The theory of linear systems has grown so rapidly and in so many different directions during the last quarter century that it has become difficult, if not impossible, to describe its boundaries in any definitive or straightforward fashion. The pioneers whose research inspired the early development of the theory, most notably Hendrick Bode, Harry Nyquist, and Norbert Wiener, would probably be somewhat surprised at the number of pure algebraists and geometers, matical physicists, econometricians, coding theorists, and others who today count linear system theory among their principal areas of research. It is fair to say, however, that linear system theory has been nurtured to its current state of maturity largely by engineers and applied mathematicians whose interests have centered on promoting mathematical modeling as a valuable resource whose potential contribution to enhancing one’s understanding of practical scientific and engineering problems should not be underestimated.
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