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Avida-ED is an award-winning educational application developed at Michigan State University for undergraduate biology courses to help students learn about evolution and scientific method by allowing them to design and perform experiments to test hypotheses about evolutionary mechanisms using evolving digital organisms.

 

• Will Avida-ED run on my computer?

Avida-ED 3.0 runs in a browser on Macs, PCs, and Chromebooks. It can run in a browswer on iPads and even mobile phones, though it the interface was not designed for a touch interface, so control is not optimal.

Firefox 46.0.1 and later or Google Chrome 51.0.2704.84 or later are the recommended browsers. (Eventually it will run on all major browsers, but there are currently known problems in Safari and IE.) We expect to release a final version later this winter, but the BETA is stable and has been successfully implemented in courses since the Fall, so this is the version that we recommend all instructors now use.

The previous version—Avida-ED 2.0—was a stand-alone application optimized for Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion). It runs on the current Mac OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) with a few display anomalies. For PCs, only Avida-ED 1.0 is available. It was developed for Windows 7 and was updated to run on Vista. It has not been maintained since then, but will still run on current versions of Windows, though with some display anomalies. We originally had a version of Avida-ED 1.0 available for Linix, but that is not longer supported. No version is currently available for Chromebooks or for iOS devices.

• How much does it cost?

Avida-ED is free.

• Are there instructions for how to use Avida-ED?

You can download a basic user manual from the Download page that shows what each of the controls does. There is also an introductory screencast video.

Can I change environmental parameters during a run?

Currently, once you press the run button most of the controls on the Environmental Settings page are deactivated. The exception to this is that you can change the Pause Run setting at any time. In future versions of the program we will allow advanced users to be able to change parameters on the fly.

When I start a run with some organisms in the Petri dish, why are some of them they initially outlined in gray?

You must be running the old stand-alone Avida-ED applicaiont. In Avida-ED 1.0 and 2.0 one had to wait before organisms' properties were registered. These organisms existed but, since they had not had an offspring in this environment yet, we did not yet know their fitness. As such, we have to wait until they replicate to color them the appropriate color. In Avida-ED 3.0 we take advantage of faster processor speeds and calculate this information in advance, so that the display does not need to wait.

 

 

 


 

Page updated 2017/1/27
© Robert T. Pennock