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Engineering Problem Solving Using Pattern Matching: A New Course

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Tricks of the Trade for Teaching II

Tagged Division

New Engineering Educators

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.572.1 - 11.572.6



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Paper Authors

author page

Murray Teitell DeVry University-Long Beach

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

The Smoke Alarm Example Triggers: What triggers a smoke alarm design? 10, 11 There is a request to design a new smoke alarm with certain pre-conditions. The pre-conditions fall into categories that help determine the repertoire of design templates available. For example there may be four pre-conditions that determine the key templates: . Pre-Conditions Type of detector Type of location Type of power Type of alarm

A suggested format for the template follows: Each template comes with ready-made drawings. There is a parts list. There is a manufacturing plan. There are programs for the assembly line. There is a test set with acceptable outcomes. There is a ready-made user manual with maintenance instructions. With 4 different pre-conditions and a number of choices for each pre-condition, a number of different templates are offered. To generate the varying templates from the pre-conditions requires the engineer to utilize automation (write programs or use ready-made programs).

Higher Order (Abstracted) Template for a Sensor-Alarm System The smoke alarm template promotes a higher order template for the generic Sensor- Alarm System. This template has the more basic plan for sensor alarm systems that include sensors for carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, ozone, nitrogen monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, chlorine gas, and other toxic gases. In the Cortex model 7, the brain stores its representation from the grainiest parts of the representation (solution) up to the classification for the whole. It even suggests that the Cortex is organized this way in layers and that incoming sensory data is matched to the levels up to the top level and then down to lower level to predict the situation. In recognizing someone’s face, the brain absorbs a lot of data about the different parts of the face. This starts with individual blots of light (color) received by the retinal sensors which coalesce into face parts like cheeks, nose, eyes, ear, forehead, hair and then onto the highest abstraction level to make the identification as a person named Rachel. Then the brain begins to predict a lot of other things that it expects of Rachel such as how she walks, how she talks and how she will respond to a certain question. Borrowing from this model, the design templates are arranged in a hierarchical directory from the more specific to the more generic. When the most generic level is reached the gaps in the design should be filled in automatically according to design rules. Automated database management systems are employed to accomplish this. Some engineering curriculums include instruction in database design.12 It is important that the engineering student understand how to organize engineering data. As part of teaching engineers about database design, it could include a course to teach the student how to use a simple database management system like Microsoft Access, how to program in a database language like SQL, and how to design a database system. 12

Teitell, M. (2006, June), Engineering Problem Solving Using Pattern Matching: A New Course Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--512

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