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4.3 The use of systems engineering in organisations

The development of systems engineering was contemporaneous with that of systems analysis in public policy. Though its origins can be traced back to the 1930s and 1940s (Hall, 1962, p. 7), its more widespread application can be dated from the early 1950s. The earliest formal teaching of systems engineering was a course presented in 1950 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology by G.W. Gilman, who was then Director of Systems Engineering at Bell Laboratories. Gilman was a strong promoter of
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Stage 6: Debate on feasible and desirable changes

The comparison undertaken in the previous stage can have two results.

  • It can cause opinions to change on the problem situation and the issues arising from it.

  • It can provide an agenda for change.

In either case (though both may result), the objective of this stage is to debate, with all concerned, the changes proposed to ensure that they are both desirable and feasible. The aim is to arrive at consensus about the prop
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Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you should be able to:

  • critically evaluate disasters and their causes, especially from mechanical or material failures;

  • demonstrate the importance of systematic and rigorous analysis of disasters, so that future failures can be avoided or prevented.

4.18.2 Information visualisation

We read increasingly of the problem of information overload. Earlier, we emphasised the importance of designing appropriate information representations to assist human interpretation in order to create actionable knowledge. Information visualisation is concerned explicitly with designing representations using intuitive visual metaphors and graphics to highlight the most important aspects of information structures and processes. Information visualisation is a rapidly emerg
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4.12.1 Communities of practice and technology

Communities of practice are technical and social networks which set the context in which new knowledge arises in daily work, and determine how it is shared and interpreted, what counts as important knowledge and how people become recognised as members of that community:

A good deal of new technology attends primarily to individuals and the explicit information that passes between them. To support the flow of knowledge,
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4.4.1 The map isn't the territory

The expression ‘the map isn't the territory’ draws attention to the difference between complex reality and simplified models of it. Normally, the territory is relatively stable and different maps are produced for different purposes; the territory shapes the maps, not vice versa. However, when the ‘territory’ comprises people who know that they – or their work activities – are being mapped, we find ourselves in a reflexive loop: the people can see how they and thei
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4.3.1 Mapping what we know

Knowledge maps are often one of the first knowledge management representations to emerge, in an effort to add value over the simple corporate intranet search which returns lists of ‘hits’ that are undifferentiated beyond a ranking in terms of keyword matches. Knowledge maps, like other forms of cartography, should communicate a ‘big picture’ by overlaying meaningful structure on to raw resources.

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2.3.1 From tacit pre-understanding to symbolic representation

This section reflects many of the critiques that have been made of efforts to apply technology to knowledge work without taking seriously the differences between human and artificial knowledge representations. Stahl (1993a,b) has presented an informative analysis of the transformation of knowledge from tacit to explicit to formally codified representations in computer-interpretable form, emphasising the centrality of interpretation situated in the workplace (Figure 2).

Stahl also seeks
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Space Shelter
The invasion has taken place and we need to find a new home. To ensure your survival beyond earth's occupation you must design a shelter that can be built on another planet. Students will research the characteristics of a planet of their choice. They will design a shelter that will allow them to survive on a new planet, and explain it in words.
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Stop the Stretching
Students will learn about composite materials, tension as a force and how they act on structural components through the design and testing a strip of plastic chair webbing.
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Form vs. Function
Students model and design the sound environment for a room. They analyze the sound performance of different materials that symbolize wallpaper, thick curtains, and sound-absorbing panels. Referring to the results of this analysis, they then design another room based on certain specifications and test their design.
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Earthquake Formation
Students learn about the structure of the earth and how an earthquake happens. In one activity, students make a model of the earth including all of its layers. In a teacher-led demonstration, students learn about continental drift. In another activity, students create models demonstrating the different types of faults.
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Powerful Pulleys
Students continue to explore the story of building a pyramid, learning about the simple machine called a pulley. They learn how a pulley can be used to change the direction of applied forces and move/lift extremely heavy objects, and the powerful mechanical advantages of using a multiple-pulley system. Students perform a simple demonstration to see the mechanical advantage of using a pulley, and they identify modern day engineering applications of pulleys. In a hands-on activity, they see how a
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Protecting the Mummified Troll
Students are introduced to the (hypothetical) task of developing an invisible (non-intrusive) security system to protect the school's treasured mummified troll! Solving the challenge depends on an understanding of the properties of light. After being introduced to the challenge question, students generate ideas and consider the knowledge required find solutions. They watch a portion of the "Mythbuster's Crimes and Myth-Demeanors" episode ($20), which helps direct their research and learning towa
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3.3 Distinctive contributions

In Activity 1 you looked at brief descriptions of the duties of classroom support staff working in eight schools across the UK. Despite the brevity of information, there is sufficient to suggest that teaching assistants in these schools have wide ranging roles, and that their different titles relate to different types of responsibilities. Let us now consider the essential nature of the work that assistants do and the way they contribute to the totality of work in a classroom.

Are teachi
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Alien Ink Graphic Novel
Alien Ink Graphic Novel
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Restoring Growth
The financial crisis and the great recession dealt the global economy a massive shock. How can growth be put back on a sustainable path? What policy lessons have we learned? And how should Britain respond? John Van Reenen is professor of economics at LSE and the director of the Centre for Economic Performance.
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INFO2009 Privacy DPA and other legislation.
INFO2009 Privacy DPA and other legislation. - su white Keywords:DPA , Data Protection Act , Privacy
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1.4.1 Choices in dying

An enormous diversity exists in the way people view and approach death and dying. This diversity continues to be evident when people are faced with the knowledge that their own death is approaching. There is no standard, correct or even best way of dying. Yet there is a concept of a ‘good death’ which will be addressed in this section. As a course team we are somewhat ambivalent about the usefulness of the phrase, but we retain it largely as a reminder that there are important issues
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4.3 How effective are antidepressants in general?

Despite the rapidly expanding use of antidepressants, to date there is very little evidence that they are effective for the treatment of bereavement or in mild to moderate types of depression. Recent meta-analyses (a technique for combining the results of a number of studies) reported by Joanna Moncrieff and Irving Kirsh, a British psychiatrist and psychologist respectively, show that selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as paroxetine (Seroxat) and fluoxetine (Prozac), have
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