Engineering Design, and Society

18 Pages Posted: 27 May 2017 Last revised: 14 Sep 2017

See all articles by Shyam Sunder

Shyam Sunder

Yale University - School of Management; Yale University - Cowles Foundation

Date Written: April 22, 2017


As a discipline, engineering is rooted in mathematics and natural sciences; as a practice, it is social at its core. Social science is a more recent development than the society that it seeks to document and understand. Bringing social science into engineering design has its pros and cons. Consequences of design, especially at aggregate or social level, are difficult to anticipate. Attempts to improve design by engaging with the social science must, however, be moderated by the modest record of the latter in making out-of-sample predictions.

Keywords: engineering, design, improvement, social science, information

JEL Classification: A1

Suggested Citation

Sunder, Shyam, Engineering Design, and Society (April 22, 2017). Available at SSRN: or

Shyam Sunder (Contact Author)

Yale University - School of Management ( email )

165 Whitney Avenue
P.O. Box 208200
New Haven, CT 06520-8200
United States
203-432-6160 (Phone)


Yale University - Cowles Foundation

Box 208281
New Haven, CT 06520-8281
United States

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