Abstract. We discuss numerical and theoretical results for models of magnetization switching in nanoparticles and ultrathin films. The models and computational methods include kinetic Ising and classical Heisenberg models of highly anisotropic magnets which are simulated by dynamic Monte Carlo methods, and micromagnetics models of continuum-spin systems that are studied by finite-temperature Langevin simulations. The theoretical analysis builds on the fact that a magnetic particle or film that is magnetized in a direction antiparallel to the applied field is in a metastable state. Nucleation theory is therefore used to analyze magnetization reversal as the decay of this metastable phase to equilibrium. We present numerical results on magnetization reversal in models of nanoparticles and films, and on hysteresis in magnets driven by oscillating external fields.