What is a module?

The term "module" can be found in various fields of activity: in mathematics, computer science, engineering, and so on. At school, in class, we tried to understand what, for example, is the modulus of the number -15. At home we watch news on TV about what is happening on the Russian module of the international space station. What is a module? In what spheres of life is this concept still used?

Module in mathematics

In mathematics, the absolute value of a number is called a module. If we imagine the location of any number on the coordinate line, then the modulus of this number will be the distance from it to the zero point. Thus, the modulus of a positive number a (written as | a |) will be the number itself. The modulus of a negative number is a number, the opposite of it, that is, a.

  • |3|=3, |-3|=3

For information on how to perform calculations with modules, see the article How to solve modules.

Also in mathematics there is such a concept "module of the vector". If you remember, then a vector is called a line segment, which has not only length, but also direction. So, the module of a vector is the length of this directed segment.

Module in the technique

In technology, a module is an independent node of a complex engineering system that performs its own individual task. As a rule, modules can be disconnected from the whole system.

A classic example of technical modules are space modules. According to the modular principle, an international space station (ISS) was built. A new module being delivered into orbit is docked to those already in operation. 5 Russian, 7 American, 1 European and 1 Japanese modules are currently working on the ISS.

Spacecraft also have such constituent elements as the docking module, the descent module. With the help of the descent module, astronauts are returned to Earth from orbit. Descent modules can perform research functions. Thus, in November 2014, the "Fila" descent module of the Rosette spacecraft landed on one of the solar system comets in order to study the surface of this comet.

However, modules are not always such supercomplex technical objects. The module can be called any detachable part of the structure. For example, you can build some unusual beautiful object from simple paper modules. Read, for example, the article How to make a swan from modules.

Module in computer science

In programming, a module is a complete part of a program, enclosed in a separate file. This module is designed for use in more complex programs and performs a specific function in them. Apart from the rest of the program, its modules cannot be used. A software module can be replaced by another one, which has a similar purpose, but another fundamental solution. In this case, make changes to the rest of the system is not necessary.

For example, when creating a site, its individual modules are developed (news, photo gallery, feedback, payment module, and so on). On the website they are displayed as separate blocks. The site administrator can disable or activate a particular module. It can also replace, for example, a payment module provided by one campaign with a similar service by another.

Modules in other areas of life

The term "module" is also used in pedagogy. Here, a module means a certain range of knowledge and skills from a specific field of activity, which a student must learn with the help of a teacher or independently. Modular training is actively developing in higher education in the United States and Europe. Some educational modules are required for students to learn, others they choose at will.The combination of different modules provides both the acquisition of professional competence and the flexibility of the learning process to adapt it to specific conditions.

There is such a thing as an "advertising module". This is a place on a newspaper or magazine page for placing an advertisement on it. The editors determine the price of one fixed-size basic advertising module. The customer can pay and place an advertisement in one, two or more basic modules.