HSSP Spring 2012
Course Catalog

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[Deprecated] Science Miscellaneous


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A5683: Conducting and Interpretation
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Daniel Zhang

Learn the fundamentals of conducting and score interpretation!! We will be covering everything from beat patterns, cues and cut-offs to musical gestures and complex meters. We'll be examining a variety of different musical genres (Symphony, Opera, Mass, etc) throughout the history of classical music. In addition, we will also discuss interpretation with regards to compositional context and orchestration.

Proficiency with Treble and Bass clefs. Instrumental or Vocal experience.


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E5712: Explore Solar Energy Closed!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Madeline Hickman

Discover the basics of solar energy and photovoltaics through hands-on exploration and design! In this class, we will experiment with solar cells, discuss the physics behind photovoltaics, and explore how to use solar cells to charge batteries. The class will also explore basic principles of design. Students will work together to design a charging circuit, and each student will design and build their own rechargeable solar lamp by the end of the class.

E5691: Fun with Simple Circuits!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Gurtej Kanwar

Come learn how to build simple circuits ranging from turning on an LED (if you don't know what that is don't worry) to basic digital circuits similar to the ones in computers!

Circuits are in everything around us, yet very few people actually understand how they work. In this class we will go over the basic principles behind simple analog and digital circuits through hands-on projects and activities.

Topic covered include: thinking about electricity as a fluid, Ohm's law, and simple boolean logic (AND, OR, NOT).

E5658: Modern Origami Full!
Difficulty: **

Origami is the ancient Japanese tradition of folding paper and has been around for centuries. However, modern origami is a young, complex art form full of beauty and mathematics. In this course, we will learn how to fold origami models and learn to read origami diagrams so that you can develop your skills on your own. Additionally, we will learn elements of origami design and analysis so that you can begin to design your very own origami models.

E5653: Introduction to Robotics!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Bianca Homberg

Want to get a taste of robotics? Come design, build, program, test (and redesign, reprogram, and retest) a Lego robot! This class will start from the basics, teaching you how to program your robot and some good robot design principles. From there, we'll teach you how to make your robot follow a line, respond to a clap, and retreat when it bumps into something. The class will be mostly project-based, and you'll be free put what you've learned to use and spend time designing and building a robot to maneuver an obstacle course. The last week of the class, we'll have a full-class competition to see what your robots can do!


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H5707: The Meanings of Things
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Sebastian Schmidt

Have you ever wondered why there are things everywhere in our lives? Why kings and queens need scepters, why more people collect stamps than bubble wrap, why an original painting may make people cry, but a poster of the same painting is much less likely to do so?
In this class, we will be thinking about the many different meanings that things and objects take on in our lives. With people lining up outside Apple stores overnight before a product launch, and outside the Louvre in Paris to see the Mona Lisa, it is obvious that things matter to us, be they mass-produced or unique. From paintings to buildings, from utensils used in rituals to the pen we use to take notes - we use things and objects to make sense of the world around us, and they also carry their own meanings. The reasons why they are meaningful change over time, and many things and objects become part of cultural history once they are no longer in active use or tied to rituals and cultural practices; then they may be collected or we can find them in museums.
We will be looking at objects in a variety of contexts, including science, art, technology, consumer culture, and architecture, to get a better understanding of why things matter to us, or why they mattered to our ancestors. Participants will choose their own objects and work on a project resulting in an illustrated class report ('the book of things') to be distributed to participants at the end of the term.

H5662: Journalism and Why It Matters
Difficulty: **
Teachers: David Han

A crash course to the basic foundations of journalism, "Journalism and Why It Matters" will teach everything from writing the perfect lead to taking the clutch photo. Classes will be structured so that students will practice writing strategies and journalistic writing styles. Students will learn not only how to write news stories, feature stories, and editorials but also how to write them for an audience. Enrolled students will learn how to take interesting photographs and how to choose which photographs are best to print. Students in "Journalism and Why It Matters" will understand the ethics of journalism as well as the importance of journalism in the world today. The goals of the class are two-fold: to instill a sense of journalistic competence for aspiring editors and photographers while cultivating a greater appreciation for news sources.

Basic understanding of English language and grammar.

H5676: Dreams and Dreaming Closed!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Carol Hardick

Dreams and Dreaming introduces you to cognition and memory from the perspective of a sleeping brain, using an interdisciplinary approach of neuroscience, psychology and humanities. The Harry Potter series and the movies, Inception and The Matrix- to name just two- have lots of twists and turns and raise questions about the mind, knowledge and artificial intelligence. What's possible and what isn't? Can an idea be planted in a person's mind? Can two people share a dream? With lots of discussion, we’ll explore those questions, and more.

H5698: Introduction to Traditional Chinese Poetry
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Chaoyang Liu

Do you seriously want to learn some mandarin Chinese?

Well, you'd better! There are about 1.3 billion people on Earth whose native language is Chinese! Imagine the opportunities you'll have in the future if you know such a widely used language!

What's the fundamentals of the modern Chinese language?
What role does traditional poetry play in the Chinese culture?

We don't start from counting numbers. We don't start from "hello", "what's your name", or "how are you". (Well, these basics will be covered thoroughly depending on the general language level of the class.)

We start from the ancient beauty of the real Chinese language!

Have you wondered how kids in China start learning their mother tongue? They start by reciting countless traditional Chinese poems!
Wanna speak like a native speaker? Wanna get a taste of the authentic Chinese literary culture? Start here!

Basically, don't tell anyone that you know how to speak Chinese unless you can recite at least one Tang Dynasty poem. A Song or Yuan Dynasty poem will be even better!

Already have some background in Chinese? Well, this class will take you to an unprecedented trip to ancient China, like nothing you have ever seen before!

Have absolutely no background in Chinese? Don't worry! It's taught in English! In American English! Only those poems will be read in Chinese. But don't worry! They sound like pleasant music!

H5669: The Eight Greatest Science Fiction Authors Ever
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Zoe Snape

Love science fiction? Want to learn more about how it developed and who developed it? Think spending every Saturday discussing science fiction and society sounds excellent? Come to this class and learn about the lives and times of eight of the most respected science fiction authors ever--Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, Frank Herbert, Philip K. Dick, William Gibson, Orson Scott Card, Douglas Adams--and how their work shaped science fiction and the world. We'll discuss each author’s life and time period, best-known works, prominent or repeated themes and ideas, and contributions to the genre of science fiction and also science fiction as a whole, its common themes and ideas, and its influence on society and other forms of art.

This class will be about 1/4 lecture, 1/4 in-class readings and 1/2 class discussion, with no required homework. If you want to argue a case for the inclusion of a different author shoot me an email at zoesnape@mit.edu with your argument and I will consider it.

**PLEASE NOTE--SPOILER ALERT: Like most literary discussion, we will discuss the endings of some books in almost all of our classes. If you think this will totally spoil your experience then please don't sign up for this class.

Willingness to hear and discuss spoilers.

H5673: Political Ideologies in the 20th and 21st Centuries Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: William Uspal

In the aftermath of the Global Finance Crisis, there is a pervasive sense that things cannot remain the same -- and yet they do, and no challenger to the pre-crisis consensus has remotely succeeded in displacing it. How has this ideological exhaustion come about? How can it be overcome? We will examine how previous economic and political crises shaped and were shaped by the ideological projects of the twentieth century: liberalism, Marxism, social democracy, and fascism. Particular emphasis will be placed on the relationship between political thought and action -- for instance, which (if either) is fundamental? Thinkers and topics of interest: Keynes, Lenin, Hayek; the Occupy and green movements, anarchism, libertarianism.

H5688: Sapere Aude: Philosophy Live!
Difficulty: **

What does it mean to be a philosopher? How does one practice philosophy?
These questions will be the focus of this class, and we will answer them with the help of some of the greatest philosophers the world has ever seen. By closely reading together texts from Aristotle, Plato, Descartes, Pascal, Kant, Nietzsche, and Heidegger, we will learn how to build arguments and give simple answers to complex questions. And since learning from example isn't enough, we will practice these skills through debates and discussions.
Thus the aim of this class will not only be to simply acquaint you with what these authors have to say, but also to have you become a philosopher yourself. Each class will be divided between the reading and analysis of a short excerpt, and a discussion of any topic of importance to you, from the meaning of life to moral dilemmas faced in everyday life.

H5710: Cities and Suburbs: Observing History, Shaping the Future
Difficulty: **

People shape cities.
Cities are places of commerce and culture. Cities are places of crisis and crime. How have our ideals and actions shaped the cities and suburbs we know and live in today?

Cities shape people.
Urban development is the foundation of communities, and thus an integral part of the opportunities experienced by families and individuals. How can we better our communities through urban planning?

This course will survey the history of American urban development and planning, focusing especially on cities and suburbs post-World War II, and engage students in developing tools and ideas for imagining and enacting a more sustainable and equitable urban future. It will be taught with a combination of lectures, discussions, and two walking tours of Boston neighborhoods.

H5671: Advents: An Introduction to Reading and Writing English-Language Poetry
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Samantha Berstler

"A poem conveys not a message so much as the provenance of a message, an advent of sense." --Thomas Harrison

This class is designed as a crash course survey of the major landmarks in British poetry mish-moshed together with an introduction to the college-style workshop. In other words, we'll spend half our time reading poetry and half our time writing poetry. No experience in writing poetry is necessary, and I will tailor the readings to the interests of the class. As of now, authors include the Anglo-Saxon elegiac poets, Shakespeare, Marlowe, Donne, Keats, Shelley, Byron, Sassoon, Owen, and Eliot.

Why take this class? It is good enrichment for higher level English classes, the SAT I and II, and the English AP exam; some of the authors we will read are heavily featured on the English AP. Additionally, the skill set required for writing poetry can immensely improve one's expository prose skills. Finally and most importantly, the class is going to be awesome.

[Deprecated] Math & Computer Science

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M5672: Algebra and Number Theory
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Dylan Yott

I'm sure you're all familiar with Pythagorean triples like $$3$$, $$4$$, and $$5$$ which satisfy $$3^{2}+4^{2}=5^{2}$$. What if we replace the $$2$$ with a $$3$$? Are there any interesting whole number solutions to $$x^{3}+y^{3}=z^{3}$$? On the other hand, we've just shown $$25$$ is a sum of two squares. What other numbers can be written as a sum of two squares? Can ever number be written in this way?

I'm sure you're also familiar with equations such as $$ax+by=c$$, or $$x^{2}+y^{2}=k$$. We know what their graphs look like, but what can we say about points on these graphs? Are there any whole numbered pairs, $$x$$ and $$y$$ on these curves? How many? What if we allow $$x$$ and $$y$$ to be fractions?

I'm sure you're ALSO familiar with the idea of a prime number, that is, numbers that are only divisible by $$1$$ and themselves. Whole numbers have the fantastic property that we can factor them uniquely into primes. For example, $$21=3 \cdot 7$$ or $$2012=2^{2} \cdot 503$$. In this way, if we want to understand whole numbers well, it seems like it would suffice to just try and understand these primes. How many primes are there? How are they distributed? Are there patterns to them, or are they sort of randomly distributed? If you can answer this question, you could win $1,000,000!

Such is the beauty of mathematics, with every question we answer, there are always more we can ask! In this class, we'll do our best to answer all of these questions and more!

The style of the class will be as follows. Each lecture, I'll present a sort of conceptual question about numbers or equations, which will motivate the discussion of important concepts in algebra and number theory. Then, we'll finish off each lecture by looking at an important problem in algebra or number theory, and solving it! (most of the time)

Short, fun, and interesting homework problems will be assigned, but they are $$\bf{optional}$$ and solutions will be given out the following class.

High school algebra.

M5675: Bootstrap: Program your own video games! Full!
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Kate Rudolph

Learn to program your own video game! We'll learn a programming language called Scheme, and learn and apply algebra concepts to make our characters move, change, and collide.

This course is designed for those who have no experience with programming.

M5684: Fringes of Chaos
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Zandra Vinegar

The common theme throughout this class is dynamic complexity, or, in a word, chaos – the chaos of the Mandelbrot fractal, the chaos of the universe that increases infinitely with time, the chaos that marks the edge of the set of patterns comprehensible to the human mind. This class will be like none other you have ever seen, and I may as well have filed it under physics or liberal arts instead of mathematics. There will be many days when we are extremely rigorous — assignments which ask for mathematically presented proofs — and days when we can't be rigorous simply because the questions we will discuss are still unanswered by science and mathematics at large. We will cover, in depth, the concepts surrounding and intertwining between Fractals, Entropy, and Universal Symmetries. We will discover the connections between these ideas through lectures and projects which range from online mathematical applets to discussions about required reading material. Every week will be intense and will require the full participation of all students. Come with an open and inquisitive mind and the work ethic to support it!

The course has no real mathematical prerequisites but material does require significant mathematical maturity. Come prepared to think hard and abstractly!

M5694: Math for Middle School Lecture Series
Difficulty: **

Math is not about formulas and symbols: it’s about finding patterns! If three people want to all introduce themselves to each other, how many introductions will take place? Just three! But what about ten people? What about a thousand?

Through interactive lectures, this class will introduce quirky mathematical topics not covered in regular curricula (number theory, graph theory, logic, set theory, geometry, etc.) The lectures are intended for middle school students. The class will consist of a lecture from a different teacher every week, on a variety of math topics accessible to middle schools students.

M5682: Dealing with uncertainty: Intro to Probability!
Difficulty: ***

In this class students will learn about the main techniques of calculating probabilities of events and how to make decisions under uncertainty. The material will be motivated by games (cards, dice, etc), where the techniques learned in class will help you come up with better strategies.

Great emphasis will be placed on learning through solving problems and on elegant strategies for solving (difficult!) problems.

 Sample spaces, events
 Counting Techniques
 Bayes theorem, conditional probability, and independence
 Random variables, expected values,
 Important distributions

Students are expected to be (extremely!) comfortable with algebraic manipulation and well acquainted with pre-calculus material. Basic knowledge of Combinatorics is also expected. Calculus is NOT required (although if you know Calculus it will still be challenging and we can give you additional calculus related problems).

M5687: Intro to Topology
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Tucker Chan

We will guide you through some of the highlights of the wonderful theory of algebraic topology. That's a mouthful to say, and I promise it will be more fun than it sounds. We will investigate how to build up and break down different shapes such as mobius strips, toruses, and klein bottles, and study their properties, such as how loops in them behave. Also featured will be a topologist's breakfast, complete with edible toruses and lessons on a mathematician's method of playing with his food. Finally, we will use our newfound knowledge of shapes to arrive at some very interesting and surprising results.

So if you've ever marveled at mobius strips and how strange they are (have you ever cut one in half?) or if you've ever tried to tie an anti-knot -- or even if you haven't -- come learn about algebraic topology.

Added bonus: Just mentioning "algebraic topology" will impress your friends. They may, however, be in slightly less awe upon learning that it includes such gems as the "hairy ball theorem," "stone tu(r)key theorem," and "ham sandwich theorem."

Algebra II. If you have been exposed to more math such as geometry, you will probably get more out of the class.

M5696: Caffeinated Calculus
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Naveen Kartik C K

In this class, you will learn to use Calculus, for fun and profit! We'll start by trying to understand how Calculus is a very natural result of nature and geometry, and not something scary and random. In fact, Calculus can be our best friend when we try to solve various problems, most notably in optimization. Ever wondered how you can maximize profit or minimize wastage? With the power of Calculus, you can convert your everyday problem into a math problem, and solve it using some very simple tools. By the end of the course, you will realize the role math plays in everyday life, and more importantly, how we can use calculus to hack it!

Precalculus, including but not limited to, graphs, functions (including simple ones like sines, cosines and other trigonometric functions), algebra.

M5663: Great ideas in mathematics
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Akhil Mathew

This is an introduction to higher mathematics. We will survey some of the classical ideas in mathematical history, ranging from the infinitude of the primes to the development of the complex numbers to the uncountability of the reals. The goal is to present mathematics as a cultural artifact, and we will discuss some of the history along with the proofs.

Familiarity with techniques of high school algebra (as in, for instance, Algebra II).

M5681: Introduction to Discrete Mathematics
Difficulty: **

Do you know how to count up to 10? What about counting the number of possible 5 card hands in poker? We will cover a variety of topics in discrete mathematics. We will start off by discussing combinatorics, which is how to count the number of a type of objects. We will then move on to probability, where we will learn how to estimate the chances of a particular event happening. We will then talk about a little bit of number theory, which studies the properties of numbers, and we will finish the class with some puzzle problems, which will relate to the topics that we discussed earlier

M5679: Awesome Abstract Algebra
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Joshua Frisch

Algebra in high school is, to be honest, not particularly interesting. Algebra (as done in college) is novel, exciting, and interesting . Based on less than a half dozen rules you can describe a HUGE variety of interrelated structures which are intimately related with such seemingly disparate things as the structure the universe, how credit card data is encrypted on the web, and how google functions. Although we will not cover these specific applications we will discuss symmetry and (rather miraculously) a way to describe all of them, unique factorization (i.e. what makes primes work) and situations where it fails. And, as time permits, the connections between two thousand year old greek geometry problems, complex conjugation, and the insolvability of the quintic.

Knowledge of Algebra 2 is a strict necessity. Both familiarity with proofs and modular arithmetic are highly recommended in order to get the most out of this class. experience with Calculus and precalculus, while not strictly related the content of the class are typically well mastered by people who take this class. This class will involve material typically taught to junior math majors at good colleges so, although I will do everything I can to make the material understandable, expect to be very challenged. (In essence, although no formal material is expected beyond the algebra 2 level, the material itself will be very difficult so any experience you have had (especially with proofs) will be helpful.

M5690: Relativity
Difficulty: ***

Probably the most well-known equation in all of physics was derived by Einstein in 1905: $$E=mc^2$$. This equation came with a radical new notion of how space and time are related. Einstein's theory, dubbed the Special Theory of Relativity, is now an essential part of our understanding of the universe. This course will cover the main ideas of special relativity, including length contraction, time dilation and the invariance of the speed of light. Time permitting, we will discuss how the effects of relativity have major implications to how charges and currents interact, and may also touch on ideas from General Relativity, which is the most successful theory of gravity to date.

-Solid knowledge of mathematics through Algebra II. -Exposure to using sin, cos, and other trigonometric functions. -Some background in mechanics (i.e. Newton's law and similar) is helpful but not required.

M5700: Making Games in TaleBlazer Full!
Difficulty: **

Create location based games on your iPhone or Android using TaleBlazer. Using a block based language similar to Scratch, you can program virtual characters that interact with players who walk around with their phone.

You will be in the first class to use TaleBlazer. You'll help work out some of the bugs in the system before it is released to the general public.

If you have a iPhone or Android, bring it to class.

M5654: Game Theory, or How I Learned to Stop Losing and Love Math
Difficulty: **

HEY! Do you want to play games with MORE MATH? Take our class, and we'll play games with GRATUITOUS AMOUNTS OF MATH! In particular, we'll be studying the mathematics of game theory. In what games can we figure out which player has a winning strategy? In what games can we do this quickly? What interesting bits of math come out of such studies? You'll try to find the answers.

Some math background, especially in proofs, will be helpful.

[Deprecated] Science

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S5659: Ecology of Bacteria
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Sarah Preheim

This is an ecology class from the perspective of bacteria. Imagine being microscopic, floating in the open ocean or growing in the stomach of a cow. These tiny creatures will help us understand ecological principles. We will investigate bacteria in their natural environment (i.e. just about everywhere!) and seek to understand why different bacteria live where they do. We will also learn about some of the amazing ways bacteria affect everything from your health to the global climate. Ecological principles will come to life in simple bacteria communities on petri dishes and in cultures. Additionally, we will discuss some of the technology that enable the study of bacteria in the environment.

S5701: Introduction to Cosmology
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Eric Gentry, Anna Ho

Cosmology is the study of the universe on the biggest scales: scales on which galaxy clusters look like smears and the universe can be thought of as one object expanding through space and time. In this class, we will talk about relativity, spacetime, black holes (black holes are awesome!), the fundamental forces of nature, dark matter, dark energy, and inflation - in order to understand how the universe began, how it is changing, and how it will end (if ever.)

S5668: Classical Mechanics and Special Relativity
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Lawrence Chiou

An accelerated introduction to classical mechanics, the study of how objects move under Newton’s laws of motion (with some special relativity). There will be a strong focus on developing problem solving skills, as opposed to simply learning facts and formulas. Even those who have previously taken an AP Physics course will likely find many challenging problems and additional depth not covered in their high school course. That said, previous physics knowledge, though strongly recommended, is not required. Topics include kinematics, Newton's laws, special relativity, conservation of momentum and energy, rotational motion, and simple harmonic motion.

S5665: Introduction to Organic Chemistry Full!
Difficulty: ***

Notoriously a soulless crusher of the GPAs and egos of students across time and space, organic chemistry has been a ruthless "weed-out" class in universities across the nation. Laugh in the face of adversity and flout convention to ace this cruel monstrosity of a subject by getting a head start (undoubtedly to the utmost envy of your peers) by taking this introductory course to organic chemistry.

Organic chemistry, the study of carbon compounds, is the foundation of life and all living things. Carbon's unique ability to form a remarkable array of compounds is at the center of this compelling subject. In this course, we will focus on a few key classes of organic compounds, including alkenes/alkynes, alkyl halides, alcohols, carbonyls, and arenes. There will be some emphasis on problem solving and synthesis, and a lecture will be dedicated to structure elucidation if time allows.

Some general chemistry knowledge

S5709: Why the Solar System is Awesome
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Emmett Krupczak

Do you know which object in the solar system has methane oceans? Or whose moon has 300 mile-high sulfur plumes? Who is the largest dwarf planet in the solar system? (Hint: it's not Pluto.) Come and find out all this and more! In this class, we'll learn about the fascinating celestial bodies
with whom we share our Solar System. We'll talk about what makes each of our celestial neighbors so unique and interesting. This class will also discuss the amazing tools and vehicles that we use to explore other planets. Time permitting, we'll touch on extrasolar planets and other Solar Systems.

S5667: True Chemistry
Difficulty: **

Unlike most high school chemistry classes, this class will discuss the true explanations behind a variety of chemical phenomena. Chemistry is NOT just a random collection of facts that one has to memorize—everything in chemistry does have an explanation, and it is my goal to reveal these explanations and show the true beauty of chemistry. We will start with the basis for all of chemistry, quantum mechanics (don't worry, no difficult math will be used), and from there we will consider electron configurations (with a special focus on electron configurations of the mysterious d-block elements) and use them to explain the wide array of reactivity that is exhibited by the elements of the periodic table. We will also discuss basic molecular orbital theory to explain different types of bonding (including metallic bonding). If we have time, we will discuss acid-base and oxidation-reduction chemistry, as well as some thermodynamics (including an explanation of what entropy really is!).

All students should have completed at least one full year of high school chemistry or equivalent.

S5686: Introduction to Cancer Biology
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Tuyen Phung

How were cancer cells discovered? How can cells get "transformed"? How do cells metastasize from the primary tumor? In this course, students will be introduced to the basics of cancer biology; students will get an understanding of novel discoveries about tumor viruses, oncogenes, and tumor suppressor genes. Students will also get exposed to reading scientific papers and learning about basic technique in a cancer biology lab.

Has taken some classes equivalent to high school biology

S5656: Introduction to Astronomy Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Ashley Villar

“We are in the universe and the universe is in us.” –Neil deGrasse Tyson.
I remember when I was in the 8th grade and first heard about astrophysics. I found it fascinating and frightening, and I thought that, surely, the only way into the subject was through densely written manuals and have an innate Hawking mind. Luckily, this is absolutely wrong, and basic astrophysics is accessible to anyone. This class is designed for students who are intrigued by the night sky but have never taken an intensive course in astronomy or astrophysics. Black holes, the big bang, Kepler – learn about the who’s, what’s and where’s of the universe.
Note: no prior knowledge about astronomy is necessary, but I strongly encourage that students be committed to staying in the class. It’ll be on the smaller side and tight knit!

S5685: Neuroscience and The Seven Dwarfs
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Elise Ruan

What if Snow White was a neuroscientist? Meeting the seven dwarfs would have been fascinating! From Happy to Bashful to Sleepy to Grumpy, their behavior all starts in the brain.

This class uses basic neuroscience to understand what causes emotions, sneezing, sleepiness, and more. Find out what's going on in each of the dwarf's brains!

Basic understanding of Biology. Preferably at least a year of an introductory class.

S5699: The Wonders of Modern Biology Closed!
Difficulty: **

Biology is a rapidly changing field, with many new ideas and discoveries. This class aims to unveil the intricacies underlying modern biology and how these new discoveries affect our understanding of modern issues. I will address problems like "cellular memory," the emergence of pandemics, the causes of cancer, and stem cell regulation in light of recent discoveries. Students will take an active role by reading four papers and discussing the impact they have on biology today.

Topics covered:

Genetics - overview of DNA and RNA, specifically addressing the RNA world theory and the Central Dogma; advanced topics include epigenetics, ""junk DNA,"" and RNA interference
Immunology - overview of the immune system, followed by genetic recombination, viruses, pandemics, and autoimmune diseases
Cancer - defining cancer, focusing on origin and metastasis; advanced topics include the Warburg effect and a mechanistic understand of both treatments like Gleevec and the emergence of resistance to medications
Stem Cells - defining stem cells, looking at the mechanisms of differentiation and self-renewal, regulation of the stem cell niche, tissue homeostasis, and aging

Preferably one year of a biology class.

S5703: The Biology of Nutrition Full!
Difficulty: **

Nutrition has taken a central stage within the American consciousness, but the science behind what makes a food "good for you" is often lost in media discussions of public health. A combination of biology, physiology, and chemistry, this class will examine the science behind food, nutrition and cooking. Topics to be covered include the real meaning of metabolism and calories; the differences between simple and complex carbohydrates; how proteins and amino acids impact the body; the chemical and physical differences between saturated, unsaturated, and trans fats; and more. Snacks related to the lessons will be provided many weeks.

Topics covered:

Energy Systems
Vitamins and Minerals, Antioxidants
Psychology of Food Advertising
Whole Grains, ""Lite"" Foods
Science behind FDA Guidelines

S5655: Futures in Biotechnology
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Julia Winn

Vaguely interested in science but bored by what they teach in high school? Very interested in science and looking to explore different fields?

If you are interested in learning more about: stem cells, genetic engineering, neuroscience, cancer, aging, virology, hormones, computational biology, as well as more practical things like, how to find internships doing medical research in high school or what jobs actually exist for biotech people, this is the class for you.

Each lesson covers the basics within a specific field; the second part will cover the most recent biotechnological advances in that field, with an emphasis on applications.

Some high school biology can be helpful, but the course will not assume any prior background.

S5660: Introduction to Psychology (and some Neuroscience) Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: yiling chen

How is the left side of the brain different from the right side, the front different from the back? What happens when different parts of the brain is damaged? What are some daily psychological principles we're all subjected to but don't really realize? How can you use these principles to your advantage? This class covers a range of topics in psychology including psychological disorders, learning, memory, personality, social psychology, and psychology across the life span.


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X5680: Introduction to Critical Thinking and Creativity
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Volunteer Teacher

Hi! Welcome to Introduction to Creativity and Critical Thinking! Our class will alternate between learning about critical thinking and solving fun creative projects together with your classmates.

As part of our creativity workshops you may be an engineer working for a toy company who has to design a new toy that can launch objects into specific targets; or, you may be a famous fashion designer who has to make costumes made entirely out of news papers.

As a result, you will learn how to approach different design challenges, how to brainstorm about possible solutions, test them and redesign your product. You will get to work on different problems with your teammates and test your ideas together.

In the critical thinking part of the class we will get to learn about the structure of arguments, how they are used to convince others of a certain point of view. We will talk about different issues in society and why critical thinking is important to understand them.

Time permitting, we might also learn a circle folk dance!


X5657: Cryptography and Cryptanalysis: Methods and History Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Yixiao Wang

Cryptography has always been a constant war between those with secrets and those who want to expose secrets. It is the study of code making and code breaking. The strength of a cipher and the skill of the cryptanalyst have changed the outcome of many historic events. In this course, we will learn how different ciphers work and the methods used to crack them. We will travel through the history of cryptography from Caesar through WWI and WWII to the modern age. As we study each cipher we will learn how codes have impacted events such as the execution of Mary Queen of Scots and the entrance of the United States into World War I. Each week we will learn how a new cipher works and sometimes even learn how to crack it ourselves. Topics include frequency analysis, the Caesar cipher, the monoalphabetic substitution cipher, the Vigenere cipher, the Enigma, and public key cryptography.

X5695: World News Lecture Series
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Benjamin Kraft

Are you not content with just “living your life”, oblivious to the terrors happening around the world every day? Have no fear! This class will cover the past week’s world news, keeping YOU updated!

Each week’s class will be taught by a different teacher, talking about the events that shape our world today.

X5674: Teaching Workshop
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Kate Rudolph

Learn how to teach! This class will help you develop teaching skills and a lesson plan on a topic of your choice, You'll learn how to pick a topic your students will enjoy, and present it in a fun and interesting way! Throughout the class, you will work with a partner to develop your lesson plan and teaching skills, and for the final class you will have the chance to teach your class to younger HSSP students!

High maturity level, consistent attendance at HSSP

X5692: ESPrinkler
Difficulty: *

During the last block (2:30 - 4:00), middle school students are given the opportunity to participate in ESPrinkler, a mini-program that consists of several one-shot (Splash-style) classes each week, including Singing A Capella, Explosive Chemistry, and Splendid Spleens

While you don’t have to individually register for each activity, you must register for this course (ESPrinkler) to partake in the different activities offered every week!