HONR 300/CMSC 491: Computation, Complexity and Emergence
Course Schedule -- Spring 2016
as of 3/20/16

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Class

Date

Topic

Reading

Homework

Comments/Handouts/ Resources

1 Tue 1/26 Welcome, course overview, mixer activity SNOW DAY

Slides
Chapter questions
Reading journal guidelines
Student survey
Complexity in Everyday Life assignment
Participation Portfolios: I, II, III
Writing guidelines
"It's Time to Raise My Hand"
2 Thu 1/28 Complexity M1, Flake-Preface, F1
Slides
Your Paper Brain Complexity Blog
3 Tue 2/2 Algorithms (L&E) Exploring Computational Thinking
Wikiversity articles on algorithms and bubble sort
RJ1 Slides
4 Thu 2/4 Lab: NetLogo / The Game of Life Computational Abstraction DUE: Complexity in Everyday Life Life Lab
NetLogo Commands
5 Tue 2/9 Number system basics (L&E) F2 RJ2 Scale of Universe animation
6 Thu 2/11 Fractals F5 (5.5 optional)
Nova documentary (52 minutes)
RJ3; DUE: Life Lab writeup Ultimate Sierpinski Triangle Page
Fractal Pancakes
Slides
7 Tue 2/16 Lab: Fractals and L-Systems F6 RJ4 Interactive Visual Art
Fractals Lab
8 Thu 2/18 Mandelbrot and Julia Sets Wikipedia page on Mandelbrot
Introduction to the Mandelbrot set: A guide for people with little math experience
F8
RJ5 Slides
Mandelbrot/Julia NetLogo model
9 Tue 2/23 Ecological Models and Hierarchy Theory Chapter on Hierarchy Theory (forthcoming)
M3 (HONR300 students can skim), M7, F9
Optional: Murray and Gell-Man, "Effective Complexity"
RJ6 Dr. desJardins out of town; guest instructor Prof. Matt Baker (GES)
10 Thu 2/25 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! NetLogo project/final paper guidelines
11 Tue 3/1 Chaos: Nonlinear Dynamics A Sound of Thunder (Ray Bradbury)
M2, F10
RJ8 Slides
12 Thu 3/3 Lab: Producer-Consumer Dynamics F12 RJ9; DUE: Participation Portfolio I (through 2/25) Logistic Map NetLogo model
Predator/Prey/Chaos Lab
13 Tue 3/8 Network Dynamics M15, M16; F11, F14 optional
Strogatz on complex networks
RJ10
14 Thu 3/10 Lab: Designing NetLogo Models / Boids Original Boids paper
Fish and Bicycles
Honeybee dance
DUE: Chaos Exploration (extended to Thu 3/17 at 4pm) Boids lab
Boids NetLogo model
Spring Break
15 Tue 3/22 MIDTERM EXAM
DUE: Topic Paragraph (email)
16 Thu 3/24 Cellular Automata M10, F15
Kurzweil review of "A New Kind of Science"
RJ11
17 Tue 3/29 Finite State Automata (L&E) M4
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
18 Thu 3/31 Self-Organization / Competition and Cooperation F16, M14, F17
Biofilm Cell Deaths
Color trends
Pantone's Color of the Year
How Music Travels
RJ13; DUE: Participation Portfolio II (through 3/24)
19 Tue 4/5 Giving Presentations / Phase Transitions F18
Excerpt from "The Tipping Point" (Ch. 1, 2, 7; available on Blackboard)
Egypt (Deepak Chopra)
Tulip Mania
RJ14 (can submit by Thursday); DUE: Annotated Bibliography Slides
20 Thu 4/7 Genetics and Evolution M5, M6, F20
Evolution of Language
Dawkins, The Selfish Gene (chap. 1-3)
RJ15 (can submit by Sunday)
21 Tue 4/12 NO CLASS -- optional Computing Education Summit intro session
22 Thu 4/14 Astrobiology
DUE: Outline and Model Design (submit BY EMAIL by the normal class time (8:30am)) Dr. dJ out of town; guest instructor Dr. Stephen Freeland (Interdisciplinary Studies) Slides
23 Tue 4/19 NetLogo Project Presentations
DUE: NetLogo Project (submit project in Bb by 5pm Mon 4/18; submit project report as hardcopy in class) Presentation schedule
Feedback rubric
24 Thu 4/21 NetLogo Project Presentations
25 Tue 4/26 Multi-Agent Game Day
26 Thu 4/28 Genetic Algorithms Dawkins on Mimetics (chap. 11)
The Life in the Machine
Foldit "crowdsourcing" paper
RJ16; DUE: Research Paper Draft Paper review form
27 Tue 5/3 Evolving Towards Diversity Parable of the Polygons
Importance of Diversity
Evolution of Altruism
DUE: Participation Portfolio III (through 4/28); Game Day responses
28 Thu 5/5 Student Presentations
DUE: Peer Reviews Presentation schedule
Feedback rubric
29 Tue 5/10 Student Presentations

-- Thu 5/12, 8 a.m. -- 10 a.m. Student Presentations and Breakfast Party!
DUE: Final Research Paper