Project 2: Systems Simulation

vacauson hand and duck simulation designs

Now that you have practiced system analysis in Project 1, the next step is to simulate a system. Once you can explain "how" something works, you are much more able to replicate it.

Project 2 is to build and present a software/hardware simulation of a system of your choice. This can be a presented overview of your intended work for the quarter as a simulation. The systems simulation and architecture may be based on one of the systems from your Project 1 survey work or from one of the additional systems we cover after Project 1:

This does not have to be an overly complicated simulation and should focus instead on breaking the system down into smaller elements whose behavior can then be simplified and simulated. Most simulations are not truly reflective of the real world but are good enough approximations. The important part of this project is the process of choosing the what and the how in order to build a working system simulation. Also, you do not need to make the simulation visually similar to the actual system, for instance you could simulate the movement of money in financial markets via bar graphs or number displacement similar to the stock market as opposed to individual traders running about the market floor.

As a start, we will be adapting NetLogo as a suggested simulation environment, however your choice of software environment is open. The resulting work must minimally use software simulation to demonstrate a controlled system. A few options include:

This project will be developed concurrently with Project 1 to abstract the conceptual and technical base of a system with a purpose. Start sooner, rather than later!


The analysis and description should be in presentation format using traditional software such as Powerpoint & Keynote as well as online tools such as Google Docs Presentation and Prezi.

What To Turn In


Prepare a short 5-minute max presentation on your initial ideas for the project. Include inspirations, possible design ideas, & the overall approach you are planning on taking. Have at least 1 question you'd like to ask us in class.

In Progress

Begin work on your project and be prepared to show a rough draft that demonstrates your initial approach and realizations. Discuss your choices so far, what works, what doesn't, and any questions you have going forward.

Finished Work

Create a folder yourlastname containing:

Copy to the class folder on the instructor computer's Desktop.

Prepare for electronic transfer onto the instructor computer at the beginning of class.

Submit work by the start of class on the due date. Work submitted after the start of class will be considered late, incomplete projects will not be accepted. Save your work as you will need all deliverables for your final portfolio.