Class Syllabus

This course introduces the operation of large-scale power systems from a modern point of view. We will define and discuss the major problems in power system analysis, operations, dynamics and economics. We will talk about different formulations and tools that are commonly used in practice, and how they are changing when large amount of renewable resources are present in the grid. The open problems and current approaches are discussed in each of the these topics. No previous power engineering background is required. Familiarity with senior level undergraduate linear algebra and calculus is assumed. For more information, see syllabus.

Class: WF, 12:30pm to 2:20pm, MGH 074
Instructor: Baosen Zhang,, Office: EEB M310
Project Presentations: Last week of class
Office Hours: Fridays 3-4pm, in person or at


  1. There are no required textbook for the class. Some useful references are:
    • Power System Generation, Operation and Control, by A. Wood & B. Wollenberg
    • Computational Methods for Electric Power Systems, M. L. Crow
    • Convex Optimization of Power Systems, J. Taylor
  2. We will sometimes use the material provided by Tom Overbye, Ned Mohan and Bruce Wollenberg and Marija Ilic. Many thanks to them for making their course materials publicly available.
  3. I will try to respond to emails within 24 hours. Please write EE554 in the subject.

Schedule of Classes:

  1. Logistics of the course, lecture notes, introduction to power system analysis lecture notes
  2. Power system models, lecture notes, power flow lecture notes
  3. Power flow, lecture notes, lecture notes 2
  4. State Estimation, lecture notes, lecture notes 2
  5. Unconstrained Optimization, lecture notes; Equality Constraints lecture note
  6. Constrained Optimization and markets, lecture notes
  7. Constrained Optimization, lecture notes, inequality constraints
  8. Power System Dynamics, lecture 1, lecture 2
  9. Frequency stability, lecture 1, lecture 2

Optimization Software

  1. You can use whatever software you like. Newer languages like Python and Julia are recommended. Matlab is probably the easiest to use with established tools like MatPower, although some people in academia and industry are moving away from it. Python and Julia both have active communities developing power system toolboxes, like PyPSA and PowerModels.


  1. There will be biweekly homework assignments. No late homework would be accepted.
  2. Grade distribution: homework 40%, project 40%, participation 20%

Homework Assignments:

  1. Homework 1, due Oct 20th, 11:59pm. Submit on CANVAS
  2. Homework 2, due Oct 29th, 11:59pm. Submit on CANVAS

Health and Safety:

As we return to in person instruction, I want to acknowledge the difficulties of this past 18 months and inform you of my expectations for our safety as we begin this class together. We will follow the University of Washington’s COVID-19 Face Covering Policy found at If you have tested positive for COVID-19, please inform UW Environment Health and Safety (EH\&S) at, and they will provide directions to me. If you’re isolating, class material will be provided. If you feel unwell, you do not need to come to class and the lecture materials would be provided.