Computer Sciences

A framework to evaluate techniques for simulating physical systems

The simulation of physical systems using computing tools can have numerous valuable applications, both in research and real-world settings. Most existing tools for simulating physical systems are based on physics theory and ...


Engineers develop a robotic hand with a gecko-inspired grip

Across a vast array of robotic hands and clamps, there is a common foe: The heirloom tomato. You may have seen a robotic gripper deftly pluck an egg or smoothly palm a basketball—but, unlike human hands, one gripper is ...


First steerable catheter developed for brain surgery

A team of engineers and physicians has developed a steerable catheter that for the first time will give neurosurgeons the ability to steer the device in any direction they want while navigating the brain's arteries and blood ...


Scientists create the next generation of living robots

Last year, a team of biologists and computer scientists from Tufts University and the University of Vermont (UVM) created novel, tiny self-healing biological machines from frog cells called "Xenobots" that could move around, ...

Computer Sciences

Algorithm quickly simulates a roll of loaded dice

The fast and efficient generation of random numbers has long been an important challenge. For centuries, games of chance have relied on the roll of a die, the flip of a coin, or the shuffling of cards to bring some randomness ...

Computer Sciences

Chaos theory provides hints for controlling the weather

Under a project led by the RIKEN Center for Computational Science, researchers have used computer simulations to show that weather phenomena such as sudden downpours could potentially be modified by making small adjustments ...

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Computer simulation

A computer simulation, a computer model or a computational model is a computer program, or network of computers, that attempts to simulate an abstract model of a particular system. Computer simulations have become a useful part of mathematical modeling of many natural systems in physics (computational physics), chemistry and biology, human systems in economics, psychology, and social science and in the process of engineering new technology, to gain insight into the operation of those systems, or to observe their behavior.

Computer simulations vary from computer programs that run a few minutes, to network-based groups of computers running for hours, to ongoing simulations that run for days. The scale of events being simulated by computer simulations has far exceeded anything possible (or perhaps even imaginable) using the traditional paper-and-pencil mathematical modeling: over 10 years ago, a desert-battle simulation, of one force invading another, involved the modeling of 66,239 tanks, trucks and other vehicles on simulated terrain around Kuwait, using multiple supercomputers in the DoD High Performance Computer Modernization Program; a 1-billion-atom model of material deformation (2002); a 2.64-million-atom model of the complex maker of protein in all organisms, a ribosome, in 2005; and the Blue Brain project at EPFL (Switzerland), began in May 2005, to create the first computer simulation of the entire human brain, right down to the molecular level.

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