HONR 300/CMSC 491: Computation, Complexity and Emergence
Course Schedule -- Spring 2012
as of 1/13/12

Back to course page
Back to Prof. desJardins's home page
 

Class

Date

Topic

Reading

Homework

Comments/Handouts

1 Mon 1/30 Welcome, course overview, mixer activity

Slides
Chapter questions
Reading journal guidelines
Student survey
Complexity in Everyday Life assignment
Participation Portfolio I
Writing guidelines
"It's Time to Raise My Hand"
2 Wed 2/1 Complexity game and demonstrations Preface, Chapter 1
Chaos and Complexity introduction
Swarm Intelligence

Slides
3 Mon 2/6 Algorithms (L&E) Exploring Computational Thinking
Wikiversity articles on algorithms and bubble sort
RJ1
4 Wed 2/8 Lab: NetLogo / The Game of Life Computational Abstraction DUE: Complexity in Everyday Life Class meets in ENG 336
5 Mon 2/13 Number system basics (L&E) Chapter 2 RJ2
6 Wed 2/15 Fractals Chapter 5
Nova documentary (52 minutes)
RJ3; DUE: Life Lab writeup Slides
7 Mon 2/20 Lab: Fractals and L-Systems Chapter 6 RJ4 Class meets in ENG 336
Fractals lab
fractal1 fractal2 fractal3 fractal4 fractal5 fractal6
8 Wed 2/22 Mandelbrot and Julia Sets Wikipedia page on Mandelbrot
Introduction to the Mandelbrot set: A guide for people with little math experience
Chapter 8
RJ5 Mandelbrot NetLogo model
Slides
9 Mon 2/27 Complexity and Simplicity Chapter 9
Murray and Gell-Man, "Effective Complexity"
RJ6
10 Wed 2/29 Fractals in Nature Cells go Fractal
Corals
Fractal antennas
Fractal Food
A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea
RJ7; DUE: Fractals Exploration; Show and tell: bring your favorite fractal! Midterm review guide
NetLogo project/final paper guidelines
11 Mon 3/5 Chaos: Nonlinear Dynamics A Sound of Thunder (Ray Bradbury)
Chaos overview
Chapter 10
RJ8
12 Wed 3/7 Lab: Producer-Consumer Dynamics Chapter 12 RJ9; DUE: Participation Portfolio I (through 2/27) Class meets in ENG 336
Predator-prey/chaos lab
Logistic map NetLogo model
13 Mon 3/12 Chaos: Strange Attractors Chapters 11 and 14 RJ10
14 Wed 3/14 Lab: Designing NetLogo Models / Boids Original Boids paper
Fish and Bicycles
Honeybee dance
DUE: Chaos Exploration Class meets in ENG 336
Boids lab
Modified NetLogo boids model
Spring Break
15 Mon 3/26 MIDTERM EXAM
DUE: Topic Paragraph
16 Wed 3/28 Cellular Automata Chapter 15
Kurzweil review of "A New Kind of Science"
RJ11 Participation Portfolio 2
Participation Portfolio 3
17 Mon 4/2 Finite State Automata (L&E) Turing Machines
Game of Life Turing Machine(!)
Air on G's String (Godel, Escher, Bach) (in blackboard Course Documents - 2 files)
Edifying Thoughts of a Tobacco Smoker (GEB)
RJ12 Dr. desJardins out of town; guest instructor: Dr. Don Miner
18 Wed 4/4 Self-Organization Chapter 16
Strogatz on complex networks
Color trends
Pantone's Color of the Year
How Music Travels
RJ13 Dr. desJardins out of town; guest instructor: Dr. Don Miner
Presentation topics
19 Mon 4/9 Multi-Agent Game Day
DUE: Participation Portfolio II (through 3/28); Annotated Bibliography
20 Wed 4/11 Giving Presentations / Competition and Cooperation Chapter 17 RJ14 Slides
21 Mon 4/16 Grad school panel, UC 310 Assignment: Submit a summary of the panel and what you learned DUE: NetLogo Project
22 Wed 4/18 NetLogo Project Presentations
DUE: Outline and Model Design
23 Mon 4/23 NetLogo Project Presentations

24 Wed 4/25 Phase Transitions Chapter 18
Excerpt from "The Tipping Point" (Ch. 1, 2, 7; available on Blackboard)
Egypt (Deepak Chopra)
Tulip Mania
RJ15
25 Mon 4/30 Life as an Information System Chapter 20
Evolution of Language
RJ16 Guest lecturer: Dr. Ivan Erill
26 Wed 5/2 Genetic Algorithms / Evolution
Dawkins, The Selfish Gene (chap. 1-3)
Dawkins on Mimetics (chap. 11)
Foldit "crowdsourcing" paper
DUE: Research Paper Draft
Paper review form
27 Mon 5/7 Student Presentations
DUE: Participation Portfolio III (through 4/30)
Presentation feedback form

28 Wed 5/9 Student Presentations
DUE: Peer Reviews
-- Mon 5/14, 10:30am-12:30pm Student Presentations and Pizza Party!
DUE: Final Research Paper