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All articles published by are immediately available worldwide under an open license. No special permission is required to re-use any text or part published by , including figures and tables. For articles published under the Creative Commons CC BY open source license, any part of the article may be reused without permission as long as the original article is clearly cited. For more information, see https:///openaccess.

Wpi Undergraduate Calendar

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Feature Papers represent cutting-edge research that may have significant impact in the field. Feature Papers are submitted by special invitation or recommendation of scientific editors and undergo peer review before publication.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

A Feature Paper can be an original research article, a major new research study that often includes several techniques or methods, or a comprehensive review paper with a concise and accurate update on the latest advances in the field. examines the most exciting advances in science. literature. This type of paper provides insight into future research directions or possible applications.

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Editors’ Choice articles are based on recommendations from scientific editors of journals around the world. The editors select a few recently published articles in the journal that they think are of particular interest to readers, or relevant to each area of ​​research. The aim is to provide a sample of the most exciting works published in various research areas in the journal.

By Oleg V. Pavlov *, James K. Doyle, Khalid Saeed, James M. Lyneis and Michael J. Radzicki

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Based on “Doyle, J.K.; Eberlein, B.; Ford, A.; Hines, J.; Lyneis, J.M.; Parsons, K.; Pavlov, O.; Radzicki, M.J.; Saeed, K.; Warren, K. Developing a Master of Science Degree Program in System Dynamics at WPI. In Proceedings of the 27th International Conference of the System Dynamics Society, Albuquerque, NM, USA, 26–30 July 2009”.

Received: 11 February 2014 / Revised: 12 March 2014 / Accepted: 19 March 2014 / Published: 21 March 2014

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Graduate programs in system dynamics are rare and therefore of great importance to the future of the system dynamics field. However, in some ways such programs have not yet been made transparent to the system dynamics community at large. This article describes the design and rationale for undergraduate and graduate programs at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). The purpose of the article is to invite input from the system dynamics community about our particular program as well as to facilitate a broader discussion about the content, design, and appropriate pedagogy of such programs.

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Financial Support & Resources

Courses in system dynamics (SD) are taught at dozens of universities around the world. However, only a few institutions offer courses sufficient for a full degree in system dynamics. In most cases, the system dynamics curriculum is part of a larger curriculum in a school of, for example, Business or Public Policy, and is the first tool in ‘the delivery of education in addition to the introduction of a few courses is research research with dynamic teachers of each system. In a few cases, the systems dynamics curriculum is part of a larger “systems sciences” program that covers a variety of modeling approaches. Programs that offer major courses in system dynamics (say, five or more courses) and degrees titled “System Dynamics” can be counted on one hand.

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At the same time, there has been interest in the system dynamics community in examining and understanding the nature and quality of university programs in system dynamics. Certainly, the growth and health of the field depends on the availability of quality education in the dynamics of the system. Almost twenty years ago, Barlas [1] argued that in order to effectively control the dynamics of the system, there must be a university curriculum that provides formal training. Such programs not only teach the fundamentals of how the system works, but also ensure consistency in the translation of skills and act as a conduit for the latest developments in the field to be passed on. the students.

However, many efforts over the years to develop curriculum guidelines have so far been unsuccessful. Another approach is to encourage programs to volunteer the design and rationale of their programs to others, opening them up to peer review and constructive criticism. To date, there is little published literature on system dynamics that describes or recommends the design, content and pedagogy of courses and programs on system dynamics (although see, for example, [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] ).

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The current authors believe that, due to their lack, university programs on system dynamics have a special responsibility in the field to make the content and design of their programs transparent. those. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to describe the development and design of a graduate program in System Dynamics at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), as a way to encourage discussion of program design issues. -general education. For example, how should the System Dynamics program be designed and taught? What topics should be covered and in what order? Which pedagogies should be emphasized? Is there room for an undergraduate program or would a graduate program in system dynamics be more appropriate? What topics outside the field should students know about system dynamics (eg, business, economics, psychology, mathematics)? This article does not answer all of these questions, but we hope to continue the discussion.

Based on the literature review and our own experience, we suggest that the teaching of system dynamics can be characterized by several characteristics, as shown in Table 1. We discuss some of the In this article, we describe the nature of WPI courses.

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The ultimate goal of any system dynamics course—which may be part of a system dynamics program—is to teach students how systems work so that they can apply them to different situations. . Although many systems dynamics practitioners and courses have been taught over the years, there are still no skills that are clearly defined and agreed upon by the system dynamics community as core competencies in systems theory. . Andersen and Richardson [2, 7], who were two of the first authors to write about the curriculum of system dynamics, emphasized that the training of dynamics and systems should teach the seven stages of the analysis of dynamic system modeling: problem recognition, system concepts, model representation, model behavior, model evaluation, policy analysis and model use. Richmond [8] combines various skills in the following series: active thinking, closed thinking, general thinking, structural thinking, functional thinking, continuous thinking and scientific thinking. Based on their experience at the University of Delft, Meyers et al. [5] he adds that communication and reporting, team work and projects and academic review are also important skills for system dynamics. Since the development and use of models is an iterative process, there are many contradictions and interactions between the model processes. The necessary system dynamics skills can be gleaned from the contents of books on the subject, many of which are on the market.

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Metropolitan State University Of Denver

Target audience. Is it a degree, diploma or both? Or is it in an executive education program?

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Educational organization. Is this a dedicated system dynamics course or is there a system dynamics module?

What is the appropriate audience for a system dynamics course or program? Barlas [1] concludes that “secondary studies devoted to system dynamics … are rare, but the most important for the growth of the field”. He noted that few universities offer graduate courses in system dynamics and require higher education in system dynamics. A review of dynamics and systems education in the United States shows that most systems dynamics education is still at the graduate level (see Appendix A). Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) offers a workshop on system dynamics as part of its executive education program.

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Most of the courses available are stand-alone courses or part of a dynamic, unstructured program. For example, Delft University of Technology lists two courses—Introduction to System Dynamics and Advanced System Dynamics—as mandatory courses for both an undergraduate and a Master’s program, although it does not provide These programs are even at the level of system dynamics [5]. At Portland State University, system dynamics is taught as part of the systems science graduate program. The dynamics of the system can be integrated into various applications or teaching models as modules. For example, Barlas [1] introduced a system dynamics module into a mathematical modeling course.

If the dynamics course or program does not receive external funding, the university must pay a tuition fee to reimburse the tuition fees. Because the education system is funded by the government, the University of Bergen in Norway offers a free online course in human resource management. On the other hand, WPI currently charges $3,843 for a three-hour graduate course, which is the typical tuition rate at an American private university. For anyone who doesn’t need academic credit, WPI offers it

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