Electronics and Signal Processing for Experimental Rigs





Course Instructors: Ofer Mazor, Pavel Gorelik

Course description:

Biomedical researchers often build and use experimental rigs consisting of several interconnected electronic instruments. These rigs are typically used to make high-quality recordings of weak biological signals. The goal of this course is to demystify the rig: What does each instrument do? How should they be connected? How does one troubleshoot noise, or adjust settings in a principled way?

The course will focus on fundamental concepts in electronics and signal processing, covering both theory and practice. It does not require any prior electronics knowledge. Topics include: signal impedance, capacitance, amplifiers and opAmp circuits, mitigating noise, digitization, sampling rates, and aliasing. These topics should be broadly applicable to experimental biologists who use a rig to generate or record small, precise signals in the presence of noise. We will rely on hands-on assignments to reinforce the lecture content and build intuitive understanding.

The course consists of three sessions, each with a one-hour lecture followed by a self-paced electronics assignment. (All materials for these assignments will be provided.)

After completing this nanocourse, students should feel more confident using the instruments on their rig and have a better sense for how signals flow between them. They should feel comfortable selecting appropriate settings for filters, amplification, and digitization (e.g., sampling rates) in order to minimize noise and maximize signal quality.



Enrollment is limited to 10 participants. No auditing.

Spring 2022 class schedule:

This in-person nanocourse consists of three classes. Each two-hour class includes a lecture and an engineering assignment. Class dates and times are:

Wed. Feb 23 (3–5pm):  Basic Electronics

Wed. March 2 (3–5pm):  Noise and OpAmps

Wed. March 9 (3–5pm):  Digitization and Aliasing

All classes meet in Warren Alpert 236

Students must bring a laptop to all classes or make prior arrangements with the instructors.

Register for the class here.

See also: Spring, 2022, technique, open