Like a Moth to Flame

How humans have accidentally hacked the light-loving instincts of animals (and how animal behavior can save them). Arguably one of humans’ most conspicuous behavioral traits is our unparalleled predilection for engineering the habitats we settle upon. As we shape the world around us, some species may be drawn towards our settlements – into what they…

Buggin’ Out

It’s a hot summer night in Davis, one of the rare few where the delta breeze fails to bring relief from the scorching daytime highs. Tossing and turning in bed, you decide the effort is futile and you might as well engage in a little nocturnal foraging bout. You drag yourself from bed, bleary-eyed, and…

Bowels and Movements

It’s a classic scene: a majestic humpback whale breaches, thrusting its mass into the air. Its pectoral fins wave as it turns to land with a splash. It disappears into the depths before resurfacing, exhaling a spout of steam from its blowhole. We watch in awe, but there’s something missing in this description that may…

The Traveling Sales-Monkey

There is a famous problem in the field of computer science called the Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP for short). It goes something like this: you are a salesperson who needs to travel to some specific set of cities, and you want to travel the shortest distance possible. What is the shortest route such that you…