Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

John A Christian

Committee Co-Chair

Jason Gross

Committee Member

Alfred Lynam


There are a number of important scientific and engineering problems whose solutions take the form of an eigenvalue--eigenvector problem. Some notable examples include solutions to linear systems of ordinary differential equations, controllability of linear systems, finite element analysis, chemical kinetics, fitting ellipses to noisy data, and optimal estimation of attitude from unit vectors. In many of these problems, having knowledge of the eigenvalue and eigenvector Jacobians is either necessary or is nearly as important as having the solution itself. For instance, Jacobians are necessary to find the uncertainty in a computed eigenvalue or eigenvector estimate. This uncertainty, which is usually represented as a covariance matrix, has been well studied for problems similar to the eigenvalue and eigenvector problem, such as singular value decomposition. There has been substantially less research on the covariance of an optimal estimate originating from an eigenvalue-eigenvector problem.;In this thesis we develop two general expressions for the Jacobians of eigenvalues and eigenvectors with respect to the elements of their parent matrix. The expressions developed make use of only the parent matrix and the eigenvalue and eigenvector pair under consideration. In addition, they are applicable to any general matrix (including complex valued matrices, eigenvalues, and eigenvectors) as long as the eigenvalues are simple. Alongside this, we develop expressions that determine the uncertainty in a vector estimate obtained from an eigenvalue-eigenvector problem given the uncertainty of the terms of the matrix. The Jacobian expressions developed are numerically validated with forward finite, differencing and the covariance expressions are validated using Monte Carlo analysis. Finally, the results from this work are used to determine covariance expressions for a variety of estimation problem examples and are also applied to the design of a dynamical system.