Sherry Koshman

Four members of the SIS faculty have written a textbook on the concepts and essentials of telecommunications.  The Physical Layer of Communications Systems, authored by Richard Thompson, David Tipper, Prashant Krishnamurthy and Joseph Kabara, was published in March 2006 by Artech House Publishers.  The text is aimed at both students and practitioners in the telecommunications industry. 

“The four of us have been teaching the principal telecommunications courses at SIS and haven’t found one textbook which examines the scope of technologies, fundamental concepts, and techniques used in transmitting information over wired, optical and wireless networks,” explains Joseph Kabara, author and Assistant Professor at SIS.  “Students in our courses would have to purchase three or more textbooks, some of which covered theory and others which were handbooks on practical techniques.  This book is intended to offer students and telecommunications professionals both the theory and the practical solutions.”

Emphasizing systems and architecture, the book examines in detail the physical layer as well as the physical media and processes that underlie it.  Students and telecommunications professionals can review the fundamentals of electricity, electronics including transistors and amplifiers, and digital circuits and systems.  The authors discuss the theoretical underpinnings of spectral analysis, random signals, and information theory including Shannon’s Model and capacity.  Readers will have the opportunity to gain practical understanding of how different types of signals are transmitted; the various forms of transmission media (i.e. optical and wireless); and techniques such as modulation and multiplexing to make maximum use of physical media.  Individual chapters include exercises to further demonstrate the techniques and theory discussed. The book’s publisher notes that “the book shows how hardware, circuits, software, and techniques work together to transmit information.”

The book has been a major focus of the authors, in addition to their research and teaching duties, for more than five years.  Although it was initially intended to meet the needs only of students in the SIS telecommunications courses, the final product will be a standard reference for students, faculty, and industry professionals.   The Physical Layer of Communications Systems was written by faculty in the School of Information Sciences’ Telecommunications Program: Richard Thompson, Director and Professor; David Tipper, Associate Professor; Prashant Krishnamurthy, Associate Professor; and Joseph Kabara, Assistant Professor.  It is available through Artech House, a leading publisher of high quality professional books for engineers and managers in technologies including mobile communications, networking, software engineering, computer security, software quality, process improvement, microwave technology, sensors, antennas, as well as other disciplines.