The Nuts and Bolts of Materials Science
The major pedagogical principles which have guided the writing of this book are the following:
1. Focus on Science, for Engineers
The emphasis on structure and simple atomic models mentioned under Features is in line with a focus on the science principles of materials. But as the book title implies, this is science with the purpose of informing engineering applications.
In addition, Nuts and Bolts does not contain any real design. I made this choice not because I consider design unimportant, but rather because I am not the one, and this is not the book, to teach students design. At the same time, I think I have enough appreciation of design to realize that it is the one activity that distinguishes an engineer from other science-minded professionals.
Moreover, solving the Problems among the homeworks will require students to engage in, and proceed with, design-like thinking.
2. Learning Outcomes
In trying to facilitate learning on the part of students, and as a self-check guide, I give a set of learning outcomes at the beginning of each chapter. These are formulated as things students should be able to do, rather than things they should know, after having studied the material in the chapter. (Check out the chapter outlines for examples).
Of course, my list of learning outcomes for a given chapter is not exhaustive, and another learning self-check is having succeeded in doing some homeworks.
3. Widening Circles of Learning
It has been my experience, both from my own studies and from teaching and observing students, that space learning is essential in achieving mastery of a subject. Space learning means that one approaches a problem several times over a period of time, getting a little closer to its core with each step.
I have tried to help this process along by bringing up many issues at several points in the book. Initially, I may introduce a concept or property and its consequences in a simplified manner. Later on, I will draw the circle wider and wider, adding a bit more complexity each time.