Dante Alighieri was early in recognising that our age has a problem. He was the first writer to use the word moderno, in Italian, and the difficulty he spotted with the modern mind is its limited capacity to relate to the whole of reality, particularly the spiritual aspects. This might sound surprising, given that his masterpiece, the Divine Comedy, is often described as one of the most brilliant creations of the medieval imagination. It is taken to be a genius expression of a discarded worldview, not the modern one, from an era in which everything was taken to be connected to the supreme reality called God. But Dante was born in a time of troubling transition. He realised that this cosmic vision was being challenged, and he didn’t seek to reject it or restore it, but to remake it.
Digital Signal Processing is one of the most powerful technologies that will shape science and engineering in the twenty-first century. Revolutionary changes have already been made in a broad range of fields: communications, medical imaging, radar & sonar, high fidelity music reproduction, and oil prospecting, to name just a few. Each of these areas has developed a deep DSP technology, with its own algorithms, mathematics, and specialized techniques. This combination of breath and depth makes it impossible for any one individual to master all of the DSP technology that has been developed. DSP education involves two tasks: learning general concepts that apply to the field as a whole, and learning specialized techniques for your particular area of interest. This chapter starts our journey into the world of Digital Signal Processing by describing the dramatic effect that DSP has made in several diverse fields. The revolution has begun.
February 20 1968 is a red-letter day in the annals of TV history as the day Prescription: Murder first aired, bringing Lieutenant Columbo, as we mostly know and love him, to the collective consciousness of millions.
But what many casual fans don’t realise is that Columbo, the character, was created by William Link and Richard Levinson nearly a decade earlier and had already graced both the stage and screen long before Peter Falk assumed the beige raincoat and ever-lit cigar.
IN LATE MAY a throng of a hundred or so young men, most of them from African or Middle Eastern minorities, started fighting in a square in Hjallbo, a suburb of Gothenburg, Sweden’s second city. Members of rival gangs seem to have started the scrap over the theft of a moped. Two days later a man in a nearby grocery shop was shot in the back of the head, thought to be as an act of revenge for the gangland battle. Then a policeman in Biskopsgarden, another suburb of the city, was shot dead. A few days after that a man was murdered in a barber’s shop in Frolunda, yet another suburb. To add to this litany of recent criminal violence, two young children were lucky to survive last week after being caught in the crossfire of yet another gang shoot-out, this time in Visattra, on the edge of Stockholm, the capital.