in this class will learn modeling and analysis techniques applicable to
electrical, mechanical, and chemical systems. This “systems” view,
that focuses on what is common to these different physical systems, has
been responsible for much of the progress in the last several decades in
aeronautics, robotics, and other engineering disciplines where there
are many different technologies working together.
with algebraic descriptions of individual components (such as
resistors), the class develops tools for modeling engineered systems. Differential
equations are key ingredients, so we will spend significant time
learning how to derive differential equations from component descriptions.
One of the key ideas in this class is that electrical, mechanical, and
chemical systems may seem very different from each other but often have
very similar behavior, allowing us to draw powerful analogies between
them. Case studies from several areas of engineering will be used to
illustrate the modeling techniques, including examples from robotics,
power networks, exoskeletons, biomechanics, system identification, and active sensing. Students will be encouraged to do hands-on
experiments that demonstrate the techniques.