Date of Award


Document Type



Computing, Mathematics and Physics

First Advisor

Dr. Lamarr Widmer


Attempts to create controls to regulate processes can be traced back as far as ancient Greece when the Greeks created systems to control the water levels in their aqueducts. Since then the field of Control Theory has grown to include influences from mathematics, engineering, finance, computing and psychology. Control theory is a set of rules and practices that determine if and how specific outcomes can be attained based on the current conditions and certain limiting factors. Similarly, Optimal Control Theory seeks to achieve these outcomes in the most efficient way. This project seeks to outline the history and development of optimal control theory and to analyze some of the current applications of the theory in fields such as biology, economics, and engineering.