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Engineering and the Mind's Eye

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Engineering and the Mind's Eye Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The things that engineers design are everywhere, and the influence that engineers have on daily life is far out of proportion to their numbers. In this expanded version of a remarkable essay published in Science more than a decade ago, Eugene Ferguson takes a probing look at the process of engineering design, arguing that despite modern technical advances, good engineering is still as much a matter of intuition and nonverbal thinking as of equations and computation.Ferguson, who has been successively a mechanical engineer, a technical museum curator, and a teacher of the history of technology, uses examples ranging from the development of the American axe to the collapse of the Hartford Coliseum and the performance of the Hubble space telescope to illustrate the ways in which visual thinking enriches engineering and the ways in which engineering that relies solely on technical sophistication can go wrong. He argues that a system of engineering education that ignores this heritage of nonverbal thinking will produce engineers who are dangerously ignorant of the many ways in which the real world differs from the mathematical models constructed in academic minds. In Engineering and the Mind's Eye, Ferguson discusses the nature of engineering design and traces the development of visual and other nonverbal thinking, offering examples of how engineers and other technologists have used such strategies since the Renaissance. Accompanying these examples, and demonstrating the ways in which engineers have shared their knowledge, is a parallel text of illustrations showing how visual thinking has been expressed over the past five centuries. Ferguson concludes his provocative account by arguing that engineering education since 1945 has been skewed toward analytical techniques — which are easiest to teach and evaluate — and away from the art of engineering design as taught by experienced engineers.

Synopsis:

In this insightful and incisive essay, Eugene Ferguson demonstrates that good engineering is as much a matter of intuition and nonverbal thinking as of equations and computation. He argues that a system of engineering education that ignores nonverbal thinking will produce engineers who are dangerously ignorant of the many ways in which the real world differs from the mathematical models constructed in academic minds.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780262560788
Author:
Ferguson, Eugene S.
Author:
Ferguson
Publisher:
Mit Press
Location:
Cambridge, Mass.
Subject:
General
Subject:
Engineering - General
Subject:
Engineering
Subject:
Creative Ability
Subject:
Creative thinking
Subject:
Engineering-General Engineering
Edition Number:
1st MIT pbk. ed.
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Engineering and the Mind's Eye
Series Volume:
v. 4
Publication Date:
19940331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 17
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
257
Dimensions:
8.4 x 6 x 0.7 in

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Related Subjects

Engineering » Engineering » General Engineering
History and Social Science » Politics » General
Reference » Science Reference » Philosophy of Science
Reference » Science Reference » Technology
Science and Mathematics » History of Science » Technology

Engineering and the Mind's Eye New Trade Paper
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Product details 257 pages MIT Press - English 9780262560788 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , In this insightful and incisive essay, Eugene Ferguson demonstrates that good engineering is as much a matter of intuition and nonverbal thinking as of equations and computation. He argues that a system of engineering education that ignores nonverbal thinking will produce engineers who are dangerously ignorant of the many ways in which the real world differs from the mathematical models constructed in academic minds.
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