Computer Model

Many things can be described by a set of mathematical formulas. When these collections of formulas are included in a computer program, the result is called a 'computer model'.

This model may need a set of input data to start it off.

The 'thing' being modelled may even change over time so the model may change as you step through it step by step.

For example,

  • The design of a racing car
  • The design of a new cathedral
  • The design of a new dress
  • A fictional T.Rex in a film
  • A real-time model of a real unborn baby
  • The design of a new set of false teeth
  • Weather forecasting

Computer modelling may start with a set of data taken from a real event. This data is used by the computer model as an input data set.

For example, a doctor uses an ultrasound machine to take readings of an unborn child. The computer within the ultrasound machine takes thousands of readings per second as the doctor moves the sensor around. A computer program then takes these readings and converts them into a 'computer model'. The parents-to-be can 'see' their new child. Of course what they are really seeing on the monitor is an accurate computer model based on all the measurements taken by the machine.

Another form of computer modelling is used for forecasting, such as the weather. This takes all the the gathered current weather data and uses a mathematical model to predict what the weather will be like in the future - 1 day, 1 week or even 1 month ahead.

Because modern computers are so powerful, engineers and scientist are constantly thinking of new and better ways to use computer modelling.

Challenge see if you can find out one extra fact on this topic that we haven't already told you

Click on this link: Computer Modelling


back to glossaryback to glossary