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**ENGINEERING YOUR FUTURE**

An Introduction to Engineering: A Comprehensive Approach Written By Oakes et al. Dr Simin Nasseri, MET Department, SPSU

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**Chapter 6 (8 in new edition)**

Problem Solving

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1. Introduction Engineers need to be good at solving problems and making things. Problem solving requires many “tools” and “skills”. Make sure that you have them, or at least know where to find them and how to use them. You should Learn how to increase the number of problem-solving strategies and techniques you commonly use. Enhance your ability to apply them creatively in various problem-solving settings.

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**2. Analytic and Creative Problem Solving**

Two basic types of problem solving involved in design process: creative and analytic More students familiar with analytic, where there is one right answer Creative problem solving has no single right answer. Your creative skills represent how you handle your tools. ?! Your analytic tools represent what is in your toolbox.

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**2. Analytic and Creative Problem Solving**

To better understand the difference between these two kinds of problem solving, lets examine the one function that is common to all engineers: DESIGN!

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**Design Process with 10 steps**

Identify the problem Define the work criteria/ goal (s) Research and gather data Brainstorm for creative ideas Analyze Develop models and test Make the decision Communicate and specify Implement and commercialize Review and assessment The design process as a whole is a creative problem-solving process.

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**Design Process with 10 steps**

Identify the problem Define the work criteria/ goal (s) Research and gather data Brainstorm for creative ideas Analyze Develop models and test Make the decision Communicate and specify Implement and commercialize Review and assessment Analytic problem solving is part of the design process! A civil engineer employs a lot of design concepts, but he/she must assess the loads that the bridge can support.

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**2. Analytic and Creative Problem Solving**

Steps that typically help w/ problem solving Make a model/figure Identify necessary, desired and given info Work backwards from answers Restate problem in one’s own words Check the solution and validate it Find another way to solve the problem Find another solution… (Check page 123 of your book for the complete list).

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**Creative Problem Solving**

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**Creative Problem Solving**

Creative problem solving can be described as a five-step process: 1) Identifying and defining the problem; 2) Gathering and analyzing information; 3) Brainstorming for alternative solutions; 4) Choosing the best solution; 5) Implementing the solution (Building and testing).

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**6.3 Analytic Problem Solving**

Six steps to analytic problem solving: Define the problem and create a problem statement Diagram and describe the problem Apply theory and any known equations Simplify assumptions Solve necessary problems Verify accuracy of answer to desired level

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**6.4 Creative Problem Solving**

Use divergence and convergence to gather and analyze ideas. Divergence is brainstorming and idea-gathering. You start at one point and reach for as many ideas as possible. Quantity is important. Identifying possibilities is the goal. Convergence is analyzing and evaluating the ideas, seeking out the best possible solutions Quality is most important. If one choice fails, go back to the idea list and choose another.

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**Focus on answering these questions:**

What is wrong? What do we know? What is the real problem? What is the best solution? How do we implement the solution?

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**Sample problem: Let’s raise those low grades!**

The problem we will use for illustration is a student who is getting low grades. This problem needs a solution. Let’s see how the process works. 1- What is wrong? Identify whether it truly is a problem: Total your scores thus far in your classes, Compare them with possible scores listed in your syllabus, Talk to you professor to see where you are in the classes (if the grades will be given on the curve) Talk to you advisor about realistic grade expectations. At the end, you should know if you have a grade problem.

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**Sample problem: Let’s raise those low grades!**

2- What do we know? All the facts and information are gathered. Current test grades in each course, Current homework and quiz grades in each course, Percent of the semester’s grade already determined in each course, Class average in each course, Professors’ grading policies, Homework assignment behind, Current study times, Current study places, Effective time spent on each course, Time spent doing homework in each course, Performance of your friends, etc.

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**Sample problem: Let’s raise those low grades!**

3- What is the real problem? Understand why the problem exists. Poor test-taking skills, Incomplete or insufficient notes, Poor class attendance, Not understanding the required reading, Not spending enough time studying, Studying the wrong material, Attending the wrong class, Studying ineffectively (Trying to cram the night before tests), Not at physical peak at test time (i.e. up all night before the test), Failing to understand the material (need for tutor or study group), Using solution manuals or friends as a crutch to do homework, Didn’t work enough problems from the book.

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**Sample problem: Let’s raise those low grades!**

4- What is the best solution? Potential solutions need to be generated. Get a tutor, Visit the professors during office hours (or Make outside appointments with them), Visit help rooms, Form study group, Outline books, and course notes, Get old exams, and old sets of notes, Review notes with professors, Do extra problems, Get additional references, Make a time schedule, Drop classes and retake the classes in summer, Go to review sessions.

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**Sample problem: Let’s raise those low grades!**

An effective implementation plan will be critical to getting the solutions accomplished. How do we implement the solution? Solution for the problem Evaluation (A criterion for success must be established) Check if the solution is a true success. Do solutions have unintended outcomes that require a new solution?

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**Chapter 5: Succeeding in classroom**

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**Chapter 9 (13 in new edition)**

Engineering Design

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**What is Engineering Design?**

Engineers create things. Engineers build things. Engineers must involve in design or in a design process.

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9.1 Engineering Design ABET has defined engineering design as follows: Engineering design is the process of devising a system, component, or process to meet desired needs. It is a decision making process in which the basic sciences and mathematics and engineering sciences are applied to convert resources optimally to meet a stated objective.

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9.1 Engineering Design Among the fundamental elements of the design process are the establishment of objectives and criteria, synthesis, analysis, construction, and testing…. It is essential to include a variety of realistic constraints, such as economic factors, safety, reliability, aesthetics, ethics and social impact.

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**9.2 The Design Process Identify the problem**

Define the working criteria/goals Research and gather data Brainstorm ideas Analyze potential solutions Develop and test models Make decision Communicate decision Implement and commercialize decision Perform post-implementation review

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