STELLA Science Simulation Software.

Authors Avatar by shahrighani (student)

Simulations can be considered a variant of cognitive tools, for example they allow students to test hypothesis and more generally "what-if" scenarios. In addition, they can enable learners to ground cognitive understanding of their action in a situation. Simulation is a powerful tool for analyzing, designing, and operating complex systems. It enables you to test hypotheses without having to carry them out, saving you thousands, even hundreds of thousands of dollars. It is a cost-effective means of exploring new processes, without having to resort to pilot programs. Simulation provides a method for checking your understanding of the world around you and helps you produce better results faster. And it is an efficient communication tool, showing how an operation works while stimulating creative thinking about how it can be improved. Simulation is used in many contexts, such as simulation of technology for performance optimization, safety engineering, testing, training, education, and video games. Training simulators include flight simulators for training aircraft pilots to provide them with a lifelike experience. Simulation is also used with scientific modelling of natural systems or human systems to gain insight into their functioning. Simulation can be used to show the eventual real effects of alternative conditions and courses of action. Simulation is also used when the real system cannot be engaged, because it may not be accessible, or it may be dangerous or unacceptable to engage, or it is being designed but not yet built, or it may simply not exist. Simulation is extensively used for educational purposes. It is frequently used by way of adaptive hypermedia. Simulation is often used in the training of civilian and military personnel. This usually occurs when it is prohibitively expensive or simply too dangerous to allow trainees to use the real equipment in the real world. In such situations they will spend time learning valuable lessons in a "safe" virtual environment yet living a lifelike experience (or at least it is the goal). Often the convenience is to permit mistakes during training for a safety-critical system. For example in Smart School, teachers practice classroom management and teaching techniques on simulated students, which avoids "learning on the job" that can damage real students. Simulation can integrate into teaching and learning because Simulations support learning by allowing a pupil to explore phenomena and handle experiments which would not be feasible in school.  Teachers can also focusing attention on underlying concepts and relationships. Simulations offer idealised representations that limit the range of operating variables to good effect.

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Modelling is about building representations of things in the ‘real world’ and allowing ideas to be investigated. It is central to all activities in the process for building or creating an artifact of some form or other. In effect, a model is a way of expressing a particular view of an identifiable system of some kind. Models are, in one respect, idealizations in the sense that they are less complicated than reality, they are simplifications of reality. The benefit arises from the fact that only the properties of the world relevant to the job in hand are represented. For ...

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For students learning about simulation this is a brilliant introduction for them (aside from being a good example of an finished piece of work) and I recommend that anyone studying Computing at A level has a read! Undoubtedly a five star piece of work. One or two minor errors aside this is very polished. It shows depth of research, learning on the part of the student and provides a professional appraisal of many aspects of simulation. The writing is "pacey" and very readable. it engages the reader who cannot fail to appreciate the role of simulation and be able to give some general and specific examples of where it can be used. Advantages are properly presented (although some more narrative on disadvantages would provide some balanced evaluation of simulation) and these are given objectively. The use of the STELLA package and the particular situation used to put the minutia of the principles of simulation into lay speak is effective and well considered. Overall an impressively research and objectively presented piece of work.