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Syllabus - ECE 773/ME 733


Hespanha, Linear Systems Theory, Princeton University Press, 2009.


The primary prerequisites for this course is mathematical maturity on the level of ECEn 671, and (preferably) a course in classical control theory.

Learning Outcomes

The objective of the course is to help you develop the following technical skills.

  • The ability to represent multiple-input, multiple-output linear time-invariant systems using state space model and transfer matrices.
  • The ability to analyze stability properties of MIMO linear systems including internal stability, and input-output stability.
  • The ability to analyze the controllability and observability properties of MIMO linear systems.
  • The ability to design LQR/LQG/LTR controllers for MIMO time-invariant linear systems, and to understand the resulting properties.


Final grades in the course will be based on the following distribution:

  • Homework: 20%
  • Project: 20%
  • Midterm: 30%
  • Final: 30%


Homework will be assigned weekly and is due in class on the day indicated on the schedule. Late homework will not be accepted. The homework will not be graded: full credit will be given if the problem has been attempted. The solutions to the homework will be placed on the web after it is due. You are strongly encouraged to look at the homework solution to make sure that you understand the material. The lowest homework score will be dropped.


A student project will be due on the last day of class. Each student is responsible for defining their own project. The project should show an interesting application of the ideas discussed in the class. Examples of acceptable projects include:

  • Pick physical system that interests you (quadrotor, whirlybird, fixed-wing aircraft), derive the state space model, and analyze its properties. Design several different control strategies based on ideas discussed in class, implement in Simulink, and explore tradeoffs.
  • Find a paper in the (recent) literature that uses linear system theory. Read the paper, implement the main ideas, and find strenghs and weaknesses, and possible extensions.
  • Develop feedback control strategies for the whirlybird based on ideas discussed in class, and implement on hardware.

The grade for the project consists of two parts:

  • A one page project proposal is due to the instructor on March 1.
  • A written project description due on April 15, the last day of class. The project description should not be longer than 10 double space pages, including figures.

Midterm Exam

There will be one take-home midterm exams. The exam will be handed out March 4 and will be due at the beginning of class on March 8.

Final Exam

The final exam will be an in class, three hour, open book, open note, comprehensive exam. The scheduled date is Tuesday April 23 from 7PM-10PM.

Teacher Evaluations

At the end of the semester I will send out information about on-line teacher evaluations. Teacher evaluations are an important part of faculty evaluation and development. The success of the program depends upon student participation. To encourage participation, I will give 5 extra credit points on the final exam to those who fill out the form. To let me know that you have filled out the form, either (1) check the box that allows your name to be released on the evaluation form (note that names will not be correlated with evaluations), or (2) send me an email indicating that you have filled out the on-line form.


Office Hours

Please respect my office hours. If they are not accommodating, make an appointment with me via email.

Honor Code Standards

In keeping with the principles of the BYU Honor Code, students are expected to be honest in all of their academic work. Academic honesty means, most fundamentally, that any work you present as your own must in fact be your own work and not that of another. Violations of this principle may result in a failing grade in the course and additional disciplinary action by the university.

Students are also expected to adhere to the Dress and Grooming Standards. Adherence demonstrates respect for yourself and others and supports an effective learning and working environment. It is the university’s expectation, and my own expectation in class, that each student will abide by all Honor Code standards Please contact the Honor Code Office (4440 WSC, 422-2847, if you have questions about those standards.

Preventing Sexual Discrimination or Harassment

Sexual discrimination or harassment (including student-to-student harassment) is prohibited both by the law and by Brigham Young University policy. If you feel you are being subjected to sexual discrimination or harassment, please bring your concerns to the professor. Alternatively, you may lodge a complaint with the Equal Employment Office (D-240C ASB, 422-5895, or with the Honor Code Office (4440 WSC, 422-2847,

Students with Disabilities

If you have a disability that may affect your performance in this course, you should get in touch with the office of University Accessibility Center (1520 WSC, 422-2767, This office can evaluate your disability and assist the professor in arranging for reasonable accommodations.