Caltech CDS 101/110

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CDS 101/110 is a course taught in the fall quarter (Oct-Dec) at Caltech and is taken by approximately 70-80 students from various disiplines of engineering and science. The course 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.

The course is taught as two separate coruses with overlaping lectures and materials. CDS 101 is a 6 unit (2-0-4)1 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.


  1. ^ Caltech courses are each assigned a number of units that are intended to correspond to the number of hours per week required for the course. The units are described by three numbers, written in the form C-L-H. The first number is the number of hours of class (lecture) per week; the second is the number of laboratory hours; and the third is the number of hours of homework per week.