Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

Evolutionary Games Infographic Project: First “examples” matrices

Posted 21 Nov 2011 / 1

UPDATE: The images discussed below are now available for free use on the Evolutionary Games Infographic Project page. To complement the “conceptual” images we created to depict the Prisoner’s Dilemma, Hawk-Dove, and Stag Hunt games, Greg Riestenberg and I have been developing a series of “example” images showing how the payoffs of these games are produced Read More

A Major Post, Evolutionary Games Infographics, Game Theory, Information Design

Joel E. Cohen on the 7 billion human mark

Posted 04 Nov 2011 / 0

WNYC The Brian Lehrer Show “7 Billion and Counting“

A Minor Post, Carrying Capacity, Population Growth, Population Pressure

Martin Nowak and Roger Highfield’s “SuperCooperators”

Posted 03 Nov 2011 / 0

Martin Nowak has accomplished a lot for a mid-career scientist. His theoretical work exploring how cooperation evolves has illuminated the importance of a great number of evolutionary mechanisms. He has also been unafraid to tackle real-life problems of cooperation, including questions like “why do we get cancer?” and “how did language evolve?”. Nowak likes to Read More

Altruism, Books, Cooperation, Cultural Evolution, Ethics, Evolutionary Modeling, Game Theory, Group Selection, History, Human Evolution, Human Nature, Kin Selection, Language Evolution, Multilevel Selection, Mutualism, Punishment, Reciprocity, Religion, Superorganisms, Sustainability

Evolutionary Games Infographic Project: First images

Posted 31 Oct 2011 / Comments Off on Evolutionary Games Infographic Project: First images

UPDATE: The images discussed below are now available for free use on the Evolutionary Games Infographic Project page. This post described earlier versions of our “conceptual” evolutionary games infographics for the Prisoner’s Dilemma, Stag Hunt, and Hawk-Dove games. The latest versions of these images are posted here. Below are galleries showing these earlier versions: You can browse Read More

Evolutionary Games Infographics, Game Theory, Information Design, Teaching Tools

Howard Rheingold TED talk urges a global movement to study cooperation

Posted 21 Oct 2011 / 1

A few weeks ago I posted an aside about Howard Rheingold’s 6-week online course on cooperation theory. One of my questions about the course regarded how to assess Rheingold’s credentials to teach the course: he is not sanctioned by any university (although he does call what he does — modestly — “Rheingold U”), and there Read More

Altruism, Cooperation, Cultural Evolution, Evolution, Game Theory, Group Selection, Mutualism, Punishment, Reciprocity, Talks & Seminars, Web

Science in Art & Design: Justin Taylor’s “The Gospel of Anarchy”

Posted 07 Oct 2011 / 0

There are so many science books that I want to read that I frequently neglect to read fiction. This is too bad, because good fiction can be as rich with interesting hypotheses about human nature and evolution as any book illuminating evolutionary theory. Towards the end of thinking about how my field informs and can Read More

Books, Cooperation, Cultural Evolution, Evolutionary Psychology, Fiction, Group Selection, Happiness, Human Evolution, Human Nature, Multilevel Selection, Pratt Institute, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Science in Art & Design, Superorganisms

There’s Dirt Under Them Thar Sidewalks

Posted 30 Sep 2011 / 0

Sometimes I think that it is all too easy in New York City to forget one’s connection to natural systems: we have seemingly domesticated everything. Sewer systems replace rivers and streams, trees are methodically planted in evenly-spaced holes in the sidewalk, and every other surface is covered in asphalt and concrete. And yet when this Read More

Microbial Ecology, Soil Ecology, Urban Ecology

Costly signalling not so costly in the presence of comrades

Posted 23 Sep 2011 / 0

This month’s issue of PLoS Computational Biology contained an interesting article entitled “Signalling and the Evolution of Cooperative Foraging in Dynamic Environments“. Authored by Colin J. Torney, Andrew Berdahl, Iain D. Couzin (all of Princeton University), the article seeks to understand the ecological conditions under which costly signaling can evolve. Many animals emit signals to Read More

Altruism, Articles, Cooperation, Game Theory, Group Selection, Individual-based Models, Modeling (General), Reciprocity, Spatially Explicit Modeling

HOME, a documentary about the impacted Biosphere

Posted 18 Sep 2011 / 0

I just watched the video Home, a production of Yann Arthus-Bertrand and his Good Planet Foundation. Composed solely of high-quality panoramic images intensified by a soaring new-age soundtrack, the film provides viewers with a fairly comprehensive overview of the earth’s ecosystems and the challenges to the future health of these ecosystems posed by human industry. Read More

Anthropogenic Change, Biodiversity Loss, Biomes, Bogs & Wetlands, Carrying Capacity, Climate Change, Ecology, Ecology Education, Economics, Ecosystem Services, Environmental Justice, Ethics, Extinction, Film, Television, & Video, Food, Freshwater Ecosystems, Hunger, Mangrove Forests, Marine Ecosystems, Pollution, Population Pressure, Public Policy, Resource Consumption, Sustainability, System Stability, Taiga (Boreal Forest), Temperate Forest, Terrestrial, Tropical Forest, Tundra, Vegetarianism, Water Supply

Eco-mysticism in the Ecology Classroom, Discontinuity in Evolutionary Theory

Posted 17 Sep 2011 / 0

After many semesters teaching an introductory Ecology course to non-majors, I have gotten a pretty good sense of the misconceptions that they bring to the subject. Most students receive little or no high school education in ecology: the majority of secondary school biology curricula are still predominantly organismal in their approach, with ecology and maybe Read More

Ecology Education, Evolution, MSCI-270, Ecology, System Stability, Teaching