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An Introduction to Systems Thinking with STELLA Paperback – November 15, 2004
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The second gift Barry gave us was the clarity of his thinking. His writing and his teaching were crystal clear. He could communicate to a very broad audience. He knew how to make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler. He wrote manuals (An Introduction to Systems Thinking with STELLA) that one could actually understand. For many of us in K-12, those manuals were our first textbooks. His manuals contained examples that applied systems thinking and system dynamics modeling to so many disciplines that a teacher was usually able to find an example that was appropriate to serve as a foundation for lessons in his or her classroom. With that simple, clear thinking, he created an elegant piece of software, STELLA, without which students at the pre-college level would not have had access to the power of system dynamics modeling. Its visual approach opened the world of systems thinking to both the students and the teachers at the K-12 level. He recognized the importance of having the leaders of the future conversant with system dynamics. With STELLA, students have described system dynamics behavior from models they have created that have impressed adults in business and academia. He has given many students a chance to express their understanding of complex issues, to think more deeply about problems, to understand behavior that would have been beyond their scope without the beautiful, visual tool to help them. As he improved the software, he listened to teachers regarding features they wanted, further enhancing its usability to students and teachers. --Diana M. Fisher and Lees Stuntz (2003). Barry Richmond's Gifts to K-12 Education, System Dynamics Society Conference 2003
About the Author
An Introduction to Systems Thinking with STELLA was written by Barry Richmond, consumate teacher and leader in the field of systems thinking/system dynamics and founder of isee systems. Barry's educational training culminated with his Ph.D. in System Dynamics from MIT in 1979. He then accepted a teaching position at Dartmouth College as an Assistant Professor in the Thayer School of Engineering. Barry was one of the most popular and well-respected teachers at Dartmouth for eight years. In 1984, he founded High Performance Systems (now isee systems), a software development and consulting business, with systems thinking as its foundation. Barry dedicated the rest of his life to teaching people all over the world how to live by systems thinking principles. His expertise was respected worldwide. He was granted the 1989 Jay Wright Forrester Award, a prestigious honor awarded by the System Dynamics Society. The award was for producing the STELLA software, his pioneering work, which revolutionized the system dynamics modeling process and opened computer simulation modeling to a far larger field of participants.
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