System Dynamics (24.509)

I. Introduction to the Analysis of Dynamic Systems


The intent of this course is to provide an introduction to the analytical and computational aspects of system dynamics. Emphasis will be placed on the mathematical foundation necessary for the analysis of any dynamic system.

The word dynamic implies that time-dependent processes will be the subject of main interest. The applications will focus on the dynamics of simple mechanical, electrical, thermal, and fluid systems. A good background in these areas is common to most engineering graduate students.

This course is not a course in control systems design. Practical design and control concepts are extremely important, but the design of specific control systems is not the major emphasis of this course. Instead, we are interested primarily in developing the mathematical techniques used for the simulation, analysis, and control of dynamic systems. However, examples of control systems are indeed highlighted, not from the perspective of controller design, but more from the view that systems controlled via feedback mechanisms represent an important class of dynamic systems.

This section of notes introduces the basic terminology and classification scheme for dynamic systems and it overviews the goals and subject content for this course, within the following subsections:

24.509 Lecture Notes by Dr. J. R. White, UMass-Lowell (Spring 1997).

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