The tabs at the top of the screen allow you to access the Introduction, Notebook, Assignments, Glossary, and Help. These tabs will lead you to information and tools that are outside the applet itself.
Introduction: This provides an overview and links to background information on the lab.
Notebook: Record your own notes on the results of the lab--your hypotheses, details about results, and conclusions. You can also move data from the Results pages directly to the Notebook - see Exporting.
Assignments: Doing the assignments is critical to understanding the concepts of this lab. The Assignments here were written to benefit a wide range of general biology classes and you should find them helpful, but check with your instructor before proceeding with any Assignments.
Glossary: The glossary contains definitions for selected terms in the lab.
Help: Brings you to this screen.
As you run experiments, form hypothoses and test them, you should keep notes on your theories and findings in the DemographyLab notebook. You may access the notebook at any time from the Infobar. The notebook will open up in a separate window.
Main Window: The main section of the notebook is an editable text box to which you can add and modify text at any time. The contents of the notebook are not saved between uses of EvolutionLab, therefore it is suggested that you "Export" and print the notebook if you would like a lasting record of your work.
Control Buttons: You will see a row of control buttons at the bottom of the notebook window. These include Export Notes and Undo Editing.
Export Notes: The current contents of the notebook are exported to a
temporary HTML file. This file is then opened in your browser.
Exporting your notes allows you to print them when you are done
with your assignment. NOTE: extremely long notes will cause
machines to hang when trying to export. If you are running
many experiments it is best to print your notes and clear the
Undo Editing: Any changes you have made to the notebook since it was
last opened will be removed, restoring it to its state when it was
To close the notebook, click the go-away box in the upper right (PC) or upper left (Mac).
Input buttons allow you to change variable information to allow you to make comparisons between many different hypothetical demographic situations. Clicking on any of the input buttons in the Control Panel will bring up the controls for that variable in the right hand panel.
Countries Popup: Scroll down the menu in this window to choose a country for your experiment: China, Japan, India, Mexico, Nigeria, Sweden, or USA
The parameter buttons allow you to change the ranges
in population size and structure, and fertility and mortality rates. As
you roll over each parameter button it highlights. Click on the desired
category to activate each parameter button.
Population Size: Click on the diamond and drag with your mouse to increase or decrease popultion size. Check "Logarithmic" to increase the population exponentially.
Population Structure: This allows you to change the percentage of each age group within the population. Click on either edge of the colored bar for an age group and drag with the mouse to change it, or double-click
to get a box and enter specific numbers. Click Scale to change the scale
up or down from 0-10.
Fertility Rate: This allows you to change the percentage of reproducing females in each age group within the population. Click on the right edge of the colored bar for an age group and drag with the mouse to change it, or double-click to get a box and enter specific numbers. Click Scale to change the scale up or down from 0-500.
Mortality Rate: This allows you to change the percentage rate that individuals within each age group die. Click on either edge of the colored bar for an age group and drag with the mouse to change it, or double-click to get a box and enter specific numbers. Click Scale to change the scale up or down from 0-500. Click on M or F to see the different rates for Males/Females.
Reset All: Click this button to delete all previously input information so you can start over on new experiments.
Years Popup: Click on this button and scroll down to control the number of years you want the experiment to run: 100, 200, or 300.
Run: Click this button to start each experiment.
Guide Text: A text box appears on the right side of each screen that explains how to use the appplication.
USING THE SLIDERS
There are different tools used to change the variables and
information each time you run a new experiment.
RUNNING THE SIMULATION
When you have finished selecting all your desired parameters,
use the Years Popup to select the length of the study,
then click Run to run the simulation.
Results are given automatically after the Run button
is clicked and an experiment is completed. The results are presented
in various forms which can be accessed by clicking on the appropriate
tab near the top of the screen:
Stats: This gives numerical results for several different categories: Initial Population, Final Population, Female Life Expectancy, Male Life Expectancy, Mean Age at Childbearing, Total Fertility Rate, Net Reproductive Rate, Instrinsic Growth Rate, Annual Percentage Change
Time Series: Presents data as a line graph of population increase/decrease of males and females over the selected time period. Check "Logarithmic" to show the exponential growth.
Population Structure: Presents a bar graph of population structure at starting year and ending year. Check the "Year" box to see population at start and finish.
Tabular Data: Population structure data displayed as a table of number of females, percentage females, number of males, percentage males, and total for each age group.
Vital Rates: This shows a summary of the data (inputs) used for the current run of the simulation.
Data and images can be exported, or transferred, from the
results pages to the Notebook or to an HTML page.
To Notebook: Click to move data on a results page to the Notebook.
From Notebook to HTML: Click to move data from the Notebook to your
As GIF to HTML: Click to move images (GIFs) to your HTML page.
RETURN TO LAB
This button allows you to return to the input screen, where you may choose another population to study and/or change the input parameters to run another simulation.