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Engineering

Engineering

Systems Thinking Applied to Safety

Engineering has experienced a technological revolution, but the basic engineering techniques applied in safety and reliability engineering, created in a simpler, analog world, have changed very little over the years. In this groundbreaking book, Nancy Leveson proposes a new approach to safety--more suited to today’s complex, sociotechnical, software-intensive world--based on modern systems thinking and systems theory.

Logic, Language, and Analysis

In Software Abstractions Daniel Jackson introduces an approach to software design that draws on traditional formal methods but exploits automated tools to find flaws as early as possible. This approach--which Jackson calls “lightweight formal methods” or “agile modeling”--takes from formal specification the idea of a precise and expressive notation based on a tiny core of simple and robust concepts but replaces conventional analysis based on theorem proving with a fully automated analysis that gives designers immediate feedback.

Meeting Human Needs in a Complex Technological World

Engineering, for much of the twentieth century, was mainly about artifacts and inventions. Now, it’s increasingly about complex systems. As the airplane taxis to the gate, you access the Internet and check email with your PDA, linking the communication and transportation systems. At home, you recharge your plug-in hybrid vehicle, linking transportation to the electricity grid. Today’s large-scale, highly complex sociotechnical systems converge, interact, and depend on each other in ways engineers of old could barely have imagined.

Project teams can improve results by recognizing that the future is inevitably uncertain and that by creating flexible designs they can adapt to eventualities. This approach enables them to take advantage of new opportunities and avoid harmful losses. Designers of complex, long-lasting projects--such as communication networks, power plants, or hospitals--must learn to abandon fixed specifications and narrow forecasts. They need to avoid the “flaw of averages,” the conceptual pitfall that traps so many designs in underperformance.

This text offers a comprehensive treatment of VHDL and its applications to the design and simulation of real, industry-standard circuits. It focuses on the use of VHDL rather than solely on the language, showing why and how certain types of circuits are inferred from the language constructs and how any of the four simulation categories can be implemented. It makes a rigorous distinction between VHDL for synthesis and VHDL for simulation.

Much of the difficulty in creating information technology systems that truly meet people's needs lies in the problem of pinning down system requirements. This book offers a new approach to the requirements challenge, based on modeling and analyzing the relationships among stakeholders. Although the importance of the system-environment relationship has long been recognized in the requirements engineering field, most requirements modeling techniques express the relationship in mechanistic and behavioral terms.

Color for the Sciences is the first book on colorimetry to offer an account that emphasizes conceptual and formal issues rather than applications. Jan Koenderink's introductory text treats colorimetry—literally, "color measurement"—as a science, freeing the topic from the usual fixation on conventional praxis and how to get the "right" result. Readers of Color for the Sciences will learn to rethink concepts from the roots in order to reach a broader, conceptual understanding.

This book presents the configuration space method for computer-aided design of mechanisms with changing part contacts. Configuration space is a complete and compact geometric representation of part motions and part interactions that supports the core mechanism design tasks of analysis, synthesis, and tolerancing. It is the first general algorithmic treatment of the kinematics of higher pairs with changing contacts. It will help designers detect and correct design flaws and unexpected kinematic behaviors, as demonstrated in the book's four case studies taken from industry.

Case Studies from MIT

To many science and engineering students, the task of writing may seem irrelevant to their future professional careers. At MIT, however, students discover that writing about their technical work is important not only in solving real-world problems but also in developing their professional identities.

Issues of regulation and control are central to the study of biological and biochemical systems. Thus it is not surprising that the tools of feedback control theory—engineering techniques developed to design and analyze self-regulating systems—have proven useful in the study of these biological mechanisms. Such interdisciplinary work requires knowledge of the results, tools and techniques of another discipline, as well as an understanding of the culture of an unfamiliar research community.