Industrial, technical and scientific uses of computers
Example: Pictured, a computer model of osmosis in biology. (wikipedia)
Simulation means using a computer model to predict some future process, for example
Simulations are used where a real-world test would be difficult, dangerous or impossible
Simulations are only as good as the underlying model
Simulations can be carried out on a simple spreadsheet or a vast Supercomputer
Computer aided engineering
"Traditionally, when we're developing a car, we build physical prototypes to test both crash and durability performance, before committing millions of dollars to production tooling. But on the Monaro program we did all of the vehicle crash and durability development virtually. That is, all on computer.When we knew we had the design right, we went straight to production tooling. The final validation was completed using pre-production vehicles at our proving ground and on Australian roads." - The Holden Monaro
Computer models and simulation allows new manufacturing and design to be tested before anything is made using CAE simulation software.
Hopefully you've all had a brief taste of virtual reality with the Oculus Rift. The key to VR is a head mounted display co-ordinated with sensors which track movement and adjust the image.
There are obvious applications for games. If asked about VR however, you should include some of the following possible uses:
Computer aided design / Computer aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM)
Computer aided design allows complex objects to be created using special software. An example of such software is AutoCAD.
Most objects around you were probably designed on a computer at some point. The computer itself was designed using software that lays out and then models the circuitry to make sure that it works before it is built. In some industries the CAD software is linked to computer controlled machinery that creates an object directly from the computer design (computer aided manufacturing)
Example exam question
Read pages 174 and 175 of the textbook first