Volume 21 – Number 2 June 2009
|James M. Lyneis
|Jay W. Forrester
|J. Bradley Morrison
VP Chapter Activities
|Robert L. Eberlein
VP Electronic Presence
|David F. Andersen
Deborah Lines Andersen
Brian C. Dangerfield
Hélder da Costa
Gloria Perez Salzar
Thomas Beck, Stefan Groesser
Brian C. Dangerfield
Special Interest Group Representatives
Carol Frances, Michael Kennedy
Allyson Beall, Ali Kerem Saysel
Vedat Diker, Luis Luna-Reyes,
Edward Andersen, Leonard Malczynski
Ralph Levine, David Lounsbury
Jose Gonzalez, Jose Mari Sarriegi
Our plan to publish four issues of the System Dynamics Newsletter every year continues with this, the second issue of this year. Please send us your letters, news, photographs, and ideas to be included in one of the newsletters! Additionally, if you would like to contribute an article of interest to our community, please send your suggestion to the Society office.
All past newsletters, back to 1988, are available on the Society website under “Publications.”
The System Dynamics Bibliography is updated every six months. Members may download the Bibliography for free. Please send your new references to the Society office. We ask your help in improving the accuracy and usefulness of the Bibliography. Please check your entries for correctness; send any edits (including deletions of entries that have been superseded) to the Society office. Find the Bibliography on the Society website; click on “Products / Bibliography.”
The European Master Programme in System Dynamics: new, enriching and international
Four universities in Europe will launch the first joint, integrated European Master Programme in System Dynamics in August 2010. The universities of Palermo (Italy), Bergen (Norway), Lund (Sweden) and Radboud University Nijmegen (the Netherlands) received funding from the Erasmus Curriculum Development scheme for this purpose. The programme, led by professors Carmine Bianchi, Pål Davidsen, Mats Svensson and Jac Vennix, builds on the strengths of the four universities: Foundations of System Dynamics Model Building in Bergen; Application of System Dynamics in either Sustainability Issues or Management in Lund, Planning and Control in Palermo and Organisational Consultation and Group Model Building in Nijmegen.
The programme will provide students with specific skills in Policy Modelling with System Dynamics as well as the intercultural knowledge required to apply these skills at an international level. Students will stay at three of the four different universities for a whole semester, beginning in Bergen, then either in Lund or Palermo, and finally in Nijmegen and will use the fourth semester to write their thesis at one of the four universities. This way they will benefit from a broad range of social and cultural offerings. Being part of an international community of students will be an enriching experience for each individual student. Associated members to the programme are the Department of Public Administration and Policy, State University of New York, The School of Systems, Universidad Nacional de Colombia and Faculty of Computers and Information, Cairo University.
The programme will be entirely taught in English, but students will be offered the possibility to learn the local language, once they stay in a particular country. Students will apply to one programme but will receive a degree from all the institutions that they attend (as part of a multiple degree). As soon as national legislation in the participating countries changes, the students will receive the first joint Master’s degree in System Dynamics in Europe. Application to the programme will be possible from September 2009 onwards. For inquiries please visit our exhibitor’s table at the upcoming conference and our website at www.europeansystemdynamics.eu. Or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cognitive Mapping, System Dynamics and the Bullwhip Effect
Aris Syntetos, Brian Dangerfield (University of Salford, UK) and John Boylan (Buckinghamshire New University, UK) have recently initiated a project funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC, UK) that aims at the re-conceptualisation of the complex problem of the Bullwhip Effect through the integration of Cognitive Mapping and System Dynamics (stock and flow) modelling. The project involves a visiting professor at the University of Salford: Nicholas C. Georgantzas (Fordham University, USA). This is an interdisciplinary attempt, requiring expertise in the areas of forecasting, inventory management, supply chain management, system dynamics and cognitive mapping.
A prototype generic map of factors impinging on the Bullwhip Effect has already been constructed. The objectives of this project are:
This project is also intended i) to incorporate in the model significant behavioural components (such as judgemental interventions in the forecasting and order replenishment tasks) and ii) to explore the potential for such models to act as a training tool for those new to judgemental forecasting and, in the longer term, to change company policies.
The outcomes of the project will progressively be added on a dedicated website at the University of Salford. We have already ensured the contribution of a few organisations, but more companies are currently being sought for participation in the project, in terms of exchange of ideas and qualitative input. In return, the companies will be supplied, at the end of the project, with reports consisting of tailored-made suggestions. Any enquiries or any suggestions/comments regarding this project may be addressed to Aris Syntetos at: email@example.com or +44 (0) 161 295 5804.
The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Team
The 2009 Conference on Systems Science, Management Science & System Dynamics (SSMSSD09) was held at Tongji University, Shanghai, China from May 29 to 31, 2009. About 110 scholars from China mainland, Taiwan, Macao, Canada, USA, Australia and Italy attended the Conference. The scholars had seven plenary sessions and eight parallel sessions to discuss the issues of systems science theory and application, management theory and practicing, system dynamics and its application, and theory of complexity and sustainable development. A total of 398 papers have been accepted by the conference.
The conference was chaired by Professor Qifan Wang, and hosted by the Institute of Development Study, Tongji University, the Professional Committee of System Dynamics, the System Engineering Society of China and chapters of Asia-Pacific Area, System Dynamics Society. Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade acted as a co-host.
On the evening of May 30, we (the China Chapter of System Dynamics Society), held a system dynamics group meeting with about thirty participants who are involved in system dynamics education and research in China. Most of the participants came from various universities, and teach system dynamics in undergraduate and graduate programs. They believed that the SSMSSD conference is helpful for promoting system dynamics education and research in China. Someone suggested that the conference should be held every year, instead of every two years, and in different universities.
A few of the participants have attended the past System Dynamics Society conferences. Dr. Lei from Macao said that he would be at the Albuquerque Conference this year. We introduced the 2010 System Dynamics Society conference to all the participants, and many of them expressed great interest. We also encouraged the participants to join the System Dynamics Society. Some of them could be expected to register as a society member in the coming months. The member fee of fifteen USD is acceptable for most of them.
Yaman Barlas Receives Teaching Award
Society member Professor Yaman Barlas received the 2008 best teaching award of Bogaziçi University. Up to two faculty members from four main colleges are offered the award each year. Professor Barlas' affiliation is with the Industrial Engineering Department where he teaches simulation and system dynamics courses. This is the second time Yaman Barlas received this teaching excellence award, the first being in 2006.
New Book by Kerry Turner
Riding Dynamics was recently published by Society member Kerry Turner. The book applies a systems approach to riding and is targeted toward new and experienced horse enthusiasts. Kerry donated a copy of her book to the Society’s library. ISBN: 9780955708404
Hyunjung Kim successfully defended her PhD dissertation "Qualitative Mapping for Understanding the Collective Judgment Building Process: A Study of the Federal Open Market Committee" on April 20, 2009. It was approved by the University at Albany, State University of New York. Dr. Kim will join the faculty of the School of Business at the California State University, Chico, where Jeff Trailer is the Chair of the Department of Management. Congratulations Hyunjung!
In June 2009, Gökhan Dogan received his PhD from MIT. His dissertation was entitled "Carryover Parts and New Product Liability." Dr. Dogan will be joining TAV Airports at their headquarters in Instanbul, Turkey. Congratulations Gökhan!
After a long illness, Marc Abrams, passed away earlier this year. Marc was a long-time member of the System Dynamics Society. He was instrumental in the creation of the Psychology Chapter in 2006. An enthusiastic system dynamicist, Marc thought in unique and different ways about psychological issues and was very interested in individual differences in decision making. Marc studied Purposeful Human Behavior, a Stressed Control theory with emphasis on the power of negative loops at the individual level. He built this theoretical framework from the contributions of Jay Forrester and William T. Powers.
John Wirsbinski, a recent new member of the System Dynamics Society died April 24, at the age of only 40 years old. He had been at Sandia National Labortories for thirteen years. A wonderful tribute by his co-workers can be viewed at: https://info.sandia.gov/newscenter/interactive/index.php/2009/05/wirsbinski/
18th UAlbany—MIT System Dynamics PhD Colloquium
Students (and faculty) from Rockefeller College-University at Albany (UAlbany), Sloan School of Management-Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and other universities were invited for the 18th consecutive UAlbany—MIT System Dynamics PhD Colloquium on Friday, March 27th, 2009. This twice-a-year event started in the Fall of 2000 and is held alternately in Albany, NY at Rockefeller College-UAbany and Cambridge, Massachusetts at Sloan School of Management-MIT.
You can find a link to information about this event (as well as other past gatherings) including a summary, abstracts, and presentations, at the bottom of the Society’s 'Activites' page or go directly to this link.
Thank you organizers, Kawika Pierson (MIT) and Andy Whitmore (UAlbany)!
The 27th International Conference of the System Dynamics Society Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
For updated details, please visit the Society website at: http://www.systemdynamics.org/ Then click on “Conferences / Current” to find the 2009 Conference web page. Please contact the Society office for registration assistance.
The conference will bring together approximately 500 people working in system dynamics and systems thinking. Presentations by practitioners and world leaders in the field will cover a wide variety of topics.
Tentative Schedule: Presentation abstracts, a number of full papers and supporting materials are available for preview online; simply follow the links. A program overview by thread is also available to preview the conference program by subject. Please go to http://www.systemdynamics.org/ Go to “Conferences / Current/” and click on the link for “Tentative Schedule.”
The conference program will consist of invited and contributed sessions and workshops demonstrating the state of the art in the theory and application of system dynamics. It will emphasize high-impact applications and research on the difficult issues at the leading edges of the field. In addition, the schedule will feature panel discussions, special interest group sessions, student colloquia, modeling assistance workshops, vendor displays, exhibits, demonstrations, Society business meetings, and other related gatherings. There will be time for social and professional interaction in a relaxed, historic setting.
New for 2009: Friday is designed as a Bonus Day —a special time for interest groups to hold substantive meetings. There will be Discussant-Type parallel sessions. To serve the K-12 Community there will be many special convened sessions, workshops and events. In a first step toward making this conference carbon neutral, the Society has partnered with Carbonfund.org as a means of offsetting the carbon emissions associated with the conference.
Thursday Workshop Description: The Albuquerque conference will offer many workshop sessions for you to choose from. If you are planning to attend any of the workshops, you can find links to a Workshops by Thread schedule as well as full workshop descriptions with titles and presenters of each workshop in the program section of the conference web page. Some workshop presenters ask that you bring certain materials or do some reading in advance, so please read the specific workshop information carefully.
Modeling Assistance Workshop (MAW): Jack Homer and Rod MacDonald will facilitate the Annual Modeling Assistance Workshop. Modeling assistance is available at the conference to enable modelers to discuss their specific modeling questions with modeling coaches. Modeling assistance opportunities include two public workshops, as well as the possibility of assistance at any time during the conference. Assistance is available for modelers with all levels of modeling ability, from beginner to advanced, with questions about a specific model that modelers are developing or studying, or to better understand something in a book, an article, or a software package. Modeling questions may deal with problem articulation, formulation of a dynamic hypothesis, formulation of a simulation model, model testing, or policy design and evaluation. Modelers should bring whatever materials they need to describe their question, including pencil and paper, books, posters, or laptop computers. Spectators are welcome to observe modeling assistance during the two public sessions.
Newcomer Orientation Session is a special event for newcomers. Information will be provided to help the newcomers maneuver through the conference resourcefully.
Additional Events: The Poster Symposium and Buffet will feature all posters presented on Wednesday together with a buffet lunch; converse with the authors and have a bite to eat. The tenth annual PhD Student Colloquium is scheduled to meet on Sunday. Also included will be Roundtables for Business, Economics, Education, Energy, Environmental, Health Policy, Information Science and Information Systems, Inter- and Intranational Conflict, Model Analysis, Psychology and Security. Other events include the “Peer Review” dialog; the System Dynamics CareerLink Bulletin Board; a display table for coursework in system dynamics; the Chapter and Special Interest Group Poster Session; and the prospective conference host meeting. Exhibitor demonstrations and software users’ group meetings will be held during the lunch breaks to showcase products and services in practice.
Registration process: Please visit the conference website “Submission System.”
Conference cancellation policy: Any cancellation or change in conference registration must be submitted in writing to the Society office. Cancellations on or before June 26, 2009 are subject to a cancellation fee of 50%. Thereafter, no refund will be given; however, a registration may be transferred to a substitute participant.
Accommodations and Travel: The conference will be held at the Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town. Please check Hotel Accommodations Information to see the latest room information as well as links to other details about the hotel, reservations and cancellation policy. For information about local activites go to Special Group Tours, Albuquerque Convention & Visitor's Bureau or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Conference Roommates: If you are looking for a roommate, please contact the Society office for coordination suggestions.We thank all our conference sponsors this year for their support and dedication.
The conference presentations are scheduled to start at 8:30 A.M., Monday, July 27. Pre-conference events scheduled for Sunday include the PhD Colloquium, the Policy Council meeting, and the Health Policy Special Interest Group Roundtable and election.
Conference Venue Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town exemplifies "Albuquerque Style," a unique blend of New Mexico's Pueblo, Spanish Territorial and Western cultural influences. Hotel Albuquerque is a landmark hotel nestled in the heart of the historic Old Town Plaza and museum district with its 400-year history and more than 200 shops, restaurants, and galleries to explore. Hotel Albuquerque is also a convenient starting point for further exploration of all that Albuquerque and central New Mexico has to offer.
For detailed information about the Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town, visit its website.
Photographers and Session Reporters Needed for the Albuquerque Conference
Invitation to be a on the team of Photographers Since the 2000 conference in Bergen, we have benefitted from participant-photographers roaming hallways, sessions, and activities, capturing images of the conference that are then posted on the conference website for all to enjoy. We are looking for a handful to volunteer to be "official photographers" during the conference this year.
Additionally, after the conference if anyone else has photos to share, please e-mail them to the Society office, and we will add them to the web page.
It's fun to have the photos posted on the web, and when we announce they are available for viewing, our web hits skyrocket!
Invitation to be a Session Reporter In October, after the conference, we publish an electronic newsletter that gives a cross-section of conference sessions, as reported by volunteer session reporters who share their impressions. Not only are these reports a great way to help attendees remember their experiences, but also the reports in the newsletter bring the spirit of the conference to those who could not attend.
Would you like to be a session reporter for the 2009 Albuquerque conference? Session reporters write a report (from a short paragraph to a page) about the highlights of a session or event at the conference.
The tentative schedule is available on the conference website, and you may pick a session. Please note, it will be "first come, first served" when it comes to choosing a session. Please send a quick e-mail message to the Society office if you are interested, and we will add you to the team!
You may send an e-mail message to email@example.com.
Congratulations to T. S. Gopi Rethinaraj, National University of Singapore, Singapore who was the winner of the complimentary two night weekend accomodation prize offered by the Hotel Albuquerque. Gopi's name was selected at random from among those registered by June 3, 2009.
Silent Auction There is an incredible assortment of items that have been generously donated for the Silent Auction. Everything from books to a balloon ride, along with some handcrafted items and even dinner-for-two, is available.The instructions are simple. The items will be on display throughout the conference. Bidding begins on Sunday, July 26th at 1:00 PM and will close on Tuesday, July 28th at 11:00 PM. Don't miss out on an chance for some wonderful one-of-kind items. Proceeds will benefit the 2010 Conference Scholarship Fund.
Organizing Committee Chair:
Modeling Assistance Workshop Cordinators:
|PhD Colloquim Coordinators:
Delft University of Technology
Roberta L. Spencer
System Dynamics Society
Join us in Seoul for a unique combination of architecture, scenery, culture and history.
The capital of Korea, Seoul, is located on the Han River. Seoul has been the capital of successive Korean nations ever since 1394. With over ten million people, Seoul is Korea’s largest city and one of the most densely populated cities in the world, covering an area of 605 square kilometers.
The rapid economic, social, and technological progress of the city has played a key role in Korea’s development, and has been referred to as the “Miracle on the Han River".
Conference Venue: Nestled in Songpa-gu, on the south side of the Han River, the Seoul Olympic Parktel has perfect features for international gatherings and is a landmark in the heart of Seoul’s sports district.
Surrounded with panoramic views of the Olympic Stadium, Olympic Park, Fortress, and Han River, the environment-friendly hotel and its beautiful outdoor surroundings will offer everlasting excitement and memories. Furthermore, the Youth Hostel within the Seoul Olympic Parktel property guarantees alternative accommodations geared towards less expensive but cozy lodging.
For detailed information about Seoul Olympic Parktel please visit: http://www.parktel.co.kr.
Watch for further announcements and details
as they develop.
Call for Papers will be distributed at the Albuquerque conference
Center for Sustainable Ecosystem Nanotechnologies
Most experts agree that long-held paradigms regarding energy and ecosystems must change. This need is evident in on-going climate change, loss of cropland, extinction of species, deterioration of water resources, and pollution of land, sea, and air. Improved stewardship is needed to ensure sustainability of human populations and natural ecosystems. Advances in nanotechnology, based upon sound systems analysis, are necessary enablers of many urgently needed changes.
The Center for Sustainable Ecosystem Nanotechnologies at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) is working to identify the critical nanomaterials, devices, and structures for the commercial deployment of truly sustainable systems – those that intelligently integrate renewable sources of energy, water, and other ecosystem resources. Energy – fuel cells, solar power, biofuels, and wind – is the initial focus of the center.
However, we are pursuing technologies required for sustainable water management, air quality, and land stewardship. The Center provides decisive design and analysis, pilot prototyping, and proof of concept capabilities and expertise to enable advanced systems and structures for integration within a host of applications. Our research leverages the nanoscience, nanoengineering, nanobioscience, and nanoeconomics thrusts within CNSE, and draws upon expertise from other departments within the University at Albany. These additional capabilities and expertise will accelerate commercialization of next-generation products that enhance, rather than destroy, the world’s ecosystems.Neither purely theoretical, nor driven by discrete industry problems, the Center will embrace head-on the critical ecosystem issues facing both the developed and developing worlds. Our vision is to do this within the context of ecosystem principles and the application of systems analysis, leading to innovative “eco-logical” designs based on nanotechnology solutions. Comprehensive market-driven systems analysis will define high-leverage areas for research and development.
Causally-grounded risk services at CRA
Causal modeling is at the core of effective risk management because it offers the risk manager visibility into how the organizational and operational structure of the firm creates and/or propagates losses. With this knowledge, a risk manager can more effectively monitor for risks where they first appear within the firm prior to becoming a significant loss on the balance sheet. The risk manager can also initiate a series of structural changes to prevent risks by reconfiguring business process and organizational design. Prevention benefits are orders of magnitude greater than either mitigation or recovery benefits.
While risk management initiatives are often justified by loss reduction, the same tools and services can help a firm extract more value out of the uncertain environment within which it operates. Through an understanding of the drivers of uncertainty and variability, a causal risk assessment gives managers insight into how the structure of the firm can be positioned to take value from upside potential in volatile markets. This includes physical and financial hedging strategies that offer operational and financial flexibility to respond to a range of opportunities for increased revenue at minimal cost.
Examples of CRA risk services founded on causal modeling include:
To learn more about CRA, visit our web site at www.crai.com; to discuss CRA’s causally-based risk management services, please contact Bjørn Pettersen (312-377-2255) or Greg Szwartz (212-520-7109).
A NAME YOU CAN TRUST: Formerly known as Collins + Scoville Architects, CSArch has been a vital player in the design and construction industry since 1991. We are widely recognized as one of the leading architects in New York State, bringing outstanding results to both new construction and renovation projects. We have extensive experience with government, office, education and public housing facilities.
Headquartered in Albany, NY, with offices in Newburgh and Malone, NY, we service clients throughout the state through four architecture design studios and our construction management group. A staff of 78 people includes 32 registered architects.
THE EXPERTOOL PARADIGM combines cognitive software and biomimetic methodology to model multi-disciplinary expertise and complex interactions. The platform is optimized for decision analysis applications requiring qualitative and contextual interpretation of quantitative data across the modeled levels of abstraction. The current software can be used to construct very large system dynamics models, or to integrate many models and discover interactions, but it would require significant multi-disciplinary skills. The next generation software, scheduled for release later this year, will include system dynamics use cases and helps.
The Expertool platform is the result of over a decade of experimentation and analysis to apply advances in biomimetic engineering, cognitive science and complexity theory to management science. The result is a unique cognitive solution for defining and reusing experts’ mental models. The diverse range of solutions delivered and of business domains served testifies to the effectiveness of the paradigm to address certain key and persistent business challenges:
The core elements of the platform were evolved during real-world projects (academic, government and diverse global enterprise clients), yielding significant and measurable results. The underlying framework of the Expertool Paradigm includes:
Implementation of this paradigm in methodologies and software has enabled the delivery of unique capabilities and short-term ROI to early adopters.
We Believe That FoodShouldTasteGood!
FoodShouldTasteGood® sounds a bit more like a campaign than a company and brand name. Believe it or not, it is a brand, and even more than that, it’s a philosophy – one that Founder and CEO Pete Lescoe has made the cornerstone of his business. A dedicated snacker, Lescoe believes that food should taste good, but he also believes that artificial ingredients, flavors and preservatives should be left out of the equation. It is with this in mind that he has introduced FoodShouldTasteGood chips, a product that combines the crunchiness of a chip, the crispiness of a cracker and the dippability of a tortilla chip – all with a dedication to wholesomeness and flavor, ideal for the discerning palates of today’s conscientious consumers.
FoodShouldTasteGood chips utilize a concept that is standard in the culinary world, but not often seen in the snack foods industry. As opposed to many chips, which boast bold flavors resulting from artificial flavoring sprinkled on top after cooking, FoodShouldTasteGood chips incorporate all-natural ingredients into the batter, so the flavor is enjoyed from the inside out, not licked off your fingers.
When Lescoe started FoodShouldTasteGood in 2006, he was able to create and share great-tasting products that also fulfilled his personal philosophy about food. “I’ve never felt that one should have to sacrifice sophisticated flavor and quality just because it’s a snack,” Lescoe said. “In my ideal world, every bite I put in my mouth—from a chip to a five-course meal—would be as well thought out and as high in quality as our chips.”
The FoodShouldTasteGood chip line currently offers eleven delicious flavors, each packed with powerful, natural ingredients that exude great taste from every crunch-filled bite: Multigrain, Jalapeño, Olive, Chocolate, The Works!, Sweet Potato, Buffalo, Yellow Corn, Potato & Chive, Cinnamon, and Lime.
Perfect enjoyed right out of the bag, FoodShouldTasteGood chips are also appropriate for more sophisticated snacking. Whether accompanying a glass of wine and fine cheeses, fresh vegetables or homemade dips, served next to a handcrafted artisan sandwich or served alongside an icy cold microbrew, they bring a delicious but healthy solution to those who have sworn off snack foods. All varieties are gluten free, cholesterol-free, have no trans fats and do not use genetically modified ingredients (GMOs).
FoodShouldTasteGood chips are available at fine grocers nationwide, as well as gourmet and natural food markets. For more information, please visit www.foodshouldtastegood.com.
For several decades we have explored how system dynamics can explain economic behavior, but those studies have not yet materialized as a substantial publication. I am now beginning to consolidate and simplify that body of work into a book that I hope will appear under the title A General Theory of Economic Behavior.
I continue to be active in advancing system dynamics as a foundation for a new kind of kindergarten through 12th grade education. After some three decades of experimentation in pre-college education, the K-12 work is now ready to move into a more active implementation phase. I am beginning the search for major private funding for the next 10-year phase that will include training of teachers, expanding the number of participating schools, development of cumulative material throughout a 12-year sequence, and bringing in full-time system dynamics professionals to guide the activity and ensure the quality of the emerging programs. I invite anyone to contact me who would like to help in launching this next phase by seeking funding, working with teachers to develop materials, or acting as a “citizen champion” to bring system dynamics into a local school system.
GoldSim Technology Group
GoldSim Technology Group (www.goldsim.com) began developing GoldSim, its probabilistic simulation platform, in 1990. GoldSim differs from traditional system dynamics approaches in that 1) it puts much greater emphasis on probabilistic simulation techniques to support representation of uncertain and/or stochastic systems; and 2) it provides a wide variety of specialized model objects (beyond stocks, flows and converters) in order to make models less abstract (and hencemore transparent) and help represent processes and events that cannot easily be represented using a traditional system dynamics approach.
This includes specialized modules to support Risk and Reliability Analysis, Financial Modeling, and Mass Transport Modeling, as well as features to simultaneously represent continuous and discrete dynamics. In addition, because the software is used primarily by engineers and scientists, it has very powerful dimensional analysis and unit conversion tools (i.e., the software has a large units database, checks for dimensional consistency and carries out conversions automatically during model construction).
These differences in emphasis are due to the fact that GoldSim has most commonly been used for engineering and scientific applications where quantitative probabilistic predictions of future performance have been required (e.g., by regulators and other stakeholders) in order to inform and defend policy and design decisions.
Since GoldSim’s developers come originally from an engineering and environmental background, the software has found many applications in the water resources, waste management, environmental science and energy arenas. For example, the California Department of Water Resources has applied GoldSim to long-term water management of the Central Valley, an important agricultural center that provides almost half the produce consumed in the US. It has also applied to the software to determine the impact of water management decisions on salmon populations in the state. Los Alamos National Laboratory uses the software to model the environmental and economic impacts of geologic carbon sequestration, a potential tool for addressing global warming. Finally, it is worth noting that all four national laboratory hosts for this year’s conference (Sandia National Laboratories, Argonne National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, and Paul Scherrer Institut), along with dozens of similar organizations worldwide, have applied GoldSim in the areas of nuclear science and/or radioactive waste management.
Free, fully-functional academic licenses are provided for teaching purposes. You can request an academic license from our website. For commercial applications, fully functional 30-day evaluation versions are also available at the website.
Jack Homer consults primarily on health issues in the public sector and does associated writing and speaking. In 2009, he continues his relationship (since 2001) with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where the current focus is on a model of cardiovascular risk and disease.
This model, started in 2007, has funding through 2011 from the CDC as well as substantial support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It has been calibrated both at the national US level and also to represent high burden localities including Austin/East Travis County, Texas, and the eleven-county Mississippi Delta area. The model is also being adapted for the country of New Zealand in association with Synergia Ltd. (Auckland) and the New Zealand Ministry of Health.
National health reform continues as another theme of Jack’s work. The HealthBound model and game was developed in 2008 with Gary Hirsch and Bobby Milstein and has been experienced by a growing number of health policy stakeholders and researchers. One such group is Re>Think Health, a think tank organized by the Fannie E. Rippel Foundation of New Jersey, whose 20 members include John Sterman, Peter Senge, Amory Lovins, Don Berwick, and other high-profile individuals. The Rippel Foundation has commissioned further development and testing of HealthBound, which will lead to various informational products intended to influence the national debate on health reform.
Jack recently lectured and led a three-day system dynamics workshop in Singapore for their Ministry of Health. Ministry officials have expressed interest in moving forward with system dynamics projects looking into ways to improve health care in Singapore.
Jack has also been engaged as an advisor on research projects at Portland State University, Oregon, and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. The project in Oregon concerns the abuse and illegal use of opioid painkillers. The project in North Carolina addresses mental health client pathways through hospitals, clinics, and community services.
Jack also contributes to the annual International System Dynamics Conference as co-chair of the Health Thread, co-director of the Modeling Assistance Workshop, organizer of the Thursday workshops, and member of the Jay W. Forrester Award and Lupina Award committees.
The International Society for the Systems Sciences
The System Dynamics Newsletter is published four times a year by the System Dynamics Society.
Editors: Roberta L. Spencer, Navid Ghaffarzadegan, Robin S. Langer, LouAnne Lundgren and Erin Sheehan