Hi all,

The context for my recent messages to the list is that I'm thinking about
courses for next year, and I'm thinking about the intersections of data
analysis/visualization, modeling, and HtDP-ish introductions to programming.

I like NetLogo (https://ccl.northwestern.edu/netlogo/). I don't want to
introduce students to programming in NetLogo. While it is easy to attach
(say) a slider to a variable in a simulation, and it is easy to plot (say)
the population of an agent in the microworld, it is hard to then analyze
that data.

There's an R extension that embeds a headless NetLogo in R. I have even
less desire to introduce students to R, let alone the complex amalgamation
of the two.

Racket has all the tools I need. The Universe/Big Bang model seems like
there's already an infrastructure in place for supporting a functional
miroworld-style animation. (Or, I could go down the Processing path and
hide things behind a setup/draw, or I could go down the Greenfoot path, and
have student objects inherit from a base class that is microworld/animation
ready.). There's ample support for data representation, analysis, and
visualization. Every language abstraction I could want is somewhere in the

I know it is a classic mistake to reinvent things that exist, but I feel
like the tools I want for an environment for introducing programming in a
principled way, and allowing students to engage in microworld simulations
and their analysis, are all here and within reach. I thought I'd float it
to this list, however, so that if there's any "we tried that," or "you
might look at" type suggestions, I could get those before I start sinking
time into this exploration.


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