Rep. Bobby Scott and Rep. Randy Forbes Applaud Inclusion of Modeling and Simulation in Higher Education Act Reauthorization

July 31, 2008
Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Representatives Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA-3) and J. Randy Forbes (R-VA-4) voted to support passage of the Conference Report to reauthorize the Higher Education Act.  The Conference Report includes a specific provision that will establish a new grant program to promote and enhance the study of Modeling and Simulation at institutions of higher education.  Both Representatives are members of the Congressional Modeling and Simulation Caucus.


Modeling and Simulation is a field of study that refers to replicating a system on a smaller scale or on a computer for extensive analysis.  For example, Modeling and Simulation technology can be used to simulate large scale natural or man-made disasters to improve the effectiveness of local, state, and Federal first responders, law enforcement, and other agencies involved in a coordinated emergency response.  Many government agencies use Modeling and Simulation technology, including the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which use this national critical technology to simulate emergencies and field scenarios and practice responses.  Modeling and Simulation technology can be used for urban planning to assess a city’s evacuation plan or traffic congestion.  It can also be used to train doctors and surgeons for complex surgeries before they are ready to work on real patients. 


Currently, a limited number of institutions of higher education have Modeling and Simulation programs, including undergraduate and graduate degree programs.  The competitive grant program created by the Higher Education Act reauthorization will provide a critical source of funding for colleges and universities that want to expand and improve their Modeling and Simulation programs.  The grant will also provide important seed money for colleges and universities that do not have a program to establish a Modeling and Simulation program.


“Modeling and Simulation technology is an essential component in ensuring that we meet both the national security and domestic challenges of the 21st century,” stated Rep. Scott, who is a member of the House Committee on Education and Labor.  “The practical uses of Modeling and Simulation technology as a training tool are boundless.  We can learn about a system in a more cost-effective, timely, and safe manner than when analyzing the real thing.  Furthermore, we can simulate thousands of scenarios over and over again on a computer when it is too hazardous, expensive, or impossible to perform a real-world experiment.  Every field of study or profession can benefit in some way from modeling and simulation.  By including the Modeling and Simulation Grant Program in Conference Report to the Higher Education Act reauthorization, we are ensuring that the <?XML:NAMESPACE PREFIX = ST1 />United States remains competitive in this critical and rapidly expanding field.”


"Modeling and Simulation is a critical technology that provides unparalleled advancements in American competitiveness and brings high-tech jobs and economic prosperities to our communities. As chairman of the Modeling and Simulation Caucus, I am excited that this important grant program to enhance the study of M&S has been included in the Higher Education Opportunity Act conference report,” said Rep. Forbes. “The grants will provide critical funding to education institutions that want to take advantage of this new and promising technology, and I am hopeful that this important piece of legislation will finally become law.”


“The Third Congressional District of Virginia and the Commonwealth as a whole have been leaders in the field of Modeling and Simulation technology,” added Rep. Scott.  “In addition to our local military bases supporting the Joint Forces Center in Suffolk, Old Dominion University, Norfolk State University, Hampton University and NASA Langley Research Center on the Virginia Peninsula are engaged in applying people, tools and facilities to modeling and simulation technology.  Old Dominion University’s state of the art facility – the Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center – is located in Suffolk, Virginia.  The new grant program will enable others in Virginia and across the country to participate in and benefit from this important and growing sector of our economy.”


The Conference Report passed the House overwhelmingly and is expected to pass the Senate in the next few days, after which it will be sent to the President for his signature.


Each year the Modeling and Simulation (M&S) Caucus, founded by Congressman Forbes, hosts an M&S Leadership Summit. The Summit is a watershed event for the M&S industry that is completely devoted to federal public policy and brings together government, industry, academia, and Congress to address the ways M&S technology is being used within various domains.