MAgICS: Toward a multi-agent introduction to computer science

Forrest Stonedahl, Michelle Wilkerson-Jerde, Uri Wilensky

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Scopus citations


The authors present a preliminary version of the MAgICS (Multi-Agent Introduction to Computer Science) framework, which is a new approach for revitalizing introductory undergraduate or high school computer science curricula through the deep integration of agent-based modeling (ABM) and multi-agent systems (MAS) perspectives. The authors discuss the merits of using multi-agent systems as a lens for conceptual understanding across disciplines, compare multi-agent approaches to traditional serial ones, and explore how this approach can bring together disparate topics in computer science through the common focus on emergent systems to promote a broader view of the field as a whole. To exemplify this approach, they have developed a suite of curricular models for topics spanning from searching and sorting to machine learning and networks and security. By introducing these topics with a focus on parallel, distributed, and stochastic methods, they can make traditionally upper-level topics both motivating and accessible to introductory-level students. The authors review findings from a short implementation of several elements of MAgICS in an introductory computer science classroom with regard to student motivation and evidence of learning of distributed design strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMulti-Agent Systems for Education and Interactive Entertainment
Subtitle of host publicationDesign, Use and Experience
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages25
ISBN (Print)9781609600808
StatePublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)


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