Problem Solving

Given a problem in the basic engineering sciences, the following questions help students formulate a solution:

  • What exactly are we trying to find? What is known from the problem statement?
  • What is the system? (This must be explicit to apply the accounting principles because they are written for a system.)
  • What are the important extensive properties to count? (This encourages students to think in terms of the quantities found in the physical laws.)
  • What's the time interval—finite time, transient, or steady state?
  • How does the system interact with its surroundings? (Interactions depend on the boundary selected and the properties counted.)
  • What are the modeling assumptions that can help us simplify the basic equations for this specific problem?
  • How many equations are required to solve for the unknowns?
  • If the accounting equations are insufficient, what other equations (constitutive equations) may be used to relate the unknowns in the problem?

Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology

References for Further Information

  1. Gagne, R .M., L.J. Bridges, and W. W. Wagne. 1998. Principles of Instructional Design. Orlando, FL: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc.
  2. Hanson, G., and B. Price. 1992. Academic Program Review. In: M. A. Wjitley, J. D. Porter, and R. H. Fenske (eds.). The Primer for Institutional Research. Tallahassee: Association for Institutional Research.
  3. Satterly, D. 1989. Assessment in schools. Oxford, UK: Basil Blackwell Ltd.