Turtles, Termites, and Traffic Jams

Explorations in Massively Parallel Microworlds
Author: Mitchel Resnick
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262680936
Category: Computers
Page: 163
View: 1357

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How does a bird flock keep its movements so graceful and synchronized? Most people assume that the bird in front leads and the others follow. In fact, bird flocks don't have leaders: they are organized without an organizer, coordinated without a coordinator. And a surprising number of other systems, from termite colonies to traffic jams to economic systems, work the same decentralized way. Turtles, Termites, and Traffic Jams describes innovative new computational tools that can qhelp people (even young children) explore the workings of such systems--and help them move beyond the centralized mindset.

Constructionism in Practice

Designing, Thinking, and Learning in A Digital World
Author: Yasmin B. Kafai,Mitchel Resnick
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136491422
Category: Education
Page: 360
View: 5632

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The digital revolution necessitates, but also makes possible, radical changes in how and what we learn. This book describes a set of innovative educational research projects at the MIT Media Laboratory, illustrating how new computational technologies can transform our conceptions of learning, education, and knowledge. The book draws on real-world education experiments conducted in formal and informal contexts: from inner-city schools and university labs to neighborhoods and after-school clubhouses. The papers in this book are divided in four interrelated sections as follows: * Perspectives in Constructionism further develops the intellectual underpinnings of constructionist theory. This section looks closely at the role of perspective-taking in learning and discusses how both cognitive and affective processes play a central role in building connections between old and new knowledge. * Learning through Design analyzes the relationship between designing and learning, and discusses ways that design activities can provide personally meaningful contexts for learning. This section investigates how and why children can learn through the processes of constructing artifacts such as games, textile patterns, robots and interactive devices. * Learning in Communities focuses on the social aspects of constructionist learning, recognizing that how people learn is deeply influenced by the communities and cultures with which they interact. It examines the nature of learning in classroom, inner-city, and virtual communities. * Learning about Systems examines how students make sense of biological, technological, and mathematical systems. This section explores the conceptual and epistemological barriers to learning about feedback, self-organization, and probability, and it discusses new technological tools and activities that can help people develop new ways of thinking about these phenomena.

Adventures in Modeling

Exploring Complex, Dynamic Systems with StarLogo
Author: Vanessa Stevens Colella,Eric Klopfer,Mitchel Resnick
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: 9780807740828
Category: Literary Collections
Page: 188
View: 7158

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Have you ever wondered how birds flock or forest fires spread? For thousands of years people - from DaVinci to Einstein - have created models to help them better understand patterns and processes in the world around them. Computers make it easier for novices to build and explore their own models - and learn new scientific ideas in the process. Adventures in Modeling introduces you and your students to designing, creating, and investigating models in StarLogo. Computer modeling, the use of computer programs to simulate complex, dynamic systems or events (like population growth or environmental conservation), is a powerful learning tool that is finding a rapidly growing audience among teachers in middle and high school science and mathematics classes, especially since the NCTM Standards 2000 advocates its use in the curriculum. This valuable resource: Provides educators with a rich and accessible introduction to the use of computer modeling in the classroom using the popular StarLogo computer programming language; Takes readers step-by-step through the process of using computer models to simulate complex relationships; Shows how and why computer modeling can lead to powerful and enduring learning outcomes for all students. Provides explicit links between various state and national math and science content standards and the use of computer models, to enable educators to see how this work may enhance standards-based instruction; As computer use gains in currency and value in the middle and high school classroom, Adventures in Modeling will give teachers and students a very effective way to build curiosity and boost learning outcomes in a standards-based curriculum.

Growing Artificial Societies

Social Science from the Bottom Up
Author: Joshua M. Epstein,Robert Axtell
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 9780262050531
Category: Social Science
Page: 208
View: 6121

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""Growing Artificial Societies" is a milestone in social science research. It vividly demonstrates the potential of agent-based computer simulation to break disciplinary boundaries. It does this by analyzing in a unified framework the dynamic interactions of such diverse activities as trade, combat, mating, culture, and disease. It is an impressive achievement." -- Robert Axelrod, University of Michigan How do social structures and group behaviors arise from the interaction of individuals? "Growing Artificial Societies" approaches this question with cutting-edge computer simulation techniques. Fundamental collective behaviors such as group formation, cultural transmission, combat, and trade are seen to "emerge" from the interaction of individual agents following a few simple rules. In their program, named Sugarscape, Epstein and Axtell begin the development of a "bottom up" social science that is capturing the attention of researchers and commentators alike. The study is part of the 2050 Project, a joint venture of the Santa Fe Institute, the World Resources Institute, and the Brookings Institution. The project is an international effort to identify conditions for a sustainable global system in the next century and to design policies to help achieve such a system. "Growing Artificial Societies" is also available on CD-ROM, which includes about 50 animations that develop the scenarios described in the text. "Copublished with the Brookings Institution"

Lifelong Kindergarten

Cultivating Creativity Through Projects, Passion, Peers, and Play
Author: Mitchel Resnick
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262037297
Category: Education
Page: 191
View: 6641

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Creative learning -- Projects -- Passion -- Peers -- Play -- Creative society

Self-organization in Biological Systems


Author: Scott Camazine
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691116242
Category: Science
Page: 538
View: 5970

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Researchers are finding in certain patterns in nature - phenomena that have fascinated naturalists for centuries - a fertile approach to understanding biological systems: the study of self-organization. This work introduces readers to the basic concepts and tools for studying self-organization.

Fundamentals of Natural Computing

Basic Concepts, Algorithms, and Applications
Author: Leandro Nunes de Castro
Publisher: CRC Press
ISBN: 1420011448
Category: Science
Page: 696
View: 2471

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Natural computing brings together nature and computing to develop new computational tools for problem solving; to synthesize natural patterns and behaviors in computers; and to potentially design novel types of computers. Fundamentals of Natural Computing: Basic Concepts, Algorithms, and Applications presents a wide-ranging survey of novel techniques and important applications of nature-based computing. This book presents theoretical and philosophical discussions, pseudocodes for algorithms, and computing paradigms that illustrate how computational techniques can be used to solve complex problems, simulate nature, explain natural phenomena, and possibly allow the development of new computing technologies. The author features a consistent and approachable, textbook-style format that includes lucid figures, tables, real-world examples, and different types of exercises that complement the concepts while encouraging readers to apply the computational tools in each chapter. Building progressively upon core concepts of nature-inspired techniques, the topics include evolutionary computing, neurocomputing, swarm intelligence, immunocomputing, fractal geometry, artificial life, quantum computing, and DNA computing. Fundamentals of Natural Computing is a self-contained introduction and a practical guide to nature-based computational approaches that will find numerous applications in a variety of growing fields including engineering, computer science, biological modeling, and bioinformatics.

Critical Mass

How One Thing Leads to Another
Author: Philip Ball
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 9780374530419
Category: Philosophy
Page: 520
View: 8928

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Ball shows how much can be understood of human behavior when we cease to predict and analyze the behavior of individuals and instead look to the impact of individual decisions--whether in circumstances of cooperation or conflict--on our laws, institutions and customs.

Computational Social Psychology


Author: Robin R. Vallacher,Stephen J. Read,Andrzej Nowak
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351701681
Category: Psychology
Page: 398
View: 7619

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Computational Social Psychology showcases a new approach to social psychology that enables theorists and researchers to specify social psychological processes in terms of formal rules that can be implemented and tested using the power of high speed computing technology and sophisticated software. This approach allows for previously infeasible investigations of the multi-dimensional nature of human experience as it unfolds in accordance with different temporal patterns on different timescales. In effect, the computational approach represents a rediscovery of the themes and ambitions that launched the field over a century ago. The book brings together social psychologists with varying topical interests who are taking the lead in this redirection of the field. Many present formal models that are implemented in computer simulations to test basic assumptions and investigate the emergence of higher-order properties; others develop models to fit the real-time evolution of people’s inner states, overt behavior, and social interactions. Collectively, the contributions illustrate how the methods and tools of the computational approach can investigate, and transform, the diverse landscape of social psychology.

Kill Decision


Author: Daniel Suarez
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0451417704
Category: Fiction
Page: 495
View: 8508

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When her research is being used to run unmanned drones, Lindsey McKinney and Odin, a Special Ops soldier with an insight into the faceless enemy, must slow the advance long enough for the world to recognize its destructive power.

Complex Adaptive Systems

An Introduction to Computational Models of Social Life
Author: John H. Miller,Scott E. Page
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400835522
Category: Social Science
Page: 288
View: 5423

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This book provides the first clear, comprehensive, and accessible account of complex adaptive social systems, by two of the field's leading authorities. Such systems--whether political parties, stock markets, or ant colonies--present some of the most intriguing theoretical and practical challenges confronting the social sciences. Engagingly written, and balancing technical detail with intuitive explanations, Complex Adaptive Systems focuses on the key tools and ideas that have emerged in the field since the mid-1990s, as well as the techniques needed to investigate such systems. It provides a detailed introduction to concepts such as emergence, self-organized criticality, automata, networks, diversity, adaptation, and feedback. It also demonstrates how complex adaptive systems can be explored using methods ranging from mathematics to computational models of adaptive agents. John Miller and Scott Page show how to combine ideas from economics, political science, biology, physics, and computer science to illuminate topics in organization, adaptation, decentralization, and robustness. They also demonstrate how the usual extremes used in modeling can be fruitfully transcended.

The Algorithmic Beauty of Sea Shells


Author: Hans Meinhardt
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 3540921427
Category: Science
Page: 269
View: 8193

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The pigment patterns on tropical shells are of great beauty and diversity. Their mixture of regularity and irregularity is fascinating. A particular pattern seems to follow particular rules but these rules allow variations. No two shells are identical. The motionless patterns appear to be static, and, indeed, they consist of calci?ed material. However, as will be shown in this book, the underlying mechanism that generates this beauty is eminently dynamic. It has much in common with other dynamic systems that generate patterns, such as a wind-sand system that forms large dunes, or rain and erosion that form complex rami?ed river systems. On other shells the underlying mechanism has much in common with waves such as those commonly observed in the spread of an epidemic. A mollusk can only enlarge its shell at the shell margin. In most cases, only at this margin are new elements of the pigmentation pattern added. Therefore, the shell pattern preserves the record of a process that took place over time in a narrow zone at the growing edge. A certain point on the shell represents a certain moment in its history. Like a time machine one can go into the past or the future just by turning the shell back and forth. Having this complete historical record opens the possibility of decoding the generic principles behind this beauty.

Turtle Geometry

The Computer as a Medium for Exploring Mathematics
Author: Harold Abelson,Andrea A. DiSessa
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262510370
Category: Computers
Page: 477
View: 3247

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Turtle Geometry presents an innovative program of mathematical discovery that demonstrates how the effective use of personal computers can profoundly change the nature of a student's contact with mathematics. Using this book and a few simple computer programs, students can explore the properties of space by following an imaginary turtle across the screen.The concept of turtle geometry grew out of the Logo Group at MIT. Directed by Seymour Papert, author of Mindstorms, this group has done extensive work with preschool children, high school students and university undergraduates. Harold Abelson is an associate professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. Andrea diSessa is an associate professor in the Graduate School of Education, University of California, Berkeley.

Distributed Cognitions

Psychological and Educational Considerations
Author: Gavriel Salomon
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521574235
Category: Psychology
Page: 275
View: 8142

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Traditionally, human cognition has been seen and studied as existing solely 'inside' a person's head, with relative disregard for the social, physical, and artifactual surroundings in which cognition takes place. This book is a bold attempt to re-examine the nature of cognitions and to propose that a clearer understanding of human cognition would be achieved if it were conceptualized and studied as distributed among individuals, that knowledge is socially constructed through collaborative efforts toward shared objectives within cultural surroundings and that information is processed between individuals and the tools and artifacts provided by culture. The authors use illustrations from daily life and educational activities and suggest implications for education.

Agent-Based and Individual-Based Modeling

A Practical Introduction
Author: Steven F. Railsback,Volker Grimm
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691136742
Category: Science
Page: 329
View: 4061

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Agent-based modeling is a new technique for understanding how the dynamics of biological, social, and other complex systems arise from the characteristics and behaviors of the agents making up these systems. This innovative textbook gives students and scientists the skills to design, implement, and analyze agent-based models. It starts with the fundamentals of modeling and provides an introduction to NetLogo, an easy-to-use, free, and powerful software platform. Nine chapters then each introduce an important modeling concept and show how to implement it using NetLogo. The book goes on to present strategies for finding the right level of model complexity and developing theory for agent behavior, and for analyzing and learning from models. Agent-Based and Individual-Based Modeling features concise and accessible text, numerous examples, and exercises using small but scientific models. The emphasis throughout is on analysis--such as software testing, theory development, robustness analysis, and understanding full models--and on design issues like optimizing model structure and finding good parameter values. The first hands-on introduction to agent-based modeling, from conceptual design to computer implementation to parameterization and analysis Provides an introduction to NetLogo with nine chapters introducing an important modeling concept and showing how to implement it using NetLogo Filled with examples and exercises, with updates and supplementary materials at http://www.railsback-grimm-abm-book.com/ Designed for students and researchers across the biological and social sciences Written by leading practitioners Leading universities that have adopted this book include: Amherst College Brigham Young University Carnegie Mellon University Cornell University Miami University Northwestern University Old Dominion University Portland State University Rhodes College Susquehanna University University College, Dublin University of Arizona University of British Columbia University of Michigan University of South Florida University of Texas at Austin University of Virginia

Swarm Intelligence

From Natural to Artificial Systems
Author: Eric Bonabeau,Marco Dorigo,Guy Theraulaz
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198030157
Category: Science
Page: 320
View: 9166

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Social insects--ants, bees, termites, and wasps--can be viewed as powerful problem-solving systems with sophisticated collective intelligence. Composed of simple interacting agents, this intelligence lies in the networks of interactions among individuals and between individuals and the environment. A fascinating subject, social insects are also a powerful metaphor for artificial intelligence, and the problems they solve--finding food, dividing labor among nestmates, building nests, responding to external challenges--have important counterparts in engineering and computer science. This book provides a detailed look at models of social insect behavior and how to apply these models in the design of complex systems. The book shows how these models replace an emphasis on control, preprogramming, and centralization with designs featuring autonomy, emergence, and distributed functioning. These designs are proving immensely flexible and robust, able to adapt quickly to changing environments and to continue functioning even when individual elements fail. In particular, these designs are an exciting approach to the tremendous growth of complexity in software and information. Swarm Intelligence draws on up-to-date research from biology, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, robotics, operations research, and computer graphics, and each chapter is organized around a particular biological example, which is then used to develop an algorithm, a multiagent system, or a group of robots. The book will be an invaluable resource for a broad range of disciplines.

Surfing the Edge of Chaos

The Laws of Nature and the New Laws of Business
Author: Richard Pascale,Mark Milleman,Linda Gioja
Publisher: Crown Business
ISBN: 0609504096
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 336
View: 7739

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Every few years a book changes the way people think about a field. In psychology there is Daniel Goleman's Emotional Intelligence. In science, James Gleick's Chaos. In economics and finance, Burton Malkiel's A Random Walk Down Wall Street. And in business there is now Surfing the Edge of Chaos by Richard T. Pascale, Mark Millemann, and Linda Gioja. Surfing the Edge of Chaos is a brilliant, powerful, and practical book about the parallels between business and nature -- two fields that feature nonstop battles between the forces of tradition and the forces of transformation. It offers a bold new way of thinking about and responding to the personal and strategic challenges everyone in business faces these days. Pascale, Millemann, and Gioja argue that because every business is a living system (not just as metaphor but in reality), the four cornerstone principles of the life sciences are just as true for organizations as they are for species. These principles are: Equilibrium is death. Innovation usually takes place on the edge of chaos. Self-organization and emergence occur naturally. Organizations can only be disturbed, not directed. Using intriguing, in-depth case studies (Sears Roebuck, Monsanto, Royal Dutch Shell, the U.S. Army, British Petroleum, Hewlett Packard, Sun Microsystems), Surfing the Edge of Chaos shows that in business, as in nature, there are no permanent winners. There are just companies and species that either react to change and evolve, or get left behind and become extinct. Some examples: Parallels between Yellowstone National Park and Sears show why equilibrium is a dangerous place in both nature and business. How Monsanto used a "strange attractor" to move to the edge of chaos to alter its identity and transform its culture. The unlikely story of how the U.S. Army embraced the ideas of self-organization and emergence. Why the misapplication of linear logic (reengineering a business or attempting to eradicate predators in nature) will inevitably fail. The stories in Surfing the Edge of Chaos are of pioneering efforts that show how the principles of living systems produce bottom-line impact and profound transformational change. What's really striking about them, though, is their reality. They are about success and failure, breakthroughs and dead-ends. In short, they are like the business you are in and the challenges you face. From the Hardcover edition.

Connected Code

Why Children Need to Learn Programming
Author: Yasmin B. Kafai,Quinn Burke
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262027755
Category: Computers
Page: 200
View: 5074

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Why every child needs to learn to code: the shift from "computational thinking" to computational participation.