SimScience: interactive educational modules based on large simulations

Simeon Warner, Simon Catterall, Eric Gregory, Edward Lipson

Research output: Contribution to journalConference Articlepeer-review


SimScience is a collaboration between Cornell University and Syracuse University. It comprises four interactive educational modules on crack propagation, crackling noise, fluid flow, and membranes. Computer simulations are at the forefront of current research in all of these topics. Our aim is explain some elements of each subject and to show the relevance of computer simulations. The crack propagation module explores the mechanisms of dam failure. The crackling noise module uses everyday sounds to illustrate types of noise, and links this to noise created by jumps in magnetization processes. The fluid flow module describes various properties of flows and explains phenomena such as a curve ball in baseball. The membranes module leverages everyday experience with membranes such as soap bubbles to help explain biological membranes and the relevance of membranes to theories of gravity. We have used Java not only to produce small-scale versions of research simulations but also to provide models illustrating simpler concepts underlying the main subject matter. Web technology allows us to deliver SimScience both over the Internet and on CD-ROM. To accommodate a target audience spanning K-12 and university general science students, we have created three levels for each module. Efforts are underway to assess the SimScience modules with the help of teachers and students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalComputer Physics Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1 2000
EventCCP 99: Computational Physics - Atlanta, GA, USA
Duration: Mar 20 1999Mar 26 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hardware and Architecture
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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