HSSP Summer 2019
Course Catalog


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Arts Computer Science
Humanities Lunch
Mathematics Science
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Announcement: You do not need to register for a lunch period during the lottery phase. Ignore the old 'Note' on this page. You will automatically be signed up for a lunch period after the lottery phase is over.



Arts

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A13098: Hip-Hop! (Beginner)
Difficulty: *

Ever wanted to pop the fattest whip before executing the most perfect nay-nay? Ever break into the Fortnite when your friends aren't—or maybe are!—looking? Do you simply dab way too often?

No matter who you are, join us and learn the basics of hip-hop dance! After some brief historical context, we will learn a small set of beginner-level, choreographed dances over six weeks. It's gonna be high energy, so GET HYPE!

Activewear is recommended; having fun is required :~)

A13104: The Composer’s Toolkit
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Sebast Franjou, Joey Gu

Do you currently compose or arrange music? So did we when we were in high school! Looking back to those days, we find that there were many “items” missing from our “toolbox” – things that we wish we could have found out sooner!

In this class, we want to help you become acquainted with these tools. We will survey a variety of genres – classical, jazz, rock, video game music, or anything else you might be interested in – and discover what underlying compositional techniques might be common or unique to these genres. Through listening and by analyzing scores (from classical masterpieces to our own arrangements of video game music) in some detail, you might find new perspectives on form, melody, harmony, orchestration, among other facets of music.

We hope our class will inspire you to write some music, too! Over the six weeks, we will encourage you to expand / polish pieces that you are working on, or maybe start a whole new piece! Our goal is that you will walk out this class with a fresh look on composition and arranging and a wealth of new ideas to try out!


Prerequisites
We expect you to be able to read music (in treble and bass clefs) and play an instrument. More importantly though, the class would be much more relevant to you if you have had some experience composing or arranging – and are passionate about it!

A13078: How To Make Music: From The First Note to iTunes and Spotify
Difficulty: ***

Do you listen to music, write music, or record music? Do you do none of those things, but are interested in the musical process? What about getting your songs on iTunes and Spotify? In this class we'll go over the entire process of a song. Starting with how to write effective lyrics, melodies, and chords, and ending with recording, mixing, and releasing your music. The primary focus of this course will be writing and recording, but we'll go over every step of the process that a song goes through before getting on streaming services.
Open to all, but this course is all about music, so if you do not sing or play an instrument this will be difficult for you. A basic knowledge and understanding of music is necessary to fully understand this course.


Prerequisites
Garageband or some type of recording software would be very helpful, but not required. Same with a microphone/audio interface and MIDI keyboard. If you don't have any of this, just a pen and paper will do :)

A13086: Introduction to Art History
Difficulty: **

Introduction to Art History will take high school students (grades 9-12) on an abridged, but exciting journey through the vast subject of the history of Art. The course will cover important themes, figures, and periods (ie. Renaissance, Picasso, Impressionism, Humans v. Nature). The goals for this course are to provide students with the skills to make formal visual analyses and encourage them to implement cultural and historical contexts when forming an opinion on a work of art. This course will be discussion-based, centered around a case study each lesson, and include various activities for the students to explore ideas on their own and with each other. Note: this course will not be comprehensive of Art History in any capacity; there’s simply not enough time. Instead, it will allow students the opportunity to scratch the surface of the subject, and hopefully come away from it with a newfound appreciation for Art.


Computer Science

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C13114: Python By Example
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Srinivas Kaza

Do you want to learn how to code? Well, here's your chance! We'll be covering the basics of the Python language as well as some basic software engineering skills. We'll finish each class off by writing a simple program, culminating in a final project of your choice!

Don't worry if you don't have any experience with programming or math!

This course will be roughly structured around the same material as MIT's 6.0001 course.

C13103: Quantum Information and Quantum Computation
Difficulty: **

The course will introduce basic concepts of quantum entanglement, quantum superposition, and teleportation. We will talk about what are the current status of quantum cryptography, quantum computation, and quantum network, and how these technologies will influence our lives.We will also introduce some math behind quantum computation, and show how to play with the IBM 5-qubit cloud quantum computer.


Prerequisites
There are no prerequisites.

C13077: Hack all teh things
Difficulty: ****
Teachers: Luis Alvernaz

This class will be an informal introduction into computer security and exploitation. It will touch upon basics of networking and web security, leading into basic binary exploitation and basic exploitation of IoT devices. This course will also include basic cryptography, reverse engineering of x86, MIPS and demos of tools for Java and .NET. Finally, if time permits, we will talk about security of hardware systems such as FPGA reverse engineering. (SIDE NOTE: This class will being slowly, but move very quickly during the binary exploitation portions)


Prerequisites
Something like AP computer science. Working knowledge of C.

C13080: Introduction To Machine Learning
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Clayton Dembski

Machine Learning, today, is being used almost everywhere: in self driving cars to identify the road, other cars, and hazards, in smartphones and laptops for facial recognition and filters and in weather prediction software and in stock markets to estimate what the next day will yield. These classifiers identify patterns in data, and use them to predict, interpret, and create new information at almost alarming accuracy. If you want to start learning how this technology works, then this is the class for you.

In this course, students will learn the mathematics behind linear regression and classification, and will learn about more robust classifiers, such as Softmax functions and Support Vector Machines. Given time at the end of the course, students will also learn how these components come together to create Neural Networks the basic building block for the most powerful classifiers. Students will use these concepts to create an age estimation regression, a handwritten number interpreter, and, if time, a neural network based image classifier.

All of the notes, along with solutions to the labs afterwords, will be made available to the students enrolled.


Prerequisites
Preferably some experience with linear agebra and matrix operations, --take a quick look at how to multiply matrices, and how to calculate eigenvectors. Preferably some basic calculus --gain a quick intuition on the derivative, and it's usefulness in finding extrema. Both of the above will be reviewed breifly in class on the first day. Experience working in Python and using Numpy is preferred, but those with moderate experience (such as a high school cs course in java or c) should be fine. I will send out some resources for all the above to those interested.

C13123: Trends in Software Engineering
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Gayatri Aryan

Do you know the difference between Computer Science, Computer Engineering and Software Engineering? Do you know the various specializations in the field of Software Engineering? Do you know how Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Deep Learning vary and yet overlap? Oh by the way, what is Cloud Computing and what are its best applications?

This practical course is meant to clear the haze these buzzwords create. The course will start with digging deeper into how Internet actually works with the intent of exposing the complexity of the simply put "network of computers". Tackling the data explosion witnessed in the last decade next, the course will introduce Cloud Computing and Data Analytics. We will then cover the world of automation by introductions to Machine Learning, Deep Learning and AI. Crypto Currency is another stream that may see its prime time in the coming decade, along with its underlying technology Blockchain. We will conclude the course by looking at Cybersecurity as a stream in Software Engineering world.

Sessions:
1. How does Internet work.
2. Introduction to Cloud Computing
3. Introduction to Data Analytics
4. Introduction to ML, DL and AI
5. Introduction to Crypto Currency
6. Introduction to Blockchain
7. Introduction to Cybersecurity

C13125: Exploration of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Difficulty: **

At MIT there is a major called Course 6, which is the combination of electrical engineering and computer science, also known as EECS. This major covers a large range of topics that are all equally cool and fun to learn about. We go from working on circuits (more EE) in one class to coding (more CS) in another.

In these 7 classes we hope to cover topics across the EECS spectrum, and occasionally touching upon topics in physics and mechanical engineering as well. The classes will have lots of hands-on labs where students get to build things and write code. The class will have lectures to introduce the topics, but the meat of the classes will be the hands on labs. The topics will include:

(1) How to Bread-board to not be Bread-Bored! (Introduction to Building Circuits)
(2) Coding and Algorithms 101
(3) Vibrations and Frequencies
(4) Math and Music with the Fourier Transform
(5) Electromagnets and Motors
(6) Machine Learning
(7) Micro-controllers and Chill


Prerequisites
Some circuit experience and programming experience is good but not necessary because this will be an introduction. Please bring a laptop to class! Install Python on your .computer: https://www.python.org/downloads/ Install Arduino on your computer: https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Software


Humanities

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H13067: Justice in the Euthyphro: What do all the gods love?
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Kendi Kim

This is a philosophy course!

◊ Description: The course is designed to be part lecture and part discussion. The course is designed to promote student interaction and discourse; however, the quantity and quality of discussion will largely depend on group size, group age, and the interests of the students themselves. Students can expect to read 1-2 pages of Plato’s Euthyphro every week, usually together as a class. We will follow Euthyphro and Socrates’ dialogue as they attempt to understand what “piety” is. We will take some time to analyze the various philosophical claims and arguments made through the dialogue. Among the many arguments presented, one of the arguments has to do with Euthyphro’s claim that piety is “what all the gods love”. Socrates finds this argument untenable. We will try to determine why or why not the argument works, and what its implications are for Socrates (and for Euthyphro’s father).

◊ Required reading: Plato’s Euthyphro (Purchase of reading materials are not required.)

◊ Supplemental reading may include: Selected excerpts from Plato’s Apology, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Aeschylus’s Oresteia: Eumenides, Immanuel Kant’s Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals


Prerequisites
No prerequisite knowledge is required. This is an introductory course to Plato. The course content is recommended for students who have already completed (or are very near completing) grade 8. *Please note: This text briefly mentions the idea of “castration” in the context of Greek myths.

H13068: Tragedy and Philosophy
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Kendi Kim

This is a philosophy course!

◊ Description: The course is designed to be part lecture and part discussion. The course is designed to promote student interaction and discourse; however, the quantity and quality of discussion will largely depend on group size, group age, and the interests of the students themselves. Students will read selected readings every week, usually together as a class.

As we progress, we will discover the similarities and differences between the way of tragedy and the way of philosophy. Each week will come with its own selection of readings. We can expect to begin with selections from Greek antiquity, and progress into more contemporary works.

◊ Required reading: Selected excerpts from Homer’s Iliad, Hesiod’s Theogony, Herodotus’ Histories, Aeschylus’s Persians, Gunnel Ekroth’s Castration, Cult, and Agriculture, Aristophanes’s The Clouds, Plato’s Symposium, Plato’s Apology, Plato’s Republic, Aeschylus’s Oresteia. (Purchase of reading materials are not required.)

◊ Supplemental reading may include: Selected excerpts from Heinrich von Kleist’s Penthesilea, Friedrich Nietzsche’s The Birth of Tragedy from the Spirit of Music, Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem, Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild, and Sean Kelly’s All Things Shining


Prerequisites
No prerequisite knowledge is strictly required. However, the course content is recommended for students who have already completed 10th grade history (usually World History) up to the end of WW2.

H13072: Macroeconomics: Principles and Applications
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Alexander Chen

This course covers models and concepts in macroeconomics. Students will apply the models and theories to analyze real-world economic problems and policies. Students will interpret the actions of the Federal Reserve Banks and the Congress, and understand data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Topics include economic growth, inflation and recession, money and banking, stocks and bonds, fiscal and monetary policy, international trade and finance, and unemployment.


Prerequisites
No economics knowledge is assumed. Successful completion of at least one course in Algebra is highly recommended (students should be familiar with linear functions). Students who have completed Macroeconomics at Advanced Placement level are not recommended to register this class.

H13070: Introduction to French (Beginner French)
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Shruthi Sudhakar

This class will cover basic French concepts- we will go over basic grammar, and then learn a lot of vocabulary that will be helpful for conversation and travelling! We will cover how to order food in restaurants, how to ask where things are, and how to introduce ourselves. By the end of the course, you should be able to hold a short conversation in French, and be confident introducing yourself and meeting new people.


Prerequisites
Just come ready to learn!

H13073: Social Psychology and Game Theory
Difficulty: **

This class explores how to use game theory to study social interaction, from concepts of trust and bias to cooperation and betrayal and any other human social institution you can think of!

Here we will discuss different types of games, explore the background and theory, then build your own games that you get to play in class!

H13118: Untold Asian American Histories: from the Chinese Massacres to the Yellow Power Movement
Difficulty: **

Did you know that an Asian American man brought the Supreme Court lawsuit that gave all Americans citizenship by birthright today? Did you know that Asian American generals fought in the Civil War? Did you know that Chinese Americans fell victim to the largest mass lynching in American history? Did you know that Hollywood's first sex symbol and male movie star was Japanese American? Are you frustrated by the lack of Asian American history offered in schools?

Sign up for Untold Asian American Histories, and we will explore an overview of Asian American history, from the nineteenth century to now! We will use dynamic learning methods-- a mix of lecture, discussion, photography and documentaries/movies, primary sources, court cases, and more-- to investigate topics like the Japanese American Incarceration, the mass-expulsions of Chinese and South Asian Americans, the Transcontinental Railroad, and the Asian American Movement, a massive uprising of Asian Americans in the 1970s that shortly followed the Civil Rights Movement.

We recommend 9th grade as a rough minimum requirement. However, all ages are welcome if you feel comfortable exploring emotionally difficult content, namely hate crimes and prostitution.

All are welcome to join, Asian American or not! We believe Asian American history has played a role in shaping everyone's lives here in America :)

H13091: Alohomora: Unlocking the Secrets of Harry Potter
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Nelson Niu

Ever wondered why you couldn't just read Harry Potter in your English classes? So have I!

Let's change that.

We'll read and discuss excerpts from the books, unearthing what it is they teach us about love and life, bravery and sacrifice, politics and death. For any aspiring creative writers out there, we'll also investigate the techniques Rowling employs, like humor and plot twists, that make the series so boundlessly captivating.


Prerequisites
You should have read and be familiar with all seven books in the Harry Potter series.


Lunch

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L13069: Lunch Period
Difficulty: None
Teachers:

Enjoy a break for lunch with your friends! Please register for at least one lunch period on each day of the program.


Mathematics

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M13074: Inferential Statistics: How We Learn to Make Decisions
Difficulty: ***

Are you a math nerd kinda annoyed by the handwaviness of machine learning? Do you want a more rigorous understanding of how machines learn, what kinds of models exist and when they're valid? This class will focus on the mathematical background of statistical learning theory, and will hopefully provide a more balanced perspective on all the buzzword-y content going around that you might be interested in.


Prerequisites
If you aren't familiar with proofs, good! Not much math background is expected, but it will get rigorous in a friendly way.

M13076: Probability
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Luis Alvernaz

An intermediate class in probability starting with basic set theory, the axioms and laws of probability, leading through discrete random variables and distributions, finally ending with continuous random variables, multivariate random variables, moment generating functions etc.


Prerequisites
Calculus 2. Multivariable Calculus is very useful.

M13117: Elliptic Curve Cryptography
Difficulty: ****
Teachers: Sualeh Asif, Daniel Liu

Do you want to learn about how to find large primes? Do you want to how we will do post-quantum cryptography? What about how Fermat's Last Theorem is proved? All of these things are done with a tool called Elliptic Curves. We will go over all of these topics on a high level as well as the basic theory behind it all.


Prerequisites
Strong Familiarity of Mathematical Proofs. Knowledge of elementary number theory (modulo, binary, etc.) suggested

M13081: How to factor sin x?
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Shengtong Zhang

This class will cover how to factor polynomials...but no just for polynomials! We will use factoring to "prove" the identity
$$\sum_{i = 1}^{\infty} \frac{1}{i^2} = \frac{\pi^2}{6}$$ , and see how, after 150 years, did people finally realize that the proof correct. Featuring singularities, complex numbers, and crazy integration!


Prerequisites
Familiarity with integrals, summing infinite series, and complex numbers.

M13092: Linear Algebra
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Dylan Pentland

Virtually everywhere in math and science, you will encounter the idea of a "linear map" at some point. One reason we care about these so much is that we can solve a lot of otherwise hard problems by making them linear, and linear things are easy to solve. In a lot of settings, linear algebra appears naturally and can be a powerful tool to have at your disposal.

In this class we'll learn about linear maps and what linear algebra can tell us about them. We'll learn about linear algebra in a concrete and abstract setting, and also see some ideas from multilinear algebra. Even if you have already seen some linear algebra, this class should still be interesting for you.


Prerequisites
You should be familiar with complex numbers and vectors. Some examples will use calculus. Experience with proofs is very helpful.

M13115: The Computational Complexity of Games and Puzzles
Difficulty: ***

Every hear about P vs. NP? Did you know that this fundamental mathematics question also relates to games and puzzles? This class will explore how the mathematics of computational complexity relates to games and puzzles.


Prerequisites
High-school algebra and basic discrete mathematics are helpful but not necessary. You should be ready to understand and come up with proofs.

M13075: Advanced Topics in Combinatorics
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Kavish Gandhi

This class will cover a diverse array of subjects in enumerative combinatorics, at its core the art of counting carefully, from generating functions to partitions to Young tableaux to perhaps a taste of game theory, among other advanced topics. After presenting some classic topics in combinatorics as well as some results with delightful proofs, we will also address areas of current research in combinatorics, and describe how combinatorics is applied ubiquitously to solve important problems in computer science and physics, among many other scientific fields.

Each class period will have a handout with all of the results presented in lecture, which will usually be derived completely with proof. Challenge problems will be given out at the end of class.


Prerequisites
A strong background in mathematics will be helpful, but is not necessary; I will start from first principles, and will present all of the necessary background in class. This class will not be easy, but will hopefully be very fun and will blow your mind with some of the wonders of combinatorics!


Science

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S13083: Mycology: Biology, Behavior, and an Introduction to Fungi
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jenni Nguyen

Have you ever been curious about the fungi that you've seen growing in the weirdest of places? What *really* are fungi, anyway? In this introduction to mycology class, explore the mysterious world of fungi, what they really are, and how they work.


Prerequisites
A basic understanding of cell biology preferred.

S13085: Intro to Thermodynamics!
Difficulty: ***

Under what conditions will an antibody bind to an antigen? What is the probability that an ion channel is open? What is cooperativity? This course will cover thermodynamic principles such as free energy, the laws of thermodynamics and basic statistical mechanics, as well as their application to different biological systems.


Prerequisites
Knowledge of basic chemistry and physics principles is helpful but not required.

S13089: From Earth to Mars: An Introduction to Rocketry
Difficulty: ***

Come learn about rockets! We'll cover the basics of rocketry, mission planning and some of the crazy things people have tried to get off the ground. We'll detail what missions to the Moon, Mars and perhaps beyond might look like. No background knowledge is required as we'll cover the basics in each area as needed.

And yes, it _is_ rocket science.

S13090: The Chemistry of Food
Difficulty: **

We'll go through an overview of the chemistry behind popular types of food with a particular focus on misconceptions.

S13096: The Transition (Metals) of Life
Difficulty: **

Transition metals are hiding everywhere around us. In this class we will go over the often overlooked (and most interesting!) section of the periodic table, the D block elements. Join us in discussing how transition metals appear in everyday life ranging from the white powder doughnuts to the shape of table top RPG “Dungeons and Dragons” dice.

S13099: A Deep Dive into Drugs, Diseases and Development (and more!)
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Vien Tran, Ethan Wong

Drugs? Whose got them! Diseases? Who has them! Development? Who hasn’t! In this course, we’ll explore the fascinating world of the blend of psychology and neuroscience. We’ll discuss interesting topics surrounding the brain and the various manners in which we behave under the influence of others or our own intrinsic desires


Prerequisites
Some background in psychology, biology and chemistry would help but is not needed

S13120: Introduction to Biochemistry
Difficulty: **

Want to learn what a protein actually is?? How exactly do we get energy from food? How do drugs work? This course will give you the basic tools to understand the science behind life. You will learn about protein structure and function, catalysis and enzyme kinetics, and principles of metabolism.


Prerequisites
AP/IB Chemistry or equivalent is a must. Basic knowledge of organic chemistry and biology would be a plus, but all relevant material will be taught.

S13084: Intro to Synthetic Biology!
Difficulty: **

How does engineering intersect with biology? How can rabbit genes be expressed in plants? What are policies and ethics behind gene editing? If you're interested in finding out these and more, this class is for you!


Prerequisites
Introductory biology knowledge (DNA transcription, translation, replication, etc.) is strongly recommended and helpful but not required.

S13102: Photobiochemistry
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Alexander Alabugin

Are you interested in steering life processes at a molecular level, telling enzymes when to stop and cells when to die? Would you like to understand techniques that tag, light up, and monitor structures at the limits of modern microscopy? Photobiochemistry – the application of light to the chemistry of living organisms – lends itself to both measurement and control. After reviewing a few of the ways molecules can interact with radiation to change their shapes and behaviors, we’ll dive into the current literature, discussing examples of photoactive substances that are relevant to basic biology and medicine. Principles from molecular orbital theory, physical organic chemistry and medicinal chemistry will be introduced through guided exploration of star examples that range from “cardiac switches” to anti-DNA warheads.


Prerequisites
Strong background in chemistry (AP Chemistry equivalent or further). Elementary knowledge of organic chemistry (being able to read skeleton or bond-line structures) would be extremely helpful. A detailed knowledge of biology is less necessary.

S13126: Introduction to Epidemiology
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Kenneth Cox

This is one of two courses on epidemiology I am teaching this summer. Epidemiology is the science of diseases: how they spread, how they infect people, and how we can stop them. This course is designed for students with little to no background in biology. We will talk about topics in chemistry and biology and how they relate to diseases. We will also briefly discuss what an epidemiologist does and how disease outbreaks are stopped, in case you are interested in a career in the medical field.


Prerequisites
None! This class will work from the ground up, so you don't need to know anything besides the very very basics.

S13088: Climate change, climate action
Difficulty: **

Human-caused climate change will impact every continent and ocean throughout the rest of this century -- and likely beyond. How do human-made emissions lead to climate change? How will climate change affect people's lives here and around the world? And what technologies and policies might we use to limit the damage?

S13095: The Physics of Life
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Amir Bitran

In this course, we will learn about the physical principles that explain how life works. As an analogy, the infrastructure in a city-buildings, bridges, roads, etc-is stably held together by forces including tension and support forces. In much the same way, the "structures" and "machines" in our cells (often made up of proteins) adopt their structures and perform their life-sustaining tasks as a result of forces between atoms. But while physics enables the engineering of a city, it also sets constrains on what's possible-for instance, a bridge carrying too heavy of a load will collapse. As we will see, life is similarly constrained by physics, and when living things do not abide by these constraints, diseases such as cancer result. This course will introduce the basic physics governing diverse and crucial biological processes -including evolution, protein folding/assembly, molecular machines, and genetic regulatory networks -and how "catastrophic failure" of these processes leads to disease. Regular interactive activities and computer simulations will ensure that students attain a physical intuition of how and why biology works, rather than simply memorizing facts.


Prerequisites
Basic exposure to physics, biology, and algebra 2 level math may be helpful but not required

S13110: The Biological Basis of Neurological Disorders

Neurological disorders are one of the greatest threats to public health, affecting as many as one billion people worldwide. In this course, we will learn about how biological and neural abnormalities contribute to different neurological disorders, such as autism, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, and many more. Just as importantly, we will learn about treatments for these disorders, with a focus on both current and future therapies.


Prerequisites
None

S13121: The chemistry of colors and nuclear energy.
Difficulty: *

We will be learning the underlying principle of nuclear energy, radioactivity and electromagnetic waves.
Emphasis will be placed on group discussions and ability to apply the concepts learned to real-life situations.

S13079: Epidemiology: The Science of Disease
Difficulty: **

Ebola, influenza, tuberculosis, Zika - we hear about outbreaks of diseases like these all the time, but what actually are they? Where do these diseases come from, and how do they manage to infect so many people? Who are the scientists who control outbreaks, and how do they stop diseases from infecting more people? In this course, we will use the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report - a professional publication - to explore these questions and learn about the pathogens that make big headlines.


Prerequisites
You should be familiar with some basic statistics (percentages, mean, median, that sort of thing). A background in basic biology is required. You should also be interested in diseases, and be prepared to encounter a lot of new concepts and vocabulary.

S13082: Pandemics, Epidemics and Genomics
Difficulty: **

How can the world’s worst microbes and viruses be defeated using cutting edge advances in genomics and gene editing? We will use case studies to learn how genomic technologies can be developed to address challenges in infectious disease control and treatment.


Prerequisites
We recommend that students have taken a biology course, and know what DNA, RNA, and proteins are.

S13093: Intro to Organic Chemistry
Difficulty: ***

Did you ever wonder how medicines are made? Want to learn what those squiggly lines mean in chemistry class? Do you want to understand Breaking Bad on a whole new level? If so, organic chemistry might just be right for you!

Organic chemistry, the study of the properties and reactions of carbon-containing compounds, forms the basis for biochemistry and the modern pharmaceutical industry. Despite its reputation as a 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.

This course will give you a primer to the most important material covered in the first half of a first-semester o-chem course. We will be moving quickly, beginning by looking at the properties of molecules that affect their reactivity. Following that, we will delve into reactions with different types of molecules such as hydrocarbons, alcohols, and haloalkanes. Finally, we will use this arsenal of tools to devise some simple synthesis pathways.


Prerequisites
A strong understanding of high school chemistry concepts including periodic trends, electronegativity, formal charge, Lewis structures, acid/base concepts, and redox chemistry is a must since many reaction mechanisms will be grounded in these concepts. Also, a willingness to review class material and attempt homework problems is important to successfully learning organic chemistry and getting the most out of this class.

S13097: A Mirror Into the Mind: An Introduction to Neuroscience
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Vien Tran, Ethan Wong

How much can we say we actually know about our brains? Our brains are made of eighty-seven billion interconnected neurons all working together to provide us with intelligence, consciousness, and control our movement and sensations. Yet, we currently don’t even know enough about the brain to determine how much we actually understand about the brain. This course seeks to discuss our current understanding in the field and to expose students to fundamental principles of neuroanatomy, neuronal functioning and cognitive abilities.


Prerequisites
Some understanding in chemistry and biology would help greatly but is not needed.

S13105: The Wonderful Science of Baking
Difficulty: **

Have you ever looked at a cupcake recipe and wondered what the ingredients actually do? Why is salt in there? Is it important to use baking powder instead of baking soda?

Come take this course to find out (and enjoy some sweet demonstrations). From exploring eggs to understanding chocolate, over 7 weeks we will uncover the chemical reason why sweet treats taste so good!

S13106: Sensational Neuroscience: How Your Brain Understands the World

Ever wonder why some people hear “yanny” while others hear “laurel”? Or how visual illusions work? Come learn how the brain processes information from the senses to generate your perception of the world, and how this process can be hijacked. The classes will consist of interactive lectures followed by demonstrations, in which you will make sour things taste sweet, bend your vision, and mind control your classmates. During the last class, we will tour real neuroscience labs at MIT!

We're excited to explore the brain with you!

(Note: The first class will involve a sheep brain dissection. Any students who wish to leave during this portion of the class will be welcome to do so.)

S13112: Blast Off: Intro to Airplanes and Rocketry!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Israel Bonilla

Learn some of the science behind how rockets and planes fly, culminating in the construction (and hopefully launch) of bottle rockets!


Prerequisites
Some understanding of calculus would be nice, but not totally necessary.

S13113: Rationality: How to model our world, seek truth, and strive for good decisions
Difficulty: ***

Does human behavior sometimes confuse you? How do people think about thinking, and how can we get better at it? We’ll start this class by learning clearer, more precise vocabulary to describe our world and our perceptions of it. But we’ll also see that our brains themselves are imperfect instruments, so we’ll develop strategies to correct for it. Finally, equipped with a better understanding of how our brains can work for (or against) us, we’ll discuss how to become better calibrated in decision-making and navigating the world.


Prerequisites
This class would be a good fit for people who like to introspect, reflect to themselves, or think about problems deeply. For instance, if your gut reaction to the previous sentence was along the lines of "Hm... I think I do, but I'm not sure. Let me think about it.”, then you should consider signing up! All that said, we also believe that this skill is something one can develop with practice, so if you're still unsure, don't let the above deter you.

S13127: Lithographic Patterning: Photons, Electrons and Ions
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Amrita Masurkar

In this course, you will learn about photo-, electron beam and ion beam lithography, the technology used to make tiny (micro- and nano-scale) devices, like the chips found in your laptops and cellphones. By the end of this course, you will understand the fundamental principles of beam science and become an expert in the subject of lithographic patterning.


Prerequisites
A thirst for knowledge!


Miscellaneous

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X13100: Correlation isn't causation, so what is?
Difficulty: **

You've probably heard that correlation isn't causation. So, how do we prove that anything causes anything else? Luckily, econometrics has the tools for this. You'll learn some of the math and intuition behind econometric methods, such as regression, differences-in-differences, regression discontinuity, and instrumental variables. We'll also discuss papers that use these tools to answer questions like, "How does having children affect women's wages?" "How does increasing the minimum wage affect employment?" and "How do credit card limits affect peoples' spending?"


Prerequisites
Prior exposure to basic statistics helpful, but not necessary