HSSP Summer 2013
Course Catalog


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Arts Engineering
Humanities Math & Computer Science
Science Miscellaneous


Arts

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A7292: Stencil Art
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Teasha Feldman

Learn how to make stencils and do cool things with them. In the first couple of weeks learn how to make stencils and design images to become stencils. Next, learn how to make multi-layer and multi-color stencils. Finally, learn how to use the stencils to decorate clothes, walls, or canvases.

A7239: War in Film
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Tyler Hopp

What makes war look good on camera? How can a director make the utter chaos of hand to hand combat look appealing? Those are some of the question I hope you have when coming into this class. We will be watching a discussing various battles from movies, both historical fiction and fiction.

A7234: Photography Composition
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Kiarash Adl

'The ability to see the potential for a strong picture and then organize the graphic elements into an effective, compelling composition has always been one of the key skills in making photographs.' In this class we will review material from some of the major photography books and we will then judge our own photographs based on those measures.

A7288: Economics of Professional Sports Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jordan Ross

Economic principles driving the business of MLB baseball, NFL football, NHL hockey, and NBA basketball. Labor, television, supply and demand, concussions, life after professional sports, collective bargaining to be covered. Individual projects and sports activities part of curriculum.


Prerequisites
Interest in sports and business.

A7269: Infographics and Visual Design
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Tana Wattanawaroon

Infographics are everywhere. They can present data in an easy-to-understand manner, but at times they can be outright deceptive. This class will teach you some basics of creating graphics using computers, like how to select appropriate fonts and colors. More importantly, you will lean how to portray information the way you want, whether it's being honest or trying to make people think a certain way.


Prerequisites
Experience with graphics software (Photoshop, GIMP, etc.) useful but not necessary.


Engineering

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E7243: Project-Based Learning
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Sam Shames

Learn how to become an expert at anything you think is cool.

This class teaches project planning, research methods, and communication skills that students use to pursue independent research projects on topics of their choice. Students present their work a form of their choice to their peers on the last class.

The class aims to show students how fun learning can be when given the opportunity to control what you learn and how you do it. It also aims to equip students with the tools and confidence to become independent learners capable of mastering any topic that interests them.

E7276: Biomedical engineering of Neurobiological Prostheses - The artificial eye, ear and hand/leg
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Bob Weinberg

Enormous strides have been made in the past 2 decades on the biomedical engineering of prostheses to replace human organs which are diseased or injured from trauma.

We will explore some of the advancements and progress in artificial limbs for amputees, artificial eyes for the blind, and artificial ears for the deaf.

The basic engineering principles will be shown and some demonstrated with working models.


Prerequisites
none

E7262: Thermal and Fluid Dynamics
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Alexander McCarthy

You start your day with a warm shower, and dry your hair with a hair dryer. For breakfast you have couple slices of toast, and a cup of coffee. You check your email on your laptop. And before you even step out the door to go to school, you've already interacted with half a dozen devices that were designed by fluid and thermal engineering experts.
In this class you will learn the principles of fluid and thermal dynamics, with examples of how these principles are used when designing thermal fluid devices. Topics will include the principles of heat transfer, hydrostatics, boiling, and bounded fluid flow.


Prerequisites
Students should be comfortable with algebra. Basic knowledge of calculus is helpful, but not required. Basic calculus will be taught/explained when needed.

E7281: Robot Arms Full!
Difficulty: **

Learn all about robot arm kinematics by building a robot arm that will draw your face. This course covers an introduction to arduino, power supplies, debugging designs, and kinematics.
All supplies provided, bring your own laptop (or let me know if you don't have one).

E7270: Biomimetics: Engineering from Nature
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Lauren Herring

Ever marveled at just how fast a hummingbird can change directions, or the way fireflies and jellyfish give off their own light? We'll look at case studies of animals like bombardier beetles and Humboldt squid, and their influence on technologies like internal combustion engines and advanced camouflage, as an introduction to biomimetics -- engineering inspired by natural evolution.

E7304: Biomimetics: Engineering from Nature
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Lauren Herring

Ever marveled at just how fast a hummingbird can change directions, or the way fireflies and jellyfish give off their own light? We'll look at case studies of animals like bombardier beetles and Humboldt squid, and their influence on technologies like internal combustion engines and advanced camouflage, as an introduction to biomimetics -- engineering inspired by natural evolution.

E7299: Hands-on Circuit Design Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Sara Sinback

Our lives wouldn't be nearly so easy (or cool!) without our wild, excitable friends, Direct and Alternating Current. Take this class to learn how to befriend (and master) these strange beasts. We'll start by learning the very basics of circuit design, and soon after we'll start building our own projects, ranging in complexity from a simple light switch to a look into the complex and flexible world of microcontrollers.


Prerequisites
No prior knowledge or experience in electronics needed. We'll cover both theory and practice from the ground up.


Humanities

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H7242: Creative Writing Workshop: Fiction Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Lee Hershey

This course will excite young writers with numerous tools and alternative approaches to the writing process in fiction. Organized into a small group workshops based on students' choice of genre, key elements of the program include:

• frequent workshop sessions in which leader and participants offer supportive feedback on your writing;
• lively discussions of selections of literature;
• individual meetings with workshop instructors to discuss how you will undertake a significant writing project and to review your progress;
• writing-intensive sessions, focusing on challenging writing exercises;
• a culminating project of submitting one piece of work for the class journal.

This blend of small workshops, group writing sessions, plus presentations will inspire students to experiment with new approaches, and to consider issues of writing as process, and modes of creativity. As students grow as writers, they will hone their creative skills and deepen their passion for the writer's craft.

This course is ideal for students who have a serious interest in creative writing and modern literature, who are not afraid to experiment with structure, and who want to develop a daily writing practice.

H7306: Spanish Tourism 101
Difficulty: **

Students will learn basic conversational Spanish to manage a vacation in a Spanish speaking country. This includes basic vocabulary (e.g. modes of transportation, food, places, etc.), common phrases, questions, and greetings, and an overview of basic verb conjugations and some grammar.

H7246: Making of the Modern Mind Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Carol Hardick

Making of the Modern Mind is the intersection of cognitive science, philosophy of mind, humanities and critical thinking. We study the science, processes, and theories of the brain, consciousness, memory, and cognition.

Depending on the interests of the class, some of the topics might include: subconscious, decision making and mind control , false memory, social psychology and group theories, ethics and the problem of good and evil, mind mapping and multiple intelligences. Two important topics are theory of mind (empathy), and the “mind/body problem,” and how these ideas relate to modern technology, AI, robots and learning.

Much of the material is college level, but I make it very accessible with a lot of open class discussion. I add tips for study skills throughout the course. We also look at some famous social psychology studies, depending on the interests of the class


Prerequisites
some neuroscience or cognitive psychology will be helpful, but not required

H7255: Writing Speculative Fiction
Difficulty: **
Teachers: James Penna

Boundless alien landscapes, fantastic future worlds beyond comprehension, sword and sandals sorcery, and the mountaintop keeps of giants and dragons - learn how to write without limits and pen the stories you've always imagined. This course will teach the specialized techniques behind world building and plot lining in science fiction and fantasy, culminating in the students writing a short speculative fiction story as a final assignment.


Prerequisites
Familiarity with a few major works of science fiction and fantasy

H7252: How English Works: Introduction to Syntax
Difficulty: **

This is not your high school grammar class. We will teach you how English is really put together and why it is put together the way it is (like, why do we say $$\textit{I did not read a book}$$ and not $$\textit{I read not a book}$$ - what is that $$\textit{did}$$ doing there?). You will find out that there is all sorts of interesting knowledge about English that you have in your head that no one has ever told you about (such as the fact that $$\textit{he}$$ and $$\textit{John}$$ can refer to the same person in $$\textit{John thinks that he is smart}$$, but not in $$\textit{He thinks that John is smart}$$). You will be taught a new perspective on English, the field of syntax, which allows us to solve these puzzles. It will also let us talk about the ways in which English is different from other languages and the ways in which it is not (for example, very few other languages have a $$\textit{did}$$ in $$\textit{I did not read a book}$$, but the facts about $$\textit{he}$$ and $$\textit{John}$$ are the same in every language).

H7235: A Thousand Words - Writing from Scratch
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Maiko Kitaoka

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but what about dance, sculptures, and music? We'll put it to the test by taking different forms of art, from photography to pantomime to artwork, and we'll discover the joy of writing, of creating our own stories as we let our imaginations run!

Writing is one of many essential skills in life (especially in academics), but writing doesn't always have to be work! Whether you love or hate writing, or if you just want to have fun and be creative, then this is the class for you! We'll discuss the aspects of creative writing as we explore different ways to find your "thousand words". (You don't have to write a thousand words, but you may find that it's easier than you expected!)


Prerequisites
No prerequisites, but please be sure to bring a notebook and writing utensil! :D

H7249: A History of Mathematics
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Ray Hua Wu

A curious journey through the twisted history of mathematics, across all the various oddities exhibited by mathematicians of every era and the spectacular evolutions of conjectures into theorems.


Prerequisites
Algebra 2 and Geometry

H7258: The Science of Language: Introduction to Linguistics

Explore human languages, piece apart their puzzles, and participate in experiments!

This class will be an in-depth hands-on introduction to Linguistics, the scientific study of human languages. Each week we will solve language-related puzzles and create in-class experiments. The discoveries we will make will lead to insights about what sounds languages can be made of, how sounds are put together to form meaning, how languages are structured, and how they are acquired.

The main goal is for you, the students, to discover through hands-on experience the many aspects of the scientific study of language. We will discuss several sub-fields of linguistics, including phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics, using not only English but a variety of other languages to spark our debates.

Come expecting to learn, to decipher, and to question what you already know about language.



Note: this class complements H7252: How English Works: Introduction to Syntax -- with this class providing a lot of background and a broader view of linguistics that will not be discussed in H7252 -- but each class can be taken independently of the other.

H7297: The Science of Language: Introduction to Linguistics

Explore human languages, piece apart their puzzles, and participate in experiments!

This class will be an in-depth hands-on introduction to Linguistics, the scientific study of human languages. Each week we will solve language-related puzzles and create in-class experiments. The discoveries we will make will lead to insights about what sounds languages can be made of, how sounds are put together to form meaning, how languages are structured, and how they are acquired.

The main goal is for you, the students, to discover through hands-on experience the many aspects of the scientific study of language. We will discuss several sub-fields of linguistics, including phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics, using not only English but a variety of other languages to spark our debates.

Come expecting to learn, to decipher, and to question what you already know about language.



Note: this class complements H7252: How English Works: Introduction to Syntax -- with this class providing a lot of background and a broader view of linguistics that will not be discussed in H7252 -- but each class can be taken independently of the other.

H7279: Introduction to Economics
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Anthony Yu

Ever wonder how the economy works? This course will introduce you to economic issues and basic principles and methods of economics. The course will begin with a focus on microeconomics: how markets work (supply and demand), consumer and firm behavior, and tax policy. For macroeconomics, we will focus on impact of monetary and fiscal policy, and world trade.


Prerequisites
Understanding of algebra and an interest in economics, business, or public policy.

H7245: Dreams, Dreaming, and the Subconscious
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Carol Hardick

Dreams, Dreaming and the Subconscious introduces you to cognitive sciences, thinking and memory from the perspective of the subconscious and the sleeping brain, using an interdisciplinary approach of cognitive psychology, dream science and humanities.

Movies and books include these ideas with lots of twists and turns, and bring up questions about the brain, 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? Can a person’s mind be controlled? What's deja vu? With lots of class discussion, we’ll answer these questions, and more.

As we discuss the breadth and depth of the mind, the sheer ingenuity of an individual’s ability to think and create in so many ways, (and even do it while we’re sleeping,) we open the door to understanding that vast universe we call a mind.


Prerequisites
none


Math & Computer Science

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M7251: Solve Wave Equation from Scratch!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Yuqi Zhu

Goals: Solve wave equation. Learn the general approch to ordinary and partial differential equations.
Why: Differential equations are everywhere in physics and wave equation is one of them. In order to solve a differential equation, we need to understand several other concepts such as, Fourier Transform, Green's function.
Topics: complex number and contour integral; Fourier Transform and Fourier series; Green's function and partial differential equations


Prerequisites
Calculus

M7300: Creating Mobile Apps with App Inventor Full!
Difficulty: **

Have a favorite app on your smart phone? Want to learn how to make it in real life? Take this class and learn how to make apps for the Android cell phone, no previous programming experience necessary!

Bring an Android phone if you have one.

M7240: Immersion Python - a first course in programming
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Felix Sun

Want to learn programming, but have no or very little experience? This course is for you. The goal of this class is to give you a hands-on, practical understanding of how to code, plus the ability to start your own projects and learn more for yourself.

There will be many coding exercises and mini-projects, culminating in a final project of your choice. We will use the Python programming language.


Prerequisites
A desire to learn programming.

M7282: Primes, probability, Pascal, permuations, and paths: a primer on problems
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Benjamin Kraft

Math is marvellous! But math makes minds like mine mushy without mathematical muscles. Formulas are fun, but trying techniques and tools to think about things as a team is terrific. We'll work our way through worlds of wacky wonders, and study to surmise solutions!

In English: there's a lot more to math than formulas. What's more important is learning techniques for putting facts and formulas, along with a bit of logic and common sense, together into solutions to problems you've never seen before. If you're interested in math competitions, problem solving is important for those, but it's also incredibly important for solving problems in the real world. We'll have fun learning about all these things and solving problems together!

M7244: What is Math Research?
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Ziv Scully

Wait, what? Math research? That's a thing? Sure, we can find new species in unexplored areas of the ocean, or we can figure out new mechanisms in biology, or physicists can deduce the existence of a new particle, but discovering new math? Is that even possible?

Yep!

In this class, we'll learn about a recent mathematical discovery in something called the parallel chip-firing game. We'll recreate the journey* from being totally clueless to discovering a theorem that nobody had proven before! This will include examining what's already known, figuring out what questions are both interesting and approachable, using hunches to find a proof, and, most importantly, pacing back and forth for several hours without making much progress. It'll be fun!

This discovery is very new, so by the end of the course, you'll know something only a handful of people on the planet know!

*Having been on said journey the first time around, the teacher of this class is well qualified to recreate it.


Prerequisites
The math we'll use is not easy, but it requires no particular background. For instance, don't worry if you don't know trigonometry yet. However, we'll spend a lot of time proving things. If you're interested in this class, before our first lesson, learn to prove at least one of the following (in order of my opinion of difficulty): -there are infinitely many primes -the square root of 2 is irrational -the quadratic formula works -if 6 people meet at a party, either 3 of them are mutual acquaintances or 3 of them are mutual strangers -Fermat's last theorem... :)

M7271: Introductory Topics In Pure Mathematics
Difficulty: ***

In this course, we will introduce several elementary topics in pure math. We will discuss the basic techniques and notions of analysis, topology, abstract algebra and geometry. There will be a focus on broad themes in mathematics and we will discuss recent math research.

There will be optional reading and exercises handed out at the end of every class.


Prerequisites
This class will be hard. However, if you do not have a broad math background, but you are enthusiastic, then you should still consider taking the course. We will do our best to help you keep up.

M7241: How to build a computer in 7 weeks
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Pranjal Vachaspati

Over a seven-week period, we will start from basic logic gates and digital circuits and develop a simple computer processor. The curriculum will follow an abridged version of MIT's 6.004 (Computational Structures) class. Topics covered will include digital circuits, computer architecture, and assembly language.


Prerequisites
Some knowledge of any programming language is useful.

M7267: Cryptography, Complexity and Algorithms Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Timothy Chu

This class will cover a range of topics in theoretical computer science. Topics will include cryptography - ways to share secrets effectively -, complexity theory -models of computation and their fundamental limitations -, and algorithms -effective ways to solve problems with computing power. Other topics may be covered if time permits.


Prerequisites
A good mathematical background will be helpful. Solid background in probability recommended for some parts of the course.

M7293: Logic, models, and computation
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Andrew Koche

An introduction to logic, model theory, and computation as it relates to models. Discussion of topics including quantifier elimination, isomorphism, and the practical significance of various theorems.


Prerequisites
Algebra

M7261: Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid Full!
Difficulty: **

Hello, everyone. Today:

We will learn how to mechanically generate believable English sentences.

We will learn how to translate nucleic acids to proteins.

We will learn how to certify that a koan has Buddha-nature.

We will learn how to listen to canons and fugues.

We will learn how to break record players.

We will learn how to convince our friends to treat us to dinner on their birthdays.

Finally, we will learn how to prove Gödel’s theorem that some true mathematical statements can never be proved.

M7233: Computer Programming and Interactive Graphics
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Curran Kelleher

The course will use JavaScript and HTML5 Canvas as a means to teach fundamental computer science concepts. By the end of the course, students will be able to create interactive graphical programs (games!) using modern Web technologies. Throughout the course, examples will be programmed from scratch during class time, with students following along writing the code themselves.

M7237: Introduction to Algebraic Inequalities
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Zipei Nie

This class will cover some basic and advanced technology in algebraic inequalities. In this course, we will learn many cool inequalities and some new (in recent 10 years) elementary methods, then use them to prove and generalize interesting problems from Math Olympiads and beyond.

Math Olympiad problems are expected to be solved in two hours without a calculator or a computer, but this is not the case for some other inequality problems. In this course, we will also learn (briefly) how to use MAPLE -- a symbolic computation software like MATHEMATICA (and better than that, just personally speaking). Some complicated calculation details will be verified by MAPLE.

Some inequalities come from discretization of theorems from higher math. But don't get scared --we can solve them (or understand their solutions).

Level of difficulty may vary based on student feedback.


Prerequisites
Algebra II. Passion for problem solving. Calculus may be helpful but definitely not required. No prior knowledge of inequality is required. We will start from the AM–GM inequality and the Cauchy's inequality.

M7308: Introduction to Programming
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Chelsea Voss

Do you want to create adventureful text games, have your computer solve ALL the math, or write scripts to automatically get things done? Learn programming!

This will be a course for students who have no prior experience with programming, but want to learn. It will be taught in Python.

By the end of this course, you will know some of the basic tools of Python, you will have programmed a final project on a topic that interests you, and you will learn how continue improving your Python skills even after the class ends.

M7263: Calculus is Fun!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Nicole Glabinski

This course is a fun introduction to calculus for students with basic algebra experience.
Learn about the mathematics of change used every day by mathematicians and scientists!


Prerequisites
Basic experience with algebra. You should be able to graph an equation like $$ y=mx+b $$. It would be helpful to know how to factor and graph polynomials like $$ y=x^{2}+2x+3 $$

M7250: Introduction to Linear Algebra
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Dennis Tseng

We will try to present some main ideas in linear algebra that hopefully aren't emphasized in a typical first course.

We will start with an introduction to matrices and their relation to linear maps. Then, we will talk about determinants, and how we can deduce the standard identities from the basic property of being multilinear and alternating.

After that, the rest of the course will depend on the audience, but possible topics are the Cauchy Binet formula, matrix tree theorem, diagonalization, applications to linear recurrances and markov chains. Possible more advanced topics include deducing existance of the jordan canonical form from the rational canonical form, and the point of view of the exterior algebra. Since the goal is the make things understandable, we will only be doing a small subset of these topics.


Prerequisites
I will assume you have a basic knowledge of vectors. Some experience with proofs will be helpful, but not necessary.


Science

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S7253: Intro to Statistical Mechanics
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Vipul Vachharajani

What does temperature actually measure? Why do your rubber tires heat up? And what is this Entropy thing that I keep hearing about? Thermodynamics and statistical mechanics can help us answer all of these questions.

We'll spend the first couple of weeks learning the conceptual and some of the mathematical basis behind Thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, and then we'll take a birds-eye tour of some of the topics listed above.


Prerequisites
Calculus. Familiarity with some basic physics and chemistry.

S7275: Relativity
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Illan Halpern

The purpose of the class is to introduce the basic ideas of Einstein's relativity theories. It starts with a review of some prerequisites such as classical mechanics and electromagnetism. Then it moves to special relativity, and finally it gives a qualitative introduction to general relativity.


Prerequisites
Single variable calculus will be used freely. High school level mechanics and electromagnetism very helpful.

S7274: A Look Inside the Quantum World
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Qinsi Yu

How can a cat be both alive and dead at the same time? This is impossible to explain using only the laws of physics that govern things that are big. But these laws, the ones that we developed from what we can see with the eye, don't explain all of physics. In fact, when we get to the teeny-tiny level, an entirely new set of laws governs physics, and that's where quantum mechanics comes in. We will get some intuition for how physics works at the tiny level, covering: treating particles as waves, the Schrodinger equation, uncertainty, time evolution, and how a particle interacts with the environment.


Prerequisites
Algebra, trigonometry, high school physics, basic comfort with integrals and derivatives

S7254: A Survey of Neuroscience and Psychology Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Leigh Rojeski

Covering the basics of neuroscience topics, such as brain chemistry, anatomy, and our senses, as well as the basics of psychology topics, such as memory, personality, and emotion. Will cover a wide range of topics in each field, though the time in the class will be evenly divided.


Prerequisites
Some general biology knowledge, approximately high school level.

S7260: Introduction to Optics!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Rishi Patel

Have you ever wondered about the wave-particle duality of light? Do you want to learn how lenses work?

This class will focus on introducing basic principles of optics. The first half of the course will focus on geometrical optics to study how optical devices work, like pinhole cameras, magnifying lenses, mirrors, telescopes and more. Students will learn and derive the laws of reflection and refraction.

In the second half we will take a look at the wave-nature of light, and try to understand the phenomena of polarization and interference. We will discuss the principles behind holograms, which enable 3D imaging . If time permits, we will discuss the basics of quantum optics.

The class will be supplemented by optical demonstrations that the student can repeat at home.


Prerequisites
Familiarity with basic algebra. Some exposure to trigonometry helpful. A couple of lectures will use ideas and methods from calculus that I will try to teach as I go along.

S7286: Widely Applied Physics: Thermodynamics to Random Walks
Difficulty: ***

A survey of introductory physics with a focus on applying mathematics to solve real-world problems. Want to learn how to describe hunting patterns of sharks? Learn how magnets work and understand superconductivity? Take this course!


Prerequisites
Some math background (algebra, calculus) necessary. Familiarity with basic physics helpful.

S7231: Introduction to Astronomy
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. We will rely on basic mathematics for 'back-of-the-envelope' calculations.

S7264: Experimental and Computational Methods in Squishy Materials
Difficulty: **

Complex fluids (soft matter) play important role in various aspects of daily life and industrial processes. Learning to think effectively about complex fluids and dynamics of such systems enables one to understand and contribute to a wide range of interesting and important problems. It is hard to ignore complex fluids as we are surrounded by them in our daily routines, starting from the very essence of life. Our blood, the pool of all physiological activities is a colloidal suspension made of various cells dispersed in water rich in salt, proteins and globular constructs. The paint that protects our house, the milk we drink, the toothpaste we the pour on our toothbrush, the butter and mayonnaise we spread on our bread are made of nothing but colloids.

In this class, starting from the simplest canonical example of soft matter (i.e. a single colloid) we will explore different experimental and computational methods to understand these complex systems better.


Prerequisites
Ability to use a computer. Algebra as minimum math background. Be motivated.

S7232: Symmetries in Physical Law
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Michael Flynn

If someone asked you if the laws of physics were the same yesterday as they are today, you would probably say yes, of course they are; how could anyone doubt that? If they then asked you if physics is the same in all the different rooms of MIT, you would probably start to think they are a bit crazy and tell them yes. If you think that it's obvious that physics should be the same everywhere and for all times, you're wrong: these facts are symmetries of nature with amazing, measurable consequences.

One of the most powerful observations ever made in physics has to do with the existence of symmetries (like space and time translation) underlying the laws of motion which we use to describe nature. This extraordinary observation - known today as Noether's Theorem - says that every symmetry of a physical system implies the existence of a conserved quantity.

Beginning from basic Newtonian mechanics, we will show that different ways of looking at classical problems can give us a new way of understanding complicated systems in simple language and with little effort. Short introductions to the basics of modern physics - relativity and quantum mechanics - will allow us to look at the world as what physicists call a field theory. From this perspective, we will see how the symmetries of our universe explain conservation of energy, momentum, and electric charge.


Prerequisites
You should know calculus well enough that the terms integral and derivative are not intimidating; know what they are conceptually and how to evaluate them. A background in basic physics is helpful, though not strictly necessary.

S7277: Introduction to Modern Physics: Relativity and Quantum Mechanics
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Bob Weinberg

We will explore the foundations of Modern Physics beginning with an exploration of Einstein's Special Relativity, continuing onward with General Relativity, and then an introductory exploration of Quantum Mechanics.


Prerequisites
Algebra Precalculus (trigonometry) High School Physics

S7291: Gravity: from Principles to Black-holes
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Charlie Payne

General Relativity is Einstein's theory of gravity, something one rarely has an introduction to in high school, and instead might see in their senior year of undergraduate physics. Its results are fascinating, and its mathematics are advanced. However, the principles from which it can be derived are elegant and inspiring. In this course, I will attempt to make General Relativity attainable for your young mind, without the use of senior-level university mathematics. Our goal is to build your qualitative intuition and get you excited about theoretical physics.

We will start with a review of classical gravity theory, explain its faults, then discover Einstein's insights, and detail the extraordinary predictions of General Relativity. Are you prepared to face: gravitational lensing, spacetime curvature, time dilation, black-holes, and cosmology? With time permitting, we will touch on some the modern problems with General Relativity, such as its incompatibility with Quantum Mechanics and the black-hole information paradox.

The tentative course schedule is:
1) old gravity theory and a historical overview of Einstein
2) the equivalence principle and the gravitational bending of light
3) spacetime, curvature, and the field equations
4) gravitational time dilation
5) black-holes
6) cosmology and the big bang theory
7) additional topics: quantum gravity, the information paradox


Prerequisites
required: algebra, geometry, trigonometry, physics & desired: precalculus, calculus, higher-level physics

S7295: Determinants of Health and Disease Full!
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Jae Pukma

The objective of this seminar is to offer insight into important human diseases. This course allows for the students to interact and engage themselves in discussions, communication, and literature readings. Topics include Cancer, Infectious Diseases, Genetic Disorders, Immune Diseases, and Diseases of the Nervous System. Lectures will serve as the background presentation, and after the student reflect and discuss applications of the diseases. This seminar will offer a first hand look into the world of medical and health care providers. This class has a field trip component which include the Harvard Medical School Library, Mass General Hospital, and Harvard Museum of Natural History. The students are encouraged to view challenges of modern biology from scientific, social, and ethical viewpoints.


Prerequisites
Students should have taken either Advanced, Honors, or AP Biology.

S7256: Centauri Tomorrow: Planning Mankind's First Interstellar Space Mission
Difficulty: **
Teachers: James Penna

The year is 2100. A civilization from Earth's nearest neighboring star system, Alpha Centauri, has begun broadcasting radio wave communications. We are not alone, but how will me meet our cosmic neighbors? As you prepare to plan mankind's greatest undertaking, you'll be educated in fields ranging from engineering to astrophysics to biology as you prepare the first mission to another star.


Prerequisites
You must know algebra and trigonometry. Having some calculus would not hurt either but it is not required strictly. There will not be much math, but knowing those will not hurt

S7228: 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.

S7257: Exploring the Universe
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Elizabeth Berg

From our perspective, Earth is gigantic. In comparison to the rest of the universe, it's almost nonexistent. So what else is out there? Starting with our tiny planet and expanding outwards, we'll get a sense of everything the universe is really made of. Come learn about planets, galaxies, stars, and more!


Prerequisites
This class will be largely conceptual, and all necessary math will be explained as it comes up. That said, you shouldn't be scared of large numbers!

S7301: Cell and Microbiology: The Fun Basics!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jae Pukma

Explore the microscopic world around us! At the cellular and micro levels, we will talk about the cellular interactions of both animal and bacterial cells. Lecture will include transport, movement, secretion, and reproduction.The seminar will also look into the processes of growth, cellular health, and eventually death of the living systems at cellular level. The students will be expose to the underlying relationship from cell to organism, including talks on genetics, anatomy, and diseases. Class discussions will involve how changes at the cellular level manifests into good and bad health outcomes. Laboratory demo include Strawberry DNA extraction.


Prerequisites
Some biology knowledge is useful.

S7272: Algorithms in Modern Biology
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Reuben Saunders

Modern biology is heavily dependent on computer science. Only a computer can process the enormous data sets modern experimental techniques like shotgun sequencing and RNA-seq, and only a computer can mine gigabytes or terabytes of sequence data for motifs, homology, or phylogenetics.

In this class, we will explore the bioinformatics algorithms that enable modern biology. We will start with basic string handling and motif discovery, then discuss gene prediction, sequence alignment, genome assembly, and phylogenetic analysis.

We will learn how important algorithms like Needleman–Wunsch and BLAST, and we will see how De Bruijn graphs can be used to assemble short sequencing reads into a genome.

We will work as much as possible with real data. On the last day of the class, we will use a cluster computer to assemble a (small) genome, de novo.


Prerequisites
You should be familiar with the basics of programming. The class will be taught in Python. Basic bioinformatics does not require advanced programming skills. If you know what strings, arrays, and loops are, then you can probably take this class.

S7284: The Human Body and Beyond!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Yimin Chen

Have you ever wondered why people get diabetes? What exactly happens in our heads when we think? Why are you happy when you listen to hip hop or angry when you listen to Beethoven? This class explores the processes behind our body's functions. We'll cover the nervous, cardiovascular, renal, and gastrointestinal systems. But that's not all! Do you love math? Because we do, too! By applying models, we'll show you cool and easy ways of using math determining whether a cancer drug will penetrate a tumor, for instance. Now, that's awesome!

S7294: Cell and Microbiology: The Fun Basics!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jae Pukma

Explore the microscopic world around us! At the cellular and micro levels, we will talk about the cellular interactions of both animal and bacterial cells. Lecture will include transport, movement, secretion, and reproduction.The seminar will also look into the processes of growth, cellular health, and eventually death of the living systems at cellular level. The students will be expose to the underlying relationship from cell to organism, including talks on genetics, anatomy, and diseases. Class discussions will involve how changes at the cellular level manifests into good and bad health outcomes. Laboratory demo include Strawberry DNA extraction.


Prerequisites
High School Biology knowledge is useful.

S7303: Light
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Stephen Face

Do you like rainbows? What about lasers? If so then this class is for you. We will learn all about the science of light, what it is, and what we can do with it.


Prerequisites
Bright students looking to be enlightened

S7238: Immunology
Difficulty: ***

Every day your body faces millions of pathogens, yet human beings are able to live as long as 100 years! One of the key reasons for this is the immune system. This class will explore the amazing beast that is the human immune system on a molecular, cellular, and organismal level. We will cover not only the components of the immune system, but also the history and discoveries behind modern science's understanding of immunology, and how this understanding applies to your life. This class will assume a strong biology background in order to provide depth into the complex yet fascinating aspects of immunology.


Prerequisites
Upper level high school biology, preferably AP Biology.

S7298: Research Lecture Series
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Eric Mannes

Learn about current developments across math, science, and computing! Every week, a different guest speaker will talk about their current research.


Miscellaneous

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X7280: Intro to Competitive Pokemon Battling
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Tony Zhao

Remember that game you played (or maybe still play) about catching them all and becoming a master? Turns out there's a lot more to the game than you might have imagined.

This course is intended for people who have little or no experience with competitive battling. I'm only middle-of-the-road as far as competitive battlers go, so if you frequent Smogon, there's a very good chance that you know more than I do. But, if you do have that kind of experience, you're definitely welcome to take the class and display your knowledge; I'd be very interested in learning from you.

Ideally, by the end of this class, you will have the knowledge to create a team and acquire it in-game. If you don't own a game, you're still welcome to come and learn; there are online battle simulators that you can use.

Students are encouraged to bring a laptop to class, but it is not required. You will almost certainly have to consult references during lecture.

Take the blue pokeball, and wake up and believe whatever you want to believe.

Take the red pokeball, and find out just how far down the diglett hole goes.


This class will primarily focus on the standard OU metagame (if you don't know what this means, it's the most common form of competitive battling), but other formats (including UU, Little Cup, Battle Tower, and VGC) will be covered briefly.

Tentative lesson subjects:

Overview of the Metagame(s)
Building (and tweaking) a Team
EV Training and Breeding Techniques
Common threats
How to pick your moves and items
Reading your opponent (Psychology of battling)
Brief overview of other rule sets
Battle Tower Strategies
Pokemon World Tournament Strategies


Prerequisites
Has played and enjoys Pokemon Interest in learning about competitive battling Game ownership not necessary

X7305: Sprinkler
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Megan Belzner

Learn ALL the things! Take a different class each week from among several choices. Offerings range from "The Science of Hair" to "Dreamcatchers and Native American Mythology" to "Super-Fast Intro to Programming" and much more. It's like a mini Splash every week!

X7285: Speechcraft: An Introduction to Public Speaking
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Frederick Jao

Are you afraid of speaking to a class of students? Or do you want to learn how to speak better in front of an audience? This 7-week workshop will help you to work on picking a topic, organizing your speech, using body language, developing vocal variety, and speaking off-the-cuff. The course's philosophy is learning-by-doing. Participants will be required to write, prepare, and deliver 2 original speeches.


Prerequisites
Interest in writing, speaking, and learning about other people.

X7259: Live, Laugh, Lead: Exciting Leadership Activities
Difficulty: *

Crossing deadly rivers of molten chocolate, escaping explosive minefields, and constructing great pyramids. Now what does all this have to do with Leadership? Come and find out…

Do you like games, teamwork, creative problem solving, or having fun? Want to know how this can help you become a better leader? Come and participate in fun interactive activities, and maybe learn a thing or two about leadership.

The Leadership Training Institute (LTI) is a high school mentoring program right here at MIT and will be sending mentors to lead what will surely be a jam-packed session of excitement and thoughtful conversation.


Prerequisites
Energy and a positive attitude