The Modeling and Simulation PhD is an interdisciplinary degree primarily intended for students with an academic or work background in mathematics, sciences, engineering, or computer science who wish to pursue a career in academia, government, defense, entertainment, technology, service or manufacturing.
Simulation is the quintessential utility tool. In one way or another, just about every engineering or scientific field uses simulation as an exploration, modeling, or analysis technique. Simulation is not limited to engineering or science. Simulation is used in training, management, and concept exploration and involves constructing human-centered, equipment-centered, and/or stand-alone computer-based models of existing as well as conceptual systems or processes. The purpose of simulation is to evaluate the behavior of the human, organization, equipment, and/or systems under study through the evaluation of output from the corresponding simulation construct. Because of the scale and complexity of modeling and simulation, practitioners have developed both generalized and specialized skills.
Input from industry and government M&S users and developers has been instrumental in identifying the key competencies for M&S professionals and has been critical to the development of this curriculum. The curriculum is designed to provide a broad overall perspective of the developing simulation industry and an awareness of the economic considerations. Upon completion of the program, graduates will have the diverse training necessary to enable them to work in varied capacities in government agencies, or in the defense, service, entertainment, and manufacturing industries.
Students in the Modeling and Simulation graduate program have often focused their study and research efforts in one or more of the following research areas:
The Behavioral Cybersecurity in M&S research area has attracted those who wish to gain expertise in the latent cognitive aspects of security for computer systems, servers, mobile devices, networks, software, and network-enabled devices. Typical problem areas for behavioral aspects of cybersecurity include insider threats, hacker motivations, user training and education, digital ethics, cyber law and policy, senior leader education, and cyber workforce development and education. Typical courses include Behavioral Aspects of Cybersecurity, Cyber Operations Lab, Emerging Cyber Issues, Digital Ethics, Human Cognition and Learning, Cyber Crime and Criminal Justice, and Data Mining Methodology I.
The Human Systems in M&S research area has attracted those who wish to gain expertise in the content and techniques of human behavior in simulation systems, including human factors, human-computer interaction, virtual worlds, statistical and quantitative procedures, experimental design, computer techniques, and other research methodologies. Typical problem areas for R&D include human-in-the-loop simulation; team performance under stress; and use of visual, audio, haptic, and other sensory input/output modalities to coordinate human-machine activities. Typical courses include Human Factors, Training Systems Engineering, Human Computer Interaction, Intelligent Simulation, and Distributed Learning.
Computer Visualization in M&S is a research area that attracts those who wish to gain expertise in technical aspects of computer graphic systems, virtual environments, and human-centered simulation systems applying the state-of-the-art in computer graphics and other human-interface technologies. Typical courses include Human Computer Interaction, Computer Graphics Systems, Computer Vision, Machine Perception, Human-Virtual Environment Interaction, and Sensation and Perception. Students in this research area typically have an interest in the area of Emerging Media, which focuses on the development of new forms of interactive media and the creation of story-driven content for them such as interactive works of art, electronic games, virtual reality, the Internet, portable devices and mobile applications, wearable computers, etc.
Simulation Modeling and Analysis
The Simulation Modeling and Analysis research area attracts those who desire to gain expertise in using simulation as a optimization tool for effective design, planning, analysis, and decision-making. The emphasis of this area is on problem definition, model formulation, design of simulation experiments, and model-based analysis. This area attracts those who seek to develop skills in the application of advanced quantitative methods to modeling and simulation. Building on backgrounds in operations research, mathematics or statistics, they should gain experience in modeling and simulation through the application of optimization, mathematical and statistical theory to build multidisciplinary simulation models and conducting rigorous simulation experimentation. A graduate will be prepared to work with corporate and government decision-makers as they model and evaluate the impacts of proposed policies and system designs. Typical courses include Engineering Statistics, Statistical Aspects of Digital Simulation, and Mathematical Modeling, Discrete Systems Simulation, Object-Oriented Simulation, Experimental Design, and Quantitative Aspects of Modeling and Simulation.
Simulation in Healthcare
Simulation in Healthcare is a fast growing new area in M&S. Issues related to bringing down the cost of healthcare and reducing costly medical errors are generating many new opportunities related to systems analysis, communication between healthcare providers and patients, and simulation-based training, to name a few. Currently a disproportionate amount of the US economy goes to healthcare, at least twice as much as the average of the 25 richest nations, and health outcomes in the US place the country near the bottom of this group of countries. M&S can contribute significantly towards improving this situation. Typical courses include Discrete Systems Simulation, Experimental Design, and Object-Oriented Simulation, Engineering Statistics, Human Computer Interaction.
Interactive Simulation and Intelligent Systems
Interactive Simulation and Intelligent Systems research attracts those who wish to pursue or are currently pursuing careers in the training simulation/simulator industries. Graduates specializing in this research area typically are interested in creating designs for simulators and simulator-based training systems and to apply expert systems and other intelligent systems in a simulation setting. Typical courses include Training Systems Engineering, Simulation of Real-Time Processes, and Intelligent Simulation.
The research area of Simulation Infrastructure attracts those who wish to gain an in-depth understanding of the basic components of simulation systems and their patterns of configuration and communication, including hardware and software issues. They will gain experience in the development of distributed simulation and training environments. Graduates should be able to implement such systems or manage a team capable of developing such systems. Typical courses include Performance Models of Computers and Networks, Simulation Design and Analysis, High Performance Computer Architecture, and Analysis of Computer and Communication Systems. Simulation Management: Simulation Management research area attracts those who wish to gain expertise in the management of projects related to modeling, simulation, and training (MS&T). Graduates who focus in this area of study should be prepared to manage such projects for military agencies or MS&T companies. Typical courses include Environment of Technical Organizations, Modeling and Simulation of Real-Time Processes, Management Information Systems, and Project Engineering.
Simulation Management research area attracts those who wish to gain expertise in the management of projects related to modeling, simulation, and training (MS&T). Graduates who focus in this area of study should be prepared to manage such projects for military agencies or MS&T companies. Typical courses include Environment of Technical Organizations, Modeling and Simulation of Real-Time Processes, Management Information Systems, and Project Engineering.
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