This unique, brief, interdisciplinary text uses the concept of automatic control as a unifying idea to explain the field of engineering - and the kinds of problems engineers solve - to first-year students. The author focuses on the basic principle of feedback and shows how it is used to design automatic controllers. Students learn how to develop explicit engineering models, expressed as linear differential equations with constant coefficients for each of the systems they study. Then, they will learn to solve these equations both analytically and numerically. Numerical solutions are performed using SIMULINK®. System stability and system performance are introduced, and the book concludes with a capstone project in which students use simulations and experiments to develop automatic controllers for a computer-controlled model car.

### Table of Contents

1. INTRODUCTION

Automatic Control / Manual to Automatic (Cruise-Control) / A Basic Introduction to Automatic Control

2. SYSTEM MODELS AND DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS

Models of Simple Mechanical Systems / Models of Simple Electrical Systems / Models of Simple Chemical Systems / The Need for Solving Differential Equations / Exercises

3. LINEAR DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS AND THEIR SOLUTION

Solving Differential Equations / Numerical Solutions of Differential Equations / Transfer Function System Models / Exercises

4. DIGITAL COMPUTER SIMULATION

Dynamic System Simulation / MATLAB®/SIMULINK® / Examples Using SIMULINK® / Exercises

5. STABILITY AND PERFORMANCE

Stability / Performance / Exercises

6. FEEDBACK

Feedback Versus Open Loop Systems / Transfer Function Block Diagrams / A Basic Feedback Interconnection / Use of Feedback for System Stabilization / Use of Feedback to Improve System Performance / Simulink Block Diagram with Feedback / Exercises

7. A COMPUTER-CONTROLLED MODEL CAR

Automatic Control of a Physical System / A Transfer Function Model for CIMCAR-1 / A Collision Avoidance Experiment / Experimental Results / BIBLIOGRAPHY / INDEX