The purpose of computing is insight, not numbers.
This is a graduate-level course in simulation; it will mainly be concerned with
discrete-event simulation, but other forms of simulations will be covered too.
See the CS 525 course catalog
entry for more information.
Richard W. Hamming
The prerequisites for this class are
CS 503, Advanced Programming
I and CS 514,
The course is divided into seven two-week sections. See the syllabus for details.
The class meets in Howard Hall 522 on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:00 p.m. to
5:50 p.m. Monday, 28 March is the last day to withdraw from class with a W on
At the end of this course you should be able to
R. Clayton, Howard Hall B-13, firstname.lastname@example.org, 732 263 5522. My
office hours are from 6 to 7 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays in my office. I'm
also usually happy to talk to you any time you can catch me; setting up an
appointment is recommended, see my
schedule for available times.
The usual grade ranges are in effect:
- understand the basic mechanisms and principles behind system modeling
- know when and how to develop your own good-quality simulations, and
- judge the appropriateness and quality of other people's simulations.
All grades are kept with one digit of precision to the right of the decimal
point and 0.05 rounded up. No grades are adjusted to a curve; that means, for
example, that 89.9 is always a B+, never an A-.
The final grade for this class is the average of three grades: quiz grades,
simulation grades, and presentation grades, with the following weights:
|90 ||<=||A-||< 95|
|83.3||<=||B ||< 86.6|
|80 ||<=||B-||< 83.3|
|73.3||<=||C ||< 76.6|
|70 ||<=||C-||< 73.3|
|F ||< 70|
There will be seven quizzes, one quiz for each of the seven sections; see
the syllabus for the schedule. Quizzes will be given in class, and are closed book
with no notes; calculators and computers will not be necessary. The quizzes
are cumulative, covering everything taught up to and including the class before
the quiz. Quizzes should take no more than a half-hour to complete, and will
be given within the first hour of class. Quiz answers will be made available
off the syllabus. There will be no other quizzes; no mid-terms or finals.
There will be five simulation assignments, three two-week assignments and two
four week assignments; see the syllabus for details. The three two-week
assignments are single person assignments; the two four-week assignments may be
done in groups of two. The first four assignments will be assigned; the last
assignment is an open project.
Each simulation assignment is followed by a brief, ten-minute presentation
describing the simulation and its results.
The textbook for this course is Discrete Event Simulation in C by Kevin
Watkins, McGraw-Hill, 1993.
An annotated bibliography of other books of interest.
You should feel free to send me e-mail. Unless I warn you beforehand, I'll
usually respond within a couple of hours during the usual work days; if I don't
respond within a day, resend the message.
Mail relevant to the class will be stored in a
archive. If your message is of general interest to the class, I'll store it,
suitably stripped of identification and along with my answer, in the archive.
If you're reading this on paper, you can find the class home page at
make the class notes, assignments, and quizzes available off the syllabus; you
should get in the habit of checking the home page and syllabus regularly.
People who need assistance or accommodations above and beyond what is usually
provided in class should contact the University's ADA/504 coordinator to get
those needs met. See me or the
Services page for more details.
I have no class attendance policy; you may attend class or not as you see fit.
However, I hold you responsible for knowing everything that goes on in class;
"I wasn't in class for that." is not an acceptable excuse for a wrong
answer, or for giving no answer at all.
My attendance policy applies only to lecture attendance; it does not apply to
other kinds of attendance which may be required for the course. Repeated
failures to meet the attendance expectations set for tests, meetings, projects,
labs or other forms of course work will have a bad influence on your grade.
I deal with suspected cheating by failing first and asking questions later.
Although cheating has many forms, I generally consider cheating to be any
attempt to claim someone else's work as your own; also, I consider both the
provider and the user of the work guilty of cheating. See the chapters on
Academic Information and the Student Code of Conduct in the Student Handbook
for more details.
I recognize and encourage a student's sacred right to complain about their
grade. There are, however, a few rules under which such complaining should
take place, and those students who don't follow the rules will be less
successful in their complaints than those students who do follow the rules.
First, the only complaint that matters is that something got marked wrong when
it was actually right. When you come to complain, be prepared to present, in
explicit detail, what it is you did and why you think it's right.
Second, complaints about a particular test or assignment are only valid until
the next test or assignment is due; after that point the book is permanently
closed on all previous test or assignment grades.
Assignments must be turned in by their due date; assignments turned in after
their due date are late. You should contact me as soon as possible if you need
to negotiate a due-date extension. The longer you wait to negotiate, the less
likely it is you'll be successful; in particular, you have almost no chance of
getting an extension if you try for one the day before the due date, and you
have no chance of getting an extention on the due date.
A late assignment is penalized five points a day for each day it's late. I use
a 24-hour clock running from midnight to midnight to measure days; note this
means that an assignment handed in the day after it's due is penalized ten
points: five for the day it was due and five for the next day.
There may occasionally be a conflict between taking a test and doing something
else, particularly among those working full time. If you're going to be out of
town, or on jury duty, or whatever, on a test day, let me know beforehand and
we'll discuss a make-up test.
A make-up test must be scheduled to be taken by the date of the test following
the missed test (or the final exam if you miss the last test). If a missed
test is not made up by the time of the next test, you get a zero for the missed
There will be only one make up given per missed test. If more than one person
misses the same test, those people will have to coordinate among themselves to
pick a mutually agreeable date for the make up.
A Euro-centric page on
The Department of Defense's Defense Modeling
and Simulation Office (DOD DMSO for the word-phobic).
The Society for Modeling and Simulation.
Some archives of Internet and
web traffic traces.
A list of simulation development
frameworks, "preferably discrete-event, open source and free".