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The Art of Insight in Science and Engineering: Mastering Complexity
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  • Title: The Art of Insight in Science and Engineering: Mastering Complexity
  • Author(s) Sanjoy Mahajan
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (November 7, 2014); eBook (Creative Commons Licensed)
  • License(s): CC BY-NC-SA 4.0
  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • eBook: PDF (409 pages, 5.6 MB)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262526549
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262526548
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Book Description

In this book, Sanjoy Mahajan shows us that the way to master complexity is through insight rather than precision. Precision can overwhelm us with information, whereas insight connects seemingly disparate pieces of information into a simple picture. Unlike computers, humans depend on insight. Based on the author's fifteen years of teaching at MIT, Cambridge University, and Olin College, The Art of Insight in Science and Engineering shows us how to build insight and find understanding, giving readers tools to help them solve any problem in science and engineering.

To master complexity, we can organize it or discard it. The Art of Insight in Science and Engineering first teaches the tools for organizing complexity, then distinguishes the two paths for discarding complexity: with and without loss of information. Questions and problems throughout the text help readers master and apply these groups of tools. Armed with this three-part toolchest, and without complicated mathematics, readers can estimate the flight range of birds and planes and the strength of chemical bonds, understand the physics of pianos and xylophones, and explain why skies are blue and sunsets are red.

About the Authors
  • Sanjoy Mahajan studied mathematics at the University of Oxford and received a PhD in theoretical physics at the California Institute of Technology. He is now Associate Director of the Teaching and Learning Laboratory and a Lecturer in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. Before coming to MIT, he was a Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and a Lecturer in Physics in the University of Cambridge.
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