Centre for Modeling and Simulation
Savitribai Phule Pune University All Models Are False, Some Are Useful

Public Document CMS-PD-20120121


Title The Making of An Academic Programme in Modeling and Simulation
Author/s Mihir Arjunwadkar
Centre for Modeling and Simulation, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune 411 007 India

National Centre for Radio Astrophysics, Pune 411007, India

Abhijat Vichare
Computational Research Laboratories Ltd., Pune 411004, India
Abstract While mathematical modeling is not a new enterprise, the ubiquity of computing technologies has made it all-pervasive. One may argue that this is precisely the reason why we need a multi-disciplinary, broad-based academic programme in mathematical modeling and computational simulation (M&S) methods, with a problem-centric approach at its heart.

Designing and implementing such a multi-disciplinary academic programme without precedent in the arena of conventionally stratified academic disciplines can be a challenging task. It requires a strong sense of vision coupled with commitment, endurance coupled with flexibility, and team work coupled with wise leadership and organizational skills.

In this paper, we describe the design and development of a Masters-level academic programme in Modeling and Simulation at the Centre for Modeling and Simulation, Savitribai Phule Pune University, and first implemented in the academic year 2008-09. The long and arduous process that culminated into this programme began with brain-storming within a core group, a rigorous design exercise, followed by informal expert reviews that led to an initial one-year diploma implementation. Gradual and incremental experience accumulated from running this diploma programme, together with design-redesign cycles, readily available academic and organizational help – and some luck – eventually brought the programme to it current form, i.e., a full-length two-year M.Tech. degree programme in modeling and simulation. We also share our outlook and some of the wisdom gained in the process.

Perhaps the single most important take-home message of our exercise is that curriculum design and implementation in any discipline is a serious endeavour that requires commitment on part of the faculty, long-term organizational commitment, will, and support, and a focus on the overall objective by all.

Keywords Modeling and Simulation, Computational Science, Problem-Centric Approach, Applied Mathematics, Applied Statistics, and Computing Education, Multidisciplinary Academics, Curriculum Design, Higher Education
Download [241K pdf]Proceedings
Citing This Document Mihir Arjunwadkar, and Abhijat Vichare , The Making of An Academic Programme in Modeling and Simulation . Public Document CMS-PD-20120121 of the Centre for Modeling and Simulation, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune 411007, India (2012); available at http://cms.unipune.ernet.in/reports/.
Notes, Published Reference, Etc. This was a contribution for the NIME National Conference on Mathematics Education, Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (TIFR), Mumbai, India (2012), and formally published as part of the proceedings of this conference.
Contact mihir AT cms.unipune.ernet.in, abhijatv AT gmail.com
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