Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

Concept mapping as a creative tool

Posted 02 Nov 2012 / 2

If your brain is anything like mine, thoughts pretty much constantly race across it. As I consume media — especially media designed to inform — these thoughts intensify. As I read or listen or watch, my brain makes rapid connections between the new ideas I can recognize in the media I am consuming and the old Read More

A Major Post, Art & Design, Concept Mapping, Lesson Ideas, MSCI-160, Great Adventures in Evolution, Neuroscience, Pratt Institute

Online tools for teaching the basics of population growth

Posted 08 Sep 2011 / 5

WARNING: Unfortunately, the applets that I discuss below (“Otherwise”) no longer meet Java security specifications. As a result, they won’t work on computers with the most updated version of Java. Please see the other tools listed in the Comments section below as alternatives. I am still searching for the perfect user-friendly package to teach about Read More

Carrying Capacity, Ecological Modeling, Educational Software and Apps, Lesson Ideas, MSCI-270, Ecology, Population Growth, Teaching Tools

Easy-IPD version 1.0 released!

Posted 27 May 2011 / 3

After a full semester of development, including a round of in-classroom testing with real live Pratt undergraduates, I am proud to announce the release of the Easy Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma (Easy-IPD) interface, a free web-based teaching tool that allows students to experiment with this influential model of behavior. You can check out a slideshow of Read More

Cooperation, Easy Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma, Economics, Evolution Education, Game Theory, Lesson Ideas, Political Science, Reciprocity, Sociology, Teaching Tools

Computer-Based Tools for Teaching about Robert Axelrod’s Prisoner’s Dilemma Tournaments

Posted 20 Jan 2011 / 7

In a recent posting I discussed the book The Evolution of Cooperation by Robert Axelrod [1, 2]. The book chronicles Axelrod’s work in the 1980’s to understand the dynamics of the Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma (IPD), which is perhaps the most well-known of game theory constructs. Axelrod’s work is important because it points out how rich Read More

Cooperation, Easy Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma, Educational Software and Apps, Evolution Education, Evolutionary Modeling, Game Theory, Individual-based Models, Lesson Ideas, Reciprocity, Spatially Explicit Modeling, System Stability, Teaching, Teaching Tools

Sourcing sources of selection

Posted 25 Sep 2010 / 1

One of the most difficult challenges that my non-major students face is gaining access to the scientific process. Although almost all of my students have been given some version of the “scientific method”, very few of them have any real sense of how to go about assessing the validity of claims that “sound scientific”. Of Read More

Adaptation, Coevolution, Ecology Education, Evolution Education, Lesson Ideas, MSCI-270, Ecology, Teaching

Teaching evolution and game theory, simultaneously

Posted 09 Sep 2010 / 3

I just started a new semester of The Evolution of Cooperation, a class that I taught for the first time in the Fall of 2008 and was shelved for a couple of years while I worked on developing other new courses. Now I am excited to get back to the initial framework I laid out Read More

Cooperation, Evolution, Evolution Education, Game Theory, Lesson Ideas, MSCI-463, The Evolution of Cooperation

Moving away from textbooks

Posted 24 May 2010 / 1

As a professor charged with teaching science at an institution where there are no science majors, I cannot avoid thinking about how to make material accessible to my students. I don’t think that this is a bad thing. From my experience as a graduate student at a big research university, it seems that most professors Read More

A Major Post, Course Readings, Ecology Education, Learning Management Systems, Lesson Ideas, Teaching, Textbooks