The Use of Graphic Representations in Semiconductor Engineering Team Problem Solving

ICORD 11: Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Research into Design Engineering, Bangalore, India, 10.-12.01.2011

Year: 2011
Editor: Chakrabarti, A.
Author: Goldschmidt,Gabriela; Surasky,Tali
Section: Design Collaboration and Communication
Page(s): 655-662


Starting with the assumption that graphic representations contribute to design problem solving, this paper reports an experiment in which the performance of multidisciplinary engineering problem solving teams in the semiconductors industry was compared under four different conditions pertaining to the graphic data they received. These conditions ranged from no graphic data to all available graphic data, with two intermediate conditions, in which either generic graphic representations alone were provided, or only domain-specific representations were supplied. It was found that graphic representations enhance the construction of shared team mental models of the problem and its envisioned solution, and the teams that received a lot of graphic data scored highest for their solutions. However, participants reported problems understanding domain specific representations. Conclusions pertain to the structure and norms of the industry and the state of the art of engineering education

Keywords: Mental models, Problem solving, Graphic representation, Semiconductors


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