Modeling and Simulation in Python Cover

Modeling and Simulation in Python

Use Computation to Predict and Explain the World
by Allen B. Downey
February 2023, 264 pp.

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Modeling and Simulation in Python is a thorough but easy-to-follow introduction to physical modeling—that is, the art of describing and simulating real-world systems.

Readers are guided through modeling things like world population growth, infectious disease, bungee jumping, baseball flight trajectories, celestial mechanics, and more while simultaneously developing a strong understanding of fundamental programming concepts like loops, vectors, and functions.

Clear and concise, with a focus on learning by doing, the author spares the reader abstract, theoretical complexities and gets right to hands-on examples that show how to produce useful models and simulations.

Author Bio 

Allen Downey is a Staff Scientist at DrivenData and Professor Emeritus at Olin College, where he taught Modeling and Simulation and other classes related to software and data science. He is the author of several textbooks, including Think PythonThink Bayes, and Elements of Data Science. Previously, he taught at Wellesley College and Colby College. He received his Ph.D. in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley in 1997. His undergraduate and master's degrees are from the Civil Engineering department at MIT. He is the author of Probably Overthinking It, a blog about data science and Bayesian statistics.

Table of contents 

Part I: Discrete Systems
1 Modeling
2 Bike Share System
3 Iteration
4 Sweeping Parameters
5 World Population
6 Proportional Growth
7 Limits to Growth
8 Projecting Population Growth
9 Analysis of Population Growth
10 Case Studies Part 1
Part II: First Order Systems
11 Epidemiology
12 Modeling Vaccination
13 Sweeping Parameters
14 Nondimensionalization

15 Cooling Coffee
16 Adding Milk
17 Pharmacokinetics
18 Glucose and Insulin
19 Case Studies Part 2
Part III: Second Order Systems
20 Pennies
21 Drag
22 Baseball
23 Optimization
24 Rotation
25 Torque
26 Case Studies Part 3
Appendix A Under the Hood

The chapters in red are included in this Early Access PDF.


"Modeling and Simulation in Python is an introduction to physical modeling using a computational approach . . . Taking a computational approach makes it possible to work with more realistic models than what you typically see in a first-year physics class, with the option to include features like friction and drag."
—Python Kitchen