Professor of Management Science & Engineering, Stanford University
The Web of Knowledge and Portable Concepts
Caltech's Electrical Engineering curriculum can be characterized as a fundamental approach to education, where to a large extent material proceeds from the general to the specific; but in a way that recognizes the need for structured steps. This powerful approach, which is not universally adopted elsewhere, provides Caltech graduates with the special ability to face technical material both deeply and widely. The approach can be adapted to other subjects, in other application domains, where it can be understood in terms of a web of knowledge and the identification of portable concepts. This talk will describe the web of knowledge and how an education program can flow stepwise through the web by various routes.
As an example, the talk will discuss the application of this framework to the domain of policy, decisions, and control, a field in which the speaker has helped replicate the characteristic approach of Caltech EE.
Examples illustrating the power of the fundamental approach as defined by the web of knowledge will be presented.