Discussion of the Method: Conducting the Engineers Approach to Problem Solving

Paperback | March 15, 2003

byBilly Vaughn Koen

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"While the study of the engineering method is important to create the world we would have, its study is equally important to understand the world we do have." --Billy V. Koen, Introduction, Discussion of the Method Discussion of the Method outlines the heuristic-based reasoning used by engineers and generalizes it to a universal method for problem-solving. Delving into the connection between engineering and philosophy, this ground-breaking text illustrates how the theoretical and the practical can merge toform real-world solutions. Furthermore, the methodology covered in this innovative book is extremely user-friendly, and easily synthesized with individual approaches to problem-solving. Discussion of the Method is an ideal supplement for introductory and advanced courses in engineering, philosophy,and other disciplines, as well as a compelling read for general audiences. THE METHOD: AN OVERVIEW* Part I describes the problem situation that calls for the talents of the engineer and emphasizes how frequently this situation is encountered. * Part II defines the heuristic and the engineering method. * Part III lists examples of heuristics and techniques used to implement the engineering method, describes several alternative definitions of the engineering method, and renders the method in its final form. * Part IV generalizes the engineering method to a universal method. * Part V gives a concise, justifiable statement of universal method. * Part VI delivers a specific example of the universal method in use.

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"While the study of the engineering method is important to create the world we would have, its study is equally important to understand the world we do have." --Billy V. Koen, Introduction, Discussion of the Method Discussion of the Method outlines the heuristic-based reasoning used by engineers and generalizes it to a universal metho...

Billy V. Koen is Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin and a fellow of both the American Nuclear Society (ANS) and the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE). He has received fifteen awards for teaching excellence, including the W. Leighton Collins Award, (the ASEE's highest honor for pedag...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:276 pages, 5.98 × 9.09 × 0.39 inPublished:March 15, 2003Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195155998

ISBN - 13:9780195155990

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Table of Contents

Figures and TablesPrefaceIntroduction1. Some Thoughts on Engineering1.1. The Engineer1.2. Characteristics of an Engineering Problem1.2.1. Change1.2.2. Resources1.2.3. Best1.2.4. Uncertainty1.3. Example Engineering Problems2. The Principal Rule of the Engineering Method2.1. Definition of Engineering Design2.2. The Heuristic2.2.1. Definition2.2.2. Signatures of the Heuristic2.2.3. Synonyms of the Heuristic2.2.4. Examples of Engineering Heuristics2.3. State of the Art2.3.1. Definition2.3.2. Evolution2.3.3. Transmission2.3.4. An Acronym for State of the Art2.3.5. Example Uses of the SOTA2.3.6.1. Comparison of Engineers2.3.6.2. Rule of Judgement2.3.6.3. Engineer and Society2.4. Principal Rule of the Engineering Method3. Some Heuristics Used by the Engineering Method3.1. Definition of Engineering Design3.2. The Heuristic Method3.3. Nature of Our Argument3.3.1. Induction as a Heuristic3.4. Representative Engineering Heuristics3.4.1. Rules of Thumb and Orders of Magnitude3.4.2. Factors of Safety3.4.3. Attitude Determining Heuristics3.4.3. Risk-Controlling Heuristics3.4.4. Miscellaneous Heuristics3.5. Alternate Definitions of Engineering3.5.1. Engineering and Morphology3.5.2. Engineering and Applied Science3.5.3. Engineering and Trial and Error3.5.4. Engineering and Problem Solution3.6. Nature as a Designer3.7. Preferred Definition of the Engineering Method3.7.1. Time as a Heuristic3.7.2. Derivation to a Curve3.7.3. Reduction to a Preferred Form3.7.4. Justification of the Heuristic Definition of the Engineering Method3.8. Engineering Worldview3.8.1. Coordinate Systems3.8.2. Turtle Graphics3.8.3. Consistent Engineering Worldview4. The Universale Organum4.1. Difficulties in Explaining the Koan4.1.1. General Difficulties4.1.2. Language as a Heuristic4.2. Compelling Belief in KOAN4.2.1. Basic Approach to Compel Belief4.2.2. My Program4.2.3. Weaving a Tapestry4.2.3.1. Arithmetic as Arithmetic4.2.3.2. Mathematics as Mathematics4.2.3.3. Deduction as Deduction4.2.3.4. Certain as Certain4.2.3.5. Position as Position4.2.3.6. Logic as Logic4.2.3.7. Truth as Truth4.2.3.8. Progress as Progress4.2.3.9. Causality as Causality4.2.3.10. Consciousness as Consciousness4.2.3.11. Physical Reality as Physical Reality4.2.3.12. Science as Science4.2.3.13. Perception as Perception4.2.4. Experto Credite4.2.4.1. Argument as Argument4.2.5. All Is Heuristic4.2.6. Reduction of Koan to a Preferred Form4.2.6.1. All4.2.6.2. Is4.2.6.3. Heuristic4.3. Comparison of Heuristic and Skeptical Positions4.3.1. History of Skepticism4.3.2. Differences between Skeptic and Engineer4.3.2.1. Genie Malin4.3.2.2. Coherence4.3.2.3. Home Field Advantage4.3.2.4. Skeptic's Pride4.3.2.5. Reification of Doubt4.3.3. An Impregnable Defense4.4. Overall SOTA4.4.1. Synonyms4.4.2. Partitioning Overall SOTA4.4.2.1. Concepts as Subsets4.4.2.2. Fuzzy Subsets4.4.3. Personal SOTAs4.4.3.1. Compelling Nature of Personal SOTA4.4.3.2. Incoherence of Personal Sota4.4.3.3. Rules of Judgement and Implementation4.4.3.4. Engineer's Ataraxia4.5. A Discourse on Method4.5.1. Method of Descartes4.5.2. Problems with Descartes' Method4.5.2.1. Universal4.5.2.2. Comprehensive4.5.2.3. Prior Philosophical Commitment4.5.2.4. Self Sufficient4.5.3. Universal Organum4.6. Engineering, Philosophy, and the Universal Method5. Summary of the Method6. Application of the Method6.1. Traditional Utopia6.2. Utopia as a Program for Change6.3. Eutopia6.4. Mundus Institute of Technology6.4.1. Origins6.4.2. Architecture6.4.3. Personnel6.4.3.1. Abstractors6.4.3.2. Professors6.4.3.3. Students6.4.4. Research in Progress6.4.4.1. Research in the Vestibule6.4.4.2. Research in the CorridorsAn Anachronistic PrefaceHeuristicsIndex

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"...should be required reading in science and engineering departments."--Julio M. Ottino, Northwestern University