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A Healthcare Case-study to Teach Simulation Techniques

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


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Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Computing and Information Technology Division Technical Session 5

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Computing and Information Technology

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Paper Authors


Hassan Rajaei Bowling Green State University

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Hassan Rajaei is a professor of computer science at Bowling Green State University, Ohio. His research interests include cloud computing, High Performance Computing (HPC), distributed simulation, parallel and distributed processing, communication networks, wireless communications, and IoT. Rajaei received his Ph.D. from Royal Institute of Technology, KTH, Stockholm, Sweden, and he holds a M.S.E.E. from the University of Utah, and a BS from University of Tehran.

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A Healthcare Case-Study to Teach Simulation Techniques Abstract

Computer simulation is a proven technique in most engineering workplaces. Engineering students often are required to learn and practice modeling and simulation as part of their program studies. Teaching simulation techniques may need examples from the real world to challenge learners and teach the basics of modeling, scenario development, as well as verification, and validation. Real-world examples help students better understand and analyze the simulation results, as well as make their learning process a joyful experience.

This paper describes a simulation case-study for a drop-in healthcare center similar to an emergency room and/or urgent-care provider. The walk-in setup, as opposed to outpatient appointment scheduling, gives multiple challenging potentials to develop what-if scenarios for students to further develop their simulation project even after their targeted lab assignment. The goal is to inspire students’ creativity and engage them in their learning experience. By providing user friendly tools that support changing the model, students learn to deal with changing and exploiting scenarios in the case.

We use a simple conceptual model with a few nurses, doctors, and staff to represent the clinic. Simplicity and real-world familiarity of this concept provides students with a jumpstart to take ownership of their simulation study. Soon, students realize the complexity of this case and how they can advance to more sophisticated scenarios. Like a computer game, students become excited to improve their level of knowledge and go beyond a simple laboratory. They develop the data model, implement a base, then improve to intermediate and advanced models. Like a game, several students often go beyond and develop additional scenarios of their own interest.

Rajaei, H. (2020, June), A Healthcare Case-study to Teach Simulation Techniques Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34007

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