This thesis considers the application of basis pursuit to several problems in system identification. After reviewing some key results in the theory of basis pursuit and compressed sensing, numerical experiments are presented that explore the application of basis pursuit to the black-box identification of linear time-invariant (LTI) systems with both finite (FIR) and infinite (IIR) impulse responses, temporal systems modeled by ordinary differential equations (ODE), and spatio-temporal systems modeled by partial differential equations (PDE). For LTI systems, the experimental results illustrate existing theory for identification of LTI FIR systems. It is seen that basis pursuit does not identify sparse LTI IIR systems, but it does identify alternate systems with nearly identical magnitude response characteristics when there are small numbers of non-zero coefficients. For ODE systems, the experimental results are consistent with earlier research for differential equations that are polynomials in the system variables, illustrating feasibility of the approach for small numbers of non-zero terms. For PDE systems, it is demonstrated that basis pursuit can be applied to system identification, along with a comparison in performance with another existing method. In all cases the impact of measurement noise on identification performance is considered, and it is empirically observed that high signal-to-noise ratio is required for successful application of basis pursuit to system identification problems.