Spark 2015
Course Catalog


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Visual and Performing Arts Computers and Programming
Engineering Humanities
Lunch Life Sciences
Mathematics Physical Sciences
Walk-in Activity Miscellaneous
Social Studies


Visual and Performing Arts

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A9293: Magical Madrigals!
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Penrose Allphin

Come warm up your voice, and then learn a madrigal for multiple parts. The madrigal is a secular vocal form of the Renaissance and early Baroque periods.


Prerequisites
Ability to read and sing from sheet music for voice, previous experience singing harmony.

A9261: Surf's Up: A Brief History of the Beach Boys
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Ezra Morrison

Did you know that Brian Wilson once filled his entire living room with sand in order to make it feel more like the beach? Or that The Beach Boys almost released a horrific duet with Bart Simpson? Come learn about these stories and more about the bizarre, twisted history of America's biggest band and its incredible successes and failures!


Prerequisites
None!

A9255: History of Art in 50 Minutes
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Cathleen Nalezyty

Let's race through all of art history in 50 minutes! From the Venus of Hohle Fels to modern art to contemporary art, let's whisk through the major periods and styles of art, briefly (and I mean briefly) mentioning some of the most important pieces of various styles.

A9172: Room for Improv'ment Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Tal Scully

Ever wonder how actors can make up a scene on the spot without any planning? Come play lots of improv and theater games and learn how to expand your abilities as an actor and a person!


Prerequisites
Everyone is welcome - from experienced professional actors to people who have never set foot on a stage in their life!

A9353: Write a Parody Song
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Ethan Goldstein

Be Weird Al for a day!

At the beginning of this class, we'll choose a major song from the last few years, and then spend the next two hours parodying it to turn it into something new, wonderful, and hilarious. In the process, we'll learn about how lyrics work, including rhyming, meter, and scansion. Anyone with an interest in lyrics or pop music should show up!

A9443: How to Draw
Difficulty: **

Learn the fundamentals of drawing! Find out how to break down complex forms into basic building blocks in order to accurately reproduce images. Learn to see objects in space and understand the relationships between details. Learn how to look at things and actually see them! These skills will help you become better at drawing from imagination and will help you learn to draw new things faster and more efficiently.


Prerequisites
Must be able to use a pencil. No prior drawing experience is needed.

A9454: Sound and Audio Recording
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Joshua Freeburn

This class will cover sound, musical instrumentation, recording audio and editing audio. By the end of this session students will have gained an understanding of the recording/mixing/editing process.

A9332: Fashion Design: From Concept to Runway
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Steven Faerm

Ever wonder how fashion designers create their exciting collections? This lecture examines how designers research inspiration, develop innovative design methods, and create powerful statements through clothing. We will first examine design fundamentals such as color theory, motif, and visual narrative. We will then look at professional and student work that uses these methods in different ways. The lecture culminates in a full analysis of an Alexander McQueen show that employs all of the topics discussed. You will leave the presentation with a better understanding of the complex fashion design process and how designers work!

This lecture is appropriate for anyone considering a career in art and design; its content can be applied to all areas of art and design.

A9213: Printmaking!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Clio Macrakis

Learn about printmaking, and make your own stamp! There will be plenty of materials for you to test your handmade stamp on; make cards, books, or anything you want. If you have a design in mind for your stamp, please bring it with you!

A9229: Blind Circumambulation of a Large Fabric Cube

In the cold of winter, let your creative side bloom as we play games and explore the fragmentation of memory.


Prerequisites
Make sure you have clothes you can move around in.

A9315: Clothes for Imaginary People: Crash-course in Costume Design
Difficulty: *
Teachers: E Rosser

Imaginary people need clothes, too! Whether they're on stage, on the screen, or from your favorite tabletop campaign, you can tell loads about a character from the costume they wear. Learn how to convey feelings through line and color, try your hand at some design, and visit a working costume shop!


Prerequisites
None

A9260: Singing in Solfege
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Lily Chen, Gabby Studt

Learn how to sing -- it's as easy as do, re, mi! We'll cover: diatonic intervals, relative solfege in movable do, la-based minor, four-part harmony, sightsinging in solfege, melodic dictation, and some basic music theory along the way.


Prerequisites
No prior formal musical experience is required. Being able to sing or hum in tune is recommended.

A9313: Theater workshop: Let's have fun!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Sophie Bertreau

You think that acting class will involve imitating a tree? You are afraid of speaking in front of an audience? You are already convinced that improvising is a lot of fun? Whatever your beliefs are, come and discover useful theater basics, hilarious drama exercises and exciting improvisation games. You will enjoy the workshop and learn from it!


Prerequisites
Come as you are

A9280: The Art of Yourself
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Francesca Majluf

Come learn a little more about yourself by drawing and painting your heart away.


Computers and Programming

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C9352: Distributed computing for dummies
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Felix Sun

If I give you a list of ten billion street addresses, and asked you to find the ones closest to your house, how would you do it?

This class is about solving big problems with lots of computers. Problems like searching the entire internet, or storing photos for a billion users around the world. We will talk about how these problems can be solved by a network of computers working together.

No programming experience is required - we will emphasize ideas and intuition over code.


Prerequisites
None. No programming experience is required. If you have programmed before, you will still get a lot from this class, but we aim to talk in programming-agnostic terms.

C9447: Hands-on Sorting Algorithms
Difficulty: ***

You have a list of numbers and you really want to order them. We'll cover many different ways to do this, as well as how long each method takes. You'll then get to choose a sorting algorithm and compete against other classmates to find out who's fastest.

C9318: Make your personal webpage!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Isra Shabir

This is a hands-on course where students will be given an introduction to HTML and CSS. At the end of the class, students will have personal web pages to showcase to friends and family!

C9329: Spark Hackathon
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Felix Sun, Chelsea Voss

Whether you're new to programming or have experience, we'll help you learn new things and get better!

This will be a self-paced programming workshop, where you get to work on whatever you want -- either pursue your own idea, or let us suggest a project. We'll be here to guide you if you get stuck. If you've never programmed before, we'll have suggestions for resources to use to get started.

We'll be in a computer lab, but feel free to bring your own laptop.

C9417: How This Website Works
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jordan Moldow

Ever wonder what was actually going on when Spark registration opened? Find out how the ESP website (or any website) works behind the scenes.

We’ll cover, very briefly, the basics of all the major concepts of web design, including HTML, CSS, client-side scripting, and server-side scripting. Time permitting, we'll also talk about databases, version controlling, and caching. All examples will be taken from the ESP website.

If time allows, we’ll take a look at some of the administrative portions of the website - the pages that help the Spark directors administer the program.

This class will be an overview of many different concepts of web design, and how they interact. It will not be an in-depth look at any one concept, though links to resources for additional learning will be provided.

No computer experience is required. In fact, if you have a lot of computer experience, you’ll probably be bored. But if you don’t already know most of the terms listed in the description, then you’re encouraged to register for this class!

C9263: How Do Computers Add?
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Marcus Boorstin

How do computers add? What happens behind the scenes when you ask your computer to find $$1+2$$? This may seem simple for you, but it is NOT for your computer. We'll discuss an amazing invention called a transistor which made modern computers possible, and then see how transistors are used in computers to add.

C9333: Intro to Python
Difficulty: **

Have you ever wanted to program but never typed a line/character/space of code in your life? Do you want to know how to make your computer tell you funny error messages or solve your math problems for you? Then join this class and have fun learning the basics of the python programming language!

C9407: How to Multiply Quickly
Difficulty: ****
Teachers: Arkadiy Frasinich

Computers help us every day by handling computation that is too hard for us to do by hand. One of those things that a computer can do much faster is multiplication. However, using the normal method you learn in school, even computers would find it difficult to multiply really large numbers. In this class, we'll try to be clever and figure out how to multiply really well.


Prerequisites
You should know how to multiply two numbers together, but beyond that I'll explain everything else in class.

C9420: Computer Architecture: Speed Run!
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Ziv Scully

We're going to start with transistors—electrical components that act kind of like switches—and build up from there to get as close to a designing a real live computer as we can. We're going to create structures that can make complicated logical decisions. We're going to draw a circuit on the board that can add numbers. We're might even go over the design of a fully functional processor. It'll be a party. No experience required!


Prerequisites
You should know about writing numbers in binary. If you don't know about binary yet, look it up! If you don't want to look it up, you'll still get a lot of the class, but there'll be one chunk that will probably be confusing.

C9393: Crash Course in Machine Learning!
Difficulty: ***

Ever wonder about the technology behind how Facebook can recognize faces, or how iTunes can recommend new songs to you? It turns out that the technology behind Amazon’s recommendation system, Siri’s voice recognition, and Google’s autonomous cars are all very related! This rapidly growing area of computer science is called machine learning, and companies and scientists around the world are using it to make their products smarter.

Join us for a deep dive into this field, where we’ll introduce basic machine learning concepts and talk about topics like perceptrons and neural networks. At the end, we’ll apply these concepts to teach a computer how to read your handwriting!


Prerequisites
Familiarity with computer science, comfort with algebra, Python experience is a bonus, but not necessary. But most importantly, willing to try to learn something brand new!

C9428: Introduction to Cryptography
Difficulty: **

Alice wants to talk to Bob, but they don't want Eve to listen. Come learn too many ways to solve Computer Science's most boring social dynamics problem.

C9457: Computer (In)security
Difficulty: **

Writing computer programs is easy. Writing secure programs is not. Through demonstrations and real-life stories, we'll explore the ways in which computer systems break, and discuss what security means to the Internet as a whole. Take this class to learn what "cybersecurity" is all about!

C9382: Interactive 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).

C9418: Intro Programming in Python
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jordan Moldow

print “Ever wanted to learn how to program?"
if your_answer == “yes”:
print “Awesome! Take this class, and learn how to program in Python"


# This is a class for students with no prior programming experience. We will cover the fundamentals of programming, using the popular language of Python. The class will be a mix of lecture, where you will learn the introductory aspect of the language, and hands-on programming. We’ll have lots of fun writing and running cool programs, and you’ll learn a lifelong skill in the process.

# No prior programming experience required. Students who have never programmed before and are interested in learning are encouraged to register.

C9370: Interactive Introduction to the Internet Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Megan Belzner

Ever wondered what happens when you type 'esp.mit.edu' into your address bar? In this class, you'll get to act out the protocols that underlie everything you do on the internet, from 802.11 to TCP to DNS. Learn what makes the World Wide Web tick!


Prerequisites
Basic proficiency with computers expected.

C9392: Robust Cooperation in the Prisoner's Dilemma: Program Equilibrium via Provability Logic Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jason Gross

The Prisoner's Dilemma is a standard example in game theory of a situation in which two "rational" players will choose not to cooperate, even though they would both be better off if they cooperated.

However, if both players are mind readers, then it is possible to construct rational agents that cooperate without going in to infinite loops.

C9394: Mind of the Machine
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Gurtej Kanwar

Autonomous (self-controlling) robots are on the up and up in today's world. Self-driving cars, manufacturing arms, and transportation robots all share the need to have software which accepts noisy sensor data and outputs smooth, accurate, and safe motion controls.

In this class we will together incrementally build up the software for a simple simulated robot to give it the ability to maneuver around in an example room without crashing. Along the way, we'll talk about the techniques we're making use of, and how those same techniques are applicable to self-driving cars and beyond!

C9217: eSports: Competive Games Done Quick
Difficulty: **

This course will provide a chronologically presented history of the design and development of the phenomenon of competitive video games, or ESports, and an analysis of the modern subcultures, ethics, politics, and key figures in the competitive scene. During key segments of this section we will discuss map design across genres and games like Starcraft, League of Legends, DOTA, and Counterstrike.

C9410: Games with Ruby
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Harry Rickards

Use gosu and ruby to make fun, interactive games! No prior programming experience needed!

C9415: Fun with Neural Networks
Difficulty: ***

Ever wonder how computer scientists build programs that recognize handwriting or identify faces in photographs? Neural networks are a tool that modern computer science uses to solve these problems. In this class, we’ll be talking about how a neural network works and why it’s such an effective method. We’ll also build our own neural network and use it to tackle the problem of object recognition.


Prerequisites
Basic algebra and lots of energy! Unix experience is recommended.

C9252: Algorithms of the Dummies, by the Dummies, for the Dummies
Difficulty: ***

Welcome one, welcome all! Ever wondered what algorithms are? Or dummies? How about breadth first search? Hash tables ring a bell? If any of these interest you, come by and learn to your heart's content with us!


Prerequisites
Students should have some knowledge of computers and be familiar with stacks and queues.

C9345: Tech 101 4 Kids: Learn Arduino!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Erick Pinos

An Arduino is a circuit board that, with a little bit of code, can interact with the physical world. You'll learn hands-on how to code an Arduino to control LED lights and motors. Then you'll make a basic rover bot using LEGOs and Arduino. I'll also show you some other cool projects you can do with Arduino on your own.


Engineering

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E9423: Digital Logic with Little Bits Full!
Difficulty: **

In this introduction to digital logic, students will have an opportunity to experiment with the building blocks of digital electronics. Using LEDs to visually indicate 1's and 0's, students will learn the functions of AND, OR, NAND, NOR, and XOR, build truth tables, and construct an S-R flip flop. We will use boolean arithmetic to represent the functionality of digital circuits, and see how digital circuit designs can be simplified mathematically. This class will move quickly.

E9311: Circuits and Electronics! Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jimmy Mawdsley

Learn about the fundamentals of circuits and electronics. An introduction to electronics concepts, components, and devices. We will start by introducing several circuit elements and circuit schematic symbols. We will then define some of the physical laws and quantities governing circuits. From there, we will learn how to use various tools to measure electrical quantities. We will look at circuit schematics and perform analysis of circuit function. Simple design problems will be posed to give students the opportunity to demonstrate and apply what they've learned. Integrating knowledge of additional components, we will approach more complicated circuits and applications.


Prerequisites
Just a desire to learn!

E9299: Applied Kerbal Space Program Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Norman Cao

What is apoapsis, periapsis, inclination, and eccentricity anyways? And how will they help you get to space? In this class we'll play Kerbal Space Program to learn about some of the science and engineering that goes into making things go into space!

(We'll be playing on a projector, so you don't need to bring a laptop or own a copy, but feel free to bring one if you do)

E9248: 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 blend of lecture on theory and discussion on current issues.


Prerequisites
Chemistry and/or Physics background encouraged but not required.

E9250: Rockets
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Eric Riehl

Come learn about rockets and how they work! Hosted by members of MIT's Rocket Team.

E9414: Paper Engineering
Difficulty: **

Come and get some hands-on engineering experience as we try to build the tallest towers possible with paper and paperclips!

E9300: What is Civil Engineering?
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Anthony McHugh

Architects may draw buildings, but civil engineers make sure that they work. We will talk about the enormous number of roles that civil engineers play in building our physical surroundings.

E9402: Robots: In and Out of Control
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Ziv Scully

As anyone who's seen a sci-fi movie in the past 20 years would probably guess, the robot apocalypse is scheduled for some time next Tuesday afternoon. Fortunately, robot uprisings are pretty difficult to make happen. Any proper rogue robot has to do basic things like move from one point to another or turn to face a target. These things turn out to be pretty hard. We're going to learn about why robot control is a hard problem, and then we'll see some of the neat ways to solve it! Warning: we might need to use... *shudder*... math!


Prerequisites
If you know the quadratic formula, you're all set.

E9461: Exploring Aerospace
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Caitlin Fischer

Come and learn about exciting topics relating to aeronautical and astronautical engineering! We'll talk about current research, fascinating phenomena and fundamental principles relating to aerospace. Hosted by MIT's Women in Aerospace Engineering group.

E9387: Extreme Walkie-Talkies: Fun with Amateur Radio
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Nadya Bedford

Come learn about Amateur Radio, the oldest radio technology. We'll talk about a bunch of cool uses for radios-- satellite control, packet radio, and digital and analog repeaters. We'll also go over how to get your radio license, so you can talk to people around the world and build things that use this part of the electromagnetic spectrum.


Humanities

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H9397: The Art of the Ending
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Sarah Coe, Ellen Finch

Have you ever turned the last page of a book and sat there admiring how neatly the author wrapped everything up? Turned the last page and thrown the book at the wall? Walked out of a theater gushing, or walked out of a theater wondering how it went so wrong? The way a story ends can shape how we feel about the entire work. What makes an ending good or bad? In this class, we’ll discuss features of great and terrible endings, and pull examples from pop culture such as Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, The Hunger Games, Twilight, and more. Spoiler alert!

H9445: The Writing Systems of the World Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Snejana Iovtcheva

How is speaking a language different than writing in that language? How are writing systems created and why? Why are Japanese letters so different than English letters? How long does it take a child in China to learn its 'letters'? Is it true that Arabic and Hebrew alphabets do not have characters for vowel sounds (that is a,o,i,e,u) ? Do you want to learn the Cyrillic script (the alphabet that is used in Russia and Bulgaria among other countries)? Come and join me for some fun investigation of the different systems that people developed in order to communicate over distance and time.

H9371: Warm Beverages and Art History
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Kate Scott

Come grab a cup of some hot chocolate or tea and talk about art. It's what all the hipster high schoolers are doing. Seriously, from van Gogh chopping off his own ear to some Da Vinci conspiracies, come learn some crazy art stories and discuss some of the most famous pieces of art in history. Cookies will be given based on participation.

H9356: How to Survive a Mental Illness
Difficulty: *

From learning how to find a therapist to the side effects of medication to what to tell (or not to tell) your boss and friends, this class will be the ultimate survival guide for anyone who has or knows someone with a mental illness. This is an important topic for people of all ages because one third of the population has some form of a mental illness.

*Side note: I am not a doctor and only doctors can diagnose patients with an illness or prescribe medication. Students should refrain from talking about personal experiences for privacy purposes.

H9241: A History of France through Paris Monuments
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Delphine Kaiser

Paris monuments have lots of stories to tell, and if you know where to look, you can even go as far back as Ancient Rome.

H9346: Introductory Odawa
Difficulty: **

Odawa or Nishnaabemwin is a dialect of one of the most widely spoken Native American languages today. We'll talk about the basic grammar and then look at a traditional story. Come learn about this fascinating language!

H9279: The Magic of Gratitude
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Francesca Majluf

Based on "The Magic" by Rhonda Byrne, this class will teach you how simple exercises can make your deepest dreams come true.

H9359: Languages of Middle Earth
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Ryker Reed

Love Lord of the Rings? 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
None, if you've taken this class last year, it will be the same material.

H9367: Introduction to Spanish
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Ciera Gordon

Spanish is the national language in over 20 different countries around the world. This class is for anyone who's never been exposed to Spanish before and is curious about an amazing language and the unique cultures that go with it.


Prerequisites
No previous experience with Spanish! This class is only for beginners.

H9391: Notable Notaphily
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Ryuga Hatano

Ever wondered what goes into those pieces of paper that we call banknotes? Come learn more about the art, the history, and the technology behind the money used in countless transactions across the world.


Prerequisites
Bring any denomination of United States paper currency.

H9275: Attachment Theory: The Key to Successful Romantic Relationships
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Holly Rosen

Why do some couples find it easier to communicate than other couples? Why is it that some partners get along without much effort whereas other partners clash despite shared views and similarities? Why is it that some people keep choosing the same unsuccessful partners over and over again? In this seminar, we will explore the art of Attachment Theory, an ideology researched extensively since the 1950's. After this class, many answers to your lingering relationship questions and struggles will hopefully be revealed.

H9274: Who Are You and What Do You Want From Life?
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Holly Rosen

Who are you and what makes you different or similar to the person sitting next to you? What are your main goals and fears in life? When are you at your best and worst self? In this seminar, we will explore your individual personality through a longstanding scientifically studied model called the Enneagram. You will understand your identity and internal motivations more after receiving this two hour instruction.

H9361: Quirky Linguistics
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Ryker Reed

Like linguistics or just enjoy thinking about language? Ever noticed how weird language can be? Come learn about some of the quirkier aspects of language. We'll discuss things ranging from infixation (putting words inside other words) to semantic implication (things we say without actually saying them), and semantic satiation (that thing that happens when you say a word too many times and it stops meaning anything). Come enjoy the strangeness of language!

H9347: Write A Novel! (Or a Short Story)
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Erick Pinos

Ever wanted to write your own novel/short story? Come learn the Snowflake Method of writing a novel, along with useful writing tips like how to overcome writer's block and finally get something down on paper. By the end of the class, you'll have a rough outline, a list of characters, and the first chapter of your book done.

H9276: Seeing Is Believing - Or Is It? The Psychology of Optical Illusions
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Corey Bernstein

Your eyes and brain are constantly working together to help interpret the world around you. But what happens when what you see and what you think you see don't match up? We'll explore the neurological and psychological reasons behind various types of optical illusions and see how our eyes and brain can play tricks on us. We will also discuss brain processes related to attention and memory.

H9412: Con(structed) Lang(uages) Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Megan Belzner

Saluton! Ĉu vi parolas Esperanton?

Conlangs (such as Esperanto, lojban, and many more) are languages which have been deliberately invented for a variety of purposes, ranging from simplifying communication to creating more vivid fictional worlds for stories. Learn a bit about the history of conlanging and some example conlangs, and explore what it takes to design your own language!

H9369: Writing a One-Minute Film
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jessica Redmond

Students in this 50-minute class will brainstorm, write, and storyboard a plan for a one minute film. You should come prepared to write! You'll leave with a story, and an idea of the images and sounds you wish to use to tell his or her story. We will not have time to shoot the one minute film during this session.

H9302: 6000 Years of Art Per Hour
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Andrea Meister

Don't know anything about art history and want to travel through the subject at the average speed of 6000 YOA/Hour?

In addition to covering every major period, we'll answer some of the big questions:
Why did van Gogh cut off his own ear?
Who was the model for the Mona Lisa and why is she so important? How did art begin? Why is a red and yellow canvas art?


Prerequisites
Maturity sufficient to discuss art that contains nude figures.

H9377: The Science of Language: Introduction to Linguistics
Difficulty: **

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

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

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

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

H9401: Caffeine Customs
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Rebecca Li

Ever wondered how to make a cup of coffee? How to properly serve tea? What is the difference between x and y teas, or roasts of coffee? In this class, you will learn the basics to making and drinking caffeinated drinks, the traditions behind them, and of course consume fine drinks.


Prerequisites
None

H9286: Linguistics of Harry Potter
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Penrose Allphin

From the Latin Hogwarts motto to Voldemort's French name, the Harry Potter series is filled with linguistic diversity and invented words with interesting etymological bases. Come dissect some of these words to unveil another layer of meaning!


Prerequisites
A general familiarity with the Wizarding World. If you have not read/watched the full series, this class will contain spoilers.

H9421: Science Fiction vs. Fantasy
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Josh Shaine

Where are the borders between Science Fiction and Fantasy? Is there such a thing as Science Fantasy? What works dwell on the border between them?

Bring your ideas and recommendations! We'll see if we can come to any conclusions.


Prerequisites
Love of books. Opinions and willingness to listen to the opinions of others.

H9360: Learn Elvish!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Ryker Reed

Ever wanted to speak Elvish? Write Dwarvish runes? Now is your chance! Come take this interactive class and learn the basics of spoken and written Elvish! This class will focus on the Elvish language Sindarin, and we will also cover a bit of the other languages, such as the Elvish language Quenya and the Dwarvish language. We will practice speaking Elvish and also how to write the Elvish script and Dwarvish runes. No prior knowledge necessary, just enthusiasm!

H9294: Robot Stories!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Penrose Allphin

We will read and compare Lester del Rey's "Helen O'Loy" to Isaac Asimov's "Bicentennial Man," and discuss the issues surrounding the introduction of humanoid robots to society. Short robot stories + lively discussion + chocolate chip cookies = euphoria.


Prerequisites
Willingness to participate in discussion.

H9463: Newspaper-writing
Difficulty: *
Teachers: William Navarre

We will be discussing the basics of writing newspaper articles. We will discuss lede-writing, the upside-down pyramid, and the major differences between writing a newspaper article and writing a novel.


Prerequisites
None.

H9256: Experimental Writing
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Cathleen Nalezyty

Have you heard of blackout poems? Erasure text? Concrete poetry? Have you ever played Exquisite Corpse or Syllogism?

In this class, we'll talk about some forms of "experimental" writing and have some fun coming up with our own forms of experimental writing. We'll play some collaborative word games and, at the end, hopefully you'll come away with some new ideas about what constitutes "writing".

H9358: Dreams, Dreaming, and the Subconscious
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Carol Hardick

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

Movies and books include these ideas with lots of twists and turns, and bring up questions about the brain, knowledge and artificial intelligence. What’s possible and what isn’t? Can an idea be planted in a person’s mind? Can two people share a dream? Can a person’s mind be controlled? What's déjà vu? With lots of class discussion, we’ll answer these questions, and more.

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


Life Sciences

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L9344: Bird Basics
Difficulty: **

Come learn a few basics of birdwatching and how to identify backyard and other common birds! Also watch some funny bird videos for cool facts. 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 students also interested in how birds perceive the world, please see the Bird Senses listings :)

L9309: Bird Senses: Vision and Hearing
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Rebecca Shi

How similar are bird senses to human senses? How did anatomical and behavioral studies work together to give evidence of exotic bird senses, including echolocation? Why was it so difficult for people to accept that birds have significant senses of taste and smell? In this session of this class, we will address vision and hearing (a separate session is devoted to smell, taste, and magnetic sense). Come learn about the fascinating world of birds!

L9322: How does Hearing Work?
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Priya Kikani

Together we'll figure out how you can hear things. We'll start at the fundamental physics of sound waves and progress to things that can go wrong with your hearing and how you can fix it.

L9372: Insects: Classification and Camouflage
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Chelsea Voss

Is that an orchid, or a mantis? What's the difference between a bug and a beetle? Why does EVERYTHING seem to want to pretend to be an ant? Why do bees cooperate with each other like that?

Come learn about insects, the fascinating animals with more than a million species on Earth and a majority of ALL the species we know about!

This class will present a whirlwind tour of insects of all sorts. You'll learn how each group is related and how to recognize each group's unique features, as well as some random cool things about camouflage and parasitism among insects.

At the end, you'll apply your newly-learned identification skills to identify some real insects!

L9310: Bird Senses: Smell, Taste, and Magnetic Sense
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Rebecca Shi

How similar are bird senses to human senses? How did anatomical and behavioral studies work together to give evidence of exotic bird senses, including echolocation? Why was it so difficult for people to accept that birds have significant senses of taste and smell? In this session of this class, we will address smell, taste, and magnetic sense (a separate session is devoted to vision and hearing). Come learn about the fascinating world of birds!

L9296: Hacking Flavor
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Abby Noyce

Why do some things taste good and some things taste bad? Why are all the delicious things "bad for you"? How does your brain know what food tastes like? Why are some people picky about tastes, and some people aren't? Can you change the way your taste buds work? (Hint: Yes, and we will try it!)

In this class, we'll learn about how the sense of taste works, from your tongue and nose to your brain. We'll measure whether we are "super-tasters," and we'll experiment with miracle berry, a fruit that changes how your taste buds work, and makes sour things taste sweet!

L9413: The Engineer's Bestiary
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Rui Wang

The natural world is vast and its creatures as amazing as they are impossible to count. A discussion of some of the lesser-known fauna and their unorthodox adaptations, from fish that bleed antifreeze to songbirds that hunt like hawks.


Prerequisites
Understanding of basic biology and ecology concepts including DNA, genes, ecosystems and natural selection required to fully understand most of the material.

L9258: Worms and Wolverine: Regenerating Bodies
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Amelie Raz

Have you ever wanted to have Wolverine's powers to heal from any injury or to grow back body parts, even if they're cut off? Believe it or not, there are animals out there who can do that! In this class, come meet one such animal: the planaria worm.

We will be cutting up worms and testing their regenerative abilities, as well as discussing how this worm can heal any wound and regenerate from even the smallest piece.


Prerequisites
Some interest in biology

L9433: The Marble-ously Oolite-ful World of Fossils Full!
Difficulty: **

Want to know the tooth about fossils? Of quartz you do!

In this class we shale let ancient organisms teach us about what the Earth was like when they were alive. Granite, they're a little sedimentary now and don't get out much, but their remains are gneiss clues that can tell us a lot about where they lived, what they did, ore how they died.


Prerequisites
No prior knowledge needed! We'll make sure it isn't too tuff, don't quarry!

L9292: Don't Touch the King Cobra: An Exploration of Venomous Creatures
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Mary Spanjers

One of the most interesting adaptations is the ability for some animals to produce and weaponize venom. At least I think it's pretty cool. This'll be a class all about venom, its advantages, some common misconceptions, and venomous animals.


Lunch

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L9458: 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.

L9459: Lunch Period
Difficulty: None
Teachers:

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


Mathematics

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M9427: Finite Automata
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Haley Cope

Computers are great. But have you wondered what happens if we try to strip down what they can do to their most basic form? In this class, we'll be covering deterministic finite automata, maybe have time to consider the non-deterministic counterpart, and then try to make one ourselves!


Prerequisites
None, but some sets might be useful. I'll be making an aside to address this.

M9337: High-Level Math in a Nutshell
Difficulty: ****
Teachers: Aaron Dunbrack

I'm basically going to try to teach all the concepts in all of college math in two hours. I'll start with calculus and linear algebra in the first hour, maybe covering some differential equations if we have time. I'll spend the second hour on a variety of more advanced topics - abstract algebra, complex analysis, topology, manifolds, maybe some measure theory if we have time.


Prerequisites
A solid foundation in basic algebra: being able to solve for x in every situation not required, but understand what an algebraic equation means.

M9425: Prove it! Full!
Difficulty: **

Using classic proofs from geometry and number theory, we will investigate the idea of proof. Students will have an opportunity to write their own proofs with the guidance of the instructor.

M9381: Counting Past Infinity Full!
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, and be open to learning new ways of counting.

M9335: Symmetry
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Aaron Dunbrack

You've surely learned about things which are "symmetric" - which you can do something to and they look the same (e.g., rotating a square by 90 degrees). In this class, we'll discuss how to formalize that idea using the abstract algebra idea of a group, and some specific examples. We'll also discuss how continuous symmetries lead to "conserved quantities" in physics (and what this means).

M9270: May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor
Difficulty: **

Have you ever wanted to learn how to rip off your friends (completely legitimately)? This class will teach you the mathematics behind becoming rich and powerful (okay, maybe it won't do quite that). But it will lay down the mathematical foundation that you will need so that you can challenge your friends to bets in which the odds be ever in your favor. During this course, we'll expose you to discrete math tools including probability, expected value, counting, and more through fun and interactive demos. We'll show you cool mathematical tricks that you can use to impress your friends (and maybe make a few bucks in the process).


Prerequisites
Basic probability knowledge helpful

M9188: Number Patterns in Symmetric Shapes
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Herng Yi Cheng

What do floor tiles, wallpaper and honeycombs have in common? They are formed by repeating a fixed pattern in an orderly fashion, which adds to their beauty. That beauty is shared by some symmetric 3D shapes formed from repetition, such as cubes.

As it turns out, the prettiest shapes that are full of symmetry can be cleanly described using just a few numbers. In this lecture we'll also look at some interesting patterns within those numbers.

M9430: Imaginary Numbers- The Basics
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jessica Redmond

Am I imagining things? An English teacher teaching Math? No, it’s really happening. This English teacher really digs Imaginary Numbers, and in this class she will share what she’s learned about them with you- from how they came about, to how they're used in the real world. We'll even do a little math. This is a basic overview of the subject. If you've never studied Imaginary Numbers but are curious about them, then this is the class for you.


Prerequisites
None

M9383: Homotopy Type Theory
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Jason Gross

What does it mean for two things to be equal? What does this have to do with loops of string and with the foundations of mathematics? Come to this class to find out!

In the past few years, type theory has emerged as a possible replacement for set theory as a foundation of mathematics. Homotopy type theory is an exciting new way to base math on homotopy theory, in the setting of type theory.

During the first hour, we'll talk about paths between points, and paths between paths, and I'll teach about the basics of homotopy theory. During the second hour, I'll explain how equality and isomorphism can be taken to be the same thing, and how equality looks a lot like paths, when you define it the right way.


Prerequisites
You should understand the statement "a 'function' is a box for turning inputs into outputs".

M9446: The Euclidean Algorithm
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Lane Gunderman

Have you ever wanted to find the greatest common divisor between two numbers? How about finding it quickly? How about really, really quickly? In this class, we aim to prove the Euclidean Algorithm for finding the greatest common divisor of two numbers!


Prerequisites
Preferably a knowledge of what the greatest common divisor of two numbers is, as well as familiarity with prime factorization. If you don't have knowledge of either of these don't worry, these will be covered briefly at the beginning of the class. In addition you are hopefully excited about number theory, but that is not a prerequisite.

M9386: Don't Mess With Infinity
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jerry Wu

Hilbert's Grand Hotel has an infinite number of rooms, with one room for each positive integer, but one day, the Hotel is full. Then, one person shows up. Can the Hotel staff find a room for him? What about two people? An infinite bus full of people? An infinite fleet of infinite buses? We'll examine this problem, and if we have time, we'll also look at a few other strange phenomena involving infinity.

M9399: Calculate Pi with Trains!
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Ziv Scully

It turns out that you can calculate pi to very high accuracy by bouncing a small train and a big train into a wall. Come on a journey through Extra-Nice Physics Land (where there's no friction and all collisions are perfectly elastic) to see how it works!


Prerequisites
Given the equation of a line, you should know how to find its slope. We'll also use the Pythagorean theorem.

M9334: Abstract Linear Algebra
Difficulty: ****
Teachers: Aaron Dunbrack

Linear algebra is the most fundamental field of advanced mathematics. At its core, it is massively simple, yet there is much hidden complexity. The first half of the class will be devoted to vectors & vector spaces, duals to vectors, the Hom space and linear transformations, and tensors, all in an abstract sense (with examples, of course). We will then move on to the typical case of Euclidean space: coordinates matrix algebra, determinants, eigenvectors/eigenvalues and their geometric interpretations, and algorithms in linear algebra. Depending on time, we'll discuss some combination of applications to compression algorithms, the relation to special relativity, and functions as vector spaces.


Prerequisites
Be ready to think abstractly about geometry. Ideally, have seen functions before (e.g., know how to graph). There's little specific you need to know, but this will be a hard class regardless.

M9384: Uncountability of the reals
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jason Gross

The set of real numbers is uncountable. No matter how you order them, if you try to count them one by one, you will miss some.

M9426: Graphs and Games
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Haley Cope

Did line graphs, bar graphs, and pie charts come to mind? Well, be prepared to be introduced to something completely new! Graphs are an interesting mathematical structure that consist of nodes (points) connected by edges (lines). We'll be learning about these, and then learn two cool games you can play with them!


Prerequisites
None. The ability to draw lines (not necessarily straight) is useful.

M9379: Descriptive Sequences
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Alexis Oriole

1
1 1
2 1
1 1 1 2
3 1 1 2
Descriptive sequences are a cool math thing. Come learn what they are and play around with them.

M9183: (Geometric) Transformers: Now in 2D! (And Black and White)
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Herng Yi Cheng

Given two shapes of the same area, can one be cut into pieces and rearranged into the other? For a century, puzzlemakers have challenged each other to solve such "dissection puzzles" using the fewest number of pieces. Try your hand at one! http://www.herngyi.com/blog/geometric-dissection-puzzle

This lecture will cover basic techniques to create and solve dissection puzzles, some of the math behind them, and special types of dissection puzzles like 3D or hinged dissections.

M9424: Conditional Probability Full!
Difficulty: **

Suppose you have three coins, one of which is double headed. You draw one coin at random, flip it three times, and get three heads in a row. What is the probability the coin you drew was the double headed coin? How about if you flip it four times and get four heads? Five times and five heads? At what point can you be "sure" the coin you drew is the double headed coin? Students will learn to calculate conditional probability using Bayes theorem and use the idea of statistical significance to decide what conclusions can be drawn from the available information.


Prerequisites
Basic understanding of probability.

M9208: Hexaflexagons, Fractals, and Markov Chains
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Valerie Sarge

In this course, students will fold hexaflexagons out of paper, model transitions between different levels of a Cantor dust fractal, and learn about Markov chains, a mathematical tool that connects them.

M9272: In(tro)duction to Induction
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Lane Gunderman

How can we ever be sure that something in math is true? We prove it! Mathematical induction is a powerful tool for PROVING hypothesized formulas for patterns. This class will convey the rudiments of inductive thinking, and give multiple examples of inductive methods of solving problems.


Prerequisites
Students are required (not just suggested) to have comfort with algebra and formula manipulation, but should not already know how induction works, otherwise this class will be somewhat boring.

M9323: Quasicrystals
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Priya Kikani

Crystals are cool. Quasicrystals are even cooler because they can be really weird sometimes. We'll learn math the fun way--by drawing pictures, asking questions, and messing around with the fundamentals of nature.

M9228: Conceptual Calculus
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Aaron Dunbrack

Learn what it means to take the limit, the derivative, or the integral! Also learn how to apply these concepts in some pretty cool ways. Note: this class will be almost entirely conceptual - very few actual derivatives will be taken, although some of the more interesting ones may be used.


Prerequisites
A willingness to think about abstract concepts and an understanding of what a variable is (e.g. be able to solve 5x=10 for x).

M9411: Geometry of Astronomy
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Gabby Studt

See how geometry has been useful to advances in our knowledge of astronomy. Starts from ancient times and includes more recent discoveries - optics for telescopes, gravitational lensing, and more!


Prerequisites
Geometry, Algebra, and an interest in Astronomy

M9400: Combinatorial Game Theory
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Arkadiy Frasinich

Let's play a game! We start with a bunch of piles of berries, and on each of our turns we can eat any number of berries from a pile. Whoever eats the last berry wins. In this class we'll talk about how we can always win this game. We'll also talk about why a lot of different games are really this one in disguise.


Prerequisites
Be ready to play a bunch of games!

M9287: Geobashing 101
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Ahaan Rungta

"Bashing is a harsh, gratuitous, prejudicial attack on a person, group, or subject. Literally, bashing is a term meaning to hit or assault, but when it is used as a suffix, or in conjunction with a noun indicating the subject being attacked, it is normally used to imply that the act is motivated by bigotry." -- Wikipedia

Geobashing, on the other hand, is not only acceptable but many times helpful. It is a tool which, when used excessively, is harmful but when used in moderation, is magic. In this class, we will study the art of "bashing" geometry problems of all levels and talk about the pros and cons of taking this ruthless path.


Prerequisites
Basic knowledge of geometry, such as properties of rectangles, circles, and lines, and basic knowledge of the Cartesian coordinate plane (for example, you should know how to graph points and lines on the xy-plane). If you don't even know what I mean by "bashing," that's fine!

M9388: A First Look at Probability
Difficulty: **

What is probability? A First Look at Probability invites students to glance into the mathematical world of luck and chance. We will cover basic concepts of probability: the importance of order, different ways to arrange objects, how to calculate chances. Probability is a wonderful field with many uses. We hope to provide a basic introduction that's not only fun and engaging, but also useful in daily life.


Prerequisites
Knowledge of or enrolled in Algebra I, good understanding of arithmetic

M9284: Peano's Axioms - Why Arithmetic Works
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Ahaan Rungta

Math works. Why? Because basic properties such that $$ 1 \cdot x = x $$, $$ 0 + x = x $$, and $$ 0 \cdot x = 0 $$ hold. What if it didn't? If you try to make a system where these don't hold, then Math falls apart. But Peano's Axioms come to the rescue and let us prove these basic things.

This class serves two purposes:

1) Creating the foundation of modern arithmetic and number theory.

2) Introduction basic proof-writing and how an "it works" proof can be made formal.


Prerequisites
Knowledge of arithmetic properties!

M9398: Demockracy
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 :).

M9297: Infinity is Weird
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Daniela Ganelin

Nobody totally understands infinity. But we can try! Come think about infinity through geometry, stories and patterns. It'll be weird :)


Prerequisites
You should be comfortable with fractions and a few basic geometry formulas. Other than that, just be willing to think in a new way!

M9349: Fun with Pigeonhole Principle
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Yoa Clifton

Are you interested in math? Do you want to stick pigeons in holes? If you answered yes to either of these questions, come and learn how a seemingly trivial statement can have powerful consequences!


Prerequisites
Familiarity with elementary counting and probability, modular arithmetic

M9338: Point-Set Topology
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Aaron Dunbrack

People often think of topology as what surfaces can be smoothly shaped into other surfaces. More generally, topology discusses continuous functions. We'll discuss what it means for a set to have topology, what it means for a function in a topological space to be continuous, and various attributes that a topological space can have.

M9462: Arithmetic, Ancient Egyptian Style
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Chelsea Voss

This class will be a blast from the past.

Okay, sure, we're traveling back in time to find out how things were done in Ancient Egypt. But that's not all. In this class, we'll also be traveling back in time -- to when you were in first grade.

Imagine that you are a young Ancient Egyptian scribe-to-be, going through the equivalent of Ancient Egyptian elementary school. You need to learn reading, writing, and ... arithmetic.

What happens when two separate cultures independently discover the ideas of mathematics? Are there other ways we can multiply numbers, other ways we can think about decimals? The answer is yes, and the details are strange and fascinating!

Through a variety of hands-on exercises, we will cover how the Ancient Egyptians wrote down their numbers, carried out addition and subtraction, represented multiplication and division, and manipulated fractions.

Inspired by the book "Count Like an Egyptian" by David Reimer.


Prerequisites
None.

M9404: Generating Functions
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Arkadiy Frasinich

The Fibonacci sequence looks like 1,1,2,3,5,8,13,... You get it by starting with two 1s and getting the next number by adding the two previous ones. What is the millionth number you get? Rather than working it out, we'll find a quicker way to figure this out using generating functions, a really fun tool in math.


Prerequisites
You should be familiar and comfortable with adding and multiplying polynomials.

M9277: Rubik's Cube Patterns
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Quanquan Liu

You know how to solve a 3x3x3 Rubik's cube but do you know how to create cool designs with your cube using some simple (and some not so simple) algorithms? Come learn about the awesome designs you can make including a cube within a cube, checkerboard, zig-zag, anaconda, and more! Depending on time, we may also try out some designs on the 4x4x4 or the 5x5x5 cube. Please bring your own cube if possible so you can follow along; we will also have some extras.


Prerequisites
Some experience with Rubik's cubes.

M9264: Cryptography: Making and breaking secret codes
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Marcus Boorstin

Ever wondered how secret codes are made, or wanted to write a secret note to your friends? In this class, we'll look at some ways of making codes, practice sending secret messages, and then talk about breaking them.

M9405: Provably Impossible Things
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Ziv Scully

You can't make an infinite list of all the numbers between 0 and 1.

You can't write a program that checks if a program will crash.

You can't comb a hairy sphere without there being a part somewhere.

Lot's of things are difficult. Some things are pretty much impossible. But we don't care about those. In this class, we're going to make three wishes. Unfortunately, not only will we not get our wishes, but all of our wishes are provably impossible! As consolation we'll figure out the proofs for each.

M9324: Game Theory and Emotions!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Haley Cope

Can we explain love using math? Yes. What about beauty? Sure, why not. But we can't explain why we get angry or feel that we have the "right" to own property, right? Wrong! Of course we can.

Game theory is a powerful tool in which we model the interaction of decision makers by saying they have strategies that earn them some kind of payoff. For example, two males can fight over a female, and can choose to fight-to-the-death or just display power to get the girl and be happy. What is the optimal action, and what should they do?

In addition to answering questions about optimal actions, we will also be using tools from evolutionary dynamics to explain how these things, like beauty, can evolve over time.

Combining these two ideas, we have a powerful way to explain the evolution of ideas and feelings that people have.

I'll be teaching you all the material from a class that 120 MIT students took this fall. (see: http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k101375) Are you ready?

(Note: though this is a loaded and fasted-paced, I will be teaching you all of the basics. That being said, we won't dwell too long on these, so people who know game theory will still learn a lot)

M9285: What's in a Sum?
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Ahaan Rungta

When being asked to evaluate "a sum," we might just think of addition. But what if you have to add up 2014 terms? You need a trick! And when you need a trick, you write stuff as formulas. Sometimes, you don't even care what "stuff" is, but you just want to find a sum. We write things in what we call _closed forms_, a fancy name for a useful formula we can sum on.

You can find out here how to do this. You should not take this class if you already know how to compute sums such as $$ \displaystyle\sum_{k=1}^{\infty} \dfrac {1}{k^2} $$ or $$ \displaystyle\sum_{k=1}^{2014} \left( k^2 + 2k + 1 \right) $$. In fact, if you don't even know what that means, you should come to this class!


Prerequisites
Comfortable with regular algebra, such as expanding (x+1)(x+2)(x+3) or solving x^2 + 2x + 1 = 0.


Physical Sciences

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P9366: A Brief History of Time
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Hengyun Zhou

In this class we'll be talking about measuring time, starting from our ancestors, pendulum clocks and moving onto quartz clocks and atomic clocks. If time permits, we might even talk about how relativity comes into the picture and about the world's best clocks. Hopefully you'll be able to learn a lot about time in the least amount of time!

P9240: Special Relativity
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jessica Pointing

Ever wondered what all this talk about special relativity is? Like in the movie Interstellar? Come and learn the basic concepts of special relativity, and prepare to have your intuition challenged.


Prerequisites
Some knowledge of physics

P9301: Brief history of the universe
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Sapna Kumari

Are you fascinated with stars, galaxies and the universe as a whole? Or ever wondered about Big Bang, black holes or even dark matter. Then come to this class where I will be teaching about how the universe began, how stars form and what exactly black holes are. It will definitely be fun learning about such cool stuff!


Prerequisites
None

P9266: Intro to Nuclear Power Full!
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Micah Gale

This class will cover the basics of nuclear power generation. Basic nuclear theory will be covered, and how it can be used to make energy. As part of this the basics of nuclear fission, fusion, and radioactive decay will be covered. The class will conclude with the basics of fission and fusion rector design.


Prerequisites
Students should have a basic understanding of nuclear theory (know what are protons, nuetrons, and electrons).

P9262: Special Relativity
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Marcus Boorstin

Ever heard of the equation $$E=mc^2$$? It's part of an idea called "special relativity", developed by Albert Einstein, that tells us something very fundamental about how time works. In this class we'll go through a few of Einstein's ideas, look at how he discovered special relativity, and then do a little of the math behind it.


Prerequisites
You should know basic algebra (what variables are and how to solve basic equations). If you've taken something like Algebra I you'll be fine.

P9378: How to Make Sense of Quantum Mechanics
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Taylor Sutton

Quantum mechanics is known for being weird - it says things that don't fit with the way we intuitively think about the world. What does it mean to say that an object can be in two places at once - or alive and dead at once? Why can't we know where something is and how fast it's moving?

In this class, we'll try to see why physicists came up with QM in the first place, and we'll try to understand how it works. We'll be mainly explaining things with words, not with math.


Prerequisites
It'd be helpful if you have some exposure to probability.

P9435: Intro to Climate Change
Difficulty: **

Have you heard the words "climate change" but never really been sure what they refer to? How about the difference between global warming and climate change? Find out more about how our planet is changing and brainstorm ways to do something about it!


Prerequisites
A basic understanding of molecules is helpful

P9363: 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.

P9452: Your Brain & the Universe Both Have Very Much In Common
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Benjamin Chan

Explore recent developments in brain science, cool ideas from computer science, and mash them together! See how current computational approaches fail to model the brain, and some crazy new ideas for what comes next. Find out about the parallels between entropy and epilepsy, order and intelligence. One day we will be able to understand how the human brain thinks.


Prerequisites
Basic biology

P9212: How to Ocean Bowl
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Clio Macrakis

Interested in learning about the oceans? Love the ocean and want to know more? Learn about the National Ocean Sciences Bowl competition while exploring every aspect of the ocean (biology, chemistry, physics, policy, technology, etc.). Questions will be strongly encouraged, and expect to compete with each other at the end (may include prizes)!


Prerequisites
Interest in the oceans

P9365: Introduction to Particle Physics
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Hannah Diehl

Come study the zoo of particles that make up the universe -- hadrons, mesons, bosons, baryons, and fermions!
In this class, I will go over the Standard Model of Particle Physics. We will talk about the different types of particles, their properties (with silly names like color, flavor, beauty, handedness…the list goes on), how they interact, and how we study them.
I will also introduce some interesting topics beyond the standard model, including supersymmetry, dark matter, and the Higgs Boson.
The class will be fully conceptual, with no need for advanced mathematics.

P9390: Extreme weather Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Elizabeth Berg

Tornadoes have been known to carry cars and destroy buildings. The largest tsunami ever measured was over a quarter of a mile tall. Less extreme, but much closer to home, Boston received over 6 feet of snow over the course of a single month this winter. In this class, we'll talk about a number of historic storms and discuss the science behind these extreme weather events.

P9325: Exoplanet Excavation
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Caitlin Fischer

How can we discover exoplanets when they're so insanely hard to observe? We'll learn how, and also look at the current methods of discovering planets beyond our solar system and see exactly why these objects are so hard to confirm.

The class will also discuss what else we can deduce about these planets, why this science matters, and what the future is for the field.

P9282: The Science of Chocolate
Difficulty: **

Do you love chocolate? Ever wonder why chocolate melts in your mouth? Or gets dry and crumbly when it's old? Join us to discover the science and engineering behind chocolate! Learn how to go from a cocoa bean to a truffle and discover phase diagrams, nucleation, and a little bit of history while you're at it. Chocolate will be provided.

P9416: Classical Physics
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Aaron Dunbrack

There's a lot of physics to know even before one gets to the 20th century. I plan to teach all of this physics (one way or another) in two hours. I'll start with some math concepts, then discuss physics. We'll cover: Mechanics (Newtonian, Lagrangian, Hamiltonian ideas), Electricity and Magnitism (Electrostatics, Magnetostatics, and then Electromagnitism), Thermodynamics (Conceptual, Entropy, Types of processes, Gasses), and Waves (traveling, standing, relationships between the two).


Prerequisites
Basic algebra (know how to solve simple equations).

P9348: Nuclear Apocalypse
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Caitlin Fischer

What are the implications of a nuclear world? From weaponry to power, society's interactions with nuclear science have huge ramifications for humanity.

We'll start by learning the basics of radiation and nuclear science, analyse the actual risk of a 'nuclear apocalypse', then discuss the scientific and social aspects of the aftermath of a nuclear catastrophe.

P9448: Meaty your rights
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Brynna Downey

What even are meteorites man? Why are they never wrong? Why aren't they talking right now? I completely agree. This will be a class about where meteorites come from (spoilers: not here), what certain meteorites tell us about the history of the solar system (I'm warning you, they can't talk though), and what they're made of (rocks!)!

P9373: Quick Quantum
Difficulty: **

Covering all the ideas of quantum mechanics, without all of the crazy math! So easy your grandma could do it! (OK, maybe not that last part...) We'll be examining the foundational principles of quantum mechanics, starting with basic particle physics. From there, we take a look at some of the more recent (and more extreme) theories of the quantum world. If there's time left after that, who knows where we'll go?!

P9444: Planetary Orbits
Difficulty: **

In this class we will discuss some basics of orbits such as how to determine if something will orbit, fly away from a central body, or crash into the body. In addition, we'll show off the Kerbal Space Program game and attempt to use it to demonstrate our results.

P9257: General Relativity: A Journey Through Spacetime
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Sean Burchesky

This is not Newton's old notion of gravity!
Here you find phenomena stranger than most science fiction tales-and its all real.

Learn about how light can orbit black holes, how particles can be accelerated to energies billions of times greater than in the LHC and how the entire universe grew up from an infinitesimally small point!

We will take a journey through spacetime and experience some of the most exotic and mind boggling parts of our universe.

Brace yourself.


Prerequisites
-Curiosity -Algebra

P9273: Chemistry of Pyrotechnics
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Kate Cherian, Adam Suhl

Learn the science behind everyone's favorite part of the 4th of July.

P9320: Dark Matter
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Emmett Krupczak

There's something weird going on out there. Astronomers have detected an invisible substance called "dark matter'' that causes stars and galaxies to move in strange ways. This mysterious stuff makes up much more of the universe than normal matter like us, but we still don't know what it is! Come learn about the biggest mystery in modern astrophysics. We'll talk about why we think dark matter exists, what it might be made of, and how scientists are searching for it.


Prerequisites
A little physics or astronomy background will help, but is not required.

P9364: Sounds, 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.

P9340: Many Worlds and Quantum Weirdness
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Aaron Dunbrack

Quantum mechanics has a lot of things about it which are typically thought of as very weird. The first half of the class will be a discussion of various aspects of quantum mechanics: the wavefunction, the uncertainty principle, superpositions, quantization, etc. We will also set up some discussion later by looking the anthropic principle and related notions. The second half of the class will be a discussion oriented around the idea of many worlds. I'll start off by explaining the different types of many-worlds theories, and then we'll conclude with a group discussion about how plausible these options are.

P9439: Let's Fight Gravity!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Rodolfo Garcia

What is gravity? Why's it important? What role does it play? Turns out our existence is just one big fight against gravity, learn how in this class!

P9380: Your classical intuition is wrong!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jason Gross

Do you think you have a good grasp of physics? A good intuition for the physical world? Come learn about the predictions of quantum mechanics (and the experiments that validate these predictions) which violate your fundamental beliefs about the universe!


Walk-in Activity

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W9331: SET and SET(tlers of Catan)
Difficulty: **

Still have free time after you've settled your classes? Come play Set (a pattern visualization card game) and Pro Set (pro version of set) with us! If you would prefer to settle your differences with strategy, we will also have Settlers of Catan. All set? Let's play!

W9189: How to Yo-Yo!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: John Chow

Learn the basic of yo-yoing, or learn how to do better at competitions. Open to all skill levels.

W9455: Knot Tying!

Come and learn knots for every occasion! We have knots for sailing, climbing, decoration, and almost everything in between.

W9434: LN2 Ice Cream!
Difficulty: **

Do you like ice cream? Come see how ice cream can be made using liquid nitrogen, and learn why it tastes so much better than store bought ice cream.

W9281: A Glimpse into Your Future
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Francesca Majluf

Or past. Or present. Ask a question and pick out an oracle card to figure out the answer. All are welcome, whether you believe in the meaning of coincidences or simply have five minutes to spare between classes.

W9295: Bananagrams!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Penrose Allphin

1...2...3...split! Come play Bananagrams, the fast moving, multiplayer word game. Some other word games will also be on hand.

W9326: Giant Modular Origami
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Benjamin Kraft

Make giant modular origami using old ESP flyers!

W9451: Learn to Play Ukulele
Difficulty: **

Join us in learning to strum on the ukulele to your favorite songs! We have lots of ukuleles for you to try out. For students with little to no experience, or who just want to come and jam.

W9453: Psychology of Fortune Telling-unraveling your own psyche
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Nicole Dube

Ever looked at the clouds and seen an image? This is a form of fortune telling because your mind makes up images that tell you more about how you think. Here were will learn how to read crystal balls, dreams, tarot cards, auras, and other forms of scrying. We will learn how these techniques have to do with cracking the code to your subconscious and how it relates to an inkblot test. Believers, non-believers, all are welcome!

W9239: Make Onigiri!
Difficulty: **

Make and eat food with us. Vegetarian friendly.

W9290: ScienceBowl
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Ahaan Rungta

Come play middle school ScienceBowl and try to win for bragging rights and learn some awesome things about science which you did not know before.

W9209: Flexagons: Paper Constructions With Multiple Stable States
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Valerie Sarge

Learn to make 2D and 3D hexaflexagons and various other folded paper crafts, all of which can flip from one state to another.

W9354: Tasty Teas
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Alex LaGrassa

Try different kinds of teas and learn about how they are made! Yum :)

W9298: SET!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Daniela Ganelin

Learn to play SET, a fast-paced card game with lots of looking, thinking, yelling, and grabbing. Sugary things will be provided for brain fuel.

W9305: Avalon
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Aofei Liu

Do you like role-playing games full of strategy, intrigue and backstabbing? Come and play Avalon with us! If you've played the Resistance before, Avalon is very similar to the Resistance, with some special rules. Whether or not you've played Avalon before, drop by walk-ins to play with us!
Warning: you might end up staying for a lot longer than you expect to.

W9314: Mutant Plushie Lab
Difficulty: **
Teachers: E Rosser

Create an army of mis-matched minions to unleash your vengeance on the world! Or, you know, just see what a teddy with an alligator head would look like. If you would rather play with Sid's toys than Andy's, this is the Activity for you. No prior sewing/gene splicing experience required.

W9460: Airplanes are Awesome!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Laura Bayley

Learn about airplanes through a fun hands-on paper plane activity. Design and test your own paper airplane using concepts learned in class.


Miscellaneous

[ Return to Category List ]

X9291: Write your own Multiple-Choice RPG Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Aofei Liu

Whether or not you've heard of multiple-choice role playing games, you're welcome to take this class! Here we'll go through some basic elements of how to go about designing a multiple-choice RPG, and possibly play through (part of) an actual multiple-choice RPG as a class (we'll decide the options by majority rule.) (Also, if you've played the RPG I'm using, don't spoiler it for people!). If there's extra time, you can even try your hand at designing your own multiple-choice RPG and discuss the details with people who are just as excited about it as you are.


Prerequisites
Enjoys RPGs and writing stories.

X9450: Learn Your Way Around MIT! Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Ray Hua Wu

Learn your way around MIT! Take a tour of MIT in advance of your other classes so you can find all of them in time and learn some cool facts about MIT's layout.


Prerequisites
Being able to walk around comfortably

X9247: 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.

X9185: How To Be Annoying In Class
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Lawrence Wu

A breadth-first survey of core techniques for generating chaos in a controlled classroom environment. Topics may include: table drumming, beatboxing, bad puns, pen spinning, paper basketball, kazoo, finger snaps, paper football, laser pointing. DISCLAIMER: Please use good judgment and avoid actually getting yourself in trouble.


Prerequisites
A creative mind.

X9409: Born to Run: My First 5K!
Difficulty: *

Want to try a different type of exercise? Ever considered joining the track team but never had the time? Then this class is for you! Hit the ground running at Spark, quite literally, with a 5K race--that's 5 kilometers long, or about 3.1 miles.

The race is open to anyone, whether you run high-altitude ultramarathons backwards or you still can't tie your sneakers.

One important thing: This class moves very quickly, and it will be easy to fall behind. Show up on time--if you're late, it could be very difficult to catch up.


Prerequisites
Closed-toed shoes. No running experience necessary!

X9238: Massaging 101
Difficulty: *
Teachers: marissa Stephens

Tired of sitting down all day hunched over? Learn how to give a basic head/neck/shoulder massage!


Prerequisites
Must be okay with giving/receiving massages

X9419: Avatar: Legend of Korra Discussions Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jordan Moldow

Legend of Korra, the follow-up animated series to Avatar: The Last Airbender, just finished airing its final season. Many consider the two shows to be two of the best series ever. Critics have called Korra "progressive", "subversive", "one of the best shows on TV", and "some of the highest quality fantasy of our time". The show is known for its awesome animation, beautiful music, powerful themes, and great characters.

Come to discuss anything you'd like pertaining to the Legend of Korra, and be prepared to discuss topics that others come up with as well. Some ideas for things we may talk about (SPOILERS!!!):

- Bending in the technological world.
- Did technology advance too much during the series?
- The Equalist crisis. Was Amon right? Would the Equalists have been okay with the post-Book 1 Republic City government?
- How did the short, dramatic, plot-driven seasons of Korra compare to the longer, adventure-filled seasons of Airbender?
- Was Book 2 good? What were its strong and weak points?
- What did you think about the return of the airbenders?
- What did you think about the Red Lotus? And, for that matter, what did you think about the role of the White Lotus throughout the Legend of Korra?
- What were the best references to The Last Airbender? What were the worst references that should have been omitted?
- Korra's spiritual and emotional journey, and the evolution of her self-image.
- What should the future of the Earth Kingdom look like?
- Some allies and enemies believed that monarchies should be ended and the division of the four nations should be eliminated. Agree or disagree?
- When were "good guys" wrong? When were "bad guys" right?
- Which book was the best?
- How does Legend of Korra compare to The Last Airbender?


Prerequisites
Students should have watched all four seasons of Legend of Korra, and ideally also all three seasons of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Student should also be interested in discussing their thoughts on various aspects of the show.

X9254: Strategy for Winning Science Fairs
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Edward Kim

What separates the baking-soda-and-vinegar 'volcanos' from the projects that win regional and national science fairs? We'll take a look at some case studies (and maybe use some very basic stats) to determine strategies for making a 'winning' project.


Prerequisites
interest in science and a competitive spirit

X9307: Organic Chemistry Origami Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Aofei Liu

Like folding paper? Want to learn some basic organic chemistry to show off to your friends? This class lets you do both! You don't need to know anything about organic chemistry (in fact, if you do, it might end up being slightly boring, unless you're here to learn the origami part.) Depending on how quickly people learn how to make the origami part, I will cover variable amounts of chemistry. Most likely though, it will cover up to hybridisation, CIP rules and chirality, and if I have time, nucleophilicity and electrophilicity.
Note that this is a class for you to have fun folding paper and learning a bit of chemistry in the process, and not intended to be a hardcore organic chemistry class. Those probably exist elsewhere.


Prerequisites
knows what atoms and bonds are

X9357: Psychology of Fortune Telling-unraveling your own psyche Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Nicole Dube

Ever looked at the clouds and seen an image? This is a form of fortune telling because your mind makes up images that tell you more about how you think. Here were will learn how to read crystal balls, dreams, tarot cards, auras, and other forms of scrying. We will learn how these techniques have to do with cracking the code to your subconscious and how it relates to an inkblot test. Believers, non-believers, all are welcome!

X9283: It’s a Conspiracy! From Aliens to the XYZ Affair
Difficulty: *

“Did you hear that?”
“No, what?”
“That sound, like an authority figure trying to tell me what to do.”
“Are you okay?”
“How can I be okay when the world is conspiring against me!?”
Have you ever felt like you were being lied to or cheated by the government? Have you been called crazy by your friends for sharing with them your entirely valid concerns? Do you not believe in any conspiracy theories but find them interesting/thought-provoking/hilarious? Then this is the class for you! We will go over a bunch of mainstream (and far off the mainstream) conspiracy theories, but be mindful; not all the theories we’ll talk about are real, so listen carefully to pick out the internet favorites from the ones we just made up! We will also bring food, because, as we all know, handing out free food is the best way to make people listen to you (just add a circus and it will be like Ancient Rome). So come learn what the people screaming on the streets are all about! Or maybe we’ll just drain your souls and use your bodies as puppets to serve our own nefarious purposes, you really can’t be sure.

X9321: How to Avoid Dying at Sea
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Emmett Krupczak

The ocean is a beautiful and perilous place. When it comes to watery graves, the Titanic is just the tip of the iceberg (no pun intended). Come hear tales of disaster at sea and learn how to return yourself safely to shore, whether you're on a fishing boat hundreds miles off the coast of Alaska, or in a kayak on the Charles river.

X9336: Discussions on the High School Experience
Difficulty: *

Come talk to us about your excitement, questions, and concerns about going into high school. Get some tips to have a great start next year (or two years from now)!

X9306: Hard Times: Some Tools and Tricks for Managing Hard Times
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 a number of books the teacher has read on the subject.

X9237: Paranoia! Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Robert Rusch

Ever wanted to live in a totalitarian, dystopian police state! Well now you can through the magic of the pen and paper RPG Paranoia. Experience the joy of navigating the maze of inane bureaucracy as you attempt to stop the mutant communist traitors. You'll even learn about actual real world totalitarian states as well! And remember, happiness is mandatory!

X9441: Vegan Cupcake Decorating!!!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Renee Otto

This course needs all three of its exclamation points, it's just that exciting and delicious. Cupcake bakeshops are a bit of a trend right now, but why buy an overpriced cupcake that has been sitting in a window all day when you can bake your own?
We will bake vegan vanilla and chocolate cupcakes, then frost them with delicious buttercream using a variety of introductory piping tools!
You don't need to be vegan to appreciate well baked cupcakes. :)

X9422: Logic Games
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Josh Shaine

We'll try to introduce you to some logic games you don't already know and give you a chance to play them with each other.

Come have fun!


Prerequisites
A desire to learn and play games. Sounds tough, huh?

X9355: Somewhere over the rainbow...
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Nicole Dube

This is a class on literally everything you would ever want to know about RAINBOWS!! Please bring anything you would like that is 100% cotton that you'd like to be tie dyed. Knee high socks will be provided.

X9249: CEO Flight Simulator
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Vrajesh Modi

A multiplayer simulation in which participants seek to maximize their company's net worth as they compete against each other while dealing with variations in resource supply. Participants buy, sell, and build equipment, decide where to operate, and negotiate with one another. Policy options the instructor may use to introduce complexity include auctions, permits, and quotas. Format will consist of a 80-minute simulation followed by a 30-minute debrief. Students will be divided into groups for this exercise.


Prerequisites
Instructor will send out ~30-minute video that explains the user interface before the class.

X9395: Condoms
Difficulty: *

How to use condoms for other than their intended purpose.

X9182: Learn How to Learn
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Amy Estersohn

This class will show you how to make your learning more effective... not through studying more, not through magic, but through science!

Practice and learn the psychology behind simple, effective study techniques that will help you become a better and happier student.

X9440: Talking Hands: An introduction to American Sign Language
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Renee Otto

An introductory workshop on the basics of American Sign Language.
Will cover: finger spelling, numbers 0-10, basic sentence structure/grammar, introductory phrases, Deaf Culture, and expression.
This class is intended for beginner who are new to or have introductory exposure to sign language, but all levels are welcome to come!

X9308: LaTeX
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Ahaan Rungta

Want to write your math equations without using Word? Good idea. In this class, we will talk about the basics of LaTeX, a high-quality typesetting system which is used for many math and science documents and research papers.


Prerequisites
Typing!

X9246: 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.

X9351: Leading as an Introvert
Difficulty: *

Do you feel like you have so much potential to do something great, but that there's always a voice in your head telling you you can't? That your fear of the public, of new people, of working with people is holding you back? Do you find yourself afraid to take risks for the fear of failing?

Well, let's do something about that. This class is about understanding yourself and why it is that you are afraid of the things you are, and how you can start to overcome them and emerge a leader.


Prerequisites
Being open to discussion, sometimes of personal matters, to the extent you are comfortable. Keeping an open mind and coming without judgment of your fellow students.

X9328: Sabermetrics 101
Difficulty: **
Teachers: James Rowan

What makes a baseball player valuable? How do you compare pitchers and position players? How can the low-budget Oakland A's be so good? These are the kinds of questions that sabermetrics, the scientific approach to baseball statistics, can answer. In this class, we'll see why traditional metrics like batting average and ERA can lie and try to build something better.

X9339: Square Dancing!
Difficulty: **

Learn to square dance with us! We'll be covering basic calls such as do-si-do, allemand left, promenade, California twirl, star through and more!

X9316: How to Lead Like a Lion
Difficulty: *

Have you ever ascended to the zenith of a rainbow? Have you ever dreamed of flying to Mars on a ship made entirely of diamonds? Have you ever fought off a swarm of mosquitoes, a pride of lions, and a troop of baboons at the same time? Join us on a journey that will take you to the depths of the world's hardest obstacles...and help you realize you can solve them all.

Our course is designed to teach students the importance of working in groups, and to let them learn just how exciting and rewarding an experience team work can be. Some of the principles this class touches on include how to lay out organizational tactics, how to creatively problem-solve, and how to keep comradrie and generosity at the forefront of a team.


Prerequisites
None

X9242: How safe is air travel today?
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Kishore Patra

An analysis of the safety features of the commercial airlines industry. We will look at the modern features of planes and what happens behind the scenes for our safety in the skies. We will also look at some past air accidents and improvements since then.


Prerequisites
A fascination to learn more about planes.

X9408: Rugby Basics
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Christi Dawydiak

Come learn some rugby rules then head outside to learn the basics of passing and game fundamentals. We'll finish up with playing touch rugby.

X9319: Mao! Full!
Difficulty: **

Learn how to play Mao! (It's a card game.) When we say you have to learn how to play the game, we really mean you have to learn it. We won't be giving you any of the rules! For the full experience of Mao, please don't go and search up the rules before coming to class. That just spoils the fun. Don't worry though; at the end you'll take back a sheet containing the basic rules, so even if you haven't figured out the rules by then, you' know how to play the game.


Prerequisites
Be fine with the idea of being "punished" (in the game) for a mistake you didn't know you were making.

X9368: World Changer's Think Tank
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Yoo Eun Kim

Keep your coins; I want CHANGE!

Are you interested in starting your own community service project? If you want to design and implement a project that maximizes impact for your school or community, attend World Changer's Think Tank (WCTT)! WCTT has been presented in leadership and service conventions throughout the United States and will cover the following topics: brainstorming ideas, budgeting, delegating, advertising, executing, and building on your results.

What are you waiting for? Be a World Changer!

X9245: 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.

X9343: Mocktails! Full!
Difficulty: **

Mmm, delicious! Come learn how to make tasty (non-alcoholic) drinks with a plethora of ingredients including orange, mango and cranberry juice and actual fruit!

X9253: Pokemon and Statistics Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jodie Chen, Robbie Shaw

A short introduction into the world of competitive Pokemon battling, covering topics such as EV's, damage calculation, and basic strategy.

X9312: Hacking the Brain
Difficulty: ***

Over the past decade our ability to study, understand and interact with the circuit elements making up the brain has increased exponentially. This course will cover some of the most cutting-edge developments in the field of neuroengineering.


Prerequisites
basic biology knowledge, rudiments of physics would be very helpful.

X9278: How to Save the World
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Francesca Majluf

Love the planet you live in? Come learn how your beloved is in trouble and how you and the rest of humanity can keep it from destruction.


Prerequisites
An open mind and lots of questions.

X9374: Cheeeeeese please
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Elizabeth Berg, Lisa Ho

From fresh and mild to aged and stinky, there are hundreds of types of cheese. Join us as we discuss the history and science of cheesemaking. We'll have a couple of varieties of cheese for you to try as well!

X9233: Introduction to Conspiracy Theories
Difficulty: *
Teachers: alyssa smith

Who really are the lizard people? Is Beyoncé actually part of the Illuminati? And was the Moon landing fake? I don't know if we'll answer all these questions, but we can talk about some of the more out-there conspiracy theories, as well as some of the more plausible ones, and think about what aspects of human nature draw us to think these things up.

X9350: Let's talk about the NBA!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Yoa Clifton

The Warriors winning 50 games, firing their coach and then winning, well a lot more games. Hassan Whiteside coming up big in Miami. The Pistons potentially making a playoff run? OKC struggling to get it together. And since when were the Hawks SO good? Come and share your thoughts about the current NBA season and we'll also talk about some other topics like big threes, tanking, and one and dones.


Prerequisites
Must be an avid fan of the NBA!

X9174: Improv Comedy for Beginners Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jordan Ross

Laugh, cry, scream, and play via structured improv exercises. Great way to express oneself and develop public speaking and acting skills.

X9244: Operations Management
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Vrajesh Modi

This class will introduce students to the equations behind running a successful manufacturing and/or supply chain operation. Topics covered include capacity, inventory, economic order quantity, the Newsvendor model, safety stock, and replenishment policies.

X9438: Yoga and Meditation
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Blake Elias

Dance warm-up, sun salutations, yoga postures and guided meditation.
Bring yoga mat (if you have one; not strictly needed!) & sweater/blanket.

X9429: Food Fight: Generic vs. Name Brand
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jessica Redmond

Everyone is a referee in this head-to-head competition between generic and name brand foods. If you are a participant in this 50-minute class, you will take blind taste tests of several food products. Then you'll total up your grocery bill and see how much, if anything, you would save by buying generic. If you are allergic to nut products, dairy, or gluten you should not take this class.


Prerequisites
None. But students with food allergies should not register

X9432: Cupcake Boss Full!
Difficulty: ***

Fierce Competition. Eternal Glory. Bloodshed*. Only the strong will survive the heat of our kitchen. Make and decorate scrumptious cupcakes and compete for the title of Spark Cupcake Boss.

*There should not be any bloodshed.


Prerequisites
Ability to bake things and work on a team

X9437: Hacking the Mind with Meditation
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Blake Elias

Learn some simple breathing techniques, explore the mind-breath connection, and meditate! Learn how the breath can affect the state of our mind, automatically reduce stress, increase focus, and make us more productive and effective at working with others. Enjoy some guided meditation!

X9251: How to Design Anything
Difficulty: *

Learn about a design process that can help you make anything, whether it's a sleek website, a memorable event, or the newest gadget. Then, use what you've learned to tackle a real design challenge and create something new. This class will change the way you look at school, at projects, and at life, so you can take them to the next level.

X9362: Gender Beyond the Binary
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Ryker Reed

Like thinking about gender? Ever felt like male and female don't cover all the possibilities? Come learn all about the Gender Spectrum and all the different identities that a person can have that fall outside the Binary of Female or Male. We will talk about gender identity in society, in science, and in life. Come enjoy a fun discussion and bring your questions! No prior knowledge necessary, just respect and an open mind.

X9304: Drilling for Chocolate
Difficulty: **

Are you interested in how the petroleum industry works? How about chocolate, are you interested in that? Come learn how oil companies go about finding and drilling for oil by trying it for yourself. With a team of your fellow students, you'll be competing to get the data and find the oil without going bankrupt. Except instead of oil, you'll be drilling for chocolate. It's gonna be good.

X9442: Translating Body Language Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Shi Ke Xue

The idea of a poker face exists for a reason - it's really easy to lie using your face. Learn where to look for more obvious body language cues and how to interpret them.


Social Studies

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Z9186: Culture and Languages
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Shahrukh Khan

Ever wonder what family tree your native language belongs to? And what languages share similar characteristics? How culture influences language? Well then this is the class for you. Learn more about sociolinguistics, the field that studies the relationship between culture, languages, and society.

Z9271: Introduction to Game Theory
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Lane Gunderman

Whenever you play a game you try to predict what the other players will do. In this class we will examine some very simple games and talk about the optimal strategy when playing with certain kind of players. The course will begin with playing a game, then talking about what expectations we have, then taking a more abstract approach to the question. We will finish by attempting to explain why people play in certain ways for games they know they'll play with that player again.


Prerequisites
A moderate familiarity with algebra. If you don't understand algebra, that should not prevent you from signing up for this class, just make sure to ask questions when a jumble of incomprehensible letters suddenly appear.

Z9330: Saunas and Salted Licorice: Welcome to Finland
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Emma Breslow

Tervehdys! Have you ever wished the sun would stay up all night? Or wanted to see the northern lights in person? Well in Finland you can! In the Land of the Midnight Sun, the sky never grows dark in the summer, but in the winter you hardly ever see the day.
Do you like to swim? With nearly 188,000 lakes, 10% of Finland is underwater. But with a quarter of the country above the Arctic Circle, you might want to wear a wetsuit!
We will listen to popular and traditional Finnish music, learn about Finnish celebrations, sample Finnish foods, and even learn a children's song about carrots!
Come learn this and more as we explore the culture and language of this little-known Nordic country.

Z9449: Geography
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Brynna Downey

Do you think you know your geography? Well then, where am I right now? Made you look! When you get back, we'll be talking about physical geography as made by Mother Nature and man-made geography as made by people. No experience necessary as we'll start with the basics.

Z9385: Solving Extreme Poverty with Incentives, Information, and Economics
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Madeline Jenkins

Extreme poverty could be eliminated in your lifetime.

Read that sentence again. This is the dawn of a revolution. What works and what doesn't in poverty interventions? What do education and women's rights have to do with healthcare? This is a huge problem, but there are small solutions. Let's talk about that.

Z9288: History through Musicals!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Penrose Allphin

Ever thought about learning history through Broadway musicals? We could let 1776 represent the American Revolution, Les Misérables could teach the 1832 June Rebellion in Paris, The Sound of Music is a family narrative of early World War II, and so on.
In this class, we will analyze the plots and lyrics of beloved Broadway musicals that correspond to a particular historical time or event.


Prerequisites
A familiarity with some musical theatre, although not required, may make the class more enjoyable.

Z9456: The Many Faces of Attraction
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Miriam Gershenson

What does it mean to be attracted to someone? It doesn't mean just one thing! In this class we'll talk about lots of different types of attraction, how they relate to each other or don't, how and when people experience them or don't, and what words people use to describe them. As one important example, we'll be sure to talk about sexual orientation and its many categories, as well as the ways that people fall in between them.

This will be a discussion-based class, so come prepared to examine and talk about your own experiences!

Z9436: Preference and Policy
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Benjamin Kraft

Do legislators vote for what they want, what their constituents want, what they think their constituents want, what their constituents should want, what will be best for the country, what will be best for their constituents, or for something else entirely? What should they vote for? How should they know what to vote for?

In this class, we'll talk about possible answers to these questions, about research on what the members of the American congress actually do. We'll also talk about how we can use the methods of political science to make these questions precise so that we can apply data to them.


Prerequisites
You should know what the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate are.

Z9396: Gender Identity
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Sasha Rickard

An interactive discussion about how we define and identify gender as individuals and as a society. We will cover some common notions about gender identity found in the media, how that can affect individuals, and some alternative ways of thinking about gender identity.

Z9259: History of Western Music
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Elise Bickford

Why is music important? What can music tell us about culture and society? How and why has music changed so much over time? Come learn about the history of western music and get some answers to these questions. We will start from medieval times and forge ahead at lightning speed to present day. Lots of listening and music videos will be included!

Z9403: How to be Less Wrong
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Shi Ke Xue

Are you deeply invested in politics? Do you play Facebook games? Do you really know why you like the things you do?

In actuality, there are a lot of cognitive biases at play in every case that tint our reasoning. For various reasons, human psychology leads us to reach conclusions which are wrong and usually unnoticed. We will explore common biases which affect what we believe, how we make decisions, and how we behave. When it comes to thinking about ourselves, we can learn to be less wrong.

Z9170: "The Origins of Writing"
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Yale Zussman

We will follow the evolution of writing from the earliest plain tokens through to the development of cuneiform. Students will take notes on a clay tablet and will conclude by writing their names in cuneiform. Tablets will be fired and have an expected half-life of about a million years.