Investigation into the Lévy-Like Nature of College Student Walking Patterns
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe "Lévy-Walk" is a movement pattern commonly used by foraging animals in order to maximize resource acquisition in patchy environments. The walk consists of long linear movements between resource patches followed by concentrated disorganized movements within these patches. This pattern is notable in that there is no characteristic scale, it has been seen in species of all sizes ranging from microorganisms to large animals. My thesis adviser has previously done research that indicated that a human group, the hunter-gatherer Hadza tribe of Tanzania, also displays Lévy-like movement when obtaining food. My thesis intended to investigate whether or not this walking strategy is exhibited in a non-foraging human population, college students at The University of Arizona. I asked several students to use an iPhone application which would record their movement. They were then asked to send me the data through an anonymous email account created specifically for this project. I received the data from several participants and sent it off to my adviser's colleague for analysis but unfortunately he was unable to get me any results. Thus I cannot come to a conclusion as to student walking patterns but I have learned a lot about conducting research.
Degree ProgramHonors College