Dr. Edwin F. Meyer received his Ph.D. in Physics in 1988 from Case Western Reserve University. From 1989 through the summer of 2000 he worked as a research scientist for Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI).
While at ICI, his primary job was solving problems in research and developent as well as at manufacturing plants around the world. He also became a recruiter, and traveled to colleges and universities around the country to recruit fresh talent.
During his job interviews, he would challenge the candidates to solve problems and was frequently disappointed.
“Too often, the candidates wanted to impress me with their knowledge,” Dr. Meyer says, “I don’t care what they KNOW, I want to know what they can figure out. The internet has leveled the playing field with respect to knowledge. If you want to know something, use a computer to Google it. If you want to solve a problem, you need a human than can think creatively and has some mental stamina.”
He strongly believes that too often children are given answers to remember rather than problems to solve and spend too much time doing and not enough time thinking.
“An important skill for success in the current economy is the ability to focus a long time on a hard problem and come up with a NEW idea. The best way to develop this skill is to think for a long time about challenging problems. In today’s formal education, when are students ever given a long time to think about a problem? How can this skill be developed when they students are constantly being told how to solve the problems?”
In 2000, Dr. Meyer left his position as a research scientist and became a Professor of Physics at Baldwin-Wallace College. He quickly developed an Honors course called Problem Solving. The course has become a student favorite and has been featured on Channel 5 News. The video, which features the Rubik’s cube is on Professor Meyer’s Baldwin Wallace Faculty Website:
He taught his problem solving course in New Zealand while on sabbatical and he teaches a business focused version of the course in the graduate business program at Baldwin-Wallace. He has instructed numerous Problem Solving Institutes for talented and gifted students from ages 12 through 17.
He recently presented a TEDx talk at Bendix Corporation and recently coauthored a book for Springer London titled “Guide to Teaching Puzzle Based Learning.”