Automation studies on the regularity of the interaction effects of miscellaneous system information, and application for these regularities to design, optimize and control systems per se. Through various automatic control devices, robots and other automatic mechanisms, Automation Science and Technology can replace or extend information acquisition, processing, controlling, management and decision-making and the like for human beings. It not only frees humans from heavy physical and partial mental work, but can fulfill many delicate, complex and dangerous works under any special circumstances. In the development of science and technology, Automation Science and Technology has always been deeply integrated with emerging disciplines and advanced science and technology, playing a vital role in the areas of industry, agriculture, military, aerospace, economy, commerce and even daily life. Founded in 1958, Department of Automation, University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), is the first department majoring in automation in China. Until now, there are 111 faculty members, including 45 professors, 55 associate professors and 11 other faculties. Professor Xu Bo, president of Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CASIA), concurrently acts as director of the Department of Automation.
Department of Automation provides undergraduate students Automation as their major. Directed under the first-level discipline Control Science and Engineering, there are 7 second-level disciplines designed for scientific research and post-graduates culturing, i.e. Control Theory and Control Engineering, Detection Technology and Automation Device, Systems Engineering, Pattern Recognition and Intelligent System, Navigation, Guidance and Control, Network Transmission System and Control, Information Acquisition and Control. In addition, Control Science and Engineering mobile post-doctoral research station has already been set up. Post-graduate candidates are enrolled according to the second-level disciplines and cultivated based on the first-level discipline in Department of Automation. Innovative ability means a lot for them and thus is highly stressed here. Besides, it is necessary for students to obtain the solid knowledge of mathematics and fundamentals of control theory, to master and apply electronics, computer and modern communication technologies. They are also encouraged to take interdisciplinary selective courses to broaden their studies. As for senior undergraduate students, they have chances to be admitted into the scientific research laboratories to take part in cutting-edge projects, or participate in research projects for college students during Summer Holiday in branch institutes of Chinese Academy of Science, like Institute of Automation, Shenyang Institute of Automation, Institute of Acoustics, Changchun Institute of Optics, Institute of Intelligent Machines and so on. Being a cradle for talents, Department of Automation has nurtured a large number of qualified graduates since 1958, and continues to breed high-level and professional ones in the field of advanced technology.
Armed with theoretical knowledge and practical application, graduates from Department of Automation are very adaptable and urgently needed for many fields. Some of them choose to receive further education and are wildly admitted as postgraduates candidates by domestics or oversea colleagues and universities. Some others find jobs in scientific research institutes, universities, key national enterprises and well-known companies home and abroad according to the principle of two-way selection. Mainly engaged in electronic information, advanced manufacturing and other fields, they devote themselves to doing scientific research, teaching, design systems, developing new product and software, or being managers for financial companies, institutional enterprises and state-owned departments. Still others initiate their own businesses, operating various types of high-tech companies, which contributes a lot to the automation and information industries in China.