Advances and Wish Lists in Control Research
-- Celebrating Professor W. Murray Wonham’s 80th Birthday


    Half-day Workshop at CDC'14 (December 15-17)

    Date: December 14, 2014 (Sunday), 


     Location: J.W. Marriott Hotel (room TBD), 

                     Los Angeles, CA


An article describing the event is published on ECE of University of Toronto.  Also see the text here.

Registration is online through PaperPlaza.  Registration fee is $20 USD, for logistics only. 

For any questions about the workshop, contact organizer Kai Cai (


This workshop is to celebrate Professor Murray Wonham’s 80th birthday at the CDC’14, in honor of his seminal contributions to systems and control theory.  The workshop also aims to create an intellectual wish list of exciting research questions in the long term.

First proved pole assignment theorem, initiated internal model principle, systematized geometric control theory, pioneered supervisory control of discrete-event systems: Professor Murray Wonham has made a number of major contributions in the field of systems and control.  He is a Professor Emeritus in the University of Toronto, a Life Fellow of the IEEE, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and a Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Engineering of USA. 

To celebrate the special event of Professor Wonham’s 80th birthday, this workshop gathers 14 of his friends, colleagues, and former students who will present a range of topics in linear, nonlinear, and discrete-event systems. A main focus of the workshop is on composing a ‘wish list’ of exciting problems for future control research.

All are welcome to join us in this celebration of Professor Wonham’s 80th birthday.

Workshop content and major topics:

The workshop consists of 14 talks, covering topics in linear, nonlinear, and discrete-event systems.  

Individual topics are listed below.

1.     Alberto Isidori: Open Problems in Feedback Design for Nonlinear Systems

2.     A. Stephen Morse: Open Problems in Distributed Sensing, Computation and Control

3.     Harry Trentelman: Projection Based Model Reduction of Multi-Agent Systems Using Graph Partitions

4.     Peter Caines: Cybernetics - Discrete and Continuous

5.     Jan van Schuppen: Control and Modeling of Multilevel Systems

6.     Peter Ramadge: Smart Cars, Smart Buildings and Smart Cities: Future Challenges for Control

7.     Feng Lin: Control of Networked Discrete Event Systems: Dealing with Communication Delays and Losses

8.     Karen Rudie: Distinguishing States in Partially Observed Discrete-Event Systems

9.     Rong Su: Distributed Supervisory Control of Large-Scale Discrete-Event SystemsFrom Correct Behavior to Optimal Performance

10.  Kai Cai: Supervisor Localization: Synthesizing Distributed Control Architecture

11.  Edward Davison: The Control of Fusion Energy -- Hope of the Future

12.  Raymond Kwong: From Diagnosis to Cyber-Security: the Discrete Event Systems Approach

13.  Mireille Broucke: Patterned Linear Systems

14.  Bruce Francis: When Physics and Control Theory Collide


13:00 – 13:05 Opening (Kai Cai)

13:05 – 14:20 Alberto Isidori, A. Stephen Morse, Harry Trentelman, Peter Caines, Jan van Schuppen

14:20 – 14:35 Break

14:35 – 15:50 Peter Ramadge, Feng Lin, Karen Rudie, Rong Su, Kai Cai

15:50 – 16:05 Break

16:05 – 17:05 Edward Davison, Raymond Kwong, Mireille Broucke, Bruce Francis

17:05 – 17:15 Closing (Murray Wonham)

Short biographies of presenters:

1. Alberto Isidori obtained his degree in EE from the University of Rome in 1965. Between 1975 and 2012, he has been Professor of Automatic Control at this University. He has held visiting positions in various leading Universities, which include the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of California at Berkeley, the ETH in Zurich. Between 1989 and 2006 he has also been regularly collaborating with Washington University in St. Louis.

2. A. Stephen Morse was born in Mt. Vernon, New York. He received a BSEE degree from Cornell University, MS degree from the University of Arizona, and a Ph.D. degree from Purdue University. From 1967 to 1970 he was associated with the Office of Control Theory and Application OCTA at the NASA Electronics Research Center in Cambridge, Mass. Since 1970 he has been with Yale University where he is presently the Dudley Professor of Engineering. During the period 1967 - 1969 he worked with W. Murray Wonham at the NASA Electronics Research Center on the development of the geometric theory of linear systems.

3. Harry Trentelman is a full professor in Systems and Control at the Johann Bernoulli Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science of the University of Groningen in The Netherlands.  From 1991 to 2008, he served as an associate professor and later as an adjoint professor at the same institute. From 1985 to 1991, he was an assistant professor, and later, an associate professor at the Mathematics Department of the University of Technology at Eindhoven, The Netherlands. He obtained his Ph.D. degree in Mathematics at the University of Groningen in 1985.

4. Peter Caines received the BA in mathematics from Oxford University in 1967 and the PhD in systems and control theory in 1970 from Imperial College, University of London, under the supervision of David Q. Mayne, FRS. After periods as a postdoctoral researcher and faculty member at UMIST, Stanford, UC Berkeley, Toronto and Harvard, he joined McGill University, Montreal, in 1980, where he is James McGill Professor and Macdonald Chair in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

5. Jan van Schuppen is affiliated as professor emeritus with the Department of Mathematics of Delft University of Technology in Delft, The Netherlands where he still teaches and advises students, and is further active with his consulting company Van Schuppen Control Research in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, since his retirement in October 2012.

6. Peter Ramadge received the B.Sc., B.E. and the M.E. degree from the University of Newcastle, Australia, and the Ph.D. degree from the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Toronto, Canada. He joined the faculty of Princeton University in September 1984, where he is currently Gordon Y.S. Wu Professor of Engineering, and Professor of Electrical Engineering.

7. Feng Lin received his B.Eng. degree in electrical engineering from Shanghai Jiao-Tong University, Shanghai, China, in 1982, and his M.A.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, in 1984 and 1988, respectively. From 1987 to 1988, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. Since 1988, he has been with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, where he is currently a professor.

8. Karen Rudie received her Ph.D. in 1992 from the University of Toronto, in the Systems Control Group, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, under the supervision of W. Murray Wonham. In 1992--93 she was a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications, Minnesota.  Since 1993 she has been at Queen's University (Canada) where she is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, with a cross-appointment in the School of Computing. 

9. Rong Su obtained his BS degree from University of Science and Technology of China in 1997 in the area of automatic control, then his MASc and PhD degrees both from University of Toronto in 2000 and 2004 respectively in the area of electrical engineering. From 2004 to 2005 he was affiliated with Electrical Engineering Department at University of Waterloo. After that he was affiliated with Computer Science Department and Mechanical Engineering Department at Eindhoven University of Technology in 2005-2007 and 2007-2010 respectively. Right now he is affiliated with School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Nanyang Technological University.

10. Kai Cai was born in Longquan, Zhejiang, China in 1983. He received the B. Eng. degree in Electrical Engineering from Zhejiang University in 2006, the M.A.Sc. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Toronto in 2008, and the Ph.D. degree in Systems Science from Tokyo Institute of Technology in 2011. From 2011 to 2013 he was a postdoctoral fellow in the University of Toronto, and from 2013 to 2014 an assistant professor in the University of Tokyo. Since April 2014 he has been with Osaka City University. Murray Wonham was his Master's and Postdoc supervisor.

11. Edward Davison completed his A.R.C.T. degree in piano at the Royal Conservatory of Music in 1958, and his B.A.Sc. degree in Engineering Physics and M.A degree in Mathematics from the University of Toronto in 1960, 1961 respectively. He then received his Ph.D. degree and the Sc.D. degree from Cambridge University in 1964 and 1977 respectively. He is at present University Professor Emeritus of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto.

12. Raymond Kwong was born in Hong Kong in 1949. He received the S.B., S.M. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, in 1971, 1972, and 1975, respectively. From 1975 to 1977, he was a visiting Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at McGill University and a Research Associate at the Centre de Recherches Mathematiques, Universite de Montreal, Montreal, Canada. Since August 1977, he has been with the Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto, where he is a Professor. He has held visiting positions at Universite de Rennes, University of Maryland, and University of Michigan. 

13. Mireille Broucke obtained a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin in 1984 and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley in 1987 and 2000, respectively. She has six years of industry experience in the area of computer-aided control design at Texas Instruments in Dallas, Texas; General Dynamics in Fort Worth, Texas; Lockheed Corporation in Austin, Texas; Intergraph Corporation in  San Ramon, California; and Integrated Systems Inc. in Santa Clara, California. During 1993-1996 she acted as program manager and researcher at Partners for Advanced Transportation and Highways (PATH) in the Institute for Transportation Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. During 1998 and 1999 she was a visiting researcher at the Project on Advanced Research on Architectures and Design of Electronic Systems (PARADES) in Rome, Italy. During 2000-2001 she was a postdoctoral researcher in the Vehicle Dynamics Laboratory in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at University of California, Berkeley. During 2007-2008 she was a visiting professor in the Center for Research on Complex Automated Systems (CASY) at University of Bologna, Italy. Since 2001 she has been a professor at the University of Toronto, where she is currently an associate professor.

14. Bruce Francis was born in Toronto and obtained all three degrees from the University of Toronto. He has held teaching and research positions at Berkeley, Cambridge, McGill, Yale, Waterloo, Caltech, and Minnesota. Since 1984 he has been at the University of Toronto. Murray Wonham was his PhD supervisor.