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What is a problem statement?

What is a problem statement?

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What is a problem statement?

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  1. What is a problem statement? • A section of the introduction that introduces the problem to be discussed and (briefly) describes the proposed solution • “Problem statements lead the reader from a shared context to the perception of a problem, and on to a proposed solution” • What is “shared context?” • Status Quo. • A set of ideas that are well-known and can be agreed upon by all readers. http://cnx.org/content/m17223/latest/

  2. Problem Statement: An Example • “The properties of water at the nanoscale are crucial in many areas of biology, but the confinement of water molecules in sub-nanometer channels in biological systems has received relatively little attention… Advances in nanotechnology make it possible to explore the role played by water molecules in living systems, potentially leading to the development of ultrasensitive biosensors.” • Where are the “shared context,” “perception of a problem,” and “proposed solution.” http://cnx.org/content/m17223/latest/

  3. Problem Statement: An Example • “The properties of water at the nanoscale are crucial in many areas of biology, but the confinement of water molecules in sub-nanometer channels in biological systems has received relatively little attention… Advances in nanotechnology make it possible to explore the role played by water molecules in living systems, potentially leading to the development of ultrasensitive biosensors.” • Where are the “shared context,” “perception of a problem,” and “proposed solution.” http://cnx.org/content/m17223/latest/

  4. Tragedy of Commons Assignment • Summarize the main thesis of the article. • Describe how Hardin’s thesis would apply on one (1) of these current California problems: • Production of Smog Pollutants • Production of Greenhouse Gases • Traffic Congestion on the Streets and Freeways • Water Supply to Cities and Farms • Production of Ocean Pollutants • Provide a clear definition of the “Commons” for your selected problem area. In other words, describe the problem in terms of a commons, the individual interests, the collective interest, the resulting conflict, and the possible route to a solution…

  5. Tragedy of Commons Assignment • Note: The major part of the assignment is not a summary of the Hardin piece. • The summary of the “main thesis of the article” should be considered introductory material (analogous to prior art in technical papers) • The main point of your paper will be to discuss your selected topic in light of Hardin’s commons analogy. • Your problem statement should reflect this!

  6. Example: Traffic Congestion • What is the commons? • Roads, freeways... • What is the individual interest? • People who own cars believe that if they drive to work/school then their commute will be shorter/easier than if they use public transportation • What is collective interest? • Overcrowding of transportation infrastructure can make it impassably slow. • This is easy…

  7. Example: Traffic Congestion • Is there a “possible route to a solution.” If so, what is it? • This is the problem statement and this is the major point of your paper.

  8. Example • “Hardin’s notion that individuals inevitably consider their own interests over those of the collective whole does in fact hold in considering traffic congestion. In the absence of inexpensive and timely transportation alternatives, commuters will favor their own cars, thus crowding streets and reducing their value to the collective group. However, by presenting feasible alternatives and regulating use of personal automobiles, government entities can reduce this effect, thereby ensuring the continued value of transportation infrastructure to the collective group.” • Where are the “shared context,” “perception of a problem,” and “proposed solution.”

  9. Example 2 commons • Sonar devices have detrimental effects on the marine mammal population. This problem can be mitigated using legislative action similar to Hardin’s recommendations, and technology. assertion solutions