Bio Education Software FAQ (1 of 2)

Wed May 3 14:45:24 EST 1995

Eli Meir (meir at zoology.washington.edu) wrote:
: Biology Education Software FAQ
: Copyright 1995 by Eli Meir and the Biology Education Software Taskforce
: of the 					University of Washington
: All Rights Reserved

: This document is freely redistributable as long as absolutely no money
: is charged and no changes are made to the document.  The latest version
: of this document is posted at ftp.zoology.washington.edu  in  /pub/doc

: (1)  WhatÕs in this FAQ?
: 	(1a)	Who is B.E.S.T. ?
: 	(1b)	Where to address comments, queries, etc..
: 	(1c)	How we picked software to include here
: 	(1d) 	What information we include about each piece of software we
: review
: 	(1e)	How to submit software for inclusion on this list

: (2)  Resources for information on biology education software
: 	(2a)	BioQuest
: 	(2b)	CTI Centre for Biology
: 	(2c)	NECUSE Biology Software Reviews
: 	(2d)	Quarterly Review of Biology

: (3)  Ecology and Evolution Software
: 	(3a)	Biota
: 	(3b)	Environmental Decision Making
: 	(3c)	Evolve
: 	(3d)	PopGen
: 	(3e)	Energy Flow Stella Stack
: 	(3f)	Island Biogeography StellaStack
: 	(3g)	Max. Sustainable Yield Stella Stack
: 	(3h)	Carbon Cycle Stella Stack
: 	(3i)	Population Momentum Stella Stack
: 	(3j)	Blind Watchmaker
: 	(3k)	Simlife
: 	(3l)	Populus
: 	(3m)	PopDyn
: 	(3n)	Fish Farm

: (4)  Physiology and Neurobiology
: 	(4a)	Neuro 140
: 	(4b)	Axon
: 	(4c)	Isolated Heart Laboratories
: 	(4d)	Neurosim II
: 	(4e)	Frog Dissection and other dissection tutorials
: 	(4f)	NeuroLab
: 	(4g)	SymBioSys
: 	(4h)	Quantitative Circulatory Physiology

: (5)  Cell and Molecular Biology
: 	(5a)	Genetics Construction Kit
: 	(5b)	SequenceIt!
: 	(5c)	PurifyIt!
: 	(5d)	RateIt!
: 	(5e)	Enzyme
: 	(5f)	MacMolecule
: 	(5g)	Visual Genetics
: 	(5h)	Enzyme Kinetics Stella Stack

: (6)  General purpose software useful in education
: 	(6a)	Stella
: 	(6b)	Extend
: 	(6c)	Mathematica
: 	(6d)	Maple
: 	(6e)	Matlab
: 	(6f)	LabView
: 	(6g)	SuperScope
: 	(6h)	Spike Studio

: (7)  Textbooks on CD

: (8)  Mosaic sites and other random stuff
: 	(8a)	Institute for Molecular Virology 
: 	(8b)	BioCatalog
: 	(8c)	Neurosciences on the Internet
: 	(8d)	Quantitative Training for Life Sciences

: (9)  Acknowledments

: -----------------------------------------------

: (1a)  Who is B.E.S.T.

: B.E.S.T.  stands for Biology Education Software Taskforce of the
: University of Washington.  We are not quite as official as that title
: makes us sound, but have done quite a bit of work looking at
: educational software for use in the biology classes here at UW.  The
: group is composed of several graduate students and PhDÕs from the
: Department of Zoology at the UW.  In addition to gathering software, we
: have run classes here examining biology education software, have
: invited notable people in the field to come and speak at our
: departmental seminars, and some of us are authors of educational and
: other software.  Among the primary people involved in the group are
: Adrian Sun, George Gilchrist, Tarif Awad, Creagh Bruener, David
: Baldwin,  Kevin Obrien, and Eli Meir (the author of this FAQ).  

: We are not claiming to be especially knowledgable or gifted when it
: comes to educational software, nor are we claiming to be teachers who
: are speaking from years of experience in using computers in education. 
: We have provided some references to articles and reviews by people who
: are much more knowledgable than we are.  Rather, based on our
: experience as students, teachers, and authors of materials for
: undergraduate education, we aim to present what we think are the most
: useful pieces of software for undergraduate education in various
: branches of biology.  We hope this will provide a starting point for
: instructors in other universities who are looking for good software to
: use in their classes.

: (1b)  Where to address comments, queries, etc..
: You can get in touch with us by emailing to
: best at zoology.washington.edu, or by emailing the author of this document
: at meir at zoology.washington.edu.  You can also get us through snail mail
: by sending to 
: Eli Meir
: B.E.S.T.
: Dept. of Zoology, NJ-15
: University of Washington
: Seattle, WA 98195

: (1c)  How we picked software to include here

: In searching for educational software, we quickly realized that there
: is lot of stuff out there which is not very interesting.  We did not
: want to include all of that in our list, so we have weeded out a lot of
: software.  This weeding is obviously subjective.  What one person
: considers junk might be exactly what another person is interested in. 
: Originally I was going to spell out these biases in this FAQ, but due
: to lack of time, hereÕs a quick summary.

: First of all, anything that didnÕt work on a reasonably new computer
: and operating system was excluded.  We also excluded most software
: which didnÕt run on a Macintosh or IBM machine, since that is what most
: students and teachers have access to.  There is some bias towards
: Macintosh software, since that is the computer which most of us have
: sitting on our desks, but we included any good IBM software we came
: across as well, and have also included a small amount of UNIX software.

: Secondly, we have a bias against software which puts a textbook or a
: study guide onto the computer and claims that just the fact its on a
: computer screen makes it somehow superior.  We also did not
: particularly like most software whose only innovation was a bit of
: hypertext capability (ie - click on a word, it gives you a definition
: of the word or takes you somewhere else in the document).  We do like
: software that uses the computer to do things which would be hard or
: impossible to do on paper.  We especially like simulations and other
: programs which let a student perform experiments.

: (1d)  What information we include about each piece of software we
: review

: We have tried to write three paragraphs about each piece of software
: weÕve seen.  The first paragraph gives our description of what the
: software does.  The second paragraph is a short review of the software.
:  The third paragraph gives information on how to get the software, and
: approximate price range if we know it.  In the price range, Free means
: free, Low means $100 or less, and High means more than $100.  These are
: by no means gauranteed to be accurate.

: We have NOT class tested most of this software, so the reviews are
: based on our impressions as students and teachers.  In general, only
: one or two people have looked at each piece of software, and most
: titles have only been looked at by the author of this FAQ.  Because of
: this lack of class testing and the small number of reviewers, we have
: limited each review to a single short paragraph which states what we
: see as the strengths and weaknesses of the package, and our gut feeling
: about how useful we think it is.  We hope that this short review will
: help users of this document to decide what software they are
: interesting in looking for on their own, but do not intend it as an
: authoritative statement on the value of the software.  Also note that
: we have in essence given favorable reviews to all software included
: here, since quite a bit of software was left off this list (well over
: 50% of what we looked at is not on here).

: If someone other than the author of this FAQ contributed to a review,
: their initials are given next to the software title.

: (1e)  How to submit software for inclusion on this list

: We welcome new software, and will be happy to include it in the list if
: it meets our criteria as discussed above in (1c).  However, there are a
: couple conditions.

: (I)  We will only accept software for review from the authors or
: publishers of the software, or on an original store-bought disk with
: the manual.  This does not mean that others cannot tell us about
: software theyÕve used and liked.  We really want to hear about software
: from everyone, and if you inform us of a piece of software and tell us
: how to get ahold of it, we will do our best to get a copy and look at
: it.  However, to protect us from copyright problems, virus problems,
: etc., we would rather only receive software from the actual authors, or
: from anonymous ftp sites if the software is in the public domain.  When
: cost is a factor, we may review demo versions of software instead of
: the full package.

: (II)  We prefer reviewing real copies of a piece of software, rather
: than a demo version, and if we have only seen a demo version then we
: will mention this in our review.

: (III)  We prefer receiving software on a diskette.  We also would like
: to see a manual, or any other documentation which exists.  The
: documentation can be included as a file on the disk, if you prefer, in
: either ASCII, Microsoft Word, or Wordperfect formats (UNIX software can
: have documentation in standard unix formats).  If you want to send
: software to us via the network, please inform us beforehand that you
: plan to send us something.  For our protection, we may still request
: something in writing stating that you are the author (or at least a
: phone number).

: (IV)  We would also welcome contributions from people outside the group
: here at UW.  If you would like to submit a review for this FAQ, please
: write it in the form of the other descriptions here, and send it to us
: with some indication of how you have used the software and what your
: qualification is to review it (it doesnÕt have to be very high, but
: weÕd like to know).  If we are satisfied that it is a fair description
: of the program, then weÕll include it in the next release of the FAQ. 
: We will also try to get ahold of a copy of the program ourselves to
: look at.

: (2)  Resources for information on biology education software

: (2a)  BioQuest

: This is a consortium of software developers and educators which have
: gotten together to produce a CD full of really good biology education
: software.  Many of their programs are described in this document, and
: you can get fuller descriptions of their programs by getting their
: Intro_to_BioQuest hypercard stack off of the internet.  Before putting
: a piece of software on their CD, they subject it to a pretty rigorous
: peer review process, and make sure its been tested in many classrooms. 
: I think that this is some of the best stuff out there, and well worth
: the price (which is quite cheap - under $100 last time I checked for
: all of their programs for a single user, more expensive for a site
: license).

: In addition to software, the BioQuest group has developed a whole
: philosophy of education, which they use to guide their development and
: selection of educational software.  This philosophy revolves around the
: three PÕs - Problem-posing, Problem-solving, and peer-Pursuasion.  They
: describe this philosophy better than I can here, so IÕll let you get
: ahold of it yourself.  ItÕs well worth reading their material, even if
: you donÕt end up using their software.

: To get the Intro_to_BioQuest hypercard stack, look in:

: To order the BioQuest CD, send email to asdg at umdd.umd.edu, or write to
: 		Academic Software Development Group
: 		Computer Science Center
: 		University of Maryland
: 		College Park, MD 20742
: For information, you can write to BioQuest at beloit.edu

: (2b)  CTI Centre for Biology

: This is a gopher site which you can access with mosaic that includes
: reviews of some 650 pieces of software for teaching biology.  The
: reviews are pretty short, saying the name of the software, the
: distrributor, what types of computer it works on, and giving a short
: paragraph of description.  There is also a warning at the beginning
: that the information has not been kept up to date since 1991, although
: there are reviews of software that have come out since then.  The big
: advantage to this database is that it is the most comprehensive of any
: weÕve seen - over 650 products are listed - so it might be a good place
: to start a search.

: Get there using Mosaic - its at Liverpool University Computer Science
: gopher site in the UK.

: (2c)  NECUSE Biology Software Reviews

: This is a book of biology software descriptions and reviews, with more
: information than whatÕs included here.  The 1994 version covers almost
: 50 titles.  The reviews are organized by topic, with various indexes in
: the back.  Along with information such as author, supplier, cost,
: computer system, etc., is a short description of the program, a set of
: poor/good/excellent grades for a number of criteria, and a synopsis of
: the programs strengths and weaknesses.  There is also an extensive list
: of videodisks in the back, with just one line of description and a
: price and supplier.

: To get this book, write to Carol Ann Paul at Wellesley College, or
: Graham Kent at Smith College (Dept. of Biological Sciences, Smith
: College, Northampton, MA 01063).

: (2d)  Quarterly Review of Biology

: The Quarterly Review of Biology is one of the few sources for academic
: reviews of software interesting to biologists.  Each issue includes a
: few software reviews, not all of educational software, but quite a few
: are.  The reviews are generally written by an expert in the field, and
: are pretty good.

: (3)  Ecology and Evolution Software

: (3a)  Biota

: This program lets you play around with differential equation models in
: ecology.  It is very different, however, than some of the other ecology
: programs listed here in that it lets you mix and match classical
: ecological equations with each other to make systems of equations. 
: This works as follows.  You can have up to 10 different species and/or
: ecosystem components.  Each species has an equation which governs its
: growth and death, for instance exponential, logistic, lotka-volterra,
: and so on.  You may also add in interactions between the species, such
: as specifying one of the species as a predator on another one, again
: governed by classical differential or differencce equations.  Each
: equation has a set of parameters that you can set.  You then run the
: models and watch population sizes over time of each species.  You can
: also sample the populations using a couple of sampling techniques, and
: you can specify that the sampling include error to simulate real life
: sampling.

: In addition, the program lets you add in a spatial component to the
: models, by having separate populations of each species in distinct
: spatial areas.  You can have up to 200+ spatial areas, and in each one
: you can independently specify starting conditions.  You can then
: specify how migration will occur between each pair of cells for each
: species cells.  The program will give you separate population size
: graphs for each area when you run the model, so you can look at
: metapopulation dynamics, island biogeography, etc..

: The user interface for Biota is particularly well-designed, given the
: complexity of the program, and lets you easily change equations and
: parameters through pop-up menus, dialogs, and maps of the different
: areas.  Because of the ability to mix and match equations, species, and
: areas, you should be able to use this program to design and play with
: models demonstrating many concepts, from simple population growth
: models to moresophisticated concepts involving space and several
: interacting species.  Nevertheless, I would be hesitant to use this in
: an introductory class, because despite the nice user interface the
: level of understanding you need to figure out whatÕs going is still
: fairly high.  There are a lot of equations and interactions to keep
: track of, and you need to understand these at least superficially to be
: able to play with parameters, and interpret the graphs of population
: size in light of those parameters.  Building new models that are stable
: is also not trivial.  So I think this program would best be used in
: more advanced ecology courses, where either you want students to be
: able to play with models but donÕt want to use a full-blown modelling
: program such as Stella or Mathematica, or you want to be able to play
: with spatially-explicit models.

: Computer:  Macintosh

: Source:  BioQuest     asdg at umdd.umd.edu    or see address above under
: Resources.

: Cost:  Low (single user) / High (site license)

: (3b)  Environmental Decision Making

: These are a series of three modules built around a crippled version of
: a program called Extend.  Extend seems to be a program somewhat like
: Stella (see review).  Using the version of Extend included, you can run
: three different models, one of a grasslands ecosystems with fires, a
: second looking at logging, and a third looking at fishing.  Each model
: has functional blocks representing things like trees, fire, logging
: effort, and cash.  You are asked to connect the blocks together to make
: ecosystems, and then to connect these ecosystems to human management
: systems.  The manual takes you through this process step-by-step.  You
: can then play with changing selected parameters of each block, and
: running the model to see what happens to population sizes (or the
: equivelant variable) in each component of the system over time.  The
: authors of these models want students to focus on the process of model
: building, and how you calibrate and use models, rather than on the
: models themselves, so all the parameters for each block are easily
: available to be played with, and the equations connecting the blocks
: are not shown from within the program.

: The models which the authors have developed are nice, and should be
: useful in a course looking at the interactions between people and
: ecosystems.  The software makes it fairly easy to change parameters and
: add and remove links between things, though there are a lot of
: extraneous tools and commands that could potentially confuse
: non-computer literate students.  However, in more than an introductory
: class, or if the instructor would like to modify these models instead
: of using them as is, then I think it would be better to go with a
: full-blown modelling program such as Stella, or perhaps the full
: version of Extend.

: Computer:  Macintosh

: Source:  BioQuest     asdg at umdd.umd.edu    or see address above under
: Resources.

: Cost:  Low (single user) / High (site license)

: (3c)  Evolve

: This is a population genetics simulator.  It simulates evolution in a
: two-allele system, with natural selection, genetic drift, and gene
: flow.  You can set separate survival and reproductive rates for each
: genotype per generation, number of immigrants of each genotype,
: percentage of each genotype which emigrates,  and to simulate
: evolutionary bottlenecks and genetic drift you can set a maximum
: population size, after which the population crashes down to a lower
: population size (by randomly killing individuals of all genotypes). 
: You can also use one set of parameters for a certain number of
: generations, then change the parameters and continue running the model,
: simulating environmental variability.  The main interface to the
: program is a graph window where you can choose to plot the frequencies
: of each of the genotypes in the population, the allele frequencies, the
: population sizes of each genotype, and/or the total population size. 
: All of these results and more are also shown in a table at the bottom
: of the window.  To facilitate comparisons between the results from
: different parameters settings, you can run multiple trials and plot one
: trial on top of another.  All the parameters are set within a single
: dialog box.

: This program is quite nicely laid out, with a lot of information and
: controls put into a single window and a single dialog box in a way that
: makes them both easy to access and not too confusing.  I expect that
: students would need a few minutes to figure out the what they were
: looking at, but once you get comfortable with it then the program is
: very easy to use.  The program is flexible enough to do a most
: evolution experiments you could think of doing with a two alleles at a
: single locus.  The manual is clear and well written, and includes
: exercises to get students started.  This program should be useful from
: introductory through advanced undergraduate genetics and evolution
: courses, especially in courses which plan to make somewhat extensive
: use of computer simulations (say more than one or two hours).

: Computer:  Macintosh

: Source:  BioQuest     asdg at umdd.umd.edu    or see address above under
: Resources.

: Cost:  Low (single user) / High (site license)

: (3d)	PopGen

: This is a simple population genetics simulation.  There are two modes,
: one a simulation of evolution at a single locus, and one a quantitative
: simulation mode.  In each mode, the program puts up two windows, one
: containing a graph and the other with a series of slide bars
: controlling the parameters of the model.  For the single locus mode,
: the graph shows the percentage of the alleles which are of type A
: (there are only two alleles) over time.  Parameters include the size of
: the starting population, the initial percentage of A alleles, the
: selective fitness of each allele combination, the mutation rates
: between alleles, and various types of migration between populations (up
: to eight populations can be run simultaneously).  The quantitative mode
: shows the changes in mean values of two quantitative characters over
: time, also with a set of parameters that you can change.

: This program is simple and straightforward to use.  The only complaints
: I had were that the slide bars are a little clumsier than most
: macintosh slide bars, and the parameters are sometimes not erased and
: redrawn properly.  You should also know some population genetics before
: sitting down with this program, as there is no help onscreen and the
: manual is very short and doesnÕt provide any sort of tutorial.  But
: these are not fatal flaws, and this program should be quite useful for
: students to play with these simple population genetics models and see
: how changing different parameters changes the outcome.  You might also
: look at Evolve, which has similar goals but is a little more extensive
: (though it doesnÕt include the quantitative mode).

: Computer:  Macintosh

: Source:  evolution.genetics.washington.edu (,  in 
: /pub/popgen

: Cost:  Free

: (3e)  Energy Flow Stella Stack

: This program puts you in charge of managing Silver Springs, an
: ecosystem which includes primary producers, herbivores, predators, top
: predators and decomposers, as well as tourists which throw scraps of
: bread to the herbivores.  Your job is to keep the population of top
: predators at a certain value for 5 years, by regulating the number of
: tourists who are allowed in per year.  You are first introduced to the
: model by watching it get built on the screen.  You are then told your
: goal of regulating top predators, and asked to make a predication about
: the population size of the top predators over the next five years (you
: both draw a graph of what you think population size / time will look
: like, and write down how you intend to accomplish this).  You can
: adjust the starting populations of each component in the ecosystem, and
: the number of tourists.  As the model runs, it gives you feedback about
: how well youÕre doing, and you can continually adjust the number of
: tourists to try to regulate the population.  At the end, you get plots
: of population size over time for each component of the model, and the
: top predator plot is overlayed on your prediction, so you can see both
: how well you did and how well you predicted what would happen.  

: This program was designed to be simple to use, and takes students
: step-by step through the exercise.  It shares a common interface with
: all of KeslerÕs programs (see Enzyme Kinetics for a more complete
: description).  It has the problem of running a little too fast on a
: fast computer, but other than that works quite well.  The exercise is a
: little simplistic, and will not challenge more advanced students. 
: However, for introductory ecology or conservation biology classes, this
: program should be quite useful, and should easily work in a one hour
: lab or discussion period.

: Computer:  Macintosh, also needs Hypercard 2.2 (wonÕt work with
: Hypercard player).

: Source:  David Kesler, Rhodes College.   email:  KESLER at ns.rhodes.edu

: Cost:  Free

: (3f)  Island Biogeography StellaStack

: This is a simple demonstration of the theory of island biogeography. 
: It gives a short introduction to the theory with the requisite three
: graphs showing effects of distance from mainland and size of islands,
: then lets the student play with a simple model of species colonization
: and extinction, where you can adjust the distance of an island from the
: mainland and the size of the island, let the model run for some preset
: amount of time, then look at graphs of number of species, colonization,
: extinction and turnover rates over time.  At the end are a series of
: questions about the results from the model, with the option to go back
: and rerun the model to check your answers.

: This program is very simple to use, and takes you step-by-step through
: the whole exercise.  It shares a common interface with all of KeslerÕs
: programs (see Enzyme Kinetics for a more complete description).  The
: program does not contain a full description of island biogeography and
: its implications, and so would be most useful as a supplement to a
: lecture or reading on the topic.  In addition, it is very simplistic,
: and would not be useful as more than a reinforcement of the concept.
: for introductory students.

: Computer:  Macintosh, also needs Hypercard 2.2 (wonÕt work with
: Hypercard player).

: Source:  David Kesler, Rhodes College.   email:  KESLER at ns.rhodes.edu

: Cost:  Free

: (3g)  Max. Sustainable Yield Stella Stack

: This program lets students try to harvest fish using two different
: harvesting strategies, fixed quotas, and variable effort, using a very
: simplistic model.  There are several screens of introductory material
: which discuss fixed quota and variable effort harvesting strategies,
: using graphs of population size vs. recruitment to show how each of
: these work.  You can then try each of these strategies out on a model
: of a fish population.  The model is of logistic growth, with the
: parameters of the growth fixed.  Before running the model, you can set
: the initial population size, and either the amount harvested per year
: (fixed quota) or the rate of harvesting (variable effort).  You are
: asked to make a graphical prediction of the population size over time,
: given your initial conditions.  After running the model, you can see
: the simulated population size over time superimposed on top of your
: prediction.  When you are done playing with the model, you can read
: several questions about the resource management strategies you just
: played with.

: This program would work best after students have been introduced to
: some theory on population growth (ie. what a population size vs.
: recruitment rate graph shows) and harvesting strategies.  The program
: itself is simple to use, and shares a common interface with KeslerÕs
: other programs (see Enzyme Kinetics for a description).  One problem
: with this program is that the model has no probabalistic elements in
: it, and so if you pick the right values, both harvesting strategies
: work just as well.  Without chance, you have to play around and imagine
: for yourself that chance was acting to see the greater risk inherant in
: harvesting by quota than by a variable effort strategy.  There is also
: no graph of amount harvested per year, so you cannot look at how
: efficient your harvesting strategy is.  However, the program works as a
: very basic introduction to these concepts, and may be useful in
: introductory ecology or conservation biology classes which discuss
: management.

: Computer:  Macintosh, also needs Hypercard 2.2 (wonÕt work with
: Hypercard player).

: Source:  David Kesler, Rhodes College.   email:  KESLER at ns.rhodes.edu

: Cost:  Free

: (3h)  Carbon Cycle Stella Stack

: This program demonstrates the basic parts of the global carbon cycle
: through the use of a simple model.  The model includes five sources,
: and two sinks of carbon.  The sources are burning fossil fuels,
: decomposing of organic matter, respiration, net destruction of
: vegetation, and carbon escaping from the oceans.  The sinks are gross
: primary productivity and the oceans.  The student is introduced to
: these through a picture of all the sources and sinks, with small
: explanations of each.  The student is given the mission of keeping
: global atmospheric carbon dioxide below 720 e15 grams, by adjusting
: each of the sinks and sources.  Before running the model, you are asked
: to make a graphical description of what you think the CO2 level will be
: over the 5 years that the model is run.  You can then run the model,
: and at the end of each run look at a graph of the CO2 level over time
: in the simulation, and see how this compares to your prediction.  There
: are also a series of short explanation of the effects of changing each
: of the variables.

: This program works nicely as a simple introduction to the sources and
: sinks of carbon dioxide in the world, and their relative magnitudes. 
: It is also a nice introduction to how modelling of this sort is done. 
: The user is guided through the steps in the exercise using an easy to
: understand interface that is the same as that in KeslerÕs other
: programs (see Enzyme kinetics for description).  Since these C02 models
: are in the news a lot as part of the debate on the greenhouse effect, 
: the content of the program should be interesting to students in a
: variety of introductory classes.  I see a potential problem, however,
: if the teacher does not make it clear that this is only a caricature of
: how the real world works (especially since the model is so simple, and
: doesnÕt include connections even between the variables which exist such
: as vegetation destruction and GPP), and would also want to make clear
: that while you can change things in the model such as CO2 flux into and
: out of the oceans, GPP, etc., in real life there are no slide bars on
: these things.  Still, if the teacher makes these points, the program
: should serve as a good integrater and solidifier of both how a nutrient
: cycles on a global basis, and some of the variables involved in the
: debate on the greenhouse effect.

: Computer:  Macintosh, also needs Hypercard 2.2 (wonÕt work with
: Hypercard player).

: Source:  David Kesler, Rhodes College.   email:  KESLER at ns.rhodes.edu

: Cost:  Free

: (3i)  Population Momentum Stella Stack

: This program explores how the worldÕs human population grows.  After a
: short introduction on population growth and U.N. predictions of this
: growth, the program presents you with a model of an age-structured
: population.  The population has 11 categories, including three
: pre-reproductive ages, four reproductive ages, and four
: post-reproductive ages.  You can set the number of individuals in each
: class, and an overall reproductive rate for the population.  You are
: asked to predict how the population will grow over time by drawing a
: graph of this growth, which you can then compare to the output you get
: after running the model.  As you run the model the population structure
: is shown changing in a horizontal bar graph (the classical
: representation of population structure).  At the end are several
: questions about the results of the model, with the option of going back
: and rerunning the simulation to answer them.  The thrust of the
: introductory text and the questions is that even with just a
: replacement rate of reproduction, the human population can grow quite a
: bit before reaching equilibrium.

: The program is very simple to use, and takes you step-by-step through
: the exercise.  The interface is similar to the other programs by this
: author (see Enzyme Kinetics for a description), and works well.  This
: program would make a good one hour lab in an introductory course which
: talks about human population growth.  You may, however, want to look at
: the BioQuest program Demography, which is a more flexible program also
: looking at human population dynamics.

: Computer:  Macintosh, also needs Hypercard 2.2 (wonÕt work with
: Hypercard player).

: Source:  David Kesler, Rhodes College.   email:  KESLER at ns.rhodes.edu

: Cost:  Free

: Eli Meir
: Dept of Zoology, Univ of Washington
: meir at zoology.washington.edu

KOECHL ROBERT                |The mind is like a parachute-             
robert at dipl1-iwi.uibk.ac.at  |it only works when it's open...

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