Joe received a BS in interdisciplinary mathematics with a computer science option from the University of New Hampshire in 1988. He was a Peace Corps volunteer math teacher in Kenya in 1989 and 1990. He taught middle school mathematics from 1999 to 2004 and covered such topics as the Game of Life, the game of Go, simple L-systems, the POV-Ray tracer, and simple Perl programming. He built a 20 sided house in rural Vermont in 2000. Joe presently runs Triangulus, a web development and data analysis company. His favorite languages are Swahili and Perl.
Project: Middle School Introduction to NKS, Complex Systems, and Cellular Automata
The project has two goals: first, to provide examples of NKS concepts integrated into Vermont’s Framework of Standards and Learning Opportunities at the middle school level, and second, to stimulate discussion in the NKS community about the simplest concepts underlying NKS and how they are best illustrated.
Sample questions and exercises are provided, outlining NKS topics such as L-Systems and Wolfram’s ECAs, and specific sections of the Framework of Standards are referenced with each exercise or sample question. Attempts are made to get as much creative student input and hands-on activity into the process, as this is especially appreciated by students at the middle school level. Many of the exercises are based on successful lessons and concepts that have already been tried and tested (and enjoyed by students).
Favorite Four-Color Totalistic Cellular Automaton