HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
REGISTER   |   LOGIN   |   HELP
Blogs
Guest Blogs
Excelling in Shades-of-Grey Real World
4/1/2013

Image 1 of 2      Next >

Model Boxes Diagram
Model Boxes Diagram

Image 1 of 2      Next >

Return to Article

View Comments: Oldest First|Newest First|Threaded View
Dave Palmer
User Rank
Platinum
Modelling the real world
Dave Palmer   4/1/2013 10:33:05 AM
NO RATINGS
Another great article from Professor Craig.  The only part I take issue with is the claim that "the grey-box modelling approach is intuitive and obvious." First of all, our intuitions can often mislead us.  Read The Invisible Gorilla, by psychologists Chris Chabris and Dan Simons, for many instructive examples of everyday illusions.  Second, if these things were obvious, there would be no need for engineers... let along engineering professors!

On the subject of modelling the real world, take a look at Dan Meyer's blog.  Dan is a high school math teacher who gave a though-provoking TED Talk called Math Class Needs a Makeover.  Dan puts modelling at the center of his teaching.  It's an approach that can help prepare students to engage in engineering problem-solving.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Modelling the real world
Ann R. Thryft   4/2/2013 12:46:17 PM
NO RATINGS
Dave's comment about "intuitively obvious" makes me think of how many times I've been told that a certain practice is "common sense." My response is always "common to which group?" The term implies shared values and meanings, and shared assumptions about how the world does and should work. But these are not so common In a modern complex society.

Dave Palmer
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Modelling the real world
Dave Palmer   4/2/2013 1:43:15 PM
NO RATINGS
@Ann: The Italian writer Antonio Gramsci drew a distinction between common sense and good sense.

To Gramsci, "common sense" meant the ruling ideology of a society: the ideas that are generally accepted without much critical thought.  As such, "common sense" is not universal, but may be radically different in different times and places (according to Gramsci, mainly depending on who's in charge).

"Good sense," on the other hand, requires critical thought.

"Common sense" might contain some elements of "good sense," but they are very different things.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Modelling the real world
Ann R. Thryft   4/2/2013 1:46:55 PM
NO RATINGS
Thanks, I like those definitions.

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Modelling the real world
William K.   4/2/2013 5:20:49 PM
NO RATINGS
I have always taken the expression "common sense" to mean things that are obvious to anyone except a fool. That is quite different from the expression referencing "conventional wisdom", or it's equvalent, "common thinking", which refelects the unverified assumptions that are usually based on sources less reliable than gossip. 

Common sense dictates that one would not stick a hand into the cutting area of a lawnmower, or stand on the very top of a folding ladder. Common sense is that wisdom that lawyers seem to dictate that it is not reasonable to expect their client to posess.

Partner Zone
More Blogs from Guest Blogs
Practicing engineers have not heeded Yoda's words.
Connected sensor-enabled applications will improve the consumer experience -- and generate new revenue streams.
As an industry, we now need to up our game and provide contractors with easier ways to properly identify and report counterfeit products and build collaboration between manufacturers, design engineers, industry organizations, and government.
Itís your job to find the right people, ask the right questions, to dig deeper, and properly prepare your users so they can provide you the most useful and productive answers possible.
The shift to aluminum is gaining momentum and the demand from automakers for aluminum is soaring, "expecting to reach one billion pounds this year, up from 200 million in 2012, and to grow by more than 30% annually through 2020."
Design News Webinar Series
3/27/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York / 7:00 p.m. London
2/27/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York / 7:00 p.m. London
12/18/2013 Available On Demand
11/20/2013 Available On Demand
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Apr 21 - 25, Creating & Testing Your First RTOS Application Using MQX
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: April 29 - Day 1
Sponsored by maxon precision motors
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service