CDS 101/110a, Fall 2007

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This is the homepage for CDS 101 (Analysis and Design of Feedback Systems) and CDS 110 (Introduction to Control Theory) for Fall 2007.


  • Richard Murray,
  • Lectures: MWF, 2-3 pm, 74 JRG
  • Office hours: Fridays, 3-4 pm (by appt)
  • Prior years: FA03, FA04, FA06

Teaching Assistants (cds110-tas@cds)

  • Julia Braman, Elisa Franco, Sawyer Fuller, George Hines, Luis Soto
  • Office hours: Sundays, 4-5; Tuesdays, 4-5 in 114 STL

Course Ombuds

  • Vanessa Carson and Matthew Feldman



Course Syllabus

CDS 101/110 provides an introduction to feedback and control in physical, biological, engineering, and information sciences. Basic principles of feedback and its use as a tool for altering the dynamics of systems and managing uncertainty. Key themes throughout the course will include input/output response, modeling and model reduction, linear versus nonlinear models, and local versus global behavior.

CDS 101 is a 6 unit (2-0-4) class intended for advanced students in science and engineering who are interested in the principles and tools of feedback control, but not the analytical techniques for design and synthesis of control systems. CDS 110 is a 9 unit class (3-0-6) that provides a traditional first course in control for engineers and applied scientists. It assumes a stronger mathematical background, including working knowledge of linear algebra and ODEs. Familiarity with complex variables (Laplace transforms, residue theory) is helpful but not required.


The final grade will be based on homework sets, a midterm exam, and a final exam:

  • Homework (50%): Homework sets will be handed out weekly and due on Mondays by 5 pm to the box outside of 109 Steele. A two day grace period is allowed to turn in your homework. Late homework beyond the grace period will not be accepted without a note from the health center or the Dean. MATLAB code and SIMULINK diagrams are considered part of your solution and should be printed and turned in with the problem set (whether the problem asks for it or not).
  • Midterm exam (20%): A midterm exam will be handed out at the beginning of midterms period (31 Oct) and due at the end of the midterm examination period (6 Nov). The midterm exam will be open book and computers will be allowed (though not required).
  • Final exam (30%): The final exam will be handed out on the last day of class (7 Dec) and due at the end of finals week. It will be an open book exam and computers will be allowed (though not required).

Collaboration Policy

Collaboration on homework assignments is encouraged. You may consult outside reference materials, other students, the TA, or the instructor, but you cannot consult homework solutions from prior years and you must cite any use of material from outside references. All solutions that are handed in should be written up individually and should reflect your own understanding of the subject matter at the time of writing. MATLAB scripts and plots are considered part of your writeup and should be done individually (you can share ideas, but not code).

No collaboration is allowed on the midterm or final exams.

Course Text and References

The primary course text is by Åström and Murray (2008). This book is available in the Caltech bookstore and via download from the. The following additional references may also be useful:

  • A. D. Lewis, A Mathematical Approach to Classical Control, 2003. Online access.

In addition to the books above, the textbooks below may also be useful. They are available in the library (non-reserve), from other students, or you can order them online.

  • B. Friedland, Control System Design: An Introduction to State-Space Methods, McGraw-Hill, 1986.
  • G. F. Franklin, J. D. Powell, and A. Emami-Naeni, Feedback Control of Dynamic Systems, Addison-Wesley, 2002.

Course Schedule

The course is scheduled for MWF 2-3 pm in 74 Jorgenson. CDS 101 meets on Monday and Friday only. A detailed course schedule is available on the course schedule page.

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