Control education deals with how controls engineers, control researchers, and educations teach topics in the field of automatic control. There is often some confusion because these different groups will often visualize different audiences for the topic. For our broad definition here we can consider the following audiences:
- Future controls researchers: This crowd has taken their first automatic control class in college or graduate school and has loved it so much that they wish to pursue it in depth.
- College STEM students about to take that first automatic control class. This group has taken the prerequisite early engineering, science, and math classes but now is looking to tie it all together in their automatic controls class. Or maybe they need the class to graduate. In any event, this is where folks first get a taste of the theory behind automatic control and we can find a way to make that attractive or watch them run off to other areas of study.
- Middle and High School Students and Their Teachers. This group likely will not see the math for another few years (but hopefully once they are in college). Still the principles of control an how to apply them to simple feedback systems can (and should) be of great interest to this group. For them we should teach the principles, hold off on the math (while letting them know what the math teaches us) and show them how to program some feedback into their high school robotics.
- The General Public: This group cannot be expected to take more classes, and yet would do well understanding the general fundamental principles of feedback and automatic control.