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Research Areas

The control systems group contains a broad expertise in control theory and its applications:

Discrete event systems

Research in this area focuses on the control of discrete event systems, including:

  • Formal synthesis and verification
  • Applications to software development

Faculty members in this area: John Thistle

Linear control

Faculty members focus on theoretical aspects of linear control systems such as time-varying linear systems, performance limitations in control, and multivariable linear control. Application areas of this research:

  • Multi-agent systems
  • Social phenomena
  • Control of radiotherapy

Faculty members in this area: Daniel DavisonDaniel Miller

Networked and distributed control

Research in networked and distributed control addresses the control and communication issues that arise when individual systems are networked together. Key issues include fault-tolerant and secure control, distributed optimization, and distributed computation. Applications of this research include:

  • Smart power grids
  • Coordinated autonomous vehicles
  • Transportation networks

Faculty members in this area: 
Stephen L. Smith, John W. Simpson-Porco

Nonlinear control

Faculty member's research in nonlinear control focus on fundamental issues in areas such as geometric control, set stablization, filtering and estimation, and stochastic systems. Application areas of this research include:

  • Tracking/path following
  • Quantitative finance and financial engineering

Faculty members in this area: 
Andrew HeunisChristopher NielsenDavid Wang

Robotics and autonomy

Our research in robotics and autonomous systems considers a variety of theoretical and applied issues in areas such as imitation learning, path following, motion planning and coordination, and environmental estimation. Key application areas of this research include:

  • Humanoid robots
  • Unmanned aerial vehicles
  • The coordination of groups of vehicles for environmental monitoring
  • Transportation networks

Faculty members in this area: 
Dana KulicChristopher NielsenStephen L. SmithDavid Wang

Robust and adaptive control

Our research in robust and adaptive control considers control theoretic issues in periodic control for robustness and adaptation, as well as incremental learning and adaptation in dynamic environments. Applications include:

  • Computer aided manufacturing
  • Humanoid robotics
  • Human-robot interaction

Faculty members in this area: 
Dana KulicDaniel Miller