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The Art of Insight in Science and Engineering

The Art of Insight in Science and Engineering

I redesigned a course around the reasoning tools, which are more general and useful than topics. This organization, which I have used at MIT and Olin College of Engineering, is re- flected in this book—which teaches you one tool per chapter, each selected to help you build insight and master complexity. There are the two broad ways to master complexity: organize the complexity or discard it. Organizing complexity, the subject of Part I, is taught through two tools: divide-and-conquer reasoning (Chapter 1) and making abstractions (Chapter 2). Discarding complexity (Parts II and III) illustrates that “the art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook” (William James [24, p. 369]). In Part II, complexity is discarded without losing information. This part teaches three reasoning... Show More


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