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Electrical and Computer Engineering Department

EE472 Course Policy, Spring 2016

Instructor Course Policy

EE 472 – Fiber Optic Communications – Spring 2016


Instructor:      Charles Nelson, Assistant Professor  

337 Maury Hall                                                                                  

Phone:  293-6164


 Time & Location:      Section 5511:  MWF – 5, Tu – 5&6 Ri-24                                 

Office Hours/Extra Instruction: 

  • Prior arrangement is best 

Absences:  Students are responsible for the material discussed, any assignments assigned, and make-up of any missed quizzes or labs.  Unless prior arrangements are made students are responsible for turning in any work due the day of the absence. 

Quizzes:  Announced and unannounced quizzes may be given periodically throughout the semester. 

Homework Assignments:  Engineering – and indeed life - is about working through the process, problem solving, engaging actively in the dialogue . . .  Homework examples, teamwork and practice are critical to this development.  Students are authorized and encouraged to work on and discuss homework with classmates – duplication is not allowed.  Annotate any help or collaboration on the top of the homework assignment (e.g., “worked with 2/C Sax”).  Late homework may be marked zero.   

Plagiarism:  Plagiarism is the act of presenting someone else’s work or ideas as your own.  Examples include (but are not limited to) copying homework from a colleague or from a solutions manual or copying computer code.  It is your responsibility to use proper documentation in order to always give credit where it is due.  Err on the side of too much documentation, and if you have any questions ask your instructor. 

Grading Policy:  Mid-term exams (2):  40%, final paper and presentation:  40%, HW/Lab/Quiz:  20%  

Laboratory exercises:  Safety is paramount.  Observing a laser beam directly with the eye is potentially dangerous.  Additionally, some fiber optic equipment is fragile and expensive; please treat all equipment with care.  You are expected to complete all laboratory exercises to pass the course.   

Calculators/Computers:  MATLAB and FE approved pocket calculators are approved for all work. 

I look forward to working and learning with you this semester!  Asst. Prof. N

 "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."

 --Theodore Roosevelt (1899, Hamilton Club, Chicago)


Textbook:  Fiber Optic Communications, by Joseph C. Palais. 

Supplemental textbook:  Projects in Fiber Optics, Newport Corp. and Fiber Optic Test and Measurement, by Dennis Derickson will be used occasionally in the laboratory.

Suggested additional references:

1)       “Optical Fiber communications,” by Gerd Keiser –  a bit more depth on mode analysis, some decent figures throughout

2)       “Introduction to Fiber Optics,” by Ajoy Ghatak and K. Thyagarajan – great pedagogical book, but a bit older and more geared towards graduate course level

3)      “Introduction to Optics,” by F. L. Pedrotti, L. S. Pedrotti, and L. M. Pedrotti – nice overall optics textbook with good detail and explanations

4)      “Optoelectronics and Photonics Principles and Practices,” by S. O. Kasap – nice textbook, great figures and explanations, not as detailed with derivations, nice problems/examples, a bit more geared towards graduate course level

5)      “Fundamentals of Optoelectronics,” Pollock – good textbook, nice details.

6)      “Laser Fundamentals,” by William T. Silfvast – very good, detailed laser book, graduate level text.  Nice pedagogy. 

Overall Course Objectives: 

Students shall be able to: 

  1. Demonstrate a conceptual and practical understanding of the fundamental components of a fiber optic link: light sources, receivers, and the optical fiber. 
  2. Develop a practical perspective on the use of emerging photonic technologies and systems that use optical fiber, such as wavelength-division multiplexing, optical modulators and optical amplifiers, various passive optical components, and all-optical networks.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to use optical fiber and fiber optic cable in the laboratory and to use test equipment to analyze a fiber optic communication link.
  4. Use the computer to model basic fiber optic characteristics components.
  5. Design a fiber optic communication system and verify its functionality using both theoretical and numerical analysis techniques, considering various design options, components, or budget constraints.
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