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 data mines the genetic information of micro-biomes on the human body.
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.
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