Multidisciplinarity and creativity of engineering and science students
Author(s)Oki, Kristi Elena
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Maria C. Yang.
MetadataShow full item record
Engineering students must be prepared develop creative solutions to problems that fall at the intersection of multiple disciplines. In order to better understand the role of multidisciplinary learning and creativity within engineering education, this thesis explores the multidisciplinarity of expertise/interest and creativity of college and graduate-level engineering and science students. An online survey was designed to investigate the relationship between creativity and multidisciplinarity of students. Findings from the two creativity tests (Alternate uses and Consequences) revealed a positive correlation between quantity of ideas generated and novelty of ideas. As expected, level of expertise in the engineering and natural sciences disciplines overall was greater than expertise in other disciplines, but interest level was more spread out across disciplines. A substantial correlation between multidisciplinarity of expertise/ interest and creativity was not observed. However, findings based on subpopulations of the student sample suggest the possibility that multidisciplinarity and creativity may be correlated, but the nature of the relationship may differ depending on other demographic factors such as gender, student status (undergraduate vs. graduate), or current field (engineering vs. sciences).
Thesis: S.M., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering, 2017.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 57-61).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology