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The purpose of this module is to introduce the engineering problem solving process in the context of using m-file environments to solve problems. Many variations of this process exist and no single variation is best for solving all problems. In this module we describe a variation of the engineering problem solving process that applies to m-file environments problem solving. Other variations are described in the reference at the end of this module.
The following problem solving process is fairly involved and may be an excessive amount of work for simple problems. For problems where the solution is straight forward, simply solve the problem; for more complex problems, the solution will usually not be obvious and this process will aid in development of an appropriate solution.
This specific process is divided into a set of seven steps. Each step includes questions that help move you successfully through the problem solving process.
When solving simple problems you may be able to follow these steps in order. For more complex problems, you may be working on step 5 and realize you need more information. You might then go back to steps 3 or 4 to re-evaluate and find missing information.
Reference: H. Scott Fogler, Steven E. LeBlanc. Strategies for Creative Problem Solving, Prentice Hall, 1995.
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