Reality versus simulation

Srilekha Srinivasan, Lance C. Pérez, Robert D. Palmer, David W. Brooks, Kathleen Wilson, David Fowler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


A systematic study of the implementation of simulation hardware (TIMS) replacing software (MATLAB) was undertaken for advanced undergraduate and early graduate courses in electrical engineering. One outcome of the qualitative component of the study was remarkable: most students interviewed (4/4 and 6/9) perceived the software simulations as "fake". Professionals, on the other hand, find such simulations as essentially perfectly replacing data from "real" systems. The implications of this large difference in perception between advanced undergraduate/early graduate students and professionals are discussed. At present, suitable theoretical frameworks related to motivation do not afford satisfactory explanation for this observation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-141
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Science Education and Technology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2006



  • Engineering education
  • Instructional design
  • Motivation
  • Simulation
  • Working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Engineering(all)

Cite this

Srinivasan, S., Pérez, L. C., Palmer, R. D., Brooks, D. W., Wilson, K., & Fowler, D. (2006). Reality versus simulation. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 15(2), 137-141.