Geometric Folding Algorithms: Linkages, Origami, Polyhedra is a wonderful class by Prof. Erik Demaine at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It is fully documented on the http://courses.csail.mit.edu website of the MIT with course notes and video. Here is a list of all his classes: http://erikdemaine.org/classes/
Other classes include Advanced Data Structures:
Introduction to Algorithms:
Here is the book that I kept mentionning in the tutorial: The Nature of Code by Daniel Schiffman
The book explains many algorithm that attempt to reproduce natural systems (including swarms and fractals) using Processing, the java-based scripting interface.
You can download the book and make a donation or buy the hard copy. Try some examples, register to the Processing forum and to StackOverflow.com. Ask for help on the Processing IRC Channel.
For some example, you will need to need to download the Toxiclibs library and you might want to use the Eclipse IDE to speed up your workflow. You can also follow the great Plethora-Project.com tutorials by Jose Sanchez.
Below are several Reaction Diffusion System apps which help to understand the parameters at play on the famous algorithm developed by Alan Turing (1912-1954).
The first one is programmed in Java: http://cgjennings.ca/toybox/turingmorph/
The source code is available for you to tweak in a java app, you can use the Eclipse IDE (integrated development environment) to program in Java and test the results: http://cgjennings.ca/toybox/turingmorph/TuringMorph.java
The second one is programmed using Processing which is a language based on Java: http://www.openprocessing.org/sketch/15905
To download and try Processing go to Processing.org you can download the interface for free and access the forum for help.
A 3D processing app and pavillion design was done by BioThing (Alisa Andrasek and Jose Sanchez) based on the same Turing patterns: http://www.biothing.org/?p=449 Biothing also held a workshop with the DRL studio based on 3D reaction diffusion patterns:
Some of Biothing’s code is available on their Genware website. Some Processing tutorials are available on this great website by Jose Sanchez: http://www.plethora-project.com/
Finally, the creators of Hoopsnake, Volatile Prototype, have created a processing library, ReactP5 to create Reaction-Diffusion patterns in 3D: http://volatileprototypes.com/libraries/ReactP5/
The book Clever Algorithms – Nature-Inspired Programming Recipes by Jason Brownlee is fully available online. It describes the mechanisms behind most of the bio-mimetic codes which are used. You might recognize Genetic Algorithm and Simulated Annealing used in Galapagos.