HSSP Summer 2022
Course Catalog


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Arts Computer Science
Engineering Humanities
Mathematics Science
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Arts

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A15044: Composing Classical Music: From Start to Finish Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Sanjay Raman

Interested in classical music? Enjoy playing an instrument but wonder how composers come up with their music? Ever wanted to write your own music? Perhaps you are already an experienced composer looking to show off your skills.

In this class, we will go through the process of composing a short piece of classical music. We will discuss topics in harmony, counterpoint, arranging, and orchestration, and students will work and receive feedback on their own pieces. At the end of the class, we will have a recital where students play their music.


Class Style
Seminar

Prerequisites
Basic familiarity with sheet music notation. Some experience with a musical instrument may be helpful. Prior knowledge of theory or composition is not required.


Computer Science

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C15084: Regular languages, finite automatons, and regex
Difficulty: ***

Imagine this chunk of nonsense text:

LoremipsumdolorsitametconsecteturadipiscingelitEtiamnisivelitfringillaquisquamaeleifendaccumsanquamNunchendreritquamaloremimperdietneciaculisleoscelerisqueUttellusenimfringillaquisfringillaatvenenatisvellacusInseddignissimrisusCurabitelvisualivervulputatearcuetmetushendreritposuereMauristempusnonlacusatullamcorperFuscelacusnequescelerisquesedsagittisacblanditsedfelisSuspendissemaurislacusconsectetureumassaaportaaccumsanrisusDuisfeugiatintortorfeugiatimperdietNuncjustonisicondimentumegetnullainluctussempeelvisraliveurnaVestibulumegetgravidanislvitaelaoreetfelisProinconsequatsemperipsumetelementumeratfringillaaDonecetlaoreetlacusCurabiturluctusatliberoeuvehiculaMaurisinnelvisquejustoVestibulumultricesmiatinterdumfringillaAliquameratvolutpatProinnecelementumrisusconsecteturadipiscingmassaPhasellusacmassalectusDonecquammassaportaidleositametullamcorperlobortisenimQuisquevitaenisitemportristiquelectusvitaetempornibh

How would you find Elvis in this mess? And is he alive?

With regular expressions (or regex, for short) this problem can be solved in a very short line of code!

For people who like puzzles, creating regular expressions is an extremely fun challenge, and in this course we are going to learn everything about them!


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
Must like puzzles and problem solving. Experience in proof writing and being competent in math is a plus, but not necessary.

C15052: EconCS: Algorithms for Social Good Full!
Difficulty: ***

What's the best way to match kidney donors with patients? Is ranked-choice voting everything it's made out to be, or is there a better way to vote? How do we design an auction so that people don't underbid?

These questions lie at the intersection of computer science and economics and represent some of the most fascinating applications of real-world algorithms. Join us as we take a look at game theory, auctions, matching, voting theory, and more!


Class Style
Lecture

C15061: Modeling Markets, Pandemics, and Peace: The Mathematics of Multi-Agent Systems
Difficulty: ***

Computer AIs can now play Dota, Starcraft, and Go better than nearly any human being. But have you ever wondered what happens when dozens, hundreds, or millions of these intelligent agents face off each other? This is not a hypothetical question: many phenomena in the social world, from financial market action to international relations, are formed by the interaction of sophisticated entities. In this course, we will go through the basics of how computers make decisions and learn, building up to an introduction to reinforcement learning. We will discuss insights from game theory and behavioral economics to connect them to human decision-making. Finally, we will talk about how these tools can be used to study complex systems like networks and supply chains, where we see the emergence of collective behaviors like systemic risks.


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
Basic algebra, probability, and familiarity with mathematical reasoning. Knowing what a derivative is would also be helpful but is not required.

C15062: Introduction to Programming in Python Full!
Difficulty: **

Learn the basics of programming in Python! Meant for those with little to no prior coding experience. Code your own project by the end with the chance to win a $25 prize!


Class Style
Lecture

C15048: From Philosophy to Computation: How does a computer add two numbers?
Difficulty: **

In the fourth century BCE, Aristotle stumbled upon a problem: If In trying to solve this problem in a formal way, he kicked off the development of propositional logic – a field in the middle of the intersection of mathematics and philosophy. About 23 centuries later, computer pioneers used this discipline to construct the first general-purpose computation machines.
We will follow in their footsteps. To understand the mathematical underpinnings of how computers process numbers – and find out why modern computer science shares one of its most central sub fields with philosophy, we will learn about the theory of logic and use our skills in practice when we build a small machine that adds two numbers. To do this, we not only have to learn how to calculate in the binary system and deal with mathematical propositional logic, but also acquire some basic knowledge of prototyping hardware.
All of the course is about computers and computer science – but the first third of the course is also philosophy, the second third mathematics, and in the rest of the course, we will apply what we learned in a project featuring electronics.


Class Style
Seminar

Prerequisites
None at all. It helps if you have played with a breadboard before, but that is not required.

C15090: A Very Basic Intro to Python Programming Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Noah Morales

Coding can feel overwhelming or intimidating if you've never seen anything like it before. This class will break down the absolute basics of Python so that anyone can succeed! A combination of detailed lectures, interactive coding exercises, and additional resources will make sure you never get stuck or fall behind. By the end of class, you should understand the general process for solving problems, as well as the key features in Python for solving said problems.


Class Style
Activity

C15088: Intro to Computer Science and Programming with Python Full!
Difficulty: **

Come and learn how to code in Python - one of the most popular programming languages. We will teach you the basics of coding from start to finish!

Not only will you learn how to code, but you will learn some popular and useful concepts in computer science like algorithms, graphs, encryption, etc.! These topics will show how Google finds the fastest route and how our devices encrypt messages when communicating.


Class Style
Lecture


Engineering

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E15065: Welcome to Fuga-City! Thermodynamics 101

An introduction to the properties of invisible things: heat, enthalpy, energy and pressure, decoding the mystery of entropy and fugacity, applications of thermodynamics in engineering and in everyday activities.


Class Style
Lecture


Humanities

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H15087: Writing Workshop Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Farin Tavacoli

In this class we will suggest topics and become more comfortable with the writing process. Students will practice organization, voice, and writing with a purpose.


Class Style
Activity

H15073: Political Dissidence throughout History Full!
Difficulty: **

In 399 BCE Socrates publicly defended himself against deliberately breaking Athen’s laws. Years later, breaking the law is one of the most potent forms of rebellion. But this begs many questions: What are these people standing for? Is what they are doing morally wrong? When is it right to break a state of law? Can this be done using violence?

In this class, we will begin by reviewing the philosophical basis for laws. We will then look at political dissidents throughout history, evaluate their arguments, and discuss our opinions on the matter.


Class Style
Discussion

H15086: How to learn any language
Difficulty: *

Do you have a language that you'd like to learn? Or maybe more than one? In this course we'll talk to you about tips and free tools (some of which I'm sure you have never thought of) to improve your language learning process! And not only that: we'll also give you the time and space to actually implement some of these tips and try-out some of these tools! Finally, we'll have open discussions to brainstorm other ways in which we can improve our learning.


Class Style
Discussion

Prerequisites
For the purpose of performing the activities, please think of a particular language you are learning or would like to learn in advance. Need access to a mobile device able to download apps for some of the activities.

H15047: It is not a Dungeon, it is an Underground Defense Installation Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Stirling Newberry

Do you want to play Dungeons and Dragons 5e? This the is the course for you. Even if you have no experience, the course will walk you through starting a character. But wait! There's more! (Of course there is more, that's what "more" means.) Did you know there is statistics and algebra and logic behind the game? Well, you will, because we are not just playing a game we are finessing the rules to see what is under the hood.


Class Style
Activity

Prerequisites
A willingness to expand your mind. Dice helps.

H15054: Between the World Wars
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Joshua Hoffman

Before World War 1, six great empires ruled over most of Europe and most of the world. After World War 1, 2 of those empires were badly weakened, two had revolutions that replaced lines of rulers older than the United States, and two were completely shattered, never to rise again.

Think of the great buzz-words that spurr politics and action today. Nationalism, Fascism, Communism, Genocide, Neutrality, even the slogan "America First", are a century old. They come from these chaotic 20 years between World Wars One and Two.

Political intrigue, war, and more, await in this story-lecture style course. And by learning from the stories the past tells us, we might just make a better future.


Class Style
Lecture


Mathematics

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M15053: Seeing the Future: Probability and Random Events
Difficulty: **

What is the chance that Dogecoin will triple in value tomorrow? How many different ice cream combinations are there at your favorite ice cream store? How likely are you to sit next to your crush in class? If these are questions that interest you, this is the class for you! The power of probability helps mathematicians predict stock trajectories, the weather, and a wide variety of future events! This class will introduce important topics in probability like counting techniques, Bayes Theorem, and random variables. Come and learn how to predict the future with us!


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
Algebra II

M15049: Exploring Abstract Algebra
Difficulty: ****

College-level mathematics can broadly be divided into three categories: analysis, algebra (not like high school algebra), and geometry (not like high school geometry).

In this class I hope to give you a taste of abstract algebra, a preview of what you might expect in a first college algebra course (sets, rings, fields, groups, categories). Due to time constraints I'll aim to give the shallowest possible treatment while still conveying the flavor of and my appreciation for each topic. That being said, I'll also be providing lots of (optional) problems and resources for you to explore at your leisure.

Each class will be 90 minutes long, split into three 30-minute "modules". The third of these will either be an extension module, or "unstructured time" where I'll take any questions or e.g. provide some fun problems to think about. In either case, this is completely optional, but it will probably be a little less difficult and also more relaxed and fun!

Unfortunately, due to the structure of the class, it will be quite difficult to keep up if you miss a day, but I'll still try my best to keep the classes independent of each other. I will also make available the notes for each week of class which you can reference just in case. Please email me if you have any questions about the course!


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
There are no formal prerequisites, as in I will define all the words I plan to use. In particular, you don't need to know any calculus (or anything beyond that)! The main challenge of abstract algebra is simply how dry it is. You will need to accept a lot of what I say on faith, and be aware that the content that we will explore will be pretty useless on its own. But my hope is that by the end of the class, you will appreciate it for its beauty anyway! Please email me if you're not sure if the class is right for you. (Also please email me if you're not yet in 10th grade but want to take the class anyway.)

M15067: Optimization in Graph Theory Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Peter Hoffman

Interested in how tools from optimization can be applied to solve exciting questions in graph theory? This class first introduces these questions, such as graph coloring and shortest paths, then studies how tools from optimization and integer programming can be used to generate optimal, or near optimal solutions. Applications to real world situations, such as distribution networks and scheduling, will be presented when possible.


Class Style
Seminar

Prerequisites
General mathematical maturity and basic programming knowledge in some language recommended.

M15058: Introduction to Proofs
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Jonathan Whyte

A class that teaches you how to write proofs and gives an overview of the various techniques used in proofs of mathematical theorems. Covers boolean variables and boolean operators, truth tables, proof of implications, direct proofs, proof by contraposition, proof by contradiction, proof by construction, proof by cases, proof by induction and its various forms, and combinatorial proofs.


Class Style
Seminar

Prerequisites
Students should have a sound understanding of the concepts presented in Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II.

M15064: Axiomatic Geometry and Proofs
Difficulty: ***

A proof-based class on two-dimensional geometry. We start with a brief history of Euclid and his axioms, and explain why they don't hold up to the rigor expected in mathematics today. From there will be lectures/discussions revolving around Hilbert's axioms (in 2D), including the incidence, order, congruence, and continuity axioms. Theorems proven include the Crossbar Theorem, Pasch's Theorem, SSS, ASA, and the Saccheri-Legendre Theorem. We end with an exploration on hyperbolic geometry. Class serves as a brief overview into the rigor of higher level analysis in mathematics.


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
You should have already taken a high school geometry course before taking this class.

M15041: Every Reference in "Finite Simple Group (of Order Two)" (And Possibly, Math (But No Promises))
Difficulty: ****
Teachers: CJ Quines

We'll go over every reference made in The Klein Four's "Finite Simple Group (of Order Two)", and hopefully learn something about math along the way.


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
((a strong algebra background) or (mathematical maturity)) and (being comfortable with not fully understanding something) and (enjoying math for its own sake)


Science

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S15056: The Evolution of Sex
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Will Barr

Throughout almost all standard classes in biology, we are taught about sex in a human-centric way that often sidelines how sex itself has evolved over billions of years. Our course will reverse classical thinking about sex and examine how we got to the relatively recent evolutionary innovation of sex chromosomes. We will also discuss how an evolutionary perspective of biological sex may affect medicine and society.


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
None!

S15094: STEM Lecture Series
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Various Teachers

Explore a new STEM topic every week with lectures given by various teachers!


Class Style
Lecture

S15063: Astrobiology
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Kenneth Cox

Where are they? In a universe so vast, there should be aliens around somewhere, so why haven't we seen them yet? In this class, we will take a galactic perspective of life and discuss how life might arise on other planets, how aliens (and us) might move around space, and how we can communicate with extraterrestrials.


Class Style
Lecture

S15069: Problem Solving from Common Sense Extension
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Alex Li

Nowadays, we are facing a lot of problem that needs cooperation from the whole society to solve. Such as climate change, COVID, or the Ukrainian crisis. Thus it is important for most of us to get an understanding of these topics under our own scope of knowledge. Thus, this class would be dedicated to teach students ways to solve problems using information they know best. We are not expecting our students to be climate activist, pandemic expert or international relationship scholar, but common folks who could develop their own understanding of these problems, and potentially contribute their knowledge power toward these global issues.


Class Style
Discussion

S15070: Chemistry of Luminescence
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Andrew Feng

Why do glowsticks... well, glow? Things that glow are way cooler than things that don't but not all things that shine are created equal. In this class we will explore chemiluminescence, fluorescence, phosphorescence, and bioluminescence, and the inner workings behind how they get their color.


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
Some knowledge of chemistry (i.e. organic chem, physical chem). This class will be a lot easier if you understand energy states/molecular orbitals.

S15051: Environmental Pollution
Difficulty: **
Teachers: H. Alexander Chen

This case-study driven module provides an overview of contaminants in the environment through scientific, legislative, social, and industrial-based approaches. It will provide an in-depth discussion about the source, properties, transport, and fate of environmental contaminants and the effect it has on human society. It will integrate themes drawn from environmental law and justice. Through case studies, students will holistically explore and assess scientific and social aspects of the effects of environmental pollution locally and globally. Emerging contaminants such as PFAS will be covered. Modern remediation technologies will be introduced if time allows. See attached Course Poster about the case studies and themes we will cover this summer.


Class Style
Seminar

Prerequisites
None. Basic chemistry and algebra 1 can be helpful but not required.

S15055: Introduction to Epidemiology
Difficulty: **

Not tired enough of hearing about diseases? Want to actually understand where they come from, how they're treated, and what the future holds for disease management and prevention? In this class we'll consider these and other exciting questions within epidemiology, the science of diseases.


Class Style
Lecture

S15066: Great and Small: Crazy Electrons
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Caolan John

Electrons are everywhere. They are one of the fundamental building blocks of nature, responsible for holding together most of the world around us. At the same time, we have learned to make tremendous use of them in modern electronics where they power our computers and charge our phones.

Electrons are also funny characters. On their own, these particles can’t stand being near each other and possess “fundamental” traits like charge and mass. However, when nature allows them to dance with each other in some materials, they can do wonderful things like conduct electricity perfectly, seemingly split into smaller pieces, and even behave like light itself. Together we’ll explore how these little guys operating at the small scale are able to do such great feats at the large one.

This course is designed to be an accessible and exciting introduction to the crazy world of electrons. On our journey we will uncover the wonders of superconductivity, explore how transistors work, examine the remarkable properties of graphene, and so much more. Bring your curiosity and we’ll provide the rest!


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
Curiosity; exposure to physics can be helpful but not required

S15091: Astronaut Health: Optimization of Human Performance for the Extreme Environment of Space.
Difficulty: **

The astronauts' body is the biological machinery that has to sustain the harsh task of space exploration. This course will explore the challenges and dangers that the human body is exposed to in the extreme environment of space and other locations outside of our home planet. We will review the training that astronauts go through to prepare for their journey, the mitigation strategies that they use during the missions, and the post mission recovery treatments that they receive upon returning to Earth.

Trailer: https://youtu.be/YK9IaMhNFzY


Class Style
Seminar

S15080: Put Light to Work: Exploring the ultrafast with light
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Yi Ji, Michael Luo

Come and explore the topics of light, matter, and their interactions! In this lesson we will cover topics including the nature of light, the principle of laser systems, the interaction between light and matter and beyond. You will refresh your understanding of seemingly familiar phenomenon such as reflection and absorption of light. Specially, we will focus on a specific area of study - ultrafast spectroscopy - and bring you a peek into the cutting edge where researchers use light to study the nature of matter.


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
Basics of high school physics. Basic understanding of electromagnetic theory is recommended but we will also give a brief review in class.

S15060: Saving the World with the Science of Sustainability!
Difficulty: **

Climate change is one of the most significant challenges in human history. In recent years, it has become clear that our way of life is not 100% sustainable and that something needs to change. This course will introduce you to sustainability and the science behind it. We will cover a wide range of topics, including: climate change; electricity generation and its decarbonization; water scarcity and water harvesting; and the role of materials and their environmental impact, especially plastics. By the end of this course, you will have learned about the science underpinning these applications,
including heat transfer, thermodynamics, mechanics, and materials science. More importantly, we hope you will walk away able to talk about sustainability and feeling inspired to create the changes necessary to make society more sustainable and save the world!


Class Style
Seminar

Prerequisites
None


Social Science

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S15079: Sustainable living: a critical look at everyday things
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Oksana Makarova

After a few months of use, you accidentally lose your ballpoint pen and it gets swept into the trash at the end of the day. If a ballpoint pen had been used to sign the Declaration of Independence, it would still be floating somewhere in the ocean today.

Each class, we'll do research together on some everyday thing (T-shirts, electricity, apples, etc): uncover its full lifecycle, from production to transportation to disposal. We'll critically analyze the impact each step of the process has on the environment and discuss what changes should be made to keep the world a livable place.


Class Style
Discussion

S15095: HASS Lecture Series
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Various Teachers

Explore a new topic in the humanities, arts, or social sciences every week with lectures given by various teachers!


Class Style
Lecture

S15081: Introduction to Criminology
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Steven Swee

When most people think about crimes, they think about solving the case and putting whoever is responsible behind bars. But have you ever asked why people do crime in the first place? What is the underlying motive? In this class, we will have a taste of what criminology is like and hopefully come up with ways to address and prevent crime.


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
An interest in criminal activity and psychology!

S15074: Markets, prices, and policies! Full!
Difficulty: **

Economics is all around us! When you walk into a grocery store, what determines the prices of apples or ice cream? In this class, we will look at what makes these markets tick. We will look at how competition affects our economy and what happens when competition is not there (monopoly and duopolies). We will also look at some of the failures of this system (like inequality, poverty, and environmental problems). Finally, we will discuss some policy implications and real-world circumstances.

No economic knowledge is necessary! Just come with an open mind and interest in learning more about economics.


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
Math and algebra knowledge is helpful.


Miscellaneous

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X15076: Algorithmic Justice through Media Literacy Education
Difficulty: **
Teachers: MELDA YILDIZ

This workshop investigates the role of Algorithmic Bias/ Injustice integrating new technologies such as Global Positioning System (GPS) while developing global competencies, geospatial intelligence, and computational thinking skills. It offers creative strategies and possibilities for eradicating myths and misconceptions in education. We will engage in a wide range of media literacy activities exploring geospatial and computational thinking skills. We will investigate alternative points of view on news, global issues, algorithmic bias, and social justice through media literacy education.


Class Style
Discussion

Prerequisites
NA

X15057: Making Books and Book-ish Structures Full!
Difficulty: *

Ya like books? We sure do!

We’ll be teaching the basics of bookbinding, zinemaking, letterlocking, and other book-related topics! What other forms can a book take on? How has the format of a book changed over time? Does the medium make the message? And what is a book anyways?

Activities include: sewing, cutting, folding, drawing or writing (any skill level), and screaming about books ;)
Class supplies will be sent in the mail, and it is strongly encouraged that students attend all sessions of the class.


Class Style
Activity

Prerequisites
No knowledge needed, just an interest in books and hands-on activities

X15092: The Art of Cryptography
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Pamela Stark, Duha Syar

Do you want to learn how to encode and decode secret messages? Are you interested in the history of cryptography and modern developments in cybersecurity and computer science?

Join us in the Art of Cryptography for a fast-paced, activity driven class where you'll learn about the field of cryptography and get a chance to compete with your classmates for the title of master codebreaker (prizes included!).


Class Style
Activity

X15068: Beyond Medicine: Exploring Inclusivity and Equity in Healthcare Full!
Difficulty: *

This interdisciplinary course explores healthcare systems from perspectives beyond just medicine. We will start by developing an understanding of health and disease in the human body, followed by sessions on medical research and healthcare systems around the world. We will also think about designing medical devices to be more accessible, as well as learn about the frontiers of AI and machine learning in medicine. The course will end with two sessions exploring the role of storytelling, language, and art in modern medical practice. Throughout the course, we will closely examine where healthcare leaves patients out and think about ways to implement equitable and inclusive changes.


Class Style
Discussion

X15077: Intro to Becoming a Crypto Degen: DeFi, DAOs, Metaverse, and more
Difficulty: **
Teachers: lily Chen

We're covering the things you need to know to become a crypto degen: wallets, smart contracts, security, L1s, DAOs and Dapps, Metaverse and gaming, the current challenges and upcoming trends. Opportunities to collaborate and discuss with others to pitch a protocol of your own.


Class Style
Lecture

X15096: Misc. Lecture Series
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Various Teachers

Explore a new topic each week in this lecture series! There'll be a new teacher discussing a new topic every week so stay tuned for a surprise!


Class Style
Lecture