The best way to understand Systems Modeling is to consider examples drawn from the research that is performed by the faculty proposing the program.
- Edward Boone studies streams and rivers and the populations of fish and other life that lives in them.
- Jason Merrick studies the risk of accidents in a port and how it is influenced by the traffic patterns, weather, currents, and human errors.
- Angela Reynolds studies wound healing and the influence of hormones on the rate of healing.
- Paul Brooks mines genetic data from bacteria to characterize the role of the microbiome in physiology and disease.
Each of these researchers looks at the river, the port, the wound, or the body as a system of components that interact together and lead to behaviors beyond what their individual pieces can do. We cannot study the population of one type of fish in a stream alone without considering the populations of its predators and it food sources, along with the actions that man takes that affect it. A ship in dry dock will not have an accident as it cannot run in to other ships or run aground; accident risk is a product of all the other parts of the port the ship navigates through. In other words, we must consider the behavior of the systems, not just individual pieces.
Read an interview with one of our students.