• Difficulties in controls in digital evolution

    I just finished reading The Surprising Creativity of Digital Evolution: A Collection of Anecdotes from the Evolutionary Computation and Artificial Life Research Communities by Joel Lehman and colleagues since I plan to include it in my class CS 361 Evolutionary Computing and Artificial Life this coming term. While reading, I was reminded of an experience that I had while working on my paper Suicidal selection: Programmed cell death can evolve in unicellular organisms due solely to kin selection which I of course forgot all about when the call for this collection went out, but I am going to record now!

  • Things to change (eventually)

    I historically have hated the idea of “there’s always room for improvement” and it’s only recently that I’ve thought carefully about why that is. I love the principles of Growth Mindset and have found them supremely helpful on my teaching journey, so it seemed weird that at the same time my skin crawled whenever someone talked about always wanting to improve. I eventually realized that it was perfectionism still sneaking its way in since if there was room for improvement, it wasn’t perfect, and it was unacceptable to ever offer a less than perfect class so I had to work myself to the bone to reach perfection immediately and then never need to improve again. If I could never reach perfection despite working myself to the bone, I would have to always work myself to the bone and damn is that a depressing thought.

  • Structuring Flipped Classrooms

    Even though I’m teaching remote/online, I still am trying for a flipped classroom structure where my students read or watch videos before class and then spend classtime working on hands on activities so that they can ask questions when they get stuck.