WSC 2001 Final Abstracts

Simulation Education Track

Tuesday 8:30:00 AM 10:00:00 AM
Plenary Session

Chair: Helena Szczerbicka (Universität Hannover)

Thoughts and Musings on Simulation Education
Richard E. Nance and Osman Balci (Virginia Tech)

Proper education of a modeling and simulation professional meeting the extensive criteria imposed by the community poses significant challenges. In this paper, we explore the formation of a university-based education in modeling and simulation to meet the challenges. We examine the factors affecting the composition of a modeling and simulation course. Based on the anticipated consequences, we propose potential solutions.

Tuesday 10:30:00 AM 12:00:00 PM
Panel: Education for Practice

Chair: Jerry Banks (Professor Emeritus, Georgia Tech)

Panel Session: Education for Simulation Practice – Five Perspectives
Jerry Banks (Professor Emeritus, Georgia Institute of Technology), Heimo Adelsberger (University of Essen), Charles McLean (National Institute of Standards and Technology), Ralph Rogers (Old Dominion University) and Ian McGregor (AutoSimulations Division of Brooks Automation)

This panel session is based on the responses of simulationists representing various segments of simulation practice, to an article on the required skills of a simulation analyst. The perspectives represented are those of academia, government, industry, military, and research. First, the essence of the reference article is provided. Then, the five perspectives are presented. Finally, inferences are drawn from the five perspectives and the reference article.

Tuesday 1:30:00 PM 3:00:00 PM
Panel: Academic Perspectives

Chair: Tayfur Altiok (Rutgers University)

Various Ways Academics Teach Simulation: Are They All Appropriate?
Tayfur Altiok (Rutgers University), W. David Kelton (The Pennsylvania State University), Pierre L'Ecuyer (Universite de Montreal), Barry L. Nelson (Northwestern University), Bruce W. Schmeiser (Purdue University), Thomas J. Schriber (University of Michigan), Lee W. Schruben (University of California) and James R. Wilson (North Carolina State University)

This panel discusses goals and educational strategies for teaching simulation in academia. Clearly, there is considerable material to cover in a single course or a sequence thereof in, say, an undergraduate program. The issue is how to motivate and empower students to analyze complex problems correctly and to prevent the pitfall of misusing the concept.

Tuesday 3:30:00 PM 5:00:00 PM
Curriculum for Simulation Education

Chair: Hugh Osborne (University of Huddersfield)

Integration of Computer Simulation and Visualization Research into Undergraduate Degree Programs
T. Andrew Yang (Indiana University of Pennsylvania)

Faculty from several departments in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at IUP have engaged in interdisciplinary projects involving the simulation and visualization of neural networks and material science research. The existing Computer Science degree programs at IUP, however, contain no courses in computer simulation. It has been felt by all the researchers involved in the projects that a degree program focusing on computer simulation is needed to, among its other missions, cultivate students with sufficient knowledge and skills to participate in the projects. This paper starts with an analysis of the knowledge and skills required of the students, followed by identification of existing and new courses that may be taken to acquire the knowledge and skills. The paper concludes with a proposal to establish a degree program in computer simulation and visualization, and an approach in integrating the research projects with the proposed degree program.

More on a Model Curriculum for Modeling and Simulation
Roy E. Crosbie, John J. Zenor, and Ralph C. Hilzer (California State University, Chico)

At WSC 00, one of the authors (Crosbie) suggested that the development and publication of a Model Curriculum for MS programs in Modeling and Simulation would facilitate the development of such programs. This paper presents a first draft of a Model Curriculum developed by a small group at the McLeod Institute of Simulation Sciences at California State University, Chico. The aim of the draft is to stimulate further discussion in the M&S community with the goal of arriving at a generally acceptable outline that can serve as a guideline for new programs.

Why We Need to Offer a Modeling and Simulation Engineering Curriculum
Leo J. De Vin and Mats Jägstam (University of Skövde)

This paper describes some identifiable trends in the manufacturing industry regarding the increased use of simulation tools, especially by small- to medium-sized companies. These trends have resulted in the need for a new type of engineer, namely simulation engineer. This need prompted the University of Skövde to develop a B.Sc. simulation engineering study program. The contents and layout of the program, which started in Autumn 2000, are described. After receiving a firm foundation in manufacturing, logistics and mathematics in the first year, the main focus of the second year is on simulation. In the third year, which includes a substantial examination project, a specialization in manufacturing or in logistics is possible. Although simulation-related examination projects are already now carried out in other study programs, the simulation engineer will be able to cover a larger part of simulation projects and will have a broader overview of available simulation tools.

Wednesday 8:30:00 AM 10:00:00 AM
Teaching Tools and Methods

Chair: Ralph Hilzer (California State University, Chico)

GeNisa: A Web-Based Interactive Learning Environment for Teaching Simulation Modelling
Tajudeen Atolagbe, Vlatka Hlupic, and Simon J.E. Taylor (Brunel University)

Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS) provide students with adaptive instruction and can facilitate the acquisition of problem solving skills in an interactive environment. This paper discusses the role of pedagogical strategies that have been implemented to facilitate the development of simulation modelling knowledge. The learning environment integrates case-based reasoning with interactive tools to guide tutorial remediation. The evaluation of the system shows that the model for pedagogical activities is a useful method for providing efficient simulation modelling instruction.

Teaching Manufacturing Systems Simulation in a Computer Aided Teaching Studio
Charles R. Standridge (Grand Valley State University)

A computer aided teaching studio provides a unique environment for teaching an introductory simulation course to manufacturing engineers. Each meeting can consist of an appropriate combination of lecture and computer-based activities, depending on the topic. Assigned exercises aid students in learning methods. Emphasis can be placed on the solution of case problems that serve as metaphors for realistic simulation projects. Since students have co-op or full time industrial experience, an industry-based project of the student's own definition serves as a course capstone. The case problem and project orientation of the course supported by the computer aided teaching studio makes examinations unnecessary. Case problems are based on a set of case studies derived from topics of interest to practicing manufacturing engineers. Cases are organized into four modules: basic systems organizations, lean manufacturing, material handling, and supply chain management. Only the simulation methods needed to support the case studies are presented.

YACHTS – Yet Another Cooperative High Level Architecture Training Software
Agostino G. Bruzzone (DIP University of Genoa), Roberto Mosca (MISS University of Genoa) and Roberto Revetria (Liophant Simulation Club)

The paper proposes a new tool for supporting educational and professional skill development in HLA environment; the application proposed by the authors is devoted to provide a realistic case and an easy to understand/modify example where to extend technical knowledge of HLA.

Wednesday 10:30:00 AM 12:00:00 PM
Teaching Simulation and Simulation for Teaching

Chair: Agostino G. Bruzzone (University of Genoa)

Assessment of Student Preparation for Discrete Event Simulation Courses
Leonardo Chwif (Mauá School of Engineering), Marcos Ribeiro Pereira Barretto (University of São Paulo) and Ray J. Paul (Brunel University )

Over the past years, there has been a growth in simulation courses both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. A discrete event simulation course, as with any non-basic course, has some prerequisites that must be satisfied by students before attending classes. Statistics, computer programming and modeling are the most important, together with knowledge on the specific field being simulated (manufacturing, logistics, etcetera). Are students sufficiently prepared to follow a course on simulation? This work is related to the construction, application and analysis of an assessment instrument to evaluate student prerequisite knowledge for a discrete event simulation course. The proposed questionnaire was given to the 5th year engineering students at the beginning of our first year (72 hours) discrete event simulation introductory course at Mauá School of Engineering. The results obtained show the importance of making an assessment evaluation in order to improve the quality of simulation learning.

A Crowd of Little Man Computers: Visual Computer Simulator Teaching Tools
William Yurcik (Illinois State University) and Hugh Osborne (University of Huddersfield)

This paper describes the use of a particular type of computer simulator as a tool for teaching computer architecture. The Little Man Computer (LMC) paradigm was developed by Stuart Madnick of MIT in the 1960s and has stood the test of time as a conceptual device that helps students understand the basics of how a computer works. With the success of the LMC paradigm, LMC simulators have also proliferated. We compare and contrast the current crowd of LMC simulators highlighting visual features. We found unexpected insights since despite starting with the same paradigm with the same goals, each implementation is distinct with different strengths and weaknesses. It is our intention that interested educators will find this a useful starting point or useful reference for incorporating simulation into their courses.

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