Participatory Simulations:

Exploring Dynamic Systems through Real World Interactions

I investigate how participation in life-sized simulations can help students develop deeper understandings of dynamic systems. By wearing small, communicating computers, called Thinking Tags, high school students can become actors in computationally-supported simulations. For instance, students can participate in a simulation of a virus spreading through a community. Each participant then draws on their "first-person" experiences as they work together to describe the behavior of the whole system.

To find out more about this work, you can read my masters thesis:

Participatory Simulations: Building Collaborative Understanding through Immersive Dynamic Modeling. If you are interested in getting more information about the current status of this project, sending feedback, or requesting a hard-copy of my thesis, please send email to

Also see:

CHI '98 Demonstration Paper

AERA '98 Demonstration Handout

Progress Report

Early proposal for this work

First version of the Thinking Tag technology