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The essence of engineering is problem-solving. And contrary to popular belief, that doesn’t mean finding solutions of intricate mathematical and technological complexity. Often, the best approach is a simple one. Such is the case with chulha ovens, the traditional method of cooking at home in India. There are two major problems with these ovens: They consume large amounts of wood, and they emit a great deal of carbon, causing severe respiratory problems among the people of India. A group of visiting University of Iowa professors and students took it upon themselves to improve this centuries-old cooking technique with a solution