Analyzing problems and artifacts

Wikipedia says, “Analysis is the process of breaking a complex topic or substance into smaller parts to gain a better understanding of it.”

In this illustration, Ada is using a tool with many attachments, representing the idea that we often need to try multiple approaches and many different tools before we can “crack” a problem. Different problems and different approaches to these problems have different strengths. Often, we can’t solve a problem until we try a number of different ways to break it down. That’s why it’s so valuable to have a variety of conceptual tools available when working on a problem.

Over to the right, Alan is controlling a zoomed-in view of the cubes on the table. This allows him to see and understand not only how a cube looks and acts from the outside, but to how its internal workings contribute to its overall behavior. Programmers engage in this kind of analysis when they use a debugger; so do electrical engineers when they use an oscilloscope to visualize signals.

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