AIAA Paper 2004-4935. Presented at the AIAA Modeling and Simulation Technologies Conference and Exhibit, August 16, 2004, pages 1-11. This article is in the public domain. Published by American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author Russell M. Cummings was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.
Modeling and simulation has become a driving force within the engineering and science communities as the cost of, and time for, experimentation continues to rise. Some areas of study, such as chemistry and biology, may not even have the ability to fully evaluate certain processes experimentally, making modeling and simulation even more important. The situation has led many areas of research to the necessity of modeling and simulating various processes using computers. In addition, the rise in computational capabilities (the supercomputers of a decade ago are outmoded by the PC clusters of today), has led to a paradigm shift from using the computer resources only available to a few researchers to a tool now available to many people. Researchers at the U.S. Air Force Academy are working to bring these modeling and simulation tools into the classroom and laboratories for students to learn the capabilities, and limitations, of modern computational tools. Descriptions of how modeling and simulation is performed at the Academy are included, as well as details about the computational resources being used. Most importantly, descriptions of the methods used to bring these tools to the classroom are described in detail.