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Applied Minds: How Engineers Think by…

Applied Minds: How Engineers Think (2015)

by Guruprasad Madhavan

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Well written book explaining engineering and engineers, and how they think. There are a number of examples given to show how problems were solved by engineering principles, from the opening of Japan in the 19th century, the industrial manufacture of penicillin during World War II to the development of Pampers diapers. Questions examined include the use of outside expertise, such as anthropologists, to resolve questions of efficiency in design, and the use of feedback to identify and quantify design flaws or improvements. Other questions examined are why so many terrorists are also engineers, and why it is so difficult for many engineers to accept feedback from adjacent experts.

Well written and researched, it is an intriguing examination of modern engineering concepts and results. I recommend it for the general public, and especially for engineer's spouses, children and parents. It may give some insight into how their minds work. ( )
  hadden | Aug 24, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 039323987X, Hardcover)

A journey inside the minds that build our world.

Dubai's Burj Khalifa―the world’s tallest building―looks nothing like Microsoft’s Office Suite, and digital surround sound doesn’t work like a citywide telecommunication grid. Yet these engineering feats have much in common.

Applied Minds explores the unique visions and mental tools of engineers to reveal the enormous―and often understated―influence they wield in transforming problems into opportunities. The resulting account pairs the innovators of modern history―Thomas Edison, the Wright brothers, Steve Jobs―with everything from ATMs and the ZIP code system to the disposable diaper.

An engineer himself, Guru Madhavan introduces a flexible intellectual tool kit called modular systems thinking as he explains the discipline's penchant for seeing structure where there is none. The creations that result from this process express the engineer's answers to the fundamental questions of design: usefulness, functionality, reliability, and user friendliness.

Through narratives and case studies spanning the brilliant history of engineering, Madhavan shows how the concepts of prototyping, efficiency, reliability, standards, optimization, and feedback are put to use in fields as diverse as transportation, retail, health care, and entertainment.

Equal parts personal, practical, and profound, Applied Minds charts a path to a future where we apply strategies borrowed from engineering to create useful and inspired solutions to our most pressing challenges.

(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 04 Aug 2015 15:17:56 -0400)

Explores the unique visions and mental tools of engineers, revealing the influence they wield in transforming problems into opportunities and how the concepts of prototyping, reliability, standards, optimization, and feedback are put to use in diverse fields.… (more)

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