ABSTRACT

We are here today because we share an interest in visualizing - in figuring out "what is" in a given situation. You all have a special need for learning exactly what lies beneath. I want to build the best machine or best explain a phenomenon. So, should we start with data or should we start with ideas? We obviously need both; but the peculiar chicken/egg problem of prioritizing them has dogged every scientific or technological enterprise. It might help in walking your complex road ahead, if we trace the way these two ways of seeing - of seeking under-standing - have gone back and forth for millennia.

John H. Lienhard, author and voice of the popular NPR radio broadcast series ‘The Engines of Our Ingenuity’, is Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering and History at the University of Houston. He received BS and MS degrees from Oregon State College and the University of Washington, his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley, and he holds two honorary doctorates. He is known for his research in the thermal sciences as well as in cultural history. He is an Honorary Member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

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