OCCaM and the Curriculum. On September 30, 2006 OCCaM received a two-year $150,000 grant from the Booth-Ferris Foundation to promote modeling in the Oberlin curriculum.
What is the Oberlin Center for Computation and Modeling?
Many people pronounce it “Oh-Cam,” but it’s actually pronounced “Ah-Cum.” It’s a play on the name “William of Ockham,” who had this philosophical or scientific principle that you should use the minimum number of assumptions possible.
The idea for OCCaM grew out of lunch conversations that a group of three or four professors started to have in January of 2005. We had these conversations about how we all use modeling in our own research. It was important to all of us. We all used computers as well. And we all just started to think about how there was a lot of commonality in our interests. We obviously all had our own different research projects, but still, the way we approach them and set up models and that sort of thing, there was overlap. We decided we wanted to support each other and share ideas, as opposed to isolating ourselves as professors in our own little offices. So the idea grew out of that. (OFF the Cuff: Dan Stinebring)