Principal Investigators

  • Michael C. Loui, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Harry Dankowicz, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Sara E. Wilson, University of Kansas
  • Matthew W. Keefer, University of Missouri, St. Louis

Current and Former Graduate Research Assistants

  • Nicole Cooley
  • Christian Day
  • David J. Kijowski
  • Ying Liu
  • Harshi Manamendra

Description of the Project

Computational modeling is an important mode of research, but to date, there are no instructional materials on the responsible conduct of research (RCR) with computational models. Extant RCR instructional materials focus on ethical issues that arise in experimental research in laboratories. We are creating materials to address specific ethical issues that arise in computational modeling and research.

We interviewed experts to gather ethical problems in computational modeling and simulation. From the experts, we also obtained cases that illustrate these problems. We described the professional obligations of developers and users of computational models. These obligations include the disclosure of assumptions and methods, the prevention of model misuse, the verification and validation of computational codes, the accurate presentation of results, and the ongoing maintenance of models.

We developed case materials and short teaching modules for use in graduate courses that address RCR in computational modeling. We evaluated two cases in a variety of graduate RCR courses with graduate students and instructors at two universities. We also developed and tested a decision procedure checklist and scoring guide that students can use for formative assessments of their case analyses. We presented these materials at technical and scholarly conferences.

This project ran from 2008 to 2013. It was supported by the National Science Foundation under Grants IIS-0832843 and IIS-0832844. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Illinois, the University of Kansas, the University of Missouri, or the National Science Foundation.