Summary and Info
This book is pretty good, provided you have an adequate grasp of the background information. What I mean by that is: if you have had exposure to a course in system dynamics (not just classical dynamics), you should find that this book serves the purpose of teaching you control theory. If on the other hand, you have not had exposure to system dynamics, you are in for a world of hurt, as the author does not guide the reader by the hand in developing the material in this book (note: this is particularly true in the early going when the material is presented as if it were a review, not a first go around). In essence, you are left with a few choices: suffer through the text and repeatedly beat your head against the wall, get a solid system dynamics text to supplement the information in this book, or junk this text and find a control book that guides you through the subject matter a bit better - particularly if this is your first crack at control theory. Option one isn't on the table if you really want a shot at passing your class, so for the other two options, consider the following: for a solid system dynamics text check out either Ogata, or Kelly (Ogata has alot of examples and MATLAB examples following the development of the subject matter, while Kelly has more meat in his development of the material and less examples however he does touch on developing Simulink models and some of his MATLAB codes are bit more sophisticated). As far as an auxiliary control text, I would definitely check out Nise. His gentle development will allow the reader to easily grasp the subjects as presented and could be used as a self-study text on the subject matter (and both Nise and this text have nice a MATLAB brush-up as well as adaptation to the text material in their appendices and sprinkled through the text). Overall not a bad text, but like a lot of the other reviewers I felt that it could be a bit better, so I'm knocking off a few stars.
More About the Author
Richard C. Dorf (born December 27, 1933, in the Bronx, New York City) is a Professor Emeritus of Management and Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of California, Davis.