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The last four decades have produced a number of significant advances in the developments of computer models to simulate and investigate the electrical activity of cardiac tissue. The tissue descriptions that underlie these simulations have been built from a combination of clever insight and careful comparison with measured data at multiple scales. Tissue models have not only led to greater insights into the mechanisms of life-threatening arrhythmias but have been used to engineer new therapies to treat the consequences of cardiac disease. This paper is a look back at the early years in the cardiac modeling and the challenges facing the field as models move toward the clinic.