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IMA Thematic Year on Control Theory and its Applications
September 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016

Control theory has its roots in the use of feedback as a means to regulate physical processes and mediate the effect of modeling uncertainty and noise. Early on, in the latter part of the 18th century, the flyball centrifugal governor enabled effective speed control of the steam turbine and thereby shares credit for the industrial revolution. Ever since, control has played a key role as an “enabling technology” in applications ranging from autopilots, navigation and telecommunications, to manufacturing, and power systems. The closing of the 20th century saw a rapid development of the mathematics of systems, control and optimization with a focus placed on understanding the benefits and limitations of feedback.

The beginning of the 21st century is witnessing remarkable developments in computing, communications, and sensing technologies that present unprecedented opportunities to impact the economic and scientific development of the nation and the world. As a result, the scope of control theory is rapidly evolving to encompass hybrid and hierarchical data-driven decision-making with human-in-the-loop, distributed processes and networks where their connectivity at various scales affects functionality, and also to enable the probing and control of the microworlds of the quantum and of biology. The impetus of recent technological strides is driving the need for mathematics and rigor in addressing an ever expanding range of new challenges.

Please explore the tabs below to get a fuller description of the program -- the organizing committee, their vision for the year, and the workshops being planned. The IMA will select up to eight postdoctoral fellows to participate in the program.

The themes for the year have been selected from topics of current interest that are perceived to have the greatest promise for new developments, both with regard to the mathematics of control theory and in their impact on engineering applications. For each theme, the IMA will bring together mathematicians, theoretical engineers, and domain experts. Themes will typically begin with a one- to two-day tutorial by a small group of participants. There will be three overarching topics, each covering one trimester of the academic year. These are:

  1. Dynamics and control on graphs and networks
  2. Large-scale systems and PDEs: Modeling, optimization, and control
  3. Control of the small and the large emergent applications

  Full Description
  Organizing Committee
  Long-Term Visitors
  Annual Program Workshops and Tutorials
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