Banks and Sokolowski, VMASC, offer Provost's Conversation on Thursday 11/14

The Center for Learning and Teaching
invites you to participate in
The Provost’s Conversations on
Teaching and Learning
a brown bag lunch series *
These conversations are intended to gather faculty members
from all across the campus to share, to think,
and to reflect on a wide range of teaching and learning issues.
Come join the third conversation in this semester’s series:
 From Research Question to Conceptual Model to Software Selection:
Teaching Students Analysis through Modeling 

led by
John Sokolowski
Associate Professor
Modeling, Simulation, Visualization Engineering                                                            


Catherine Banks
Research Associate Professor                                                                                            VMASC

Thursday, November 14   12:30-1:30pm
Learning Commons Conference Room
Perry Library


Presented by the Center for Learning and Teaching, the Office of Distance Learning,
and the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Carol Simpson

For more information:

Questions?  e-mail or phone 683-4252

To register:

* CLT will provide drinks and dessert


The Provost’s Conversations on Teaching and Learning are open to all faculty members, and offer the opportunity to reflect and share about the teaching and learning process.

On Thursday, November 14, in the first Provost’s Conversation of this academic year, Drs. John Sokolowski and Catherine Banks will lead the Conversation “From Research Question to Conceptual Model to Software Selection: Teaching Students Analysis through Modeling” from 12:30-1:30 in the Learning Commons Conference Room at Perry Library.

Dr. Sokolowski is the Executive Director of the Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center and Associate Professor of Modeling, Simulation, and Visualization Engineering, both at Old Dominion University. He has been with the Center since 2001 and previously served as its Director of Research. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Purdue University, a Master of Engineering Management from Old Dominion University (ODU), and a Ph.D. in Engineering with a Concentration in Modeling and Simulation also from ODU.

His research interests include human behavior modeling, decision system modeling, multiagent system simulation, and modeling and simulation representation of social systems. He has published four books on modeling and simulation and is the author of numerous journal articles and conference papers. He is a member of the Society for Modeling and Simulation International, American Association of Artificial Intelligence, Association of Computing Machinery, Phi Kappa Phi, and Phi Beta Kappa.

Prior to joining VMASC he served twenty-seven years in the U.S. Navy as a submarine officer, retiring at the rank of Captain. During his years in the military, Dr. Sokolowski served on four submarines including Executive Officer of USS Hammerhead (SSN663), Norfolk, VA and Commanding Officer of USS Benjamin Franklin (SSBN 640), Charleston, SC He also served as Head, Modeling and Simulation Division, Joint Warfighting Center (JWFC), U.S. Joint Forces Command. At JWFC, he led the U.S. military’s most advanced simulation group in support of worldwide joint training. His responsibilities included design and management of complex simulation architectures and oversight of three major Department of Defense simulation programs.

Dr. Banks is Research Associate Professor at the Virginia Modeling, Analysis, and Simulation Center (VMASC) at Old Dominion University. Dr. Banks received her Ph.D. in International Studies at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.   She is currently working on the development of a medical immersive simulation training tool for a specific application and a simulation program to analyze the impact of the obesity epidemic on the medical community.  Her research also includes modeling states and their varied histories of revolution and insurgency, political economy and state volatility, and human behavior/ human modeling with applications in both the social sciences and the health sciences. Dr. Banks is the co-editor of Principles of Modeling and Simulation: A Multidisciplinary Approach published in 2009; co-author of Modeling and Simulation for Analyzing Global Events published in 2009; co-editor of Modeling and Simulation Fundamentals: Theoretical Underpinnings and Practical Domains published in 2010; and co-editor of Modeling and Simulation for Medical and Health Sciences published in 2011.

In their Conversation, Drs. Sokolowski and Banks will discuss how and why modeling and simulation is a credible means to analyze events while adding validity to prediction and/or anticipation of the what next regarding these events.  The ability to analyze what-ifs and what-next encourages students to think broadly, futuristically, and to observe and understand complex phenomena.  The presentation walks through a case study to show how students are introduced to simulation software by: crafting a research question, abstracting their research and question into a conceptual model, and determining the modeling paradigm that best characterizes their research and addresses their research question. A variety of software exists that fully engages the numerous modeling paradigms.  Introducing and encouraging the use of these simulation software facilitates a novel means of computational and visual analysis for students.

For more information about the Provost’s Conversations on Teaching and Learning series, including highlights from past years’ Conversations and a calendar of upcoming Conversation dates, visit the Conversations’ website at

Posted By: Alison Schoew
Date: Sun Nov 10 21:58:46 EST 2013