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The Missing Basics:What Engineers Don’t Learn & Why They Need to Learn It<br />David E. GoldbergIllinois Foundry for Innov...
Do Engineers Learn the Right Stuff?<br /><ul><li>Engineering education filled with “the basics:” math, science, & engin sc...
Many reform lists the same:
Need more “design.”
Need more “people skills.”
Need better “communications.”
Want to do 3 things:
Argue that important stuff missing.
Identify it clearly & rigorously.
Understand why the missing stuff is so important right now.</li></ul>© David E. Goldberg 2010<br />
Begin with the End in Mind<br /><ul><li>Reflection on 20-years experience with Senior Design.
General Engineering at UIUC established in 1921 following curriculum study.
Grinter report of 1955 led to more math and engineering science at expense of design.
UCLA conference 1962 & Ford Foundation grant 1966.
Money ran out 1971.
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Intro to missing_basics_goldberg

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Intro to missing_basics_goldberg

  1. 1. The Missing Basics:What Engineers Don’t Learn & Why They Need to Learn It<br />David E. GoldbergIllinois Foundry for Innovation in Engineering EducationUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbana, IL 61801 USAdeg@illinois.edu<br />© David E. Goldberg 2010<br />
  2. 2. Do Engineers Learn the Right Stuff?<br /><ul><li>Engineering education filled with “the basics:” math, science, & engin science.
  3. 3. Many reform lists the same:
  4. 4. Need more “design.”
  5. 5. Need more “people skills.”
  6. 6. Need better “communications.”
  7. 7. Want to do 3 things:
  8. 8. Argue that important stuff missing.
  9. 9. Identify it clearly & rigorously.
  10. 10. Understand why the missing stuff is so important right now.</li></ul>© David E. Goldberg 2010<br />
  11. 11. Begin with the End in Mind<br /><ul><li>Reflection on 20-years experience with Senior Design.
  12. 12. General Engineering at UIUC established in 1921 following curriculum study.
  13. 13. Grinter report of 1955 led to more math and engineering science at expense of design.
  14. 14. UCLA conference 1962 & Ford Foundation grant 1966.
  15. 15. Money ran out 1971.
  16. 16. Industrially sponsored ever after.</li></ul>© David E. Goldberg 2010<br />Stephen R. Covey (b. 1932 )<br />
  17. 17. Ready, Set, Go<br /><ul><li>These are seniors.
  18. 18. Should be engineers on the threshold.
  19. 19. Express preferences for projects.
  20. 20. Get assigned to a project: 3-member teams & faculty advisor.
  21. 21. Go on the plant trip.
  22. 22. Query: What don’t they know how to do?</li></ul>© David E. Goldberg 2010<br />
  23. 23. Failure 1: Inability to Ask<br /><ul><li>Don’t know how to frame or ask good questions.
  24. 24. Difficulty probing the problem.
  25. 25. Trouble querying what has been tried.
  26. 26. Problem learning about vendors and sources of information.
  27. 27. Historical terms: Socrates 101.</li></ul>© David E. Goldberg 2010<br />Socrates (470-399 BCE)<br />
  28. 28. Failure 2: Inability to Label<br /><ul><li>Don’t know names of common systems, assemblies, and components of technology.
  29. 29. Difficulty labeling new artifact concepts or models.
  30. 30. Linguistically naïve.
  31. 31. Mainly comfortable with familiar categories and objects.
  32. 32. Historical terms: Aristotle 101. </li></ul>© David E. Goldberg 2010<br />Aristotle (384-322 BCE)<br />
  33. 33. Failure 3: Inability to Model<br /><ul><li>Don’t know how to model conceptually:
  34. 34. As causal chain.
  35. 35. As categorical list of types or kinds.
  36. 36. Pavlovian dogs when it comes to equations.
  37. 37. Need to understand problem qualitatively in words and diagrams prior to quantitative modeling undertaking.
  38. 38. Historical terms: Hume 101 or Aristotle 102.</li></ul>© David E. Goldberg 2010<br />David Hume (1711-1776)<br />
  39. 39. Failure 4: Inability to Decompose<br /><ul><li>Don’t know how to decompose big problem into little problems.
  40. 40. Look for magic bullets in equations of motion.
  41. 41. Most projects too hard: Companies don’t pay $9500 for plugging into Newton’s laws.
  42. 42. Historical terms: Descartes 101?</li></ul>© David E. Goldberg 2010<br />René Descartes (1596-1650)<br />
  43. 43. Failure 5: Inability to Measure<br />Don’t know how to measure stuff or collect data.<br />Engineering taught as abstract math/science exercise.<br />Ignore benefit of direct measurement.<br />Historical terms: Locke 101 or Bacon 101?<br />© David E. Goldberg 2010<br />John Locke (1632-1704)<br />
  44. 44. Failure 6: Inability to Visualize/Ideate<br />Don’t know how to draw sketches or diagrams when helpful.<br />Have trouble envisioning solutions.<br />Graphics education greatly diminished.<br />Historical terms: da Vinci or Monge 101.<br />© David E. Goldberg 2010<br />
  45. 45. Failure 7: Inability to Communicate<br /><ul><li>Finally finish the project.
  46. 46. Don’t know how to present or write for business.
  47. 47. “What we have here is a failure to communicate.”
  48. 48. Historical terms: Newman 101.</li></ul>© David E. Goldberg 2010<br />Paul Newman (1925-2008)<br />
  49. 49. The Missing Basics vs. the Basics<br /><ul><li>Call these lacunae the missing basics (MBs) vs. “the basics” = math, sci, & eng sci.
  50. 50. Invoke great figures of intellectual history to underline their importance.
  51. 51. Enlarge the space of “rigor” by adding conceptual rigor (philosophy) to math/science rigor.
  52. 52. MBs unlock the three joys: joy of engineering, joy of community (working with others) & joy of learning.
  53. 53. Engineering involves MBs as much as the basics.
  54. 54. MBs help you with people.
  55. 55. MBs help you learn new stuff on your own and from others. </li></ul>© David E. Goldberg 2010<br />
  56. 56. Why So Important Now?<br /><ul><li>The old paradigm was OK for WW2 & Cold War.
  57. 57. Then: Engineers did technically specialized work in domestic hierarchical organizations enhancing existing categories of product or service.
  58. 58. Now a creative era, a flat world.
  59. 59. Need category creators, not just category enhancers.
  60. 60. Now: Engineers do integrative work spanning specialties in global flat organizations making that which has never existed.
  61. 61. MBs and basics important like never before.</li></ul>© David E. Goldberg 2010<br />
  62. 62. Bottom Line<br /><ul><li>Have identified 7 “missing basics” of engin ed.
  63. 63. MBs unlock the three joys: joy of engineering, joy of community, joy of learning.
  64. 64. MBs expand notion of rigor beyond math & science to conceptual rigor usually in philosophy.
  65. 65. MBs help prepare you to be a linchpin in a creative era.
  66. 66. Will still take classes with plenty of math & science.
  67. 67. This class will help you in thinking more deeply about your math & science.
  68. 68. Will also help you in engineering effectiveness with customers and co-workers in a changing world.</li></ul>© David E. Goldberg 2010<br />
  69. 69. The Missing Basics:What Engineers Don’t Learn & Why They Need to Learn It<br />David E. GoldbergIllinois Foundry for Innovation in Engineering EducationUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbana, IL 61801 USAdeg@illinois.edu<br />© David E. Goldberg 2010<br />

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