I am James Steiner.
I'm just a corporate computer guy with eclectic interests and over 20 years of experience with programming and helping people use computers. When trying to turn a person's deep knowledge of a system into a working model, asking the right questions is an important part of the development process.
Back in 2003 or so, I was fondly reminiscing about LOGO. A sympathetic friend bought me a copy of the seminal LOGO book, "Mindstorms" by Seymour Papert. That book inspired me to start looking for a LOGO implementation to play with, and that's when I stumbled upon the NetLogo.
It was easy to use, and applied to many of my diverse interests: programming, AI, procedureal animation (or algorithmicly driven displays), physics, computer programming education, social science, and so on.
Having joined the users support group for NetLogo, I discovered that even with limited NetLogo experience but with all my other support, programming, and general knowledge background I could answer some, than many, of the questions on the users list, and became very interested in emergent behavior, and all that... and it became another hobby.
It amuses and facinates me to be able to help and talk to all the highly educated people I meet through NetLogo and the NetLogo-Users group.
That facination has brought me to a place where I have been invited to staff NetLogo workshops, and strongly encouraged to write a NetLogo text book or reference work. I've met lots of really interesting, smart, people, and been made to feel something like a minor celebrity within the community.
The name "turtleZERO" relates to an aspect of the NetLogo implementation of multi-agent modeling, where mobile agent objects are "turtles", and where the first (possibly the only) turtle created always has an identifcation number of zero, and can be addressed as "turtle 0" in code. Every model with turtles starts with turtle zero. Every NetLogo modeler should visit turtleZERO.com. (And as far as names go, I think it's quirky and fun, and pretty cool.)
Thanks for visiting!