HSSP Summer 2009
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Dear HSSP students,
Most of our classes are full. The classes below have openings as of July 12. You may switch to one of these classes in person at the HSSP office or by e-mailing the directors.
10:00 - 12:00
- Inventions That Made History
- Electric Vehicles: Past, Present, and Future
- Chemistry of the Elements
- Applied Topics in Mathematics (with Applications to Physics)
- Science of a Bottle of Coke
- Exploring Symmetry
- How to Change the World: Global Poverty and Solutions
1:30 - 3:00
- Slavery Today
- Counting Principles
- Frontiers of Physics
3:00 - 5:00
- Quantum Mechanics
Please note: Students are expected to develop a final project throughout the course of this class, which may require additional work outside of class. In order to get the most of the class, consistent attendance is required.
This course will look at the history of sound in the arts over the course of the 20th century, from Futurist noise-makers, through John Cage and his infamous "silent" pieces, to the present day. We'll talk about how sound is used, listen to examples of experimental music, and even make some of our own!
For an idea of some of the things we'll be talking about (and doing), check out the videos here: http://nickseaver.net/piano.html
squeezed, a purse that sounds an alarm when someone touches it, or a jacket that shines and sparkles at your command. In this class we'll use sewable computers, conductive fabric, conductive thread, LEDs, and speakers along with the Lilly Pad Arduino toolkit to explore circuits and programming and create cool interactive garments (or whatever else you can think of to make) incorporating touch sensors, light and sound. Appropriate for those who have no experience with circuits and programming, and those who have and want to get a bit more creative.
*Modeling with Python
In this class, you will learn how to design your own Photoshop software, build a bridge and decontaminate a river. The class will offer a mixture of lecture-based and activity-based classes.
The following engineering disciplines will be offered (subject to change).
While this class will be open to HSSP students of all ages, it is designed to be an introductory course. Math will be kept at a basic level, and older students might be bored.
Each class will be taught by a different teacher, so it will be more like a series of seminars on engineering than an actual class.
Students should know how to differentiate, integrate, and should have taken one semester of physics. This course may be helpful for AP Calculus BC, AP Physics C preparation or the science fair.
Note: Description has changed, (No, you're not going crazy.)
The aim of this course will be to push the boundaries of the short and short short story forms, but also to expose you to the broadest possible range of work. Most importantly, the focus will be on your writing, and the opportunity to read the work of your peers--the class will be *extremely* interactive. Finally, at least one class will be dedicated to experimental literature.
The only way to improve as a writer is to write and read as often as possible, and to build lasting friendships with fellow writers. I hope this class serves as a springboard for all of these things. I think we'll have tons of fun!
Note: I also believe food is a critical part of the writing process.
Prerequsite: Motivation! Latin isn’t as easy to learn as commonly taught modern languages like Spanish or French, so it will require a bit more effort. I promise to make it fun, though! Some very light homework will be assigned.
To answer these questions, we'll take a look at the developments that changed the world - from the horse collar and metal tools to the steamboat and positron emission tomography - and make some educated guesses about the world we'll be living in twenty years from now.
The world is growing and advancing so rapidly, with more and more people being pulled out of poverty and achieving true development wonders. However, there are over 1 billion people that are still being left out and millions die yearly from easily preventable and avoidable causes. Additionally, our world is more connected than ever, in which the actions of someone in Lagos, Nigeria, or Delhi, India, or Uganda truly impacts our own lives (and vice versa) more than we initially imagine.
The course will look at the crossroads of the challenges, opportunities, and solutions. What are the common misconceptions of Africa? What are the demographics and size and scope of the problems? How did the world get to where it is now? What has been done in the past? What has worked and what were the mistakes? What are the poverty traps? What are the Millenium Development Goals? What are the best solutions?
Poverty is not just having low income, but is a complex interplay of health, climate, topography, disease (malaria, HIV/AIDS, TB), education, roads, power, communication, sanitation, government, law, business, trade, and culture.
The millions of lives saved today are not due to governments, but the actions of individuals and small groups, especially high school and university students. The is a course to help understand global issues and to help students "think big" and confidently guide state and federal government, as well as to come up with solutions by thinking uniquely, technically, openly, empathetically, and creatively. "We have exciting times ahead and no time to lose."
We will survey ancient stories about heroes, gods, and the universe – and how these myths have influenced the art, literature, and culture of their respective cultures and the modern world we live in today.
Who should take this class?
Anyone who has an interest in politics. We will start slowly with basic concepts and work up to somewhat more theoretical concepts. The goal is to keep students of a wide range of backgrounds interested, and class discussions will allow input from anyone who wants to (respectfully) share their opinions.
Sometimes there are those questions that you just can't ask your parents or teachers. You feel awkward, are worried you will get in trouble, or maybe you are just too embarrassed. In this class, well take an honest approach to answering those in a comfortable and safe environment.
From condoms and STDs to alcohol and marijuana, we will spend the first part of class covering a variety of topics that are normally considered controversial. We will start with a simple of explanation of what each is, and move all the way up to the potential dangers and risks associated with it. The second half of every class will be your chance to submit anonymous questions that we can answer and discuss together.
Students must have a permission form signed by a parent/guardian to participate in this class. The form will be posted later on.
Important notes: This class will require writing at home. You should be ready to take openings from class and flesh them out into plays each week. Don't worry if you've never written like this before: this is a great place to start!
Additionally, please be aware that some plays we read will cover adult themes, and although we will avoid excessive profanity, cursing is a part of realistic modern-day speech. You'll never have to take on any roles you're not comfortable with, but do come prepared for us to tackle all kinds of issues.
Math & Computer Science
Is it possible to end your emails with signatures which no one else can forge?
We will discuss solutions to these and other problems of a similar flavor. The focus will be skewed towards obtaining solutions which are provably secure rather than particularly practical.
The course will culminate in a tournament of student-created AI bots in a computer game.
We'll take this delightfully rich and self-referential mathematical proof as our jumping-off point.
Along the way, we’ll explore ideas of truth and provability, self-reference (such as “this statement is unprovable”, or your own idea of "self"), whether computers can think, and how "meaning" is encoded in math, language, and your mind.
Come explore the fringes of truth, self-reference, the limits of knowledge, and the meaning of life.
Familiarity with formal logic and/or philosophy of mind is helpful, but certainly not required to take this course. All that you need is a sense of wonder, and desire to learn an awful lot in an awfully short span of time!
Enumerative combinatorics is the study of counting; of course you all know how to count, but in this course we will be able to answer questions like "How many ways can I rearrange 5 blue books and 3 red books so that no two red books are adjacent." What sometimes these questions seem trivial, we will see that they are in fact the root of a lot of problems in mathematics.
Expect to think in new ways; expect to work in groups; expect to have fun! Don't be afraid to try something new.
This course isn't only for beginning computer scientists, people who know other languages could always learn how to think functionally (more about this in the course).
Plus, we'll get to build video games!
The only prereqs are that you want to learn how to think about programming. We'll be using a lot of strange concepts that you wouldn't usually get in your run of the mill intro computer science course, but It'll help cement your brain into being fantastic with code.
This course isn't only for beginning computer scientists, people who know other languages could always learn how to think functionally and Object-orientedly (more about this in the course).
The only prereqs are that you want to learn how to think about programming. We'll be using a lot of functional programming in java (yes, I know... functional and java in one sentence!?!) but if you've got some other previous programming language in your brain it might be easier.
This course will be challenging, but rewarding.
If you have no experience coding, I suggest taking How to Design Programs (Intro to Comp Sci) but if you really really would rather learn java, give me an email.
Dynamic programming algorithms, in particular, are a great way to motivate concepts of recursion, induction and to familiarize yourself with mathematical structures such as graphs.
What’s a recurrence? And why does it help with algorithms? If I have n newts, t toads, and s slugs, how many ways can I make n+t+s people miserable by putting my animals in their beds? In number theory, we will learn about the properties of numbers, in particular, integers. We will learn about how to effectively determine whether an integer is prime or not, how to prove the sqr root of 2 is irrational. We also learn a bit of cryptology—using numbers encoding messsages. You will be sending secret messages and ask people to decipher them. Learn about encryption, probability, induction, and other random topics in math. Great for students who want to learn a different kind of math than the kinds taught in high school.
We will be exploring symmetry - one of the most far-reaching ideas in mathematics - visually and interactively. Want to design your own wallpaper pattern? Want a general way of constructing intrigue figures that realize a particular symmetry? Want a know why A and B should be put into the same (symmetry) class, but not Z? Then please join!
The only real prerequisite for this class is your intellectual curiosity. Proficiency in standard school mathematics may be helpful but is not essential.
This class will show how to deconstruct simple items into a vast, almost infinitely detailed web of technologies, built one upon another, resulting in a huge amount of information and history stemming from something as simple as an incandescent light bulb.
Students should know basics of chemistry (what atoms are, how to balance simple chemical equations)
neuron-to-neuron connections. Scientists can study the behavior of individual neurons and their connections like any other physical system. Yet they are only grazing the surface on how this remarkable network of interacting neurons can serve as the physical embodiment of our personalities, perceptions, memories, decisions, and habits. We invite you to come explore mysteries of the brain and the mind with us. In this course we will introduce you to what scientists know, and what scientists don't yet know, about the way the brain works. We will discuss current techniques in neuroscience research, and explore the field by dissecting sheep brains (optional activity).
Among the topics we'll cover: superconductors, Bose-Einstein condensates (a collection of atoms collapse to look like a single atom), extremely low temperatures and how to get there, the accelerating expansion of the universe and dark matter, and much more! If you have specific topics you want discussed, bring them to the first class and I'll try to include them.
Note: this will be taught at a fairly high level; you should have a year of high school physics under your belt, and you'll get more out of the class if you know some calculus (though I'll try not to use it too often).
You will absolutely need to know calculus for this class. You should be comfortable with derivatives and integrals, and if you've seen some simple differential equations, that can't hurt.
"Those who are not shocked when they first come across quantum theory cannot possibly have understood it." -Niels Bohr
Enslavement deprives victims of their human dignity. Portions of this class will include discussions of the circumstances and actions that assault and strip away that dignity from the victims. Some of these topics include modes of violence such as forced drug addiction, sexual violence, psychological and physical torture as well as depression and suicide. These topics represent only a portion of the class and will not be individually inspected in a detailed manner. Other sometimes controversial topics will also be discussed including gender roles in society, public corruption, and the role of faith based efforts in abolition. Further topics will include differentiation between advocacy, practitioner, and academia based abolition; how abolition works to provide victim services, reduce slavery demand, and reduce victim supply; also for discussion will be the many different forms of slavery and victim health.
Prospective students are asked to discuss the subject and their class attendance with their parents or guardians before enrolling. Students enrolling in the course will be required to have a permission slip signed by a parent or guardian. Prospective students are welcome and encouraged to contact the teacher through the email on his bio page, or the program administrators, with any questions or concerns.
Students will form teams to compete to develop our solar system from 2030-2150 in a constantly evolving system (significantly updated from previous years).
Each team will play an Earth faction (US/Russia/China/EU/Japan/Asia/South America), and manages their policies, technology, economy, military, bases, and spacecraft. See www.newhorizongames.com for more information.
Prerequisites: A willingness to speak up and share ideas.