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ODU's Sousa-Poza to Appear on Radio Program 'With Good Reason'

Andres Sousa-Poza, an Old Dominion University assistant professor of engineering management, will explain the novel approach he and ODU colleagues are using to tackle complex engineering problems during an appearance on the radio show "With Good Reason" Thursday, Nov. 19.

Sousa-Poza and his colleagues have looked for professional guidance for problems that have vexed engineers for years through the writing of philosophers like Plato and Kant, or novelists like Tolstoy.

Sousa-Poza will be interviewed as part of the show "Your Next Stop … the Twilight Zone," exploring the possibility of an extra dimension beyond the three dimensions of space and one of time. The show features Virginia Tech physics professor John Simonetti.

Also appearing on the Nov. 19 broadcast will be Virginia Tech professor Duncan Porter, who has worked extensively with others on eight volumes of "The Correspondence of Charles Darwin." This month marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin's "On the Origin of Species," one of the most important works in the contemporary history of science.

Sousa-Poza's research, which was recognized recently with a $4.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, is aimed at bridging the chasm between today's system of systems engineering (SoSE) and a new SoSE he sees as more useful.

Sousa-Poza believes the field must adapt if it is to offer insightful guidance for border security, counter-terrorism and other problems engineers refer to as "wicked" because of their complexity.

How do the great humanist thinkers like Kant and Tolstoy provide lessons that can be applied to complex engineering?

"We did a survey of the literature going back 3,000 years and found the same debate continuously," Sousa-Poza said. "How do you feel about uncertainty?"

Virginia's only statewide public radio program, "With Good Reason" is funded by a consortium of Virginia's public universities, including ODU. Hosted by veteran broadcaster Sarah McConnell, "With Good Reason" invites the best minds at public universities to join her for lively conversation about the arts, sciences, history, politics and more during its weekly 30-minute show.

"With Good Reason" airs at 1:30 p.m. Thursday on WHRV (89.5 FM).

The show is rebroadcast in this market on WNSB (91.1 FM) at noon Sunday.

This article was posted on: November 16, 2009

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