Essential Reading

Here I maintain an extremely biased, idiosyncratic, and very incomplete list of articles, educational material, and other medai which I think should be broadly read or watched by students studying automatic control.

Suggestions for additions to this list are much appreciated.

Systems and Control Theory (Introductory and Educational)

  1. D. S. Bernstein. A student's guide to classical control. In IEEE Control Systems Magazine, vol.17, no.4, pp. 96-100, 1997.

  2. D. S. Bernstein. What makes some control problems hard?. In IEEE Control Systems Magazine, vol.22, no.4, pp.8-19, 2002.

  3. Hoagg, J.B.; Bernstein, D.S., Nonminimum-phase zeros – much to do about nothing – classical control revisited Part II. In IEEE Control Systems Magazine, vol.27, no.3, pp.45-57, 2007.

  4. S. M. Joshi. A Cartoon Tour of Control Theory.

  5. IEEE Control Systems Society. The Impact of Control Technology. Report, February 2011.

  6. *Brian Douglas on YouTube.

Systems and Control Theory (Surveys and Perspectives)

  1. B. Wittenmark, K. Arzen, and K. Astrom. Computer Control: An Overview. IFAC Professional Brief, 2002.

  2. P. Kokotovic and M. Arcak. Constructive nonlinear control: a historical perspective. Automatica, vol.37, no.5, pp.637-662, 2001.

  3. R. Ortega, A. J. Van der Schaft, I. Mareels, and B. Maschke. Putting energy back in control, In IEEE Control Systems Magazine, vol.21, no.2, pp.18-33, 2001.

  4. J. C. Doyle and G. Stein. Multivariable feedback design: Concepts for a classical/modern synthesis. IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, vol.26, no.1, pp.4-16, 1981.

  5. D. S. Bernstein. On bridging the theory/practice gap. IEEE Control Systems Magazine, vol.19, no.6, pp.64-70, 1999.

  6. V. L. Syrmos, C. T. Abdallah, P. Dorato, and K. Grigoriadis. Static Output Feedback – A Survey. Automatica, vol.33 no.2 pp. 125-137, 1997.

  7. J. G. VanAntwerp and R. D. Braatz. A tutorial on linear and bilinear matrix inequalities. Journal of Process Control, vol. 10 pp. 363-385, 2000.

Videos, Seminars, Interviews

  1. Interviews with celebrated control theorists, including Brian Anderson, Murray Wonham, Stephen Morse, and Charles Desoer.

  2. Seminars from FoRcE at USF.

  3. Seminars on Low-Inertia Grids from UW workshop.

  4. Seminars on Energy Systems from DTU.

  5. Lectures on Convex Relaxation for power systems optimization.

Research and You

  1. Richard Hamming. A Stroke of Genius: Striving for Greatness in All You Do

  2. Richard Hamming. You and Your Research

  3. Uri Alon. How To Choose a Good Scientific Problem

  4. Ivan Sutherland Technology and Courage

  5. E. W. Dijkstra's Three Golden Rules for Research

  6. S. Keshav Blog with a treasure trove of advice

  7. John Baez Advice for the Young Scientist

  8. Warren Weaver Four Pieces of Advice to Young People

  9. Eric Feron How do you recognize you have a worthy PhD thesis?

  10. Eric Feron Why do a PhD?

Writing Papers and/or Mathematical Typesetting Style

  1. Daniel Lemire Write good papers (with slides)

  2. Joao Hespanha Writing a Control Paper

  3. Andrew D. Lewis LaTeX Do's and Dont's

  4. Bruce Francis Elements of Mathematical Style

  5. Stephen Boyd Crimes Against Matrices


  1. Nick Higham's blog