Visual analogy is believed to be important in human problem solving. Yet, there are few computational models of visual analogy. In this paper, we present a preliminary computational model of visual analogy in problem solving. The model is instantiated in a computer program, called Galatea, which uses a language for representing and transferring visual information called Privlan. We describe how the computational model can account for a small slice of a cognitive-historical analysis of Maxwell’s reasoning about electromagnetism.
In this article, after arguing that present approaches to improving problem-solving discussions for various reasons are not satisfactory, I turn to the pragma-dialectic approach to argumentative discourse to derive a normative framework that can serve as a point of departure to enhance the quality of problem-solving discussions. I then show how this approach can be used as analytical and evaluative instrument that can help the analyst to establish whether participants in actual practice act in a fashion that is (...) in accord with the norms posited. Two real-life problem-solving discussions provide the material for this demonstration. (shrink)
The present study discusses findings that replicate and extend the original work of Burns and Vollmeyer (2002), which showed that performance in problem solving tasks was more accurate when people were engaged in a non-specific goal than in a specific goal. The main innovation here was to examine the goal specificity effect under both observation-based and conventional action-based learning conditions. The findings show that goal specificity affects the accuracy of problem solving in the same way, both when the (...) learning stage of the task is observationbased and when it is action-based. Additionally, the findings show that, when instructions do not promote goal specificity, observation-based problem solving is as effective as action-based problem solving. (shrink)
Engineering ethics entails three frames of reference: individual, professional, and social. “Microethics” considers individuals and internal relations of the engineering profession; “macroethics” applies to the collective social responsibility of the profession and to societal decisions about technology. Most research and teaching in engineering ethics, including online resources, has had a “micro” focus. Mechanisms for incorporating macroethical perspectives include: integrating engineering ethics and science, technology and society (STS); closer integration of engineering ethics and computer ethics; and consideration of the influence of (...) professional engineering societies and corporate social responsiblity programs on ethical engineering practice. Integrating macroethical issues and concerns in engineering ethics involves broadening the context of ethical problem solving. This in turn implies: developing courses emphasizing both micro and macro perspectives, providing faculty development that includes training in both STS and practical ethics; and revision of curriculum materials, including online resources. Multidisciplinary collaboration is recommended 1) to create online case studies emphasizing ethical decision making in individual, professional, and societal contexts; 2) to leverage existing online computer ethics resources with relevance to engineering education and practice; and 3) to create transparent linkages between public policy positions advocated by professional societies and codes of ethics. (shrink)
During the last decade, scholars have identified a number of factors that pose significant challenges to effective business ethics education. This article offers a "coping-modeling, problem-solving" (CMPS) approach (Cunningham, 2006) as one option for addressing these concerns. A rationale supporting the use of the CMPS framework for courses on ethical decisionmaking in business is provided, following which the implementation processes for this program are described. Evaluative data collected from N = 101 undergraduate business students enrolled in a third year (...) required course on ethical decision-making in business indicated that the CMPS model is a promising alternative for both overcoming teaching challenges and for facilitating skill acquisition in the areas of ethical recognition, judgment, and action. Limitations and directions for future research are discussed. (shrink)
In this article, the pragma-dialectical model of a critical discussion is demonstrated to provide a useful instrument for discovering causes of an unsatisfactory development of problem-solving discussions. First a sketch is given of the development of a problem-solving discussion which, in the opinion of the participants themselves, developed in an unsatisfactory fashion. Then it is argued that this development can be traced back to flaws in the execution of the stages of a critical discussion.
Goal-directed problem solving as originally advocated by Herbert Simon’s means-ends analysis model has primarily shaped the course of design research on artificially intelligent systems for problem-solving. We contend that there is a definite disregard of a key phase within the overall design process that in fact logically precedes the actual problem solving phase. While systems designers have traditionally been obsessed with goal-directed problem solving, the basic determinants of the ultimate desired goal state still remain to be (...) fully understood or categorically defined. We propose a rational framework built on a set of logically inter-connected conjectures to specifically recognize this neglected phase in the overall design process of intelligent systems for practical problem-solving applications. (shrink)
This paper is an attempt to develop a paradigm in problem solving where the notion of virtuality plays a central role. Following a brief discussion on virtual simulation, the paper attempts to identify a notion of virtuality based on the identification of the self (man or computer) with the problem solver. It is shown that such an identification/distinction possibly violates some general principle of the problem environment.To deal with this violation, a new problem is generated and a new virtualization (...) act is required, in order to attain a correspondence between virtuality and reality. A better understanding of this approach requires a combination of analog and digital reasoning: the analog being related to the environment in which the problem solving is required, and the digital to the problem solver's “mental” activities.We will briefly analyze the recursive approach to problem solving and suggest a possible problem solving methodology based on virtuality. The paper concludes with comments on the relation between etnology and virtual reality. (shrink)
This study investigated whether activating elements of prior knowledge can influence how problem solvers encode and solve simple mathematical equivalence problems (e.g., 3 + 4 + 5 = 3 + _). Past work has shown that such problems are difficult for elementary school students (McNeil & Alibali, 2000). One possible reason is that children’s experiences in math classes may encourage them to think about equations in ways that are ultimately detrimental. Specifically, children learn a set of patterns that are potentially (...) problematic (McNeil & Alibali, 2005): the perceptual pattern that all equations follow an “operations = answer” format, the conceptual pattern that the equal sign means “calculate the total,” and the procedural pattern that the correct way to solve an equation is to perform all of the given operations on all of the given numbers. Upon viewing an equivalence problem, knowledge of these patterns may be reactivated, leading to incorrect problem solving. We hypothesized that these patterns may negatively affect problem solving by influencing what people encode about a problems. To test this hypothesis in children would require strengthening their misconceptions, and this could be detrimental to their mathematical development. Therefore, we tested this hypothesis in undergraduate participants. Participants completed either control tasks or tasks that activated their knowledge of the three patterns, and were then asked to reconstruct and solve a set of equivalence problems. Participants in the knowledge activation condition encoded the problems less well than control participants. They also made more errors in solving the problems, and their errors resembled the errors children make when solving equivalence problems. Moreover, encoding performance mediated the effect of knowledge activation on equivalence problem solving. Thus, one way in which experience may affect equivalence problem solving is by influencing what students encode about the equations. (shrink)
Interactive computer systems can support their users in problem solving, both in Performing their work tasks and in using the systems themselves. Not only is direct support for heuristics beneficial, but to do so modifies the form of computer support provided. This Paper defines and explores the use of problem solving heuristics in user interface design.
In this article, the conceptual instrument that pragma-dialectical argumentation theory offers is elaborated for the analysis and evaluation of problem-solving discussions. The elaboration is aimed expressly at taking into account the discussion character of the discourse, in order to show how the developing process evolves and what the obstacles are therein. In addition, it focuses expressly on the verbal behaviour of the participants and on showing how this behaviour controls the evolving process. The analysis and evaluation is based on (...) insights and methods of conversational analysis and discourse analysis. One fragment of a problem-solving discussion is analysed and evaluated. (shrink)
In this article, I will discuss the relationship between mathematical intuition and mathematical visualization. I will argue that in order to investigate this relationship, it is necessary to consider mathematical activity as a complex phenomenon, which involves many different cognitive resources. I will focus on two kinds of danger in recurring to visualization and I will show that they are not a good reason to conclude that visualization is not reliable, if we consider its use in mathematical practice. Then, I (...) will give an example of mathematical reasoning with a figure, and show that both visualization and intuition are involved. I claim that mathematical intuition depends on background knowledge and expertise, and that it allows to see the generality of the conclusions obtained by means of visualization. (shrink)