This page focuses on the course 16.06 Principles of Automatic Control as it was taught by Professor Steven Hall in Fall 2012.
Principles of Automatic Control is a junior-level classical control class that has been taught by Prof. Steven Hall for six years. He teaches both the lectures and weekly recitations sessions. The course introduces the design of feedback control systems as applied to air and spacecraft systems. Topics include the properties and advantages of feedback systems, time-domain and frequency-domain performance measures, stability and degree of stability, the Root locus method, Nyquist criterion, frequency-domain design, and state space methods.
While most students will enter the aerospace engineering field, few will work specifically in control engineering. This course will give students an awareness of control systems so they can collaborate with those in the field.
Mostly first semester juniors with the occasional graduate student
Mostly aerospace engineering students with a few mechanical engineering students
Twenty for each recitation session to promote the right balance between student engagement and individualized instruction
During an average week, students were expected to spend 12 hours on the course, roughly divided as follows:
Peer inside the recitation of Prof. Steven Hall’s classical control class and you’ll see the entire class up on their feet actively engaged in working out problems. Unlike conventional classrooms where the instructor leads the class and demonstrates how to solve a problem, students in 16.06 openly work and struggle with the recitation problems together. They learn by doing with Prof. Hall stepping in to coach as needed.
In this Instructor Insights section, Prof. Hall introduces his active learning recitations and explains how active learning techniques promote deeper conceptual understanding. The approach helps him be a more responsive teacher while fostering student engagement.
It really is a chance for students to understand what they know and what they don't know and to exercise the skills that they have learned in the class.
— Prof. Steven Hall
In this video, Prof. Hall offers a window into his classroom and introduces the active learning
approach he employs to teach classical control systems at MIT.
In following pages, Prof. Hall discusses specific aspects of how and why he uses active learning in 16.06 recitations: