2.04A | Spring 2013 | Undergraduate

Systems and Controls


Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 1 or 2 sessions / week; 1 hour / session

Combined Lectures/Labs: 2 sessions / week; 1.5 hours / session

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to linear systems, transfer functions, and Laplace transforms. It covers stability and feedback, and provides basic design tools for specifications of transient response. It also briefly covers frequency-domain techniques. This course includes laboratory experiments and a control design project.


There are no formal prerequisites for this course; however you will need some knowledge of material from the following courses:

8.01 Physics I: Classical Mechanics (OCW Scholar Version)

8.02 Physics II: Electricity and Magnetism (OCW Scholar Version)

18.03 Differential Equations (OCW Scholar Version)

Either course 2.003 or 2.03 is a corequisite for this course:

2.03 Dynamics I

2.003 Dynamics and Control I (OCW Scholar Version)


Nise, Norman S. Control Systems Engineering. John Wiley & Sons, 2010. ISBN: 9780470547564.

Concepts Covered in the Course

This is a list of concepts covered in this course (PDF). Please use this as a checklist on concepts to guide your study.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn the process of modeling linear time-invariant (LTI) dynamical systems in dual domains: in the time domain using ordinary differential equations and in the Laplace domain (s-domain).
  • Understand the behavior of LTI systems qualitatively and quantitatively, both in the transient and steady-state regimes, and appreciate how it impacts the performance of electro-mechanical systems.
  • Introduce feedback control and understand, using the s-domain primarily, how feedback impacts transient and steady-state performance.
  • Learn how to design proportional, proportional-integral, proportional-derivative, and proportional-integral-derivative feedback control systems meeting specific system performance requirements.
  • Introduce qualitatively the frequency response of LTI systems and how it relates to the transient and steady-state system performance.


Four problem sets 15%
Lab participation 20%
Project 15%
Two quizzes 25% each

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2013
Learning Resource Types
Lecture Notes
Problem Sets