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System Dynamics (22.554 and 24.509)
Course Description and Requirements

Course Description
This course provides an introduction to the analytical and computational aspects of system dynamics and control. The course presents the mathematical foundation necessary for the analysis of any dynamic system. Emphasis is on the generalized state variable approach to describing a system's transient behavior. Specific topics include matrix fundamentals, transform methods, frequency response analysis, transfer functions, stability analysis, distributed and lumped parameter systems, and an introduction to control system design. Advanced topics will be treated as time permits. Modeling and simulation of a variety of engineering systems are illustrated. Significant computer work and a term project are required. The Matlab/Simulink software is used extensively.

J. R. White, System Dynamics Lecture Notes (Spring 2007). This is a set of course-specific notes that has been prepared for this course and they will be made available to the student via class handouts. No formal text will be required, but it is highly recommended that you have a good reference book on Modern Control Theory. If you do not already have one from your undergraduate course in control systems, one suggested reference is:

Katsuhiko Ogata, Modern Control Engineering, 4th Ed., Prentice Hall 2002.

This book contains much of the material to be addressed in this class and it has lots of good example problems. It treats both classical and modern control concepts, although our focus will be on the modern state-space representation of systems. This edition also integrates Matlab directly within the presentation of the subject material.

In addition to a good dynamic systems or control theory reference book, it is also highly recommended as a good investment that you purchase a personal version of Matlab, Simulink, and the Control System Toolbox (see below), if you have your own computer! Note that this is not an absolute requirement since Matlab, Simulink, and several important toolboxes are currently available in the Department Computer Lab.

MATLAB & Simulink Student Version Release 14 (SP3), The Mathworks, Inc. (2004). This comes with Matlab and Simulink as a package deal. If you are interested in the Control System Toolbox, it must be purchased separately -- you can get this directly from the website.

Course Website

Course Requirements
Exams for this course will include a mid-term and a comprehensive final. Homework will be assigned and collected on a regular basis. Computer-related work will also be included as part of the normal homework to enhance the analytical methods discussed in class. The Matlab/Simulink package and many functions from the Control System Toolbox will be introduced and used in many of these assignments. A complete dynamic analysis of a specific application, including a formal technical report and oral presentation, will be required. This will utilize many of the analysis methods developed throughout the semester.

Grading Policy
The final grade for this course will be determined as follows:

Term Project (formal report and oral presentation)
Midterm Exam (2 hrs)
Final Exam (3 hrs)

Course Coordinator
Dr. John R. White
Office: EB302
Phone: 978-934-3165
Fax: 978-934-3047

Note: My office hours for this semester will be posted outside my office and on my website at during the first week of the semester -- as soon as my schedule becomes finalized.

Last updated by Prof. John R. White (January 2007)

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