Kathryn Adee

Math Tank

Underwater math creatures compete for springy dominance in this virtual ecosystem.


The Nature of Code Studio

What happens when you take some indecisive coral, a few pernicious sine wave predators, and a big heard of springy shrimp and drop them into one luxurious math tank? These self conflicted springy creatures will either settle into a sustainable food web, or wipe themselves out with their overconsumption.

Math Tank, built with Processing and ToxicLibs combines simple physics, probability, steering behaviors, and genetic algorithms to create a series of creatures with distinctive personalities, wants, and needs. A user can chose the rules for the system and then watch it run. Adding too many, or too few creatures to any of the niches will undoubtedly affect the outcomes. Peaceful coexistence or a survivor series? You decide.

Target Audience is predominantly young students. Hopefully these creatures will teach them that math not only be fun, but also help generate beautiful forms. There are also lessons in ecology,the concepts of food webs and population numbers in particular.

User Scenario
Math tank will be displayed on a computer screen, and the user will chose initial population of each creature with their mouse on the start screen. They will click "go" and see how their scenario plays out.
There can also be an passive mode where math tank acts as a virtual fish tank without user interaction.

Processing with ToxicLibs

I learned that complicated interactions can be expressed simply with code, and that simple interactions can be more complicated than one thinks.