Modeling, simulation, and optimization you say?

Yes, in a nutshell, how to use computers to make decisions about the world and the things we fill it with. My own definitions for each of these would be:

  • Modeling - In this case, computer-based representations of some real-world system. This can be something concrete like aerodynamics or more abstract like social network connections.
  • Simulation - Using those models to see how these systems behave in new and/or interesting situations. What happens when our plane lands at JFK? What happens when it has to land in the Hudson?
  • Optimization - Using the same models to answer the question of the best option to choose. What's the most efficient road trip to the National Parks? What's the best mix of aluminum, titanium, and carbon fiber to get my plane to the weight I want?

In order to answer these questions, there's usually some mix of computer hardware, software, and math, often with a good dose of physics or some other problem specific knowledge thrown in as well. 

So why the website?

Whatever you want to call this combination (MDO, MBSE, MBD, etc.) it's becoming an increasingly important part of our day-to-day experience, even if only behind the scenes. The more complex our world, the more we need to be able to model it in order to have any hope of making informed decisions. It also gives us a chance to do things better, faster, and cheaper than we could do them before.

And honestly, I want to promote what I feel is still a new and badly needed way of thinking about problems. The companies I've worked at in the past use and value modeling, but it always fell short in some way that I felt really hindered the process. I hope that by showing how powerful these approaches can be, I can start to change some minds out there.

I'm not a scientist, engineer, or mathematician. This sounds a little intense.

Regardless of background, if something sounds interesting to you, I want to at least provide a good overview of what the problem is, generally how the approaches to solve it work, and how small differences in how we think about the problem can produce very different results. I genuinely find this stuff fascinating and I hope to share that with you.

I AM a scientist, engineer, or mathematician. Is this just another popular science, shallow overview?

Nope. I'm planning to go all the way from finding interesting problems to showing how to run the code on your own computer. For those who want it, I want to to show the different ways the problem can be solved, the nuances with coding, and how tweaks to the problem can create very different results. Most importantly, I want to have fun with it and share that as best I can.

Why the name "Crash.Burn.Repeat"?

To me, in a playful way, this is the essence of modeling, simulation, and optimization. We set up models knowing we're going to either break them or propose solutions that completely fail to do what we want. In either case, we learn something new, pick up the pieces, and make a better guess next time. Either we find something that works, or have a better understanding of why it won't. Sounds a bit like a life lesson even.

I have an idea/comment/question

Fantastic! I have a form set up in the Contact section, which you can get to from the button below. No scrolling up required or anything!




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