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Engineering

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Analysis, Evaluation, Design

Over the last several thousand years of human life on Earth, agricultural settlements became urban cores, and these regional settlements became tightly connected through infrastructures transporting people, materials, and information. This global network of urban systems, including ecosystems, is the anthroposphere; the physical flows and stocks of matter and energy within it form its metabolism. This book offers an overview of the metabolism of the anthroposphere, with an emphasis on the design of metabolic systems.

Systems Thinking Applied to Safety
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
Human and Machine in Spaceflight

As Apollo 11’s Lunar Module descended toward the moon under automatic control, a program alarm in the guidance computer’s software nearly caused a mission abort. Neil Armstrong responded by switching off the automatic mode and taking direct control. He stopped monitoring the computer and began flying the spacecraft, relying on skill to land it and earning praise for a triumph of human over machine. In Digital Apollo, engineer-historian David Mindell takes this famous moment as a starting point for an exploration of the relationship between humans and computers in the Apollo program.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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