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Ruth Goodlaxson's picture

Samar and Ruth

Today in our exciting lab we explored an ant colony filled with tiny little creatures named 'ants'. The ants were distributed among 3 jobs: forgers, patrollers, and middens. 50% of the screen was the area in which was devoted to the forgers and 25% was distributed to the patrollers and the remaining 25% was distributed to the middens. At an even time, 50% of the ants were forgers, 25% were middens, and 25% were patrollers. We needed to account for this.

Our results are as follows:

1) When an ant meets 15 other ants doing the same job, it switches to another job.

2) When there is an increase in the area for any given job, more ants will have that job. The ratio changes because the concentration is lower and it takes longer to meet 15.

3) Larger colonies will adjust to change and the ratio stabilizes faster due to the fact that meeting 15 is now easier.

These rules help safeguard against intruders becuase the number of ants in a certain task can only drop to a certain point which allows for recovery.

Randomness is important becuase the ants move randomely but are ordered by the rules. The tendency to be evenly distributed is maintained by the rules of order but it's also the most probable state and adjusting the factors that order the ants change the distribution and act like membranes in that the assembly becomes less probable.


In the AIDS program we looked at how the rate of condom use affected the number of people who were infected with AIDS. Our results were as follows:

1) 0 condom use after 1083 weeks: 81.33% infected

2) 5 condom use after 1102 weeks: 78% infected

3) 10 condom use after 1068 weeks: 68% infected

Our results showed that there was not a great decrease in the amount of infection. We believe this is due to the fact that the variable were probabilistic and that randomness played a part.


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