February 4th Today we had some instruction in command-line commands and building computers by Joel and Trey respectively. We learned about how computers work and how to use commands for the command-line. After lunch we gave our presentation and saw some presentations from the other groups. Our presentation went pretty well and we were able to show all of the work that we had been doing with my model over the past few weeks.
January 28th In the morning of this day I worked on my modeling project. Unfortunatly, my partner Chase was not able to attend this day. I was still able to get the excel model done and the NetLogo model to almost be done. It turns out that there was less left to do than I had prevously thought. I started to work on the presentation website but I wasn't able to get very far because HTML is not one of my strengths. In the second half I listened to the presentations of the people that were done.
January 21st This day was split into two parts. The first part was working on our model: we were able to get most of the mechanics of the rain and the ground to work properly. We also started a little on the Excel model. Whenever Chase was working on a part of the model that was time consuming but didn't take much thought, I would work of the Excel model, and vice-versa. In the second part of the class, we learned about probability with a staff member. We learned about how to evaluate probability problems, and then thought about a difficult problem involving a man who takes random steps to the right or left and if he goes to far to one side, he loses. The method of solving this is very interesting.
January 14th Today I started a new modeling project with Chase. The goal of this project to model the water cycle in a farmer's field. The water starts in a cloud, rains down and then can evaporate back up. Even after using some NetLogo during the break I still had much to learn: almost permanently either Chase's or my screen was open to the NetLogo help guide. Towards the end of the day we started to get a better understanding of the language.
Break During the break I tried to work a little with NetLogo, another agent modeling program. I had used the program a little earlier but had forgotten much of the language. I tried to remake my model from December 3 in NetLogo. I was able to make the model compute the cities' population and sick population the way I wanted to, but the sickness did not spread in the right way.
December 17thToday I worked with Chase to make a model of disease that was very different from the one we were given on December 3. In this new model each square represented a city which had its own variables of sick and healthy population. People could leave cities and travel to others and spread the disease. Unfortuatly, the large numbers reached by the large amount of agents caused the program to have errors so it could not run. It was a difficult task because it was very different from the other models we looked at in the previous days.
December 10th On this day we used modeling tools inside of Microsoft Excel to make a model similar to the model that we made the previous week. There was no randomness in the excel model: instead everything was done by formula in iterations down the columns. We made a graph of the data generated by the Excel model and the one generated by the Agentsheets model. We also made some slider bars to adjust variables to get a closer fit to the Agentsheets model. It seems that Excel is a powerful tool for making systems models, which have less randomness, but load much faster, and that having to kinds of a model is very helpful.
December 3rd Today, we started to work on modeling with a simple model of the spreading of infection using a program called agentsheets which used a system of modeling called 'Agent based modeling', which uses each agents that can carry out tasks indivually. In our model, one sick and 600 healthy people started on a background. The healty people could become sick, and the sick people could recover. We looked at the data from the model in excel and used several ways to show the data, including histograms. Usually the diseases had two peaks: one for failures and one when the the disease caused an epidemic.
November 19th This day was divided into two parts. In the morning, we went over a lesson called 'How do you know' with Dr. Panoff. We learned about the ways that we can prove things, and how we don't absolutely know anything. We learned about how computers also do not always give the 100% correct answer based on the way they work; for example, a computer is incabable of dividing by 0.2, because no such number exists in binary. Not having known this, it would be easy to make an error in a program and have it not work. Afterwards, we had a presentation on "office ethics" and how to act at Shodor: what to do, what not to do, etc.
November 11th This day was a day to work on my website. I received the requirements for the website, and was directed to a tutorial for HTML. The tutorial website directed me throught creating a website and its three pages. After that tutorial was completed, there was another covering CSS that allowed changing color, styling and placement. For the last part of the class, I added some content to the blog page and started editing some of the pages. I started writing down how some other ideas for making my page more interesting; for example, only having the blog entries appear when they are clicked on or hovered over and being otherwise hidden. I also thought of some ideas for graphics to decorate my website.
November 5th This was the first day of the Shodor apprenticeship program. I was introduced to the program and went over the apprenticeship program handbook. That handbook contained expectations and other information for this program. Afterwards, I learned how to use several of the tools that are going to be used in the duration of the aprenticeship program, including reflections and Shodor mail. Later, we learned about unix commands: how to change directories, create files, and use vim, a simple text editor. We also went over how to access Shodor files from a home computer.