Subjects

Curriculum for Spidel School of Design

Table of Contents

  1. System Engineering Concepts - The following pages are intended to describe basic systems engineering modeling constructs.
    1. Systems - This section introduces the Systems Perspective.
    2. Boundaries - The essence of a system is a set of things within a boundary.
      1. Good Fences make Good Neighbors - National Boundaries are Essential to the operation of a culture.
    3. Environment - The environment is what a system interacts with.
    4. Components - This section describes the common aspects of the parts of all systems.
    5. Stakeholders - System requirements are derived from the experience of stakeholders.
    6. Needs - A need is an expression of a desire of a stakeholder.
    7. Features - Features Express System Value.
    8. Primary Services - The main thing is that the main thing remain the main thing.
    9. Temporal States - Temporal states are sets of system configuration.
    10. Events - Events Trigger Change of State.
    11. Architecture - An architecture is a set of primary component types that characterize a system.
    12. Requirements - Requirements express a relationship between an actor and a System
    13. Interaction - An interaction occurs when two or more systems affect each others state.
    14. Input and Output - This section is about how systems communicate with their environment.
    15. Use Case - Here we will consider the notion of the Use Case.
    16. Scenarios - This section makes a case for the use of scenarios.
    17. Functions - A function is what a system does.
    18. Interfaces - An interface is where things come together.
    19. Port - A port is an entrance to a System.
  2. Design Concepts - The following pages are intended to describe elements of a basic development paradigm.
    1. Design - Design is describing, with standard artifacts, something desired which did not previously exist that can be produced by some standard process.
    2. Prototype - A prototype of a system is the "First of its Kind."
    3. Patterns - A pattern is a familiar repetition.
    4. Hierarchies - A hierarchy originally meant something like "The sacred rule". It is a ranking of things as to their authority.
    5. Shall statements - SHALL Statements refer to the statements in a requirements document that contain the word shall.
    6. Configurability - Configurability, is a property of systems that allows them to be appropriate for multiple purposes.
    7. Tolerance - This section is an introduction to the technical notion of tolerance.
    8. Fault Tolerance - Fault Tolerance is the ability of a system to operate correctly in the presence of faults.
    9. Simulation - Simulation is about imitating something that exists or pretending that something exists.
    10. Specialization - This section introduces the notion of specialization.
    11. Generalization - Generalization is the process of proceeding from the specific to a generality.
    12. Complexity - The purpose of this section is to attempt to differentiate, size and complexity.
    13. Epigenetics - Epigenetics is most often understood in biochemical engineering.
    14. Emergent Behavior - Of some things it is said that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
    15. Chaos - Chaos is normally defined as complete lack of order.
    16. Controls - Controls provide for User Configurability.
    17. Development - Development is the process of making new kinds of things.
    18. Adaptation - Adaptation is living configurability
    19. Diagrams - Diagrams are fundamental artifacts of design.
    20. Semantic Net - A semantic net is a system engineers web.
    21. Dimensionality - Dimensionality is a measure of complexity.
    22. Satisfice - To satisfice is to create a satisfactory but known to not be optimal solution to a problem.
    23. FSM - A Finite State Machine (FSM) is a device or model that allows certain behaviors at certain times called states.
    24. Abstraction - This section defines how abstraction is used in system design.
    25. Modeling Concepts - The following pages are intended to relate modeling to Systems Engineering.
      1. Model Models - A model model is a model of a model.
      2. Metadata - Metadata is data about data or literally "transcends data".
      3. Objects - Objects related to system design are logical constructs that correspond to real things that exist.
      4. Encapsulation - Encapsulation means to build a shield around things.
      5. Inheritance - Inheritance is how we acquire traits from parents.
      6. Overloading - Overloading means similar operations have the same name.
    26. Modeled Attributes - Modeled attributes are properties of systems that have discrete or ranges of continuous values.
  3. Design Domains - This section introduces specific design domains.
    1. Domain Knowledge - Domain knowledge is an attribute of someone called a Subject Matter Expert (SME).
    2. Mechanical Engineering - Mechanical engineering is concerned with designing machines that make life easier by using mechanical advantage.
    3. Civil Engineering - Civil engineering, one of the oldest design domains concerns transportation structures like bridges and roads as well as barriers like levees, locks and dams.
    4. Chemical Engineering - Chemical engineering creates industrial processes to extract one kind of substance from others using sequences of chemical reactions.
    5. Architectural Engineering - Architectural engineering is concerned with building structures that we live, work and play in.
    6. Electrical Engineering - Electrical Engineering is concerned with designing machines that are principally electrical or electronic.
    7. Biochemical Engineering - Biochemical engineering is concerned with redirecting life forces to do things that are thought to be advantageous.
    8. Software Engineering - This section introduces computer programming and software design.
      1. Computer Programming - Given what has been said about interpretive interfaces, there are some commonalities among almost all procedural languages.
    9. Systems Engineering - Systems Engineering is an interdisciplinary development approach that causes the [stakeholders'|Stakeholders] [needs|Needs] to be [satisficed|Satisfice] throughout a system's [life cycle|Life Cycle].
  4. Development Process Concepts - The following sections are intended to identify the principal processes involved in system development.
    1. SE Process - Collect and analyze system information to design logical architecture
    2. High Level Requirements - To develop a system you first Identify the system stakeholders.
    3. Detail Requirements - Develop straw man physical architecture diagram.
    4. System Abilities - Another way to think about this is that there are a set of special requirements categories that need to be considered in the development context.
    5. Scalability - Scalability is the ability of a design to accommodate a wide range of configurations.
    6. Manufacturability - This section introduces the subject of manufacturability.
      1. Does it Scale - This section makes a case for scaling down the systems engineering resources to accommodate small business.
    7. Reliability - Reliability is a property of a system that lets us rely on it.
    8. Testability - Testability is often associated with the instrumentation of hardware to make it easier to test.
    9. Usability - Usability is a qualitative measure of the ease of use of a product or even fitness for use.
    10. Availability - Availability has to do with the percentage of time that a system will process requests.
    11. Quality - This section is about measuring quality.
    12. Site Preparation - Many systems have stringent operating conditions that require special consideration.
    13. Sponsor - Now a Word from our Sponsor.
    14. Allocation - This section introduces the notion of allocation or the mapping of logical to physical.
    15. Trade Study - This section introduces the concept of a trade-off study.
    16. Testing - This section broaches the subject of system testing. From a systems engineering point of view, the most important tests are at the boundry of the system also known as the requirements.
      1. Traceability - This section is about traceability.
      2. Verification - Verification is about the process used to construct a system. It answers the question; Did we build it the right way?
      3. Verifiability - Verifiability is a measure of how testable a statement or requirement can be.
      4. Validation - Validation is a fairly precise term in the systems engineering world that means testing the product against the documentation from which it was produced.
      5. Unit Test - Unit testing occurs when independently developed design components are tested in isolation or stubbed out systems.
      6. Integration Test - Integration test occurs when independently designed components are integrated with the rest of the subject system to verify that they interoperate and do not destabilize the system.
      7. Load Test - Load testing explores the boundaries of system performance in two ways.
      8. Final Test - Final testing usually consists of verifying that all assembled hardware is operational.
      9. Regression Testing - Regression testing is a software testing optimization method.
      10. Acceptance Testing - A system may be designed to do more than what any single customer cares about.
    17. Life Cycle - Thinking about the design of a system requires consideration of the entire life of the system.
    18. RFP - A Request for Proposal is a document offered to a list of vendors who may be interested in proposing a solution to a problem the client wishes to have supplied from outside its own organization.
    19. In-House Development
    20. Project Management Plan - A project management plan is an intention to put a project on a schedule and to take steps necessary to keep it there.
    21. Problem Escalation - Focusing attention on important problems
    22. Project Review Board
    23. WBS - A Work Breakdown Structure is an analysis of the work to be performed in a small project.
    24. Development Contract - Agreement about how a system is to be developed.
    25. SOW - A Statement of Work identifies the responsibilities of all parties to a contract.
    26. SOE - A Standard Operating Environment specifies all the hardware and software components that will be delivered in a project.
    27. CONOPS - Concept of Operations
    28. Ethics - Technology ethics is about the difference between can and should.
    29. Plans - Scopes of planning documents
    30. Requirements VS Design - You may be asking yourself; "What is the difference between Requirements and Design?".
    31. Thinking Styles - This section is intended to explain why there can be such violent disagreements among decision makers during system development.
    32. Tools - What can be said about tools?
    33. Mythical Man Month - In "The Mythical Man Month" the author Joseph Brooks provides an illustration of how plans can seem logical at one level but absurd in reality.
    34. Good Fast Cheap - Good, Fast, Cheapů Have you heard this expression?
    35. Risk Management - Whether you consider yourself risky or cautious, we all take risks.
    36. SMFA - System Management Functional Areas
    37. Interpretive Interface - This section is about problem solving with layers of software.
    38. Orthogonality - Orthogonality (literally straight line) is harder to say than it is to understand.
    39. Make or Buy - This question is asked everyday by developers who need a component for their system.
  5. Systems Operational Concepts - This section includes ideas about how a systems engineer thinks about systems in production.
    1. Configuration Management - This section is about classical configuration management which answers "Which version do we have?" not to be confused with configurability.
    2. Managing the Configuration - Managing the configuration of products in operation involves the following kinds of changes; Modeling, Provisioning, Assignment, Activation and Auditing.
    3. Service Level Management - Service Level Management is the maintenance of systems, usually by a third party, to operate continuously at prearranged service levels.
      1. Service Levels - Service levels are the values of primary services attributes.
      2. Trend in IT Support - One trend I see, that keeps computer vendors reeling and client businesses confused, is the rate of change in the relative prices of information technology hardware and its related support.
      3. Service Level Planning - The following categories of planning are required to varying degrees depending on the level of dependence on IT.

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