Stimulating Creativity

Larry Richards,
University of Virginia

Engineering is a creative profession; indeed, that phrase appears in the title of a consistently popular introductory textbook. Yet few courses in the standard engineering curriculum require or even encourage creativity. Students often feel that creative behavior is actively discouraged in many of their classes. Several engineers have designed courses or programs to foster creativity, and the rekindled interest in engineering design in the curriculum has led to greater emphasis on innovative thinking. In this workshop we explore the nature of and conditions supporting creativity, and describe how we help our students become innovative thinkers.

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