BUGBOX Mathematical Modeling Simulations

BUGBOX software is for inquiry-based learning of mathematical modeling for population dynamics. The software creates a virtual laboratory space inhabited by virtual insects. Students conduct experiments and devise mathematical models to predict the experiment results. To use either BUGBOX program, download and unpack the zip file. Double-click on the exe file to start the program.

In BUGBOX-predator, students do experiments to find a relationship between prey density and consumption by one predator. [Version 1.1 posted on 5/27/2008.]

In BUGBOX-population, students observe the changes in the insect population to discover aspects of the insects' life cycle. They can construct a simple linear difference equation model, using their observations to estimate the parameter values. Four different scenarios give a sequence of increasing complexity. This folder includes two Excel spreadsheets--a template that can be used by students for simulations and a completed spreadsheet that produces the plots for the paper on BUGBOX_population that will appear in the New York State Mathematics Teachers Journal.

"Boxbugs" is an introduction to the virtual world of BUGBOX_population.

Everyone is welcome to use BUGBOX for their courses. I would just appreciate an email to let me know.


BUGBOX_predator_1.1 was written in python 2, with extensive use of the pygame and pgu packages, and converted into an executable using py2exe. Python 2 is now outdated, and neither pygame nor pgu are well supported any more. BUGBOX_population_2.0 was written in python 3, with the built-in tkinter GUI package, and converted into a windows executable using cx_Freeze. The py2exe package has only recently been updated for python 3.