PSA2016: The 25th Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association

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Code is Fluid: How computational models move and adapt to new settings and applications

In this paper, I show the ways that Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) models were developed, and how they moved to tackle new problems. I argue that by traveling to new users and fields the models themselves changed at many different levels, from the entities they could represent to the kinds of code (both algorithms and programming languages) used to modify and extend the models. CFD is an ideal case study for studying the travel of computational models because its use is so wide-ranging, being used in everything from mechanical engineering and physics to economics, traffic simulations and accident reconstruction.

Author Information:

Ann Johnson    
Science and Technology Studies
Cornell University


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