Today, Matt taught the students about NetLogo and the SIR (Susceptible, Infected, Recovered) model. He started out by explaining each part of NetLogo, beginning with the interface tab, where all of the buttons, sliders, graphs, and other visible parts of the model reside. Matt explained how some of these elements, such as the sliders, were tied to variables or methods and how other variables and methods existed only within the procedures tab.
Matt then moved on to the model itself. The model contains infected people, susceptible people, and recovered people. It shows a map of the locations of each agent and a graph of the numbers of each type of agent. We added each of these elements, as well as several sliders and start/pause/reset buttons, to the interface tab of NetLogo. From there, we moved to the back end (Procedures tab) and implemented what these buttons did: for instance, the 'Go' method told the turtles to check if they should be infected, then move randomly. The 'Setup' method was also important: it reset the screen and scattered sick and healthy people around the board to be run.
By the end of the class, the students had gained a basic understanding of NetLogo and of the SIR model itself, which will be useful for Tuesday, when they start programming that model in Java.