Labeling:The Elusive Missing Basic<br />David E. GoldbergIllinois Foundry for Innovation in Engineering Education University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbana, Illinois 61801 USAdeg@illinois.edu<br />
Motivation<br /><ul><li>When missing basics listed, people look at list and ask, “What do you mean by labeling?”
Very important to learn names of components, subsystems & systems of technology.
Important to assign labels to patterns in data or new systems.
Use and assignment of terms such a commonplace don’t even notice.
Sometimes think that equations and numbers are the only tech objects worth knowing.
Sensitivity to names and labels critical to becoming great engineer.</li></li></ul><li>Roadmap<br />Socrates, Aristotle & all that.<br />Connection to Back of the Napkin.<br />Importance of learning tech names & how.<br />Senior design example.<br />Assigning labels: How & why.<br />Senior design revisited.<br />Made to Stick.<br />The construction of engineering reality.<br />
Socrates and Dialectic<br />Socrates was a pain in the neck.<br />Walked around Athens asking everyone impossible questions.<br />Then proved their answers were wrong, but rarely gave an answer himself.<br />Nonetheless, Socrates’s method was useful.<br />Dialectic (continuing sequence of questions & answers) trying to probe what & how things really are (or might be).<br />Socrates (470-399 BCE)<br />
Connection to the Napkin<br /><ul><li>Six ways of seeing:
Purpose or meaning: why?</li></li></ul><li>Aristotle and Labeling/Categorization<br />Called The Philosopher.<br />Amazing range & scope.<br />Created basic categories of college curriculum.<br />Founded a school the Lyceum.<br />We have 1/3 his output (2000 pages in 30 books).<br />Categories (10): substance, quantity, quality, relation, place, time, position, state, action, and passion. <br />Aristotle (384-322 BCE)<br />
Names & Labels<br />Names as conventional terms used to identify something.<br />Labels as tentative naming of phenomenon as part of criticial/creative process.<br />Time + social acceptance: label name.<br />Consider<br />Extant tech names.<br />Labeling of new/unknown phenomena.<br />
Connection to the Napkin<br /><ul><li>How does Dan Roam start?
Thomas directory: www.thomasnet.com</li></li></ul><li>Example from Senior Design<br />Tortilla line.<br />Was using too much “dusting flour.”<br />Problem: expensive (flour price had risen), maintenance, quality of product.<br />Students go to plant.<br />Don’t know the names of things, but need them to explain process.<br />
List iFoundry terms and consider whether they are descriptive and memorable.</li></li></ul><li>Critical Examination of iFoundry Terms<br />“Category creator” vs. “category enhancer”<br />“Missing basics”<br />“Cold war engineer”<br />“Missed revolutions”<br />Are they descriptive?<br />Do they have rhetorical intent beyond their function? Approbation, opprobrium, or other values.<br />
Abbreviations, Acronyms & Initialisms<br />3 terms:<br />Abbreviation: shortening of word or phrase.<br />Acronym: abbreviation that can be pronounced as a word.<br />Initialism: abbreviation formed from initial letters of words. <br />Engineering uses abbreviations as shorthand for longer term.<br />Abbreviation: iFoundry (Illinois Foundry for Innovation in Engineering Education).<br />Acronym examples: SNAFU (situation normal all fouled up), BASIC (Beginner's All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code).<br />Initialism examples: Background, purpose, roadmap: BPR (background, purpose, roadmap), CSL (Coordinated Science Laboratory). <br />Rules of usage: lower case for term unless it is a proper name.<br />Use of an abbreviation can signal an important label or local term of art.<br />Example: The missing basics (MBs) are important to an engineer’s education.<br />
Return to Tortilla Problem<br />Labeling as initial step in solution.<br />Recall problem was too much dusting flour.<br />What names might we assign to this problem?<br />
A Model of Ideas that Stick<br /><ul><li>Sticky: understandable, memorable & effective in changing thought or action.
Forms acronym SUCCES. </li></li></ul><li>The Construction of Engineering Reality<br />Engineers think of physics and material world.<br />All engineered objects are social.<br />Searle’s, The Construction of Social Reality (Free Press, 1995), explains. <br />Helps us understand social and institutional facts, separate physics from the social. <br />Engineered objects are always observer relative.<br />Some engineered objects “institutional” in that we must believe they exist for them to exist: E-bay.<br />John R. Searle (b. 1932)<br />
Bottom Line<br /><ul><li>Names and labeling are so commonplace in language, they’re hidden (in plain sight).
Engineering school spends little time on the names of things. You should do otherwise.
Labeling is a critical step in further inquiry.
Label may be enough of a model, or more modeling may be necessary.
Knowing names and labeling are first steps to better understanding and better engineering. </li></li></ul><li>Labeling:The Elusive Missing Basic<br />David E. GoldbergIllinois Foundry for Innovation in Engineering Education University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbana, Illinois 61801 USAdeg@illinois.edu<br />