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Author:Ivars Peterson (MathLand)
Description: Go to just about any college campus or public park and you're bound to see two kinds of trails: "official" paths defined by paved or gravel surfaces and "unofficial" routes trodden into the grass or dirt marking where pedestrians have preferred to walk or runners to jog. Such collective path breaking is an example of a human social phenomenon that involves some form of self-organization. Recently, a team of researchers developed a mathematical model of pedestrian motion to explore the evolution of trails in urban green spaces.

Levels: Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12), College
Languages: English
Resource Types: Articles
Math Topics: Graph Theory

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