- Oct 2022
Wieman, Carl. “How to Become a Successful Physicist.” Physics Today 75, no. 9 (September 2022): 46–52. https://doi.org/10.1063/PT.3.5082
The details here are also good in teaching almost all areas of knowledge, particularly when problem solving is involved.
How might one teach the practice of combinatorial creativity?
My research group interviewed some 50 skilled scientists and engineers (“experts”), including physicists, on how they solved authentic problems in their discipline. We analyzed the interviews in terms of the decisions made during the solving process. Decisions were defined as instances when an expert selected between competing alternatives before taking some action. To my surprise, we found that the same set of 29 decisions occurred over and over (see the box on page 50). Nearly all of them showed up in every interview, and they essentially defined the problem-solving process.3
Though interviews with scientists and engineers, researchers have identified a list of 29 commonly occurring decisions made during problem solving processes.