Skip navigation
Hardcover | ISBN: 9780262181624 | 184 pp. | 6 x 9 in | July 1994
Paperback | $25.00 Short | £17.95 | ISBN: 9780262680936 | 184 pp. | 6 x 9 in | January 1997

Turtles, Termites, and Traffic Jams

Explorations in Massively Parallel Microworlds


How does a bird flock keep its movements so graceful and synchronized? Most people assume that the bird in front leads and the others follow. In fact, bird flocks don't have leaders: they are organized without an organizer, coordinated without a coordinator. And a surprising number of other systems, from termite colonies to traffic jams to economic systems, work the same decentralized way. Turtles, Termites, and Traffic Jams describes innovative new computational tools that can qhelp people (even young children) explore the workings of such systems--and help them move beyond the centralized mindset.


"Mitchel Resnick's book is one of the very few in the field ofcomputing with an interdisciplinary discourse that can reach beyondthe technical community to philsophers, psychologists, and historiansand sociologists of science." Sherry Turkle , Professor, Program in Science, Technology, and Society, Massachusetts Institute of Technology"—