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Opening the Black Box with Netlogo


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A proposal to use Netlogo at multiple levels in the curriculum to improve student understanding of using, extending, and constructing computational models in science.

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Opening the Black Box with Netlogo

  1. 1. Opening the Black Box with NetLogo <ul><ul><li>Steven D. Brewer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Biology </li></ul></ul>
  2. 2. Computational Modeling A,B,C's <ul><li>Wolfram's “New Kind of Science”: computation as the new mathematics. </li></ul><ul><li>Computational models increasingly used in science, as well as all other disciplines (economics, management, etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Students need explicit experience to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Critically use computational models </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Elaborate and extend existing models </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Apply computation to solve new problems </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. What is NetLogo? <ul><li>Free Java-based modeling software </li></ul><ul><li>Easy-to-learn (Based on Logo programing language) </li></ul><ul><li>Uses interacting population of programmable “agents” to simulate emergence of complex behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Product of the Center for Connected Learning and Computer-Based Modeling </li></ul><ul><li>Descendant of “StarLogo” from MIT Media Lab </li></ul>
  4. 6. I propose NSM use NetLogo to... <ul><li>Illustrate basic concepts in introductory classes across the college. </li></ul><ul><li>Challenge students in intermediate classes to elaborate or extend models. </li></ul><ul><li>Provide opportunities to advanced students to construct independent models. </li></ul>