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What Are the Different Uses for Computer Simulation?

Computer simulations serve as virtual laboratories, allowing us to model complex systems, forecast weather patterns, design advanced technologies, and train professionals in risk-free environments. They're pivotal in advancing medicine, engineering, and even entertainment through realistic video games. How might these simulations shape the future of your field? Join us as we examine their transformative potential.
G. Wiesen
G. Wiesen

Different uses for a computer simulation are often based on different industries that can utilize such simulations and the ways in which the input and output for a simulation can be used. Financial and company managers, for example, often utilize computer simulations to predict trends in investment and to evaluate possible outcomes of different business decisions. Military uses for simulations are often centered on creating scenarios within a simulation program and evaluating the outcome of those scenarios for predicting military effectiveness. There are also ways in which a computer simulation can be used in science, especially for physical sciences such as meteorology and physics.

A computer simulation is a program developed using statistical information to create an algorithm that allows the program to make predictions based on past events. Business uses for such applications are quite important, as many companies utilize these simulations to forecast trends and changes in finance. An investment firm, for example, might use a computer simulation to predict how investments and markets may behave in the future. Individual companies can use such simulations for management and organizational strategies, making predictions on how a company might benefit or be damaged by decisions that are being considered.

Man holding computer
Man holding computer

There are also a number of different uses for a computer simulation in the military and similar applications. Some simulations have been used by military commanders to create a model for a particular battlefield or combat scenario; the simulation then creates a realistic prediction of the outcome of the conflict. Similar simulations have been used to predict how different countries or military organizations might attack each other, and the various outcomes that can result from such attacks. A computer simulation can also be used by a government or military agency to predict the impact that catastrophic attacks, such as a nuclear attack, might have on a particular geographic populace.

Many uses for a computer simulation can be found within various scientific fields of study. Meteorology, for example, often uses complex simulations to model and predict the movements of various weather systems. This allows meteorological associations to track the movements of a large storm, such as a tropical hurricane, and predict where that system might move, providing time to more effectively warn people of a storm’s approach. Other types of physical sciences can also use a computer simulation to create models and predict behaviors, including interactions between different waveforms and the way in which atomic particles behave in various environments.

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Discussion Comments


What type of software should I purchase to make computer simulations of liquids? I want something that will model the flow of liquids over a turbine blade. Could I use software that simulates aerodynamics since air is a fluid? Info please...


Does anyone know of any good flight simulator software? My grandfather used to be a pilot, and when he passed, I said I would learn to fly one day. I am going to sign up for flight school in the spring, but I would like to mess around with a flight simulator to familiarize myself with the controls inside the plane. I honestly do not even know what type of plane the flight school will have me fly, but I assume it will be a small two-seat propeller plane. I have never been in any plane other than a jet liner, so any insight would be helpful.


@GiraffeEars- Have you ever seen the detailed relief maps put out y the USGS, or detailed population density maps that have colors to represent population density? These are maps made with GIS computer simulation technology. GIS stands for Geographical Information Systems, and it refers to geographical software tools used for mapping and modeling. GIS software allows a person to create maps to reflect statistical data so it can be used for planning and other purposes.

It takes about a year of training to become proficient in GIS modeling. You can find GIS certification at a number of community colleges and universities across the nation. You can even minor in GIS if you are a current college student. As for the cost of becoming GIS certified, it depends on the program. There is not necessarily a definitive test to become GIS certified; rather certification simply proves minimum proficiency.

Earth scientist, engineers, and planners use GIS, and professionals skilled in this type of modeling are heavily sought after in the job market. If you have the time to take the necessary courses, it can be well worth the investment. If you are interested, take a look on the internet for demos of what GIS software can do.


What is GIS computer simulation software and what is it used for? How do I seek certification in GIS? I was looking for jobs the other day, and one of the jobs that caught my eye said a candidate with GIS certification was preferable. Where can I get this certification, and how much does it cost? How long does it take to train in GIS? Do I need prior training to take the GIS certification exam or would I be able to take the test with just a study guide?

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