Posted by: Jeremy Fox | February 23, 2012

Modeling challenge: explain sheep cyclones

The Art of Modelling poses a question to mathematically-inclined readers: can you build a model of individual movement that explains sheep cyclones?

Even if you’re not a modeller, you should click through to find out what a sheep cyclone is.


  1. I gave it a crack with a model in Netlogo. I didn’t really generate a cyclone but my first attempt with really simple rules makes me think it can be done with a few more complex rules but I haven’t had a chance to try them.

    • Cool. Be sure to cross-post over at The Art of Modelling.

  2. Hi Jeremy,
    I enjoy your blog and thought I’d share this link to the “Kill Math” project, and specifically to a new perspective on the classic predator-prey model:!/InteractiveExplorationOfADynamicalSystem

    If anything, it is engaging and beautifully presented using HTML5. Thought it may provoke a blog response from you:) or perhaps be a teaching tool.


    • Thanks Andrea. I’ve previously plugged another of this guy’s interactive simulations, the “ladder of abstraction”. I think they’re excellent teaching tools, the only trouble being that he’s only invented those tools for one of the many models that I teach in my population ecology class.

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