NanoSim is a role-playing simulation game with a precise and carefully thought out educational purpose. These types of simulations have been used in social sciences, business, and military and political studies for a long time, but rarely do they engage on science and technology issues. In this simulation participants are placed in groups representing the major decision shaper stakeholders in nanoscience and nanotechnology: government funding and policy regulatory agencies, industrial and academic research laboratories, and newspapers amongst others. Their tasks resemble reality and vary according the nature of the group; teams have to coordinate research and development in nanotechnology (climb over a technology tree that promotes collaboration and/or competition across the groups to achieve the final goals).

The main objective of NanoSim is to enthuse self motivated research in students and the analytic comprehension of the consequences of their represented stakeholder’s actions in a global context, allowing the students to experience adaptive management and anticipatory governance making decisions about how society’s substantial investment in nanotechnology ought to be made, and managing these investments over time.

Nanosim’s platform is being developed as a project for my CS 6240 - Software Engineering class. In this role-playing web-based simulation, participants are placed in groups representing the major decision stakeholders in nano-science and nanotechnology. These groups start with some basic capabilities and work their way through a technology tree. Towards this purpose:

  • Research labs need to present technical proposals to government agencies to fund their ideas
  • The government agencies need to develop regulatory policies for the multifunctional technologies under development
  • The new ideas need to be patented and the non-governmental organizations need to study the risks

Development Platform

This project was developed using GWT 1.7, MySQL 5.0 and Eclipse 3.5.

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The project report can be found here.


The project presentation can be found here.

SVN Repository

The source code repository is hosted at code.google.com. You can checkout the source code from here.

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