Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

A cool (new-ish) IPD game theory simulator!

Posted 25 Oct 2018 / 0

Back in 2011, I worked with a talented Pratt Digital Arts graduate student name Jean Ho Chu to create a flash-based game that allowed players to explore Robert Axelrod’s seminal iterated prisoner’s dilemma simulations. I think that our game was pretty valuable, mostly thanks to Jean’s many innovative graphic and interactive creations. But culture ratchets Read More

A Minor Post, Cooperation, Educational Software and Apps, Game Theory, Teaching Tools

Humans arrive, other mammals shrink

Posted 27 Sep 2018 / 0

Scientific American “Mammals Shrink When Humans Migrate In” Another really cool infographic from Scientific American. What I really find interesting here is the difference between the recent arrival of humans (Australia, the Americas) and places where humans just innovated culturally (Africa, Eurasia). Those large mammals species that coevolved with our emergence as a highly-cultural species seem Read More

A Minor Post, Anthropogenic Change, Articles, Conservation Biology, Evolution, Extinction, Human Evolution, Mammals, Natural Selection

What might we discover in the ocean twilight zone?

Posted 30 Aug 2018 / 0

Science “What lives in the ocean’s twilight zone? New technologies might finally tell us” We tend to think that there’s nothing unexplored on the earth, that we know what kinds of organisms inhabit different ecosystems. So it’s pretty striking that there’s a whole area of the ocean that we know so little about. The scientific challenges Read More

A Minor Post, Articles, Biodiversity Loss, Climate Change, Fluidity of Knowledge, Marine Ecosystems, Sustainability

Can a realistically-parameterized model tell us why our brains are so big?

Posted 30 Aug 2018 / 0

Nature “Sizing up human brain evolution” Nature “Inference of ecological and social drivers of human brain-size evolution” This is an interesting study that I simultaneously think is really cool and has some major flaws. What’s cool about this study is that it trys to get at this question with a model that’s (reasonably) constrained by observed parameter Read More

A Minor Post, Allometries, Articles, Brain size, Cognitive Ability, Evolution, Human Evolution, Individual-based Models, Modeling (General), Neuroscience, Uncategorized

Alan Rabinowitz, 1953-2018

Posted 07 Aug 2018 / 0

Photo of Alan Rabinowitz speaking in 2010 courtesy of Kris Krüg via Wikimedia Commons It was with great sadness that I learned that Alan Rabinowitz died of cancer on August 5th. There’s a great tribute to him on the National Geographic site: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2018/08/alan-rabinowitz-big-cat-champion-news/ A Brooklyn-born kid who used frequent Bronx Zoo visits to overcome a severe stuttering Read More

A Minor Post, Activism, Conservation Biology, Felids, Obituary, Population Genetics, Web

My entry on the evolution of play will be added to the massive Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Posted 24 Jul 2018 / 0

I have been in a bit of a publication lull for the last few years. It isn’t that I haven’t been engaged in a variety of scholarly activities, it is just that it has been awhile since any of them have reached the publication phase. I am hoping that things will begin to pick up Read More

A Major Post, Adaptation, Behavior, Behavioral Ecology, Communication, Cooperation, Emotion, Empathy, Evolution, Evolutionary Psychology, Human Evolution, MSCI-261, The Evolution of Play, My publications, Periodicals, Play, Psychological Adaptation

PBS’ Deep Look on Firefly communication and deception

Posted 11 Mar 2018 / 0

These Deep Look shorts are really well-produced! This one gives us a beautiful view into the luminescent courtship and predatory deception of various species of fireflies.

A Minor Post, Adaptation, Behavior, Behavioral Ecology, Coevolution, Communication, Film, Television, & Video, Predation, Sex and Reproduction, Sexual Selection

Deep Look on nutrient transport by salmon

Posted 09 Oct 2017 / 0

I have taught about the importance of nutrient transport by salmon in my Ecology course before, using an old Scientific American article. But this video is amazing. The footage of the salmon spawning and of blowfly maggots devouring a salmon carcass are phenomenal. A great teaching tool for talking about how community ecology drives nutrient Read More

A Minor Post, Decomposition, Ecology, Ecology Education, Film & Video, Film, Television, & Video, Freshwater Ecosystems, Keystone Species, MSCI-270, Ecology, Mutualism, Nutrient Cycling, Predation, Rivers & Streams, Temperate Forest

“Mount H-Index”: I never made it to base camp, and I have still had some great adventures

Posted 09 Oct 2017 / 0

The Chronicle of Higher Education “Rethinking the Scientific Career” What a fantastic article, one that feels very validating from the vantage-point of my own non-conventional scientific/academic career! I love the metaphor used here: academic science has been set up to honor those with summit fever, to the exclusion of those who might slow down and Read More

A Minor Post, Interdisciplinarity, Public Outreach, Publication, Science as a career, Web

Who was the first to catalog color? Hint: it wasn’t designers!

Posted 23 Sep 2017 / 0

Pantone color book image courtesy of Carlos Paes via Wikimedia Commons Allison Meier has a very illuminating short piece on where the Pantone color system came from: Hyperallergic “The Bird-Based Color System that Eventually Became Pantone“ What I find interesting about this history is the convergent need of people in vastly different areas of science Read More

A Minor Post, Art & Design, Birds, Methods, Science in Art & Design, Web