Interact box The textbook website

Throughout this book you will encounter Interact boxes. These boxes contain opportunities for you to interact directly with the material in the text using computer simulations designed to demonstrate fundamental concepts of population genetics. Each box will contain step-by-step instructions for you to follow in order to carry out a simulation. By following the instructions you will get started with the simulation. However, always feel free to use your own imagination and intuition. After following the instructions in the Interact box and understanding the point at hand, enter different values, push more buttons, and even read the documentation. You can also return to Interact boxes at a later time, perhaps after you have read and understood more of the text, to reconsider a simulation or view it in a different light. You can also use the simulations to answer questions that may occur to you, or to test hypotheses that you may have. Questions in population genetics that start off "What would happen if. . . ?" are often begging to be answered with simulation.

Using Interact boxes will require that you are in front of a computer with a connection to the internet. You will also need user privileges to download and install programs in some cases. Some simulation programs have versions for multiple operating systems (e.g. Windows and Macintosh) whereas others can be used on only one operating system. It might be a good idea to think of locations now where you have access to computers with various operating systems. Finally, bear in mind that the simulation programs have all been donated to the scientific community by their respective authors and were often written in the author's spare time. Don't be surprised if the programs have a few rough edges or even bugs: focus on the population genetics concepts and remember that someone devoted their time to help you learn.

You will begin many of the Interact boxes by connecting to this textbook's website, whereas for others you will use a program downloaded in an earlier Interact box. The worldwide web address (URL) for each of the simulation programs will be given on the textbook website rather than in the text itself. This prevents problems if web addresses change because the textbook website can be updated while your copy of the text cannot.

Step 1 Open a web browser and enter

Step 2 If you are working on a computer you use regularly, bookmark the text website so you can reach it easily in the future. Step 3 Click on the link to Interact boxes.

Step 4 Verify that the page gives links for each of the Interact boxes listed by their number. You could also bookmark this page so you can reach it directly in the future.

Congratulations! You have completed the first Interact box.

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