Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Turtles, Termites, and Traffic Jams: Explorations in Massively Parallel Microworlds” as Want to Read:
Turtles, Termites, and Traffic Jams: Explorations in Massively Parallel Microworlds
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Turtles, Termites, and Traffic Jams: Explorations in Massively Parallel Microworlds

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  142 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Mitchel Resnick's book is one of the very few in the field of computing with an interdisciplinary discourse that can reach beyond the technical community to philosophers, psychologists, and historians and sociologists of science."
-- Sherry Turkle, Professor, Program in Science, Technology, and Society, Massachusetts Institute of Technology "Resnick's work provides a rare
Paperback, 184 pages
Published January 22nd 1997 by Bradford Book (first published 1994)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Turtles, Termites, and Traffic Jams, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Turtles, Termites, and Traffic Jams

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  142 ratings  ·  9 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Turtles, Termites, and Traffic Jams: Explorations in Massively Parallel Microworlds
The Cambrian Cloud
Aug 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Overall a nice book though I am partial to the first half in which Resnick does an excellent job of describing how large numbers of simple agents, following simple rules are capable of self organizing so as to produce enormously complex interactions in nature. Classic examples of self organizing behavior are ants, termites, flocks of geese etc...The second half of the book is more specifically geared toward the development of experimental software capable of producing complex behaviors found in ...more
May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
In Turtles, Termites, and Traffic Jams, Resnick shares his experience and thoughts on engaging students in the development of their own understanding about systems, especially with the concepts of centralization, decentralization, and self-organization. Resnick developed a particular computer language (StarLogo) for this engagement and much of the book gives the basic commands and explanation of these programs which he or the students developed. Despite this emphasis, the book is much more than ...more
Charlie Whitney
Feb 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
Though StarLogo, the program in which much of the book takes place, is dated, the ideas are still very relevant and interesting to consider, perhaps even more so in the light of social media. The main point of the book revolves around the idea of a decentralization as a method of programming and understand behavior. How do lots of small autonomous creatures interact without a leader? I'd like to think that facebook and twitter users are more complex creatures than logo turtles, but for some reas ...more
Adrian Herbez
Oct 31, 2016 rated it liked it
I thought this book would be an exploration of complex systems, but that's not exactly what it was. Instead, it was more of an exploration of how to teach complex systems using programming tools.

If you've read much about complexity, many of the ideas here will be familiar, but it may have a good deal of value for educators looking for ideas on how to encourage students to think about decentralized systems.
Franck Chauvel
Oct 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Although this book was published in 1997, I found it very relevant and easy to read. It describes how building small parallel microworlds may improve our understanding of complex systems. Examples are illustrated with small StarLogo programs, a language that was superseded by NetLogo if I'm correct. The core value remains for me in the discussions and examples, not in the code.
May 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: economics
More about computing than economics really, but at it's core the book is about the study of decentralised systems. It's a solid exploration, but possibly dated given that it was published in the '90's.
Jan 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: computer-science
A very nice and easy to read book which introduce us to the massive parallel computational systems. The author studies several problems from the "parallel point of view" using a variant of the Logo programming language.

Very didactic and enjoyable!
Aug 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Interesting albeit dated, but a good intro to the field for someone with no background.
Apr 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A quick read, unassumingly written. I really like the things Resnick has to say about the "centralized mindset" and how to combat it through education that employs playful computer simulations.
Jon Davis
rated it really liked it
Apr 19, 2015
Jerry Balzano
rated it really liked it
Mar 06, 2011
rated it really liked it
Jun 05, 2014
Chelsey Hyatt
rated it it was amazing
Jun 26, 2018
rated it liked it
Jun 16, 2017
rated it really liked it
Dec 02, 2008
Typographic Man
rated it liked it
Sep 08, 2010
Sml BioBot
rated it it was amazing
Aug 14, 2019
rated it liked it
Apr 28, 2014
Step Duso
rated it really liked it
Oct 28, 2018
John Phillips
rated it did not like it
Mar 06, 2013
Mike Stringer
rated it it was amazing
Feb 09, 2016
rated it really liked it
Jun 17, 2012
Peter Lee
rated it really liked it
Aug 05, 2016
rated it it was amazing
Jun 19, 2013
rated it really liked it
Feb 23, 2012
Jack Ziegler
rated it really liked it
Jun 24, 2018
Charles Straney
rated it really liked it
Aug 31, 2015
rated it liked it
Jan 20, 2014
rated it it was ok
Aug 28, 2012
Jovany Agathe
rated it did not like it
Nov 28, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship
  • The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master
  • The Little Schemer
  • Head First Design Patterns
  • Joel on Software
  • Effective C++: 55 Specific Ways to Improve Your Programs and Designs
  • Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code
  • Learn You a Haskell for Great Good!
  • Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs (MIT Electrical Engineering and Computer Science)
  • Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams
  • The Clean Coder: A Code of Conduct for Professional Programmers
  • Accelerated C++: Practical Programming by Example
  • Complexity: A Guided Tour
  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values (Phaedrus, #1)
  • Emergence: From Chaos To Order
  • You and I Eat the Same: On the Countless Ways Food and Cooking Connect Us to One Another (MAD Dispatches, Volume 1)
  • Likeonomics: The Unexpected Truth Behind Earning Trust, Influencing Behavior, and Inspiring Action
  • The Networked Nonprofit: Connecting with Social Media to Drive Change
See similar books…

Goodreads is hiring!

If you like books and love to build cool products, we may be looking for you.
Learn more »

News & Interviews

As dedicated readers already know, some of the best and most innovative stories on the shelves come from the constantly evolving realm of young ad...
40 likes · 10 comments