Faculty Talk Story- Monique Chyba

September 15, 2017 @ 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Speaker: Monique Chyba

Title: Is control theory loosing control?

Abstract: We live in an era of exciting scientific advances such as discovering new planets and black holes far away in the universe or gaining a better understanding of our own biological system. Unsurprisingly, mathematics plays a dominant role in almost all of them. Control theory models, analyzes and synthesizes the behavior of dynamical systems. Those systems are described by sets of ordinary differential equations that include an additional parameter referred to as the ‘control’. It can be viewed as the ship’s wheel of the system in analogy to the navigation of a boat. A vast area of work takes place in optimal control theory. Indeed, since by using different controls we can achieve the same goal, optimization with respect to a given cost such as energy or time becomes a primary interest. I will present three specific examples to illustrate the field of control theory and its current limitations that call for an innovative way of thinking.