Student guide Faculty of Engineering A.Y. 2007/08

Systems Theory
Aim of the course
The course aims to provide a critical vision of the "systems oriented approach" through the introduction of some modelling techniques which exemplify the meaning of oppositions such as open-closed, static-dynamic, local-global, deterministic-non deterministic, ... with reference to the fundamental distinction between systems, models, languages.

- Concept of a system and its formalisation according to the "state" approach
- Automata theory as an example of a specialisation of systems theory
- Concept of a model: descriptive, explicative, predictive, prescriptive models
- Analysis of some fundamental problems pertaining to the epistemological status of models: validation and falsification, application
- Symbolisation: languages and meta-languages; syntax, semantics and pragmatics
Team work and a written exam

Reading list
Course notes prepared by the lecturers