Sunday, September 20, 2009

Homework 6

HW 6 Due Monday Sept. 27, 2009

Note: I'm assuming the workload in this class is consistent with other IFSC classes...let me know if any adjustment is indicated.

1. Consider the topics students are currently focusing on (which may change as we go along):
  • Cybernetics
  • How long will Homo sapiens sapiens be the dominant species on planet Earth?
  • When will the broadband Internet speed/download speed offering reach 1 GBPS (gigabyte per second globally (i.e 51 to 49 % being dominant), where downloading a whole movie (approx 2 Gigs) would happen in 3 seconds at max?
  • When will commercial airplanes will be ten time faster?
  • Will Mac take control of the software market from Microsoft?
  • When will cars will be fully automated?
  • How long before the U.S. is much more energy efficient in our homes regarding lighting?
  • What will the average human lifespan be in the US, in the year 2050?
  • DNA database(s) of the future
  • "Green energy" technologies
  • Future markup method for data

This question will help start to familiarize all of us with these topics (leading to interesting discussions in class, for example).

  • a) (16 2/3 pts.) Find three useful Web pages or sites, one for each of three topics above, that someone investigating it would be likely to find of interest. They should not be wikipedia articles (though wikipedia can be a good place to find links to other pages). Similarly they should not be on the first page of search engine hits for an obvious query. That's too easy because the person doing that topic would surely find it without your help.
  • b) (16 2/3 pts.) Review them on your blog. For example, what is each about, what about it is interesting, what about it is not interesting, what do you agree or disagree with, why should or shouldn't someone study it, what questions does it leave you with, etc.
  • c) (16 2/3 pts.) In class, briefly summarize your review(s) orally. (We may or may not have time to do all three, we'll just have to see.)

2) Apply TRIZ to your own topic:

a) (10 pts.) Pick a certain technology relevant to your topic. How could an implementation of it "branch out" and do other things? For example, pencils are a technology that "branched out" to also have erasers, storage bins for extra lead, clips for attaching it to a pocket, and so on. Cars now have air conditioners, play music, even have GPS devices for giving directions, etc.

b) (40 pts.) TRIZ also contains 40 principles for improving technologies (to find out more do a search on the terms 'TRIZ' and '40'). These are summarized in the course notes. Pick 10 of them and apply them to a technology relevant to your topic. What are the 10 possible future advances that you have discovered?

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