CDS 101/110, Fall 2015

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Introduction to Control Systems


  • Richard Murray (CDS/BE),
  • Lectures: MWF, 1-2 pm, 104 ANB
  • Office hours: Wed 2-3 pm (please e-mail to confirm)

Teaching Assistants

  • Ania Baetica (CDS), Benson Christalin (CDS), Jerry Cruz (CDS)
  • Contact:
  • Office hours: TBD

This is the course homepage for CDS 101/110, Fall 2015.

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 12 unit class (3-0-9) 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.

Lecture Schedule

Date Topic Reading Homework
Week 1

28 Sep
30 Sep*
2 Oct

Introduction and Review
  • Introduction to Feedback and Control
  • Review of differential equation and linear algebra
FBS-2e 1.1-1.5 HW 1 (PDF)
Due: 5 Oct
Week 2

5 Oct
7 Oct
9 Oct

Modeling, Stability
  • State space models
  • Phase portraits and stability
  • Introduction to MATLAB
FBS-2e 3.1-3.2, 5.1-5.3 HW 2
Due: 12 Oct
Week 3

12 Oct
14 Oct
16 Oct

Linear Systems FBS-2e 6.1-6.4 HW 3
Due: 19 Oct
Week 4

19 Oct
21 Oct
23 Oct

State Feedback FBS 7.1-7.4 HW 4
Due: 26 Oct
Week 5

26 Oct
28 Oct
30 Oct

Output Feedback FBS 8.1-8.3 Midterm exam
Due: 3 Nov
Week 6

2 Nov
4 Nov
6 Nov

Transfer Functions FBS 9.1-9.4 HW 5
Due: 9 Nov
Week 7

9 Nov
11 Nov
13 Nov

Loop Analysis FBS 10.1-10.3 HW 6
Due: 16 Nov
Week 8

16 Nov
18 Nov
20 Nov

PID Control FBS 11.1-11.4 HW 7
Due: 23 Nov
Week 9

23 Nov
25 Nov*

Loop Shaping, I FBS 12.1-12.4 HW 8
Due: 30 Nov
Week 10

30 Nov
2 Dec
4 Dec

Loop Shaping II FBS 12.6-12.7, 13.1-13.2 HW 9
Due: 5 Oct

9-11 Dec

Finals Final exam
Due 11 Dec


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/Python code and SIMULINK/Modelica 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 (28 Oct) and due at the end of the midterm examination period (3 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 (4 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/Python 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 companion web site. The following additional references may also be useful:

  • A. D. Lewis, A Mathematical Approach to Classical Control, 2003. Online access.
  • J. Distefano III, A. R. Stubberud and Ivan J. Williams (Author), Schaum's Outline of Feedback and Control Systems, 2nd Edition, 2013.

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.