HSSP Spring 2017
Course Catalog


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Computer Science Mathematics
Science Social Science
Humanities Miscellaneous
Arts Engineering


Arts

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A11222: History of Heavy Metal
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Lauren Paul

A trip through the history of one of the most notorious and misunderstood musical genres--from its roots in blues and rock to the present day.

A11233: All Things Comedy
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Katie Fisher

Learn about the history of comedy and the different types of comedy (sketch, standup, improv, etc), discuss what makes things funny and create some funny stuff yourself!

A11230: Digital Photography
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Michael Donnelly

Move beyond selfies by understanding the technologies that make a picture and the qualities that make a picture great. We'll get to know your camera (whatever kind of camera you have), look at the work of some great photographers, learn how to shoot people, places and things, and take and critique weekly photographs in a constructive and supportive environment.


Prerequisites
Students will benefit from having access to a camera with a manual mode, and should bring it to class if available. The instructor will have some available during class if students do not have access.

A11234: Extreme Blanket Forts
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Kate Weishaar

Learn basic principles of architecture, structural engineering, urban planning, drawing, and CAD (computer-aided design) through the cozy lens of blanket forts. Students will work in teams to design their extreme forts as part of a blanket city, learning new skills each week and finally constructing and enjoying their forts on the final week.


Computer Science

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C11226: How to make Android Mobile Apps Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Natalie Lao

Learn how to make mobile apps for your Android tablet or phone using MIT App Inventor, a blocks-based mobile application creation tool. The first part of the course (first 3 lessons) will take students through several basic App Inventor tutorials. The second part of the course (last 3 lessons) will introduce a novel Cloud-based component for App Inventor currently being developed at MIT. Students will have the opportunity to build and share apps, work on a team to create an app, and learn computer science and product design principles.


Prerequisites
No hard prerequisites, but it will be helpful for the student or student's family to own some Android device (phone or tablet).

C11264: Fundamentals of Web Development Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Cory Lynch

Want to learn how to make websites from scratch? Beyond the basic HTML/CSS, this course will also cover interacting with the page using Javascript/JQuery. We will also learn AJAX techniques with web APIs to update your website's content without reloading the page. By the end, you will have created your own interactive website.


Prerequisites
Prior programming experience of any kind (especially Javascript) would be beneficial.

C11238: Visual Programming
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Nina Lutz

Learning fundamentals of programming through drawing with code and making interesting, algorithmic visualizations that are both computationally and artistically interesting. Class taught in Java.


Prerequisites
Basic geometry. No programming experience required, but veteran programmers are welcome.

C11239: Making Games with Gameblox Full!
Difficulty: **

Make small, simple games using Gameblox, an online blocks based programming environment made here at MIT. So far, users have made a wide range of games, from tower defense, to maze, and item collection games. By applying basic programming concepts, you'll make something fun that others can play online.

No previous programming experience is required.

C11255: Introduction to Programming Language Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Amanuael Gidey

This class introduces programming principles including concepts of variables, objects, classes, and flow control.


Prerequisites
Intermediate Algebra solid knowledge of basic computer terminology is recommended

C11256: Search Algorithms:How to get to your destination
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Joanna Sands

Search algorithms allowed us to find a path from one place to another. In this class we will introduce different graph search algorithms and how they are used to find the best path.


Prerequisites
N/A


Engineering

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E11224: From Pizza to High Tech: the Application of Technical Cost Modeling in Product Development Decisions
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Wei Yu

Imagine that you open a pizza shop. Do you know how to estimate how much the cost is? Do you know how to optimize your pizza design? In the course, you can learn about a tool called process-based cost modeling. A decision making process based on the tool will be demonstrated through the example of pizza. And then I will show you the same process can be easily transferred to the commercialization of technical innovations.


Prerequisites
Bring a laptop that is able to run Microsoft Office Excel; Be interested in entrepreneurship;


Humanities

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H11253: Stories in New Media
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jessica Tang

Tired of analyzing novels and poems? Ever wanted to study the stories in video games and anime? Let's pick apart the storytelling in new media and compare interpretations of the same scenes. We'll talk about the effectivity of different methods of communication in video games and anime and how they add or detract to the medium.

H11221: Your Novel Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Stirling Newberry

You want to write your novel! Only you can not quite begin... Or you have stated but there is no end in sight... Whst could be wrong?
This is a class for all of the would-be authors out there, who want to learn the secrets that the great authors have taught them ... from James Joyce and Jane Austen to more recent people. There is a craft to writing, and away of doing the thing we call writing. The only thing you have to do is one of the hardest things to do... show other people your work, and worse still to have them comment on it.


Prerequisites
You have to write

H11240: The Words in Me
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Kamna Kathuria

The better you understand yourself, the more confident you feel and the better equipped you will be to handle what life throws at you. Through a series of simulation games, creative writing sessions, brainstorming workshops, videos, and group working sessions, we'll start thinking about about ourselves and our lives from a new perspective. We'll incorporate the words of people as diverse as Sarah Kay, J.K. Rowling, and Barack Obama in informing these perspectives. We'll express ourselves to the world around us through discussion, debate, arguments, blogging, journals, spoken word, or whatever we think works best. With articulation comes a feeling of comfort in your own skin, and that's our ultimate goal in this course.

H11242: Reading Symposium and Clouds
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: yc Yu

What do we love? What is nature of love? What is a philosopher? How do Athenians like philosophers?

We read Plato's Symposium and Aristophanes' Clouds and hope to find clues.


Prerequisites
Please sign up only if you can commit to reading 80 pages every week.

H11231: Storytelling & writing
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Gailin Pease

Do you like stories? Do you want to write your own? In this class, you’ll write, critique each other’s work, and talk about stories that you love and how they work. You can write part of your first novel, write the outline for your next game, or write a script for a TV show - we’ll talk how different mediums work to tell a story, and what tools you can use to make a story powerful.

H11236: The History of Science
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Aman Patel

This class will provide a survey of the history of scientific thinking and discovery. We will explore the fascinating, revolutionary, and often times humorous practices of scientists from ancient civilizations to the present day, and how the prevailing scientific theories have changed over time.

H11232: do te stidi lo nu cilre fi lo jbobau
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Robert Kao

In 1955, a man named James Cooke Brown started to invent a language that was completely different from other human languages. His purpose was to see if language affects thought, and he constructed his language based on principles of logic. Today, Lojban, a version of Brown's language, is spoken by a small but growing community. Start learning this language so that you can also experience a new way of thinking that no natural language can offer!


Mathematics

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M11235: Topology
Difficulty: ****
Teachers: Dylan Hendrickson

Topology is a way to talk about points being close together and sequences converging. You probably have some idea of what this means in, say, the real numbers, but what can we say about closeness in other sets?

This class will be very hard. I'm not going to stand at the board and lecture; instead, I'll provide you with some definitions and you'll solve problems and prove theorems, and then present them to each other. I'll be there to guide you along the way. If that sounds fun to you, great! If not, this probably isn't the best class for you to take.


Prerequisites
You need to be at least somewhat comfortable working with formal definitions that aren't intuitive at first, and able to understand and come up with rigorous arguments. You should understand what the quantifiers $$\forall$$ and $$\exists$$ mean. It would be helpful, but not necessary, to understand the definition of convergence in the reals (involving $$\epsilon$$ and $$\delta$$).

M11220: Relational Databases Before There Were Such Things
Difficulty: ****
Teachers: Stirling Newberry

This is a story about the underpinnings of what we now call relational databases. It may sound fancy to remember Codd and Date, the progenitors of the relational database, are not household names. But even with these two, the story goes back hundreds of years. This is that story in the outlines, or at least a version of it, which reaches back not to Codd and Date, but to Galileo Galilei, and forward to an unknown future.


Prerequisites
None

M11227: Models of Computation
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Jordan Hines

How can we talk about what computers can do mathematically? In this class, we'll talk about models of computation that attempt to capture the idea of algorithms. Using what we learn, we'll show that there are some things that you can't program, no matter how clever you are!


Prerequisites
Comfort with proofs. No knowledge of programming required!

M11250: Introduction to Olympiad Inequalities
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Sanja Simonovikj

Ever wondered what problems those International Math Olympiad folks solve on competitions? Well, they solve LOTS of problems, but one common topic that every good competitor is very familiar with is exactly inequalities. We will explore the basic ones (like Arithmetic-Geometric mean) and then gradually move to some more advanced inequalities (ex: Chebyshev inequality) while enjoying the art of solving and feeling the competitive spirit.


Prerequisites
Middle School Algebra


Science

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S11249: Genetics Full!
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Roger Jin

A hopefully interesting introduction to genetic analysis through problem solving. Possible topics include linkage/recombination/three point crosses, Bayesian Inference, yeast tetrad analysis, and population genetics.


Prerequisites
introductory high school biology, Algebra I

S11251: A Brief Intro to Quantum Mechanics
Difficulty: **

From the stability of the human genome to the processor that is in your smart-phone and everything in between, quantum mechanics is at the crux of all modern science; not to mention that some of its consequences are simply mind-blowing! Yet, some aspects of quantum mechanics are so counterintuitive that to some it may seem hard to understand. To remedy this, we have designed a class which aims to leave the student with a deeper understanding and appreciation of quantum mechanics from both a practical and abstract standpoint. Starting from the basic framework of QM we will cover topics like: entanglement, tunneling, Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, wave-particle duality, and more. Each topic will be accompanied with a theoretical explanation, a description of an experimental realization and/or a technological application. By the end of this class hopefully we will have inspired you to further your understanding of this crazy thing called quantum mechanics, and also we hope we will have given you the tools to do so!


Prerequisites
Algebra II Trigonometry or Precalculus

S11215: The Science of Nutrition: A Microscopic to Macroscopic Exploration
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Emily Venable

Food is a major part of our lives from its day to day necessity to its cultural impact.  This course will take both a scientific and cultural approach to understanding food and nutrition.  We will start at the basic building blocks of nutrients and work our way up to dietary trends and marketing of food through the media. Students will walk away as introspective consumers better able to make choices about what they eat.


Prerequisites
A basic understanding of chemistry and biology is helpful, but not necessary.

S11257: Splitting the Atom: An Introduction to Nuclear Science and Engineering Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Daniel Korsun

Ever wondered how nuclear reactors work? What's so important about uranium? What "splitting the atom" actually means? This course will teach you the answers to all of those questions, and much more. Starting with the physics behind nuclear reactions and decay and ending with nuclear reactor design and energy production, this course will offer an accessible introduction to the physics behind nuclear processes. No prior knowledge or experience is required - just be ready to learn the kind of physics you won't see in high school!

S11262: Introduction to Organic Chemistry
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Miles Dai, Junyu Yang

Organic chemistry, the study of the structures, compositions, properties, and reactions of carbon-containing compounds, forms the basis for biochemistry and the modern pharmaceutical industry. Despite its intimidating reputation as an extremely challenging course, organic chemistry is, at its core, a creative science that uses very fundamental concepts to build up a toolkit for making very complicated compounds.

We will begin this course by looking at the properties of molecules that affect their reactivity such as polarity, acidity, and stereochemistry. Following that, we will delve into the reactions undergone by different types of molecules such as hydrocarbons, carbonyls, and haloalkanes. Finally, we will use this arsenal of tools to devise and evaluate potential pathways to desired synthesis products.


Prerequisites
A good understanding of high school chemistry/first semester AP Chemistry topics such as electronegativity, formal charge, and Lewis structures is important. A basic understanding of IUPAC naming for alkanes is helpful as well.


Social Science

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S11244: The Art of Strategic Planning Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: James Mason

Many people are fascinated with the concept of strategy. Many people talk about acting strategically and intuit that it is something important. But what does it mean to think, plan and act strategically? How can we develop strategic thinking, apply that thinking to develop a plan of action and then organize to implement that plan?

This course will
- provide an overview a a strategic planning process that might be applied to a broad range of organizations and situations.
- examine numerous models and analytical frameworks used in various strategic planning and implementaton stages

S11229: Curb Your Enthusiasm
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Phoebe Cai, Alicia Weng

Stop right there. If you are reading this, you are human, and that means you are not as smart as you think.

We are here to point out your blind spots, with the hope of helping you make better choices.

We’ll talk about intuition and biases, about historical experiments and current policy, about how to think about thinking. Learn to check yourself (before you wreck yourself!)

This is a course about behavioral economics, but it is mostly a course on applications to policy and daily life.


Prerequisites
Being a human

S11245: Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship
Difficulty: **
Teachers: James Mason

Almost half the world — over three billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day. At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day (http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats last updated 2013-01-07). One of the fastest growing approaches to addressing this issue is Social Entrepreneurship. Social Entrepreneurship entails operating businesses that are simultaneously self supporting and create social value for adversely impacted communities.

This course will provide an overview of the state of the practice in Social Entrepreneurship. I will examine

— the basic concepts and operating approaches
— the history of the development of social entrepreneurship
— several case histories (International and Domestic) of organizations and approaches currently in practice
— the prospects for Social Entrepreneurship as a career option

S11254: keeping up with current events
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Kristina Schmidt

Have you ever wondered what was happening in Syria, but were to afraid to ask? Well fear no more! We'll talk about all sorts of topics that are all over the news. Everyone is welcome!


Miscellaneous

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X11265: Introduction to Intelligence Analysis
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Johanna Loock

From the popular culture likes of James Bond and Varys (GoT) to the influence of intelligence on how the world around us develops, intelligence permeates our lives in the background. This class is developed to familiarize you with what’s actually involved in working in intelligence (including considerations like ethics and oversight with examples from case studies, analyst requirements, different approaches, and pros and cons of working in this field.) Whether you’re just interested in learning a bit more about this area or whether you’d like a little more information before you consider following a path towards working in this field, all are welcome!

X11271: Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Lecture Series
Difficulty: **

Take MIT subjects because it's fun.


Prerequisites
None

X11260: Math and Science Lecture Series
Difficulty: **

Is OCW not good enough for you? Come take lectures about math and science! We're going to science something different each week. And math something different each week!*

*This may or may not actually happen. It may spontaneously be about K-Pop or Hiragana. Either way, this'll be great and super fun! You should definitely come.


Prerequisites
None