch 13, 2018

Hi Neil. Your interesting post makes me recall similar memories. In EE undergraduate school at the University of Akron (in the early 70's) the first half of one of our "Electronics" classes covered vacuum tubes.  I'm not joking. Handheld calculators didn't exist, we used slide rules.

[ - ]
Reply by neiroberMarch 13, 2018

Yes!  I used a slide rule for my freshman year, and got a Texas Instrument SR-50 scientific calculator (with red LED display) my sophomore year.