Welcome to Inventive Problem Solving! This undergraduate and graduate level course taught in the Biomedical Engineering department at Carnegie Mellon University includes ideation techniques, engineering exercises, improvisational exercises and the constant encouragement to invent the most fantastic of solutions for the world’s problems. In this website you will find lectures on inventive problem solving, images and videos of student activities, and contact information for Dr. James Antaki.


This course aims to inspire and initiate the invention process in students’ minds through a collection of engineering exercises, improvisational games, invention reports, and inventive principles.

James F. Antaki, PhD is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, with adjunct appointments in the departments of Surgery and Bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh. Prof. Antaki’s research in the field of mechanical circulatory support over the past 30 years has contributed to the development of several heart-assist devices used clinically, including the Heartmate-II, Novacor, Ventrassist, TandemHeart, and Levacor.

In 1997, his team completed the development of the world’s first magnetically- levitated axial flow blood pump, the Streamliner. Prof. Antaki holds over 20 patents and has over 200 archival publications. His current research involves the development of circulatory support systems for children, modeling and simulation of thrombosis in artificial organs, decision support tools for end-stage heart failure, physiological-control algorithms for optimizing cardiac recovery, a blood purification system for treating malaria, a point of care assay for chronic heart failure, and a system for aqueous immersion surgery.

He is also developing methods to heighten the involvement of physicians in process of innovation and design of new medical devices.

He has been teaching the Inventive Problem Solving in Biomedical Engineering course at Carnegie Mellon University since the Fall of 2014.


Dr. James Antaki is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. He developed the Inventive Problem Solving in Biomedical Engineering course since Fall 2014 and has been teaching it every year ever since. (Knock wood.) Please check below for contact information.