Applications of Spreadsheets in Education The Amazing Power of a Simple Tool

Optimal Control of Dynamical Systems

Author(s): Mark A. Lau and William E. Singhose

Pp: 41-63 (23)

DOI: 10.2174/978160805276911101010041

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Optimal control techniques have numerous applications in engineering, economics, finance, biology, medicine, and many other fields. In spite of the util-ity of these techniques, the presentation of the topic of optimal control is normally reserved for graduate studies within specialties (e.g., systems engineering). In this chapter we present some illustrative examples in optimal control whose numerical solutions are obtained using the built-in solver capabilities of spreadsheets. Our hope is that the important and interesting topic of optimal control can be introduced to undergraduate students in a less intimidating manner when spreadsheets are used

Keywords: optimal control, Pontryagin’s minimum principle, dynamical systems

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