Special Sessions is a tradition at the American Control Conference to extend beyond the traditional technical program of the conference to cover
topics that may be of interest to the conference attendees. Such special sessions offer an excellent venue for creating awareness of, and providing exposure to emerging research areas, research and funding opportunities, and other topics of broad interest to the conference attendees. History and industry-sponsored sessions also fall into this category.
Expanding the Scope of Control Systems Science into the Domain of Human Behavior: Opportunities and Challenges
11:40am – 1:20pm, Room 2, Monday, June 17th
Organizers: Fahmida N. Chowdhury, National Science Foundation and
Daniel E. Rivera, Arizona State University
This session will consist of three presentations, one of which will be the central piece of the session, followed by two short presentations and a panel discussion with audience participation. The motivation for the session is that in the recent years, the scope of controls systems science has expanded considerably, and we have become aware of more and more areas that could offer exciting opportunities for collaborative research. This session will serve two purposes: (i) introduce the audience to one such exciting area – Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) and the utilization of control-systems modeling concepts for it; and (ii) have an open dialogue about the difficulties of collaborative research between such traditionally disparate fields. Here is the outline of the session:
- The central presentation will be delivered by Dr. William Riley of the National Cancer Institute, NIH: Control Systems Model of Social Cognitive Theory; by William T. Riley, National Cancer Institute and Daniel E. Rivera, Arizona State University
- Research Funding at the National Science Foundation: Opportunities for Multidisciplinary Research in Health-related Fields; by Fahmida N. Chowdhury, NSF
- Working in Behavioral Science: Experiences of a Control Systems Engineer, Daniel E. Rivera, Arizona State University
- Panel Discussion: William Riley (NCI), Daniel Rivera (ASU), Fahmida Chowdhury (NSF), Caterina Scoglio (Kansas State University). "How to remove barriers that prevent effective collaboration between control scientists/engineers and the health/behavioral scientists"
Smart Healthcare Systems
11:40am – 1:20pm, Room 3, Monday, June 17th
Organizers: Rakesh Kulkarni, Xerox Research Center Webster, New York and
Lalit K. Mestha, Xerox Research Center Webster, New York
Healthcare is one of the grandest challenges as a nation that we face today. There is a need to rethink and change how systems work today. Innovation plays a vital role in addressing this issue and making systems 'smarter'. Smart systems are able to sense and diagnose complex situations. Smart systems are critical in driving innovations and providing the basis for information-based care and cure. The integration of sensors, actuators in products, sophisticated control algorithms, analytics at finger tips of those involved in healthcare will lead to better care of patients in the hospital and at home. This special session tries to look at how are companies and universities looking at the problem and provide a few innovative solutions that can make some of this a reality. The session brings together a perfect blend of researchers from academia and industry with 4 talks followed by a panel discussion on this important topic.
- Services Research Taking Shape at Xerox Research Centers Around the World by Mike Furst (Director, System Research Lab, Xerox Innovation Group)
- Fraud, Waste, and Abuse Detection by Markus Fromherz (Chief Innovation Officer, Healthcare, Xerox Corporation)
- Prediction of Complex Systems Evolution Using Wireless Multi-Sensor Platforms: An Application to Sleep Apnea Mitigation by Satish T.S. Bukkapatnam (Professor, Oklahoma State University)
- Progress Towards a Closed-loop Artificial Pancreas for Type 1 Diabetes by B. Wayne Bequette (Professor, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)
Control Applications to the Oil & Gas Industry
11:40am – 1:20pm, Room 4, Monday, June 17th
Organizers: Daniel Viassolo, Sr. Project Advisor, Wireline Technology, Halliburton and
Jason Dykstra, Manager, Automation Center of Excellence, Halliburton
Oil & Gas is nowadays a well-established mature industry in many aspects. Nonetheless, there are substantial efforts across the industry to accelerate adoption of more sophisticated control systems and automation schemes. One big reason for that is safety – to eliminate decision making personnel from hazardous areas through a systematic approach. Another motivation is profits – improve efficiencies of complex hard-to-regulate processes. This special session brings together a good blend of researchers from both academia and top industry players, and it touches upon diverse applications of "Control Systems concepts" to the Oil & Gas sector. The presentations listed below will be followed by a Q&A session with the speakers.
- Controls and the Automation CoE at Halliburton, Jason Dykstra (Halliburton) & Daniel Viassolo (Halliburton)
- Challenges of Ultra Deep Water Subsea Drilling and Production Controls, John C. Bartos (Cameron) & Matthew Franchek (University of Houston)
Dynamic Modeling of a Bottom Hole Assembly (BHA) for directional drilling control, Alan Sun (Halliburton)
InfoSymbioticSystems/DDDAS – a Unification Paradigm for Sensing and Control Systems
11:40am – 1:20pm, Room 5, Monday, June 17th
Organizer: Frederica Darema – AFOSR
There has been significant increase in our ability but also in the challenges for understanding and analysis of complex systems, whether they are natural or engineered systems. Moreover, building, and managing the operation of engineered systems, not as isolated components but in the context of systems-of-systems interdependence among components of engineered systems, and engineered systems and their natural environments, such as critical infrastructure systems, communications, manufacturing, environmental, medical and health systems, for example. InfoSymbioticSystems/DDDAS (Dynamic Data Driven Applications Systems) is a paradigm whereby data inputs are dynamically incorporated into an executing application model, to improve the accuracy and efficiency of the model, and in reverse, where the executing model can control the instrumentation process. In InfoSymbiotics/DDDAS, sensing and control are dynamically coupled with models of these systems. The panel will address advances that can be engendered in the framework of such new directions for control systems approaches.
- Prof. Dennis Bernstein - U of Michigan
- Prof. Suhada Jayasuriya - U. of Central Florida
- Prof. William (Mac) McEneaney - UC San Diego
- Prof. Abani Patra - SUNY-Buffalo
- Prof. Mario Rotea - U of Texas - Dallas
UTRC Special Session:
Integrated Building Systems
11:40am – 1:20pm, Room 16, Monday, June 17th
Organizers and speakers: Dr. Sonja Glavaski, UTRC Group Leader, Controls Systems
Dr. Marcin Cychowski, UTRC Ireland Team Leader, Control Systems & Optimization
All conference attendees are invited to attend a special presentation reviewing United Technologies Research Center's (UTRC) key capabilities and recent research
accomplishments in the area of high performance integrated building systems (IBS). These systems require increasingly sophisticated dynamic modeling and control to
achieve the levels of performance demanded by end users. A key topic of discussion will focus on recent advances in a collaborative, concurrent engineering approach
to IBS modeling, energy performance monitoring, control and optimization.
Employment opportunities in the areas of dynamical systems modeling, analysis, and control design for complex HVAC, building, and aerospace systems will be
History of Women in Control
12:10pm – 1:20pm, Room 2, Tuesday, June 18th
Organizer: Bozenna Pasik- Duncan, Founder and Advisor of Women in Control, University of Kansas
Sponsored by: Women in Control (WIC), IEEE WIE Committee, American Automatic Control Council (AACC) and University of Kansas
Organizing and Program Committee: includes co-founders, sponsors and supporters, past and present chairs of Standing Committee on Women in Control.
Purpose: This Special Session on History of Women in Control is designed to increase the general awareness of the importance of encouraging women to a control field and to make the Control Systems Society (CSS) aware of 25 year history of Women in Control. This Special Session will bring the visibility to important contributions made by women in control to the CSS Society during those 25 years. It will give the unique opportunity to demonstrate that a glass ceiling for women in control does not exist?... It will also give the opportunity to present women in control as remarkable women and remarkable citizens of the control community. History of Women in Control is the success story of women in control group that has served as a role model for other societies and organizations. This Session which will be also open to high school students and teachers from the invited local schools has its another goal: to attract K-12 female students to control.
This 2 hour Session includes presentations by founders, sponsors and supporters and by all past and present chairs of the Standing Committee on Women in Control. All members of WIC Group will be invited and the NSF support will be requested.
Additional information can be found at
Panel on Funding Resources
12:10pm – 1:20pm, Room 3, Tuesday, June 18th
Organizer: Fahmida Chowdhury, National Science Foundation
In this session, representatives from various federal agencies will present information about research funding opportunities within their organizations, how to
submit proposals, what type of review process they use, and other relevant topics. The list of federal agencies includes National Science Foundation (NSF), National
Institutes of Health (NIH), National Cancer Institute (NCI), Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IAPRA) and Air Force Office of Scientific Research
(AFOSR). The audience will have the opportunity to ask questions and get specific answers, or information on where/how to find the answers.
Flipping the Robotics Classroom
12:10pm – 1:20pm, Room 4, Tuesday, June 18th
Organizer: Craig Buhr, MathWorks
Speaker: Magnus Egerstedt, Georgia Institute of Technology
Bridging the theory-practice gap in robotics education is a well-known, hard nut to crack, where the educational experience typically falls on either the "Let's hack something together" side or "Let's prove some seemingly irrelevant theorems" side of the equation. In this talk, I will discuss how one can approach this divide using a flipped classroom. Based on my recent MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), Control of Mobile Robots, where over 40,000 students were exposed to control theory and its application to robotics, I have flipped the classroom in a senior robotics and controls class at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The students take the MOOC online and then come to class prepared to program robots. Key to this is not only the theoretical content being delivered via the MOOC, but also a high-fidelity robotics simulator implemented using MATLAB, and this format has the potential to completely change how we teach engineering by providing a learning environment where exploratory, practical tinkering is grounded in solid theory. In this talk, we further discuss why engineering MOOCs have lagged behind computer science, how the flipped classroom format is ideal for engineering courses, as well as report on my flipped classroom findings, including the good, the bad, and the ugly.
History of Workshops for Middle and High School Students And Teachers: Ideas and Technology of Control Systems
11:40am – 1:20pm, Room 2, Wednesday, June 19th
Organizers: Bozenna Pasik - Duncan, University of Kansas and
Radhakisan Baheti, National Science Foundation
Sponsored by: ACC 2013, AACC and CSS Technical Board
Organizing and Program Committee: Members of the IEEE CSS Technical Committee on Control Education and AACC Technical Committee on Education
This Special Session is designed to increase the general awareness of the importance of educational activities that demonstrate the power, beauty and excitement of systems and control technology and its cross-disciplinary nature among high school students and teachers. Control is a field that spans science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The success of all STEM fields depends on attracting the most gifted young people to science and engineering profession. Early exposure to middle and high school students and their teachers is a key factor. This Special Session includes presentations by control systems researchers and educators from academia and industry at all levels from graduate students to distinguished scholars. A sample of the best short "Plain Talks" that were developed to be educational, inspirational and entertaining showing the excitement of the STEM fields will be presented.
These talks will serve as a role model for developing the best presentations by young researchers. The Session will bring the attention to the fact that much before NSF was concerned with K-12 education, our control community had the idea that high school teachers and their students should be made aware of and become involved in basic ideas of control theory. The idea was that education is at all levels an inclusive process. It should integrate scholarship, teaching, and learning both horizontally and vertically. A model was developed that has been followed by other organizations and societies. It has established a sustainable outreach partnership among the control communities and school districts at the places where major conferences are held. This Session should attract young researchers who are seeking the opportunity to make their contributions to the CSS and AACC outreach programs as well to their local communities. This history of Workshops for Middle and High School Teachers and Students is a success story and there is so much to be learned from it.
Additional information can be found at
11:40am – 1:20pm, Room 3, Wednesday, June 19th
Organizer: St´ephane Lafortune
Sponsored by: NSF Expeditions in Computing project ExCAPE: Expeditions in Computer Augmented Program Engineering
Computer and software engineering is a rich application area for control systems technology. The goal of this special session is to introduce ACC attendees to emerging research on program and software synthesis from the control and computer science communities. The special session is sponsored by the NSF Expeditions in Computing ExCAPE. Four presentations, on four different trends/issues/approaches to software synthesis, will be given, with additional time for discussion. The special session will be principally aimed at control faculty and graduate students with an interest in software synthesis in computer or cyber-physical system applications. The session should also be of interest to industrial attendees. The talks will be accessible to a broad audience and present high-level views of the respective approaches. The schedule of the session is as follows.
- Introduction to Special Session: Stéphane Lafortune, University of Michigan
- Hybrid control synthesis for autonomous vehicles: George Pappas, UPenn
- Synthesis of switching logic for hybrid automata using induction and deduction, with applications - Sanjit Seshia, UC Berkeley
- Specification and Synthesis of Reactive Control Protocols for Hybrid Systems: Richard Murray, Caltech
- Open discussion and concluding remarks
Integrated Platform for Advanced Embedded Control
11:40am – 1:20pm, Room 4, Wednesday, June 19th
Organizer: Andy Chang, National Instruments
Speaker: Dr. Jeannie Falcon, National Instruments
An ever-increasing number of control algorithm design starts and escalating complexity are forcing embedded design teams to be more efficient and influencing the technology they choose to use. To address the design market needs and help teams get to market faster, technology providers are leveraging components, modules, or complete embedded platforms with higher levels of integration and increased functionality. As design starts are getting more complex, teams are getting smaller and design teams often lack domain expertise in at least some portion of the total embedded control design forcing the team to stretch, or outsource portions of the design to deliver on time and at a high quality.
In this session we will outline some of the benefits of an integrated and open embedded control hardware and software platforms consisting of processor, FPGA, applications and communications IO programmed with a single software environment. We will cover how leveraging integrating SoC such as Zynq can help companies provide high performance systems that can be easily updated once deployed to manage changing market or regulatory requirements. The development of a power inverter will be used as a case study to illustrate the design challenges companies in the energy segment are facing and how they are using embedded platforms to solve them.
Mega-Trends are Shaping Research & Technology at Eaton Corporation
11:40am – 1:20pm, Room 5, Wednesday, June 19th
Organizer: Vishal Mahulkar, Eaton Corporation
Speaker: Dr. Ankur Ganguli, Eaton Corporation
Eaton Corporation is a premier diversified industrial manufacturer with two global business sectors – Industrial and Electrical. We successfully maintain global leadership in power quality, distribution and control; hydraulics components, systems and services for industrial and mobile equipment; hydraulics, fuel and pneumatic systems for commercial and military aircraft; intelligent truck drive train systems for safety and fuel economy; and automotive engine air management systems, power train solutions and specialty controls for performance, fuel economy and safety.
Megatrends are global changes in our economies and our lifestyles. Understanding megatrends gives us an edge in driving research and technology that address our customers' critical needs. One of the biggest mega-trend that affects us and our customers is the ever-increasing cost of energy. Our focus on this megatrend brings drive and urgency to our work as we develop innovations that help our customers find ways to use power more efficiently, reliably, safely and sustainably. This presentation will give a brief overview of Eaton Corporation and highlight some key area of research & technology development that deliver reliable and efficient power management solutions to our customers.
NSF Program in Cyber-Physical Systems
11:40am – 1:00pm, Room 16, Wednesday, June 19th
Organizer & Speaker: Dr. Radhakisan Baheti, National Science Foundation
The goal of the presentation is to provide an update on National Science Foundation (NSF) funding opportunities in the area of cyber-physical systems (CPS). The focus of
the CPS program is to develop the core system science needed to engineer complex cyber-physical systems upon which people can depend with high confidence. The program aims
to foster a research community committed to advancing research and education in CPS and to transitioning CPS science and technology into engineering practice. The CPS
program brings together researchers from computations, communications, and control disciplines to address important engineering problems.
For more information
please contact the Vice Chair for Special Sessions,