Portfolio – DaisyWorld

DaisyWorld was invented by James Lovelock, to explain how the Gaia Hypothesis did not require a sentient Earth, but only feedback loops, for homeostasis. Life itself could maintain the planet fit for life - within limits. Which is a cool result. But like fractal mathematics, it means little without access to a simulator.

When I first began my CourseWare initiative at Yale University in 1997, I picked DaisyWorld as a proof of concept, for the more ambitious sort of online scientific simulators newly made possible by Java applet technology. Not only could we make the math an experience, but via the Web, save all the distribution and software updating and installation and cross-platform barriers to developing educational software. CourseWare made it possible to combine scientific research simulators, with a professor's teaching mission, at a cost affordable within grant budgets. But first I had to develop the base CourseWare toolkit. DaisyWorld was the vehicle for that development.

The Java versions of this software are from the dawn of interactive graphics on the Web. Then I created a Flex version (for the Flash player) combining classic DaisyWorld with my DaisyBall variant, for a more general audience, rather than the university level science audience of the originals. Alas, the Flash Player died. The latest incarnation is HTML5.

DaisyBall is one of my most popular apps. My logo is a DaisyWorld daisy.