Anyone Can Think!
just need to give people the right tools. To this end, I
teach a course at the University of Arizona entitled “The
Art of Scientific Discovery”. Through sequences of puzzles
and games, students develop a box of tools that they can
use to solve problems forever. The course is organized
around themes that relate directly to how scientists solve
problems – themes like how you discover and solve problems
simply by observing the world around you, how you construct
tools to help you organize a daunting pile of data and make
sense of it, and how you recognize and dispense with
obstacles to clear thinking.
Scientific Problem Solving is a lab course. The idea is to
train scientific problem solving skills through exercise
& self-analysis. Puzzles and challenging problems
matched to aspects of each theme provide a fun and
productive path to improving problem solving
skills. While play and practice create an important
foundation, active learning requires the development of
some additional tools – strategic thinking and thinking
about thinking (i.e., metacognition). Readings combined
with introspective analysis help to consolidate the
concepts and mental tools so that they'll stay with you for
your whole life.
If you're interested, consider
who takes this course
why they do.
This website is meant for those who view Science and Life
as a continuous process of problem solving and who seek to
hone their abilities in a gym filled with mental barbells.