CDS catalog revisions, 2009-10

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CDS is planning to update its PhD requirements to include a course in stochastic systems, ACM/EE 116. To accommodate this change, while still keeping the number of required courses small, CDS 140b would no longer be required (and would probably be offered in alternate years). In addition, we are contemplating changes to the undergraduate minor requirements that would allow us to remove CDS 104 and teach CDS 110b and CDS 140b on a more intermittent basis.

  • Items in blue are new insertions
  • Items in red are modifications (including deleted items)

Changes to PhD requirements

Institute requirements for the Ph.D. degree are described in the section on degree requirements. Approximately two years of course work are required and two or more years are usually needed for preparation of the dissertation.

Admission to Candidacy. To be recommended for candidacy for the Ph.D. degree in control and dynamical systems, the student must, in addition to meeting the general Institute requirements, do the following:

  • Complete the following courses: ACM/EE 116; CDS 140 ab or Ma 147 ab; CDS 201 or AM 125 abc or Ma 108 ab; CDS 202 or Ma 109 ab.
  • Complete the focus requirement, consisting of at least 27 units in a particular area outside of CDS. Courses taken to satisfy the focus must represent a coherent program of advanced study in the chosen area. Possible areas include biological systems, computer science, environmental science, fluid dynamics, information and communications, micromachines, networking, robotics, and space systems. The program of study must be approved by the student’s counseling committee and the option representative.
  • Complete an additional 45 units in CDS or other advanced courses in systems theory, dynamical systems and/or applied mathematics.
  • Prepare a Research Progress Report
  • Pass an oral examination on the major subjects. The oral examination is normally taken before the end of the second year of graduate academic residence at the Institute.

Changes to undergraduate minor

Control and Dynamical Systems (CDS) may be pursued as a minor concentration by undergraduates who are taking degrees in science, mathematics, or engineering. The CDS minor is intended to supplement one of Caltech's normal undergraduate degrees and is designed for students who wish to broaden their knowledge beyond their normal major or who may wish to pursue a graduate program involving control or dynamical systems. Students completing the minor requirements below in CDS will have the phrase "minor in Control and Dynamical Systems added to their transcript and their graduating degree materials.

CDS Minor Requirements

To receive the CDS minor, undergraduates must fulfill the following requirements:

  1. Complete either CDS 110ab and CDS 140a or CDS 101 and CDS 140ab;
  2. Complete CDS 110a and CDS 140a
  3. Complete 9 additional units in CDS courses, chosen from CDS 110b, CDS 140b, CDS 212 or CDS 270
  4. Complete a three term senior thesis approved by the CDS faculty.

All CDS courses to be applied to fulfill the CDS minor requirements must be taken for grades and students must obtain a grade of B or higher. Students may substitute CDS 110a for CDS 101 in the above requirements if desired. The senior thesis requirement may be satisfied by completing a three term senior thesis in the student's major option but on CDS subject matter, with the approval of the thesis topic by the CDS option representative, or by taking CDS 90abc.

Courses that are used to satisfy the CDS minor cannot be used to satisfy course requirements in the major options, with the exception that CDS 110a may be used in EAS options where this as part of their requirements (e.g, ChE, EE, ME) and the senior thesis requirement may be used to satisfy requirements for major options that require a senior thesis. Courses taken as part of the CDS minor are counted toward the total 486 unit Institute graduation requirements.

A typical course sequences would be to take either CDS 110ab or CDS 140ab in the junior year, followed by the remaining course and the senior thesis in the senior year. Alternatively, it is possible to take all requirements in the senior year. In addition to the requirements above, CS 1 and CS 2 are highly recommended.