Creativity – current work
A website base for documenting and representing my current work in creativity studies.
- Courses I teach
- Workshops and presentations
- Insights and concepts from various disciplines (Sources)
|Practical Creativity||Course for science and engineering undergraduate students, exploring factors impacting creativity (discipline, time pressure, constraints), conceptions of creativity (play, inspiration, complex adaptive systems), and applications of creativity (problem solving, negotiation, art).
During the course, students develop confidence in their ability to generate and communicate ideas and take the first step toward realizing one of their ideas.
|Failure, Change, and Integrity||Course for science and engineering undergraduate students, incorporating philosophical and practical approaches to personal and organizational failure.
Students examine the implications of uncertainty, loss, and change as they relate to goal setting and self-evaluation.
|Problem Solving with TRIZ
Alternate title: Interdisciplinary Problem Solving
|Information from the 2008 offering of this course, including syllabus, is available here.
Course for practicing engineers, graduate students, and advanced undergraduates, systematically introducing TRIZ concepts so they may be immediately applied. Topics include psychological challenges to problem solving, functional modeling, cause effect chains, engineering contradictions, physical contradictions, ideality, substance field modeling, and trends of technological evolution.
This course was developed under a grant from the Institute for Advanced Studies at Los Alamos National Laboratories (IAS).
|Creativity and Innovation and Interdisciplinary Problem Solving||Course for chemical engineering undergraduate students, integrating "soft skills" in effective communication and teamwork with critical thinking, problem-solving, and design.||2007|
|Junior Design Laboratory||Course for chemical engineering undergraduate students, integrating "soft skills" in effective communication and teamwork with critical thinking, problem-solving, and design in the laboratory setting.||2004|
|Creativity and Innovation in Engineering Design||Course for science and engineering undergraduate students, covering elementary TRIZ (Russian-developed theory of inventive problem solving) and a model of practical creativity||2002|
|Critical Approaches to Engineering Practice||Course for engineering undergraduate students, introducing negotiation, leadership, and business principles and applying them to an examination of engineering culture||2001|
|What To Do When 'It' Isn't Working||A presentation for collaborative workers on the limits of pushing harder, giving and receiving feedback, the Pareto Principle (80/20), and the Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA).||2010|
|Problem Solving with TRIZ||A presentation for engineers, introducing the TRIZ methodology: when creativity is warranted and when not, how to outperform brainstorming, moving past psychological limitations of individual and team-based problem solving.||2007|
|Answer-resistant Problems and a Model of Practical Creativity||Lecture-presentation illustrating a common structure of problems in the disciplines of negotiation, leadership, and design and deriving a model of practical creativity||2005|
|Practical Leadership||For faculty and graduate students, designed to help participants 1) recognize work avoidance in groups, and 2) mobilize people to address problems||2003|
|Practical Leadership; Practical Creativity||Half-day workshop covering "Practical Leadership" materials and incorporating segments on problem-solving (informed by TRIZ methods) and giving feedback effectively||2003|
|Field or Discipline||Relevant aspects, influences|
|Complexity theory||Creativity and effective reasoning do not find a foothold when ideas and models are too stable or, on the other hand, chaotic. The boundary region between near-equilibrium systems and chaotic behavior is particularly fruitful, however. This region is the focus of complexity theory. See: Taylor's The Moment of Complexity.|
|Negotiation||Avoidance of one-dimensional, 'compromise' solutions. Interests as a class comprising multiple, possible positions. See: Fisher and Ury's Getting to Yes.|
|Leadership||Distinction between technical problems (exercises) and adaptive problems (problems). Error of applying expertise in situations where innovation or adaptation is required. Characteristics of work avoidance. See: Heifetz' Leadership Without Easy Answers.|
|Design||TRIZ methodology, generating breakthrough solutions (both/and) instead of tradeoffs (either/or). See: Savransky's Engineering of Creativity. Rapid prototyping or "rapid failure". See: Peters' Circle of Innovation.|
|Facilitation||Process expertise instead of, or in addition to, content expertise. Essential listening skills. Avoiding false consensus.|
|Conducting||Distinction between imposing direction and facilitating. Negative effects of ego and insecurity. Need for both technique and aesthetics.|
|Feminism||Inclusive nature of solutions. Challenge of transforming traditions, instead of merely extending them. Rejection of positivism for constructivism.|
|Education||Epistemological modes of college students. Motion beyond presumed expertise to an expectation that knowledge is "true" only in a context. See: Baxter-Magolda's Knowing and Reasoning in College: Gender-related Patterns in Students' Intellectual Development.|
|Pedagogy||College students' intolerance of ambiguity. When confronted with a challenge,many students either 1) presume to know exactly how to solve a problem (exercise), or 2) lack any sense of how to proceed.|