You may not realize it, but you have reached a significant milestone in the journey to becoming a computer scientist. You now have all the tools to write programs that solve interesting problems. By interesting, I mean problems that would be difficult or impossible to solve without the ability to write and implement computer algorithms. You are probably not yet ready to write the next great killer application, but you can do some nontrivial computing.
One particularly powerful technique for solving real-world problems is simulation. Computers can model real-world processes to provide otherwise unobtainable information. Computer simulation is used every day to perform myriad tasks such as predicting the weather, designing aircraft, creating special effects for movies, and entertaining video game players, to name just a few. Most of these applications require extremely complex programs, but even relatively modest simulations can sometimes shed light on knotty problems.
In this chapter we are going to develop a simple simulation of the game of racquetball. Along the way, you will learn some important design and implementation strategies that will help you in tackling your own problems.
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