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Problem Solving
Problem Solving:
Step 1
Define the problem
Read the Problem Statement carefully.
Collect the known information.
Ask two important questions:
•
What essential information is given?
•
What is to be found?
Draw an appropriate diagram, sketch, or circuit to help you visualize the
problem.
Problem Solving:
Step 2
Select the best solution technique
Consider several methods and pick the approach that is the most
straightforward.
For the chosen technique:
•
Clearly define all of the variables you will use.
•
Clearly state any assumptions made to simplify the problem’s solution.
You may find some assumptions are not acceptable.
Problem Solving:
Step 3
Construct the equations and solve
Using the analytical method you have chosen, arrive at a solution.
•
Construct the equations carefully.
•
Solve the equations accurately.
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Present the solution in a manner easily followed by other engineers.
•
Show your work
— Be neat.
Provide enough information so that your solution can be checked.
Problem Solving:
Step 4
Verify the solution
Check the accuracy of the solution to ensure you have made no errors.
•
Does the solution obey the laws of physics?
Ohm’s Law, Kirchhoff’s Laws, etc.
•
Is the solution reasonable?
Just because your calculator or your computer says so does not make it
so…
•
Do the units make sense?
•
Have I really solved the specified problem?
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 Fall '06
 MCCANN
 Electrical Engineering

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