Mathematical modeling, computational modeling, and simulations are powerful tools that can be used to characterize a complex system. They may be used to model an existing system to enhance our understanding of its behavior including the strength of an engineering structure, leaching from an implanted medical device, or cellular migration characteristics. They can also be used to simulate something new that is being considered such as potential outcomes of different surgical options or chemotherapy strategies.

They can be used to conduct “virtual experiment” that run in seconds and at minimal cost compared with physical experiments that often require weeks or months to conduct. They can even be used to evaluate potential outcomes for instances where it is unethical to perform actual experiments such as the transmission of diseases like COVID-19, the effects of protections like masks and social distancing, and the number of deaths based on the approach taken.

NSF/FDA Scholar in Residence

Mathematical modeling was used to predict the rate that potentially hazardous materials could be leached from an implanted medical device.