Programming from the ground up in controls laboratories using graphical programming

Todd D. Murphey*, Jeannie Sullivan Falcon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


This paper describes a recent, innovative educational approach taken at the University of Colorado for teaching a senior-level undergraduate controls course. By using software written in a graphical programming language (in this case LabVIEWTM) to control the hardware, the students were able to do all the programming themselves. The advantages of this approach over "canned" lab approaches are many. The students feel more responsible for the final product and they are able to apply control techniques learned in class in a more fundamentally creative way.We present some anecdotal evidence from the class taught in Autumn term, 2005, that suggests that students will often use tools from beyond the scope of the class to solve problems in creative and occasionally unexpected ways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication7th IFAC Symposium on Advances in Control Education, ACE 2006
PublisherIFAC Secretariat
Number of pages6
EditionPART 1
ISBN (Print)9783902661074
StatePublished - 2006

Publication series

NameIFAC Proceedings Volumes (IFAC-PapersOnline)
NumberPART 1
ISSN (Print)1474-6670


  • Control education
  • Education
  • Laboratory education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering

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