The fifth anthology of Don Christiansen’s Backscatter columns that appear regularly in IEEE-USA publications is now available. Don is a Life Fellow of IEEE and a former Editor and
Publisher of IEEE Spectrum (see Donald Christiansen and the Making of IEEE Spectrum).
In a review of the new eBook, Helen Horwitz, a veteran IEEE Staff Director, notes that it consists of 16 thought-provoking and well-researched articles. An excerpt from the review:
“As with the four previous anthologies, the author has organized the columns in book 5 around specific topics. This time, they are related to design issues, engineering writing and communicating, historical recollections, and the engineering gender gap. Moreover, he approaches each column with the same thoughtful and pragmatic style that has made Backscatter so popular over the years. Christiansen was a practicing engineer before he moved on as the editor and publisher of IEEE Spectrum, and he applies the best of the engineering mindset — analytical, logical, and detail-oriented — to his writing.”
The review. which has been posted on IEEE-USA InSight, includes a description of three of the 16 essays — the first on the advantages and shortcomings of simulation as a design tool in both design and teaching; another on the dangerous practice of accepting minor faults in large complex systems; and the third on the trend of publication editors and designers to favor experimental designs that inhibit the retrieval of information.
The new eBook is available to IEEE members for $4.79 ($5.99 for non-members) at the IEEE US online shop.