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Special Sessions

Special sessions about the following topics will be presented:

Middle and High School Students and Teachers Workshop

Time: 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Monday, December 12, 2016
Location: Room Juniper 3.
Organizers: Bozenna Pasik-Duncan (University of Kansas), Linda Bushnell (University of Washington), Sebastian Dormido (UNED, Madrid, Spain).
Sponsors: CSS, AACC, CDC2016, AACC Technical Committee on Education, CSS Technical Committee on Control Education, University of Kansas

The Power, Beauty and Excitement of the Cross-Boundaries Nature of Control,
a Field that Spans Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM)

Abstract: This outreach event is designed to increase the general awareness of the importance of systems and control technology and its cross-disciplinary nature among high school students and teachers. Control is used in many common devices and systems: cell phones, computer hard drives, automobiles, and aircraft, but is usually hidden from view. The control field spans science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The success of all STEM disciplines depends on attracting the most gifted young people to science and engineering professions. Early exposure to middle and high school students and their teachers is a key factor. The goal of these outreach efforts is to promote an increased awareness of the importance and cross-disciplinary nature of control and systems technology.
The workshop activities include presentations by control systems experts from our technical community, informal discussions, and the opportunity for teachers and students to meet passionate researchers and educators from academia and industry. The talks are designed to be educational, inspirational and entertaining showing the excitement of controls.
Invited speakers include: Daniel Abramovitch, Dennis Bernstein, John Baillieul, Christos Cassandras, Andrew Clark, Frank Doyle, Munther Dahleh, Dominique Duncan, Elisa Franco, Richard Murray, Kayham Ozcimder, Sebastian Trimpe, Angela Schoellig.
Lunch will be provided. Participants will receive certificates of participation.


The program and photos of the past workshops can be found at:

Meet the Faculty Candidate poster session

Time: 6:00 p.m. – 7:45 p.m., Monday, December 12, 2016
Location: Room Juniper 4
Organizer: Warren Dixon (

Abstract:The program of the 55th IEEE CDC in Las Vegas, USA, will feature a poster session entitled "Meet the Faculty Candidate." This poster session is a novel initiative that will hopefully establish itself as a recurring event at future CDCs.
The "Meet the Faculty Candidate" poster session provides a great opportunity for faculty, search committee members, and recruiters to speak directly with current graduate students and postdoctoral researchers who are seeking faculty positions.
Faculty candidates, registered for the conference, are invited to register for this poster session by compiling the following online form by Monday October 31st, 2016:
Space will be available on a first-come first-serve basis.
This event is modeled after a successful tradition adopted by the Annual Meeting of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). The 2016 Meet the Faculty Candidate poster session will be chaired by Professor Warren Dixon.

Modern Systems and Control Theory: The Legacy of Rudolf E. Kalman

Time: 6:15-8:00 p.m., Monday, December 12, 2016
Location: Room Juniper 3.
Organizers: Athansios Antoulas (Rice University), Tryphon Georgiou (University of California, Irvine), Pramod P. Khargonekar (University of California, Irvine), A. Bulent Ozguler (Bilkent University), Eduardo D. Sontag (Rutgers University), Yutaka Yamamoto (Kyoto University, Emeritus).
Speakers: Tryphon Georgiou (University of California, Irvine), Pramod P. Khargonekar (University of California, Irvine), Sanjoy K. Mitter (MIT), Malcolm C. Smith (University of Cambridge), Eduardo D. Sontag (Rutgers University), Allen R. Tannenbaum (University of New York Stony Brook), Yutaka Yamamoto (Kyoto University, Emeritus).

Abstract: Professor Rudolf E. Kalman, undisputedly the most influential figure in the modern development of control systems theory, passed away on July 2, 2016. This special session highlights his research accomplishments, the broader impact of his work, as well as principles that guided his approach to scientific research and discovery. The session will constitute a tribute to an intellectual giant who left an indelible mark in science and the technological world we live in.

Overview of Research Directions at UTRC and Career and Collaboration Opportunities

Time: 12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m., Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Location: Room Ironwood 8
Sponsor: United Technologies Research Center, East Hartford, CT
Speakers: Dr. Andrzej Banaszuk (Senior Director, Systems Department), Dr. Manfred Morari (Visiting Senior Fellow), Dr. Andrew Sparks (Principal Engineer, Control Systems Group Leader),Dr. Shaunak Bopardikar (Staff Engineer, Control Systems Group), Dr. Amit Surana (Principal Engineer, Systems Dynamics and Optimization Group)

Abstract: We will present a broad overview of research at UTRC’s Systems Department, with particular focus on the areas of autonomous and intelligent systems, data driven systems, and advanced controls. The research, conducted by a diverse team of researchers in robotics, dynamical systems, estimation, control, applied mathematics, computer vision, computer science, and human factors (in partnership with several leading universities including CMU, MIT, UPenn, and UC Berkeley) includes:

  • Intelligent system design methodology including architectures for autonomy, human-machine systems, and formal verification,
  • Collaborative motion planning for multiple aerial and ground robots in large, cluttered, uncertain environments, trading off mission objectives while satisfying logical/spatial/temporal constraints,
  • Real-time algorithms for dynamic collision avoidance in an obstacle-rich environment using probabilistic roadmaps,
  • Navigation with imperfect and intermittent sensors in GPS degraded environments,
  • System decomposition and decentralized control for control of large, complex mechanical systems,
  • Hierarchical control of building systems and integration into the smart grid through incentive-based algorithms,
  • Resilient estimation for gas turbine engines for improved performance and life extension,
  • Cyber-physical security and privacy
  • Koopman operator theoretic method for data driven system and control applications,

We will conclude with research problems of interest to UTRC and discuss existing and future career and internship opportunities in the broad area of autonomy, controls, and human-machine interactions. We will provide an overview of career paths within UTRC as well as a description of the different types of projects (corporate research, business unit projects, external opportunities) researchers at UTRC perform and how they fit together. Finally, we will present opportunities for collaboration with interested faculty members and industrial partners.

Cody Coursework: an automatic assessment tool for MATLAB programming assignments

Time: 12:15 p.m. - 1:15 p.m., Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Location: Room Ironwood 3.
Sponsor: The MathWorks Inc.
Speaker: Duarte J. Antunes, TU/Eindhoven

Abstract: Many engineering courses are crowded with students and urgently need solutions to streamline the development and assessment of assignments. Cody Coursework provides such a solution for MATLAB programming assignments, which are used in most control systems courses. In this talk, we explain how to set up and assess a homework assignment with Cody Coursework in 6 simple steps. Moreover, we share the experience of using Cody Coursework for control systems courses at TU/Eindhoven, which promoted students’ engagement and resulted in tremendous time and work savings for the teaching staff.

See Duarte Antunes’s photo and bio.

Conference registration site

PaperPlaza Submission site

Key dates (2016)
Submission Site Open:January 4
Invited Session
Proposals Due:
March 7
Initial Submissions Due: March 15
Workshop Proposals Due:May 2
Decision Notification:End-July
Registration Opens:August 1
Final Submissions: September 23

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