# Spark! 2013 Course Catalog

Computer Science Walk-in Activity
Mathematics Humanities
Miscellaneous Engineering
Arts Science
Lunch

This is the course catalog for Spark 2013 (and right now it's 2014). This year's course catalog will be posted as soon as it is available. Please note that some of the classes below were aimed at high-school students even though this Spark's classes will only be for middle-schoolers.

Arts

A6969: West Coast Swing Dancing
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Carlos Domene

Dancing is an embodiment of seduction, a chance to demonstrate your suave, confident personality if done correctly. Join me in learning this magical art.

Prerequisites
None! :D

A7161: Rope Corsets
Difficulty: **

This class will teach you how to tie a couple of different styles of rope corsets using basic knots. In addition to learning practical tricks we will also go over how to make your corsets comfortable and beautiful! Rope will be provided for you to practice with during class.

Prerequisites
You don’t need a partner or any previous experience. Your own thigh or leg is perfectly good to practice on.

A7170: Indie Education
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Katie Bartel

There's more to being a hipster than wearing plaid. You gotta know your music. Shoegaze, math rock, dream pop, chillwave, post-rock: this class will give you a grip on the wide variety of indie history, artists, and subgenres.

A7006: BATTLEAXES!! Full!
Difficulty: **

Do you like prop weapons? WE DO. Come learn the ins and outs of building your own battleaxe, hammer, spear, what-have-you out of foam. Class will cover basic construction techniques for costume props and include a hands-on session where students will learn how to carve and paint pink insulation foam. Dueling may ensue. :D

Prerequisites
Comfort handling craft knives.

A7110: Typography and Typesetting
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Tana Wattanawaroon

Typography and Typesetting are about arranging text into a piece of publication, which is in no way simple. It is about choosing fonts, size, spacing, and everything. Modern word processors have made publication accessible to anyone with computers, while taking some beauty away from this extremely delicate craft.

Take this course to learn about the basics of typography and typesetting! We will look into publications at different levels: glyphs, lines, paragraphs, and pages. We will learn how to maximize beauty while preserving readability and legibility. We will explore how technology has transformed the era of good old press into the age of digital typography.

A6943: The Wonders of Crochet
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Alissa Borshchenko

Learn how to crochet - the easy way! We will be learning the basics of crochet, starting from the chain stitch all the way to the triple stitch. Come have some fun with this wonderful craft. You won't leave empty-handed!

A7027: Spinning Arts
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Rebecca Greene

Learn how to spin staff and poi and other props

A7102: Bookmaking! Full!
Difficulty: *

Learn to make Recycled Cardboard books and get introduced to the art of Bookmaking!

A6964: Folk Music Jam
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Ruth Byers

Like to waltz or contra dance, and want to know how to play the music? Do you play in school orchestra but want to learn another genre? We'll learn the rhythms for a few basic types of European and American folk dances and learn a few tunes by ear and from dots (i.e. from sheet music).

Bring an instrument you know how to play (no need to be a virtuoso. Can produce notes is fine). Stringed instruments of any kind, flutes, clarinets, harmonicas and accordions will probably work best, but we can totally jam with a tuba.

A6929: Yoga/Pilates
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Grace Gu

Ever wanted to learn yoga and Pilates? Now's your chance to learn, make friends, and also burn calories at the same time! :)

A7037: Cosplay, Propmaking, and Design
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Alyssa Waln

[Note: This will be the exact same class taught at Splash under the same name.] I like cosplay. Do you like cosplay? I’ll be talking about the costumes I’ve made, the mistakes I made along the way and how to avoid them, Things to Consider when designing from a reference photo, materials that work, materials that don’t, and a few tips and tricks to make you stand out. There will be time for general questions about cosplay and conventions, or cosplay-specific questions if you’re in a bind and need some ideas.

A7195: Spark Concert Choir
Difficulty: **

Do you like to sing? Want to learn more about singing? We'll do some fun rounds and fugues, some folk song call-and-response, and then we'll try out a famous classical choral piece.

Prerequisites
Ability to read sheet music is a plus, but not required.

Difficulty: **
Teachers: Maryam Yoon

Know how to knit and purl? Wondering what comes next? Learn how to increase, decrease, knit in the round and much more (time permitting) to make more complicated projects within your reach. At the end of class you'll have your own knit strawberry!

Prerequisites
Student should be comfortable with the knit and purl stitch.

A7082: Introductory Knitting Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Corinn Herrick

Learn all the skills you need to make a scarf! By the end of the class you'll know how to cast on, knit, purl, and cast off. Materials to make a small piece in class will be provided. If you want to make a larger project, such as a scarf, then bring your own materials so you can take it home with you to finish.

A7009: Pokemon Papercraft! Full!
Difficulty: *

Learn how to make awesome paper Pokemon, using scissors, glue and computer models!

Computer Science

C7090: How Operating Systems Work
Difficulty: ***

You deal with operating systems on a day-to-day basis -- Macs, Windows, Linux, etc. An operating system is the software that lies between your computer hardware and the applications you would interact with on a day-to-day basis.

Operating systems have to be carefully designed for security, modularity, and speed. In this clas we'll look at the basics of how operating systems function to meet these goals.

Prerequisites
Knowledge of C programming is highly recommended. Knowledge of x86 architecture would be helpful but is not necessary.

C6975: Language Taste Test
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jared Wong

Learning a new programming language can bend your mind like Keanu Reaves in the Matrix. In this class you'll get introduced to as many different paradigms as I can fit in. In APCompSci they only teach you imperative and object-oriented stuff. Learn the cool stuff. Among other paradigms I'll let you sample: imperative, object-oriented, prototype-based, logic, functional, lispy-languages, and (the) proof based language(s). Among the more popular we'll probably taste: C, Ruby, Javascript, Haskell, Prolog, Closure. Among the less common: Io, J, Coq. And maybe some esoteric ones too: Brain****.

Prerequisites
Knowing at least one programming language reasonably well. I expect you to know the basic elements of an imperative/object-oriented programming language. Recommended to have coded at least 250 lines (in any language).

C6989: Be a computer! Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Zoe Snape

How do computers and the internet really work? In this class we'll try to answer that question with life-sized human-powered simulations. Come pretend to be a keyboard, a CPU, or a server!

Prerequisites
Ability to plot points on Cartesian coordinates.

C7200: Punchcards and Room 404: When There Were Almost Computers Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Riley Drake

Once, dinosaurs roamed the earth. Shortly after, there was a time when people fed sheets of paper to computers. Come learn about the weird and wacky past of today’s sleek computers.

C7154: The Art of Security Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Patrick Lin

Hollywood has a flair for portraying hackers as people typing gibberish on 30 monitors simultaneously, breaking through technical sounding jargon and gaining access to important systems.

While real life may not work like that, the field of Cybersecurity is a fascinating one that involves a lot more than typing gibberish at a hurried pace, and it's not all fun and games.

Learn what real life hackers do to gain access to places and systems, and what the professionals who defend those do to keep the hackers out!

C7145: Cyberespionage
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Benjamin Tidor

What happens when a government gets into the business of computer hacking? Back in the good old days, viruses were written by criminals out to steal your money. Nowadays, we can do more interesting things - like sabotaging a nuclear enrichment facility, for example - or spying on an entire country's private email messages. In this class, you'll hear about recent break-ins and sabotage on the international stage while learning a bit about the everyday systems that keep us safe and secure on the Internet.

Prerequisites
Basic knowledge about computers and the Internet is recommended.

C7157: Approximation Algorithms
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Patrick Lin

Many problems in computer science that into a category known as NP-hard. Unless P=NP (which is probably not the case), finding the optimal solution is very, very hard to do efficiently. When faced with such a task, one of the reasonable things to do is to approximate!

We will start with a quick review of P vs NP for motivation. Then we will cover some well-known difficult problems in computer science, some ways to approximate them, and some of the restrictions on even approximating well enough efficiently.

Warning, without experience with at least the most basic algorithms, you will be lost.

Prerequisites
Experience with algorithms mandatory. Basic understanding of complexity (big-O and P vs NP) very helpful.

C6979: Wii Love Raspberry Pis!
Difficulty: ***

Want to learn how to connect a Wii Remote to your Raspberry Pi? We'll show you how by playing with a Python module!

Note: we don't have enough hardware for everyone to be able to play along, so don't worry about bringing your own Pi or Wiimote. But we will provide you with detailed instructions for how to get set up at home.

Prerequisites
You must be familiar with Python and not completely terrified of a command line interface.

C6976: Learn the Command Line (Unix)
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jared Wong

Mac and Linux machines are both based on the Unix platform. Learn how to navigate your computer using the command line. Learn the basic unix commands. We'll be coving as many commands as I can fit, including, but not limited to: cd, ls, pwd, touch, grep, awk, sort, uniq, wc, du, df, echo, cat, man, rm, mv, mkdir, ssh, find, cp, rmdir, less, cut, tail, more, chmod, which, whereis, tar, gzip, bzip, etc.

If you want, bring a unix based laptop (linux, or mac os) and you can follow along as I introduce you to all the commands.

Prerequisites
Some general understanding of programming. Recommended to have coded at least 250 lines (in any language).

C7126: Sorting 101
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Hassan Alsibyani

Do you hear lots of references to sorting algorithms, but don't really know what they are? Have you wondered how the process of sorting numbers can be quick or slow? Then this is the class for you. We will see why sorting is important, and go over a few classic algorithms. You should take this class as early as possible, so that you have more of your lifetime to think about sorting.

Prerequisites

Difficulty: **

Learn how to hack* a Google interview!

Want to work at Google, Facebook, Dropbox or other software companies? You'll need to pass a technical interview - and that's why we're here.

Questions like:
- Find the smallest element in a list
- Find a duplicate value in a list
- Find the top k in n values
- Find a cycle in a linked list

Topics include:
- Data structures
- Sorting
- Hashing
- big O notation

These questions are fun puzzles, and - trust us - you'll see them all the time.

See you soon!

Best,
Tim and Kim

*not actually hacking.

C7142: Acing the SAT
Difficulty: ***

Come learn about various methods designed to tackle SAT problems.

We will learn about methods used by current SAT solvers. If there is time, we will also discuss variants on SAT like 2-SAT, MAX-SAT (approximations), and #SAT.

Prerequisites
A desire to solve NP-complete problems.

C7079: Algorithms: From Sorting to Water Pipes
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Ben Zinberg

Let's say you want to sort a list of N numbers (N is large). You have a really fast computer with infinite disk space and memory; you're hoping to get the job done in N seconds. Can you do it? (Answer: No.)

Suppose you have 100 males and 100 females, all heterosexual. For each male there is some subset of the females that he would be willing to marry, and for each female there is some subset of the males that she would be willing to marry. We wish to wed as many couples as possible. The question is -- how can we use water pipes to figure out the optimal matching?

In this class we will discuss algorithms, which are sets of instructions that take an input and produce an output. Algorithms are a key component of all computational technology, central to both theory and practice. It turns out that for most computational tasks, the way in which you choose to solve a problem can make a *huge* difference as to your efficiency. Some problems have elegant, fast solutions; some have no efficient solutions; and there are some problems for which no one knows whether there is an efficient solution. We will see concrete examples of all three of these.

Prerequisites
There are no specific mathematical prerequisites. It would help to have an understanding of the fact that exponential functions (e.g., $$2^x$$) grow faster than polynomial functions (e.g., $$x^2$$). Also, importantly, I will be using the language of mathematics to describe our material. You should come prepared to think carefully and use precise language.

C7024: The limits of computation
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Leonid Grinberg

Believe it or not, there are some problems computers simply can't solve, even if you give them unlimited memory and time. These aren't some wishy-washy philosophical meaning-of-life problems either but very well-defined, fairly simple mathematical statements. This class will focus on the absolute limit of what a computer can do and what implications this has both in theory and in practice. It turns out there are a fair number of philosophical implications here as well, so we'll talk about some of those too.

Prerequisites
It would be great if you've seen a mathematical proof before (two-column proofs like in geometry class are fine)

C7188: Introduction to Algorithms
Difficulty: **

Algorithms describe a "recipe" for doing something. Having good algorithms that are fast and easy to use is important for every area of life.

In this class we'll talk about computer science algorithms in particular. We'll talk about how to use algorithms to sort a list of things, create tables that make looking up values really easy, and find shortest paths in graphs.

Prerequisites
Knowing a programming language is strongly recommended.

C7183: Open Source: Contributing to free culture
Difficulty: ***

Free and open source software powers the world's computer systems, from Cray supercomputers to smartphones to popular websites like Google and Facebook.

Involvement in open source can provide a chance to hone one’s own software development skills, to show off technical prowess, or simply to learn from the missteps made by other developers.

This class will cover a brief history of open source and provide a jumping-off point for students' own contributions to the open source software ecosystem. Students will be expected to work through simple coding exercises in-class.

Prerequisites
Some programming knowledge Experience with Linux / command line tools

C7115: Torrential Bits and Where They Go
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Austin Duffield

Like HTTP do ya? Bittorrent's way cooler. This class will show you how it works, who uses it, and what the future holds for this tenth of the internet.

C7053: Smashing the Stack for Fun and Profit [Buffer Overflow Attacks Explained]
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Russell Cohen

Ever wonder about what a buffer overflow attack actually is? Did you know you could hack a website with nothing but a precision crafted (and really long) URL?

In this class, we'll explore /exactly/ how buffer overflow attacks work and what we can do to prevent them. We'll do lots of demos, and if we have time, delve into other exploits, such as SQL and XSS injection.

Prerequisites
Some computer science experience -- knowledge of arrays, variables, basic programming

C7030: Put Together The Pile of Junk!
Difficulty: ***

Ever wondered how to put together a computer, or what all of those random parts do? Come put together computers that are older than you are, and learn about the innards in the process!

Prerequisites
Interest in computer hardware, patience

C7060: How to Make Android Apps Using MIT AppInventor
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!

C7001: AJAX from scratch
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Favyen Bastani

Learn how to build an AJAX (asynchronous Javascript and XML) web chat application using a combination of PHP, HTML, Javascript, and MySQL. We'll cover why AJAX is important, the basics of the technologies we'll be using, how to put them together, and some drawbacks of AJAX.

Prerequisites
Some experience in programming (any language).

C6993: Set up a Linux Server! Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Roger Zurawicki

Ever wanted to run your own MineCraft server? TF2 Server? maybe you want to host a personal website or your own online backup solution. Did you ever wonder if you could do something useful with that spare computer at home?
Using Ubuntu Linux I will show you all the steps required to get a server running with all the functionality you could ever want!
We will cover Apache/LAMP web servers, FTP, Samba, SSH, MineCraft, TF2/Source Engine Server, and VPN.

Prerequisites
Be familiar reinstalling operating systems on your computer. You don't need any linux experience, I will teach you all the commands you need to know.

C7078: Photographing the Impossible: an Introduction to Computational Photography
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Daniel Ron

Computational photography is the art of using software combined with hardware to push the capability of cameras to the limits.

Learn how to make panoramas! Learn how 3D photography works! Learn how, with only a piece of cardboard, you can take pictures that can be freely refocused!

Prerequisites
Basic understanding of what computer algorithms are, basic understanding of how pinhole cameras work.

C7049: Make A Computer! (On Paper)
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Ben Horkley, David Xiao

1) Here's a transistor. 2) Take this class. 3) ??? 4) Computer! This class will take you through the basics of what makes a computer work, from the transistor level all the way up to putting it together into a basic processor. Learn what it takes an MIT class 2 months to cover in 3 hours!

Prerequisites
Knowledge of basic Boolean algebra (and, or, xor, etc.)

C7056: Intro Programming for Newbs
Difficulty: ****

Don't know programming? Excited to learn? We'll try to help out! Warning: expect no pity. No seriously, you won't remember anything =D!

Prerequisites
no programming experience

C7064: Automated Theorem Proving
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Jason Gross

Are you interested in getting computers to do your math homework for you? Are you confused about what constitutes a "valid" proof? Are you interested in seeing computers check your proofs? Come experiment with the interactive proof assistant, Coq!

I'll begin by talking a bit about the history of computer-assisted proofs, including the first proof of the four color theorem and the recent formalization of the odd order theorem. Then, you'll experiment with simple arithmetic and logic proofs in the Coq proof assistant, while I walk around and answer questions and give help.

Prerequisites
You should understand basic logic (if you can do the puzzles on http://www.math.hawaii.edu/~hile/math100/logice.htm, you'll be fine). You should understand the programming concepts of "function" (or "procedure" or "method"), "function arguments", "if statement", and "data types" (such as integer, string, double, etc.). You should understand what it means to prove something (reading and understanding http://www.mathcamp.org/prospectiveapplicants/quiz/proofs.php should be sufficient).

C7097: Introduction to Python Programming
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Sabrina Shemet

Always wanted to learn how to program but never knew how to start? Want to learn the programming language behind parts of YouTube, BitTorrent, and Civilization IV? Come learn Python, no prior experience necessary!

C6932: The Algorithmic Beauty of Plants Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Ethan Sherbondy

Do you like computers, plants, or art? How about the intersection of all three?

In this course, we explore the recursive structure of plants and learn how to make pretty pictures of trees, flowers, and abstract fractal-like patterns using a clever technique called L-systems. Everyone will have a chance to create their own computer-generated works of art inspired by life.

Even if you've never programmed before, don't feel intimidated about signing up!

Prerequisites
Optionally: some programming experience.

Engineering

E7181: Computer Vision in an Hour
Difficulty: ***

Computer vision is a field that tries to build systems that can "see" much like our brains can. In this class we'll talk about some interesting results from the field and relate them to the vision systems in our brain. We'll talk about what the "important" information is in an image, what some big questions are in the field, and why some seemingly simple questions are hard to answer. I'll try to cover a little bit about how some basic algorithms work as well.

Prerequisites
Know what a "Fourier transform" is (the mathematics aren't important - if you can understand that "a Fourier transform takes something from the time domain to the frequency domain", then you should be all set)

E7058: Peanut Butter & Jelly Robotics Full!
Difficulty: *

Think you know how to make a PB&J sandwich? Well enough to explain it to an extraordinarily stupid robot? Then this class is for you. Work with your classmates to instruct a robot to make delicious sandwiches.

E6914: Design and Build a Rocket
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Leonard Tampkins

Come learn about rockets. Then build and launch a rocket and control its descent..

E7047: How to build a go kart Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Ashley Brown

Whether you want to craft a masterpiece or just throw something together over the weekend, this course will give you the know-how you need to build your own awesome go kart.

E7182: Spectrometry: Seeing What Light is REALLY made of!
Difficulty: **

In this class we'll talk about what light is really made of. We'll build spectrometers (for less than $2 each!) to analyze different kinds of light and talk about the differences. We'll use our spectrometers for identification and talk about why we care. Prerequisites If you know what sine and cosine functions look like, some parts of the course might make more sense. E7061: How to Design Tools That Make You Smarter Difficulty: ** Teachers: Cassandra Xia In school, we make ourselves smarter by stuffing our heads with knowledge. However, tools can augment our mental abilities as well! Come learn how it is possible to design new tools for becoming smarter or performing superhuman tasks. Will require some in-class brainstorming, so please don't be shy! E6973: How to Use a Slide Rule Difficulty: ** Teachers: Shaymus Hudson Back in the day, when things were more hardcore, you couldn’t find an engineer or scientist without his or her trusty slide rule. Unlike the TI-whatever-they’re-up-to-now, slide rules are a purely analog method of calculation. Operating, not on batteries, but on the magic of logarithms, they can be used for multiplication, division, roots, powers, trigonometry, and more. You'll learn about the history of the slide rule, as well as basic and maybe a few advanced calculations. If you already have one, you're more than welcome to bring it! Prerequisites A basic understanding of logarithms and trigonometry is a must. E7160: Crash Intro to Electronics Difficulty: ** Teachers: Micaela Wiseman Don't resist! Learn watt you've always been curious about in electronics. It's a field that will always be current! What does a capacitor actually look like?! How do you use a multimeter?! Is an oscilloscope more than just a funny word?! Get amped up to learn about the basic components and tools that electrical engineers use. E6960: Environmentally Benign Design and Manufacturing Difficulty: ** Teachers: Vrajesh Modi After this class, you will be able to: (1) justify why environmentally benign design and manufacturing matters; (2) evaluate and compare the environmental impact of various products and technologies; and (3) recognize and challenge questionable environmental analysis. Format will consist of a 50-minute lecture on theory followed by a 60-minute discussion/exercise. Students will be divided into groups for the exercise. E7150: How do motors work, and how do I use one? Difficulty: *** Ever wanted to make something move? Motors are your answer. We'll give some overview of different types of motors, how they work, how to control them, and how to use them most effectively. Prerequisites Physics, pre-calculus (calculus recommended) E6927: RC Aircraft Difficulty: *** Teachers: Ben Sena Come learn how to fly an RC plane and some of the underlying principles. Prerequisites Some basic physics and electronics understanding though I'll try to explain most. E7055: How It's Made: Computer Chips (includes Clean Room Tour!!) Difficulty: * Teachers: Jamie Teherani Learn how computer chips are made! We start from the basics, briefly explaining transistors (the building blocks of electronic circuits) and then describe the incredible path of electronics miniaturization that has occurred over the past four decades. Finally, we end with a clean room tour of our own MIT micro-fabrication facility and explain future research frontiers! **No previous electronics knowledge necessary** E6983: Engineering Polymers Difficulty: ** Teachers: Rachel Davis Explore the wonderful world of polymers. Why are straws so bendy? What happens when you light a water bottle on fire? How can you alter plastic polymers to have the properties that you want them to have? E7012: How To Make Robots Difficulty: ** Teachers: Hope Harrison Do you have an idea for what you want a robot to do (or any kind of automated system) to make your life better? In this class we will learn how to develop an idea for a robot and how to use computers to automate your robot. E7132: They built THAT out of WHAT?! Strange Materials in Unexpected Places Difficulty: ** Teachers: Anubhav Sinha Come learn about strange materials scientists are engineering for exciting applications. If you're interested in what makes up the world around us and what may be running the future, then this is class for you! E7071: The Product Manufacturing Process Difficulty: ** Teachers: Ian Martin Learn how products go from sketch to reality and why brand names are more expensive. We'll go over basic manufacturing processes and discuss how products can be designed for easier manufacturing and assembly. E7026: Robotics: Heliostat Full! Difficulty: * Teachers: Phillip daniel You will build a robot that tracks the sun!!! You will use servos, a microcontroller, a timer chip and foam core to build a personal heliostat. Use it to harness and manipulate the sun's light. E7187: Oscilloscopes Full! Difficulty: ** Teachers: David Lawrence The oscilloscope is perhaps the most powerful tool used in modern electrical engineering. Oscilloscopes allow one to observe events that last only nanoseconds with great precision. We'll learn about the theory behind this amazing instrument and get some hands-on practice taking measurements with an oscilloscope. Prerequisites You should know a bit about electricity and understand what a voltmeter does. E7099: Introduction to Nerf Gun Modification Difficulty: ** Teachers: Thomas Boning Ever wanted to learn more about how Nerf Guns work? How to make them work better? The class will cover basic nerf gun modifications including spring replacement, air restrictor removal and various other tips and tricks. E7072: Train Science Difficulty: ** Discussion of ferro-equine transportation. More information to follow. E7021: Soldering for noobs! Full! Difficulty: ** Teachers: Ranbel Sun Try your hand at soldering: joining metal objects together by melting a filler metal (solder) onto the joint. Soldering is especially useful if you're interested in building and fixing electronics. We'll go over equipment and safety basics, practice splicing cables, and finally construct a simple LED project. Prerequisites You have never touched a soldering iron before. E6941: Synthetic Biology Difficulty: ** Play god with cells! Learn how to develop genetic circuits (electrical circuits but with DNA) to control cells. Prerequisites interest in biology knowledge of *some* molecular genetics E6992: From One World to the Next: Biological Inspirations for Technological Innovation Difficulty: ** Teachers: Jen Nguyen What do whales have to do with wind energy? How about shrimp and movie rentals? Explore these and other examples of how specialized talents from the natural world have influenced our tech-centric lives. We'll end the class brainstorming bio-inspired solutions to modern global issues. E6999: Slide Rules Difficulty: ** Teachers: Stephen Face We'll show how to use slide rules to do arithmetic through the magic of logarithms. For those who are feeling extra awesome, we can use them to compute values of exponentials, trig functions, inverse hyperbolic functions, etc. Come learn how math was done before the days of computers and calculators. Prerequisites Logarithms and trigonometry E7180: Programmimg with Microcontrollers: The Basics of Arduino Difficulty: *** Microcontrollers are small computers that can be used to control hardware like LEDs, motors, latches, and much more. They are smaller than a "computer" like the one you use for writing papers and making presentations, but they are still capable of making exciting machines. In this class, we'll talk about the basics of microcontroller programming using the Arduino microcontroller as a mechanism for learning these concepts. Come ready to play with motors, LEDs, wires, and some programming! If you already know how to program using Arduinos (and have done it before) then you will find this class boring. Knowing some programming will be helpful, but not required - it will just make my breezing over the "structure of programming" make less sense. Prerequisites Basic programming knowledge helpful E6991: From One World to the Next: Biological Inspirations for Technological Innovation Difficulty: ** Teachers: Jen Nguyen What do whales have to do with wind energy? How about shrimp and movie rentals? Explore these and other examples of how specialized talents from the natural world have influenced our tech-centric lives. We'll end the class brainstorming bio-inspired solutions to modern global issues. E7059: Egg Drop Full! Difficulty: ** Teachers: Kate Rudolph I give you a limited amount of materials, a limited amount of time, and the following task: PROTECT the EGG! Work in teams to design and build a vehicle to keep your egg from breaking... when I drop it out the window. The winners earn eternal glory. The losers have to clean up their eggs. E6913: SPACE!!! Difficulty: ** Teachers: Leonard Tampkins Learn about all the known wonders of space, the solar system, the universe, and how to use rockets to get there. E6974: Physical Security Full! Difficulty: ** Teachers: Eric Van Albert Learn the basics of how buildings are secured, how security measures are easily defeated, and how to fix these vulnerabilities. Hands-on class covers flaws in building construction, locks + keys, alarm systems, and electronic authentication. Also includes a short lockpicking seminar. Humanities H6901: Dating Difficulty: ** Teachers: Matthew Davis Ever wondered how to ace that date with the man/woman of your dreams? This class will take you through the steps necessary to land a solid relationship with the one you love. H7007: Value Investing Difficulty: ** Finance 101 + fundamental analysis + student awesomeness Taught by members of Global Platinum Securities, an international 80 person student run investment firm. H7029: Introduction to Trolling Difficulty: **** Discover the framework of trolling and learn about the paradigm shift in the theory behind trolling in modern society, LOL. Prerequisites Advanced Calculus, Differential Equations, Discrete Organic Computing Structures, Quantum Mechanics, and Advanced Tango Dancing. H7120: Intro to Jewish Law Difficulty: ** Teachers: Jonathan Surick Ever wanted to understand the legal processes behind Judaism? In this class I'll explain the process, history and logic behind Jewish law. I'll explain how the Torah, Mishna, and Talmud combine to provide the basis of Jewish law. H7016: Behind Barbed Wire: The Experience Full! Difficulty: ** Teachers: Naomi Schurr A look at America’s World War II internment camps—from the inside. During World War II, thousands of Japanese people in America and American citizens of Japanese ancestry were ordered to leave their homes and move to War Relocation Centers, presumably for the safety of the United States. Rather than simply listing facts, in this class we will briefly establish the historical context, then focus on the people, their experiences, and other tidbits not normally emphasized in textbooks. We will read selections from internee testimonies and cartoons exposing inconveniences, ironies, tragedies, and good times. We will explore how and why internment affected Japanese-American young, old, and families in different ways. Please come ready to expand your view of the internee experience, and participate in our discussion. H6957: Witchcraft in the 21st Century Full! Difficulty: * Teachers: Gabriela Philo The problematic construction of witchcraft in anthropology extends beyond our conceptions of it in Arthur Miller's "The Crucible". Since the end of the Apartheid in South Africa in which decades of human rights violations occurred, accusations of witchcraft are on the rise. In this course we will delve into the development of magical means for material ends in the modern day. H7020: Introductory Urdu Difficulty: ** Teachers: Suniyya Waraich Want to learn about an exotic, new language? Ever wonder just how different other languages can be from English? We'll be looking at the origins of Urdu, the language of Pakistan, learning conversational Urdu (by going over some basic vocabulary and sentence structure), in addition to learning how to write our names in the 'Nasta' leeq' script! (Bringing a notebook is recommended) H6902: Dating Throughout the Globe Difficulty: ** How do dating rituals differ among different cultures? In this class, students from the International Development House at MIT will guide us through an exploration of dating methods in many regions of the world, looking at their similarities and differences. H6952: A Quick Introduction to Historical Linguistics Difficulty: ** Teachers: Andrew Bayer Why does English have so many French words? Why does it have so many German words? Why are "father" and "fish" in English instead "pater" and "pisces" in Latin? What's the closest relative of the language of Madagascar? We'll answer these questions and more in a quick introduction to the field of historical linguistics, the study of how languages change and spread. H6903: Ethics & Meta-Ethics: A Basic Overview Difficulty: ** Teachers: A B Ethics is the branch of philosophy that deals with differentiating right and wrong actions, and how we can justify asserting that a person or action is moral or immoral. The four major ethical theories covered will be Utilitarianism, Egoism, Deontology, and Virtue Ethics. Meta-Ethics, on the other hand, is the study of how we can justify believing these grand theories of ethics in the first place. Questions of meta-ethics include: can ethical theories be true? Or are they based solely on personal preference? Is there a limit to how much we can criticize other cultures who abide by different but coherent ethical systems? Major meta-ethical theories discussed will be Realism, Intuitionism, Relativism, Perspectivism, and Naturalism. The class will have structure, but will also rely on student discussion. This may mean that some of the denser topics will not be covered as thoroughly or potentially at all, but we can still make significant progress. Prerequisites No prior exposure to philosophy or any of the major ethical theories is expected. The only prerequisites are openness to discussion of different opinions, and willingness to discuss slightly grim moral situations (the class will open with a discussion of the trolley problem). H6971: Survival Lessons from the Franklin Expedition Difficulty: ** Teachers: Matthew Wozny Captain Sir John Franklin was the most famous British explorer during the 19th century. And his final expedition, as it happens, was the most disastrous and scandalous British shipwreck. The first part (50 minutes) of this course is a historical narrative of the Franklin Expedition, but it is fundamentally also a cultural and literary history of Britain in the 19th century. It will explore themes of empire, identity, and citizenship, and will provide gripping information to wow friends at future cocktail parties. The second part of the course shifts gears from history to applied wilderness survival. We will discuss and practice hands-on what the explorers did right--and, fatally, what they did wrong--when disaster struck. H7019: The Philosophy behind "The Matrix" Difficulty: * Teachers: Jon Beaulieu Who'd have thought that such a great movie could also include so much symbolism? We'll be watching parts of the movie, then discussing their significance (and awesomeness!) Concessions may be provided. H6995: Crash Course in the Japanese Language Full! Difficulty: ** Teachers: Abdi-Hakin Dirie Join us as we learn the Japanese language and its history, dialogue, and quirks! Japanese is a beautiful language to know and experience. Its relevancy is widespread, from culture and media to technology and industry. We'll cover basic phrases for daily use, tackle the writing system, practice simple conversation, and much more. Sushi ga aru (There will be sushi.) Ikimashou! (Let's go!) Prerequisites Nothing! Just a determination to learn, eagerness to interact with classmates, and a slight appetite. A notebook may be helpful, although not necessary. H7080: Introduction to Latin Difficulty: ** Teachers: Corinn Herrick Come learn the fundamentals of the Latin language! We'll start with a bit of vocabulary, and then go over some grammar so you can use the words you've learned. H7066: Linguistic Polyglotism Difficulty: ** Teachers: Megan Belzner Ever wanted to speak ALL the languages? Maybe you tried once. But maybe you realized that there are an awful lot of languages. And there's no way you could possibly learn them all, right? This class doesn't promise to teach you every language. In fact, it doesn't even promise to teach you any language. What it will teach you, however, is some of the patterns and structures common across languages. This class will provide a brief introduction to linguistics, and show you that the differences between languages may not be that great after all. H7032: Dirty Greek and Roman Mythology Difficulty: ** The time has come to remove Greek and Roman mythology from its lofty academic pedestal and bring it to the masses in the vernacular of modern times. Come enjoy this survey class on those SOB’s from the ancient pantheon. We will try to bring humor to those stuck up old stories you heard in middle school through the best use of foul language and dirty humor we can come up with. But don't worry, we won't be skimping on anything. This class will cover all the bad a$$info that we talk about in the more tame class, we'll just be doing it a bit differently. And we would be infinitely pleased if you would join us. H7014: Introduction to Mandarin Chinese Difficulty: ** Teachers: Stephen M. Hou Did you know that more people speak Chinese than any other language in the world? Or that Chinese is a tonal language, where shifts in musical pitch affect the meaning of every word? Or that Chinese verbs never conjugate, and nouns & adjectives don't have gender? This class is an introduction to Standard Mandarin, the official form of Chinese spoken in mainland China, Taiwan, and Singapore. We will start with pronunciation and basic conversational phrases, followed by some simple grammar and dialogues. We will learn how to pronounce Chinese names and numbers. Finally, we will discuss some common Chinese idioms with roots in Chinese history and culture. This class is designed for those who are fascinated with languages, so instead of learning and memorizing lots of phrases, the emphasis will be on the linguistic and cultural aspects of the Chinese language. Prerequisites This class is intended for students with very little or no previous experience with Mandarin Chinese, but previous study of any other foreign language is strongly recommended. H7038: English that looks like nonsense (or vice versa) Difficulty: ** Teachers: Megan Belzner Explore words like "antidisestablishmentarianism" and sentences like those in Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky" or Dr. Seuss's "Fox in Socks". Along the way you'll learn about many of the fascinating properties of language and get a chance to create some "nonsense" of your very own! H7054: Infographic Design: Turning Data Into Art Difficulty: * Representing data visually can be a challenge, but learning to do it well can make your research and presentations engaging and accessible. This one hour seminar, taught by a team of designers from MIT’s student newspaper The Tech, will teach you to create effective and visually appealing infographics. Evolve beyond Excel pie charts! H6994: Innovation for Social Change Difficulty: ** Teachers: Bryan Klickstein Despite all the advances that modern technology has given us, making impactful social change is still, in a word, difficult. All the smartphones and tablets in the world cannot do what real people can do. Making changes in the environment or the political system or even your school are challenging but definitely not impossible. This course will provide an overview of some of the practical steps that help pave the way on the road to social change. First, we will examine how to best choose and design ideas so they will have staying power. Then we will explore turning ideas into actual change efforts. Finally we will learn how to measure and quantify impact for the change we hope to create. The truth is that social change is not limited to large corporations, major non-profits, politicians or powerful universities. Often, in fact, change begins with a singular person and a singular good idea. Innovation has no age requirement. Many successful change efforts have come from people your age or even younger. Many of you are likely trying to figure out what to “do next” and this course can be a fun part of that process. H7028: Introduction to Psychology Difficulty: ** Teachers: Suniyya Waraich What is psychology? What controls how we think, feel and act? H7013: Paradoxes of Democracy: Fair Elections and Voting Difficulty: * Teachers: Stephen M. Hou What if, in hypothetical two-way races during the 2012 primaries, Romney beats Santorum, Santorum beats Gingrich, and Gingrich beats Romney? Is this even possible? (Yes.) What would then be a fair way to decide the "best" preferences of Republicans? Whether it's a T-shirt design contest or a presidential election, voting converts preferences of individuals into a single preference for the community. We'll discuss Arrow's Impossibility Theorem, which states that there is no "perfect" way of doing so. We'll demonstrate a few of the mind-boggling flaws that every voting method must have. Prerequisites Comfort with arithmetic; interest in voting, political science, decision-making, and/or economics. H7033: Greek and Roman Mythology Difficulty: ** An awesome overview of Classical Mythology. Including descriptions of the major gods and goddesses, important demigods, and accounts of hero/romance stories. Will use Powerpoint and classical art to depict the tales. H7152: Languages of Middle Earth - Beginner Difficulty: * Teachers: Ryker Reed Ever wanted to speak Elvish? To write Dwarven runes? Ever wondered where all the names in Middle Earth come from? Come find out more about the complex linguistic systems underlying Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series. For instance, did you know that Tolkien was a linguist and actually invented an entire Elvish language before even writing the Lord of the Rings books? Learn about some of the real world languages that inspired and influenced Tolkien’s invented languages. And find out more about the history of Middle Earth and how its languages came to be what they are now. H6944: Social Psychology Difficulty: ** Teachers: Ricky Rosen Why whenever we decide between 2 things, immediately after choosing, do we highlight the positive attributes of the thing that we didn’t choose? Why when someone passes you in traffic, they're an aggressive driver, but when you do it, you're just in a hurry? Why are you more likely to attract a women by taking her to see a scary movie rather than a romantic dinner? Topics of the course include conformity, obedience, bystander effect, persuasion, attribution theory, attraction, and more! H6925: Money, Morals, and Politics Difficulty: ** Teachers: Megan Baker Have you ever wondered about the truth to the saying that "money runs the world"? Do you like debating with people? In this class we will discuss how much influence money has on policy-making in the United States and simulate making a voting decision through the eyes of a politician on a hot topic issue. Prerequisites An open mind is required for this class. All political views are welcome, but please note we will be looking at all sides of current issues like abortion, Right to Die, recognizing gay marriage, and others, without coming to a conclusion as to which way of voting is the "right" answer. H7168: Introductory Odawa Difficulty: ** Teachers: Dmetri Hayes Odawa or Nishnaabemwin is a dialect of one of the most widely spoken Native American languages today. Come learn about this fascinating language! H7155: Languages of Middle Earth - Advanced Difficulty: ** Teachers: Ryker Reed Ever wanted to speak Elvish? To write Dwarven runes? Ever wondered where all the names in Middle Earth come from? Come find out more about the complex linguistic systems underlying Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series. For instance, did you know that Tolkien was a linguist and actually invented an entire Elvish language before even writing the Lord of the Rings books? Learn about some of the real world languages that inspired and influenced Tolkien’s invented languages. And find out more about the history of Middle Earth and how its languages came to be what they are now. Prerequisites Assumes at least a little bit of knowledge about, or familiarity with, the various languages in the LOTR books or with linguistics in general. Don't need to be an expert, just need to be excited! If you took the class in the fall, this class will go a little more in depth. Will focus more on the general linguistics than the writing systems. H6939: Dreams, Dreaming, and the Subconscious Difficulty: ** Teachers: Carol Hardick The class introduces you to dream science, cognition and memory from the perspective of a sleeping brain.. The Harry Potter series and the movie, Inception, has lots of twists and turns and raise 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? What's deja vu? With lots of discussion, we’ll explore those questions, and more. H7101: How to plan and execute covert operations in deep cover Difficulty: ** Teachers: Zach ., Eric Van Albert Learn the essentials of covert operations work. We will analyze the success and failure of many important covert operations in an attempt to discover the elements of a successful covert op. We will study important government-sponsored covert operations as well as terrorist plots and guerilla warfare. By the end of this class, students will be familiar with these operations and the reasons for their success or failure. We cannot legally claim that you will be sufficiently knowledgeable to plan and carry out your own covert operations after this class. H7162: Alternate History Difficulty: * Teachers: Charles Xu Ever wondered how things would be different if the Mongols had picked a nicer day to invade Japan? If Gavrilo Princip had failed, or Operation Valkyrie had succeeded? If a few hundred Palm Beach seniors had examined their butterfly ballots a little more closely? A whole genre is already devoted to alternative histories in which such chance events went the other way. But there's always room for more! In this class we'll together invent some alternate timelines with simple premises like these. No historical background needed, just an imagination wild enough to create your own. Lunch L6835: 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 M7076: Projective Geometry Difficulty: ** Teachers: Forest Tong Contrary to popular belief, parallel lines really do meet -- far, far away at a "point at infinity"! At least in projective space they do. Come learn why lines and points are entirely interchangeable in projective geometry, and how to do constructions with straight-edge only (no compass). M6951: Winning Ways for your Mathematical Plays Full! Difficulty: *** Teachers: Semon Rezchikov Have you ever heard of chess? Yes? How about Go? Yes? How about that silly game called Nim, where where you have a bunch of heaps of matchsticks, and each player takes turns removing some amount of sticks from some pile, until some player cannot make a move? No? Well, this game is called Nim, and it, together with a bit of abstraction and mathematical trickery, we can use it to analyze huge classes of games! (Also, we will use words like "nimbers" in a totally serious manner.) Moreover, in the process, we will construct a set of mathematical objects called "games", a subset of which will be the "surreal numbers", which contain both infinitely large and infinitely small numbers? Come see what happens when the mathematical mind gets applied to silly games :-) I'll have tea and cookies, because it's more fun when things are casual. This course is based off of a book by John Conway of the same name; if you like the class, you should check it out of the library afterwards! Prerequisites Should be comfortable with mathematical reasoning and have a playful mind. M6869: Complex Numbers: Math That Will Freak You Out (at least a little bit) Difficulty: ** Teachers: John Gregg I promise this math will freak you out at least a bit. We will explore the existence or non-existence of nonsensical things called complex numbers, or less scarily, imaginary numbers (aren't they all?). We will end up deep, deep inside a certain blob called the Mandelbrot set, which is made of these "imaginary" numbers. Prerequisites algebra: basic polynomials M7068: How to Teach This Class (and Why Math Can't be Perfect) Difficulty: *** Teachers: Ziv Scully So I should probably call this class "How to Teach a Class Called 'How to Teach This Class'", but that's kind of wordy. We're going to start by studying the problem of programs referring to themselves. We'll start by rigorously defining "program", then we'll look at two problems: 1) How do we make a recursive program? (For example, to calculate factorials, we want$$f(n) = n \times f(n-1)$$.) 2) Can we make a program that prints its own code? (This is where we learn how to teach "How to Teach This Class".) Surprisingly, the tools we need to solve these will also allow us to prove a disturbing theorem about the incompleteness of mathematics! Prerequisites No matter how much you know, get ready to be confused! :D If you can't prove that there are infinitely many prime numbers, this class will probably be too hard. If you know Klein's Recursion Theorem or the Diagonal Lemma, this class will probably be too easy. If you're comfortable with Algebra 2, this class is probably a good level. M7129: What are the last two digits of 57^21? Difficulty: ** Take any number whose last digit is either 1, 3, 7, or 9. Raise it to the 21st power. The last two digits of the answer will be the same as the last two digits of the number you started with. Want the last three digits to match? Raise it to the 101st power instead. Want to know why this works? Come to this class. Prerequisites This class will assume that you've seen modular arithmetic before. M7153: Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid 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. Prerequisites Be comfortable with the idea of a mathematical proof. M7081: These are not the Proofs your Geometry Teacher was Looking For Full! Difficulty: ** Teachers: Corinn Herrick Sick of those boring 2-column proofs you learned in Geometry? Come step into the world of induction and contradiction. We will discuss basic proof methods through a survey of classical proofs, including the irrationality of$$\sqrt{2}$$, the pythagorean theorem, and the infinitude of primes. Prerequisites This class will assume no prior knowledge of proofs. If you know what proof by induction is, you shouldn't take this course. You should, however, know some basic algebra. M7062: Mathematical Folding Full! Difficulty: ** Teachers: Alex Cole What are the mathematical limits of origami? Can you fold everything? Can you unfold all 3-D shapes? (The results might be a little surprising =P ) We will also discuss related topics like linkages, fold-and-cut magic tricks, and hinged dissections as well as doing some hands on folding activities. Prerequisites Must understand what paper is. M7070: Thinking Categorically Difficulty: *** Teachers: Jason Gross Did you know that logic and set theory are, in some sense, the same thing? Did you know that proofs and programs are, in some sense the same thing? Come learn about category theory, a beautiful and abstract mathematical language which is useful for unifying various areas of math. Prerequisites Familiarity with truth tables and logical connectives (and, or, not, implication), functions, and sets. M7172: Bases and Mods Difficulty: ** Teachers: Joshua Frisch We will use the magic of modular arithmetic and different bases to figure out how to solve problems like what is the last digit of 7^{7^2013} and figure out why 10!+1 is a multiple of 11. Prerequisites A good understanding of the decimal system, a willingness to think hard, Completion of Algebra 1 strongly recommended though not required. M7138: Computational Language Theory Difficulty: *** Teachers: Josh Alman Languages are defined by the grammars that generate them. One day, Noam Chomsky made a hierarchy of different languages based on what kinds of rules can be used in their grammars. This ended up having important consequences in many fields, especially Linguistics and Computer Science. Come learn about the finite automata that generate the languages we speak, and the languages computers speak, and play around with some fun puzzles. Please note: we will be doing math in this class! Prerequisites None. M7184: Topology is your friend Difficulty: *** Teachers: Eric Mannes Topology is geometry without measurements. Learn what it means for functions to be continuous and spaces to be connected or compact. Then find out how this makes proving some well-known theorems easy. Prerequisites Not being scared of mathematical proof. M6919: The Math Way to Change Your Mind: An Introduction to Bayes' Rule Difficulty: ** Teachers: Adam Strandberg Let's say that you've got a Geiger counter which detects random radioactive decay. You're trying to calibrate it, and normally you see a blip about every minute, but it's been 10 minutes since you detected a blip. How likely is it that the Geiger counter is broken?* It turns out that the mathematical rule for changing how much you believe something based on observation, Bayes' Rule, is simple and elegant. In this class, we will derive the rule, show some simple examples of applying it, and talk about some studies that show how people violate this rule when making intuitive judgments. We'll even talk about how trained researchers and medical professionals get stuck when answering the question above. *Protip: I left out a key piece of information. Prerequisites Previous exposure to some probability is necessary. It would be useful but not necessary to familiarize yourself with the notions of joint probability and conditional probability. We'll cover these concepts at the beginning of class, but developing intuition for Bayes' Theorem requires a good grasp of them. M7140: The Mathematics of Dating Difficulty: ** Teachers: Lucy Zhang They say mathematicians don't study anything useful. And that that's why mathematicians are single while the jocks, poets, starving artists, and Richard Feynmans have dates to the party. But mathematicians have an ace in the hole: MATH. We'll cover how to supercharge your dating life with results from calculus, combinatorics, graph theory, and computer science. Class will be ENTIRELY THEORETICAL; results may only be applicable to spherical dates in a frictionless vacuum. M6898: Crash Course in Vector Calculus Difficulty: *** Teachers: Wai Lok Lai, Angel Yu Ever looked some physics/math stuff up on Wikipedia and get a page full of fearful-looking math symbols, like$$\nabla^2 f$$,$$\left(\frac{\partial y}{\partial x}\right)_\theta$$, or$$\oint_C B\cdot ds $$? Here’s your chance to know what they actually mean! (not everything on Wikipedia, obviously, but it’ll let you decipher a lot of stuff). Vector calculus is also known as multivariable calculus. What we are doing is basically extending the concepts of single-variable calculus to 3 dimensions and beyond. Class modeled off of the MIT class 18.02: Calculus II. Prerequisites Exposure to single variable calculus (need to be comfortable with differentiation and integration) No need to know sequences or series. No need to know how to solve differential equations. Calculus AB would be more than enough. M7147: Fibonacci: Generating Functions, Sequences, & Patterns Difficulty: ** Counting? Series? Combinatorics? Cryptography? Fibonacci Numbers & generating functions can indeed be used to solve all of these problems! Come along on an adventure find out more about this famous sequence, and we'll develop some useful tools to analyze most any recursive sequence along the way. Prerequisites Experience with infinite series, logarithms, and polynomials will be helpful, but not required. M7000: Unlimited Derivatives Difficulty: **** Teachers: Stephen Face We will create a new system of numbers where$$\varepsilon^2 = 0$$. Come to this class to see how this will let us compute derivatives of basically any function more efficiently than the way you learn in school. Prerequisites Calculus M7174: The irrationality of rationality Difficulty: ** Teachers: Joshua Frisch Rational behavior can lead to self destruction, self harm, and generally awful results for the person acting rationality. In this class we will discuss how acting "irrationally" can often cause you to behave in ways which yield you better results, how having less options can cause you to perform better (even if you have infinite computation) and how "rational" people will turn down millions of dollars for one. Prerequisites concurrent enrollment in algebra 2. M7113: Three-Sentence Proofs Difficulty: *** Do you enjoy math, but don't like getting bogged down in tedious algebra? Do you like beautiful results, but hate formal proofs that give no intuition? In this class, we will pose a bunch of problems and give short, sweet solutions that explain why, rather than proving how. M7137: Extreme Math Full! Difficulty: **** We did this for Splash and some people seemed to like it, so we're doing this again: This class is mostly an excuse for us (the teachers) to watch you (the students) flail while you try to solve tricky math problems on the spot. This is how it will work. We will give you a math problem, and you’ll have to immediately present a solution on the black-board. You’ll have up to eight minutes to present your proof, but you need to continuously be presenting. Then our panel of judges will award you a score based on how correct, confusing, and amusing your solution was. There may or may not be teams, depending on how many students we get. Prerequisites The problems we'll give you will probably be at an easy Olympiad level. At a bare minimum, you should be comfortable writing/coming up with proofs; preferably, you're a USAMO qualifier or at least feel comfortable solving Olympiad-level problems. Also, if you're extremely shy, you probably won't enjoy this that much. M6897: A Quick Glimpse into Abstract Algebra Difficulty: *** Teachers: Wai Lok Lai, Angel Yu Algebra!! It's much more fun than calculus!! This is a short class modeled off of the MIT class 18.701 [Algebra I], taught by the famous professor Michael Artin. Topics include group theory, vector spaces, linear operators. symmetry, bilinear forms, and many other fun stuff if time permits. Prerequisites Knowledge of matrix operations (Pre-calc level). Linear Algebra not required but may be helpful. M7199: Zero to Infinity Difficulty: *** Teachers: Bianca Homberg Suppose I have a hotel with infinitely many rooms all in a row, all of which are full. If another person shows up, can I find away to rearrange people so that the newcomer has a room? What if I have infinitely many new people who need rooms? Are there more integers or natural numbers? More real numbers or natural numbers? Are there multiple sizes of infinity, or just one? Interested in infinity? Ever wondered about questions like these? Want to spend an hour learning cool stuff to stretch your mind? Then come take this class! (We'll cover definitions and some proofs, but the focus will be on gaining a more intuitive understanding of mind-blowing math versus mathematical rigor.) Prerequisites Algebra II Willingness to think abstractly (If you know and understand the proof that the size of the real numbers is larger than the size of the natural numbers, you will most likely be familiar with all/most of the material in this class. Take a class on something you don't already know instead!) M7052: Problem Solving Strategies Difficulty: *** Looking for a challenge? Are you interested in math and want to work on hard problems? In this class we'll cover some interesting strategies and learn how to apply them on difficult problems. (An example of the problems we'll cover would be proving that there are infinite prime numbers) Prerequisites Should be interested in learning math. M7127: Live Action Logic Puzzles Difficulty: ** Teachers: Kaylee Brent Ever wondered what it would actually be like to be one of the prisoners lined up by a wizard to name the color of their hat or die? Ever wanted to figure out with your own two feet how to cross the 7 bridges in the 7 bridges problem? Well, I bet you do now! We'll look at a few fun riddles and logic puzzles and act them out in real life. (Disclaimer: no lives will be at stake in the making of these puzzles. Candy, however, may be. ;) ) M7069: Putting the "Mock" in "Democracy": A Taste of Voting Theory and Arrow's Impossibility Theorem Difficulty: ** Teachers: Ziv Scully Having a fair election with two candidates is pretty simple: everyone votes for their favorite candidate and whoever gets the most votes wins. However, as anyone who was around for the presidential elections in 2000 (or 1912... or 1860) will tell you, things get complicated with three or more candidates. It's sometimes the case that you should vote for a candidate you think is likely to win instead of a fringe candidate you agree with more. We can think of different voting systems that try to get around this and other problems, but as we'll explore in class, no voting system avoids all potential flaws. You might ask: is there a "perfect" voting system out there? Actually, it turns out there is one. It's called a dictatorship. And unless you have an infinite number of voters, no other system is "perfect". Come find out why! Prerequisites If you know how to prove there are infinitely many primes, you're definitely ready. Even if you can't, just come ready to think hard about voting :). M7185: The 5-color theorem Difficulty: ** Teachers: Eric Mannes The four color theorem tells us that we can color every country on a map with only four colors, such that no two bordering countries have the same color. It took 140 years to prove. We're going to prove the 5-color theorem instead! We'll learn about graph theory and draw lots of pictures. M6988: The Banach-Tarski Paradox: Speed Run! Difficulty: **** Teachers: Ziv Scully Have you ever found yourself with a sphere, a very sharp knife and an Axiom of Choice when all you wanted was a second sphere? Have you ever wondered why everyone's favorite anagram of "Banach-Tarski" is "Banach-Tarski Banach-Tarski"? Come learn about and prove this surprising theorem: a ball can be split into a finite number of pieces that can be rearranged to make two copies of the original ball! We're covering a few hours' worth of material in 50 minutes, so if that's your idea of fun, then this class is for you! Prerequisites A certain degree of mathematical maturity. For example, you should understand the difference between countably infinite and uncountably infinite sets. If you've seen a bit of group theory it will come in handy. M7106: Why Vector Calculus is Beautiful. Difficulty: *** Teachers: Matt DeCross The Fundamental Theorem of Calculus. The Fundamental Theorem of Calculus for Line Integrals. Green's Theorem. Stokes' Theorem. Gauss' (Divergence) Theorem. ALL OF THESE ARE THE SAME THING. Using the language of differential forms, I'll show how all of these theorems are unified within a single elegant framework. Each is a really a special case of a more overarching theorem, also called Stokes' Theorem. Prerequisites Familiarity with at least single-variable calculus required to understand anything, familiarity with multi-variable calculus helpful to understand the power of the result. M7186: Nim: How to defeat your friends and eat Goldfish Full! Difficulty: * Teachers: Eric Mannes You and your friend have several piles of Goldfish and alternate turns. When it's your turn, you pick a nonempty pile and eat some Goldfish from it. If all the Goldfish are gone, you lose. Discover how to beat your friends at this game and eat lots of Goldfish in the process! M7074: Counting Past Infinity Difficulty: * Teachers: Jason Gross Did you ever have arguments about whether or not$$\infty + 1 = \infty$$? Come learn how to count past infinity, graphically! Prerequisites You should know how to count. You should also understand the definition "a set is an unordered collection of distinct objects". If you already know about the formal definition of numbers as sets, you probably will not enjoy this class. M7015: The Calculus Difficulty: ** Teachers: Hope Harrison You've probably heard of this fancy "The Calculus" stuff, right? Everybody says it's super complicated and stuff, right? But Calculus is a really interesting subject and you can learn it, yes you! My promise to you: you will understand this class, and then you too will be a super fancy math person. Prerequisites some algebra knowledge (you should be able to graph equations in the y = mx + b form) M7175: INTEGARLS Difficulty: *** Come learn about INTEGARLS like those found in the MIT Integration Bee! We'll be teaching a number of cool integration tricks, like crazy tangents and swingy-swingy. Prerequisites You should know calculus, enough to know what a u-substitution in an integral is. M7133: Knots and Links Difficulty: ** Teachers: Alan Chang It may seem obvious that you can't take two separate rings and link them together without breaking one of the rings first. Knot theory, which investigates tangled-up loops in space, is a powerful tool to prove facts like this one. As we explore knot theory, we'll draw lots of fun diagrams on the way! (Note: it is possible to link two rings in 4 dimensions. Is this how magicians do it...?) M7173: Space filling curves Difficulty: ** Teachers: Joshua Frisch When you think of a curve you might think of many things, you might think of a circle, a line, a squiggle, a helix, or a figure eight. If you are really knowledgeable you might even think of a fractal like the Koch Snowflake. But curves get much weirder than that, there are curves that get near all points in space, and weirder still, there are curves which cover every point in a square, there are curves that cover the entire space, There are Space Filling curves! Take this class to learn the relevant knowledge to construct and understand these objects, we will discuss in depth what curves are, how they work with limits, and how the concept of a metric space can help illuminate these concepts. Prerequisites Calculus, though the primary requirement is Mathematical Maturity, this class is going to cover hard abstract content at a fast pace, you should be prepared. M7075: Counting Past Infinity with Ordinal Arithmetic Difficulty: ** Teachers: Jason Gross Did you ever have arguments about whether or not$$\infty + 1 = \infty$$? Have you ever wondered how to define numbers, rigorously? Come learn how to count past infinity, graphically! We'll then go over the formal definition of numbers as sets, and talk a little bit about ordinal arithmetic. Prerequisites You should know how to count. You should know what sets are, and how to take the union of two sets and the intersection of two sets. M6935: Large Numbers Difficulty: ** Teachers: Ray Hua Wu Do we really stop at the billion or the trillion in practicality? Are there things that require larger numbers to describe in reality? How about in pure mathematics? M7065: The Most Overpowered Programming Language Difficulty: ** You may (or may not) have heard of object oriented programming (abbreviated OOP). But wouldn't you rather your programming language be overpowered (abbreviated OP)? Come learn about Haskell, which is not at all OOP but totally OP! You can make an infinite list of prime numbers, define your very own algebraic data types, win all sorts of (combinatorial) games with the same piece of code, and even print "Hello, world!" to the screen. Don't worry if you don't know what all of those words mean yet—come find out! Prerequisites If you've programmed before, great. If you haven't, even better, because Haskell is very different from your typical language. M7189: The Limits of Computation Difficulty: *** Teachers: Gaurav Singh Can a computer tell if a program will stop? It turns out that there are some programs for which a computer cannot say if it will stop or run forever. We will show this, and then we will investigate other limits on the powers of a computer. Prerequisites A solid background in proof based mathematics. M7171: The Mathematics of Games Difficulty: ** Teachers: Joshua Frisch Games, though they may seem frivolous they have applications to multi-trillion dollar, and multimillion live decisions in everything from Finance to War to Love. In this class we will learn The theory of Games, its applications to politics, and life in general, as well as well as various mathematical topics related to games. Prerequisites Algebra 1 Science S6928: Fantasy Organic Chemistry Difficulty: *** Teachers: Ray Hua Wu We know how carbon and other atoms usually behave in organic compounds, but let's pretend that reality does not apply and mathematically approach organic chemistry by extrapolation! What possibilities are there now? Prerequisites High school chemistry S7139: Neutrinos Difficulty: ** Teachers: Lucy Zhang In the time it takes you to read this description, hundreds of trillions of neutrinos will have passed through your body. Come learn what neutrinos are, how they're produced, how we detect them, and why neutrino physics represents such an exciting frontier in physics. Prerequisites Some physics background would be helpful, but prior experience with particle physics is not necessary. S7048: Insects! Full! Difficulty: ** Teachers: Chelsea Voss What are insects? It turns out there's a whole lot more to them than just the basic "head, thorax, abdomen, 6 legs" you might already know. With more than a million species on Earth representing more than half of ALL the living things we know about, insects are fascinating creatures with widely-varying lifestyles. This class will present a whirlwind tour of insects of all sorts. You'll learn how to classify them and recognize each type's unique features, how they are related, and how they survive in their plethora of habitats. Actual insects are promised! S7125: What Is Spacetime? Difficulty: *** Teachers: Adam Strandberg What is spacetime? Are space and time the same thing? Could you rotate one into the other? What's the deal with all this time dilation and space contraction and all these paradoxes? How long can I make this description while still having it consist entirely of questions? Would you like to take this class? Can you answer questions with questions? Prerequisites Familiarity with the concept of a vector will be very helpful. S6882: Introduction to Radio Astronomy Difficulty: ** Teachers: Anna Ho Radio astronomy is the study of the universe in the radio part of the electromagnetic spectrum: of objects that are totally invisible to the human eye. Radio astronomers use gigantic dishes (like the 100-meter dish in West Virginia) to watch black holes merging and pulsars spinning, or examine galaxies and clouds of interstellar gas. In this class, you will learn a little bit about the history of radio astronomy (what made people think that radio waves could come from space?) and the kinds of awesome science conducted in this part of the spectrum. S6926: From Preheating an Oven to Preheating the Universe Difficulty: ** Teachers: Eric Gentry Let's build a universe in the time it takes to bake a cake! We'll look at the quantum mechanics of heat, see how the universe is one big blackbody radiator (it's one big 3 Kelvin oven). To close, we'll talk about the science of where the heat that caused the Big Bang came from. Oh, and of course, there will be food being baked :D Prerequisites Previous experience with high school level quantum mechanics (either from chemistry or physics). Should have heard about blackbody radiation and the quantization of light as photons. S7073: Fluid Mechanics Difficulty: *** Introduction to the laws of fluid mechanics. Learn how dams are engineered, how bearings work, how fluids flow in pipes, and how that pesky air resistance works. We'll try to cover most or all of the following: hydrostatics, Bernoulli's Equation, viscosity, drag, mass transfer, and the Navier-Stokes equation. Prerequisites Good algebra knowledge. Knowing what a derivative is would help. S6953: Hands-on Archeology: The Mastodon Full! Difficulty: * Teachers: Caley Cross Have you ever heard of a mammal that looks like an elephant but has been extinct for 11,000 years? This hands-on course is an opportunity to learn about archeology and the ancient mastodon. S7105: Electromagnetism Difficulty: ** Teachers: Hope Harrison You know that opposite ends of magnets attract, and you know that static electricity can make your hair stand up. But did you know that these two things are both examples the same a single physical force? It is called electromagnetism. In this class we will learn about what makes magnets attract, how electricity works and more. Prerequisites basic algebra skills S7190: Entropy Difficulty: ** Teachers: Stephen Face Why are some processes reversible and others not? Energy tells what can happen. Entropy tells us what does happen. Come to this class to learn all about this quantity that will eventually destroy the universe S7002: Neuroimmunology Difficulty: ** Your immune system and nervous system have an interesting relationship that is vital to your health. This class will provide a brief introduction to both systems, and then will cover diseases that arise due to a malfunctioning immune system. These include diseases like multiple sclerosis and Huntington’s disease. Prerequisites High school biology S6962: The Science of Sunsets Difficulty: ** Teachers: Qinsi Yu Why does the sunset make pretty colors? Did you know that the sun sets before you see it disappear behind the horizon? We will explore the optics behind sunsets and there will be a few physics equations involved (but only a few!). We will also be making our own sunset using just milk, water, and a light source! S7169: The Great Apes: Exploring the Roots of Human Cognition and Social Behavior Difficulty: ** Teachers: Emily Lydic Humans are separated from other great apes by only a few million years of evolution. What do humans share in common with our closest living relatives, and what is all our own? We'll start by answering "what is a great ape?", then focus on chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and bonobos (Pan paniscus). Because we'll cover scientific research on bonobo and chimpanzee sexual behavior, students must be 15 or older. Prerequisites Students must be 15 or older. S7103: Theorem and Theory Difficulty: *** Teachers: Norman Cao Math and physics, sitting in a tree, T-H-E-O-R-I-Z-I-N-G. Why are so many aspects of the physical world so well-described by math? How do the laws of physics tie to the axioms of mathematics, and why do we choose to express them like we do? Come learn about the assumptions that underpin our understanding of the natural world, and some of the fascinating results that come from them. Prerequisites Familiarity with precalculus preferred. Some basic calculus concepts will also be used. S7018: What's in a gene? Full! Difficulty: ** Teachers: Benjamin Morris Neanderthal babies, chimpanzees who think they are human, a woman who will live forever in laboratories around the world. A discussion of genetics, inheritance, and bioethics, through the lens of personal stories, theater, and art. S7100: Chemistry of Explosions Difficulty: ** Teachers: Zach . Learn what makes things go bang. Covers low-order explosives such as black powder, as well as primary, secondary, and tertiary high-order explosives such as RDX and TNT. Learn what chemicals go into making explosives and how they are safely manufactured. S7004: What is Negative Temperature? Difficulty: ** Teachers: DW Rowlands A low-math introduction to the concepts of statistical mechanics and negative temperature. Prerequisites algebra S6996: A Smorgasbord of Modern Physics Difficulty: ** Dude, it's a smorgasbord of modern physics. Brought to you by the Society of Physics Students. S7178: Flow Cytometry Difficulty: *** Teachers: Riley Drake Can you sort millions of things while eating a donut? Learn How Biologists sort cells with light, sound and plasma! Prerequisites Basic biology would be good S6955: Bose-Einstein Condensates: The Coldest Stuff in the Universe Difficulty: ** Teachers: Hiro Miyake It turns out that behind the scenes nature works in bizarre and wonderful ways. One place where this weirdness occurs is at very cold temperatures, billionths of degrees above absolute zero. At these temperatures, millions of atoms can act as one huge atom called a Bose-Einstein condensate and have bizarre properties. I’ll show how you can calculate how ‘fuzzy’ you are and how cold you have to be to pass through walls! We’ll discuss these cryptic sentences and explain how weird our universe really is. Prerequisites Some basic algebra, but not much else. An excitement to learn some interesting facts about nature is a must! S6883: Introduction to Pulsars Difficulty: ** Teachers: Anna Ho When a star of a particular mass goes supernova, it leaves behind a tiny dense ball of neutrons called a pulsar. Like a lighthouse, the pulsar emits a beam of light as it spins around (at hundreds of times per second!) The details of pulsar physics are still mysteries to astrophysicists. In this class, you will learn what pulsars are, how astronomers find them, and how they can be used as tools to understand more about the universe. S7107: Why is the Universe so Conservative? Difficulty: *** Teachers: Matt DeCross Conservation of Energy? Conservation of Momentum? Where did all of these arbitrary laws come from and why are they true? Starting from empirical principles, I'll show that the underlying symmetry of the universe enforces conservation laws. If we have time, I'll show how we can use these symmetries to prove that a field like the Higgs field must exist. Prerequisites Familiarity with single-variable calculus helpful but not required. Knowledge of basic classical mechanics recommended. S6871: The Science of 3D - Why Does It Pop Out Like That? Difficulty: ** Teachers: John Gregg In this hands-on course, we will explore the phenomenon of 3D, the "pop-out" effect of 3D movies, ViewMasters, and the like. We will see examples of many different ways this effect has been achieved since its discovery, and talk about (and see, and touch) related technologies. S7023: Evolution of the Human Brain Difficulty: ** Teachers: Brianna Jones 𝘗𝘴𝘴𝘴𝘵! I’m going on a tour of the human brain – want to come? In this seminar, we will discuss three main questions: 1. What makes the human brain special, and what sets it apart from that of other animals? 2. How, when, and why did these differences come about? 3. What are the implications of the “mismatch” between our ancestral brain and the modern world where drugs hijack neural circuits and Facebook alters social structures? S7158: Ligand and Crystal Field Theory Difficulty: *** Teachers: Phillip Ai Learn why copper solutions are blue and permanganate solutions are violet, and learn about the geometry of transition metal ions! You didn't think VSEPR covered everything, did you? Prerequisites High school chemistry - some molecular orbital theory preferred, but not necessary S6887: Effective Potential Difficulty: ** Teachers: Average Phan A large part of this class will discuss about the definition of effective potential in Classical Mechanics and its applications. In the end, we will show how Physicists generalize this simple concept to solve complex problems in General Relativity and to find what kind of particles one can expect in a given theory in Quantum Field Theory. Prerequisites Physics, Calculus S7050: Crayfish: Take It Apart! Full! Difficulty: ** Teachers: Chelsea Voss, Shulin Ye Dissections are a fun (and messy) way to figure out how things work! Crayfish are adorable arthropods, and relatives to shrimps and lobsters. Though they are also animals, their anatomy is vastly different from a human’s. A crayfish has a grand total of NINETEEN pairs of appendages – can you find them all? Come dissect crayfish specimens in pairs, and learn all about the internal and external anatomy of arthropods! Prerequisites You should come willing to participate and try something new – dissections are obviously no fun if you don’t dissect! S6884: Introduction to Radio Astronomy Full! Difficulty: ** Teachers: Anna Ho Radio astronomy is the study of the universe in the radio part of the electromagnetic spectrum: of objects that are totally invisible to the human eye. Radio astronomers use gigantic dishes (like the 100-meter dish in West Virginia) to watch black holes merging and pulsars spinning, or examine galaxies and clouds of interstellar gas. In this class, you will learn a little bit about the history of radio astronomy (what made people think that radio waves could come from space?) and the kinds of awesome science conducted in this part of the spectrum. S7003: Negative Absolute Temperature: An Introduction to Statistical Mechanics Difficulty: ** Teachers: DW Rowlands A recent paper in Science discussed an experiment that produced a collection of particles with kinetic energy corresponding to a negative absolute temperature. What does that even mean? We'll cover an introduction to statistical mechanical definitions of concepts like entropy and temperature as a way to develop an understanding of what it means for a system to have a negative absolute temperature. Prerequisites differential calculus recommended; precalculus necessary S6865: Enzyme Kinetics Difficulty: *** Teachers: Melody Guan Starting with an overview of reaction kinetics, we dive into the exciting world of enzyme kinetics. We will explore the most basic enzyme kinetics model, Michaelis-Menten Kinetics, and the conditions that induce non-Michaelis-Menten conditions. Prerequisites High school chemistry S7176: Why Relativity isn't Paradoxical Difficulty: ** Teachers: Benjamin Kraft Popular culture tells us that Einstein's theory of relativity is hard to understand, full of paradoxes, and generally doesn't make sense. We'll learn why it's really quite natural if you look at it the right way, and why the supposed paradoxes aren't. We'll also learn why electromagnetism doesn't fully make sense without relativity. On the way, we'll go though the basics of relativity, in case you ever find yourself moving at$$0.99c$$and need to know what's going on. Prerequisites In short: You should have some understanding of basic physics, including electricity and magnetism. Calculus is helpful but not necessary. In more detail: You should have an understanding of all of the following: *vectors *velocity and acceleration *momentum *electric and magnetic fields It would help, but isn't necessary, to understand some of the following: *sine, cosine, and tangent *differentiation S7051: Sea Urchin: Take it Apart! Difficulty: ** Teachers: Chelsea Voss, Shulin Ye Dissections are a fun (and messy) way to figure out how things work! Sea urchins are round and full of spikes -- it's hard to see how anything so weirdly shaped could be an animal. Find out firsthan how they survive with such an unusual and unique body structure. Come dissect sea urchin specimens in pairs, and learn all about the internal and external anatomy of echinoderms! Prerequisites You should come willing to participate and try something new – dissections are obviously no fun if you don’t dissect! S6965: What is Microgravity? Difficulty: * Teachers: Henna Jethani Are you confused about why astronauts float around? Do you want to learn more about the vomit comet? Then this is the class for you! Come learn about microgravity, astronauts and space from MIT students working on a project they'll fly on the vomit comet! Bring your enthusiasm! This will be one fun class! Prerequisites Just some curiosity that's all :) S7008: Faster Than Light - An Exploration of Theoretical Spacecraft Propulsion Difficulty: ** Teachers: James Penna Ever wonder how the The Enterprises' warp drive works, or how the Millennium Falcon could make .5 past light speed? This course will rip the science behind superluminal travel open like a wormhole in spacetime. The theory will be backed by actual physics research, with topics ranging from electromagnetism to general relativity to quantum electrodynamics to mechanical engineering. Get ready to make the jump to lightspeed! Prerequisites High school physics and some basic calculus, but not essential S7121: Classical Field Theory Difficulty: **** Teachers: Stephen Face Do you like fields? What about classics? If so, this class is for you! Come see us take your familiar Newtonian mechanics and turn it into awesome Lagrangian mechanics. Then we'll take your particles and turn them into fields. Once we put the two together you'll be able to do all the electrodynamics or gravity, or you can make your own theory of physics! Prerequisites Calculus, Physics S7031: The Science of Explosions Difficulty: ** Ever wondered what makes things blow up? Understanding the science behind explosions is both exciting and important to our safety. Come learn about everything from supernovas to shockwaves to grain silo accidents and indulge your inner pyro! Note: Students with seasonal allergies should be careful when choosing this class as we will run demonstrations with a pollen-based product. Prerequisites Excitement for things that go BANG! S6870: Sound, Waves, and Electricity Difficulty: * Teachers: John Gregg What is sound made of? How do things work that make sound? We will explore this, as well as a lot of related questions in this fun, hands-on course. Fifth graders could understand everything here, but I guarantee seniors will learn something they didn't already know! S6978: The Art of Estimation Full! Difficulty: ** Teachers: Andrew Chen Often in life, a good guess is all you need. But how do you make a good guess? In this class, we'll introduce orders of magnitude, Fermi questions, and dimensional analysis as techniques in the seemingly haphazard art of estimation. Prerequisites Familiarity with the metric system, scientific notation ($$2 \times 10^{-5}$$), and common physical constants ("What does the 'c' stand for in$$E=m \cdot c^{2}$\$?").

S7128: Dark Matter Detection: Discovering what the universe is made of
Difficulty: **

According to astronomers, we can't see 85% of the mass in the universe. Even more interestingly, nobody knows what it's made of!

In this class, we'll talk about why there is almost certainly dark matter (and why there might not be). I'll also talk about the efforts of the DMTPC (Dark Matter Time Projection Chamber) group in determining the nature of these elusive particles.

Prerequisites
A good conceptual grasp of physics is recommended, but this class will not contain any technical derivations or complicated mathematics.

S6967: Electrochemistry Done Right
Difficulty: **

Ever wondered why if you stick two different metals connected by a wire into a frog, an electric current (and a dead frog) will result? Or why lithium has a more negative reduction potential than sodium, even though sodium reacts far more violently with water? Or why metals have the oxidation states that they do? Come to my class to find out and to learn about many other subtleties of electrochemistry that are glossed over in high school chem classes.

Prerequisites
Students should already have a basic knowledge of electrochemistry. That means that if you don't know and understand what a standard reduction potential is, you should not take this class.

S6886: Interactions in Theoretical Physics
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Average Phan

This class will give the definition of Interaction in Classical Physics and Modern Physics (Quantum Mechanics, Quantum Field Theory and String Theory), and show how mass, charge, other properties of a particle and even the particle itself are just illusions.
This class is a brief and fast-pace version of "S6621: Illusion of Space, Time and Particle" and "S6646: A quick guide for Theoretical Physics ", which were taught in Splash2012.

Prerequisites
Physics, Calculus

S7077: Hands-on Introduction to DNA!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Lydia Krasilnikova

Learn about the molecule that encodes how to build, break, and fix us, extract it from peas, and then learn about the technologies we are using to unlock what life is, was, and can be.

S7017: Extreme Physics: from Quarks to Supermassive Black Holes
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jon Beaulieu

So what exactly is going on at the center of a black hole? And what on earth is a pion? If you were able to travel faster than light, what would happen? This course will cover some of the most extreme cases of physics in the universe, from the unimaginably small world of quantum mechanics to the infinite edges of the universe.

Back by popular demand, this class is very similar to the course offered in Splash 2012 by the same name.

S6980: String Theory: How it is "Right" and Why it Doesn't Matter.
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Benjamin Horowitz

String Theory is a popular topic that has extreme beauty from a mathematical perspective and is a very active field of research. In this class, I will go over the basics of string theory and related topics in cosmology and show how it is "right" (in that it is in all likelihood not false), and then go on to discuss some of the serious issues of viewing it as a "useful" physical theory.

Along the way we will learn about the standard model, black hole information paradoxes, and so much more!

Prerequisites
None

S6881: Introduction to Pulsars
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Anna Ho

When a star of a particular mass goes supernova, it leaves behind a tiny dense ball of neutrons called a pulsar. Like a lighthouse, the pulsar emits a beam of light as it spins around (at hundreds of times per second!) The details of pulsar physics are still mysteries to astrophysicists. In this class, you will learn what pulsars are, how astronomers find them, and how they can be used as tools to understand more about the universe.

Walk-in Activity

W7159: Magic: the Walk-In Activity
Difficulty: **

W7165: Origami Extravaganza!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Laura Hallock

Never folded a crane before? Or already folded Kamiya's ancient dragon out of 6-inch kami? Come fold for the first time or the thousandth from our substantial origami library.

W6949: Army of Pikachus!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Molly Kosiarek

Come make AS MANY ORIGAMI PIKACHUS as we collectively can! Directions and origami help provided.

W6950: Quidditch
Difficulty: **

Come learn how to play Quidditch the muggle way!

W6997: Will It Freeze? An Exploration with Physics and Liquid Nitrogen
Difficulty: **

Marshmallows, rubber bands, flowers, grapes, oobleck and more will all be dipped into liquid nitrogen and instantly frozen. Check out the interesting results! We will also have several other demos that will blow your mind!

W7193: Shoot the Bunny! (not really)
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Minerva Zhou

Try a fun hands-on game called Shoot the ____! It uses your hands! No animals are actually harmed...... and maybe if you become a master at it, you can create your own or we'll play other games ;)

W6856: LED Creativity Lab
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Megan Belzner

Arts and crafts - with LIGHT! Build miniature lighthouses, figurines with light-up eyes, light up dice, and whatever else strikes your fancy. In the process, learn a bit about basic circuitry. Craft supplies and LEDs in a variety of colors will be provided.

W6987: Play Set!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Zoe Snape

Come play Set, a fun and fast-paced game of pattern spotting. We'll probably run a game for beginners and a game for more experienced players, so feel free to drop in and learn how to play or practice your skills.

W7084: Play Bughouse Chess
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Gurtej Kanwar

Bughouse chess is chess for teams of two! Come hang out, play chess, and make new friends!

W7192: Expert Knitting
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Shulin Ye

Learn how to knit lace and cables, and get help with your own knitting projects!

Materials will be provided; if you'd like to bring your own projects, please do so.

W7067: Live-action Coding Challenge
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Megan Belzner

Ever wondered what it's like to be a computer program? Now you can find out! I give you a goal (ranging from "calculate the nth Fibonacci number" to "make a paper crane" to "walk around an obstacle") and you "code" a program to meet that goal! Then, you'll trade off your code with someone else and act out each other's programs. Test your algorithmic thinking and your acting skills all at once!

W7196: LN2 Ice Cream
Difficulty: **

Eat LN2 ice cream!

W7011: Arts and crafts!
Difficulty: **

Make arts and crafts from lots of different supplies.
We have colored paper, pipe-cleaners, sequins and lots more!

W7036: Python Bee!
Difficulty: **

It's the wackiest programming competition ever! If you think that you're so good at Python that you can do it with your eyes closed, then this is your chance to prove it!

W7136: Duct Tape Creations
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Annie LaBine

Come and make pretty things out of duct tape. I can show you how to make purses, flowers, wallets and more!

W7131: Juggling
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Alex Arkhipov

Learn to juggle three balls!

W7222: Fun with Magic Squares!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Steve Susanibar

Have you ever sat through a boring lecture and wondered what you could do with your time instead? Like to impress your friends with your puzzle-making skills or just like to play with numbers? Than this is the class for you! We will be checking, comparing, and creating magic squares of all sizes so bring a friend and get ready to explore the workings of a classic puzzle that has fascinated mathematicians for centuries!

W7166: Intro to Tropes, or, How to Predict Anything in Fiction
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Kathleen Guy

Ever wondered how authors think up great characters, plot lines, and bizarre creatures? No? Well you should have, because the answers are often hilarious and always fascinating. Come learn how to read and write fiction the right way--or at least the weird way.

W7197: Mathematical Doodling
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Chelsea Voss

Do you find Vi Hart's doodles awesome? Now you can draw fractals, spirals, and knots, too!

Come learn new ways to doodle, mathematically!

Spend an hour learning how to draw compass constructions, dragon curves, Celtic knots, fractals, Mobius strips, Fibonacci spirals, Koch snowflakes, 3D buildings, and much more!

Your math class notes will never be the same again.

Generalized drawing supplies will be provided.

W7114: Object Manipulation and Acrobatics
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jonathan Surick

Because you’ve always wanted to run away and join the circus. We will be going over poi, staff, rope dart, contact juggling, and whatever else we can find.

W7130: Juggling
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Alex Arkhipov

Learn to juggle three balls!

Miscellaneous

X7040: How to Run a Meeting
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Anika Gupta

There are some small, easy things you can do to make any meeting you run much more productive and effective. Try it!

X7148: Generalized Tic-Tac-Toe Full!
Difficulty: **

Ever played Tic-Tac-Toe? How about on a 5-by-5 board, where you have to get 4 in a row? How about on an infinite board, where you have to get six in a row and you move twice? Forget putting things in a row--what if you're trying to make a square? In this class, we'll stretch and squash Tic-Tac-Toe until it becomes unrecognizable.

X7134: Better PowerPoint Slides
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Tana Wattanawaroon

Slides (PowerPoint or whatever office software suite you prefer) are a powerful tool in giving presentations. This class will give you some DOs and DON'Ts, but it will focus on how to use powerful visuals to get your message across. (infographics included) Feel free to bring your slides for critique. No computer needed.

X6891: Microphone Mathematics
Difficulty: **
Teachers: nathaniel garcia

Rap
-- Lies
________
Hip Hop

A light hearted discussion of hip hop and rap music. looking at song lyrics and gaining new appreciation for the art of the MC

Prerequisites
listen to Illmatic by Nas, Ready to Die by Notorious BIG, and Me Against the Word by 2Pac

X6866: Butterfly Knife Spinning Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Alyx Daly, Jonathan Mei

Learn to flip butterfly knives like the pros you’ve seen in movies and games: the spy from Team Fortress, hit girl from Kickass, etc

Have no prior experience with knife flipping, pen spinning, or other forms of contact juggling? No problem!

Note: we use dull knife trainers, so this will be completely legal and safe

Prerequisites
1 intact hand with 5 functional fingers required Fine and gross motor control recommended

X7141: How to throw a frisbee
Difficulty: **
Teachers: chase lambert

Learn to throw a frisbee the correct way, so that you can impress all your friends! If we have time, we'll even play a game of Ultimate.

X7085: Bird Basics
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Rebecca Shi

Come learn a few basics of birdwatching and how to identify backyard and other common birds! We will then go outside, weather permitting, to search for the common birds around MIT. Designed for students with no prior experience with birds, but an enthusiasm to learn.

For more experienced students who would like to learn about more detailed bird topics, please see the class "Ornithology".

X7143: The Science of Hair
Difficulty: **

Have you ever thought about dying your hair, but not known where to begin? In this class, I'll explain how hair dye works, how to make it last, and how to safely bleach your hair, and how the structure of hair influences these things. I'll demonstrate most of this on a wig.

Prerequisites
This class will be better for people who haven't dyed their hair before.

X6945: History of the Star Wars Galaxy (Part 1)
Difficulty: *

This is class 1 of a 3-part course on the history of the Star Wars galaxy. Class 1 of this series will cover history from 100,000 BBY to 5,000 BBY. This includes events prior to the creation of the Star Forge, discussing the Celestials and their technology, and will continue all the way up to the end of the Great Hyperspace War. We will also start the rise of Freedon Nadd. Class 1 also introduces some key information about the galaxy, the force, and technology that will be relevant for other classes. This is a three-part course focusing on character profiles, important events, weapons and technology, and vehicles and vessels with a focus on the use and development of the force by the Jedi Order, the Sith, and other lesser known factions throughout. Class will consist mostly of lecture with short breaks for discussion of the material. These classes are adapted from a lecture series at UC Berkeley, and we have been teaching them for 3 years. Also they're awesome!

Prerequisites
Useful/ preferred to have prior knowledge of Star Wars (books, movies, games, etc)

X7112: Being the Best
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Colin McDonnell

An amalgamation of tip, tricks, and wisdom to help tip the odds in your favor in life. Drawing on psychology, business, politics, and history, this course aims to impart some understanding of why some people succeed in the midst of failure, why the best are the best, how to max out your brain, and the best ways to learn and think creatively.

X7191: Staff Spinning Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Marian Heman-Ackah

Learn how to spin any sort of long pole. It's tons of fun and you'll look pretty cool doing it. We'll possibly get around to tosses too!

X6998: Swing Dancing for beginners
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Lizi George

Come have fun, and leave with moves to impress your friends! No experience or partner necessary--just wear comfy shoes.

X6958: Negotiation Lab
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Vrajesh Modi

This class will introduce students to the theory and practice of negotiation. Topics covered will include basic terminology and strategies. Format will consist of: (1) a brief lecture on theory; (2) a negotiation exercise/simulation; and (3) debrief. Students will be divided into teams for the simulation.

X6893: Microphone Mathematics
Difficulty: **
Teachers: nathaniel garcia

Rap
-- Lies
________
Hip Hop

A light hearted discussion of hip hop and rap music. looking at song lyrics and gaining new appreciation for the art of the MC

Prerequisites
listen to Illmatic by Nas, Ready to Die by Notorious BIG, and Me Against the Word by 2Pac

X7088: What would you build?
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Star Princess

In this class you will learn about a few basic design principles. I will provide materials--mainly recyclables-- and you will make a model that solves a design challenge. We will discuss the architectural principles in the resulting models.

Prerequisites
Interest in design, art and/or architecture. Enjoy looking at buildings, photography, painting, how things work.

X7005: Epidemiology of Inequality
Difficulty: *

This class will provide an overview of the current state of medical care and health around the world. Focusing generally on health inequalities, gaps in access to technology and barriers to care, we will first investigate contemporary challenges, then evaluate common intervention initiatives, and finally, attempt to formulate propose practical solutions.

Prerequisites
None

X7146: Staff Spinning
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Marian Heman-Ackah

Learn how to spin any sort of long pole. It's tons of fun and you'll look pretty cool doing it. We'll possibly get around to tosses too!

X6959: Interview Workshop
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Vrajesh Modi

Learn what to wear, say, and do before, during, and after an interview. Format will consist of a 20-minute lecture followed by a 30-minute workshop. Formal dress not required.

X6946: History of the Star Wars Galaxy (Part 2)
Difficulty: *

This is class 2 of a 3-part course on the history of the Star Wars galaxy. Class 2 of this series will cover history from 5,000 BBY to 3,958 BBY. This includes Freedon Nadd’s rise to power, The Great Sith War, the Mandalorian Wars, and The Second Great Sith War. Class will consist mostly of lecture with short breaks for discussion of the material. These classes are adapted from a lecture series at UC Berkeley, and we have been teaching them for 3 years. Also they're awesome!

Prerequisites
Useful/ preferred to have prior knowledge of Star Wars (books, movies, games, etc)

X7025: You and the Law
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Leonid Grinberg

Whether or not you know it, you're at the center of a huge number of challenging ethical, legal, and practical issues. Every day, thousands of people grapple with questions that have a profound impact on your daily life. What rights do you have as a minor? As a student? (Public, private, or home school---pick your poison, each is a rabbit hole of complex questions!) How about as a child, as a patient, as a sibling, as a business owner? (Lemonade stands and iPhone apps anyone?)

This class will focus on US law, particularly as it applies to minors and students. We'll start with a brief crash course on how the US government works and how laws pertaining to children end up getting applied and enforced. We'll then move on to a bunch of history and prior cases that have shaped the answers to these questions over time.

Come prepared with an open mind to discuss some very complex and fascinating issues. No prior knowledge of law or politics will be expected.

X7034: Introduction to Firefighting
Difficulty: *

Ever wonder what it would be like to be a firefighter? Running into burning buildings carrying and wearing hundreds of pounds of equipment. Riding in a firetruck, brush truck, ambulance, etc. Learn all about firefighting from a nationally certified volunteer firefighter. Find out how to get involved and all about the awesome dangerous things firefighters get to see and do.

X6922: Get ANYTHING You Want: Tactics Revised
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Alec Lai

Learn new and revised tactics for getting anything you want! Come with an open mind and a willingness to search for the truth. Revised course from the Splash course (Persuasion 101) and a segment of the HSSP course (Power of Persuasion).

Prerequisites
Open mind, respectful discussion, and curiosity for the truth.

X7091: Hard Times: Some Tools and Tricks for Managing Hard Times (Adversity)
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Patricia Craig

Every person has times in their life when it is really tough. Whether a grandparent just died, or parents are getting divorced, or not fitting in at school - - - life can get really tough. This course will provide some helpful hints on managing those rough patches. The hints are drawn from the following books, "The Adversity Quotient", "How to Stop Worrying and Start Living", and "The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook." Additionally, some hints from Stanford Professor Michael Ray's course, "Creativity in Business" will be discussed.

X7122: And Now for Something Completely Different
Difficulty: *

They say you should learn something new everyday. Well, we'll teach you fifteen!

In this class, we will talk briefly about a topic for three minutes, and then switch to a new one. Because life's short -- you gotta move fast!

X7089: What would you build?
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Star Princess

In this class you will learn about a few basic design principles. I will provide materials--mainly recyclables-- and you will make a model that solves a design challenge. We will discuss the architectural principles in the resulting models.

Prerequisites
Interest in design, art and/or architecture. Enjoy looking at buildings, photography, painting, how things work.

X7098: Learn to Figure Skate in your Socks!
Difficulty: *

Learn the fundamentals of figure skating while staying on solid ground! We'll talk about proper techniques for things like crossovers, 3-turns, spirals, and more.

Prerequisites
No figure skating experience necessary.

X6972: Swing Dancing with the Stars
Difficulty: *

out-class all your friends with some fancy swing moves at the next dance! learn the basic steps plus awesome turns & spins, and maybe even a dip if you're adventurous. plus we have tasty brownies!

X6947: History of the Star Wars Galaxy (Part 3)
Difficulty: *

This is class 2 of a 3-part course on the history of the Star Wars galaxy. Class 3 of this series will cover history from 2,000 BBY to 11 BBY. This includes events such as the Battle of Ruusan, the Mandalorian Civil War, the Clone Wars, and the Clone Rebellion. Class will consist mostly of lecture with short breaks for discussion of the material. These classes are adapted from a lecture series at UC Berkeley, and we have been teaching them for 3 years. Also they're awesome!

Prerequisites
Useful/ preferred to have prior knowledge of Star Wars (books, movies, games, etc)

X7095: Social Robotics
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Sabrina Shemet

What are social robots? Why do they matter? How do we build robots that can interact naturally with people? In this class we'll attempt to demonstrate answers to these questions, and more!

Prerequisites
None

X7156: How to Solve a Rubik’s Cube Full!
Difficulty: **

That darn Rubik's Cube got you down? Don't know how to solve it but think that you can't be a full-fledged nerd until you can? Learn how!

Difficulty: *
Teachers: Elizabeth Berg

We all know that chocolate is delicious. But what else do you know about it? Do you know what tempering is? How about the differences between dark, milk, and white chocolate? Or that cocoa beans used to be so highly valued that they were used for currency? In this class, we'll study, play with, and most importantly, eat chocolate! We'll make truffles while learning about the science of chocolate, then discuss the history of chocolate while waiting for the truffles to cool (and eating them of course!)

X7163: Real Sex Ed
Difficulty: *

Get all of the real information about birth control and protection, STDs, consent and relationships, and the variety of sex and sexualities that your school likely isn't teaching you enough about! You'll need to get a signed permission slip for this class: http://tinyurl.com/cpaarw7

X7093: Making the Best Financial Decisions for You: College, Career, etc...
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Patricia Craig

A handful of major decisions can really influence your life and possibly have a lasting influence on your future happiness. What career you choose, what college you attend, how you pay for college, who you choose to marry, whether you buy a house or rent - - these are some of the really big "financial" decisions. The purpose of this course is to help you expand your thinking on these very critical decisions.

X6986: Taking advantage of online education in High School
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Zoe Snape

High school classes too slow? Frustrated by lack of depth and interesting problems? There's a vast array of options for independent study online -- but where should you start? This class will be a short introduction to some of the best options for online learning, such as Project Euler, Codeacademy, Khan Academy, Quizlet, OCW and edX. Come learn how to learn!

X6966: Intermediate Yoyoing
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: John Chow

Learn how to improve on your yoyoing and improve in competitions! Previous experience and your own yoyo are required.

Prerequisites
Yoyoing experience, yoyo

X6861: Swing Dancing for beginners
Difficulty: *

Come have fun, and leave with moves to impress your friends! No experience or partner necessary--just wear comfy shoes.

X6982: An Introduction to Video Game Level Design
Difficulty: **
Teachers: David Bocek

From the purpose and flow of a level to specific spatial techniques, learn the fundamentals of game level design! Examples of popular games and class discussion will be used.

Prerequisites
A basic knowledge of video games and some experience will be helpful in understanding examples.

X7104: Pathery Full!
Difficulty: *

Pathery is a tower defense -- without the towers, or the defense! Come learn to play this awesome puzzle game!

X7094: Taking advantage of online education in Middle School
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Zoe Snape

Middle school classes too slow? Frustrated by lack of depth and interesting problems? There's a vast array of options for independent study online -- but where should you start? This class will be a short introduction to some of the best options for online learning, such as Project Euler, Codeacademy, Khan Academy, Quizlet, OCW and edX. Come learn how to learn!

X7123: Chocolate Tasting Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: James Hobin

Learn about the characteristics of chocolate in a whirlwind tour of nearly every variety imaginable, ranging from the intense single-origin Kallari to the masterfully blended Guittard.

X6923: Get ANYONE You Want v2.0
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Alec Lai

Learn how to deal with teachers, employers, friends, and relationships. Win the others over with your new tactics and skills. Come with an open mind and a willingness to learn the truth behind human interactions. Revised version of Splash's Persuasion 202, covering some topics from the HSSP Course, Power of Persuasion.

Prerequisites
Open mind, peer respect, and a curiosity to learn how to persuade people.

X7057: P.E. Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Kate Rudolph

Take a break from learning at Spark and come break a sweat. We'll stretch out and then do fun, team-based cardio activities for an hour. Be ready to get moving!

X7039: iz-lom
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Noor Doukmak

Sound familiar? Sure it does, but how much can you really say you know about the faith a billion people call their own? Weighed down by countless stereotypes, claims by the media, and Hollywood portrayals, Islam is hardly known today for what it truly is. Join us as we delve into Islam's core beliefs and discover what drives so many to accept it as their faith... even today.

X6961: How to Read a Financial Statement
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Vrajesh Modi

After this class, you will be able to: (1) understand balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements; and (2) calculate several simple financial ratios to better understand the performance of a company. Format will consist of a 50-minute lecture on theory followed by a 60-minute group exercise.

X6900: Ballroom Dancing-Swing, Foxtrot, Waltz
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jordan Ross

Basics of three ballroom dances

Prerequisites
none

X7086: Ornithology
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Rebecca Shi

Ornithology: The study of birds! For students who are interested in learning about bird flight, physiology, taxonomy, and identification beyond your common backyard bird. Topics can vary based on class interest.

For students interested in learning about birds at a more basic level, please see the class "Bird Basics".

Prerequisites
Some prior knowledge of or experience with common birds / basic bird identification would be helpful.

X6948: Lightsaber Dueling and Stage Combat
Difficulty: **

Th