University of Utah

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

ECE 3510 -- Introduction to Feedback Systems -- Spring 2003


Instructor: Professor Marc Bodson

Office & telephone: MEB 3268, Tel.: 581-8590


Web page:

Class time & place: MWHF, 10:45AM-11:35AM, EMCB 112

Class web page:


1. Introduction

The objective of the course is to teach basic principles of feedback systems. The Laplace transform and the z-transform are used extensively for the analysis of continuous-time and discrete-time systems. The methods under study find applications in a variety of engineering problems including control systems, signal processing, communications, and circuits.


2. Course Contents

Continuous-time signals: Definition and properties of the Laplace transform. Inversion using partial fraction expansions. Boundedness and convergence of signals.

Continuous-time systems: Transfer functions and interconnected systems. Stability. Steady-state and transient responses to step and sinusoidal inputs. Effect of initial conditions. State-space representations.

Stability and performance of control systems: Steady-state error and integral control. Routh-Hurwitz stability test. Root-locus method. Feedback design for phase-locked loops.

Frequency-domain analysis of control systems: Bode plots. Nyquist criterion of stability. Filtering and feedforward compensation. Gain and phase margins. Frequency-domain design.

Discrete-time signals and systems: The z-transform and properties. Properties of discrete-time signals. Discrete-time systems. Responses to step and sinusoidal inputs. Realizations of discrete-time systems.

Sampled-data systems: Conversions between continuous-time and discrete-time signals. Equivalent system representations. Applications to digital control and digital filtering.


3. Prerequisites

ECE 3500: Fundamentals of signals and systems.

  1. Textbook

Course notes will be available for purchase at the University Copy Center (158 Union Building). In addition to course material, the notes contain homework problems, lab handouts, and practice problems (old exam questions). A bibliography lists a variety of references, including standard textbooks that may be consulted for additional information about the contents of the course.

5. Grading

There will be nine homeworks, eight labs, two midterm exams and one final exam. The midterm exams and the final exam will be closed-book, closed-notes exams. Students, however, may bring one double-sided 8.5x11 sheet of notes during the midterms. For the final, 3 sheets are allowed. The contributions of the individual scores to the total number of points will be as follows:

Homeworks: 15%

Labs: 15%

Midterms: 2 @ 20% each 40%

Final: 30%

Final grades will be given according to the following relationship with respect to the total percentage of points: 93% = A, 90% = A-, 86% = B+, 83% = B, 80% = B-, 76% = C+, 73% = C, 70% = C-, 66% = D+, 63% = D, and 60% = D-. Under certain circumstances, the requirements may be lowered, but they will not be raised.

6. Tentative Schedule

The schedule for homeworks, labs, and exams will be available on the class web page (see link at the top) and will be updated as necessary. Lectures will be given on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Thursdays will sometimes be used for lectures, but otherwise to answer questions regarding homeworks and the exams.


7. Office Hours

Professor Bodson will be available for questions after class (in the classroom first and in his office afterwards). To reserve a time, please make an appointment after class, or through electronic mail.


8. Policies

Grade changes: please direct questions concerning homework and exam grades first to the teaching assistants. Contact Professor Bodson if a disagreement cannot be resolved. Questions concerning the grading must be brought within one week after the work was returned. Grades will not be reevaluated afterwards.

Attendance: students who miss class should find out about announcements made in class, and about material covered in class that may not be in the class notes. While presence in class is not mandatory, absence will not be considered an excuse in any circumstance. Students may work in groups for the labs, but presence in the labs is considered mandatory for all students (except in labs 6, 7, and 8, for which a demonstration to the TA is sufficient).

Late work and make-up exams: homeworks and lab reports are due at 5pm on the days listed in the class web page. Work may be turned in at 5pm two days later (three days in case of a weekend) but will receive only 75% of the earned grade. Any exception to the rules will require prior approval by Professor Bodson. Make-up exams will be considered only in case of medical emergencies. In that case, the student will be expected to produce a doctor's certificate indicating the nature and time of the medical emergency.