Designing Computer Models That Teach
Of all the species on earth, Homo sapiens is the only one, so far as we know, that uses models (Deacon, 1997). We invent models for many, often conflicting purposes: to provide parsimonious descriptions of observed phenomena, to predict what will happen under prescribed circumstances, and sometimes to explain why things happen the way they do. Models are the indispensable tools of modern science, and increasingly they run on computers, which enables us to predict, and to varying degrees control, the exact landing spot of a Mars probe, the three-dimensional configuration of a molecule, and the chance of rain tomorrow. Such uses of models, in fact, have given rise to a new kind of research, aptly described by the phrase computational science.
KeywordsEducational Model Curriculum Developer Visible Particle Reasoning Pattern Invisible Particle
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