Modeling and Simulation

Use your creativity, imagination and interest in computers to solve real-world problems and investigate the subjects that interest you most through modeling and simulation. This program prepares you to participate actively in a variety of employment or research endeavors in medicine, transportation, and other industries, the public sector or academia. 

Applied mathematical models running on computers are used to simulate a wide range of physical, chemical, and biological conditions, including weather forecasting, climate change, biological populations, epidemiology, ecosystem processes, and pollution. In this program, you will learn to design and implement models to simulate various situations and gain in-demand skills that are applicable to a wide range of fields both in and outside of STEM. 

This interdisciplinary program connects concepts and applications of modeling and simulation with various focused disciplines, such as Environmental Science, Biology, and Economics. Graduates of the major are expected to be highly sought by employers and graduate programs. 

Graduates of the program will go on to careers in technical fields, including programming, applied mathematics, modeling, environmental regulation or consulting, mathematical biology, or mathematical economics, or move into graduate study either in computational science or other disciplines such as biology, environmental science, economics, and more. 

Degree Requirements


Student Learning Outcomes 

  • Describe and compare different approaches for modeling and simulation.
  • Identify situations where models and simulations are used in the student’s focus discipline, such as Biology or Earth/Environmental Science.
  • Design simulation experiments that use existing models in the student’s focus discipline, such as Biology or Earth/ Environmental Science.
  • Demonstrate ability to apply appropriate modeling and simulation approaches to different types of problems.
  • Formulate domain-specific models and simulations of empirical or theoretical phenomena.
  • Utilize appropriate visualization techniques for showing simulation results.
  • Demonstrate the ability to analyze simulations to formulate conclusions regarding the predictive capabilities of a model.
  • Identify models and simulations within academic and professional literature.
  • Communicate modeling and simulation information and results professionally, in both written and oral forms.

Research Opportunities

The creation and implementation of a model is active learning from beginning to end, from the basic skills of computer programming and mathematics, to the application of those skills to address a real-world problems in the capstone class. In addition, the major has excellent opportunities for internships in industry or external research programs (e.g. National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates.)

Projects and research opportunities available through this major are wide-ranging. Topics that are currently active include ocean circulation, interactions between light and objects, brain function, population dynamics, and epidemiology.


The Modeling and Simulation major brings together faculty from across the Feinstein School of Social and Natural Sciences and the Gabelli School of Business to help prepare students for the true interdisciplinary nature of the discipline.

Hum Bhandari

Assistant Professor of Mathematics
Area of Expertise: Mathematical Modeling and Optimization

Sean Colin

Professor of Biology, Marine Biology and Environmental Science 
Area of Expertise: Biomechanics and Evolutionary Ecology

Edward Dougherty

Assistant Professor of Mathematics
Area of Expertise: Biomathematics, Computational Mathematics

Farbod Farhadi

Professor of Management
Area of Expertise: Mathematical Modeling and Dynamic Optimization

Hasala Gallolu Kankanamalage

Assistant Professor of Mathematics 
Area of Expertise: Mathematical Control Theory

Rupayan Gupta

Professor of Economics
Area of Expertise: Public Economics & Policy, Political Economy

Scott Rutherford 

Professor of Biology, Marine Biology and Environmental Science
Area of Expertise: Earth Systems

Yajni Warnapala

Professor of Mathematics
Area of Expertise: Numerical Analysis, Integral Equations

David Taylor

Professor of Biology
Area of Expertise: Fisheries Biology