## Technological Concepts and Mathematical Models in the Evolution of Modern Engineering Systems: Controlling • Managing • OrganizingM. LUCERTINI, A. MILLAN GASCA, AND F. NICOLO 1 Technology as Knowledge: The Case of Modern Engineering Systems In recent years scholars coming from the fields of history and philosophy of sci ence and technology have devoted much attention to the problem of "technology as knowledge" and to the emergence of an autonomous engineering science in the Industrial Agel. This interest echoes a growing awareness among engineers of the independence of their conceptual approach with respect to other forms of knowl edge, linked to the consolidation of autonomous academic engineering research in th the 20 century. A careful examination of the nature of technological knowledge appears particularly valuable in view of the pervasive presence of technology in contemporary life and culture, not only as a result of its impressive achievements, but through the less obvious influence of its concepts and viewpoints as well. The activity of engineers and technicians has been traditionally based on the practical ability to cope with specific situations and to attain the corresponding specific goal by means of the design and realization of an artifact or structure, on the basis of past experience handed down by tradition and applied by means of trial-and-error and rule-of-thumb procedures. But the existence of a theoreti cal background and of principles underpinning this activity can be traced back to classical antiquity. |

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### Contents

A Look into the Prehistory of Industrial | 21 |

Trasferring Formal and Mathematical Tools from War Management | 79 |

Technological Knowledge and Mathematical Models in the Analysis | 102 |

A Technique and a Tool for Thought | 129 |

Adequacy of Mathematical Models in Control Theory Physics | 156 |

Concepts of Knowledge as Seen | 189 |

Coping With Complexity in the Management of Organized Systems | 221 |

239 | |

Authors | 246 |

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20th century achievement function algorithms analysis applications approach aspects Babbage basic behavior Brunelleschi Cambridge Mass Caspian Sea Caspian Sea level changes coefficients complex concept considered construction context contribution control engineering control system cultural cybernetic decision support described devices differential equations dynamic economic example field flow frequency game theory Gulf of Finland idea important industrial engineering input interaction intuition John von Neumann knowledge limit cycle linear programming machines manufacturing mathematical models mathematicians mechanics megatrend methodology methods modern multi-objective Neumann Neva Bay nonlinear objectives obtained operations research optimization organization oscillations output parameters period phenomena physical phytoplankton Pol's problems production RAND rational reference point relaxation oscillations represented result role scientific sector servomechanism signal simulation social solutions statistical structure studies systems science systems thinking techniques theoretical tion triode typical variables Vito Volterra Wiener