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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”

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

It is important to be able to break the world down into categories sometimes. Building subassemblies can help one create more than watches. Personally, I am going to try applying the subassembly technique to my songwriting. In addition, patterns that can be efficiently represented are everywhere. The gif and jpeg specifications, or any encoding scheme for that matter, would not work so well if this were not the case.

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

Yes. I seek to create, and I do not expect to be successful using Tempus' method. In the past I have created things from scratch in one sitting, and it is a good idea, I think, to proceed in a more modular fashion.

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”)

My first step was to move the problem to a computer. I used Macromedia Flash for prototyping. I tried many solutions and could not find a good solution. It also took a lot of time. Next I tried chunking the pieces into larger pieces that looked very similar to Tetris blocks. I gave them eacha different color. I was able to get very close, but couldn't quite find an acceptable solution. Next I took a break. I ran into my housemate, and he asked me to help him get his internet working. I asked him to help me with the problem. We worked on it on paper and we were able to find an answer which is a bit leftfield. I got his internet working.

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

I used a computer with Macromedia Flash. Then I used just a paper and a pen.

3. which process did you use?

We changed the topography of the system. We wrapped the mutilated matrix on itself so it looked like a cannoli. Then it was simple to place the dominoes on the matrix.

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

I used the practice of simple descriptions of complex systems.

5. could computers be useful to solve this problem?

Yes they could be useful. They were only useful for helping me eliminate alternatives, but I believe I could have solved this problem with just a computer if I really didn't want to use pen and paper.

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

I learned to think outside the box. The solution was really my housemate's idea, so I'm also glad I collaborated. It was also a breakthrough to reorganize the system into chunks. Even though this did not find me a solution it was worthwhile for more rapid prototyping.

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

I'm not really sure I found the only solution. Maybe there is a way to solve the problem by thinking inside the box more. If there is I have even more to learn about solving problems like this.

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