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Questions about Reading Assignment:

Name the two most important things/concepts
which you learned from the reading the chapter “The Architecture of Complexity”

The section on The
Sources of Selectivity, and the section on Problem Solving as Natural Selection.

1. give a one paragraph explanation
why you consider these concepts important

I thought the sections
on how we solve problems and how we select various paths were the most interesting
concepts discussed in the paper. It is important in everyday life to solve problems
based on what you know, what you yourself have tried, what you observe in the
current state, as well as what others before you have accomplished. Without
selecting proper paths to lead you to useful solutions, you will no make much
progress in anything you do. Humans, all the way down to the most microscopic
organism exhibit these traits in some form, and this is what enables them to
survive and adapt. For those, reasons this concept seems extremely important.

2. are the concepts relevant to your
work, to your interest, …. – if yes, why?

These concepts are
not only relevant to work and interests, but to life in general. In work for
instance, you work with others and collaborate on a design. You build small
pieces which can be tested and evaluated, and then used or scrapped. It is important
to note that even failed attempts will, in the end, create a better product.
These concepts also emphasize the importance of incremental design. I think
a great example of this concept is raising children. You start off not knowing
anything (or knowing very little), and you draw from the experience of your
parents, friends, etc. You might read books or take a class to get more general
knowledge. If you later have another child, you draw from your own experiences
with your first, evaluating what worked, and what didn't.

Questions about The Importance
of Representations in Design — The Mutilated “8x8” Matrix remark: check the
attached PDF file to see the graphical image

The Problem: The associated PDF file
shows you a mutilated “8x8” matrix (the two opposing corners cut out) and a
domino block. One domino block covers exactly two fields of the “8x8” matrix.
Note: It is straightforward that one can use 32 domino blocks to cover a complete
“8x8” matrix. Question: Can one cover the mutilated “8x8” matrix with 31 domino
blocks? Remark: the major objective of this assignment is that you spend some
effort trying to solve this problem and answering the questions below — it is
not so important that you will succeed solving the problem! Also: engage in
some collaborative efforts solving it Please do the following (please structure
your answer accordingly — thanks):

1. try to find an answer to this
problem! ‡ document briefly your thinking — including all the important intermediate
steps and failing attempts (i.e., create a “think-aloud protocol”)

I started by confirming
that 31 was not easy by simply placing them in order. I had to find out for
myself and make sure the claim above was true. I then decided to break down
the 8x8 grid into smaller grids (four 4x4s) and try to solve the small grids.
This got me nowhere, as I quickly discovered that when connecting the grids,
I would fail. I tried to think of interesting combinations of blocks that might
not be so straightforward. For instance, blocks in different directions, not
completely linear. After trying about three different times, I saw myself getting
nowhere, and gave up. I searched google for a little bit, but found nothing.

2. which resources did you use to
solve the problem?

I used a pencil and
paper. I printed off the block grid (about 7 copies) so that I could document
my progress. I searched on google to see how others maybe had solved it, but
found nothing.

3. which process did you use?

I used a combination
of hierarchical logic and selectivity to try and see what worked. I broke the
grid down into smaller, more manageable pieces, and then used the multiple copies
of paper to selectively document progress.

4. which practice (of you or others)
did you use?

Mainly a trial and
error process.

5. could computers be useful to solve
this problem?

Yes, I think so,
although I think it may come up with the same solution I got.

6. what have you learned solving
the problem: in general and for our course?

I have learned that
it is important to take multiple approaches to solving problems, and that doing
it incrementally is crucial. It is also important to collaborate and draw on
others knowledge (symmetry of ignorance).

7. what have you learned not being
able to solve the problem: in general and for our course?

I have learned that
sometimes solutions don't exist, and that even though the solving of it failed,
the attempt is valuable in itself.

Previous Assignments

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