Alife in the Classrooms: An integrative Learning Approach

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The purpose of this contribution is to apply Alife systems (Artificial Life) to the integrative learning of computation, biology, mathematics and scientific epistemology (methods, practices...) in the classroom. Contemporary trends in Artificial Life and a deep interest in game theory are used to create several kinds of models, which are useful for day-to-day human practices, not just for scientific ones. Leisure activities such as computer games are an example of this. Using L-Systems (an automaton designed by Aristid Lindenmayer in 1968 to model cell development), students learn about the fractal nature of the natural world, introducing themselves to programming and to the new paradigm of e-Science; a collaborative and computational way to perform scientific activity. Creating these Alife worlds, students are introduced to virtual instruments and can also create hypertextual research strategies (working together with distant students from other places or countries). Our proposal fits well with contemporary theories about extended mind and human cognition, offering an easy and cheap computational way to learn e-Science (both contents and practices). © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-76
JournalStudies in Computational Intelligence
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2007


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