An Introduction to
ECE4850 (ECE402): Linear Control Systems
(The course numbers in the parentheses were the old course numbers).
ECE4855 (ECE403): Controls Lab
ECE4860 (ECE412): Digital Control Systems
- What about control systems?
- A system is a set of interconnected functional components for certain tasks
- A control system is a system whose behavior can be influenced by input signals
- Feedback is the key for automatic control that does not rely on human
- Control systems are everywhere in our daily life and in engineering
- To learn more about control systems, please visit
IEEE Control Systems Society.
- Why is control theory important?
- Control theory is crucial for feedback control system design, analysis, implementation
- Control theory is based on firm mathematical foundations and has rigorous design tools
- Control theory has been under development for decades and is a mature branch of science
- Control theory is also instrumental for other engineering and science applications
A search of internet can find many such applications:
applications of control theory
A specific search shows more specific control theory application examples
- in computing systems and networks:
- in communications and signal processing:
- in circuit design, embedded systems, and devices:
- Jobs related to control theory: in
control systems, and in areas using control theory:
A rigorous study of control theory is very beneficial to our professional life.
- What about ECE4850 (ECE402), ECE4855 (ECE403) and ECE4860 (ECE412)?
- ECE4850 (ECE402): Linear Control Systems, is a senior-level control theory course in which students systematically study the principles of system modeling,
analysis and feedback control, and use them to design and evaluate
feedback control systems with desired performance.
- ECE4855 (ECE403): Controls Lab, is a 1.5 credit lab course
(simultaneously with ECE4850 (ECE402)) in which
students conduct 12 experiments to gain extensive experience of control systems for design,
analysis, construction, and test of electric, electromechanical, and
- ECE4860 (ECE412): Digital Control Systems, is the second course in
control theory, focused on
digital control theory which is important for implementing real-life control systems, and
for understanding digital systems (for example, real-time computing systems).
- ECE4850 (ECE402) and ECE4855 (ECE403) are taught in the Fall, while ECE4860 (ECE412) is taught in the Spring.
- The prerequisite is ECE 323: Signals and Systems (I).
- There are three (3) flexible options for the study of control systems theory and design:
(i) take ECE4850 (ECE402) alone (to learn the fundamentals of control theory),
(ii) take ECE4850 (ECE402) and ECE4855 (ECE403) (to also gain experience with real-life control systems), or
(iii) take ECE4850 (ECE402), ECE4855 (ECE403) and ECE4860 (ECE412) (to learn more about control systems).
- ECE4850 (ECE402) also provides the foundations for thesis
research topics on control systems.
- What about the instructor of ECE4850 (ECE402)?
- Professor Gang Tao of Electrical Engineering
has been teaching this course since Fall 1994.
- His teaching philosophy is: teaching with respect, responsibility, and help to students.
- He received Department of Electrical Engineering's 1996 Young Faculty Teaching Award
and University of Virginia's 1999 Teaching Initiative Award, for teaching this course.
- His teaching of ECE4850 (ECE402) has constantly received high ratings and positive comments.
- His research has been focused on control theory and applications for more than 20 years.
- More about him is given in his official page,
personal page, and
- ECE4850 (ECE402) and ECE4855 (ECE403) taught in Fall 2008
- Course syllabus
- Further reading about
If you need more information or help, please contact Professor Gang Tao:
- Tel: (434) 924-4586
- Room: Thornton Hall, E311.
You are welcome to join us!