HSSP Spring 2013
Course Catalog


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Arts Engineering
Humanities Math & Computer Science
Science Miscellaneous


Arts

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A6905: The Walls Between Art and Engineering Exist Only in Your Mind! Full!
Difficulty: **

Do you want to make moving, blinking, breathing art projects and add a whole new category of media to your artistic abilities?

Or perhaps you want to learn how to use your engineering powers for art?

Come join us! We’ll make a number of awesome projects combining art and technology and introduce you to the amazing work artists and engineers are doing today!

“The walls between engineering and art exist only in our minds.” -Theo Jansen

“Do or do not, there is no try.” -Yoda

“Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need roads!” -Doc

**similar to topics covered in "Do Artists Dream of Electric Sheep?" splash! class**


Prerequisites
Willingness to use your creativity and problem solving! A sketchbook might come in handy.

A6836: Dance 101
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Christine Park

Dance 101: A crash course through different genres of dance! All students of all ages and genders welcome! No previous formal dance experience is necessary, but is always welcome. Genres may include hip-hop, jazz, ballet, and contemporary!

A6875: Narrative ↔ Space: Seeing Stories, Writing Spaces
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Theodora Vardouli

You pick up your favorite novel, you turn the pages and the words disappear. You find yourself immersed in a world of your imagination, half rendered at parts, palpably real in others. You don’t read anymore, you just see the story unfolding, changing as you look. You may not realize it, but you are in your very own design.

Every time we read a story we dynamically construct an imaginary space where we place characters, actions and movements to make sense of what we read. Narrative ↔ Space is a class based on discussions and hands-on workshops, through which we will explore the idea that the act of reading is not only an active process of (re)writing, but also an act of designing.

If you are curious in learning how you experience stories through space, and/or are interested in experimenting with hands-on ways through which you can represent and communicate the story-spaces of your imagination, then this is the class for you! By the end of Narrative ↔ Space you will be able to understand important space-related concepts in narrative theory, identify the strengths and limitations of narrative as a way to describe and/or design spatial experience, and explore creative intersections between storytelling and designing, reading and seeing.

The class includes seven sessions, divided between “talk” (readings and discussion) and “do” (hands-on workshop) sessions. There are no prerequisites, apart from an eagerness to read, talk, experiment, and share. Join Narrative ↔ Space this Spring and become a creative reader, an imaginative author, and an inventive designer, by learning to see in your and other people’s stories!

More course information: <http://thvard.scripts.mit.edu/narrativespace/>

A6890: The Art of Hip-Hop
Difficulty: **
Teachers: nathaniel garcia

A look at hip hop as an art form. Consider how lyrics, music (beat), flow, delivery, and structure lend to the conscious creation of modern poetry. In the words of KRS ONE, "rappers spit rhymes that are mostly illegal, MCs spit rhymes to up lift their people"

Focus will be given to specific artists from 1987-1998


Prerequisites
a considerable interest in hip hop. please watch the movie The Wild Style

A6846: Elements of Theatre
Difficulty: *

There's more to theatre than just acting!
Learn everything from playwriting to set building to make up and costumes to, of course, acting and rehearsals. Taught by the MIT's very own Shakespeare Ensemble; we're a light-hearded and extremely self-assured overly-competent gang of lads and lassies that want to spread our love for theatre over the infinite cosmossss.


Prerequisites
Your body and your voice. Brains are optional

A6907: Origami Design: Folding the World
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Ian Chesser

A crash course in everything origami, from the basics of folding to real world applications in math and science! You will walk away from this course with the ability to design virtually anything from a square piece of paper! Lots of folding, lots of fun, come delve deeper into a rich branch of math and art.


Prerequisites
high school Algebra and Geometry recommended but not mandatory

A6916: Arts and Crafts!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Molly Kosiarek

Come do a jumble of arts and crafts with me! (Including friendship bracelets, army of origami Pikachus, crayon art, potato painting and cupcake decorating.) This class will focus mostly on colors and their interactions within the art.


Engineering

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E6847: Engineering for International Development
Difficulty: **

Learn to apply your technical skills to solve problems in international development! We will be focusing on solar energy in this class. Working in teams, students will draft, design, build and test a solar oven made from low-cost materials. Later in the course, students will have hands-on experience with solar autoclaves and salt-water batteries. One class will include a trip to MIT's Development Lab to see real low-cost technologies that have been developed right here at MIT!

E6828: Introduction to Space Systems
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Andrew Rader

This class will examine past, present, and future unmanned and manned space systems. We will look at how the space environment impacts design, and examine in detail how subsystems combine to deliver functionality at the spacecraft level. Case studies will be used to illustrate examples of mission architectures, and the course will also include a group design project.

E6911: Hands-On Digital Circuits - 010110010100000101011001!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Gurtej Kanwar

Want to make your own blinking light? pong game? calculator? CPU? Then this class is for you! We won't build anything as complicated as a CPU, because it would take up too much space, but we'll learn all the principles needed to do so, and make some fun mini-projects along the way.


Prerequisites
Preferably *no* knowledge of electronics, we'll start from the basics.

E6827: How to Build a Building
Difficulty: **

Think you might be interested in engineering or architecture? With this course you will see the "magic" of designing your own small building from scratch using professional softwares in a very easy and fun way.

First, we will use AutoCAD to draw a small plan of the building we want to design.

Second, we will learn some basics about building and supporting structures. We will then apply this knowledge to raise our own building with TRICALC, a very powerful software used to calculate structures.

Finally, we will discuss facilities inside the building, such as plumbing and sanitation systems. We will see where the water comes from and where it goes when it is dirty. We will use CYPE, another software program, to better understand these processes.


Humanities

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H6872: Critical Interpretations of Hamlet
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Celina Reynes

A country torn by war; a family divided by murder; a pair of lovers separated; an individual plagued by indecision. In this course, we will examine the various critical interpretations of Shakespeare's Hamlet. Through close readings, in-class lectures, and selected scenes from the play's most notable screen adaptations, students will gain an understanding and appreciation for the complexity of the work, as well as the skills necessary to discuss ideas and produce a critical essay of their own.


Prerequisites
Strong reading and writing skills recommended; an open mind; willingness to discuss ideas deeply and thoroughly.

H6834: Ethical and Environmental Food Issues
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Elizabeth Berg

If you carefully stroll through the supermarket, you'll notice that everything is plastered with a variety of labels: Organic, Natural, Fair Trade, non-GMO. What do all of these words mean, and why should you care? In this class, we'll learn about and discuss both sides of many contemporary food issues.

H6853: Introduction to Linguistics

This is an introductory course into the science of linguistics, the study of the rules of language. We will talk about how we create speech sounds and how words and sentences are put together. You will also learn about the differences between languages and some of the social consequences these differences can have.

H6878: Logic and Critical Reasoning 101
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Melissa Schumacher

People try to convince each other of things all the time. But how do you know when you should be convinced? How do you tell whether an argument is good or not? In this class, you'll learn some of the basic skills needed to analyze arguments, evaluate the strength of reasons for believing something, and construct clear arguments of your own.

H6877: Radical PoliSci- Building a strong and stable country from scratch.
Difficulty: **
Teachers: John Williams

The year is 2013. Through a bewildering array of circumstances you find yourself the President of a small newly-formed country: Espland. 
But now you're faced with a problem: How do you make Espland prosperous?
In this class we will try to work out an answer to this question. 

Since you're the president of Espland, we will be focusing on polices and political institutions, how and why they work (or don't). In the meantime we will also cover game theory in government, heterodox economics, political history, and historical examples of how countries developed.

H6821: Pragmatism
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Matthew Davis

Who says philosophy cannot be practical? In this class, we will explore how to use the concept of pragmatism as a lens of viewing the world and a tool to solve complex problems. Through a series of stimulating conversations, we will explore the inner depths of the human mind and its relationships with the surrounding world, seeing how reality shapes us, how we shape reality, and how different fields of study, different people, and how we can use this dynamic in our everyday life... and to change the world.

H6852: Creative Writing
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Julia Longmate

Do you enjoy sonnets? Witty haikus? Tall tales? Weird noises and pictures made of words (figuratively and literally)? Join us for this class which will explore writing and reading poetry and prose. We'll take inspiration from Shakespeare and William Blake, the Dadaist movement and Shel Silverstein, and many other places and movements and people as well. Put aside fears, pick up pen and paper, and open your mind to the strangely beautiful and beautifully strange places writers, such as you, can take us.

H6896: Playwriting Workshop
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Daniel Epelbaum

Time in this class is divided between learning about plays and writing your own. We will learn what does and doesn't work in plays. When you finish the class you will understand essential concepts like intent, conflict and plot along with how to effectively use them into your writing. We will go through the process of brainstorming, writing, editing, and reviewing individual student-written pieces. By the end of the class, you will have your own one-act play.


Math & Computer Science

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M6920: Introduction to Real Analysis
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: alessio spantini

Whether you will be an engineer, a physicist or a mathematician, real analysis will be an invaluable tool in your studies.
This course will be an advanced introduction to the basic concepts of analysis.
You will learn a solid and rigorous theory of basic limits through extensive exercises.
We will start with some topology ( open,closed, compact sets and metric spaces) and then switch to limits of sequences (series) and functions.
I plan to cover, with plenty of omissions, approximately the first three or four chapters of Rudin's book "Principles of mathematical analysis",
which is the standard textbook used in the MIT Real Analysis course.
No textbook is required.


Prerequisites
Natural and Real numbers. Basic Set theory. Prior exposition to limits useful but not required. Familiarity with mathematical notation. Passion to learn. You can find the syllabus for the course and some sample problems in the uploaded document, you should be comfortable answering these problems.

M6832: The Art of Geometry
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Sruthi Narayanan

Consider this: Let $$\epsilon>0$$ and $$n$$ be a natural number. Consider the polygon with $$n$$ sides. Then there exists a natural number $$N$$ such that for all $$n>N$$, $$|\bigcirc - \text{pentagon} |<\epsilon$$.

If that scared you at all, then this is the perfect class to take! If I had to explain it in one line it would sound like this: An Introduction to Constructive and Proof Based Geometry. Each class I will go through a couple fundamental, though not-so-intuitive geometric theorems, and then propose a geometric construction we can draw ourselves.

We will learn about proofs by induction, by construction, as well as algebraic proofs. Every class will end with a picture that you create..with the aid of compasses, protractors, rulers and even some household objects. Oh and don't forget the markers, crayons, color pencils, chalk and paint.

Didn't think math could be done in pink, blue, green or neon orange? Well here is a class to prove you wrong!


Prerequisites
Some basic geometry and algebra knowledge would be nice. If you know what a polygon is and have heard of sine and cosine it will help, but it's not necessary.

M6868: LabVIEW Programming Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Hope Harrison

Do you want to write a program to do your math homework for you, create your own computer game, or control a robot? In this class you'll learn how to do all of these things! We will start off learning basic programming skills (no prior knowledge is necessary), and by the end of the class you will have the ability to create all kinds of programs that can make your life better.

M6873: Cryptography, Information, and Complexity
Difficulty: ***

This class will cover varying topics ranging across theoretical computer science. Some topics include:

- Cryptography, or, how to tell secrets
- Information Theory, or, how to measure randomness
- Complexity Theory, or, why can't your computer do everything
- Algorithms, or, how does your computer do everything


Prerequisites
Some background in math (especially proofs) or programming would be useful. But, feel free to come if you know nothing about either!

M6880: Computability, Computational Complexity, and the Mind
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Bianca Homberg

Computers are powerful, sure. But can they compute anything you want them to? Is there anything computers absolutely can’t figure out, no matter what? What about your brain? Are brains more or less powerful than computers?

In this class, we'll focus mainly on theoretical computer science: figuring out what problems computers can solve, what they can't, and how fast. Here, we'll look at some of the borders of what we've been able to prove and what we haven't (the P v. NP problem, for instance). Over the course of the 7 weeks, you'll become familiar with several different models of computation, including finite automata, context free grammars, and Turing machines--both their capabilities and their limitations.

Throughout the course, we'll also look at questions of philosophy and artificial intelligence through this computational lens. In addition to rigorous math and algorithms, we'll look at excerpts from books and articles by Marvin Minsky, John Searle, Ned Block, and Isaac Asimov to bring external ideas* to the discussion.

We'll be doing both significant thinking about math and algorithms and in-depth discussion--there will be strong aspects of math, computer science, and philosophy. Classes will contain a mix of interactive lecture, group problem solving, and discussion.


*In particular, we'll look at parts of Marvin Minsky's Society of Mind, which outlines a theory of how the mind might work; Searle's writing about his Chinese Room argument, Ned Block's "The Mind as the Software of the Brain", and excerpts from Isaac Asimov's iRobot.

M6848: Games and Strategies Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Megan Belzner

Learn about math through the lens of games! From Nim to Chess to Sudoku to dating or crime, we'll explore games and "games" of all sorts. Along the way, we'll learn about combinatorics, game theory, probability, artificial intelligence, and much more!


Prerequisites
Algebra and a love of playing with numbers will be useful, but we'll cover pretty much everything you'll need to know in class.

M6849: Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Pratiksha Thaker

How can we model a human mind? How does Watson work? Are robots really going to take over the world?

In this course, we'll explore the basic techniques behind artificial intelligence. We'll also study some famous examples of AI (real and fictional) and talk about the current (real) state of the art. In addition, we'll do a case study in building a simple AI and discuss how it relates to more complicated systems.


Prerequisites
Algebra II, basic probability, and lots of enthusiasm. Calculus helps but is not necessary for most lectures. Knowledge of basic programming (especially Python) is also helpful, but will not be assumed.

M6930: Introduction to Actually Cool Math
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Ziv Scully

School math classes are boring. Actually cool math is over 9000 times M04R AVV35UM!

Slightly more seriously now: you've probably never had a math class in school that didn't use numbers. But when the numbers disappear, the fun begins! In this class, we'll take a tour through three topics that make up an introduction to the abstract, beautiful world of actually cool math.

- We'll talk a bit about infinity and why I should probalbly write "infinities" instead.
- We'll talk about group theory, the study of symmetry of objects real and too-many-dimensional to be real.
- We'll talk about linear algebra, which is introduced in school as a mundane tool for solving systems of equations but has a secret double life as a way to prove some very pretty results in very pretty ways.
- Finally, we'll put it all together and talk about the Banach-Tarski paradox, which is a seriously strange but awesome theorem.

Come join us! It'll be cool! Actually!


Prerequisites
There are no specific formulas or definitions you need to know, but this won't be a total walk in the park. If you're taking Algebra 2 and are able to explain why there are infinitely many primes, you're set, but if this doesn't exactly describe you and you're excited to learn, you'll probably be fine. In the opposite direction, if you know how the Banach-Tarski paradox works completely (1-hour crash course at Splash doesn't count!), you may learn some new things, but you'll likely know lots of it beforehand.

M6867: Introduction to Algorithms
Difficulty: ***

In this class we will discuss the basics of algorithms. How can you efficiently search through and sort a large amount of data? How can you find the shortest path between two points on a weighted graph? How can you test if a large number is a prime? We will answer these problems, and many more!


Prerequisites
Basic number theory and graphs. Experience in at least one programming language.

M6895: Infinity: a history
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Akhil Mathew

The seemingly mysterious notion of "infinity" has played an important (and frequently confusing) role in mathematical thought, starting with Zeno's paradoxes in ancient Greece and culminating in a modern view which turns it into a powerful, precise concept. In this course, we'll survey some of the developments revolving around the infinite; for example, the discovery of irrational numbers, limits, fractals, and Cantor's set theory.

M6917: Fun with Vectors: An Introduction to Linear Algebra
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Corinn Herrick

You know how to add and multiply numbers, but numbers can only get you so far. Dive into the exciting world of linear algebra where quantities have both magnitudes and directions. In this class we will cover the basics of vectors and matrices, along with some cool applications.


Prerequisites
Familiarity with plotting points on a graph and with basic area and volume formulas (such as a rectangle, triangle, and cube) would be helpful. However, we will review all of this briefly during the first class.

M6874: Symmetry, Structure, and Size, Combinatorics
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Joshua Frisch

In math we tend to deal with objects with that either have a lot of structure, have a small of size, or have a some sort of symmetry. In combinatorics we often try and figure out how to deal with things with a large size. In particular, if we need to figure out how many ways we can do something, we can often just list them (for example, figuring out how many whole numbers are solutions to the equation $$x^2-4$$

In combinatorics though, you don't just count solutions, you determine possibilities. So if you figure out that there are 2,598,960 different hands of 5 cards, it would be really, really, nice to use a better method then just listing them all out.

In this class we will discuss how combinatoricss interacts with probability, number theory, graph theory and geometry. As well as developing enough combinatorics on our own to solve a tremendous number of problems (If you haven't heard of some of these words, that's fine.)


Prerequisites
Algebra 2. In particular you must know how many different ways there are to put 6 different people in a line. We might mention a few things which require infinite series but these will be optional detours. In general though, the strongest pre-requisite is a strong willingness and ability to think very hard about math, about abstract concepts, and about your intuition. This will be a hard course and most of the material isn't ordinarily taken until the third or fourth year of college.

M6918: Edible Math
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Kate Rudolph

Come eat your way through the world of mathematics! We'll use food as a way to explore some cool mathematical topics, from exponential growth and decay to sphere packing to the Fibonacci numbers. Snacks always provided.


Science

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S6826: Experimental Highlights from Modern Physics
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Lucy Zhang

Theoretical physicists get all the love and attention. Let's change that! Come learn about the experimental results that shaped our modern understanding of the physical world. We'll also discuss the relationship between theory and experiment, the role of technology, and the interpretation of data.

Topics will be drawn from relativity, quantum theory, astrophysics, particle physics, and condensed matter physics. Come learn about galaxies, superconductors, the Large Hadron Collider, and more!


Prerequisites
Some high school physics.

S6845: Advanced Mechanics
Difficulty: ***

This course will quickly explore the topics most commonly found in first year classical mechanics. It will implement advanced mathematical techniques freely, and formulate classical dynamics using more mathematical maturity than seen in typical classical mechanics courses. When formulating dynamics, both linear and rotational systems will be explored, and will result in an investigation of symmetries in space and time, and how these symmetries lead to conserved quantities such as linear momentum, angular momentum, and energy. The final part of the course will explore effective potential diagrams (an important topic often overlooked in introductory courses such as MIT’s 8.01), and their use in classical mechanics, quantum mechanics, general relativity, etc.


Prerequisites
Physics, Calculus

S6850: Neuroscience of Perception
Difficulty: **

Sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell–your senses are continually building a rich picture of the world around you. We'll take a whirlwind tour of the senses (including a few beyond the usual five!) and explore:

– How stimulus features are perceived in the periphery and represented in the brain
– How the brain exploits perceptual information for higher cognitive tasks
– How the senses can be distorted, lost, and restored

This class will explore the fundamentals of perception and wonder about unanswered questions in the field through a combination of lectures, discussions, and hands-on demonstrations.


Prerequisites
Prior knowledge of high school-level biology helpful but not required; we will touch on basic neurobiology in class.

S6855: Current Research in Microbiology
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Tuyen Phung

Ever wondered what is the latest cutting-edge research in microbiology? Think bacteria are cool? Love to discuss about science? Then this class is for you! In each class session, we will study a different bacterial related topic; example topics are: antibiotics, toxin-antitoxin systems in bacteria, quorum sensing, bacterial pathogenesis, persister cells formation, biofilms, etc. In this course, not only you are going to learn about the basics of microbial physiology, you will also get the experience of reading scientific articles and discussing your thoughts with your peers and teacher.


Prerequisites
High school Biology. AP Biology is a bonus

S6819: Human Physiology
Difficulty: **
Teachers: yiling chen

In this course, we will examine the gastrointestinal system, liver system, skeletal system, cardiovascular system, and renal system. You will learn how these systems work together to regulate the body's glucose, sodium, calcium, and water homeostasis as well as what happens to your body if the systems (or the organs involved) are damaged/go wrong.


Prerequisites
You should have some basic biology background. You should definitely be familiar with terms and concepts like active/passive transport, osmosis, and concentration gradient.

S6837: Sound Knowledge: The Physics and Biology of Hearing
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Gita Bhattacharya

Has your mother ever told you, "Turn that iPod down! I can hear your music from across the hall!"? In this class, we will look at why your mother had the right idea. (It's not only because you may have been listening to Gangnam Style). First, we will explore the science of sound, by learning about the wave equation, the speed of sound, and sound intensity. Through our discussion of Decibels and sound intensity, you will get a sense of how loud is too loud. We will follow this physics introduction with discussions on biology, genetics, and neuroscience to understand how the inner ear and the brain work together to create the sensation of sound. The third portion of this class will focus on hearing damage, and groundbreaking methods of regenerating inner-ear neurons to cure deafness. We will examine exciting research currently being conducted by Harvard and MIT scientists. Finally, we will talk about the importance of this research in an increasingly loud world. Regeneration techniques to cure deafness may be one option on the horizon, but preventive measures against hearing damage are still essential. You will understand the growing trend of hearing damage, alarmingly in young people as well, and you will take away methods of protecting your hearing so that you can continue to enjoy the music and environments you love.


Prerequisites
We will briefly talk about gene mutations, but a comprehensive understanding of genetics is by no means required. A background briefing on all necessary information about genetics will be covered. A middle school level understand of Mendelian genetics would be ideal, but not necessary. Knowledge of physics, or having taken a physics class, is not necessary. Please note that the same course is offered for 9-12 grade students and will be taught at a higher level.

S6833: Introduction to Theoretical Physics
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: TJ Wilkason

Have you ever wondered how someone can find the shortest path of an object in a curved spacetime? Or about how to prove quantum tunneling? Have you ever wondered how theoretical physics actually works behind the scenes? In this class, we will be introducing some of the major tools that theoretical physicists use when developing these theories. By the end, you will have a greater conceptual understanding of how theoretical physics works.


Prerequisites
Must have taken some form of Physics I. Calculus strongly recommended, or at least a conceptual understanding of calculus.

S6818: The Horrors of a Quantum World
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Michael Flynn

Your world is quantum mechanical, and that is a horrifying fact. If you think the world around you makes sense in any intuitive way, I am here to show you the truth: the rules which nature follows could not be more unnatural, and there is a great deal of disturbing physics that we can (and will!) explore as a result of the strange way nature has "decided" to operate at its most fundamental level. If you have ever wanted to know what all the fuss is about quantum mechanics, this is the class for you.

We will now make a crucial distinction: quantum mechanics is strange, but it is not hard. Everyone reading this description is capable of achieving a full mastery of quantum mechanics; it will just require some time to develop the new sort of intuition that is required to really understand this area of physics.

Over the course of this class, we will slowly but surely build up the physics that describes the world around you, from the fundamental particles upwards. This course will roughly cover the same material as seen in a first undergraduate course in quantum wave mechanics. We will begin with an introduction to the fundamental principle of quantum superposition, and depending on how far we can get, end with a lecture on applications to quantum computation.

Challenge yourself - if you think the world makes intuitive sense, come see how it really works. I promise, you will never see nature the same way ever again.


Prerequisites
Prerequisites: Calculus is a must; I'll be assuming that you are comfortable differentiating and integrating functions of a single variable. Anything else that we need I will teach you along the way. Familiarity with definitions of important quantities from classical mechanics (i.e., potential energy, kinetic energy, velocity, momentum) will be useful, though not technically necessary.

S6838: The Biology of Nutrition

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 explore 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. One important goal of this class is to help students positively impact the health of their school or community, so health advocacy ideas will be suggested and encouraged throughout the class with ample opportunities for mentorship along the way!

S6894: Our Life, Our Environment
Difficulty: *

We are living in a "green" society, one were our choices effect the world around us. "Going green" and other environmentally friendly practices have become the norm in today's culture (at the very least in the North East). This course focuses on these topics, with a focus on environmental education, health, and making a differences through one's daily activity. One person can make a difference, and that one person can be you!

Since the class will be mainly discussion based, all points of view are welcome (just be sure to back up those thoughts)!

S6843: Sound Knowledge: The Physics and Biology of Hearing
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Gita Bhattacharya

Has your mother ever told you, "Turn that iPod down! I can hear your music from across the hall!"? In this class, we will look at why your mother had the right idea. (It's not only because you may have been listening to Gangnam Style). First, we will explore the science of sound, starting off with the basic foundation of the wave equation and how it is applied to sound waves and sound intensity. Through our discussion of Decibels and sound intensity, you will get a sense of how loud is too loud. We will follow this physics introduction with discussions on biology, genetics, and neuroscience to understand how the inner ear and the brain work together to create the sensation of sound. The third portion of this class will focus on hearing damage, and groundbreaking methods of regenerating inner-ear neurons to cure deafness. We will examine exciting research currently being conducted by Harvard and MIT scientists. Finally, we will talk about the importance of this research in an increasingly loud world. Regeneration techniques to cure deafness may be one option on the horizon, but preventive measures against hearing damage are still essential. You will understand the growing trend of hearing damage, alarmingly in young people as well, and you will take away methods of protecting your hearing so that you can continue to enjoy the music and environments you love.


Prerequisites
Having taken introductory level physics and biology classes is helpful, but not necessary. All relevant information pertaining to the physics and biology of hearing will be explained.

S6829: The Evolution of Our Scientific Answers to Seven Fundamental Questions
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Eric Gentry, Anna Ho

The evolution of our answers to seven of the most fundamental questions that humanity has tackled over the centuries. We will discuss the history of each question, its world-changing experiments and ideas, and the modern scientific answer(s).

1) What is the smallest, indivisible building block of matter?
From the elements (earth, air, fire, water) to the discovery of the atom to string theory.

2) How old is the earth, and where did it come from?
From the back of a tortoise to modern geology, geophysics, and planet formation theory.

3) Where does all the soft, squishy stuff that we call life come from?
From the spontaneous generation of maggots to Darwin and evolution. Also, supernovae and comets, because space is cool.

4) What causes disease and how do we stop it?
From demons to blood-sucking leeches to visualization techniques like MRI and the discovery of penicillin. A special segment on mental disorders.

5) What is humanity’s place in the universe?
From geocentrism to realizing there are other galaxies, to the search for exoplanets.

6) How is information transmitted?
Human communication (storytelling, the invention of the telephone) and nature's communication (genetic encoding, wave propagation and the universal speed limit).

7) How and when did the universe begin, and how will it end?
From a large rectangular box with lamps, to the Big Bang, to inflationary theory and calculating the age of the universe. Also, the possibility of a multiverse.

S6921: The Coolest Stuff We've Ever Learned
Difficulty: ***

Why do planes REALLY fly? What the heck is a FRACTAL? What was the coldest thing EVER? Does ANYONE understand quantum mechanics?

In our combined 8 years at MIT, we've learned a bunch of stuff. We've forgotten most of it, but the bits we haven't are dangerously awesome. Join us as we take a tour of the highlights of a college education in physics and math, covering topics like fluid dynamics, chaos and fractals, thermodynamics and ultra-cold atoms, quantum mechanics and quantum computation. You don't have to be Einstein to sign up: any math beyond the pre-requisites will be introduced as needed.

The instructors, (Tom Alcorn '14, Gus Downs '13) are two MIT students majoring in physics and math, and both love teaching excited students. Tom has focused on theoretical work in both condensed matter and astrophysics, while Gus has focused on experimental work in both ultra-cold atomic physics and quantum foundations.


Prerequisites
Algebra, Trigonometry, basic Physics, basic Chemistry


Miscellaneous

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X6851: The Building Blocks of Languages
Difficulty: **

Explore the many human languages, piece apart their puzzles, and even create your own!

This class will be an in-depth introduction to linguistics, the scientific study of human languages. We'll solve logic puzzles that don't require any linguistics knowledge, but that, in answering, should lead to insights about what sounds languages can be made of, how we put them together to form meaning, and how the world's languages have developed and changed. We will discuss a sampling of these aspects of languages over the course of HSSP.

The central theme of this class will be for you, the students, to create your own conlangs (constructed languages) by the end of the class. Building the parts of your conlang will be assigned as light homework.

Come expecting to learn, to decipher, and to create.

X6963: Teach for HSSP
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Kate Rudolph

You're an HSSP student... do you want to be an HSSP teacher, too?

This is an experimental program where you get to teach younger HSSP students, instead of taking a class this block. This is NOT a regular HSSP class. We will train you and help you brainstorm your classes, but for the majority of HSSP you get to teach anything you want!


Prerequisites
Responsible, trustworthy, and reliable. Must respond to emails promptly and reliably.

X6820: Modern Technology and Bioethics
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Kristian Teichert

This class will focus on new technological advances, as well as their ethical implications. For example, a new PET Scan dye has been developed that can help diagnose Alzheimer's Disease. Now that we have the technology, should we use it? Scans are not covered under the law protecting you from insurance companies refusing finances due to genetic predisposition. And would your family want to know that you have a degenerative disease with no cure which has a genetic tendency? We turn to ethics to give us the answers.

X6968: Sprinkler
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Kate Rudolph

Each week, you'll get to choose one of 4 to 6 classes. There'll be new choices each week! Planned classes include everything from Basic Swing Dancing to Enzyme Kinetics. It's like a very-mini-Splash every week!

X6904: Winning Scrabble Strategies
Difficulty: **

In this course we will cover strategies to improve your Scrabble game (and perhaps crush your opponents at Words With Friends). You'll learn about rack balance, board vision, when or when not to use the S or blank, finding bingos, probability, leave valuation, tile tracking, and endgame strategy.


Prerequisites
Know the basic rules of Scrabble. Some knowledge of probability is preferred.

X6910: How to Fold Everything
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Benjamin Kraft

Take a tour of the world of origami! If you think origami is only about folding cranes, you'll find out just how much more there is to it.

We'll start out with traditional origami models, and move on to more complex modern models. We'll also do some modular origami (made from many smaller units rather than a single square). Finally, we'll talk about the basics of origami design, and about why you really can fold everything.


Prerequisites
None! If you've folded origami before, that's great, but it's not necessary.

X6830: The Power of Persuasion
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Alec Lai

Unlock the door to a whole world of persuasion and influence. You'll gain a new perspective of human social interactions. Perhaps more importantly, you'll learn the art and science of getting ANYTHING and ANYONE you want. During Splash, two of these classes were offered (101 and 202). HSSP will cover these and many more topics in a seven class session.


Prerequisites
A genuine interest for persuasion; an open mind to new, different, and blunt ideas; and, a willingness to interact positively with others in class.