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Cross listed with AA 547 and ME 547.

  • Instructor: Eric Klavins (
  • TA: Chris Takahashi (
  • Lecture: Mo, We, Fr 1130a - 1220p
  • Discussion section: Tu: 1130a - 1220p
  • Place: Loew 202



This course is an introduction to linear systems theory. It serves as the foundation for most of modern feedback control theory and is a prerequisite for most advanced controls courses. The course covers linear I/O systems in both discrete and continuous time. There is a strong emphasis on supporting results in linear algebra such as similarity, Jordan form, positive definiteness, and so on. Systems are represented in both state space and in frequency domain. The notions of controllability and observability are introduced and examined in some depth. Finally, we introduce several methods for designing feedback controllers and state estimators.


  • Chi-Tsong Chen, Linear Systems Theory and Design, 3rd or 4th Edition, Oxford University Press, 1999.


There will be a written homework assignment due every Monday (or Tuesday if Monday is a holiday). Homework cannot be turned in late for credit. We will endeavor to post written solutions of the homeworks within five days of when they are due and to return graded homeworks within seven days. There will be approximately ten homeworks and they will account for 1/4 of the grade in the class.

Midterm and Final

There will be a midterm on Nov. 6 and a final at the university scheduled time on Dec. 16. The midterm and final are each worth 1/4 of the grade in the class.


Students will build a model of a system relevant to their research and then apply the analytical and control design techniques we learn in this class to that model, and to the models of other students in the class. The project is worth 1/4 the grade in the class. Some homework assignments will also involve working on the project.


We will cover chapters 1-6, chapter 8 and possibly chapter 9 of the textbook. My lecture style is to use the whiteboard almost exclusively.

More Course Materials

All course materials will be kept in a Google Drive, accessible to students in the class. Please contact Chris if you are having trouble viewing / posting documents.