# Spark 2017 Course Catalog

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

Visual and Performing Arts

A11357: Make Your Own Swarovski Crystal Jewlery!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jami Rose

Come relax, listen to music, and learn how to make one of a kind jewelry with real Swarovski crystal beads!

Prerequisites
None

A11377: Finger Painting
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Francesca Majluf

Learn how to make beautiful art out of chaos, all in one hour!

Prerequisites
Willingness to get your hands dirty.

A11361: Improv Comedy with MIT's Roadkill Buffet
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jeremy Cowham

Roadkill Buffet is MIT's premier improv troupe, and we want to teach YOU, too! In an interactive environment, learn the "rules" of improvisation, how to develop a scene, and how to have fun with it. By the end of class, you'll be able to think on your feet AND you'll be twice as funny as when you walked in!*

*results may vary

A11359: Technology and/as Art
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Kevin Zhu

We will look at technology both as processes of art making and as works of art. Learn about robots, AI and 3-D printing!

A11329: K-Pop Dance Class - Navillera by GFRIEND
Difficulty: **
Teachers: James Roggeveen

Like listening to K-Pop? Want to learn how to dance? Come join us for an hour long workshop on choreo from Navillera by the popular girl group GFRIEND! Anyone is welcome, and all dance levels are encougaged to attend.

A11314: Design Process Workshop
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Steven Faerm

How do artists and designers draw from their environment in literal and figural ways? How are these visual and conceptual elements abstracted to create design motif? How are these motifs then manipulated to create art and design?

This 2-hour workshop will introduce you to the design process! We’ll first look at the work of fine artists (such as Ellsworth Kelly) and designers (such as Alexander McQueen) to learn how image, research, and concepts combine to create abstract ideas, motifs, and design.

Following this, we’ll develop our own designs, motifs, and processes based on your own pre-selected images (or from images supplied by the teacher during class). Although we’ll talk a lot about design in the context of fashion design, you can create any type of art and design you wish during the workshop!

You’ll leave the class with “raw” design ideas and sketches that can then be used to develop more finished work!

A11300: Bhangra Dance
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Tarun Kamath

Bhangra is a style of Indian folk dance that literally means "intoxicated...with joy!" This is a high energy form of dance that will really get you sweating and also hopefully teach you some sick dance moves along the way.

Prerequisites
No experience necessary! Just make sure you're ready to work out

A11318: Video Editing- an Introduction
Difficulty: **

Have you ever wanted to create your own custom video but just aren't sure how? How do you overlay videos? Add custom backgrounds? Make lightning fly from your fingertips on film? Or just make a custom holiday message for your family? Come to this introductory class and learn the basics!

Prerequisites
None; a USB drive is recommended but not necessary. Please note that you may be asked to make a video recording of yourself for use in your project.

A11423: Make your own Sushicats Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Josh Alman, DD Liu

Sushicats are mythical beings said to bring good fortune. In this class we will be making our own sushicats out of air dry clay. Do not attempt to eat the sushicats. Sushicats are friends, not sushi.

Prerequisites
Hands Patience

A11414: Intro to Typography Design Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Kate Weishaar

Get a detailed introduction to major concepts in typography design and use. We will cover connotations and history of popular fonts, discuss the different components that make up a font, and give students the chance to try designing their own fonts!

A11294: Make and Play a Didgeridoo Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: James Koppel

awuwuwuwuuuuweeorweeorwadelewadelewu! The didgeridoo is an Australian instrument that adds a tribal flair to any situation. In this class, we'll build our own didgeridoos out of PVC pipe, and then learn to play them. With the didgeridoo, you can create a variety of rhythms, produce animal noises, and make yourself sound like there's two people playing! For people with little to no experience.

A11258: From Swans to Spartacus: Ballet in the Soviet Union
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jessica Oehrlein

We often associate classical ballet with Imperial Russia. However, ballet was also culturally important during the Soviet period, and balletic developments in the Soviet Union were really different from those elsewhere. We'll talk about the history of Soviet ballet, how it influenced and was influenced by ballet in the West, and why only a few Soviet ballets survived the fall of the Soviet Union.

A11290: Introduction to Knitting
Difficulty: *

Have you ever wanted to learn to knit? Well now you can! We will be teaching you from the very basics -- how to cast on, how to do a purl and knit stitch, and then some cool patterns! *No prior experience required*

note: we will be teaching continental/european knitting, not english knitting. One isn't harder than the other, they are just different methods that result in the same product.

Prerequisites
None

A11339: Start Your Own Band Full!
Difficulty: *

Do you like music? Do you like collaboration? Do you like fun? Well come have all three at start your own band class! Participants work together to come up with and then perform their own original song! Some instruments provided but creativity is encouraged!

A11353: Modern Rap
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Daniel Sun

Never thought you can rap? Maybe this class can give you some hope.

A11337: Beading: Make a Star Keychain
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Tara Liu

Learn to make a 3-D beaded star using only beads and a single string, without needing to tie any knots.

Bring home a cute keychain that you can keep or gift to a friend!

Prerequisites
Experience with some sort of arts and crafts (origami, knitting, crocheting, etc) strongly recommended.

A11295: Intro to Hand Lettering
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Kelly Chen, Sarah Wu

Channel your inner artsiness and come learn about the basics of hand lettering! We'll teach you everything you need to know to create gorgeous hand-drawn designs -- different styles, letterforms, and how to add shadows, dimensions, borders, banners, and embellishments to your handwriting. Plus fancy paper and brush pens :)

Prerequisites
None, hand lettering is easy to learn!

A11301: Gesture Drawing
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Kate Cherian

Learn to rapidly capture the form of a person, animal, or object. The class will focus on quick sketches of people, hands, and animals using pictures for reference.

Computers and Programming

C11266: Making Computers Great at Tic Tac Toe (and other two player games)
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Sandeep Silwal

Do you want to play tic tac toe against a great foe ? Do you want to learn some basic principles of Artificial Intelligence ? In this class we will learn how to teach a computer to play tic tac toe and other two player strategy games using a general algorithm called Minimax.

Prerequisites
Some python experience would be helpful but not required.

C11410: Error-Detecting and -Correcting Codes
Difficulty: **

Communication channels (for example, the connections you use when browsing the web) are unreliable and often corrupt your messages. This class will introduce you to how a receiver can detect and correct errors inflicted by the channel using only the message received. Topics to be covered include parity-check codes, Hamming codes, and various real-life applications of error-detecting and -correcting codes.

C11268: Introduction to Sorting (w/ Python)
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Nathan Hunt

Sorting algorithms are a great introduction to computer science-style thinking. Join us to learn different ways to sort a list (of, e.g., numbers): slowly or very fast! See how even efficient algorithms can be beautifully simple and easy to understand.
At the end, we'll implement some of these algorithms in Python (if you don't know any Python yet, I'll try to teach you, but that's not the focus of this class, so you'll be at a disadvantage. You can easily learn enough Python for this class, though! You can Google for a tutorial or use this one: https://www.learnpython.org/ (if you make it through the functions lesson, you should be set for class!)).

Prerequisites
The lecture portion has no pre-reqs. For the hands-on part, basic familiarity with Python (defining a function, iterating over a list) is necessary. This part may be 3 star difficulty.

C11206: How to Make the Perfect Button with CSS
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Brian Chen

We'll make fancy, stylish, delightfully clickable buttons with HTML and CSS for no reason except that we can. We'll learn about all sorts of CSS properties you can apply to buttons (and other things), old and new, mundane and bizarre, and see how major websites and CSS frameworks style their buttons.

C11445: How the Internet Works (and Security too!)
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Gurtej Kanwar

Ever wondered what happens when you go to facebook.com in your browser? How does your computer manage to get bits to some server located across the country and get data back without it getting lost? Or stolen? How are other nations using the structure of the internet to implement censorship or filters on content?

We'll try to answer these questions and more in this class!

C11350: How to build with redstone
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Dylan Hendrickson

If you've looked at Minecraft builds on the internet, you've probably seen some pretty impressive contraptions people have made with redstone, ranging from piston doors to fully functional computers. We'll learn how to make these sorts of things, start from the basic blocks you can build with and combining them to make useful components. We'll talk about how redstone relates to the inner workings of real-life computers.

You don't need a Minecraft account or any experience with the game, though having played Minecraft might help give some context to what we talk about.

C11431: Thinking Like a Computer - Boolean Logic
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Sanjay Ganeshan

You may heard that "binary" is the language of computers - but what is binary? In this interactive, hands-on, class, we'll explore binary - a number system with only two digits! We'll take a look at the basics of how a computer uses binary to represent data, and how using just 1s and 0s, you can explore an entire branch of logic, that you use every day without realizing it. No prior computer experience necessary!

C11276: The Singularity is Near; Post-Biological Reality
Difficulty: **

By the year 2035 every human entity you interact with will be a combination of biological and artificial intelligence--including yourself. This is the prediction Ray Kurzweil: futurist, Googler, and MIT alum '70.

This class will be a brief introduction into the ideas and ideals of Kurzweil's radical prediction, dare I say prophesy, that precisely articulates the manner in which human thought coupled to mechanical application will lead to the creation of superintelligent beings. Kurzweil states that not only will superintelligence be the end of human biological evolution as we know it, but, perhaps more importantly, that humans will voluntarily and irreversibly transform themselves into these entities; akin to a release from the chains of the mortal body.

Do you find this ethically responsible? What is the religion of technology? How can we best prepare to usher in this post-biological era? Let's talk!

Prerequisites
Please familiarise yourselves with Ray Kurzweil's writing

C11411: Introduction to Linux and the Command Line
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Bob Liang

Want to be a l33t h4x0r? Come learn about how to set up and use Linux on your computer! We will learn about navigating the file system, installing new software, and running programs on Linux, all through the command line!.

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.

C11407: Intro to Circuits and Coding with Arduino
Difficulty: ***

Learn the basics of building a circuit on a breadboard. Program an LED light to blink in time with music using an Arduino. An Arduino is a small device that allows your code to come alive on your circuit. No prior knowledge of circuits, programming, or Arduino is required for this class. (Note: This class will be very similar to Intro to Technology: Arduino. It is not recommended to take both classes.)

C11453: 8 Bits Walk Across a Bridge
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Benjamin Chan

This is a class on bits, on how we transform everyday messages, images, and web pages into 1s and 0s. We explore how these streams of 1s and 0s are then communicated to other machines, and then decoded to be useful.

Prerequisites
Knowledge of at least (1) programming language

C11328: What is a "what if"?
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jason Gross

Say there's a $5 bill and a$10 bill on a table. You can take either one of them.

Which would you take?

The $10 bill, right? What if you took the$5 bill?

This is a surprisingly subtle question, especially when you consider the fact that you are a good decision-maker, and so must have had a good reason to take the \$5 bill if you took it. It's subtle enough that many decision theories get it wrong. Come learn about four decision theories (evidential, causal, timeless, and updateless), and about the decision puzzles that demonstrate why none of these is an entirely satisfactory answer to the question "What is a 'what if'?"

C11317: Intro to Technology: Arduinos Full!
Difficulty: ***

Ever wanted to make your computer interact with the real world? Can your code make an LED blink? Can your computer display the value of a sensor? An arduino is a small device that provides a simple interface between computers and external circuitry. We'll explore the basics of programming, the basics of simple circuits, and then progress to programming Arduinos. This is meant as a class for beginners! It will move quickly but should be accessible to everyone.

Prerequisites
None; some programming experience is beneficial, but not necessary.

C11247: Algorithms of the Dummies, by the Dummies, for the Dummies
Difficulty: *

Ever do excess work when it can be done more efficiently? What/who/when/where/how is efficiency? This class will teach you the tricks, shortcuts, and everything you need to know about algorithms: who they are, why they be, and what they want, etc etc. So much knowledge that we can't even: only odd!

Engineering

E11303: How to Breadboard for Dummies
Difficulty: ***

Are you interested in developing hands-on electrical engineering knowledge? Do you like the idea of learning the magic behind circuits from the fundamentals? Register for this class (the first in a series of three classes to be taught over SPARK weekend) to learn how to become a breadboard master! You might even get to keep your creations, which might be a motion sensor, automatic garden lamp, or an automatic window-shade opener! By the way, the other two classes in this series of electronics courses are: How to Circuit for Dummies, Level I, and How to Circuit for Dummies, Level II.

E11274: Virtual Reality (VR): The journey from content production in a 360 camera to the VR experience a user enjoys
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Yolanda Vicente

Are you interested in learning about Virtual Reality? Let´s experience the whole journey from VR content production to the immersive world that an end-user perceives. Altogether, we will discover the challenges in 360º video creation: lenses, binaural or 360º audio, stitching process... And, then, we will review the current VR solutions available in the market.
During the session, you will have the opportunity to create 360 content and enjoy VR experience by using a Samsung Gear 360 camera and a Samsung Gear VR set.

E11438: LED Light Strip Programming with Arduino!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Julian Alverio

Want to learn how to set up dance-party lighting for your room? LED light strips have endless potential for making cool, visually appealing patterns. Learn the basics of Arduino and how to program an LED light strip.

Prerequisites
None

E11451: 2D and 3D Technical Drawing
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Nina Lutz

Come learn the principles of drawing technical diagrams and visual planning in 2- and 3-D space!

Prerequisites
None

E11284: Materials Informatics
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Edward Kim

If we think about some important technologies which we want to improve - e.g., batteries, solar cells, sensors - we often need to invent new kinds of materials.

Materials informatics is a field which incorporates "data driven" methods to understand and design new kinds of "stuff" to make new technology.

In this course, we will go over a conceptual overview of applied machine learning, materials science, and predictive materials design.

E11452: Origami Electronics
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Nina Lutz

Learn the basics of circuits by making origami incorporating electronics!

Prerequisites
None

E11434: Lego Robotics
Difficulty: **

Interested in computers, engineering, or just building things with lego? This is the class for you! Come learn how to build and program some robots using lego NXT Mindstorms. There might even be a competition with prizes

E11304: How to Circuit for Dummies, Level I
Difficulty: ***

If you already know how to use a breadboard or have also registered for/taken my previous class, How to Breadboard for Dummies, join How to Circuit for Dummies (Level I) to get a deeper understanding of designing and understanding basic circuits, including how you can use op-amps to create a heartbeat monitor and how to utilize diodes and capacitors to charge a battery with your bare hands (magical energy harvesting). If you are interested in this series of electronics courses, remember to register for the third and final class in the series, called How to Circuit for Dummies, Level II.

Prerequisites
know how to use a breadboard well!

E11374: Photonics Integration
Difficulty: ****

Photonic solutions to current in limits of electronics.

Prerequisites
None, Only interest

E11381: Nanotechnology Enabled Artificial Cells
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Albert Liu

The smallest unit of life -- cell, consisting of cytoplasm enclosed within a thin plasma membrane, can perform various functions like transport of molecules, chemical reactions (i.e. metabolism), locomotion, and reproduction. Recent advances in nanotechnology enable us to create interesting materials that have exotic properties that may achieve similar functions at extremely small length scales. For example, we can make membranes that mechanically strong and flexible that are just one atom thin; we have also discovered materials that have inherent “memories” that allows transfer of digital information. Can we assemble these elements together, just like those organelles in a biological cell, and by taking advantage of their functional properties, to generate prototype artificial “synthetic cells” using non-biological materials? This class will take you through key endeavors scientists have made in the past and some cutting-edge technologies that we are investigating for our future.

E11408: 5 steps, 5 people, 5 minutes: engineering principles of manufacturing Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: David Girardo, Joey Gu

Ever wondered how engineers think? Consider this: the industrialized society we live in is packed with mass-produced commodities – you might even know a few industrial processes for making them! But what makes mass production so attractive in the first place? Are there scenarios where it is at a disadvantage? In this class, we will critically examine two common production methods – continuous and batch – through a mini social experiment. You will learn how to mathematically analyze production schemes using cool engineering concepts, and we will have an open discussion about their social implications, from the Industrial Revolution to contemporary trade policies.

E11335: The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century: Data Science
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Alexandra Ding

Data science and its mysterious ability to wrangle huge datasets has been touted as the sexiest job of the 21st century, and has updated how people use data to make decisions. But where does “big data” come from, and how is it used to budget money, diagnose patients, and schedule Uber pickups? What the heck is machine learning? This class will conceptually explore some of the big ideas in data science, outlining the steps in data exploration and analysis through examples (and failures) from different fields.

Come prepared to ask questions and participate! No programming experience (or computer) needed, as this is a conceptual class.

E11305: How to Circuit for Dummies, Level II (I Heart Circuits)
Difficulty: ****

Have you ever wanted to learn how to harvest the power of moving electrons to create working circuits? Join this class to delve into the magical, mystical field of electrical engineering, made simple and easy for you to understand! We'll be teaching you how to make your own heartbeat monitor (ECG), so you can heart circuits just as much as we heart circuits!

Prerequisites
know how to breadboard, know how an op amp works, how resistors, capacitors, led's, etc, other basic electronic components work

E11404: Exploring Aerospace! Full!
Difficulty: **

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

E11362: Rockets!
Difficulty: *

Feeling weighed down? Blast off with the MIT Rocket Team! Come learn how rockets work, how to build one, and what it takes to reach orbit.

E11288: Introduction to Electrical Engineering and data storage Full!
Difficulty: **

In this class, we will give a brief idea about electrical engineering and its various fields to students, and give them real life relations to the electrical engineering aspects.We will also explain how power works in a circuit and show the students how to build a basic circuit of an LED.

E11223: How do airplanes fly?
Difficulty: *
Teachers: NURIA LIZARBE

Have you ever wondered how do airplanes fly? In this class I will explain you the basic principles behind it. I work in the aerospace industry as a production manager. First, I'll give you an industry overview, second we will talk a little bit about the physics of flying (not very technical, just the basics) and finally we will talk about how airplanes are made. Hope we all have fun!

Prerequisites
None

E11248: What is Chemical Engineering?
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Raja Selvakumar

For everything from the rubber in your shoes to the mechanism of how you breathe, chemical engineering is everywhere. But what is it? What do chemical engineers do in the real world? Come find out!

Humanities

H11363: 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
Read, listen to, or watch science fiction and fantasy stories.

H11426: Law and Order: The Basics of Crime
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Pavitra Chari

What is a crime? What are the differences between a felony and a misdemeanor? What happens after "You have the right to remain silent?"

H11214: Arabic 101
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Annalise Pforr

Tired of the French/Spanish/ you're learning in school? Let's switch over to some Semitic languages y'all.

We'll learn the Arabic alphabet, some pronunciation (it's all super phonetic!!), practice conjoining letters to write our names, and learn basic colloquial phrases.

No foreign language experience necessary.

H11320: 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 processes 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.

Difficulty: **
Teachers: Yuancheng Yu

What is a philosopher? How do Athenians like philosophers?

We read Aristophanes' Clouds and hope to find clues.

Prerequisites

H11237: A Brief Introduction to the Turkish Language Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Ayse Guvenilir

Have you ever heard of Turkish? Would you like to know some? Have you /never/ heard of Turkish? But want to find out what it is? Come join us for a brief introduction to the Turkish language. It'll be a lot of fun! If it's not, at least you'll know how to say so in Turkish!

Prerequisites
None

H11313: What is Art?
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Shubhan Nagendra

Have you created art? Have you looked at art? Now let me ask: Do you think you have created art? Do you think you have looked at art? Let's journey in the realm of art, and explore a question that has kept philosophers, artists, and mathematicians awake.

We will look at art; we will read art, and then discuss art.

Prerequisites
Think: What art is for you.

H11349: Circling - Intersubjective Meditation
Difficulty: *

Most of your Spark classes will be about objects and things. Some of your conversations will involve personal history, where you grew up, what you like and dislike. This class will be a third kind of conversation, about what our present experience is, as we're having it.

There's a kind of magic to being deeply seen, and to being welcomed as you are. Circling is a practice about getting others' worlds, and sharing what it's really like to be you, and having that be seen and reflected. Come experience the magic

Prerequisites
You'll need to agree to practice honoring yourself---doing what you want to be doing, and refusing to do what you don't want to be doing.

H11364: "Superman/woman" and Science Fiction/Fantasy
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Josh Shaine

Science Fiction and Fantasy have many characters who stick out compared to others because they have more magic, different powers, unique abilities.

We will look at how these characters are treated by the worlds in which they are set and reflect on what, if anything, this says about the society in which we live.

Prerequisites
Must read, listen to, or watch science fiction and/or fantasy.

H11322: Consonant Phonology: Strange Sounds of the World's Languages
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Roan LaPlante

In this course we will go over the theory, anatomy, and orthography (International Phonetic Alphabet) of different consonant sounds, including sounds in English and lots of amazingly fun sounds that are not at all like sounds in English.

This is a very interactive course, with an emphasis on speech production.

H11348: Authentic Relating Games
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jason Gross

Do you detest small talk? Are you eager to discover new ways to interact with people? Do you crave deep and interesting and vulnerable connections with people, but aren't sure how to get them?

Come play authentic relating games, short games that are designed to get you in touch with what's true and alive for you, and for your conversational partners!

Example games we might play:
- Curiosity - ask an individual any question you want (they can choose whether or not to answer), and the only rule is that you must be genuinely curious about your question
- Noticing - take turns sharing back and forth with someone what you notice about your physical experience or emotions
- Context conversations - e.g., I'd write an enthusiastic explanation of context conversations, because I want to share my excitement about this game.
- Expression conducting - for two minutes, use your hands to "conduct" your partner's facial expressions

Prerequisites
Be open to experimenting with new kinds of conversational interaction.

H11321: Vowel Phonology: Sounds of the World's Englishes
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Roan LaPlante

In this course we will go over the theory, anatomy, and orthography (International Phonetic Alphabet) of different vowel sounds.

Because English has one of the most complex vowel phonologies in the world, we will primarily compare dialects of English, but we will also discuss some vowel systems in the other languages of the world.

This is a very interactive course, with an emphasis on speech production.

Prerequisites
It is suggested for students to take the companion course on consonant sounds, but not required.

H11336: How to make your own writing system!
Difficulty: **

If you've ever wanted to create a secret code that only you and your friends can read? Do you want to make a fancy script for your fantasy world? Do you just like writing systems?
In this one hour class, we'll discuss the different writing systems of the world before delving into making a unique way of writing English! (or another language or conlang if that applies)

H11351: Creative Writing
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Gabrielle Marvez

A class for group creative writing activities and peer review of a student's work. Students should be interested in receiving and giving constructive criticism. Any genre of writing is welcome!

H11343: Introduction to Chinese Characters: The Key to Chinese Culture 漢字入門: 開啟中國文化之門的鑰匙
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Zhen Guo, Haocun Yu

Chinese is being used by 1.2 billion people around the world, and it is the key to Chinese culture.

In this class, students will gain basic concepts of Chinese characters through fun games and demonstrations. We will also introduce the important properties of Chinese characters, namely “six scripts (Liu Shu)”, such as: pictographic (Xiang Xing) and the combination of a semantic element with a phonetic element (Xing Sheng). These indicates the differences between the system of Chinese and western languages.

You will find learning Chinese is not as hard as you think!

Prerequisites
Interest in Chinese and Chinese culture.

H11430: The Great Language Game
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Saranesh Prembabu

Learn to sound smart by pretending to be able to recognize any language you hear.

In the process explore our world's linguistic diversity through this interactive class.

Prerequisites
No prior foreign language experience is required or expected (but having had some exposure to non-Western languages/cultures may be helpful)

H11246: President Madison on the Founding of the United States
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Bil Lewis

With the participation of the students playing the parts of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Dolly Madison, etc., we will lead reenactments from the Declaration of Independence, the Constitutional Convention, the “Dinner Party,” etc., ending with the peaceful transition of power from Washington to Adams that marked the coming of age of the United States.

More than a mere recitation of dates and facts, we will explore the underlying reasons that prompted them to act as they did.

Many of the issues they confronted then continue to be relevant today.

How we pay off our debts?
Who gets the power of Taxation?
Who gets taxed?
Should Private Banks issue money?
Should we involve ourselves in foreign wars?
Should we be agrarian?
Should we be a center of manufacturing?
How do we limit the influence of Great Corporations on our public life?
How do we eliminate Slavery?
How do we make real the “Spirit of ’76?” So we can truly say that “All Men are Created Equal.”

H11211: Lojbanic Principles
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Robert Kao

This course provides a brief overview of the grammar of Lojban, a constructed language that is awesome in many ways, and also explains why this language is so awesome. Learn about the motivation behind Lojban's construction, its present community, the kinds of ideas that are more easily expressed in Lojban, and the significance of Lojban's unique features.

This course is intended for students who do not have enough time for the 3-hour Lojban class and is not necessary for students enrolled in the longer class.

H11299: Film Theory!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Sarah Wharton

Who reads books anymore, now that there's Netflix? (Just kidding! Please read books; they're great.) Compared to books, films are a brand-new type of media, and there's so much to explore when analyzing them! We'll watch Buster Keaton's hilarious 1924 comedy "Sherlock Jr" and learn film analysis techniques.

H11267: Does God exist?
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Peter Klapes

In this discussion-based course, we will explore the different arguments regarding the existence of God.

H11272: An Introduction to Latin Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Peter Klapes

This course will cover the basics of the Latin language--noun declensions, verb conjugations, vocabulary, etc.

H11391: 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.

H11406: Does Race Affect Your Life?
Difficulty: *

Spark students will participate in an interactive class while watching videos, engage in activities and dialogue about economic inequality in the country and take a look at the affect and effect of race.

Prerequisites
none

H11356: Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Asha Aravindakshan

Learn about social entrepreneurship, examples of social entrepreneurs and the global organizations that support their work

H11210: Lojban
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Robert Kao

Learn how to hold simple conversations in the constructed language Lojban and experience the magic of talking (and thinking) in a completely new way.

Lojban is designed to be unambiguous and follow the principles of logic. It has features that enable its speakers to express their thoughts freely. The potential uses of this language, as well as its influences on human thought, are not completely understood but undoubtedly exciting. By taking this course, you are also beginning an intellectual journey that may lead as far as your imagination will take you.

Life Sciences

L11333: Amazing Insects
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Davie Rolnick

Come learn about beetles with suction cups, ants that explode, and wasps that use metal-tipped drills! Find out why fruit is red and what the fireflies are talking about when they glow. Look at insects that pretend to be poop, insects that hide in poop, and insects that eat poop. In this class, we will see why insects are so interesting and, in many cases, beautiful.

L11325: CRISPR: from Bacteria to Biotech Full!
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Talya Klinger

Explore the history, mechanisms, and possible future consequences of CRISPR, one of the most important new technologies in genetic engineering, with interactive activities. We'll talk about how gene splicing with CRISPR works in detail, then explain some of its applications to biology research, engineering, and medicine.

Prerequisites
Background knowledge of biology, especially DNA, RNA, and proteins, is recommended so the material is not completely unfamiliar, but not required. We will go over the basics at the beginning of the class to make sure everyone is up to speed

L11380: What's in the Vial? An Introduction to Bioanalytical Techniques
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Salvatore LaRussa

Imagine for a moment that you walk into a laboratory and someone hands you a tube of an unknown clear liquid. Your immediate reaction would probably be concern about what, exactly, you were just handed. So, how could you answer that question? It turns out that there's a very large number of potential techniques out there to do so.

In the real world, this sort of scenario doesn't exactly happen a lot, but identifying unknown substances is still very important. Biochemistry often involves studying individual proteins and small molecules that are far too small to see with any reasonable microscope. And yet, every day, biochemists and other similar scientists and engineers around the world manage to do meaningful work studying and manufacturing everything from medicine to microbes and pond scum to compostable soda cups.

This class will explore a variety of analytical techniques such as mass spectrometry and gel electrophoresis, and the basic principles by which they work. The class will also start with an introduction to biochemistry.

Prerequisites
It will be assumed that you probably have an idea of what an atom and molecule is, but everything else will be covered in class.

L11330: How to Distinguish Medical Knowledge from Hoaxes?
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Kun-Hsing Yu

There are tons of newspaper articles talking about the "recent advances in health sciences." Some suggest "beer helps to prevent cancer," others claim "beer increased risks of getting cancer." Which one should we believe?
How do doctors decide what to do when coming across contrary scientific evidence? And what doctors might not know about the surgery they perform or the drugs they prescribe?
We will do some hands-on experiments on drawing conclusions in the world of uncertainty, and take a quick survey of the current methodologies in medical sciences.

Prerequisites
Have flipped coins, or played any other games involving probability or uncertainty.

L11429: The Miracle of Life
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Brice Huang, Junyu Yang

Feeling confused about life because you opted out of health/sex ed to do physics instead? This class might be for you!

L11352: Don't Touch the King Cobra: An Introduction to Venomous Creatures
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Mary Spanjers

Venom is one of the most incredible adaptations in the animal kingdom. The ability of such a wide variety of animals to use chemical warfare to kill their prey in such an exact way is one of the most exceptional examples of natural selection. We'll explore the topic by grouping various types of venom and get a better idea of how it works inside the body. When it comes to venomous creatures one thing's clear: don't touch the King Cobra!

L11334: Should you eat your siblings?: Being Social in the Animal World
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Alexandra Ding

Whether you're a naked mole rat or a snapping shrimp, associating with other members of your species comes with its benefits and costs.

We'll explore evolutionary theories on cooperation, competition, and of course, kin selection. Come prepared to ask questions and participate!

L11397: PCR: the secret DNA copy machine
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Sam Allon, Sophia Liu

Come learn about Polymerase Chain Reaction, the magical technology that turns 1 piece of DNA into 2, 4, 8... one million! We will learn the chemistry of PCR and how it is used by scientists around the world.

L11418: Optical Illusions: The Eye, The Brain, and Everything In-between
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Rebekah Waldman

How can objects appear to be moving even when they are completely still? How can the same object appear to be two different colors? Learn about how visual information is detected by the eye and travels to the brain to form what we know as "vision." We will cover the fundamentals of the visual system and how components of this system trick the brain into seeing optical illusions.

L11403: The Plague Full!
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Regan Dvoskin

In the mid 14th century, the bubonic plague, commonly known as the "Black Death," swept across Europe, killing millions. Come learn about Yersinia pestis, how it spread, how it affected the human body, and how it is treated today.

Prerequisites
A basic understanding of biology (if you know what bacteria is, you should be able to follow along).

L11354: How to Kill Everything: A Practical Guide to Mass Extinctions
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Mary Spanjers

Mass Extinctions are as close as Earth has come to an apocalypse. So how do the majority of animal species disappear in a few thousand years? This Geobiology course explores the mechanics of how Mass Extinctions can be caused.

L11323: How the Snake Lost its Legs
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Maxwell Gold

A long long time ago, ancient “snakes” used to have legs. Mutations, or mistakes, incorporated into the DNA of that species eventually led to the loss of its limbs.

Most people think of “mutation” as a negative word and that’s for good reason … mutations are responsible for many diseases such as Cancer, Huntington’s and Cystic Fibrosis. But those mistakes are also responsible for all of the biological diversity in the world. Many mutations over many years can lead to enough changes that animals evolve into different species.

This course will describe why mutations happen, detail how a series of mutations can potentially lead to the formation of new species, and discuss some of the technologies being used to screen for mutations and fight genetic diseases.

I will cover basic topics related to biology, chemistry, and biotechnology, but no previous experience with any of these fields is required.

L11291: Sustainability 101: How to Save the World One Day at a Time
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Brandon Levy

In a fragile world with limited resources, it’s everyone’s responsibility to think about how the way they live impacts the environment. Come learn about easy steps you can take in your everyday life to reduce your environmental footprint and lead a “greener” lifestyle!

L11398: The Sickest Class You'll Ever Take (Immunology 101) Full!
Difficulty: **

Did you know that your body is a battlefield? Come learn how the little soldiers of your immune system fight off germs and keep you from getting sick! We'll cover the cells that make up your innate and adaptive immune systems and what can go wrong in diseases like HIV.

Prerequisites
Basic knowledge of cells

L11308: Life
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jeremy Owen

Living things are the most beautiful and interesting physical systems known to humans. Much is not known about the nature of life and how it came to be. What is known, however, paints an amazing story which deserves the attention of anyone---scientists, artists, and others. In this class, I will tell a little of this tale.

The point of view of the class will be inspired by physical and mathematical ideas, but no knowledge of either is required.

L11383: Craniofacial Anatomy
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Tom Cervantes

In this class we will learn about human craniofacial anatomy. We will cover the bones and foramina of the skull, vascular supply, and neuromuscular features. We will use lifesize skull models to assist in understanding of 3D anatomy, and discuss related surgical procedures.

Prerequisites
Students should be comfortable discussing and viewing human anatomical images, including pictures and/or video of human cadaver models and surgical procedures.

L11432: <>< The Sea-cret Life of Fish ><> Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Clio Macrakis

><(((*> Fish come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. -~-~-~*< From reef fish to open water fish to flat fish and spiky fish, each adaptation is suited to the fish's environment. Come learn about why fish are so diverse and how these differences help fish survive and reproduce! >[((*]o

L11331: Microbiome 101: What's in your poop? Full!
Difficulty: **

Come learn about the microbiome and where you can find it! We will discuss the current methods to study the microbiome, what correlations it has with diseases and the enviornment, and how you (and your poop!) can help somebody through microbiome science! Who doesn't love talking about poop!

Lunch

L11449: 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.

L11450: 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

M11345: Cellular Automata
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Dylan Hendrickson

A cellular automaton is a grid of cells that changes according to simple rules, but can have complicated behavior. The most famous one is Conway's Game of Life. We'll discuss 1- and 2- dimensional automata, look at cool patterns they can produce, and see just how powerful they can be.

Prerequisites
Know how to convert numbers between decimal and binary.

M11293: Chaotic Reduction: Play the Math Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: James Koppel

Chaotic Reduction is a computer game that turns mathematical problems into puzzles. We will study famous problems such as the Post Correspondence Problem and Conway's Soldiers in computer game form, and then make our own levels!

M11283: 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.

M11347: Dutch Books, Probability, and Logical Induction
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Jason Gross

How likely is it that the first digit of $$\pi$$ is 3? It's a certainty. How likely is it that the $$10^{100}$$th digit of $$\pi$$ is 3? Probably $$1/10$$. What's the difference between these two questions, and what does it mean to ask about the likelihood of something that's either certainly true or certainly false? Come to this class to find out!

Prerequisites
You should understand the idea of theorems and proofs, and have a sense of the difference between deductive reasoning ("if Spark is in March and you're at Spark, then it's March") and inductive reasoning ("since touching a hot stove in the past has led to pain, touching a hot stove again will lead to pain").

M11419: Compass-and-straightedge constructions
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Josh Alman, Dylan McKay

Today, people can use computers to draw fancy graphics. Back in the day, the ancient Greeks could only use a compass (to draw circles) and a straightedge (to draw straight lines). They nonetheless managed to draw a lot of things! Come learn to draw like the ancient Greeks!

M11269: Point and Laugh at Bad Math
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Lily Jordan

In school, it's very important to encourage everyone's mathematical efforts. But when experts mess up, the best course of action is to snicker loudly. We will bask in schadenfreude as we learn about all the ways important people, from politicians to judges to engineers to (gasp) mathematicians, have screwed up the numbers. Consequently we will feel better about our own insecurities.

M11421: Fun with Invariants!
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Yoa Clifton

An invariant is a quantity that remains unchanged throughout a repeated process. Let's see how we can use them to solve some cool problems!

Prerequisites
You should look up modular arithmetic before the class.

M11415: The Math Behind Poker
Difficulty: ***

How do you make the best decisions while playing poker? Well, thinking of it from a mathematical perspective can help.

In this class, we'll consider how 1) the size of antes should change the way you think; 2) bluffing (sometimes, but not always) can help; 3) position matters; 4) probabilities should change the way you behave. Come learn how to be a better poker player!

Prerequisites
Poker hand order; basic play for Texas Hold-em

M11422: Fun with Pigeonhole Principle
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Yoa Clifton

If you have n holes containing, kn+1 pigeons, then you must have at least one hole with at least k+1 pigeons.

So what? We will show how to apply this seemingly simple statement to a plethora of exciting problems.

Prerequisites
Familiarity with modular arithmetic and elementary counting and probability is encouraged. It would help if you can understand the statement in the course description, though I will go over it in class.

Difficulty: *
Teachers: Kevin Yang

Come learn from the members of Traders@MIT, an MIT student group, about the fundamentals of trading. We'll first explain some basic definitions and concepts. The bulk of the class will be running some fun, interactive activities involving market making games with all of the students! We will provide candy!

M11346: Ramsey Theory
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Dylan Hendrickson

How many people do you need to put in a room to make sure four of them are either all friends or all not friends?

Why does anyone care about numbers like Graham's Number, which way are too big to have any physical relevance?

Ramsey theory is the study of how particular structures always emerge in sufficiently large clusters of randomness. Learn the answers to these questions and more!

Prerequisites
Be comfortable with exponents. For example, you should know what $$2^{2^{2^2}}$$ is, and how it's different from $$((2^2)^2)^2$$.

M11405: Everyday Shapes like you've never seen them before
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Keith Phuthi

We'll talk about interesting things about shapes that mathematicians like Achimedes, Pythagoras and Pascal have discovered throughout history

Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Daniel Richman

Do you know what $$\infty$$ means? Want to learn some math they won't teach you in high school? We'll talk about sets, how to count numbers, different kinds of infinity, and a thing called Hilbert's Hotel.

Prerequisites
You should know what integers and fractions are. Ideally, you should also have seen irrational numbers like $$\sqrt{2}$$ $$\pi.$$

M11311: Information and the Redundancy of English
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Jordan Hines

What is information? How can we measure it? In this class, we'll introduce a way of quantitatively measuring information and use the tools we develop to discuss how redundant the English language is.

Prerequisites
You should know what a logarithm is.

M11287: Taking apart spheres: an introduction to topology
Difficulty: **
Teachers: mendel keller

Did you know that a sphere is two disks glued together? Have you ever wondered what a four dimensional sphere might look like? What mathematical use is there for a mobius band? (What is a mobius band?)

These are some topics that will be addressed in this lecture. After sitting through this short class, you will never look at a circle the same way again. We will be investigating spheres, and showing how several different shapes are actually spheres in disguise.

Topology is the field of math which studies shapes abstractly. Unlike geometry, topology ignores size, and even some elements of shape. We will be transforming one shape into another mathematically, in order to give you a taste of the awesome world of topology.

Prerequisites
A familiarity with the Cartesian coordinate system will be helpful.

M11326: Counting Past Infinity
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jason Gross

Did you ever have arguments about whether or not $$\infty + 1 = \infty$$? Come learn how to count past infinity, graphically!

Prerequisites
You should know how to count, and be open to learning new ways of counting.

M11368: 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. In addition you are hopefully excited about number theory, but that is not a prerequisite.

M11292: Finite Automata
Difficulty: **
Teachers: James Koppel

Would you like to find patterns in text? Prove your program doesn't have an infinite loop? Monitor a nuclear reactor? Find structure in DNA?

In this class, you'll learn about finite automata. Finite automata, or "state machines" can be thought of as just moving a marker between some states according to some simple rules, but their simplicity hides deep mathematics and allows you to manipulate them in interesting ways. We'll start with the basic definition and take you through the math and into some powerful applications.

M11307: Poker Theory 101
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: David Zheng

Poker is a high-risk, high-reward game that favors those with the right training and mindset. In this class, we will cover some of the most important concepts to think about when playing poker, including pot odds, equity, ranges, etc.
Before the class, please take the time to familiarize yourself with the rules of Texas Hold'em. You should know what the following words mean: flush/straight/full house, flop/turn/river, check/raise, big blind/small blind/button.

M11370: 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 strong comfort with algebra and formula manipulation.

Physical Sciences

P11340: Special Relativity (and Time Travel ¯\_(ツ)_/¯) Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Matthew Tancik

What is time? We will dive into the question that kept Einstein up at night. The answer defies intuition and has excited physicists for a decades.

P11428: Basic Chemistry
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Yue Zhang

Learn some basic chemistry

Prerequisites
None!

P11297: 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. Fifth graders could understand everything here, but I guarantee high school seniors will learn something they didn't already know!

P11259: Understanding Weather Data
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Jessica Oehrlein

Atmospheric sounding charts are generated from weather balloon data, and they help us understand and predict weather conditions. Come learn what temperature through the atmosphere looks like when there's freezing rain and how to predict whether there will be a thunderstorm soon!

Prerequisites
Comfort with basic algebra.

P11277: Introduction to Astrophysics I
Difficulty: ***

The Early Universe:

This will be a brief introduction to the origins of the Universe. We will begin to understand the conditions that gave rise to organised structure. We will ambitiously review the following:

The Big Bang Theory
Quantum Fluctuations
Cosmological Inflation
Primordial Nucleosynthesis and Baryogenesis
Cosmic Microwave Background

Please note: this is part of a series but each class is independent and they do not have to be taken sequentially. The material presented will be an age-appropriate introduction.

Prerequisites

P11417: I've been Slimed Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Leah McKinney

We'll be making various gooey things, including oobleck, glow-in-the-dark slime, and silly putty (which you get to take home!). Come to play with slime, make a mess, and learn a bit about polymers along the way.

P11278: Introduction to Astrophysics II
Difficulty: **

Evolution of Structure Formation:

This will be a brief introduction to the structural and componential formation. We will begin to understand the evolution and the interactions between things in the universe and how they behave. We will ambitiously review the following:

Galactic Formation
Measurements and Distances
Redshift
The Theory of Special Relativity

Please note: this is part of a series but each class is independent and they do not have to be taken sequentially. The material presented will be an age-appropriate introduction.

Prerequisites

P11279: Introduction to Astrophysics III
Difficulty: ****

Physical Cosmology: Journey to the Frontier

This will be a brief introduction into the most cohesively advanced theory in the study of the universe. We will journey to the frontier and back while trying to keep our feet and minds on terra firma. We will ambitiously review the following:

Large Scale Structure
Black Holes
The Theory of General Relativity

Please note: this is part of a series but each class is independent and they do not have to be taken sequentially. The material presented will be an age-appropriate introduction.

Prerequisites

P11285: Cool Predictions of Quantum Physics
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Jordan Hines

Wondering what quantum mechanics is all about? Wondering what makes people say that it's strange (and why it actually isn't)? We'll learn about quantum mechanics through Mach-Zehnder interferometers and see that some of the things people think are strange and mysterious about quantum physics can actually be explained very simply! Along the way, we'll talk about how you could test if a bomb is functional without detonating it!

Prerequisites
algebra, know how to add and multiply matrices,

P11344: Thinking Fundamentally: a Way to Understand World
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Sina Booeshaghi

This class focuses on explaining everyday phenomena and developing fundamental explanations as to why they occur. Topics include: why is a bicycle stable, why does water curve out of a faucet, how does a camera work, what is fire, and more.

Prerequisites
A curiosity to better understand the world.

P11385: Anything you could want to know about the oceans
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Clio Macrakis

Learn about anything related to the oceans, from hydrothermal vents and the make-up of corals reefs to marine mammal classification and global thermohaline circulation. Intrigued? Don't know what any of that means? This is the class for you!

P11355: Physics of Life
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Amir Bitran

Living organisms are able to achieve various amazing feats, such as growing, problem-solving, and adapting to their environment. Yet, these diverse and complex biological phenomena are ultimately driven by a few central laws of physics. In this course, we will explore three central topics in biology—electrical signaling in neurons, folding of proteins into their functional structure, and evolution—and discover how these emerge from simple physical principles. The course will give students a feel for intuitive, physical modeling of biological problems (with minimal mathematics), while introducing them to key experiments that provided support for existing biophysical models. No experience in biology or physics is expected, the only prerequisite is curiosity!

P11386: Why Earth can't just sit still
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Clio Macrakis

What does it mean when people say we're heading towards an ice age? Why has the Earth's climate changed so much since the Earth was formed? How does climate change fit into all of this? Explore the feedback mechanisms that affect the Earth's global climate in the long term.

P11371: The Bit and the Atom
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Norman Cao

What connects the works of Shakespeare with the structure of the Milky Way? How does a computer program relate to the engine powering your car? And what do bits have to do with atoms? Come learn this and more, about surprising connections between physics, statistics, and computing!

P11436: Intro to Geology!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Daniel Richman

Geologists are happy people and you can be one too! We'll talk about rocks and the structure of the Earth and see some cool maps. Did you know that ancient volcanoes are buried under Massachusetts?

P11395: Introuction to Orbital Dynamics and Space Propulsion
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Sabrina Khan

Curious about how NASA/JPL and SpaceX are planning to get to Mars in 2020? Interested to see the science behind the Hermes spaceship in The Martian? Take this class to learn more about orbits, chemical propulsion, and solar electric propulsion. By the time we're finished, you'll be able to model what a trip to Mars looks like!

Note: This will include some discussion of advanced physics and chemistry, but nothing too difficult. Just come prepared to learn!

Prerequisites
Basic Algebra.

P11401: How we make energy
Difficulty: **

A brief introduction on some of the different ways in which we can generate energy.

Prerequisites
None

P11298: Chemistry of Pyrotechnics Full!
Difficulty: **

Ever wondered how fireworks work, or the difference between various explosives you may have seen on Mythbusters? This class will go over some basic chemistry concepts and explain how they are used to create beautiful fireworks and powerful explosives. The structure of some common fireworks will also be covered.

Prerequisites
basic chemistry understanding helpful but not necessary

P11327: 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!

P11241: Science in the Trump Era
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Joshua Moss

Scientists and engineers around the country perform cutting-edge research to tackle the world's most challenging problems including eradicating diseases, reducing the impacts of global climate change, and investigating the outer reaches of our universe. However, now that Donald Trump is president, many scientists are concerned about how the new administration will impact their research and the governmental agencies responsible for creating regulations based on their research. This class will begin by explaining the basic science underpinning hot-button scientific issues such as climate change, hydraulic fracturing (a.k.a. fracking), and vaccines. The latter part of the class will then cover how the government has historically dealt with these issues and how we can expect the Trump administration to address these topics.

Walk-in Activity

W11455: Mahjong
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Joanna Sands

This isn't some solo matching game you've seen on PC but a PvP showdown of skill and luck! Come see what it's about and play with tiles.

W11243: Book Talk
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Amy Estersohn

Pick up new books!

W11443: LN2 Ice Cream
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Joanna Sands

LN2 is cool. So is ice cream.

W11389: Food tongue 101
Difficulty: **

Come learn food tongue, a language in which every word is a food, by immersion!

W11399: 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.

W11400: Learn the Chinese Yo-Yo!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Mikayla Murphy

The Chinese Yo-Yo, also known as Diabolo, has been a popular circus prop for many years. Come learn how to play with this fun toy that also is an important part of Chinese heritage!

W11338: Modular Origami- Triangles Everywhere
Difficulty: **

Learn how to make regular polyhedra-- with knobs, spikes, or windows! Shapes can be made with 3, 6, 12, 18, 24, 30, 42, 72, 90, or more pieces so you can spend however much time you have on it.

W11390: Linguistics Problem Solving
Difficulty: **

Do you enjoy unraveling logic puzzles, want to learn about other languages, or crave the feeling of a good riddle?

Come solve fun problems from the Linguistics Olympiads, NACLO and IOL!

A variety of languages, problem styles, and difficulty levels will be provided for you to solve. Logic and reasoning are your main weapon here – no prior linguistics knowledge required!

W11456: Create a Pillow
Difficulty: **

Are you tired? Do you need some rest? Well, come on down to Lobby 13 and build yourself a pillow and then excuse yourself to your room to sleep because I do not tolerate snoring or drooling or sleeping in my class.

W11444: Beginner Ukelele
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Erica Liu, Joanna Sands

Have a bit of extra time between classes and want to learn a cool skill in minutes? Come learn to play the ukulele! Or if you already know how to play the ukulele, come impress us with your amazing musical ability. Whether you're a ukulele virtuoso or have never picked one up before, come by, pick one up, and play with us!

W11280: Learn to Juggle!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Collin Perkinson

Ever dreamed of standing on one leg atop a unicycle while balancing an electrical engineering textbook on your head and juggling 5 flaming torches? Well today, we won't quite do THAT, but we WILL teach you how to juggle in a fun, engaging learn-to-juggle workshop!

Sponsored by the MIT Student Juggling Club, Learn to Juggle! is open to anyone, from complete beginners to experienced jugglers. In just a few minutes, we'll teach you the basics of 3-ball juggling and show you a few 3-ball tricks to work on so you can impress your friends. Jugglers who already know the basic 3-ball cascade pattern can request to learn other tricks, including how to pass, how to juggle 4+ balls, and how to notate juggling with mathematical siteswap notation. So, what are you waiting for? Come on by and learn to juggle with us!

(Juggling props will be provided for use during the workshop by the MIT Student Juggling Club, so just show up and we'll supply the fun!)

Difficulty: **
Teachers: Robert Kao

Design a new logical language based on the same principles as languages like Lojban and TLI Loglan. After learning what the grammar of logical languages is like, choose the sounds you want to use, invent words for your language, and compose some sentences in it.

Warning: Do not try to promote your language beyond your friends. An invented language is unlikely to succeed without an active community of speakers, so unless your ideas are truly brilliant, your language has no more chance of replacing Lojban than Ceqli, etc. However, if your product has some nice features, Lojbanists may incorporate them into their language.

W11412: Lego Boat Construction
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Crystal Owens

Are you interested in how boats float and move? We will have supplies to build boats out of custom-designed Lego pieces to float and to race.

Miscellaneous

Difficulty: *

The class will explore the stereotypes associated with Africa and look into the true nature of Africa, it's people and their culture. The main aim of the class is to tell the African story, by Africans - considering all 54 shades (54 countries).

Prerequisites
None

X11261: Competitive Pokemon Battling
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Kevin Zhu

Beat your friends! We will be moving from basic concepts such as typing and damage calculation to more advanced topics such as the metagame, Individual and Effort Values,etc.

X11394: Woven Paper Fish
Difficulty: ***

Do you like sea animals? Do you like to fold? If so, then this is the right class for you! In this class, you will learn how to make woven fish out of paper and learn a little more about Thailand.

FYI: the woven fish is one of Thailand's traditional crafts and was originally used as a mobile to hang over a baby cradle.

X11392: Hip Hop
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Michele Miao

Come learn a contemporary-style hip hop dance!

X11332: If I were in your shoes
Difficulty: *

Some people value discipline, some courage, some honesty. Some people feel themselves defined by their faith, or their interests, or their gender. In this seminar, we'll explore value systems and identities and work on relating to people with different underlying assumptions.

X11433: Life Skills: Things They Don't Teach You In Schools
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Gina Li, Valerie Peng

Just some things y'all ought to know, ranging from public speaking to getting the most out of your Chipotle order.

X11315: Drilling for Chocolate
Difficulty: **

Are you interested in how the petroleum industry works? How about chocolate? 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!

X11416: Media Smart Youth
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Uma Girkar

The National Institute of Health (NIH) Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) has developed a Media Smart Youth program for community leaders to help children

Become aware of—and think critically about—media's role in influencing their nutrition and physical activity choices.

Build skills that help them make informed decisions about being physically active and eating nutritious food in daily life.

Establish healthy habits that will last into adulthood.

Learn about media and create their own media products to educate their peers.

I am hoping to use the program materials designed by NIH to spread the Media Smart Youth program to students.

Prerequisites
None

X11373: Harry Potter and the Science of Magic
Difficulty: **

Let's talk about Time Turners. Let's talk about the possible causes of lycanthropy, and exactly what triggers transformation. Let's talk about prophecies, and Animagi, and possible sapience and sentience of the Whomping Willow and the flying Ford Anglia, and expand upon every way Harry and his friends could've used every plot device JKR didn't really explore.

Prerequisites
relatively extensive knowledge of the Harry Potter books

X11360: How to be a Genius: Top Secret Studying! Full!
Difficulty: **

Ahhh studying--it's what I do on a typical Friday night. And Saturday night. And Sunday night. And. . . well, you'd think it would get old after a while, but studying can be interesting when you know some cool tricks and (Jedi) mind games. Now, you might be wondering, "why would I use my weekend to take a class that teaches me about how to study more?" Well, this class isn't about studying more, it's about studying more awesome-ly. You'll learn how to be a studying ninja through use of mnemonic techniques, organization of material, and understanding of how the brain interprets and encodes information And, once you know the secrets, you'll have at least a few free nights to not studying (unless you just want to keep studying because it's so much fun).

Brain boosting snacks will also be making an appearance! :)

X11358: The Ever-Powerful Bus
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Joshua Fabian

The wheels on the bus go...to wherever you want to take them! Learn about the workhorses in many cities' transit systems: the bus! We will look at pros and cons of buses over other modes such as subways and cycling, challenges bus operations often face, as well as some of the improvements that have come in recent years (have you heard of "BRT"?). Particularly, we will look at Boston, including the history of buses here and where the future may take us.

X11379: Spectrograms: What Does Sound "Look" Like?
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Chelsea Voss

What is sound? How do our ears hear the information in sound and send it to our brain to be processed into language? And how might we teach a computer to do the same thing?

We'll investigate all of this by diving into phonology and phonetics, the study of the audible components of language.

We'll explore what sound is, and look at some ways it can be visualized. We'll talk about all of the different sounds that human languages can use, in English and beyond.
Finally, we'll look at patterns in sounds by converting them into pictures called spectrograms. With this tool at our disposal, we can investigate how both computer systems and human brains might tackle the problem of speech recognition.

Come learn what you never knew you never knew about sounds!

Prerequisites
None.

X11409: Want to save a life? Learn CPR and First Aid!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Anjali Misra

Come join MIT Emergency Medical Services for a quick training in Hands-Only CPR and First Aid! We’ll go over the basics of chest compressions, practice on mannequins, and have you trained to do CPR within minutes. Then, you'll learn about how you can use First Aid techniques to help out in a variety of emergencies. Immediate CPR can triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival, so we guarantee this will be worth your time. Come by and learn how to save a life today!

X11387: Making Science Games
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Clio Macrakis

In this class you'll come up with a board or card game about a topic of science your group is interested in, and then play each other's games. Interested in colonizing other planets? Building more efficient transport systems across the country? Modifying food webs? Exploring the ocean floor? You can build your game about anything you want!

X11427: Knots | Knots | Knots
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Travis Libsack

Come learn how to tie things -- essential skills everybody should have. We'll be tying everything from basic knots (square knot) to more complicated and fun knots (ever heard of the "draggin' bowline"??).

Prerequisites
n/a

X11306: Investing 101
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Mitchel Myers

Come learn the basics of how investors think! Why do people invest? What are the ways that people can invest? What makes a good company? Learn all this and more!

X11372: Tools & Tips for Managing Tough 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.

Prerequisites
None

X11448: Weird Laws and Cases
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Elizabeth Parizh

In Newark, it's illegal to sell ice cream after 6pm without a doctor's note.
Silly string is illegal in Marlborough.
Arkansas man head-butted his mother. Twice.

In this class, you can learn all about weird laws like this, which exist in cities everywhere in the country. And then we might talk about some criminals that have gotten into some... unlucky situations. People are fascinating creatures, after all.

X11281: Psychology of Shopping
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Amy Estersohn

Have you ever wondered why cell phone cases are so expensive?

Or why there are about three or four different Amazon Kindle models or Kindle Fire models you can buy? Why not just one? Why not 10?

In this class we'll go over common psychological mechanisms that companies use to make their products more appealing and compelling. We'll also discuss, if we have extra time, ways to counteract some of these mechanisms.

X11312: Spontaneous 5-Minute Classes on Whatever You Want
Difficulty: *

You choose the title, we improvise a 5-minute lesson on it! Bring your wackiest topic suggestions, and watch us embarrass ourselves as we teach you about them on the spur of the moment.

X11402: A tour around the world Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Keith Phuthi

I will project a map and we will take a virtual tour of some interesting places, a few that I will give and a few that the students can talk about.

Prerequisites
No prerequisites, knowing something about different countries around the world will help us have discussions

X11424: Let's Talk About the NBA Full!
Difficulty: **

KD on the Warriors. The rise of Embiid, Antetokounmpo, and Jokic. Russell Westbrook's never-ending train of triple-doubles (not to forget James Harden!). Come discuss storylines from this year's NBA season, predictions, statistics, issues like tanking, or maybe all-time greats. You'll get to shape the discussion based on what topics interest you most.

Prerequisites
Passion for Basketball and the NBA

Difficulty: **
Teachers: Mindy Wu, Chloe Yang

...and help them relax! Learn the basics of giving a good massage, so that you'll be the coveted Massage Master when you're in college.

Note: There is an *optional* portion of the class where students will practice massaging other students. I suggest you sign up with friends so you can practice on each other! If you do not want to be massaged/massage someone, however, that's totally fine - you can just observe, as well.

Prerequisites
Respect and love for people.

X11209: MLB: The Offseason 2016-17 Full!
Difficulty: *

Are you a baseball fan? Did your team make stupid moves this past offseason? Come to this class to be on a panel of middle school students discussing major offseason moves and perhaps predictions on the MLB season of 2017. This will be a light discussion and will not involve complicated math and statistics but be ready to argue with classmates!

Prerequisites
Reasonable knowledge of MLB team statuses and the ability to talk actively in class.

X11252: CHECK (out this Chinese Chess class) MATE!!!
Difficulty: *

Its the ancient game of XiangQi or Chinese chess! Its wayyyy cooler than regular chess, We swear. If you like to play chess, you would probably enjoy this game as well. We encourage anyone of any skill level to sign up.

Prerequisites
No prerequisites!! Knowing how to play chess or read Chinese would help but is NOT necessary at all.

X11388: Introduction to Interactive Fiction
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Samuel Duchovni

Back in the old days, before computers had graphics, text adventures were the state of the art in gaming. Technology has advanced a lot since then, but people are still writing and playing interactive fiction. Come learn how to play IF games and experience the magic of this timeless medium!

X11376: In A Nutshell
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Marta Manzin

Curious about the nuts and bolts of nuts? Find out where they are from and how they are processed in this hands-on, interactive seminar. The class features a practical nut-cracking lab, lots of nutty information and some fun facts that will drive you nuts.

WARNING: The class will use real nuts. Students with nut allergies should consider this before enrolling.

X11447: Competitive Pokemon Tactics and Strategies Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Philip Tran

Learn cool tips and tricks about choosing a competitive Pokemon team. We'll go over some basic hidden mechanics like EVs, IVs, and nature. Then, we'll discuss different types of teams that competitors use with either popular or gimmicky Pokemon. After that, you'll learn more about gimmicky movesets like entry hazards and team combinations and learn how to test your new team!

X11342: Making binder clip sculptures Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Ting-Chun Lin

Learn how to make polytopes with binder clips. We will be making tetrahedrons with different ways to connect the clips.

X11439: Drama & Dice: A Tabletop Tale of Peril and Problem Solving
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Srinivas Kaza

Have you ever heard of tabletop role-playing games? Dungeons and Dragons? Pathfinder? Savage Worlds?

Well forget about those games, cause they have WAY TOO MANY RULES. Join us for the incredible experience of Drama & Dice, a simple, but riveting tabletop adventure. No prior experience with role-playing games is necessary.

Prerequisites
A willingness to EXPLORE!

X11341: Subways of the World Full!
Difficulty: *

Calling all subway fans! Come chat about mass transit with us! Potential topics include: second avenue subway, mini metro, new subway systems in the world and more. All aboard! Next Stop, fun!

X11275: 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. Ample chocolate will be provided.

X11273: Knitting for Beginners Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Lauren Bustamante

Learn how to knit so you can make cute gifts for all your friends and family!

X11441: RADIO: From On-air to On-Line
Difficulty: **

Radio is the original electronic "social medium;" connecting diverse groups of people through common language and shared cultural experiences. Join several dj's and producers from WMBR Radio as we describe radio's role in American life and demonstrate the practical how-to's of communicating over the air and in the digital world.

Prerequisites
Student must listen to at least one over the air radio show or podcast of their choosing during the week before the class. And be prepared to describe the contents to the class.

X11263: Osu! Or how to click circles professionally.
Difficulty: *

An introduction to the rhythm game of Osu! Topics will include what the game actually is, basics, advanced techniques, investigation/demonstration of pro players, role in pop culture, and relation to other rhythm games.

X11393: Public Speaking (without peeing your pants!)
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jim Flannery

The title says it all - in this class, you will getting "hands-on" experience with public speaking to help you identify and overcome your fears.

You are guaranteed to laugh and learn!

Prerequisites
none

Social Studies

Z11425: Before "We the People"
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Pavitra Chari

The musical Hamilton sparked a revolution, bringing history and theater into pop culture. But what lessons can we draw from the clever rhymes and catchy beats? This class will take a closer look at the foundations of American Government, from the end of the Revolutionary War, the initial attempts at colonial government, to the Constitution.

Z11309: Propaganda in the Soviet Union
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Alex LaGrassa

Discuss and learn how communist propaganda influenced the values of a huge populations. We will be learning by looking at primary sources, which will be translated into English, but also consider some meanings that can be lost in translation.

Difficulty: **
Teachers: Marcus Boorstin

Let's talk about Watergate - what actually happened (people broke into DNC headquarters), what people think happened (Rose Mary Woods erased some tapes?), and what probably didn't happen (aliens did everything?). Bring questions and conspiracy theories!

Z11296: The Mysteries of Money
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Fiona Paine

Where does money come from? What gives it value? How does money translate across borders and time? In this class we will try to answer all your questions about money starting with a historical look at the gold and silver standard, the role of the treasury department, paper verses coins, counterfeiting and crime, and the advent of new currencies like bitcoin.

Z11437: Gender? Understanding how to be ally to trans and gender non-conforming people in school
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Lennox Orion

Teaching how to be an ally for trans classmates by developing a gender neutral vocabulary, understanding transphobia, and learning how to be supportive to the trans community.

Z11367: Non-linear Thinking in a Linear World
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Josh Shaine

Does doing one thing at a time drive you batty? Do people frequently tell you to pay attention or to 'stay on topic?' Do you think in pictures instead of words? Does the whole "You have to do it in the right order" concept bother you? Join us for an exploration of the How's and Why's of non-linear thinking. We'll talk about how to recognize and develop strengths, not just how to 'fit in.'

Prerequisites
Open-mindedness.

Z11384: Introduction to Microeconomics
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Margaret Sands

Economics is really cool and Microeconomics is even cooler than the rest of economics. This will be a super basic introduction to microeconomics covering basic supply and demand.

Prerequisites
You'll need to know how to read graphs and find slopes. Knowing algebra would be really helpful but I can probably skip the math depending on the comfort level of the class.

Z11446: All the World's a Game: Game Theory in International Relations
Difficulty: **

Game theory tries to predict the choices that perfectly rational decision-makers make in given situations. We'll go over some basic two-player games and discuss how we can apply these theories to the interactions between countries!

Prerequisites
None!

Z11270: What exactly is a refugee ? Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Sandeep Silwal

What makes someone a refugee? How do nations receive them? In this class we will learn about refugees and the refugee resettlement process.

Z11420: Introduction to Game Theory Full!
Difficulty: *

Let's play a game! See if you can find the best strategy.

Z11316: Excavating a Shipwreck
Difficulty: **

This class will explore excavation techniques used in the excavation of intertidal shipwrecks. The wreck of the Ada K Damon, a site on which both teachers have worked, will be used as an example.

Techniques being covered include trilateration, mapping, scale photography, drone usage (in theory, not practice, unfortunately), baseline usage, keeping a field notebook, and background research.

The class will be as hands-on as possible! As we cannot actually go out to a site for 2 hours, shipwreck models will be provided for mapping practice.

Prerequisites
An interest in archaeology, ships, and/or maritime history, as well as a basic knowledge of grid coordinates and measurement scaling

Z11365: Underachievement - Changing Your Perspective
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Josh Shaine

A lot of students are told how bright they are, and yet, "Why aren't you living up to your potential?!" Parents, teachers, and even yourselves are asking just that. Maybe you really aren't as smart as they think? Join us to explore this incredibly uncomfortable place to be... I promise it will be thought provoking, if not fun!

Z11366: What does it mean to be gifted?
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Josh Shaine

"All children are gifted." "I can't be gifted, I'm no good at math." "Gifted kids don't need any help." "If I'm so smart, why are my grades so bad?" "You're done? Why don't you help the others, then?" What do we mean by gifted? What difference does it make? Does it change who you are - or should it? Why bother with the label, anyway?

This is a discussion-oriented class.

Z11378: How Mass Culture is Affecting the Environment?
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Francesca Majluf

This class discusses everything from capitalism to institutionalized racism and ties it back to today's environmental issues.

Z11369: Introduction to Game Theory Full!
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
Some familiarity with algebra would be nice, but I'll mostly just be pushing some variables around, so you won't need to have a strong grasp of algebra.

Z11310: Wacky Patents
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Alex LaGrassa

Blitz through basics of patent law, then take a look at some crazy inventions that got patented, Argue whether or not these inventions are patentable, then look at court cases analyzing their legality. Did you know someone successfully patented a crust-less peanut butter and jelly sandwich?