Santa Cruz Tech Beat


Control theory symposium April 27 features leading academic and industry experts

By Tim Stephens
UC Santa Cruz

April 27, 2018 — Santa Cruz, CA

The Baskin School of Engineering at UC Santa Cruz will host a regional symposium on Control Theory and Automation on Friday, April 27. The symposium will bring together the leading experts in control theory and automation from both academia and industry in Northern California.

The People and Robots Initiative of the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) and the Banatao Institute joined with the Cyber-Physical Systems Research Center at UC Santa Cruz to organize the symposium. It is the inaugural event for what is planned as an annual Northern California workshop for researchers working in the broad area of systems and control. Control theory is the basis of most of the electronic systems people rely on every day in machines and devices ranging from automobiles to mobile phones. The field is driving advances in areas such as robotics, autonomous vehicles, and aerospace.

“Algorithms designed using control theory provide the intelligence needed to most systems of today, from autonomous cars to the internet,” said Ricardo Sanfelice, associate professor of computer engineering at UC Santa Cruz and one of the symposium’s faculty organizers. “By bringing together local experts from industry and academia, this symposium will focus on key challenges and future opportunities for the development of solutions to the control and automation problems faced today.”

The symposium will feature two keynote speakers. P. K. Menon, chief scientist and chief executive of Optimal Synthesis, a high-technology aerospace research and development company, will give a talk on “Dynamics and Control of Air Traffic.” Arthur Krener, who retired from UC Davis as a distinguished professor of mathematics in 2006 and is currently a research professor of applied mathematics at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, will discuss “Computational Issues in Nonlinear Control and Estimation.”

The event also includes a panel with systems and control experts from academia and industry discussing current challenges and emerging trends, presentations by graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, and a poster and networking session.

The topics of interest in the symposium are automation, systems, and control theory, along with their applications in and intersections with devices, hardware architecture, machine learning, networking, optimization, and robotics. One goal of the event is to spark discussions around questions such as: What are the key challenges in the development of control and automation solutions to the complex problems of today? What are unique future opportunities and problems where control and automation would play a key role?

Additional information and registration is available online at


This article was originally published here:


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