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Engineering

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An Ethnography of Design and Innovation
Edited by Dominique Vinck

Everyday Engineering was written to help future engineers understand what they are going to be doing in their everyday working lives, so that they can do their work more effectively and with a broader social vision. It will also give sociologists deeper insights into the sociotechnical world of engineering. The book consists of ethnographic studies in which the authors, all trained in both engineering and sociology, go into the field as participant-observers. The sites and types of engineering explored include mechanical design in manufacturing industries, instrument design, software debugging, environmental management within companies, and the implementation of a system for separating household waste.The book is organized in three parts. The first part introduces the complexity of technical practices. The second part enters the social and cultural worlds of designers to grasp their practices and motivations. The third part examines the role of writing practices and graphical representation. The epilogue uses the case studies to raise a series of questions about how objects can be taken into account in sociological analyses of human organizations.

This companion to Passive Cooling and Solar Building Architecture (volumes 8 and 9) describes developments in passive solar technology that will save time, energy, and resources in planning for the buildings of the future. It is filled with tips and useful research for architects and designers and includes three substantial chapters on general modeling.

"Passive solar heating works. Properly designed and constructed, it is cost-effective, practical, comfortable, and aesthetic." Balcomb's introductory remarks set the tone for the rest of the contributions, which describe the considerable record of achievements in passive solar heating. Balcomb summarizes and evaluates the era between 1976 and 1983 when most of the major developments took place and highlights the design features that have contributed to effective buildings.

Three chapters cover modeling passive systems (applicable to both heating and cooling), and six chapters focus on the application of passive solar heating, with emphasis on components, analytical results for specific systems, test modules, subsystem integration into buildings, performance monitoring and results, and design tools.

Devices

This text offers an introduction to quantum computing, with a special emphasis on basic quantum physics, experiment, and quantum devices. Unlike many other texts, which tend to emphasize algorithms, Quantum Computing without Magic explains the requisite quantum physics in some depth, and then explains the devices themselves. It is a book for readers who, having already encountered quantum algorithms, may ask, "Yes, I can see how the algebra does the trick, but how can we actually do it?" By explaining the details in the context of the topics covered, this book strips the subject of the "magic" with which it is so often cloaked.

Quantum Computing without Magic covers the essential probability calculus; the qubit, its physics, manipulation and measurement, and how it can be implemented using superconducting electronics; quaternions and density operator formalism; unitary formalism and its application to Berry phase manipulation; the biqubit, the mysteries of entanglement, nonlocality, separability, biqubit classification, and the Schroedinger's Cat paradox; the controlled-NOT gate, its applications and implementations; and classical analogs of quantum devices and quantum processes.

Quantum Computing without Magic can be used as a complementary text for physics and electronic engineering undergraduates studying quantum computing and basic quantum mechanics, or as an introduction and guide for electronic engineers, mathematicians, computer scientists, or scholars in these fields who are interested in quantum computing and how it might fit into their research programs.

Control and communications engineers, physicists, and probability theorists, among others, will find this book unique. It contains a detailed development of approximation and limit theorems and methods for random processes and applies them to numerous problems of practical importance. In particular, it develops usable and broad conditions and techniques for showing that a sequence of processes converges to a Markov diffusion or jump process. This is useful when the natural physical model is quite complex, in which case a simpler approximation (a diffusion process, for example) is usually made.

The book simplifies and extends some important older methods and develops some powerful new ones applicable to a wide variety of limit and approximation problems. The theory of weak convergence of probability measures is introduced along with general and usable methods (for example, perturbed test function, martingale, and direct averaging) for proving tightness and weak convergence.

Kushner's study begins with a systematic development of the method. It then treats dynamical system models that have state-dependent noise or nonsmooth dynamics. Perturbed Liapunov function methods are developed for stability studies of non-Markovian problems and for the study of asymptotic distributions of non-Markovian systems. Three chapters are devoted to applications in control and communication theory (for example, phase-locked loops and adoptive filters). Small-noise problems and an introduction to the theory of large deviations and applications conclude the book.

This book is the sixth in The MIT Press Series in Signal Processing, Optimization, and Control, edited by Alan S. Willsky.

Building a Modern Computer from First Principles

In the early days of computer science, the interactions of hardware, software, compilers, and operating system were simple enough to allow students to see an overall picture of how computers worked. With the increasing complexity of computer technology and the resulting specialization of knowledge, such clarity is often lost. Unlike other texts that cover only one aspect of the field, The Elements of Computing Systems gives students an integrated and rigorous picture of applied computer science, as its comes to play in the construction of a simple yet powerful computer system.Indeed, the best way to understand how computers work is to build one from scratch, and this textbook leads students through twelve chapters and projects that gradually build a basic hardware platform and a modern software hierarchy from the ground up. In the process, the students gain hands-on knowledge of hardware architecture, operating systems, programming languages, compilers, data structures, algorithms, and software engineering. Using this constructive approach, the book exposes a significant body of computer science knowledge and demonstrates how theoretical and applied techniques taught in other courses fit into the overall picture.Designed to support one- or two-semester courses, the book is based on an abstraction-implementation paradigm; each chapter presents a key hardware or software abstraction, a proposed implementation that makes it concrete, and an actual project. The emerging computer system can be built by following the chapters, although this is only one option, since the projects are self-contained and can be done or skipped in any order. All the computer science knowledge necessary for completing the projects is embedded in the book, the only pre-requisite being a programming experience.The book's web site provides all tools and materials necessary to build all the hardware and software systems described in the text, including two hundred test programs for the twelve projects. The projects and systems can be modified to meet various teaching needs, and all the supplied software is open-source.

"Shaping Things is about created objects and the environment, which is to say, it's about everything," writes Bruce Sterling in this addition to the Mediawork Pamphlet series. He adds, "Seen from sufficient distance, this is a small topic."Sterling offers a brilliant, often hilarious history of shaped things. We have moved from an age of artifacts, made by hand, through complex machines, to the current era of "gizmos." New forms of design and manufacture are appearing that lack historical precedent, he writes; but the production methods, using archaic forms of energy and materials that are finite and toxic, are not sustainable. The future will see a new kind of object ;we have the primitive forms of them now in our pockets and briefcases: user-alterable, baroquely multi-featured, and programmable ;that will be sustainable, enhanceable, and uniquely identifiable. Sterling coins the term "spime" for them, these future manufactured objects with informational support so extensive and rich that they are regarded as material instantiations of an immaterial system. Spimes are designed on screens, fabricated by digital means, and precisely tracked through space and time. They are made of substances that can be folded back into the production stream of future spimes, challenging all of us to become involved in their production. Spimes are coming, says Sterling. We will need these objects in order to live; we won't be able to surrender their advantages without awful consequences.

The vision of Shaping Things is given material form by the intricate design of Lorraine Wild. Shaping Things is for designers and thinkers, engineers and scientists, entrepreneurs and financiers ;and anyone who wants to understand and be part of the process of technosocial transformation.

This ambitious book describes the many ways in which invention affects the environment (here defined broadly to include all forms of interaction between humans and nature). The book starts with nature itself and then leads readers to examine the built environment and then specific technologies in areas such as public health and energy.

Each part focuses on a single environmental issue. Topics range widely, from the role of innovation in urban landscapes to the relationship among technological innovation, public health, and the environment. Each part features an essay by a historian, an essay by a practitioner, and a "portrait of innovation" describing an individual whose work has made a difference. The mixture of historians and practitioners is critical because statements about the environment inevitably measure present and future conditions against those of the past. Early in the industrial revolution, smoke stacks were symbols of prosperity; at its end they were regarded as signs of pollution. Historical examples can also lead to the rediscovery of an old technology, as in the revival of straw bale construction. As it explores the history of invention for the environment, the book suggests many new ways to put the past to use for the common good.

Historical and Contemporary Perspectives
Edited by David Kaiser

Pedagogy and the Practice of Science provides the first sustained examination of how scientists' and engineers' training shapes their research and careers. The wide-ranging essays move pedagogy to the center of science studies, asking where questions of scientists' training should fit into our studies of the history, sociology, and anthropology of science. Chapter authors examine the deep interrelations among training, learning, and research and consider how the form of scientific training affects the content of science. They investigate types of training—in cultural and political settings as varied as Victorian Britain, interwar Japan, Stalinist Russia, and Cold War America—and the resulting scientific practices. The fields they examine span the modern physical sciences, ranging from theoretical physics to electrical engineering and from nuclear weapons science to quantum chemistry.

The studies look both at how skills and practices can be transferred to scientists-in-training and at the way values and behaviors are passed on from one generation of scientists to the next. They address such topics as the interplay of techniques and changing research strategies, pedagogical controversies over what constitutes "appropriate" or "effective," the textbook as a genre for expressing scientific creativity, and the moral and social choices that are embodied in the training of new scientists. The essays thus highlight the simultaneous crafting of scientific practices and of the practitioners who put them to work.

Science and the Art of War through the Age of Enlightenment

The integration of scientific knowledge and military power began long before the Manhattan Project. In the third century BC, Archimedes was renowned for his research in mechanics and mathematics as well as for his design and coordination of defensive siegecraft for Syracuse during the Second Punic War. This collection of essays examines the emergence during the early modern era of mathematicians, chemists, and natural philosophers who, along with military engineers, navigators, and artillery officers, followed in the footsteps of Archimedes and synthesized scientific theory and military practice. It is the first collaborative scholarly assessment of these early military-scientific relationships, which have been long neglected by scholars both in the history of science and technology and in military history.

From a historical perspective, this volume investigates the deep connections between two central manifestations of Western power, examining the military context of the Scientific Revolution and the scientific context of the Military Revolution. Unlike the classic narratives of the Scientific Revolution that focus on the theories of, and conflicts between, Aristotelian and Platonic worldviews, this volume highlights the emergence of the Archimedean ideal—in which a symbiosis exists between the supply of mechanistic science and the demand for military capability.

From a security-studies perspective, this work presents an in-depth study of the central components of military power as well as their dynamic interactions in the political, acquisitional, operational, and tactical domains. The essays in this volume reveal the intellectual and cultural struggles to enhance the capabilities of these components—an exercise in transforming military power that remains relevant for today’s armed forces.

The volume sets the stage by examining the innovation of gunpowder weaponry in both the Christian and the Islamic states of the late medieval and Renaissance eras. It then explores such topics as the cultural resistance to scientific techniques and the relationship between early modern science and naval power—particularly the intersecting developments in mathematics and oceanic navigation. Other essays address the efforts of early practitioners and theorists of chemistry to increase the power and consistency of gunpowder. The final essays analyze the application of advanced scientific knowledge and Enlightenment ideals to the military engineering and artillery organizations of the eighteenth century. The volume concludes by noting the global spread of the Archimedean ideal during the nineteenth century as an essential means for resisting Western imperialism.

Technical drawings by the architects and engineers of the Renaissance made use of a range of new methods of graphic representation. These drawings—among them Leonardo da Vinci's famous drawings of mechanical devices—have long been studied for their aesthetic qualities and technological ingenuity, but their significance for the architects and engineers themselves is seldom considered. The essays in Picturing Machines 1400-1700 take this alternate perspective and look at how drawing shaped the practice of early modern engineering. They do so through detailed investigations of specific images, looking at over 100 that range from sketches to perspective views to thoroughly constructed projections.

In early modern engineering practice, drawings were not merely visualizations of ideas but acted as models that shaped ideas. Picturing Machines establishes basic categories for the origins, purposes, functions, and contexts of early modern engineering illustrations, then treats a series of topics that not only focus on the way drawings became an indispensable means of engineering but also reflect the main stages in their historical development. The authors examine the social interaction conveyed by early machine images and their function as communication between practitioners; the knowledge either conveyed or presupposed by technical drawings, as seen in those of Giorgio Martini and Leonardo; drawings that required familiarity with geometry or geometric optics, including the development of architectural plans; and technical illustrations that bridged the gap between practical and theoretical mechanics.

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