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Applied Minds : How Engineers Think
by Guru Madhavan


Overview -

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.  Read more...


 
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More About Applied Minds by Guru Madhavan
 
 
 
Overview

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.

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Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780393239874
  • ISBN-10: 039323987X
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
  • Publish Date: August 2015
  • Page Count: 288


Related Categories

Books > Technology > Engineering (General)

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2015-05-18
  • Reviewer: Staff

Biomedical engineer Madhavan (Practicing Sustainability) sets out to “reverse-engineer the engineering mind-set” to show lay readers the versatility of engineering techniques in everyday life. He considers different engineers or individuals who have solved engineering problems as exemplars of aspects of this mind-set, such as modular systems thinking or working on functional prototyping. His wide-ranging examples include Jean-Baptiste Vaquette de Gribeauval’s redesign of French cannons and Alfred Hitchcock’s approach to filmmaking, and demonstrate that engineering methods can be applied to every walk of life. While Madhavan does use some jargon, his problem-solving vignettes are accessible to non-engineers, particularly as he uses examples of familiar problems or inventions such as traffic congestion, sewage treatment, or the coordination of GPS and 911 services. Madhavan’s work will help readers move from the common understanding of engineering as a set of technical skills for building objects to the realization that engineering is a way of looking at and solving problems, and is not limited to situations involving science and math. (Aug.)

 
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