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Simulation and Modeling

This version was saved 8 years, 5 months ago View current version     Page history
Saved by Alan Liu
on April 7, 2012 at 1:52:57 am
A star Red Star indicates tools that combine power (advanced, multiple, or flexible features) with ease of use. The star tends to be reserved for tools capacious enough for multiple uses or add-on uses that they might also be called "platforms" (e.g., TAPoR, Many Eyes, or Google Earth).  (Other tools may be more powerful, or more easy to use, but not in combined balance.)



NetLogo (Downloadable Software for Agent-Based Simulations)


NetLogo "Rebellion" simulation of a subjugated population rising against a central authority


"NetLogo is a programmable modeling environment for simulating natural and social phenomena. . . . NetLogo is particularly well suited for modeling complex systems developing over time. Modelers can give instructions to hundreds or thousands of independent 'agents' all operating concurrently. This makes it possible to explore the connection between the micro-level behavior of individuals and the macro-level patterns that emerge from the interaction of many individuals. NetLogo lets students open simulations and 'play' with them, exploring their behavior under various conditions. It is also an authoring environment which enables students, teachers and curriculum developers to create their own models. NetLogo is simple enough that students and teachers can easily run simulations or even build their own. And, it is advanced enough to serve as a powerful tool for researchers in many fields. NetLogo has extensive documentation and tutorials. It also comes with a Models Library, which is a large collection of pre-written simulations that can be used and modified. These simulations address many content areas in the natural and social sciences, including biology and medicine, physics and chemistry, mathematics and computer science, and economics and social psychology" (from "What is NetLogo?" on the NetLogo site).

Scratch (Downloadable visual programming environment for animation and game creation)


Scratch is a visual programming environment designed by MIT Media Lab to allow children and other novices to learn programming logic by creating interactive animations or games. Implemented in Java, the program runs on the user's computer. It comes with several pre-made "sprites" (e.g., a cat) that can be programmed to move, make sounds, say things, and interact with other sprites or with mouse/keyboard controls by "snapping together" a variety of program logic "blocks" (like snapping together Lego blocks). Users can also draw/import their own sprites and backgrounds.

Part of UC Santa Barbara English Department's Second Life campusSecond Life (3D online digital world or immersive environment)


Part of UC Santa Barbara English Department's Second Life campus
Second Life is one of the most widely used of the general-purpose Internet-based, immersive, 3D, and highly scalable (massively multi-user) "virtual worlds" where users can create an avatar (a visual, mobile representation of themselves), create richly rendered spaces and objects, and interact with each other as well as with various media sources (e.g., videos). An increasing number of educational institutions have set up virtual campuses in Second Life. (Created with an instructional improvement grant in 2007, the UC Santa Barbara English Department's "UCSB Lane" site can be visited at the Second Life address http://slurl.com/secondlife/Kerlingarfjoll/179/245/46) Possible innovative educational uses for Second Life include: co-learning with teachers and students elsewhere in the world; taking class "field trips" to Second Life conferences, art shows, and other events; exhibiting student work; creating architectural or stage sets; performing a scene from a play; etc. Second Life allows users to talk to each other through both text and live voice. (Use of Second life requires installation of the Second Life program and a free user account; paid accounts allow for higher degrees of use, including owning land.) 



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