The Benefits of New Technologies Essay Example

The Benefits of New Technologies Essay Example

Dr. Magleby is a researcher in the field of engineering. He applies several thinking styles to his research and has helped develop many amazing new technologies. When choosing a project to work on, the most important factor is funding. However, he looks for projects that will help people. He is inspired, like many engineers, by the great questions and goals of engineering; such as ways to improve medicine, solar energy, and personalized learning. One of his goals is to push the boundaries of technology. His presentation addressed many different thinking techniques, one of which is abstract thinking. Engineers have to come up with new and better technologies, so they need to be able to think abstractly. Dr. Magleby does this when he transfers from origami to a device. He has to be able to form an idea of how that device is going to work before he creates it. The next thinking pattern that he addressed was modeling. He uses his knowledge of his surroundings to predict how what he creates is going to act. He gave the example of knowing when to start braking to stop at a stop sign, as a way to explain modeling. The last major thinking pattern that he addressed, and probably the most important one was, drawing inspiration from other sources. Engineers don’t typically base their designs off of origami. Instead, it is another discipline that Dr. Magleby’s research team used in their designs. One of the questions Dr. Magelby has asked during his research has been, “ How can we perform surgery in a less damaging way?” His team has specifically looked into reducing the size of the instruments used. Figuring out a solution to this question has the potential to save lives, and that is why people came to his team for help. His team found movement in a piece of origami, often called a chomper, that they liked. They next studied how the movement was created and looked for ways to reduce the number of parts in the tool. They were able to successfully do this and have successfully created a much smaller tool. They have also been applying this technique is building satellites. They often look for ways to use only one sheet of material in their designs. This technique has led to a tentative design for a satellite that can expand once it is in orbit. It can do this because of the “folds” they create in the material. The key thinking pattern that he addressed was drawing inspiration from outside sources. There is a multiplicity of benefits that come from doing this. Not only does it provide an answer to a complicated problem, but it also connects people in different fields. Unexpected connections are made when this is done, and it encourages the field to grow. The connections he and his team make allow them to come up with new technology and ways to improve the technology we already have. In his field, drawing inspiration from other sources helps his team be more innovative. This is a valuable skill for other fields as well. Artists draw inspiration from mathematics when balancing their works. For example, the Fibonacci spiral is often used to guide a viewer’s eye across a painting.  Another important part of his presentation was breaking down problems into smaller more manageable pieces. He does this when modeling, and when starting to approach the problem. Technology is often made up of multiple pieces each doing different tasks it can be overwhelming to look at all of these pieces at once. It is important to break things down and see how they can be simplified. His team broke down and simplified the medical tools by looking for one specific motion that they wanted. This technique is an important concept to apply to all fields of study. For example, historians might break down major events in history to better understand why events happened the way they did. Dr. Magelby also talked about modeling, which is used to understand and predict projects that are expensive to create.  He and his team take what they already know about physics and mechanics to predict how a machine will act when they build it. That way they don’t have to build it to know how it will act. This process can be seen in many places and can save people time and effort. This is useful when looking to invest. Creating a model of the stock market can help one make an informed decision when investing. Artists also do this; they will often sketch an idea before they create the actual product. Modeling is one of the most valuable skills in any field. There are many lessons I am going to take away from this presentation. The first being that you can find inspiration from anywhere. Literature and inspire math and vise versa. In fact, if I am having a hard time finding inspiration I should look to some of these more unexpected sources. Inspiration is all around us we just have to look. It is possible to make connections between two subjects that seem to be completely different. These other fields can lead to a new perspective which generates a new method. Next, I feel like modeling will be a good way to approach issues that I am unsure about. A model can give me an idea of what to expect. Plus, I can create models from all types of estimates. I can estimate based on research or experiences of others. I can estimate based on my past experiences and research, I can use math and science to form a hypothesis. Creating models can help me exceed in many ways. This will be especially valuable as I am hoping to become an engineer. An important part of modeling is the ability to break projects down into smaller more manageable steps. Just like modeling, this is looking at issues on a smaller scale. It takes some of the pressure that the larger problem presents away and allows me to focus on something much easier. For example, when writing essays like this it is good to break it down into small parts to focus on. I broke this essay down into the four sections that we were supposed to focus on. Then I broke each of those sections down into smaller parts that I could address. I feel that this is a useful tool to use for almost every problem I encounter. It will help relieve stress and it will likely save me time. It also allows me to look at each part from many different perspectives. One perspective may work for one part of the problem but not for others or the whole thing. One thing I liked about Dr, Magleby’s presentation was the fact that he works to push the boundaries of the field. I feel that this is important for the growth of a field, and the growth of the world. As an athlete pushing boundaries is extremely important to me. If I didn’t push boundaries I would be able to improve as much as I have. Whether it’s putting more effort into an exercise or doing more of the exercise; in the end pushing the boundaries allows me to grow. Another example of pushing boundaries is participating in this honors program. We look to push the boundaries of our thinking and understanding in this class. This will help us approaching learning differently, and in the end, help us learn better.


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