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NY Times Highlights Growth in M&S Field, Including at ODU

The New York Times recently cited Old Dominion University as one of a half-dozen schools nationwide with expertise in the exploding field of modeling and simulation (M&S).

In a June 14 article headlined "In Simulation Work, the Demand Is Real," reporter Conrad De Aennle writes about the growth in the modeling and simulation industry, which has happened despite the recent economic slowdown.

In fact, De Aennle reports that M&S is actually a valuable tool during times when funds are scarce.

"Simulations are used to gauge the impact that new rivals in the market may have on a company's sales - or to help a manufacturer devise the cheapest, fastest means of delivering products," the article says.

The Times article notes that 400,000 people make a living in the United States in one aspect or another off of simulation, with an average salary of about $85,000 per year.

D.J. Weed, executive director of the Society for Modeling and Simulation International, told the Times that a number of schools have added M&S degree programs in recent years, including Old Dominion, Auburn, the University of Alabama-Huntsville, Georgia Tech and Central Florida.

Many of these schools have close ties to military or other government institutions, where much of the work is, Weed said.

ODU will soon be the first university in the United States to offer a complete advanced education in the modeling and simulation field, from undergraduate through postdoctoral.

John Sokolowski, director of ODU's Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center, says as the discipline becomes more pervasive, people are going to realize its power and usefulness.

"Once reserved only for modeling physical systems and military applications, M&S has taken on a multidisciplinary nature, which has benefited many areas such as health science, education, business and social science," he said.

"ODU's M&S research and education programs are the only ones that take this multidisciplinary view, with M&S faculty spread throughout all six colleges.

"This focus becomes especially important because many systems in these areas cannot be manipulated in the real world. It is only through M&S that a person can experiment on these systems to gain insight into how they operate."

This article was posted on: June 23, 2009

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