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**Problem Solving Strategies**

SWTJC STEM – ENGR 1201 Problem Solving Strategies 11. describe a successful problem solving strategy identify types and elements of problem solving identify characteristics of a successful problem solver list problem solving steps list problem solving techniques Content Goal 11

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**Troubleshooting problems Mathematical problems Resource problems **

SWTJC STEM – ENGR 1201 Problem Types Research problems Knowledge problems Troubleshooting problems Mathematical problems Resource problems Social problems Design problems Content Goal 11a - 1

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**SWTJC STEM – ENGR 1201 Problem Elements**

Problem identification - In the classroom by your instructor; in the real world by a manager or creative engineer/scientist. Analysis - Problem is dissected into pieces, analyzed and modeled. Focus of this class and much of your formal education! Synthesis - Creative step in which parts (sometimes seemingly unrelated) are integrated into a whole Application - Appropriate information from problem-at-hand is identified and applied. Comprehension - Analysis and application results are used to actually solve the problem. Content Goal 11a - 2

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**Problem Solver Characteristics - 1**

SWTJC STEM – ENGR 1201 Problem Solver Characteristics - 1 1. Approach Skilled solver - Motivated, confident, and persistent. Novice solver - Easily discouraged; lacks confidence; careless. 2. Knowledge Skilled solver - Understands requirements, facts, and principles; rereads and studies problems carefully. Novice solver - Lacks understanding; careless with facts; reads once or skims; makes unfounded assumptions. Content Goal 11b -1

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**Problem Solver Characteristics - 2**

SWTJC STEM – ENGR 1201 Problem Solver Characteristics - 2 3. Attack Skilled solver - Doesn't start until understands; breaks problem into pieces. Novice solver - Guesses and uses intuition carelessly; jumps to conclusions; plunges into problem prematurely. 4. Logic Skilled solver - Uses basic principles; proceeds logically from one step to another. Novice solver - Disorganized; jumps from one step to another. Content Goal 11b -2

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**Problem Solver Characteristics - 3**

SWTJC STEM – ENGR 1201 Problem Solver Characteristics - 3 5. Analysis Skilled solver - Clearly defines terms; researches and organizes information; thinks carefully and clearly. Novice solver - Uncertain about meaning of terms, steps, and symbols; hopes the answer will come; "Takes the logarithm and turns it in!". 6. Perspective Skilled solver - Has a "feel" for the correct answer; uses the "rule of thumb" to estimate answer; discerns the relevant issues. Novice solver - Uncritical about answers; cannot use estimation techniques; confused by importance of issues. Content Goal 11b -3

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**Step 1 - Given: (Synthesis) Record statement of problem. **

SWTJC STEM – ENGR 1201 Problem Steps – Given Step 1 - Given: (Synthesis) Record statement of problem. Draw a figure or diagram. Indicate on the figure properties with their units! State the assumptions. Given: "A 12 v battery is connected to a 10 ohm resistor. How much electric current flows?" (Statement) Battery and connecting wires have no internal resistance. (Assumptions) (Diagram) Content Goal 11c - 1

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**Find: I, current flowing in circuit in A (amperes)?**

SWTJC STEM – ENGR 1201 Problem Steps – Find Step 2 - Find: (Synthesis) i. State what is to be found using symbols. ii. Label the unknown(s) on diagram with a question mark. iii. Restate in words exactly what is to be found. Find: I, current flowing in circuit in A (amperes)? Content Goal 11c - 2

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**Problem Steps – Relationship**

SWTJC STEM – ENGR 1201 Problem Steps – Relationship Step 3 - Relationships: (Analysis) i. State principle(s) and derive modeling equation(s). ii. Solve for the desired quantity. iii. Show sufficient detail to logically follow derivation. Relationships: Ohm's law applies to a direct current source (the battery) and resistor connected in series. (Scientific Principle) V = voltage (v) (Symbols used) I = current (A) R = resistance ( = v / A V = R . I (Main relation – Ohm’s Law) Solving for I, I = V / R (Solve for desired unknown) Content Goal 11c - 3

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**Problem Steps – Solution 1**

SWTJC STEM – ENGR 1201 Problem Steps – Solution 1 Step 4. Solution: (Application & Comprehension) i. Make appropriate substitutions with their units. ii. Ensure that units cancel appropriately to give expected results. iii. Compute the answer using appropriate computational tools. iv. Clearly mark the final answer(s) with their units. v. Compare with "Find" to ensure that all questions have been answered. vi. Consider the reasonableness of the answer Content Goal 11c - 4

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**Problem Steps – Solution 2**

SWTJC STEM – ENGR 1201 Problem Steps – Solution 2 Solution: I = V / R = 12V / 10 = 12V / (10V/A) Note that = V / A I = 1.2 A, current flowing in circuit Ans Content Goal 11c - 4

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**Step 5. Check: (Quality Control) **

SWTJC STEM – ENGR 1201 Problem Steps – Check Step 5. Check: (Quality Control) i. Does the answer makes sense, both numerically and its units? ii. Verify by applying the scientific and engineering principles as directly and independently as possible. Avoid simply rechecking calculation steps; you could make the same mistake twice! Check: V = 1.2A . 10 = 12V OK Note that the check reverts to Ohm’s Law to avoid making the same mistake twice. Content Goal 11c - 5

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**Problem Steps – Example**

SWTJC STEM – ENGR 1201 Problem Steps – Example Click to link to complete example. Content Goal 11c - 5

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**Problem Solving Techniques – Slide 1**

SWTJC STEM – ENGR 1201 Problem Solving Techniques – Slide 1 Checks his/her solution by applying logic, not just reworking the steps as done. Asks if the solution "makes sense"? Uses engineering analysis paper, if available, or four/five square grid paper (a must). Uses an appropriate computational tool. Is neat and orderly, working left-to-right and down the page. Content Goal 11d - 1

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**Problem Solving Techniques – Slide 2**

SWTJC STEM – ENGR 1201 Problem Solving Techniques – Slide 2 Works on scratch paper and transfers to final copy when done. Shows enough intermediate steps to permit someone to follow his/her thought process. Uses scientific or engineering notation with three significant digits and shows units. Completes on a single page if possible. Cuts and pastes or attaches computational listings if appropriate. Uses proper headings and numbers pages (see pages of text). Content Goal 11d - 2

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