Honoring Dr. John Warfield

Transdisciplinary Digital Library: Dedicated to Honor Professor John Warfield


Professor Warfield (1925-2009) received the Bachelor of Arts in 1948, Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering in 1948, and Master of Science in Electrical Engineering in 1949 from the University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri. He received the Doctor of Philosophy degree from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana in 1952.  John  Warfield  is widely recognized as the father of systems science. He has been an educator, a research scientist in complex systems and organizational dynamics, and a leader in integrating an extensive body of research into an organized hierarchy of systems sciences. Dr. Warfield and his colleagues analyzed complexity and human cognition for over forty years and developed the founding relationships for the still-emerging systems science discipline that underpins significant portions of modern systems engineering. His rich body of work embodies analytical methods and frameworks, behavioral science and philosophies that formalize our understanding of complexity in our world. He holds IEEE Centennial Medal. In 2006 John N. Warfield was awarded the Joseph G. Wohl Award for Career Achievement and in 2007 he received INCOSE Pioneer Award and was also awarded the IEEE Third Millennium Medal.

Government studies report a substantial increase in textbook costs. College textbooks can add thousands in cost to a student's education expenses. This is a tremendous financial burden for many students and their families and has a negative impact on federal and state government spending as financial aid providers. Textbook prices “represent a significant barrier to access and persistence.” Textbook costs (in 2007) were found to range from $700 to $1000 per year; textbook prices have risen much faster than other commodities (more than 4 times the rate of inflation; and college aid fails to cover textbook expenses (and many other college costs).

Equal attention should be paid to the content and quality of textbooks. It is questionable whether today's traditional textbooks, in general, make a positive contribution to learning. How much and how fast can students absorb information from a voluminous (600 to 800 pages or more) textbook in a one-semester course? Just like loud noise is bad for one’s ears, information overload is bad for one’s brain. It results in developing a short attention span and harms the learning process associated with the science, technology, engineering, and math topics that require deep and sustained mental concentration. Students are in urgent need free textbooks and other educational materials—This library, dedicated to honor Professor John Warfield will provide the following free educational materials to any student and faculty in the world:

  1. Modules that are designed to be stand-alone -- professors, instructors will be able to assemble custom and focused content textbooks for students by selecting modules from the module pool. This focused approach will help students master the most pertinent and applicable subject matter.
  2. Transdiciplinary (TD) tools to teach students transdisciplinary skills.
  3. Transdisciplinary learning platform which facilitates knowledge sharing and dissemination and group collaboration which are fundational components of TD research and education.
  4. Transdisciplinary books and journal articles.

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