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Problem Solving

Problem Solving. Professor: Dr. Miguel Alonso Jr. Outline. Analytic and Creative Problem Solving Analytic Problem Solving Creative Problem Solving Personal Problem Solving Brainstorming Strategies Critical Thinking. Analytic and Creative Problem Solving.

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Problem Solving

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  1. Problem Solving Professor: Dr. Miguel Alonso Jr.

  2. Outline • Analytic and Creative Problem Solving • Analytic Problem Solving • Creative Problem Solving • Personal Problem Solving • Brainstorming Strategies • Critical Thinking

  3. Analytic and Creative Problem Solving • Engineers fill different roles in daily practice • These roles require very different problem solving abilities. • Analytic • Creative • Analytic – one correct solution • Creative – no single right answer

  4. Example • Ten steps to Design • Identify the problem • Define the working criteria • Research and gather data • Brainstorm for creative ideas • Analyze • Develop models and test • Make the Decision • Communicate and specify • Implement and commercialize • Prepare post-implementation review and assessment • Design process as a whole is creative • Analytic, however is also part of the process

  5. Analytic Problem Solving • The scientific method • Define the problem • Gather the facts • Develop a hypothesis • Perform a test • Evaluate the results • Steps can be repeated if the desired results are not achieved • Process ends when an acceptable understanding of the phenomena has occured

  6. In solving engineering problems, a similar method can be used • Engineering Analytic Method • Define the problem and make a problem statement • Diagram and describe • Apply theory and equations • Simplify the assumptions • Solve the necessary problems • Verify the accuracy to the required level

  7. Example 8.1 • On simplifying assumptions • Conservative Assumption • Introduce errors on the safe side. Given the possibilities, which is the safest assumption? • Time, Cost, Availability concerns

  8. Example 8.2 • On Accuracy of Verification • Verification of result • Estimate • Solve a simpler problem • Compare with similar solutions • Compare to previous work • Ask a more experienced engineer • Compare to the literature • Compare to your own experience • Does it make sense? • Repeat the calculation • Simulate • Calculate backwards • Solutions should not exceed a factor of 10

  9. Example 8.3

  10. Creative problem solving • Many engineering problems are open ended • The method we will use is based on answering these five questions: • What is wrong? • What do we know? • What is the real problem? • What is the best solution? • How do we implement the solution?

  11. Example problem: Student that is getting low grades • Pg 206 • What’s wrong • What do we know • What is the real problem • What is the best solution • Implementing the solution • Evaluating the solution

  12. Example 8.4 and 8.5

  13. Personal Problem solving styles • Model that is previously mentioned is only one of the models • Isaken and Treffinger model • Dr. Min Basadur • http://www.basadur.com/profile/index.htm • http://eduweb.nie.edu.sg/programme/dipthe/DT701/Reading1/Basadur.html • Assignment: Take the profile and prepare a one page summary on your personal problem solving style

  14. Brainstorming Strategies • Brainstorming is a technique used to stimulate as many innovative solutions as possible • Goal is to stimulate your mind to trigger concepts or ideas that normal problem solving might miss • Idea lists: Write down your current ideas then use these ideas to branch out to new ideas • Words to help stimulate thinking • S.C.A.M.P.E.R.

  15. Substitute? • Combine? • Adapt? • Modify, Minify, Magnify? • Put to other uses? • Eliminate? • Reverse? Rearrange?

  16. Individual or Group? • Both are needed • When working in groups • Pick a facilitator • Define the problem • Select a small group • Explain the process • Record Ideas • Involve everyone • No evaluating • Eliminate duplicates • Pick three

  17. Critical Thinking • Not a blanket solution to problem solving • Many issues are more complex and have no single solution • Many cannot be solved • Example: Marriage • We need to critically determine which course of action to take

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