The Simulation and Design Competition (SiMDeC): A platform for next-gen systems modelers

The students of developing nations like ours rarely get the opportunities to explore the dynamics and the challenges in the real-world when reading for industrially oriented engineering or business undergraduate degrees. Furthermore, the academics who teach the aforementioned, face challenges when designing and delivering the curricula to embed the real-world complexities and systems’ dynamics.
The Simulation and Design Competition (SiMDeC) is an attempt to overcome the aforementioned barriers by encapsulating the modelling and simulation techniques learnt in a classroom to a consolidated comprehensive research-based scholarly solution to solve an authentic world quandary. The outcomes of these mechanisms were promising and from the academic perspective, the summative and formative assessment grades of the students have significantly improved from previous years
The simulation as a modelling approach has been widely applied in diverse settings in leading corporate environments. It can easily be defined as the process of creating a model i.e., an abstract representation of an existing or proposed system in order to identify and understand those factors which control the system and/or to predict the future behavior of the system.
The underlying purpose of simulation is to shed light on the underlying mechanisms that control the behavior of a system. More practically, simulation can be used to predict the future behavior of a system, and determine what you can do to influence that future behavior. As you can see, the power of this approach is immense! Unfortunately, due to the use of high-end mathematics, statistics, and the advanced logical thinking; this approach may not be very popular among the undergraduates.

The solution proposed by us was SiMDeC; where the level four undergraduate students of the B.Sc. MIT degree programme who were following the Modelling and Simulation course module got a chance to involve in an educational experiment to widen broader cognitive abilities than merely taking a course. We had chosen the level four undergraduates as, when the students get to their final year they have obtained a holistic knowledge of their specific graduate profiles and are ready to experiment scholarly work.

The e-repository of the SiMDeC 16’
Source: http://science.kln.ac.lk/simdec/index.php/e-repository

The objective of this endeavour was to embed the lessons learnt with respect to modelling and simulation into solving real-world problems ranging from dynamic business problems related to human resource allocation and marketing, operations research, software modelling, and supply chain optimization. Furthermore, we used integrated learning approach to make this a combined chapter of the dissertation work which they anyway engage in their level four. The SiMDeC takes student learning to the next level as shown on the two figures of the on-line repositories. On the e-repository of the student work, we present the scholarly articles written by the students as well as short videos of the entire modelling and simulation experience from the students’ standpoint.

The e-repository of the SiMDeC 16’ http://science.kln.ac.lk/simdec/index.php/e-repository

The students enjoy when they learn when it is an exciting and enjoyable experience. The videos posted on the repository showcased not only their modelling skills but also their desire to experiment aesthetics.