Design for a Model


The above design is from William Lawson's "A New Orchard and Garden" which was published in 1618, and available from Project Gutenberg. Note the hexagonal tree configuration labeled B. Design is with us everywhere from Lawson's garden to the physical feel and visual layout of your phone. Design is also central to the task of modeling. I was recently reading Chris Conley's Leveraging Design's Core Competencies, and was struck by the importance of three concepts: #2: the ability to work at a level of abstraction appropriate to the situation at hand, #3: the ability to model and visualize solutions even with imperfect information, and #7: the ability to use form to embody ideas and to communicate their value. These concepts are central to modeling as employed within STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).  In Computer Science, we employ models for many tasks. These models are designs for artificial languages. Send this information through node X, and split the result across nodes Y and Z. Plant the apple tree at node A, which is fed from stream B.