Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

Can mathematics save us from partisan Gerrymandering?

Posted 25 Oct 2018 / 0

Scientific American “Geometry versus Gerrymandering” This is a really well-written article that explains why it hasn’t been easy for mathematicians to contribute to a definition of Gerrymandering… and how using an old mathematical approach to attack the problem could provide clear benchmarks for defining a Gerrymander. I love when math and science can be brought as Read More

A Minor Post, Computer Science, Ethics, Mathematics, Science (General), Social Science

YES, microplastics end up in our guts. Now the question is from where? And to what effect?

Posted 22 Oct 2018 / 0

The New York Times “Microplastics Find Their Way Into Your Gut, a Pilot Study Finds” For those of us who have been aware of the quickly-emerging fields studying microplastic pollution, these results are far from surprising. I am in fact more surprised that this rather limited pilot study was the first of its kind. While Read More

A Minor Post, Environmental Justice, Health & Medicine, Pollution

How renewable power sources grow more trees

Posted 27 Sep 2018 / 0

Science “Climate model shows large-scale wind and solar farms in the Sahara increase rain and vegetation” These kinds of positive feedback loops are exciting. Generally, we are really good at creating deleterious positive feedback loops: changes that further exacerbate our environmental dilemmas. But as this modeling article demonstrates, careful re-engineering of our environment can create Read More

A Minor Post, Climate Change, Ecological Modeling, Ecological Restoration, Ecology, Modeling (General), Sustainable Energy

Scientific American drops special issue on “Science of Being Human”

Posted 20 Sep 2018 / 0

Scientific American just released a great special issue on The Science of Being Human. It’s one of those nicely-integrated issues that Scientific American has become really good at creaating: from the graphics to the flow of the article topics, everything fits together into a nice three-part structure that explores a diversity of issues surround human evolution and our resulting Read More

A Minor Post, Group Selection, Human Evolution, Human Nature, Human Uniqueness, Periodicals

Don’t blame people for being obese (blame their neighborhood)

Posted 06 Sep 2018 / 0

Science News “Artificial intelligence spots obesity from space” Wow, if you are the kind of person who tends to put a lot of stock in “personal responsibility”, maybe you don’t want to read the brief article above. Because it is an amazing piece of evidence that individual human behaviors are highly influenced by the environments that Read More

A Minor Post, Behavior, Environmental Justice, Gene by Environment Interactions, Health & Medicine, Urban Ecology, Urban Planning

Are corals riding ocean currents to exert climate change dominance over macroalgae?

Posted 06 Sep 2018 / 0

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences “Ocean currents and herbivory drive macroalgae-to-coral community shift under climate warming” What’s really interesting in this study is the interaction it discovered: climate change may change competitive dynamics, but it does so in the presence of other factors which also must be modeled in order to predict future competive Read More

A Minor Post, Climate Change, Ecological Modeling, Marine Ecosystems, Modeling (General), Spatially Explicit Modeling

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

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

I will present my EnviroAtlas class activities at NCSE 2018

Posted 04 Jan 2018 / 0

I guess that some people are really good at planning out where they are going with their careers, but for me serendipity seems to play a really big role. Rather than charting a particular course and then plotting my expedition from “now” to “future goal”, I seem to be more apt to catch a wave Read More

A Major Post, Conferences, Conservation Biology, Ecosystem Services, Environmental Justice, Geography, Higher Education, MSWI-270C, Ecology, Environment, & the Anthropocene, Sustainability, Sustainable Urban Design, Teaching, Teaching Tools