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Review Essays of Academic, Professional & Technical Books in the Humanities & Sciences


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Handbook of Driving Simulation for Engineering, Medicine, and Psychology edited by Donald L. Fisher, Matthew Rizzo, Jeffrey K. Caird and John D. Lee (CRC Press) This is an exciting time for researchers using driving simulators. In the 1970s there were in the neighborhood of 20 research driving simulators throughout the US and Europe including many small, part-task devices used for training and licensing. Today there are hundreds if not thousands of driving simulators spread around the globe. International conferences have become well established, including, most notably the Driving Assessment (held in the United States) and the Driving Simulation Conference (held in Asia, Europe, North America), with many others drawing large audiences as well. Governments and industry around the world are much more aggressively funding simulator research. More

Complex Worlds: Digital Culture, Rhetoric, and Professional Communication edited by Adrienne P. Lamberti and Anne R. Richards, with Series Editor Charles H. Sides (Technical Communication Series: Baywood Publishing Company)
Complex Worlds edited by Adrienne P. Lamberti, Assistant Professor of English and Professional Writing Program Coordinator at the University of Northern Iowa, and Anne R. Richards, Assistant Professor of English at Kennesaw State University, is a collection of thought-provoking scholarly essays by teachers and industry practitioners in professional communication and technology-oriented fields. The collection aims to help familiarize advanced students, teachers, and researchers in professional communication, computers and writing, literacy, and sister disciplines with key issues in digital theory and practice. An emphasis on the situations of and audiences for digital communication identifies Complex Worlds as a rhetorical approach. More

Juran's Quality Handbook: The Complete Guide to Performance Excellence 6/e edited by Joseph Defeo and J.M. Juran (McGraw-Hill Professional) The definitive quality management compendium--revised for the first time in a decade.

For more than 50 years, Juran's Quality Handbook has been the singular essential reference to quality management and engineering. The Sixth Edition--the first revision of the Handbook in 10 years--forges a new standard in tools for quality. Bringing leaders, managers, master and black belts, and engineers the most up-to-date methods, research, and tools, under the guidance of a team of the world's top experts, this authoritative resource shows how to apply universal methods for delivering superior results and organizational excellence in any organization, industry, country, or process.

Juran's Quality Handbook, sixth edition covers:

  • Leadership--what everyone needs to know about managing for superior quality and results
  • Methods--the most effective methods and tools for attaining superior results, such as Lean, Six Sigma, Root Cause Analysis, Continuous Innovation, and more
  • Industry applications--effectively applying quality management
  • The roles of key functions--such as quality professionals, research and development, supply chain, and governance--and what they must carry out to attain superior results in an organization
  • Performance excellence--pragmatic roadmaps, templates, and tools to aid in developing an effective and sustainable performance excellence system More

Transitions and Borders Between Animals, Humans and Machines 1600-1800 by Tobias Cheung (Brill Academic) The search for a new foundation of the order of things, that characterizes the period between Descartes and Kant, is closely related to three questions: What is an animal? What is a human? What is a machine? The various answers that have been given to the questions occur in a field of dynamic interactions between theories of knowledge and of matter, experiments, observations, moral, theological and scientific claims, analogies, metaphors, imitations, and specific objects or artifacts. The main objective of this book is to retrace these interactions within different disciplinary, methodological and conceptual perspectives that reach from soul-body debates to models of organic molecules, fibre bodies and self-regulating clocks. More

Technologies and Approaches to Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles by Committee to Assess Fuel Economy Technologies for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles (National Research Council and Transportation Research Board, National Academies) Liquid fuel consumption by medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDVs) such as tractor-trailers, transit buses, and work trucks has increased more rapidly in both absolute and percentage terms than consumption by other sectors, and the Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts that this will continue. EIA projects that in 2035 these classes of vehicles will consume 30 percent of all U.S. transportation liquid fuels and 23 percent of all U.S. liquid fuels. That total will represent 5.1 mbpd, compared with total projected 2035 U.S. liquid fuel consumption of 22.1 mbpd. Thus, the fuel efficiency of these classes of vehicles is of high and increasing importance (DOE, EIA, 2009c). Furthermore, in December 2009 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) formally declared that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions endanger public health and the environment within the meaning of the Clean Air Act, a decision that compels EPA to consider establishing first-ever GHG emission standards for new motor vehicles, including MHDVs. If the United States is to reduce its reliance on foreign sources of oil, and reduce GHG emissions from the transportation sector, it is important to consider how the fuel consumption of MHDVs can be reduced. More

The A3 Workbook: Unlock Your Problem-Solving Mind by Daniel D. Matthews (Productivity Press, CRC Press) An effective problem-solving process is a critical part of implementing efficient business practices, and a problem-solving culture is a fundamental component of empowering employees to support business improvements. Taken together, they can help any organization make continuous improvements on the journey to creating a more productive and profitable business.
Encouraging efficiency, clarity, and disciplined thinking, A3 Problem Solving identifies a problem, describes the objective, and summarizes fact-finding and action steps, all on a single A3-sized piece of paper. This approach provides all employees at all levels with a method to quickly identify a problem, analyze it to root cause, select appropriate countermeasures, and communicate necessary actions to decision makers.
The A3 Workbook is designed to teach A3 Problem Solving to workers at every level of the organization. Uniquely qualified to author this workbook, Daniel Matthews is a trainer with 30 years of training experience including Lean implementation and Training within Industry (TWI). Fourteen of those years he spent with the Toyota Company, which created and made use of the A3 as a core component of continuous quality improvement. More

Practical Green Remodeling: Down-to-Earth Solutions for Everyday Homes by Barry Katz (The Taunton Press) Going green at home can seem like an all-or-nothing proposition. Does one sell everything (including the house) and start over, building and buying only eco-friendly, renewable goods? Or take the advice offered up in this book and remodel instead? Green building expert Barry Katz makes an argument for remodeling in Practical Green Remodeling as he guides readers through what can be a perplexing and daunting process. Katz explains how different choices impact a home's overall green quotient, as well as its bottom line. Emphasizing off-the-shelf materials, Practical Green Remodeling shows how homeowners of ordinary means can green up a remodel, resulting in less waste, more energy-efficient homes, lower maintenance costs, and more comfortable, healthful environments. A leading proponent of green building, Katz, the recipient of the 2007 HOBI Award for Best Green House from the Connecticut Association of Homebuilders, has more than 20 years experience in new home construction and remodeling. Practical Green Remodeling is not a how-to book. Unlike a lot of books about home remodeling, there are no step-by-step instructions, no tool or materials lists, no advice from the pros for the do-it-yourselfer. Instead, this is a what-to book. After all, before readers get to the how-to stage, they need a vision of what they want to do. Katz suggests new ways of thinking about what makes for a successful remodeling project. Is it enough to create more living or storage space, a more convenient floor plan, a nicer kitchen or bathroom? Is it enough simply to make the home more attractive? More

Greening Existing Buildings by Jerry Yudelson (McGraw-Hills Greensource Series: McGraw-Hill) This GreenSource guide explains how to transform existing buildings into more energy-efficient, resource-conserving green buildings. The book provides a clear process that guides you, step-by-step, through each phase of moving building operations and maintenance toward the goal of a green-certified building.
Greening Existing Buildings
features proven technologies and operating methods, and shows building owners and facility managers how to green buildings in a cost-effective way. This practical and insightful resource highlights the ten best practices for greening existing buildings, and includes more than 25 case studies of successful implementations and 35 insightful interviews with industry experts and building owners and managers. More

Power Reference Manual for the Electrical and Computer PE Exam by John A. Camara PE (Professional Publications, Inc.)
Power Practice Problems for the Electrical and Computer PE Exam by John A. Camara PE (Professional Publications, Inc.) Targeted Power Exam Coverage in One Easy-to-Use Book

The Power Reference Manual for the Electrical and Computer PE Exam is the best source for the information you need to pass the Power exam. Developed for candidates seeking focused Power exam coverage, this comprehensive text aligns with and covers all the topics on the NCEES Power exam specifications.

Best-selling author, John A. Camara, PE, draws upon his professional experience and his years as an instructor to provide clear and focused explanations of the exam topics using step-by-step example problems. He also provides suggested references, time management techniques, and exam tips—all the tools you need to pass your exam.

Once you pass your exam, the Power Reference Manual will serve as an invaluable reference for your daily power electrical engineering needs. More

Photonics Essentials, Second Edition by Thomas Pearsall [McGraw-Hill Professional] The development of electronics and the development of photonics have followed different routes. The development of integrated circuits has focussed on the design, fabrication, and characterization of two basic devices: memory and microprocessor chips. This element of simplicity is one important reason for the extraordinary growth and success of the integrated circuit industry.

This unique book teaches photonics through the hands-on measurement techniques common to all photonic devices. Perfect for students and engineers looking for practical expertise rather than abstract theory, this tutorial does more than explain the workings of photonic applications in standard devices like lasers and photodetectors--it offers worked examples of measurement and characterization problems. Filled with these real-world examples that feature commercially available instruments, this practice-based book enables you to analyze, characterize, and handle any kind of photonic device. More

Functional Materials: Electrical, Dielectric, Electromagnetic, Optical and Magnetic Applications, (With Companion Solution Manual) by Deborah D. L. Chung (Engineering Materials for Technological Needs: World Scientific Publishing Company) The development of functional materials is at the heart of technological needs and the forefront of materials research. This book provides a comprehensive and up-to-date treatment of functional materials, which are needed for electrical, dielectric, electromagnetic, optical, and magnetic applications. Materials concepts covered are strongly linked to applications. Textbooks related to functional materials have not kept pace with technological needs and associated scientific advances. Introductory materials science textbooks merely gloss over functional materials while electronic materials textbooks focus on semiconductors and smart materials textbooks emphasize more on limited properties that pertain to structures.
Functional Materials assumes that the readers have had a one-semester introductory undergraduate course on materials science. The coverage on functional materials is much broader and deeper than that of an introductory materials science course. The book features hundreds of illustrations to help explain concepts and provide quantitative information. The style is general towards tutorial. Most chapters include sections on example problems, review questions and supplementary reading. This book is suitable for use as a textbook in undergraduate and graduate engineering courses. It is also suitable for use as a reference book for professionals in the electronic, computer, communication, aerospace, automotive, transportation, construction, energy and control industries. More

Lost Technologies of Ancient Egypt: Advanced Engineering in the Temples of the Pharaohs by Christopher Dunn (Bear & Co.)

From the pyramids in the north to the temples in the south, ancient artisans left their marks all over Egypt, unique marks that reveal craftsmanship we would be hard pressed to duplicate today. Drawing together the results of more than 30 years of research and nine field study journeys to Egypt, Christopher Dunn in Lost Technologies of Ancient Egypt presents a stone-by-stone analysis of key Egyptian monuments, including the statue of Ramses II at Luxor and the fallen crowns that lay at its feet. His modern-day engineering expertise provides a unique view into the sophisticated technology used to create these famous monuments in prehistoric times.  More

Green Energy: Sustainable Electricity Supply with Low Environmental Impact by Eric Jeffs (CRC)  defines the future of the world’s electricity supply system, exploring the key issues associated with global warming, and which energy systems are best suited to reducing it.

Electricity generation is a concentrated industry with a few sources of emissions, which can be controlled or legislated against. This book explains that a green sustainable electricity system is one whose construction, installation, and operation minimally affect the environment and produce power reliability at an affordable price. It addresses the question of how to build such an electricity supply system to meet the demands of a growing population without accelerating global warming or damaging the environment.

The green argument for conservation and renewable energies is a contradiction in terms. Although they produce no emissions, because renewable systems are composed of a large number of small units, a considerable amount of energy is required to produce, erect, and maintain them. This book is a response to that conundrum, answering key questions, such as:

  • How can renewables be exploited to contribute the greatest energy input?
  • Should coal be used for clean fuel and chemical production rather than for power generation?
  • How quickly can we start to build the Green Energy system?

The author has more than forty years of experience as an international journalist reporting on power-generating technologies and on energy policies around the world. Detailing the developmental history, and current state, of the global nuclear industry, he discusses the dire, immediate need for large quantities of clean, emission-free electric power, for both domestic and industrial uses. This book details how current technologies—particularly nuclear, combined cycle, and hydro—can be applied to satisfy safely the growing energy demands in the future. More

Compass Chronicles by Kornelia Takacs (Schiffer Publishing) After the invention of the magnetic compass and its first use in Italy for travel in the 16th century, a ship's course could be constantly monitored, leading to exploration and world trade. This intriguing guide explores a wide range of fascinating pocket compass types. Examples shown date from the late 1700s to the 1940s, with a focus on the mid-1800s and early 1900s. Hundreds of compasses are discussed with 507 colorful illustrations and detailed descriptions. The history of their development is explored, special uses for the U.S. Engineering Department and civilian groups are presented, and patented improvements are featured. Cases for compasses include wood, leather, and brass in distinct styles around the world. The variety of craftsmanship quality, style, and value can help to identify origin and make collecting enjoyable and rewarding. More

Handbook of Optics Third Edition, 5 Volume Set by Optical Society of America (McGraw-Hill Professional) The most comprehensive and up-to-date optics resource available

Prepared under the auspices of the Optical Society of America, the five carefully architected and cross-referenced volumes of the Handbook of Optics, Third Edition, contain everything a student, scientist, or engineer requires to actively work in the field. From the design of complex optical systems to world-class research and development methods, this definitive publication provides unparalleled access to the fundamentals of the discipline and its greatest minds.

Individual chapters are written by the world's most renowned experts who explain, illustrate, and solve the entire field of optics. Each volume contains a complete chapter listing for the entire Handbook, extensive chapter glossaries, and a wealth of references. This pioneering work offers unprecedented coverage of optics data, techniques, and applications.

  • Volume I covers geometrical and physical optics, polarized light, components, and instruments.
  • Volume II covers design, fabrications, testing, sources, detectors, radiometry, and photometry.
  • Volume III, all in full color, covers vision and vision optics.
  • Volume IV covers optical properties of materials, nonlinear optics, and quantum optics.
  • Volume V covers atmospheric optics, modulators, fiber optics, and x-ray and neutron optics.


Smart Clothes and Wearable Technology by J. Mccann and D. Bryson(Woodhead Publishing in Textiles)  Smart clothes and wearable technology is a unique and essential reference source for researchers, designers and engineers developing textiles and clothing products in this cross-disciplinary area. It will also be beneficial for those in the healthcare industry and academics researching textiles, fashion and design.

A comprehensive review of the technologies and materials available for the design and production of smart clothing, this book goes beyond the basics to provide a comprehensive overview of the wearer’s requirements. After assessing the design and materials available for smart clothing and wearable technology, the book covers the design process from fiber selection through to product developments in digital print technology. It then examines the general requirements, types of technologies available, and manufacturing methods. The coverage includes developments in fabric joining and graphic communications.  More

Biologically Inspired Artificial Intelligence for Computer Games by Darryl Charles, Colin Fyfe, Daniel Livingstone, Stephen Mcglinchey (IGI Publishing) Computer games are often played by a human player against an artificial intelligence software entity. In order to truly respond in a human-like manner, the artificial intelligence in games must be adaptive, or respond as a human player would as he/she learns to play a game. Biologically Inspired Artificial Intelligence for Computer Games reviews several strands of modern artificial intelligence, including supervised and unsupervised artificial neural networks; evolutionary algorithms; artificial immune systems, swarms, and shows using case studies for each to display how they may be applied to computer games. This book spans the divide which currently exists between the academic research community working with advanced artificial intelligence techniques and the games programming community which must create and release new, robust, and interesting games on strict deadlines, thereby creating an invaluable collection supporting both technological research and the gaming industry. More

Quests: Design, Theory, and History in Games and Narratives by Jeffrey Howard (A K Peters Ltd) This book is intended for a broad range of audiences, all of whom can take something useful from each of its sections.

  • As a bridge-building text, it belongs in the toolkits of both humanities scholars and independent designers.
  • New media researchers can benefit from the analysis and modi­fication of the theories of quest narratives.

Humanities scholars and professors, such as literature teachers wanting to bring computer-assisted instruction into their class­room in an innovative way, can benefit from the book's combination of literature, games, and practical classroom exercises. Such professors might consider using this book in a class on the relationship between narratives and games, where it would work well as a practical and accessible textbook. This book includes many tutorials and exercises for use with the Aurora Toolset, which can be purchased with the role-playing game Neverwinter Nights for fifteen dollars or less. More

Cheese Problems Solved edited by P. McSweeny (CRC) Cheese is a unique food product which requires a significant amount of scientific knowledge to be produced successfully. However, due to the many complex and inter-related changes which occur during cheese manufacture and ripening, it is still not possible to guarantee the production of premium quality cheese. Written by an international team of renowned contributors, Cheese problems solved provides responses to around 200 of the most frequently asked questions about cheese and the cheesemaking process, in a unique and practical question-and-answer format.Opening chapters concentrate on queries regarding the preparation of cheesemilk, the conversion of milk to curd, the ripening process, pathogens, cheese analysis and the nutritional aspects of cheese, among other issues. The latter part of the book discusses particular types of cheeses including Cheddar, Grana-type cheeses, Mozzarella, Blue, Swiss and Dutch cheeses, to name but a few. More

Food Processing Handbook by James G. Brennan (Wiley-VCH) focusing on the technology involved, this handbook describes the principles as well as the equipment used and the changes – physical, chemical, microbiological and organoleptic – that occur during food preservation. In doing so the text covers in detail such techniques as post-harvest handling, thermal processing, evaporation and dehydration, freezing, irradiation, high pressure processing, emerging technologies, baking, extrusion, frying and packaging. In addition current concerns about the safety of processed foods and control of food processes are addressed, as are the impact of processing on the environment and separation and conversion operations widely used in the food industry.
Scientists and engineers involved in food manufacture, research and development in both industry and academia will benefit greatly from the contents as will students studying food related topics at undergradu­ate and postgraduate levels. More

Encyclopedia of Communities of Practice in Information And Knowledge Management edited by Steve Clarke, Elayne Coakes (Idea Group Publishing) is the leading reference source for dynamic and innovative research in the field of communities of practice (CoPs) in information and knowledge management. With knowledge management work on the increase, this single volume encyclopedia provides a comprehensive, critical, and descriptive examination of all facets of CoPs, and includes 550 terms and definitions as well as 1,950 references to additional research. More than 120 researchers from over 20 countries provide in-depth coverage of conceptual and practical issues as well as topics regarding learning, leadership, ethics, social, intellectual, rewards, and language challenges.  More

Creation, Use, and Deployment of Digital Information edited by Herre Van Oostendorp (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates) (Hardcover) The aim of this book is to present results of scientific research on how digital information should be designed and how artifacts or systems containing digital content should maximize usability, and to explain how context can influence the nature and effectiveness of digital communication. Using a philosophical, cognitive, and technical standpoint, the book covers the issue of what digital information actually is. The text also presents research outcomes from the perspective of research in information science--broadly construed--a term now used to cover a range of theoretical and practical approaches. More

Biomimetics: Biologically Inspired Technologies edited by Yoseph Bar-Cohen (CRC Press) Nature is the world's foremost designer. With billions of years of experience and boasting the most extensive laboratory available, it conducts research in every branch of engineering and science. Nature's designs and capabilities have always inspired technology, from the use of tongs and tweezers to genetic algorithms and autonomous legged robots. Taking a systems perspective rather than focusing narrowly on materials or chemistry aspects. Biomimetics: Biologically Inspired Technologies examines the field from every angle. More

Opto-Mechatronics by Hyungsuck Cho (CRC) Includes errata sheet, Optomechatronics takes an integrated approach to combine the fields of optical and mechatronics engineering. The author provides a multidisciplinary view from the design stage of engineering systems that result from the fusion of optical elements with mechatronics elements. He explores how the integration of optomechatronics components can create new value and functions for the engineering systems under consideration. In the final section, practical optomechatronic systems are richly illustrated to aid readers in understanding how effectively optomechatronic technology can be utilized to produce new functionalities and enhance performance. More

Encyclopedia Of Human Computer Interaction edited by Claude Ghaoui (Idea Group Publishing) (Digital) Human Computer Interaction (HCI) attracts innovation and creativity because of its multi-disciplinary nature, in computing and IT research and development. For the last 25 years or so, it inspired new solutions, specially, for the benefit of the user as a human being, making the user the focal point which technology should serve rather than the other way round. The Encyclopedia of Human Computer Interaction is the most thorough and definitive source providing coverage of everything related to the field of human computer interaction (HCI). This encyclopedia covers a wide range of HCI related topics such as concepts, design, usability, evaluation, innovations, and applications of HCI in organizations around the globe. Hundreds of contributors and advisors from around the world have conferred their expertise to this publication, making this encyclopedia a single source of authoritative and contemporary research in field of human computer interaction. (More)

Encyclopedia of E-commerce, E-government And Mobile Commerce edited by Mehdi Khosrow-Pour (Idea Group Publishing) The Encyclopedia of E-Commerce, E-Government, and Mobile Commerce provides the most inclusive and up-to-date coverage of the e-technologies field. This two-volume encyclopedia includes quality contributions, highlighting current concepts, trends, challenges, applications, and dot.com experiences in the field of e-commerce, e-government, and mobile commerce. With over 200 contributions from more than 300 experts and researchers worldwide, and extensive reference sections which list more than 4,400 additional research works, this encyclopedia stands as the most comprehensive, research-based encyclopedia in the ever-evolving field of e-commerce, e-government, and mobile commerce. More

The Electrical Engineering Handbook, Third Edition - 6 Volume Set edited by Richard C. Dorf (Electrical Engineering Handbook Series: CRC Press) comprised six hefty volumes available individually as Circuits, Signals, and Speech and Image Processing; Electronics, Power Electronics, Optoelectronics, Microwaves, Electromagnetics, and Radar; Sensors, Nanoscience, Biomedical Engineering, and Instruments; Broadcasting and Optical Communication Technology; Computers, Software Engineering, and Digital Devices; Systems, Controls, Embedded Systems, Energy, and Machines.

In two editions spanning more than a decade, The Electrical Engineering Handbook stands as the definitive reference to the multidisciplinary field of electrical engineering. Our knowledge continues to grow, and so does the Handbook. For the third edition, it has expanded into a set of six books carefully focused on a specialized area or field of study. Each book represents a concise yet definitive collection of key concepts, models, and equations in its respective domain, thoughtfully gathered for convenient access. The purpose of The Electrical Engineering Handbook, 3rd Edition is to provide a ready reference for the practicing engineer in industry, government, and academia, as well as aid students of engineering. Combined, they constitute the most comprehensive, authoritative resource available.

Providing the basic information needed for a thorough understanding of each area, this Third Edition comprises the following six volumes:

  1. Circuits, Signals, and Speech and Image Processing

  2. Electronics, Power Electronics, Optoelectronics, Microwaves, Electromagnetics, and Radar

  3. Sensors, Nanoscience, Biomedical Engineering, and Instruments

  4. Broadcasting and Optical Communication Technology

  5. Computers, Software Engineering, and Digital Devices

  6. Systems, Controls, Embedded Systems, Energy, and Machines

Encompassing the work of the world's foremost experts in their respective specialties, The Electrical Engineering Handbook, Third Edition remains the most convenient, reliable source of information available. This edition features the latest information, the broadest scope of coverage, and new material on nanotechnologies, fuel cells, embedded systems, and biometrics. The engineering community has relied on the Handbook for more than twelve years, and it will continue to be a platform to launch the next wave of advancements. More

Mastering Active Directory for Windows Server 2003 R2 by Brad Price, John A. Price, Scott Fenstermacher (Sybex) Active Directory stores information about a network's users and directories, making it easier to configure, manage, and update a network  More

Developing Intelligent Agent Systems: A Practical Guide by Lin Padgham, Michael Winikoff (Wiley Series in Agent Technology: John Wiley & Sons) Intelligent agent technology is a tool of modern computer science that can be used to engineer complex computer programmes that behave rationally in dynamic and changing environments. Applications range from small programmes that intelligently search the Web buying and selling goods via electronic commerce, to autonomous space probes.  More

Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing by Iain H. Woodhouse (CRC Press) Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing offers an extensive overview of this versatile and extremely precise technology for technically oriented undergraduates and graduate students. This textbook emphasizes an important shift in conceptualization and directs it toward students with prior knowledge of optical remote sensing: the author dispels any linkage between microwave and optical remote sensing. Instead, he constructs the concept of microwave remote sensing by comparing it to the process of audio perception, explaining the workings of the ear as a metaphor for microwave instrumentation. (More)

Introduction To Instrumentation And Measurements by Robert B. Northrop (2nd edition, CRC Press) is a new textbook and reference makes it easy to make an informed choice among sensors and signal conditioning systems. The book's broad coverage includes: electrical and physical standards; analog signal conditioning; noise and coherent interference; DC and AC null methods; sensor mechanisms and applications; electrical measurements; digital interfaces; digital signal conditioning; measurement system design examples; and more. The few other texts available on this topic lack the breadth of coverage and fail to cover recent changes in standards. An excellent sourcebook for students and practicing engineers alike, Introduction to Instrumentation and Measurements includes all the general information on instrumentation and measurements, as well as the technical details you need to apply your knowledge in the real world. Sensing/measurement technologies are presented for a very wide variety of effects. Covers enough of the details to be useful to a real engineer but does not force the reader to wade though every possible issue to find out what is really critical in a design area. This is the strength of the book and not very common especially for books of it's breath. The book is very up to date which is also rare for a survey book. Worth using as a real reference, it will not just set on the bookshelf. There is no other text like it. More

Theory Of Technology by David Clarke (Transaction Publishers) The history of technology is often troubled by good ideas that do not for one reason or another, take off right away—sometimes for millennia. Sometimes technology comes to a standstill, and sometimes, it even reverses itself. Thus unlike science, which seems to proceed at a reasonable and calm rate, the progress of technology is difficult to theorize about. While in science many developments are predictable to a certain extent and this predictability may. at times, direct or stymie science's progress—as with stem-cell research and cloning—technological advances. such as the Internet. are often sudden and unpredictable. and therefore frightening. In Theory of Technology, David Clarke brings together ten authors who try to understand technology from a variety of viewpoints. More

Embedded Systems Handbook edited by Richard Zurawski (Industrial Information Technology: CRC Press) Embedded systems are nearly ubiquitous, and books on individual topics or components of embedded systems are equally abundant. Unfortunately, for those designers who thirst for knowledge of the big picture of embedded systems, there is not a drop to drink. Until now. The Embedded Systems Handbook is an oasis of information, offering a mix of basic and advanced topics, new solutions and technologies arising from the most recent research efforts, and emerging trends to help you stay current in this ever-changing field. More

Electrical Machine Analysis Using Finite Elements by Nicola Bianchi (Power Electronics and Applications: CRC Press) From the fan motor in your PC to precision control of aircraft, electrical machines of all sizes, varieties, and levels of complexity permeate our world. Some are very simple, while others require exacting and application-specific design. Electrical Machine Analysis Using Finite Elements provides the tools necessary for the analysis and design of any type of electrical machine by integrating mathematical/numerical techniques with analytical and design methodologies. More

Visual Ergonomics Handbook by Jeffrey Anshel (CRC Press) If you are reading this book clearly and comfortably, then congratulations — your eyes are probably working well. Yet it's also most likely that you spend several hours per day staring at a computer screen (maybe even while reading this book). Viewing an electronic display screen varies significantly from reading text on paper and our eyes most often suffer for it. We need to address this problem and find out what can be done to make our computer viewing time more comfortable, as well as more productive. More

Agent Culture: Human-Agent Interaction in a Multicultural World edited by Sabine Payr, Robert Trappl (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates) Due to rapid advances in computer animation, humans are coming into contact with an increasing number of realistic computer-generated actors in media such as computer games and movies. Written by international academics representing a variety of disciplines, the 11 papers in this volume consider these "embodied agents" as cultural objects and subjects. The papers were originally presented at a workshop held at the Austrian Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence in Vienna.

Computer animation and computer simulation have been making such rapid progress during the last years that we are facing an increasing num­ber of computer-generated, realistic, and believable actors in different roles and different media (e.g., in computer games and even in movies).

Whereas scientific research and technical development have been focus­ing mainly on the (individual) personality of synthetic actors, we wanted to investigate the role of the synthetic being as part of a heterogeneous soci­ety of real and virtual persons. We furthermore tried to investigate in which cultural context synthetic actors are developed and used. In doing so, we considered them as actors also in the sense of their becoming social beings through interactions with their users.

We only saw a chance for a success of our endeavor by initiating an in­terdisciplinary discourse among researchers in cultural and technical ar­eas. However, this is an often attempted and rarely successful effort. We therefore looked for questions that seemed to be of current relevance also for technical developers. We found that several projects were modeling nonverbal communication of agents, especially by mimics, gestures, and postures. Clearly, those aspects are strongly culture-dependent, and ignor­ing these dependencies can lead to a breakdown in (intercultural) commu­nication. This turned out to be one of the major starting points for the discourse we envisaged.

We therefore arranged an interdisciplinary international workshop on "Agent Culture" to be held at the premises of the Austrian Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence in Vienna. After searching the literature for potential participants, we found, to our own—positive--surprise, that nearly all scientists who considered this aspect in their research were women, there-fore the vast majority of the participants were female. A second, also posi­tive, surprise was the fact that in both the presentation and discussion, the main field of research of the participants, whether artificial intelligence, media design, communication, language, or cultural sciences or any combination of them, remained in the background, thus enabling vivid and truly cross-disciplinary discussions.

Among the many aspects we found during the discussions, only a few can be mentioned as a small appetizer for the book:

  • Believability of an actor is based less on detailed personality or emo­tionality models, but on functioning social interaction.

  • The cultural background of the synthetic actor is usually not modeled explicitly, but is taken for granted (i.e., taken implicitly from the culture of the developer).

  • The more a synthetic actor is humanlike, the higher the expectancies of the users on its sociocultural capabilities.

  • Nonhumanlike synthetic actors can escape these expectancies, but their acceptance by the users is considerably smaller in "serious" roles (e.g., as medical advisors).

  • Synthetic actors can play an important role in the improvement of intercultural communication.

  • Many more facets and examples of this fascinating topic are found in the chapters of this book.

The Cutting Edge: An Encyclopedia of Advanced Technology by William Allstetter (Oxford University Press) An authoritative, easy-to-use guide to the advanced systems and techniques that are making--or will soon make--a major impact on our lives, in such areas as computing, communications, biotechnology, medicine, national defense, space, education, entertainment, and the environment. The Cutting Edge includes 120 original entries that go far beyond basic technological information to include: the history of a technology, how it works, its present applications and the issues--ethical, legal, environmental, political, scientific--which surround it. It serves a wide audience, from high school students and their teachers in science and social studies courses to college undergraduates and general readers who want to know not only how a new technology works--but also understand its historical context and the potential impact on our lives.

This is a guide to the advanced systems and techniques making an impact on our lives, in such areas as computing, communications, biotechnology, medicine, national defense, space, education, entertainment, and the environment. It includes entries on: the history of a technology, how it works, its present applications and the issues - ethical, legal, environmental, political, scientific - which surround it.

As our high-tech world becomes increasingly complex, readers may want to know, "How does it work?" The Cutting Edge is a resource that explains more than expected topics such as DNA fingerprinting, e-books, or nanotechnology. More than 100 A-Z entries are each generally three or four pages in length and include a description of the technology, an illustration or photograph, historical background, uses, and controversies. Related topics and bibliographies including books, journals, and Web sites are listed at the end of each entry. The discussions on "Issues and Debates" point out questions regarding the use of a technology. Some of the entries, such as Food irradiation or Genetic testing, show a pro-implementation bias.The writing is not too technical and is suitable for the general adult reader. Because these technologies are rapidly developing, the contributors are careful to indicate when the information was gathered. For instance, the entry on Internet search engines and portals reports a 1998 estimate that the Internet will have one billion pages by the year 2000. This volume's coverage differs from that of other short technology encyclopedias such as The Facts On File Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Society or the second edition of Gale's World of Scientific Discovery  because the focus is on the technology and questions surrounding its implementation. It will be a very useful addition to science and technology collections.

Science and Technology Ethics edited by Raymond E. Spier (Professional Ethics: Routledge) Our world has been radically transformed during the past 200 years with the industrial revolution and development of mass production techniques and recently the plethora of technological advancements in medicine, engineering, computation, communication and entertainment products. These have made major changes in the ways that we live our worlds and in our expectations of the future.

Science and Technology Ethics re-examines the ethics by which we live and asks the question: do we have in place the ethical guidelines through which we can incorporate these developments with the minimum of disruption and disaffection? It assesses the ethical systems in place and proposes new approaches to our scientific and engineering processes and products, our social contracts, biology and informatics, the military industry, and our environmental responsibilities. The volume is multidisciplinary and reflects the aim of the book to promote a state of the art assessment of these issues.

Technology and Ethics: A European Quest for Responsible Engineering edited by P. Goujon and B. Heriard Dureuil (Peeters) Throughout its successes technical progress has accumulated so much power and assumed such proportions that many regard it as the modern‑day equivalent of ancient tragedy. For Heidegger, for instance, 'Technik' is the fate that relentlessly drags along man in a process of total rationalisation in which modernity is accomplished and annihilated. The Greeks feared that human power would provoke the anger of the gods if it exceeded a certain limit: Prometheus was punished for stealing their fire; the transgression of the boundary unleashes divine vengeance. As such, modernity seemed to have shattered all boundaries: nothing stands opposed to the unlimited growth of human competence. Consequently, there is a growing anxiety in our conscience with regard to the means technical progress places at our disposal. For reasons that appear to be more mythical than real, this anxiety has crystallized out on to, among others, nuclear energy. This has conferred an increased responsibility on the actors in the techno‑scientific universe with individuals having to assume responsibility for decisions that entail grave human, economic and social consequences. These decisions are all the more difficult to take since the same actors find themselves at the point where various spheres overlap (existential and institutional, economical and political, administrative or judicial), each frequently imposing its own constraints and pressures. The anxiety comes from the particularity of these actors who are at one and the same time endowed with conscience and confronted with the monumental challenges of modern 'Technik'. The construction of the handbook underlines their difficulties and the proposed examples illustrate a painful complexity.

This painful complexity strains the European culture itself. The latter carries a radical suspicion that, in the history of thought and in the history of humanity, weighs upon the modern programme and upon the belief that reason is the positive agent in both the management of the city and in the control of nature. The beginning of the 20th century finally presents us with the sad privilege of a double worldwide confrontation of societies with a sophisticated modernity and with the creation of totalitarianisms, whose relentless character is directly linked to the rational mechanisms of technical management.

From these difficult experiences proceeded a crisis of modernity where reign derision or even Nihilism, a quoting and pastiche of the preceding styles, a multiplicity of 'dogmas' which establishes and separates, flight to and refuge in the past as an unlimited reservoir of pseudo‑references. This movement that is sometimes referred to as 'postmodernity', brings into doubt the concepts of rationality and questions the beneficial nature of technical progress. Eventually, the Western claim to universality which relativises every experience and all cultures, may wipe out the awareness of the very future which the unlimited development of technical skills have made possible and which have given this very development its 'raison-d'etre'.

In a world that questions everything, 'Technik' becomes – or tends to become -- the ultimate reference point for a pragmatic truth, in spite of the suspicions it comes under and the criticism to which it is subjected. 'Technik', not 'Science', because the latter remains abstract, whereas the former imposes itself concretely and orientates the sciences towards remunerative and spectacular applications. The totality of the production apparatus pulls the sciences towards efficiency; the sciences end up coinciding with technology, in the global sense this word has acquired under Anglo‑Saxon influence. This has resulted in the decline of the question of truth in the name of an immediate and superficial efficiency.

Readings in the Philosophy of Technology edited by David M. Kaplan (Rowman & Littlefield) (Hardcover) Our lives are filled with technologies. They are everywhere. We live in them. We prepare food with them. We wear them as clothes. We read and write with them. We work and play with them. We manufacture and purchase them. And we constantly cope with them in one way or another whether we realize it or not.

Human life is thoroughly mediated by technology. It is hard even to imagine a life that didn't involve at least some tools, devices, or implements. Today, it is even harder to imagine a life without complex technological systems of energy, transportation, waste management, and production. Our world is largely a constructed environment; our technologies and technological systems form the background, context, and medium for lives. We rely on what we make in order to survive, to thrive, and to live together in societies. Sometimes the things we make improve our lives; sometimes they make our lives worse. Technological devices and systems shape our culture and the environment, alter patterns of human activity, and influence who we are and how we live. In short, we make and use a lot of stuff—and stuff matters.

Philosophy of technology is a critical, reflective examination of the nature of technology as well as the effects and transformation of technologies in human knowledge, activities, societies, and environments. The aim of philosophy of technology is to understand, evaluate, and criticize the ways in which technologies reflect as well as change human life individually, socially, and politically. It also examines the transformations effected by technologies on the natural world of nonhuman life and the broader ecospheres. The assumption underlying the philosophy of technology is that the devices and substances we make and use transform our experience in ways that are philosophically relevant. That is, technology not only enlarges and extends our capacities and effects changes in the natural and social worlds but does so in ways that are interesting with respect to fundamental areas of philosophical inquiry. Technology poses unique practical and conceptual problems of epistemology, metaphysics, moral philoso­phy, and political philosophy. The task for a philosophy of technology is to analyze the phe­nomenon of technology, its significance, and the ways that it mediates and transforms our experience.

In the area of epistemology, technology raises questions about the nature of knowledge, such as how to determine what counts as technical knowledge and technical explanation, or what the relationship is between technological experimentation and scientific discovery. Tech­nology raises metaphysical questions about what is considered to be real, what is natural and what is artificial, and what is human and what is nonhuman. Technology raises moral questions about appropriate uses and consequences of devices, the desirability and permissibility of tech­nological means, and whether things are value laden or value neutral. Finally, technology raises political questions about how we should live together in societies, who decides what technologies are developed and how they are to be administered, and how technologies alter our social relations as citizens, consumers, patients, and workers. These are just some of the important and philosophically relevant questions concerning technology.

Defining what precisely counts as technology is not easy. There are so many different kinds of technologies, each designed for a different purpose, made from different materials, requiring different skills, and used in different contexts, that it is unlikely that a common set of defining properties could possibly apply to all of them. The range of objects included in the class of technologies is enormous. If every humanly made object is a technology (with the arguable exception of art) and if technologies include everything from low-tech handheld tools to high-tech satellite-communications systems, it is hard to see what such different things have in common. Other than the fact that each is a humanly made artifact, there doesn't seem to be much in common among the diversity of stuff we make. Imagine trying to teach someone the meaning of the word technology.

Technologies and society are like pieces of puzzle; the parts are designed to fit in with each other. They fit in terms of and in relation to technological systems. For example, it is hard to makes sense of technologies like airplanes, air conditioners, and MRI machines without considering the technological systems of transportation of energy, and health care in which they function. Explaining these technolo­gies only in terms of their technical properties does not even begin to tell the whole story about them. To do that, one would have to take a broad view of things that would show how technolo­gies are inextricably bound to human interests, social practices, natural laws, and a very long list of other constitutive factors. Humanity and technology are situated in a circular relationship, each shaping and affecting the other. By weaving together the technical and social, we get a more complete picture of human societies and technologies as well as the ways we are both independent of and dependent upon our machines. Creating new interpretations of these relationships helps reveal the relativity and necessity behind our technological choices and thus opens up prospects for better, more informed decisions about our current and future tech­nologies.

The contributors to this anthology examine a range of philosophical questions concern­ing technology. In addition to attempting to determine its essence, they also consider technol­ogy in its moral, political, epistemological, and metaphysical dimensions. Part I examines the early foundations for a philosophy of technology. It consists of readings representing early philosophy of technology, from the 1940s to the 1970s. The philosophy of technology at that time tended to offer theories explaining the historical and transcendental conditions of modern technology, which was seen as qualitatively different from earlier technology. The readings here by the forerunners of philosophy of technology tend to view technology as an independent force. Part II consists of readings by contemporary philosophers who, by contrast, tend to view technology as a contingent process that interacts with other social forces. The repre­sentatives of the current, empirical turn in philosophy of technology are accordingly a bit less ambitious than their predecessors. They seek to determine the actual conditions in which humans and technologies are related. The readings in Parts I and II seek to establish the frame-work for a philosophy of technology by considering the various ways that humans and machines, means and ends, as well as social values and technical reasoning relate to one another.

Part III considers some of the moral questions raised by technology. The philosophers here are less concerned with the effects, risks, and consequences of particular technologies than they are with the-ways that technology transforms how we think about moral issues. They explore how technology and morality are bound together so as to transform our notions of responsibility, human rights, constitutional interpretation, and the good life. Part IV considers some of the political questions raised by technology. The philosophers in this section examine the relationship among technological development, production, and administration as the fac­ets of technology that relate to political values and institutions. Like its moral dimensions, the political dimensions of technology are not extrinsic but intrinsic to technological practice. The readings examine the relationship of technology to our political rights, democratic practices, and social and economic justice.

Part V considers the relationship between technology and human nature. The readings in this section examine the ways that artificial aids to human activity call into question what is natural for a person to do or to be. This class of technologies includes things that radically transform us when used (e.g., medical technologies) and things that are so lifelike they blur the lines between what is natural and what is artificial (e.g., computer technologies). The readings examine the relationship of technology to personal and social identity, medical practice and social values, artificial intelligence, and our associations with artificial life.

Finally, Part VI examines the relationship between technology and science (also known as technoscience). The central insight shared by this group of philosophers is that technologi­cal instrumentation is essential to scientific practice. Without technology, there would be no science as we know it. The readings here examine the relationship of technology to scientific experimentation, laboratory life, scientific realism (determining what really exists), and democratic ideals encoded within technoscientific practice.

The contributors to Readings in the Philosophy of Technology explore the multiple ways that humanity shapes and affects technologies and, in turn, is shaped and affected by them. Studies of technology from a philosophic perspective enrich the way we experience it and deepen the way we understand technological development. The aim of this collection is to help us think critically about the ways in which technologies reflect as well as change human life on an individual, social, and cultural level. We make and use a lot of stuff—and stuff matters.


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