Educational Programs available

Alex Colburn colburn at handel.cs.colostate.edu
Thu Jan 3 13:43:47 EST 1991

Geneplot, Actpot, and Growplot Versions 4.0

	I am announcing the availability of three programs I 
wrote as a biology graduate student at the University of Iowa.  
These are educational programs for IBM PCs and clones that 
allow students to experiment with Population Genetics, Action 
Potentials, and Population Growth.  I wrote the first version 
of these programs while I was a Teaching Assistant for Iowa's 
Animal Biology course in the spring of 1988.  There has been 
continual revision and testing since then, and currently these 
programs are a fundamental part of the Animal biology course. 
They have also been used at Grinnel College and Yale.  I have 
recently revised these programs for VGA graphics.

	All of the programs have a graphical interface, and 
require at least a CGA graphics with 256K RAM, although there 
are versions for the PC JR.  I wrote these programs with the 
philosophy that computer simulations should allow the student 
to do experiments that are not feasible to do in a classroom 
situation.  This is not an animated text book.  

	Geneplot:  Since time and equipment aren't usually 
sufficient in undergraduate course to perform evolutionary 
experiments with real populations, I wrote this simulation so 
that students can experiment with an imaginary population.  
This simulation is currently used  to simulate four evolutionary 
situations:  Genetic equilibrium, natural selection, genetic 
drift, and natural selection superimposed on genetic drift.  
I have used a two allele population genetics model.  With 
this program one can specify the relative fitness of any 
genotype, mutation rate of one allele to the other, population 
size (for random drift), and plot the change in allele frequency 
for 500 generations.    

	Growplot:  This program plots population growth using 
three different models: exponential, logistic, and a time lag model.  
The carrying capacity, growth rate, and number of generations.  
This program is intended to accompany a lab in which the students 
perform a growth experiment with tetrahymena.

	Actpot: The goal of this program is to allow students 
to learn the basic properties of the action potential.  They will 
learn about: the relationship between the membrane voltage and the 
underlying currents;  The initiation of the action potential, 
threshold; Absolute and relative refractory periods; Multiple action 
potentials; Synaptic integration, the Role of excitatory and 
Inhibitory synaptic input.  This simulation is based on the 
Hodgkin and Huxley model of the squid giant axon.

If you feel that you might be interested in using these programs 
please contact me at:

	email   colburn at handel.cs.colostate.edu

	Alex Colburn
	130 Brairwood #621
	Ft Collins Co, 80521

	(303) 221-9489 


Please excuse me if this post is inappropriate for this news group.

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