Jon Pipitone has a good description on his blog of work the grad students in our department are doing to translate work in climate change into software engineering terms. Their first step is to represent the ideas in MacKay's excellent Sustainable Energy Without the Hot Air in two of the graphical notations that computer scientists use for system design. I was initially very skeptical, but looking at their work so far, I'm quite impressed. My question is, would it be useful for scientists to know how to do this themselves? More specifically, is the lecture on data modeling that I've planned to include in Version 4.0 worthwhile or not?