Electrical Engineering 128 — Feedback Control Systems (4 Units)

Course Overview


This course looks at the advantages of using feedback systems in order to obtain a desired output. The three main design methods considered are root locus, frequency response, and state space. Contrary to the course catalog's description, usually very little or no time is spent on sampled-data/discrete-time systems and instead the course focuses on continuous-time systems.


  • EE16B, 120

Topics Covered

  • Transfer functions
  • Linearization
  • Frequency response
  • Bode plots
  • First and Second-Order Systems
  • Routh-Hurwitz Criterion and stability
  • Steady-state error analysis
  • Root locus
  • PI/PD/PID control design
  • Lead-lag compensator design
  • Nyquist stability criterion
  • Pole/zero cancellation
  • Sensitivity and complementary sensitivity functions
  • State space feedback and pole placement
  • Observers
  • Discrete time control


Course Work

  • One problem set per week
  • One lab per week
  • One midterm
  • One final
  • One final project

Time Commitment

There are three hours of lecture and three hours of lab per week. Pre-lab reports usually take an additional one to two hours, and depending on the week’s lab, more time in the lab may be required. An average problem set takes around six hours to complete. Also, depending on the lecturer, you may spend a good amount of time reading the textbook (one chapter is roughly two hours). The overall time commitment is around 15 hours, which is less time-intensive compared to other design courses.

Choosing the Course

When to take

Since this class does not lead to many other courses, it is not crucial to take early on. However, if you are interested in control, take this class after completing the prerequisites.

What's next?

  • EE221A (Linear Systems) and EE222 (Nonlinear Systems) expand on this course.
  • EECS C106A/B offer real-life applications of the materials in this course..

Usefulness for Research or Internships

This course applies your skills to real-world, physical applications, with significant projects that can be helpful for internships and research.

Additional Comments

This course is also listed as Mechanical Engineering C134.

We recommend you take this course in the fall semester, with the EE professor (course is shared between EECS and ME departments). The ME professor doesn’t make the class more difficult, but you probably won’t learn as much.

Last Updated: Summer 2020