Numerical ocean models have become increasingly valuable tools as we strive to understand the nature of the ocean’s dynamics. They have progressed from the necessarily crude and idealized tools of decades past to capture much of the complexity and beauty of the real ocean. Many oceanographic research projects utilize numerical models as a fully equal partner and complement to the long-established physical oceanographic approaches of seagoing observational inference, theory, and fluids lab experimentation. As computers continue to increase in speed and availability at ever lower cost, this trend will clearly continue. Therefore, a solid background in knowing how to use numerical models to test hypotheses, when to trust their results and when not to, and how to relate the output of ocean models to observations has become an indispensable part of the education of an aspiring oceanographer.