A collaborative Inquiry by (in
alphabetical order):
1. 
Prof. Armand Hatchuel,
Ecole de Mines de Paris 
2.

Prof. Pascal Le Masson, Ecole
de Mines de Paris 
3. 
Prof. Yoram Reich, Faculty of Engineering, 
4. 
Dr. Offer Shai, Faculty of Engineering, 
5. 
Prof. Eswaran
Subrahmanian, ICES, 
6. 
Prof. Benoit Weil,
Ecole de Mines de Paris 
Mathematics is a fundamental tool in engineering. It is being taught in all engineering disciplines and used on a regular basis to model and analyze diverse phenomena and engineered products. Yet, engineering is much more than analysis. In fact, its core activity is design: the creation of new products to satisfy some need. If we try to relate design and mathematics, they seem two very different disciplines. Mathematics seems strict and formal with logic playing key role in proving new theorems. In contrast, design involves a great deal of creativity that seems to escape formality and logic or rationality, which are not viewed as the fundamental driving force in design.
However, a close examination of concepts and the practice of mathematics and design reveals that their relationships is much more interesting and deep than the service that mathematics provides to engineering analysis.
First, the process of developing mathematics is similar to developing or designing products. The practice of mathematics is rather social and not formal as perceived. Therefore, design concepts could be used to advance the practice of mathematics. Second, some topics in mathematics seem to be exactly design, for example, the design of forcing functions to support the generation of new sets from existing one. Such practice relates well to CK theory of design. Third, sometimes topics in mathematics and design overlap in ways that could be used to bootstrap the inquiry in both disciplines.
More on the project will be posted in the future. We welcome new ideas and participation.
1. Y. Reich, O. Shai, E. Subrahmanian, A. Hatchuel, P. Le Masson, “The interplay between design and mathematics: Introduction to bootstrapping effects,” Proceedings of the 9th Biennial ASME Conference on Engineering Systems Design and Analysis ESDA2008, Haifa, Israel, 2008.
2.
Y. Reich, A. Hatchuel, O Shai, and
In preparation:
1.
Creativity Theories and Methods: A
Study of CK Theory and Infused Design
Last
modified: 12/23/2008 9:12:00 PM