Lecture Note Series: Methodologies for Creative Problem Solving (Top)
 Methodologies for Creative Problem Solving (A Series of 13 Lectures)
  - Lectures Given to the Sophomer Students of Faculty of Informatics, Oskaka Gakuin University at the "Scientific Information Methodologies" Class
  Toru Nakagawa (Osaka Gakuin Univesity) 
  October 4, 2001 through January 17, 2002
   [Posted in Japanese: started on Feb. 4, 2002 and finished on July 10, 2002]
   [This top page was translated into English and posted here on July 10, 2002.  The lectures are not ready in English yet. ] 

Preface for posting in "TRIZ Home Page in Japan" in Japanese
    (Toru Nakagawa, Feb. 4, 2002.    Translated into English by Nakagawa on July 15, 2002.)

     Here I am going to post the Lecture Notes of a series of lectures which I gave to the sophomer students of Faculty of Informatics, Osaka Gakuin University at the class named "Scientific Information Methodologies".  This class is one of Basic Courses at Faculty of Informatics and is scheduled at the second semester (October to January) for the sophomer students.  The class is non-mandatory.  Among 115 sophomer students (i.e. the first students of our Faculty founded in April 2000), 70 students registered the class, and 50 or more of them successfully passed the class after writing reports.  The lecture was given at the first class hour (9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.) for 90 minutes each.  13 lectures were given in total (except one skipped due to my trip for ETRIA TRIZ Conference).

     In the syllabus of this course, I wrote the Objectives and Abstract as:

     In all the areas of academic studies, technological development, and daily life, etc., we need to face with new unknown situations and difficulties and to overcome them and create something new.  For such purposes, we should recognize and analyze the problems, find some ideas to solve, and implement or perform such solutions in practice.  Even though the subjects and contents of the problems may differ from each other, the general schemes for handling information in the problem solving can be in common more or less.  Such scheme is also applicable to research and writing reports.
        Hence, the present course will explain how to handle "information" (or how to think) along the basic processes of  research and problem solving.  Such handling must be "Information Processing" in its deep sense.  Methodologies for such "Information Processing" are important to learn for science, technology, business, and everyday life.  This course is a new trial to give lectures in such a subject.  You are advised to take this course at the sophomer year just before starting to study specialty courses.
     Since this course was really the first trial for me, I had to prepare for lectures one by one and to make up the structure of the whole course gradually while proceeding.  I was just like writing research reports every week being pressed with the due dates.  The articles I had written so far in this Website were of course helpful for me to prepare for the lectures.  However, instead of experienced engineers in industries, the audience this time were just sophomer students in information science.  They have not received, except some introductory courses in information science, any specialty education in science and technology yet, and do not have experiences of facing/solving real problems in industires and societies.  Thus I had to teach everything as plainly and clearly as possible.  Moreover, the contents should be arranged to cover not only TRIZ but also various other relevant methodologies.   Now having finished the lectures, I have found it really fruitful for myself that I wrote down this series of lectures so as to meet such needs.

  The outlines of the lectures given are summerized in the following table.
Subjects Contents Posting
   Oct. 4,
    Methods of Study and Research in Science/Technology  -- Experiences and Theories
Introduction to this course (objectives, outline, and remarks);
From everyday life to science & technology (a demo experiment of picture hanging);
Outlines of approaches in science & technology; 
Approach A: observation --> knowledge from experiences -->  hypotheses --> verification with experiments
Feb. 4, 
     Oct. 11
How to Write a Report
    (Task of a Report for This Class)
    (How to Write a Report)
Task of report writing for the student evaluation in this class;
How to write a report:
   Introduction (importance of report writing);
   To clarify the objectives of the report;
   Survey and research to find what to report;
   Preparations and activities of writing;
   Forms and items to write in reports;
   Advices to write good sentences;
   Conclusions and references
Feb. 4, 2002

     Oct. 18
 (Continued) Introduction: 
    Methods of Study and Research in Science/Technology  -- Experiences and theories
 Collecting Information:
     (1) Collecting Academic Information Through Books and Journals.
  Approach B: Principles & theories --> scientific deductive reasoning --> application;
  Approach C:  Problems --> analyses --> solutions --> application
Collecting information -- books and journals vs Internet;
   Surveying academic references through books and journals;
   How to cite references in papers.
Feb. 4, 2002

Mar.28,, 2002
     Oct. 25
Collecting Information 
   (2) Collecting Information via Internet
Mechanism of WWW;
Internet information collection via link pages;
Internet information collection via search engines (keyword searches);
Links for Internet information collection.
Mar. 28, 2002
     Nov.  1
How to Find a Good Problem and Its Focus  Introduction;
How to find and face with "Problems crucial to one's life";
A suggestion for finding problems: NHK TV "Project X";
Various cases of good problems in technology;
View points for finding and focusing the problems;
How to define the problem;
Process to focus the problem: Problem definition in USIT.
Mar. 28, 2002
     Nov.  15
 How Ideas Come Up?
     -- Trial and errors,   Enlightenment, and Creativity
Introduction: How ideas come up?
"Enlightenment":  Historical episodes and their lessons;
Experiments with trial and errors;
Methods to stimulate free idea generation:  Brain storming;
"Psychological Inertia": Our inside factors preventing from creative thinking;
Yukio Noguchi's "Super Idea Generation": criticizing review. 
May 16, 2002
      Nov. 22
What Is a 'System'?
  Components and Their Relations, Hierachical Structure, 
 and Technical Systems
 "System" as a terminology;
Hierachical structure of systems;
Simple examples of problems regarded as systems;
Representing functions of systems in black boxes;
Concepts of technical systems;
Concepts of "Laws of completeness of technical systems"
May 16, 2002
     Nov. 29
Analysis of the Problem (1)
   What Is the Difficulty in the Problem and What Are Their Causes?
To begin with Problem Analysis:  What is the difficulty in the problem?
What are the causes of such difficulties?
Examples of finding causes in technical systems;
Network representation of causes and results, and its usage
Jun. 6, 2002
      Dec.  6
Analysis of the Problem (2) 
   Analyzing Functions and Attributes in Technical Systems
Understanding the mechanism:  specialty expertise and its limit;
Functional analysis of technical systems:
   (1) Representation with simple rules of description;
   (2) Representation distinguishing useful and harmful functions;
Analysis with Objects-Attributes-Functions (USIT method)
Jun. 6, 2002
      Dec. 13
Analysis of the Problem (3)
   Characteristics in Space and  Time;
    Making Images of Ideal Solutions
Analysis of characteristics in space and time;
Concept of ideality and ideality of technical systems;
Practical method for making an image of ideal system and solving pronlems  (Particles method in USIT)
Jun 20, 2002
     Dec.  20
Methods for Generating Solutions
  (1) Active Use of Knowledge Bases
Basic model for problem solving;
Framework of various knowledge bases for problem solving (general structure of TRIZ);
Trends of evolution of technical systems and usage of them;
Reverse indices of technologies: search for implementing means from target functions;
40 Inventive Principles in TRIZ;
Altshuller's Contradiction Matrix;
76 Inventive Standards in TRIZ;
Jun 20, 2002
     Jan.  10,
Methods for Generating Solutions 
   (2) Methods for Breaking Through
Overcoming contradictions:  Separation Principle in TRIZ;
Two sufficient conditions for a solution to be inventive:  ASIT method in Israel;
Solution generation methods in USIT (Part 1)
Jul. 15, 2002
      Jan.  17
Methods for Generating Solutions 
  (3) Systematizing the Solutions
Concluding Remarks of the Course
Solution generation methods in USIT (Part 2);
Overview of the USIT method: Flowchart and usage;
Overview of TRIZ and how to learn TRIZ;
Significance of creative problem solving: Application to technology development and society;
Concluding remarks of the present course
Jul. 15, 2002

     With the expectation that the contents of this lecture series are also helpful for the readers of "TRIZ Home Page in Japan", I have decided to start posting the whole series here (in Japanese).  Though the materials are originally written in MS Word format, they are convertied into HTML for easier reference to various articles in this site.  Since the lectures were delivered to specific students, some parts of them might not be suitable for readers of this site, I am afraid.  However, I have decided to post them as they are, because modification is not an easy task.  The materials are wirtten in an informal way using indentations and carrage returns so as to be easier to follow and understand both for the lecturer and for the students.  [Please display the materials in fixed-pitch fonts, in order to reproduce the intended indentation.]  Every class I handed 8 to 14 pages of materials, as you see.  Comments and responses from the readers should be appreciated very much.

    Among other lectures given by the present author in his university, the lecture given to freshmen students in May 2000 was also posted in this site:   "Way of Thinking for Creative Problem Solving: What Are You Going to Do in Your College Life?"(in Japanese).  In our Faculty of Informatics founded in April 2000, the first students are going to start studying specialty courses and seminars for the third year.  I am going to do my best to educate them well.  On reading the students' reports presented for this class, I got the feeling that the students had made good progress and am looking forward to study with them.

  Please refer to the official Web site of our Osaka Gakuin University (in English) at http://www.osaka-gu.ac.jp/index-e.html.
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Last updated on Jul. 15, 2002.     Access point:  Editor: nakagawa@utc.osaka-gu.ac.jp