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Sam Burden

Assistant Professor
Robotics and Controls, Biosystems, Data Sciences
M442 ECE
Campus Box 352500
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195
Phone: 206-221-3545
External Web Page:


Sam Burden earned his BS with Honors in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington in Seattle in 2008. He earned his PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences from the University of California in Berkeley in 2014, where he subsequently spent one year as a Postdoctoral Scholar. In 2015, he returned to UW ECE as an Assistant Professor; in 2016, he received a Young Investigator Program award from the Army Research Office (ARO-YIP). Sam is broadly interested in discovering and formalizing principles of sensorimotor control. Specifically, he focuses on applications in dynamic and dexterous robotics, neuromechanical motor control, and human-cyber-physical systems. In his spare time, he teaches robotics to students of all ages in classrooms and campus events.

Awards and Honors

Research Projects

Recent Publications

A. De, S. A. Burden, and D. E. Koditschek. A hybrid dynamical extension of averaging and its application to the analysis of legged gait stability. The International Journal of Robotics Research (IJRR) 37(2-3):266--286, Feb. 2018. [ bib | DOI | .pdf ]


A. M. Johnson, S. A. Burden, and D. E. Koditschek. A hybrid systems model for simple manipulation and self-manipulation systems. The International Journal of Robotics Research (IJRR) 35(11):1354--1392, May 2016. [ bib | DOI | .pdf ]


S. A. Burden, S. S. Sastry, D. E. Koditschek, and S. Revzen. Event-selected vector field discontinuities yield piecewise-differentiable flows. SIAM Journal on Applied Dynamical Systems (SIADS) 15(2):1227--1267, 2016. [ bib | DOI | .pdf ]


I. Yang, S. A. Burden, R. Rajagopal, S. S. Sastry, and C. J. Tomlin. Approximation algorithms for optimization of combinatorial dynamical systems. IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control (TAC)61(9):2644--2649, 2016. [ bib | DOI | .pdf ]


L. J. Ratliff, S. A. Burden, and S. S. Sastry. On the characterization of local nash equilibria in continuous games. IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control (TAC) 61(8):2301--2307, Aug. 2016. [ bib |DOI | .pdf ]


S. A. Burden, S. Revzen, and S. S. Sastry. Model reduction near periodic orbits of hybrid dynamical systems. IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control (TAC) 60(10):2626--2639, 2015. [ bib | DOI | .pdf ]


S. A. Burden, H. Gonzalez, R. Vasudevan, R. Bajcsy, and S. S. Sastry. Metrization and Simulation of Controlled Hybrid Systems. IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control (TAC) 60(9):2307--2320, 2015. [ bib | DOI | .pdf ]


S. Revzen, S. A. Burden, T. Y. Moore, J.-M. Mongeau, and R. J. Full. Instantaneous kinematic phase reflects neuromechanical response to lateral perturbations of running cockroaches. Biological Cybernetics (BioCyber) 107(2):179--200, 2013. [ bib | DOI | .pdf ]


N. Napp, S. A. Burden, and E. Klavins. Setpoint regulation for stochastically interacting robots.Autonomous Robots (ARO) 30:57--71, 2011. [ bib | DOI | .pdf ]


PhD students (current)

  • Bora Banjanin
  • Ben Chasnov
  • Andrew Pace
  • Joey Sullivan
  • Momona Yamagami

MS students (former)

  • Jake Baldassini (now Officer in the US Coast Guard)
  • Liam Han (now Robotics Engineer at Amyris, Inc)
  • Tianqi Li (now PhD student at Texas A&M)
  • Yana Sosnovskaya (now PhD student at UW ECE)