UCSB “Linear Systems I”
ME243A/ECE230A, Fall 2019
Instructor: Francesco Bullo

This is the website for the UCSB course ME 243A / ECE 230A “Linear Systems I”, Fall 2019 (lecture times during period: Mon.30sep2019 through Wed.04dec2019). This information is available at the URL http://motion.me.ucsb.edu/ME243A-Fall2019.


The purpose of this course is to provide the students with the basic tools of modern linear systems theory: stability, controllability, observability, realization theory, state feedback, state estimation, separation theorem, etc. For time-invariant systems both state-space and polynomial methods are studied. The students will also be introduced to the computational tools for linear systems theory available in MATLAB. The intended audience for this course includes, but is not restricted to, students in circuits, communications, control, signal processing, physics, and mechanical and chemical engineering.

Lecture Time and Place

Phelps Hall, room 1437, Mon and Wed 9:30-11:20

Course credit

Units: 4


ME / ECE 210A Matrix Analysis and Computation

Graduate-level matrix theory with introduction to matrix computations. SVD's, pseudo-inverses, variational characterization of eigenvalues, perturbation theory, direct and iterative methods for matrix computations.


The course will follow closely:

  • J. Hespanha. “Linear Systems Theory”, 2018, 2nd edition. (ISBN-13: 9780691179575). Details available here and here.

Other recommended textbooks are:

  • P. Antsaklis, A. Michel. “Linear Systems”. McGraw Hill, 1997.

  • C.-T. Chen. “Linear Systems Theory and Design”. Oxford Univ. Press, 3rd ed., 1999. (ISBN 0-19-511777-8)

All students are strongly encouraged to review linear algebra. Chapter 3 of C-T Chen's book provides a brief summary but a review of a Linear Algebra textbook (such as the text below) is preferable, especially if one goes through a few exercises.

  • G. Strang “Linear Algebra and Its Applications”, Wellesley Cambridge Press, 2009.


Professor Francesco Bullo
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Office: Room 2325, Engineering Bldg II
Email: bullo-at-engineering.ucsb.edu
Website: http://motion.me.ucsb.edu

Office hours

Please email or phone me in advance to schedule for an appointment. Preferred times are Tues 10:30am-12:30pm

If you have any questions about the course, please send me email. I will try to respond as quickly as possible. Additionally, I will share questions that are particularly good (and their answers) with the rest of the class by broadcasting my answer to the entire class.

If you plan to come to office hours for questions about homework, please be prepared to show attempts at solving the problem that you prepared before coming.


  • Your grade will be assigned roughly according to the following percentages.

  1. Homework 30%

  2. Midterm 30%

  3. Final 40%

  • In exceptional cases, I reserve the right to give extra points for excellent performance on the final. Please, do not count on it as a way to avoid doing homework assignments.

  • Partial credict will be given only if answers are not accompanied by satisfactory explanations (e.g., clearly organized answer, all intermediate steps, clearly readable handwriting).

  • Exams and quizzes will be closed book and closed notes. You may prepare an exam aid (cheat sheet) in your own handwriting, consisting of one, one-sided sheet (letter size, 8.5x11in) for the midterm and one, two-sided sheet for the final exam. No calculators/tablets/cellphones are allowed during the exams (they would be useless anyway).

  • Homework will be typically assigned on Wednesday and will be due the following Wednesday, 7 days later, e.g., Homework for Week 1 is due on the Wednesday of Week 2.

  • Self-grading scheme: On the day the homework is due, (1) you will confirm that you completed the homework, (2) I will provide you with the answer key. Over the next few days, (4) you will self-grade your homework, and (4) you will turn in your self-graded homework by the following lecture on Monday. You will not have access anymore to your solutions after turning them in.

Computer Access & Matlab

I expect all of you to be familiar with the College of Engineering computer laboratories. Some of the homework and all computer laboratory assignments will require working knowledge of Matlab.

A matlab primer is available in the handout section of the course website.

Collaboration Policy

Collaboration Policy for this course & Academic Dishonesty @ Wikipedia

Resources for Students

The Division of Student Affairs provides a broad range of essential support services and resources to help UCSB students handle the challenges of university life.

Help during exams

Students with disabilities may request academic accommodations for exams online through the UCSB Disabled Students Program at http://dsp.sa.ucsb.edu.

Please make your requests for exam accommodations through the online system as early in the quarter as possible to ensure arrangement.

Managing stress

Personal concerns such as stress, anxiety, relationships, depression, cultural differences, can interfere with the ability of students to succeed and thrive.

If you find yourself, or another student, in need of support, please do not hesitate to reach out to Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), 24/7 at (805) 893-4411. http://caps.sa.ucsb.edu

Financial crisis response team

The UCSB Financial Crisis Response Team exists to assist UCSB students who may be facing a financial crisis or urgent financial need. In order to apply for emergency funding, please first email FinancialCrisis@sa.ucsb.edu. Within 1-2 business days, a Financial Aid Advisor will contact you for your next steps.

Gender and sex discrimination policy and student support

Under Title IX, university students are protected from harassment and discrimination based on gender and sex. If a student feels uncomfortable or in need of support at any time related to their gender, sex, and/or sexual orientation, please contact your TA and/or course instructor immediately. If a student would like to disclose information related to pronouns, name changes, or identities, we encourage you to do so. UCSB's Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity on the 3rd floor of the Student Resource Building is also available to advocate and be of and support to students.

Responsible scholarship

Honesty and integrity in all academic work is essential for a valuable educational experience. The Office of Judicial Affairs has policies, tips, and resources for

  • proper citation use,

  • recognizing actions considered to be cheating or other forms of academic theft, and

  • students’ responsibilities.

This information is available on their website at: http://judicialaffairs.sa.ucsb.edu. Students are responsible for educating themselves on the policies and to abide by them.

Furthermore, for general academic support, we encourage students to visit Campus Learning Assistance Services (CLAS) early and often. CLAS offers instructional groups, drop-in tutoring, writing and ESL services, skills workshops and one-on-one consultations. CLAS is located on the third floor of the Student Resource Building, or visit http://clas.sa.ucsb.edu.

Copyright policy

All course materials (class lectures and discussions, handouts, examinations, web materials) and the intellectual content of the course itself are protected by United States Federal Copyright Law, the California Civil Code.

  • The UC Policy 102.23 expressly prohibits students (and all other persons) from recording lectures or discussions and from distributing or selling lectures notes and all other course materials without the prior written permission of the instructor (See Policy on Student Conduct and Discipline).

  • I have made the textbook available with a copyright-friendly policy (see page 2 of the text).

  • Students are permitted to make notes solely for their own private educational use. Exceptions to accommodate students with disabilities may be granted with appropriate documentation.

To be clear, in this class students are forbidden from completing study guides and selling them to any person or organization.