Splash! 2009
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Drawing with Charcoal - and actually making it look professional! Full!
Teachers: Anna Falvello

Come make a really big charcoal drawing!! Learn how to give it awesome shading - maybe come draw a really big black and white closeup of a flower/ skyline... (flowers look AWESOME from a close distance.. but that's just me)
I'll bring models to copy but feel free to bring your own!
We'll run through the basics of charcoal and I'll help out anyone who wants a hand.
(We'll also do something to keep those gorgeous pictures from smudging so you can take them home and show them off!)

A really refined taste in art. Just kidding -anyone is welcome to join!

Enormous Modular Origami Full!

We will buy large paper. And then we will teach you how to fold something awesome out of it. Everyone will make one or more separate modules, which we will then put together to make a gigantic geometric object. (You will not get to keep what you fold)
The current plan is to make a polyhedron with an 8 foot diameter...

Patience and precision: You don't need origami experience for this class - but you need to be willing to patient and precise. You also should expect to be working on a potentially dirty floor.

Ukuleles? Ukuleles! Full!

Holy cow, have you ever played a ukulele? Come play a ukulele RIGHT NOW.

This class won't be too great if you've played a ukulele before.

A World of Color
Teachers: Lyndsey Moulds

Do you know your vermilion from your viridian? Your eggplant from your ecru? As one of the most important elements of design, color is commonly utilized by artists and advertisers alike to evoke a certain emotional response in humans. We'll discuss psychological associations of colors as well as their meanings across cultures. This is an art class, too, so get ready to roll up your sleeves!

It Doesn't Just Taste Good!
Teachers: Casey Dugan

In this class, we'll make sculptures out of chocolate! But, they'll look so good you won't want to eat them when you're through. In previous years students have come up with all kinds of creative designs: dragons, islands, scenes from books, space ships, turtles, houses, horses, abstract pieces, sunflowers, lily pads, chess boards, painters' palettes, breakfast, a clock, a wedding dress, three turkeys, and more. Candy bars don't count... :) Come with ideas or come up with something on the spot! Those with food allergies: Chocolate may contain peanuts or peanut products. Sorry. :(


The Art of Improv Full!
Teachers: Abigail Walzer

Improvisation is a fun, integral, and sometimes neglected part of acting. It's not nearly as scary as it sounds, either! We'll start with Sun Salutations to warm up, and then jump right into some improv games and scenarios, and think about what goes into a successful improv scenario and a good acting scenario along the way, along with some basics like the idea of "yes-and".

It would be nice if you have a vague idea of what improv is, but it's okay if you don't!

Project Runway Full!

Students are taken to the local Garment District and given twenty minutes to choose two dollars worth of clothing from the giant dollar-a-pound pile of clothes on the first floor. From there, they return to the room and have an hour to turn the scrap pieces into their own creation - they can cut them up, add sparkles, pin them, glue them - whatever they need to do to make their vision a reality. At the end of the hour, there'll be a half hour fashion show complete with music that my partner and I will judge. Each designer can either choose a model or can model themselves for the show, and the concept behind the design must be explained. Basically, it's a way to play around with scrap clothes and potentially make something cool!

A sense of humor.

Modular Origami
Teachers: Josh Hester, Thomas Hu

If you've folded cranes and strawberries to your heart's content and would like to try something different, come try modular origami! Unlike other models that take only one sheet of paper, modular origami involves folding many of the same units and assembling them into three-dimensional geometric shapes. We'll decide as a class exactly what we want to work on and you will get to take home what you fold!

Modular origami requires some folding experience and a lot of attention to detail. If you haven't ever folded before, you might be a little frustrated by this class, but you're welcome to come give it a shot!

Telling Short Stories for Fun and Profit Full!
Teachers: Paul Baranay

Have you ever met someone with a special skill for capturing life experiences and sharing them through the spoken word? More to the point, have you ever wanted to be that person? If so, this class is for you!

In 50 minutes or less, this discussion-oriented class will address both the building blocks of good stories and the fundamental habits of great storytellers. These principles will be illustrated by a handful of on-the-spot example stories (which will focus on lore from the MIT hacking culture).

The class will focus on extemporaneous storytelling, not recitation, but many of the principles discussed will be universally applicable.

Excitement for the art of storytelling! Some sort of prior experience in public speaking and/or drama is preferred, but not absolutely required.

Skyscrapers! Full!
Teachers: Luke Joyner

At night, why do lights in skyscrapers tend to turn on or off in horizontal bands? Why do some skyscrapers get narrower near the top? Why do the skyscrapers in Chicago look different from the skyscrapers in New York?

Basic questions and observations can unravel much of the history of the architectural and historical development of skyscrapers. We’ll start with the questions above, and any similar questions you bring to the class, and learn about some of the innovations that have propelled buildings higher and higher… and all the factors that have contributed to what these tall buildings look like and make their cities feel like. We’ll also talk briefly about the psychological impact of really tall buildings on residents of modern cities.

Be ready to talk a lot, and share your own thoughts as well as listen to others' thoughts.

Make a dodecahedron from beads Full!
Teachers: Christie Chiu

Want to make useless geometric shapes* out of beads? NOW YOU CAN! But hey, they look impressive.

*One shape: A dodecahedron. A fancy one.

Some knowledge or intuition of 3-D symmetry (of a dodecahedron) and experience with arts & crafts may be helpful, but aren't necessary.

Boom Boom Pow: An Introduction to Street Drumming Full!
Teachers: Kirsten Madsen

You're wandering around downtown one day, just hanging out, you know, when...hark! You hear a glorious cacophony of rhythm and sound from around the corner! Street drummers! This class will provide you with a knowledge of basic street drumming technique, rhythms, posture, history and philosophy. By the end of the class, you and your classmates will be able to complete a basic, but impressive, street drumming performance. And you'll feel really cool, I promise.

Knowledge of basic rhythms preferred, but not required (quarter, eighth, sixteenth notes)

The Basics of Drawing the Human Form Full!
Teachers: Courtney Hilliard

Students will learn basic techniques for drawing people: the proportions of the human body, basic prominent musculature, some widely shown stances, and facial/hand structure in particular. Time permitting, shading may be introduced, but the class centers on using just line drawing to depict humans realistically. (No nude models will be used in this class.)

An interest in art and a basic knowledge of how to draw three-dimensional shapes.

Pen spinning Full!
Teachers: Jonathan Mei

Remember when they banned yo-yo's, finger skateboards, and cards in school? Well they can't confiscate your writing implements! Make your enemies jealous and distract your teachers during class!
Get in on this popular form of contact juggling that's sweeping the nation!

Warning: pen spinning is highly addictive and contains a chemical known by the State of California to cause cancer

You must have at least 1 functional hand with 5 working fingers intact

Popular Musicians of the 20th Century
Teachers: Devin Ahern

Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, Robert Plant, John Bonham, David Gilmour, Chris Cornell, Kim Thayil, Kurt Cobain. Possible inclusions of other bits of the last ~60 years of music. Specific contributions and examples of work by the individual musicians.

Chinese Knots Full!

Chinese knots are made in China. China is a country. There is air in China. There are knots in China.

Let us define a knot to be an image of S1 under a continuous map into R3. Because physics is important to the Chinese, our primary concern will be on knots without self-intersections.

This class has nothing to do with math.

The Joy of Garbage

How much waste do we generate? What's in it? Where does it all go? How does it affect us and our environment? In this session, we'll explore all you ever wanted to learn about garbage and more. Together, we'll discuss ways to reduce our waste - and use it.

This workshop will have a hands-on approach. Be prepared to get your hands dirty (we'll provide gloves, don't worry) as we learn do a waste audit. We'll try our hands at turning trash into treasure, using disposed items to make batteries, notebooks and holiday gifts - it'll be a fun way to save some money, energy, water, and save the world from more trash.

None: Come one, come all...and bring your friends!

Nationalism of the Romantic Period: Chopin to Rachmaninoff

Love classical music from the nineteenth century? Can't get enough of Chopin or Dvorák or Sibelius? Then come join us for a survey of classical music of the Romantic era! We'll discuss the development of nationalistic themes in music and listen to some of the best examples from Russia, Finland, Norway, Czechoslovakia, Spain and beyond!

Interest in Romantic music

Teachers: Christie Chiu

This course is an introduction to the Chinese art of Papercutting, which Wikipedia says is the "art of cutting paper designs" that originated in the 6th century...
We will be working on some cute panda designs ^.^

The scissors are pretty sharp, so just an eye for caution...

The Other Big Three: Seattle, Part I
Teachers: Devin Ahern

Briefly covering how music reached 1991, particularly noting events in the five years leading up to 1991, this course will focus on the works of Soundgarden, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam, and the first two in particular. Discussion of the impact, music, and ideas of the three bands.

BOOM! Photoshop Full!
Teachers: Vincent Lee

Photoshop is the most used consumer and professional graphics processing software on the market. This is a crash course in Photoshop, where you will learn how to use and abuse Photoshop's vast tool set.

Introduction to Tengwar Full!
Teachers: Joshua Velson

Tengwar is the elvish script created by J. R. R. Tolkien as part of his Lord of the Rings Legendarium. Separate from the languages of Middle-Earth, Tengwar is a writing system can be used to write any language, including English. This class will focus on a quick introduction to the English common mode of writing in Tengwar, with basic instruction in developing your own handwriting.


Breadmaking Full!
Teachers: Luke Joyner

In this class, we will make bread from scratch. We'll split into three groups, and each prepare a different kind of yeast bread. While the yeast breads are rising, we'll make three kinds of quickbreads. Then we'll form the yeast breads to let them rise a second time.

Note: this class meets on Sunday from 9 AM to 11 AM. We will do everything except bake the breads together. I'll bake the breads off myself after the class, and they'll be ready around lunchtime at 1. Everyone in this class is welcome to rejoin me at lunch time, with exactly one friend (serious, no more than one), to eat what we've made instead of the program's regular lunch. I'll bring things to put on the bread too!

You must be able to handle and eat wheat, dairy products, and all other standard bread ingredients. (I apologize to people with allergies, but it's just too hard to accommodate that in a class like this.) You must also be willing to do everything it takes to make bread: mixing, measuring, kneading, etc.

(Really Really) Early Music
Teachers: Lauren McGough

Did you know there was lots of (Western classical) music written way before Bach? Did you know it's Awesome? We'll explore the development of Western classical music, starting with Gregorian chant, working our way to Baroque operas, and, if there's time, we'll talk about the "early music" mindset and hear some exciting and unusual performances of well-known classical pieces, recorded on period instruments and played the way we think people might have played them when they were written.

An open mind to enjoying classical music

Extreme Learning to Draw!
Teachers: Franco Montalvo

Yeah I did not know how to draw before I took an art class. Stick figures and scratchy pencils for me. However, now that I'm good I'll train you to analyze your environment and learn how to draw even better than me! Hooray!

Being bad at drawing, or you could be good too if you just wanted to chill and draw with us. :) Just bring a regular old pencil, a clipboard (or book to write on) and plenty of blank paper for sure. An eraser and sharpener would be nice too if you had any.

Make chainmail!

Weave metal rings into awesome fabrics for fun and profit! Learn the basic weaves to make anything from delicate jewelry to armor that will stop a sword.

Enormous Origami Full!

We will buy the largest paper we can find (and afford/transport). And then we will teach you how to fold something awesome out of it. Depending on the size of the paper, you may be working in teams with 10 foot squares, or individually/pairs with 3 foot squares. (So you probably will not be able to keep what you make - but it might not fit in a car anyway so don’t feel so bad.)

Origami experience and endurance: You need to know how to fold at least a crane. You need to be familiar with terminology like mountain folds, valley folds, squash folds and sinks (sink folds). You need to be comfortable working on your hands and knees for 2 hours, with no hope of an end in sight.

Jazz Improvisation
Teachers: Dylan Sherry

This course will focus on the basics of improvisation in music, with a focus on jazz. We'll go over some basic scales and chords, hear a few examples, discuss some tips and tricks, and most importantly, improvise! Bring your instrument if you can.

Open to any age/grade. Any previous experience is helpful, including some experience with playing an instrument/singing (in any style), and an interest in improvisation.

Group Singing Full!
Teachers: Krista Speroni

Come hang out and sing songs from traditional South African chants to 90's boy band ballads to whatever is on my (or your) mind(s). Other fun things include soloing, circle singing, and straight up improv.

Feel free to come with song suggestions as long as they have at least two parts.

Should be able to... sing. (i.e. be able to match pitch and hold your own part in a group). Reading music is -not- a prerequisite. Vocal percussionists are also welcome.

Geometric Origami

Origami for the math inclined. Learn some basics to 3D geometry and have fun with origami: we won't get into the mathematical theory behind the designs, but there will be an introduction to the geometry. The main focus is on the origami anyway. May include modular designs

An interest for math not ordinarily taught in a high school setting would be great. No previous origami skill required.

Graphic Design: The Thinking Full!
Teachers: Luke Joyner

This class will be an in-depth look at the thinking behind graphic design.

We will go over things like balance, choice of typeface, use of color, stylistic decisions, fitting the design to the content, seeking out originality, and other choices that a graphic designer must consider over the course of any project. We will also think about what differentiates design from art, and whether that's actually a meaningful distinction to make.

Be ready to share your own ideas, both in words and visually, throughout this class. Everyone will participate.

A willingness to share your ideas, listen to ideas that others put forth, be open minded, and express yourself through drawing as well as speaking.

Introduction to Chinese Brush Painting Full!
Teachers: Zandra Vinegar

This class will cover the basic techniques of painting layered bamboo forests in the traditional style of brush painting. There will be several brief periods of instruction and a lot of time to just relax and paint.

Please sign up for only one of the two Chinese Brush Painting classes

Balance: The Art of Dance
Teachers: Marie Herring

Ever wonder how dance evolved? Why music compels people to move? Why dance is so fascinating to watch? Come and learn more about different styles of dance, from ballet to hip-hop to cultural. Learn how to move yourself in ways you never thought possible. No previous experience necessary!

Willingness to get up and move

Truth in Comedy: Improv Comedy
Teachers: Ryan Foote

Do you have the funny? Do you want to learn how to get it? Come learn about the truth in comedy as taught by MIT's premier improv group: Roadkill Buffet.

None, though theater experience is helpful.

Make Musics
Teachers: Ben Sena

Come make music! Whatever you want. I will bring some instruments, you can bring whatever you want, we'll mash together whatever we end up having. YAYAYAYAY!

Enthusiasm! Come to jam! Come to learn! We'll talk and share some theory and stuff like that as well. (Also feel free to leave early or come late if the length of the class bothers you, unless administration tells me not to say that, but I would love to have all of you.)

Make Balloon Animals (or balloon anything else) and Impress Your Friends!
Teachers: dena leeman

In this fun, relaxing class we'll go over the basics of making balloon animals and then you'll spend the rest of the time making whatever you want out of balloons! Come with ideas of what you'd like to make-- no matter how crazy, you can try to make it!

Bollywood and Bhangra Fusion

Do you want to learn two new dance styles, get an aerobic workout, and have fun all at the same time? Come learn some moves from Bhangra and Bollywood dance that will impress everyone on the dance floor. Bhangra is an energetic dance from the Indian state of Punjab and Bollywood dance is, well, the main dance of Indian pop culture. Fuse these two dances together and get a healthy dose of fun Indian culture!

a strong desire to learn an amazing new style of dancing!

Crocheting: The basics, flowers and more Full!
Teachers: Lizi George

Crocheting is fun and relaxing! I will teach a few basic skills, with the goal being to create a flower or similar design by the end of the class.

Sushi, Clay, and Clay Sushi
Teachers: Victoria Vega

Do you know what sushi really is? Have you ever wanted to learn the ancient Italian art of millefiori? Come do both with clay and sushi!

The Other Big Three: Seattle, Part II
Teachers: Devin Ahern

More or less a continuation of Part I, this segment will actually focus almost exclusively on the music Soundgarden and Nirvana, particularly oddities of the two groups, such as Soundgarden's cover of "Come Together."

Preferably, some prior knowledge of the music of Nirvana and Soundgarden, Popular Musicians of the 20th Century, or The Other Big Three, Part I.

Random A Cappella Full!

From the same person who brought you Random Musical Adventures last year and the Random Numbers of MIT, it's Random A Cappella! Bring your voices and let's make some music! We'll make use of common chord progressions and rhythmic structures to bring some order to the chaos.

You should have a very good ear for music, and ideally also a good voice (although that's less important). Knowledge of music theory would be helpful but defintely not necessary. Classical training would probably be less than helpful. :-)

How to Pick Out Songs, Read Chord Symbols, and Improvise Full!
Teachers: Kevin Gold

This course will teach the basic tools of the pop musician's bag of tricks -- the major, dominant, minor, and sus chords -- and how these building blocks form the basis of most pop music. We'll look at techniques for reverse engineering songs just by listening closely, figure out what's really happening when a musician plays a solo during an instrumental break, and show how a piano player can make use of all those guitar tabs for rock songs floating around on the web.

Knowing the names of the notes on a piano. Knowing your major scales will be helpful but not required.

Computer Science

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Introduction to Machine Learning

This class is intended to give you a rough idea about machine learning. It covers some of the history of the field, the basic ideas, and a few exciting applications.

Where do Algorithms come from? Full!

A brief survey of some of the most influential algorithms and the people behind them. We will look at the people's backgrounds and motivations behind some of the revolutionary algorithms in the field of computer science!

A Genetic Algorithm for Optimization Problems
Teachers: Dustin Katzin

Biology shows us how we inherit traits from our parents -- through genetic material. Evolution chooses the individuals with the best genetic material. Computer scientists have found a way to use the principles of genetics to select for the most "fit" sets of data. We will explore applications of this technique, including finding local maxima and minima, and playing Tetris.

Familiarity with computer programming. Familiarity with genetics

Drupal Development Full!

Drupal (http://drupal.org) is one of the most popular Content Management System available and it currently powers many US federal sites including whitehouse.gov.

Drupal goes beyond the scope of a CMS and offers the flexibility of a framework, and highly extensible through modules.

Currently the demand exceeds the supply for Drupal developers, and a sound knowledge in Drupal will help you easily earn few thousand dollars in development projects while schooling.

I will walk you through a "hands on design and development" session on Drupal.

The first part of the session hardly deals with any coding, and in the second part of the session, we will jointly develop a module and extend another module.

Basic proficiency in PHP. Computer literacy. General knowledge about internet technologies.

How To Find Your Way Out Of A Maze, or, Graph Search Algorithms
Teachers: Tony Valderrama

Pretend you're a rat, in a maze, with a computer and an excellent capacity for suspending your disbelief. How would you escape?

We'll examine basic graph search algorithms including A*, and explore various applications of these algorithms.

Living optimally with Dynamic Programming
Teachers: Letitia Li

There is one group of algorithms which make finding optimal solutions efficient. Go through an imaginary vacation while applying dynamic programming and random other algorithms.

Promiscuous Mode: Network Protocol Analysis
Teachers: Harvey Yee

Do you want to be in Promiscuous mode? You may if you are a hacker or a network engineer. Join us in learning what is involved in Network Protocol analysis, and along the way learn about network architecture and protocols. Depending on what is available in the class room, a demonstration of a wired or wireless network session will be provided. A free copy of Linux LiveCD will be provided so that you can continue your learning of network protocol analysis after this class.

A sense of curiosity, adventure, and fun!

Esoteric Programming Languages
Teachers: Thomas Lawler

Most programming languages are designed to make your life easier. But what if you wanted to make your own programming language? You might think about what sorts of structures and functionality you'd put into your language to make it easier to do certain things. You might also ask yourself how little you can get away with in your language. Maybe you want to break away from the normal ideas of what a program is, in the hopes of finding a language that is more powerful or better at certain tasks. Maybe you're sadistic and want to make programmers' lives as hard as possible.

In the world of esoteric programming languages, anything is possible. Join me on a whirlwind tour of some of the stranger languages you've never heard of, and that you'll never want to use: INTERCAL, BeFunge, Whitespace, and more.

Though this class will probably be more interesting to people who have programmed in at least one language, no programming experience is required or assumed.

Implementing programming languages
Teachers: Jonathan Sailor

We will discuss some concepts common to the core of all programming languages, and learn how to implement simple Scheme-like languages. Topics covered will include modeling syntax, evaluation in a functional language, substitution versus environments, and first-class functions.

The class will be based in part on /Programming Languages: Application and Interpretation/ by Krishnamurthi (available online.)

We will assume knowledge of Scheme, and provide resources from which students with prior programming experience can easily learn Scheme. A minimum grade level of 9 is set for this course; if you are younger and feel this course is appropriate for you, contact me. If the course is full and you think it is extremely appropriate for you, contact me.


Ever wanted to learn Scheme? Have you heard of functional programming, but never learned any functional languages?

Come to our class, and we’ll teach you the basics of Scheme, and how to learn more.

Significant programming experience, but no Scheme.

Introduction to Video Game Development Full!
Teachers: Alec Thomson

Curious about how video games are made? Want to make your own games for fun and/or profit? In this course, we will explore and elucidate all the aspects of video game development with a focus on code and design. We will use a small game as an example and go through the process of its development. This course will also introduce various tools you can download and use to start making your own games right away.

A familiarity with object oriented computer programming will be very useful for understanding the technical examples but is not required.

Machine Vision: Extracting Shapes from Images
Teachers: Tony Valderrama

In this class, we develop a basic understanding of the principles and equations which permit us to extract information about the shapes contained in an image.

Specifically, we'll learn how to convert a grid of color values (ie, an image) into a set of "equivalent ellipses" that describe the shapes in the image.

The second half of this class will consist of a series of derivations, so it helps to be comfortable with following math on the board.

How To Do File-Sharing Without Getting Caught
Teachers: Ken Takusagawa

This class will survey the technical, legal, and historical landscape surrounding peer-to-peer file sharing on the internet, focusing on how the RIAA discovers the identity and activity of file-sharers for its lawsuit campaign. This class will examine how techniques for safeguarding one's privacy on the internet work. This class will be taught from the point-of-view that the RIAA's lawsuit campaign is profoundly unjust, concluding with avenues for political activism against the RIAA and for better copyright law. This class will cover how the internet and file-sharing programs work, so no previous technical knowledge is necessary.

Knowledge of what a file-sharing computer program (for example, Bittorrent or Gnutella) is.

Teachers: Thomas Murphy

Classes at Splash are fun and informative, but also sometimes tough and exhausting. This class is a way to relax a little, while hopefully finding new passions for movies you'll have for a lifetime. I will try and play a role that's in-between teacher, movie clerk, and DJ, by discussing what we like about movies and why we relate to them, then showing as many clips as we can cram into 50 minutes. We'll talk about the clips I show, and based on what you like or are curious about, we'll watch more movies in that vein.
All the clips I show are guaranteed not to give things away or spoil the movies.
Whether you're a fan of Will Ferrell or Ingmar Bergman, Tyler Perry or Arnold Schwarzenegger, sci-fi anime or romantic comedies, we'll explore and expand your interests in 50 minutes.

**Note: although we'll steer away from it, it's inevitable that there will be some mature content. You'll have to bring in a permission slip from a parent or guardian.**

The Chessmaster, The Cave, and Other Fables of Complexity Theory
Teachers: Louis Wasserman

Lying just along the border between the Republic of Mathematics and the Kingdom of Computer Science, the beautiful region of Complexity Theory is a must-see for tourists in either country. Its residents have a great many tales to tell, and the region boasts uniquely talented lie detectors, magical caves, and many cheerful facts about a great variety of problems, both theoretical and practical...and somewhere in this land may lie a $1 million treasure.

For safe travel, visitors should be comfortable using logarithms, or else they may be eaten by a grue.

Wikipedia: Behind the Scenes
Teachers: Rob Speer

Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit. It's an incredible source of information on millions of topics, but it can be bewildering at times, especially if you venture onto the editing side.

How do you edit Wikipedia in a way that won't just be undone by another editor? Who decides what belongs in Wikipedia and what doesn't? How can you tell whether to trust what's written in an article?

Rob Speer, a Wikipedia admin, will answer these questions and more. This class will make you a more informed user of Wikipedia, and show you how you can contribute to it yourself as well.

Some computer skills

Behind the Power Button: What's Inside Your Computer, and How it Works

Discover what is really inside your computer! Astound your enemies with your intimate knowledge of the x86 cache hierarchy! Amuse your friends with your deft application of memory-mapped I/O! Push your BIOS to its limits, and serve up EFI for dessert!

In this course, we will discuss the essential components of a modern computer, from registers to RAM, from cache to keyboards. We will describe the basics of how all of these work, and how they interact to give you the ability to use Facebook. We will also explore what actually happens from when you press the power button to when you see the OS logo.

If you want to write your own operating system or build your own computer, this course will help you take the first steps. Or if you want to know which pieces you can pull off the motherboard without an explosion, this is the course for you.


Windows 7 "Server"

Learn how to use your Windows 7 machine to do cool server stuff like: HTTP, FTPES, SSH, VNC. Will include basic usage of IIS and cygwin. May include setting up a WordPress blog.

Students should bring a Windows 7 machine, otherwise they will only get to watch.

Help! That site stole my password!
Teachers: Adam Seering

Have you seen your Web browser complain that you're doing something insecure? Why does it matter?; who really cares? Just going to a website can't do anything bad, right?

Come enter the world of phishing attacks and cross-site scripting, where professional hackers control your browser and what you see is what they want you to see. See how many different ways I can come up with to steal your password over the course of the hour!

You'll get the most out of this course if you know some HTML and JavaScript.

Exploring the Operating System Kernel
Teachers: Dan Noe

What does a computer operating system kernel (core) do? In the most basic sense, it is a special program that manages shared resources by virtualizing them. In a a typical computer, the operating system provides access to resources like the CPU, memory, hard disk and other hardware devices.

Each task running on the operating system runs as if it is in its own virtual container, as if it has its own CPU and memory. Programs running in unprivileged mode are prevented from interfering with others. How does the OS kernel accomplish this? How does the hardware support the OS kernel? We'll discuss how, using generic examples.

We'll also look at some easy, generic examples of how files are stored on disk and discuss some of the differences between modern operating systems like Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X.

I won't be using any particular programming language to demonstrate concepts. Examples might include "pseudocode" but this course is largely conceptual so there will not be much. You should be familiar with a basic computer including how the CPU, memory (RAM), and disk fit together.

History of Computers (with a focus on Awesome)

This semester, I'm studying all sorts of wacky computational models, from 19th century mechanical automata to the BlueGene supercomputer, as part of my Ph.D. general exams. I'd like to share that knowledge with you. I won't limit myself to the mainstream history of the microprocessor, but will attempt to cover the most interesting technologies at each point in history, such as the circa-1953 learning robot with a seven-vacuum-tube "brain," and the "drum memory computer," which stored data as magnetic charge on the surface of a massive rotating drum. I will also include a segment on the history of the Internet, which has its fair share of exciting hacks also.

The more you know about computers, the more you'll be able to appreciate the stories I'll tell...

An Explosion of Knowledge on Building Computers
Teachers: Ariel Wexler

Have you ever wondered what goes in to making a computer? Well, I can answer that for you! This course is going to give a crash course in how to start with chemicals from the earth and build up to the complexity level of simple computers. If you are interested in circuit design, material science, mathematics, logical thinking, and computers, this course will satisfy all of your intellectual cravings.

Come and check it out. I'll be sure to make it exciting.

No prerequisites aside the interest to learn

Teachers: Paul Christiano

I want to tell you some secret information in a public place where everyone can hear me. How can I do this? I will tell you.

How to turn a poorly written exam into an easy 'A' using constraint propogation
Teachers: Robert McIntyre

We will explore the art of using a test against itself to achieve a higher score.

I will show you techniques in constraint propagation and basic logic, and how to recognize common patterns in tests which yield free answers. You will then be able to get a perfect score on a special example test for which you have no domain knowledge.

I will show you examples of well written tests compared with poorly written tests.

Face your next exam with a whole new perspective!


The Singularity: Is It Near? What Does It Mean?

“Radical life extension”, “transhumanism”, “posthumanism”, “techno-utopia”, “technological singularity”…
Many terms, each with their own baggage, have emerged in the past decade representing one version or another of a future in which there is no useful distinction between human life and human-created technology (where human minds are no longer exclusively bound to organic bodies). Ray Kurzweil calls it the singularity in his popular book “The Singularity Is Near”. I have acquired Kurzweil’s slideshow, which he presents at conferences around the globe spreading his vision. While I may not agree with him on every point, I think it is a lot less crazy than it sounds, and I would like to present (as much as possible) a fair and balanced treatment of what the singularity means, how it could happen, and what it would mean for you.

The Chernoff Bound

Flip a coin 100 times, and you've got an 86% probability of getting between 40 and 60 heads. Find out how you can use this fact to calculate the volume of any convex body, and why succeeding is more important than trying.

A basic understanding of probability.

Introduction to Programming Full!
Teachers: J.D. Zamfirescu

Join us for an introduction to the basics of computer programming. You'll learn about the fundamental concepts of programming and also learn how to think like a programmer.

We'll use a graphics-focused programming language called Processing (it's nearly identical to Java). If you have a laptop, bring it and install the software from http://processing.org/

Pwning 101 Full!
Teachers: Benjamin Agre

This class will be an introduction to applied computer security, with an emphasis on breaking things. This class will focus on application security, not on system security. In other words, there will be a simple end goal, one will not analyze a full system.

It will consist of two parts, the first half an hour to forty-five minutes will be an introduction to assembly as well as some tools. The second will be hands on usage. Students will have two separate challenges to exploit.

To get the most out of the class some familiarity with assembly, reversing would be useful.

Metacircular Scheming
Teachers: Aviv Ovadya

An impractical introduction to Scheme, a ridiculously flexible and powerful programming language. I will teach how to implement Scheme in Scheme, while learning Scheme.

This class is meant for people who don’t know Scheme (or other Lisp variants). However, you should have some minimum programming experience - you should know how to use if statements, functions and recursion.

Common Sense Reasoning for Artificial Intelligence
Teachers: Catherine Havasi

When people communicate with each other, their conversation relies on many basic, unspoken assumptions. We often learn the basis behind these assumptions long before we can write at all, making them difficult for computers to learn. These assumptions underlie all forms of human communication from teaching, to giving directions, to ordering dinner at a restaurant.

A user who interacts with a computer interface, however, can become frustrated because the computer does not understand their goals and motivations. For human-computer interaction to become as fluent as communication between humans, computers need to be able to understand the user’s basic, unspoken assumptions.

These assumptions form the body of knowledge known as “common sense” and we’ll be discussing how it is collected and used by the AI research community.

Exposure to computer science and some preconceptions about AI. Linear algebra experience will helpful to demystify some of the algorithms discussed at the end of the class but is by no means required.

Advanced programming language implementation
Teachers: Jonathan Sailor

This is a continuation of C3099. We will discuss more advanced topics in programming language implementations: laziness, recursions, state, and continuation-passing-style and some of its uses.

We assume knowledge of Scheme and of the material in C3099. A minimum grade level of 9 is set for this course; if you are younger and feel this course is appropriate for you, contact me. If the course is full and you think it is extremely appropriate for you, contact me.

Algorithms in Graph Theory
Teachers: Shravas Rao

Graphs are a collection of nodes, and edges that connect different nodes. In this class, we'll learn different algorithms that are used on graphs, including various shortest path algorithms, algorithms to calculate flow, and more.

Previous experience with graph theory is helpful.

Information Security - What's the Big Deal?
Teachers: Michelle Ng

Internet usage is essential to education, entertainment and many aspects of our daily life for all ages. This is a course intended for students who would like to learn more about the various ways information is shared / used in popular Internet applications including but not limited to Facebook, MySpace, iTunes, Twitter, IM, Google Chat, Wikipedia.

The course is designed to increase awareness of best practices and precautions in using the Internet at a time where social networking and media play an important role for virtually everyone. Users of all experience levels and opinions are welcome for a respectful and lively discussion.

Users of all experience levels and opinions are welcome for a respectful and lively discussion.

Introduction to Computational Lingusistics
Teachers: Catherine Havasi

In this class, we'll cover the basics of computational linguistics, which is a branch of both artificial intelligence and linguistics.

We'll talk about some machine learning techniques we can use to make computers understand and reason with language.

A curiosity that doesn't fear a little math.

Parallel Programming from the Hardware Up
Teachers: Dan Noe

We now live in a world of multithreaded programs, dual and quad core CPUs, and increasingly parallel programming. Moore's law no longer scales "up" it scales "out." Understanding concurrency and parallel programming will be crucial to the next generation of software engineers.

In this course I will discuss the reasons why parallelism is the direction of computing performance, how computer software and operation systems handle simultaneously shared resources, and how computer hardware is designed to facilitate synchronization (including "memory barriers" and cache synchronization) and resource sharing.

Familiarity with a particular programming language is not required. Examples will be generic. You should have a basic familiarity with how a typical computer works including the roles of the CPU and memory (RAM).

How to Make a 3D Animated Movie Full!
Teachers: Hemagiri Arumugam

Have you ever wondered how they make movies like Toy Story or Finding Nemo? Come find out how the characters are made and animated. Then, make your own simple animation!

Basic familiarity with computers.

Algorithms for Awesome

Algorithms rock
But sometimes they don’t make sense
Segmentation fault

Topics: Big-O (runtime analysis), sorting, searching, data structures (heaps, trees, lists), hashing, graph theory (Dijkstra’s algorithm, minimal spanning tree).

In order to put things in context, it would be good to know how to program in a logic-based language (e.g. C,C++,JAVA,LISP,Python,Ruby). However, as long as you have an understanding of how computers work, you'll probably be fine.

Intro to Asymmetric Cryptography

Strong private key cryptography is important in the modern world, but if it is to be used to communicate privately, key distribution is a nightmare.

Public key cryptography solves this problem. Theory and applications of RSA will be the focus. Diffie-Hellman (and Elgamal) will be mentioned time permitting.

Familiarity with modular arithmetic is helpful.

Linux 101 Full!

A very, very, basic introduction to Linux. We won't be covering much, so if you know anything about Linux then this class isn't for you. If ls > file.list means nothing to you, then you might want to check out the class. We will be using openSUSE.

Computer with http://www.vmware.com/products/server/ installed.

Web Design and Web Programming! Full!
Teachers: Sergio Benitez

Websites, websites, websites! There sure are a bunch of them around the world (wide web) aren't there? Those darn things! But, how do they actually come to life? In this class, we'll go over the entire process of building a website. We'll start with an idea, work our way into a web design, and then proceed to making it all fit together by programming the site. Hopefully it won't be too Frankenstein-looking, but if it is, even funner! We'll use very simple programming languages such as CSS and XHTML, plus Photoshop's awesome graphic editing tools, to make our website go!

Student must come with an avid mind to learn and engage! No exceptions whatsoever!

Modern Cryptography
Teachers: Sweet Tea Dorminy

Ever wanted to know how banks, the government, etc. can keep a drive's contents from being read, even if someone steals the hard drive? Or how to generate numbers that appear random without actually creating random numbers? Enter cryptography, the study of keeping secrets.

We'll be running over basic principles of modern (symmetric) cryptography, discussing:
What does it mean for an encryption algorithm to be secure? (common attack methods, random output)
What do we do with an encryption algorithm? (hash functions, pseudo-random number generators, block cipher modes)
What do modern symmetric encryption algorithms look like? (DES, AES)

Note that this course specifically does not cover RSA or any other asymmetric cryptography.

Some familiarity with basic group theory is helpful for understanding the math behind DES/AES. Some familiarity with the difference between pseudorandomness and true randomness would also be helpful.

Giving Nothing Away: Zero-Knowledge Proofs
Teachers: Louis Wasserman

Suppose that you've just solved one of the biggest problems in mathematics. Naturally, you'll want to jealously guard your secrets...except that you don't want to give anything away until your work is accepted for publication. How can you prove to your friends that your proof is valid...without giving anything away?

With the tools of complexity theory, it's known that you can keep your secrets *and* prove your brilliance. Learn how.

You must have taken Fables of Complexity Theory (C2675) to take this course, and should have a good understanding of basic probability theory.


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Designing a One-Way Mission to Mars Seminar Full!
Teachers: Phillip Cunio

This course will create a group design for a one-way mission to Mars, intended to found a permanent colony. I will guide students through key decisions in the design process to create a final mission profile, teaching about the potential options for the choices and about the reasons the choices must be made as we go. Students should bring creative ideas and a willingness to discuss in groups or as a class.


Sustainable Energy made Practical Full!
Teachers: Finale Doshi-Velez

Going green is in, and everyone knows it: ads for cars and energy companies are filled with images of nature; malls, schools, and supermarkets are littered with notices telling us to unplug our phone chargers, turn down the lights, and use fewer paper towels. We're swamped with suggestions, but the question is, how much difference do these things make? Will recycling plastic bags really save the planet?

In this class, we'll do some basic arithmetic on the numbers behind generating and using energy. We'll draw conclusions about what it would take to switch to sustainable energy as well as what we can do as individuals to have the most impact on our energy footprint.

none, some very basic familiarity with physics a plus

Leadership and Teamwork

This class will have several activities that will teach students leadership and teamwork skills. It will be taught by students in the Gordon Engineering Leadership Program.


Design a Satellite

Ever wanted to design a satellite space mission? The members of the MIT CASTOR Satellite Team will show you how it's done! Students will be divided into teams and given some basic materials, and will design a satellite mission and the satellite to meet those requirements, and build it, too! While we can't promise your satellite will get launched, we can promise you'll have a great time learning about satellites and space missions!


Intro To Fission Power Full!

Learn about how abundant clean energy is produced on a daily basis through nuclear power. This course covers the basics of radiation, the fission process, and how nuclear power plants work.


Invention Workshop
Teachers: Nikolai Begg

Have you ever dreamed of creating something new that changes the way people live their lives? In this course, we'll cover what invention really means, how it has changed over history, and what tools you need to be a successful inventor today. Finally, we'll invent something of our own and practice group brainstorming and concept selection. Topics will include a brief history, problem/need identification, concept generation and selection, proof of concept, patents, and idea transfer.

A willingness to participate.

Geoengineering: Weird Solutions to Global Warming

Climate change has become a huge issue in recent years. Most scientists advocate alternative energy sources and conservation as a solution. A few scientists, though, propose large-scale projects to fix the planet - like growing giant trees to scrub carbon out the the air, or spewing sulfur aerosols into the air to cool the planet.

Basic chemistry and biology. You should know about things like photosynthesis and balancing chemical equations.

Engineering Improv II

Like building things? Like Improv? During this hour you will work with your team to try to build the best solution to a problem that you will be given at the beginning of class.

Willingness to work as a team.

Really, Really, Really, Really, Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Small Things: an Introduction to Nanotechnology
Teachers: Liza Plotnikov

Let's say you have a brick of pure gold. What color do you think it would be? Probably yellow, right? Okay, let's say you take your brick of gold and cut in in half. Now what color is it? Probably still yellow, right? Alright, now what if you cut your brick of gold in half so many times that you wind up with a teensy piece that's only a couple hundred atoms across. Of course you'd find that its color is....red?

Turns out that stuff tends to behave really weirdly when it's small. Why? Come find out.

Some basic knowledge of chemistry and physics would be useful, but not required.

From Nanosand to Ipod Nano
Teachers: Jessica Liu

"Nano, nano, nano, what a wonderful surprise...that ordinary is extraordinary when you make it nano-sized!" What do you get when you cross a virus and a battery? How do gecko toes stick? Bioengineering knows the answer to these questions. Learn how small things are making big changes.

When Buildings Collapse: Structural Engineering and 9/11

We've all learned about the geopolitical effects behind the fall of the World Trade Center - but what about the mechanics? Take this class to learn why the Twin Towers collapsed, why it took longer for the North Tower to fall, and why all the 9/11 conspiracy theories you've ever heard are bogus.


Engineering Improv I Full!

Like building things? Like Improv? During this hour you will work with your team to try to build the best solution to a problem that you will be given at the beginning of class.

Willingness to work as a team.

So you wanna be an electrical engineer...

What makes lightbulbs light up and toasters toast? Electricity! In this class, you'll learn the fundamentals of electricity and circuits from the bottom up. At the end, you'll put what you learned into practice by building a circuit of your own!

If you are taking this class, you should have NO circuit experience at all. Ever. This is a BEGINNER course.

How to make a star: Intro to Nuclear Fusion

Come learn about the ultimate power source in the universe! Nuclear Fusion is the combining of two nuclei and in the process releasing a ton of energy.

Come learn about plasmas hotter than the center of the sun, lasers that are as powerful as nuclear weapons, and machines that have magnetic fields so strong that they can levitate superconducting rings that weigh as much as a car.

Wind Energy Basics Full!
Teachers: Katherine Dykes

This course provides students with the fundamentals of wind energy and turbine design; students then get an opportunity to create their own turbine design and test it.


Drug Development 101 Full!
Teachers: Stephanie Bachar

Many people take drugs on a daily basis - for headaches, acne, cancer, arthritis, you name it.

The average drug takes 15 years to develop and over 1 billion dollars to fund. In this class we will go through the drug development process step by step to understand how scientists identify drug targets, design drugs, and go through clinical trial.

You absolutely need high school biology. AP biology and other biology related knowledge will be helpful.

Intro to Chemical Engineering Full!
Teachers: Lonna Gordon

Where do physics, mathematics, and chemistry come together as a logic puzzle? In chemical engineering.

Chemical engineers are the people behind everything. From canned soup to medicine to cleaning up oil spills, chemical engineers design the process to make it happen.

Use science, math, and chemical engineering principles to design a process to produce jam, artificial lungs, or clean up pollution.

New this year: design a distillation column and separation process and learn about the career potential in one of the highest paid engineering professions.

Some basic idea of what calculus is used for and the notation would help, but isn't necessary. Bring a calculator, a pencil, and a straight edge.

Engineering Improv III Full!

Like building things? Like Improv? During this hour you will work with your team to try to build the best solution to a problem that you will be given at the beginning of class.

Willingness to work as a team.

How Stuff is Made Full!

We'll learn about some standard manufacturing processes and examine everyday items to figure out how they're made.

Why do Metals Conduct Electricity? Full!
Teachers: Liza Plotnikov

Why do metals conduct electricity? Why do insulators insulate? What the heck is a semiconductor? In this class we'll talk about what gives a material its electrical properties. We'll also learn how there properties can be tweaked to build electronic devices (like the computer you're using to read this course description).

Some basic knowledge of chemistry and physics would be useful, but not required.

Methods of Biological Engineering (Or, How to Feel Almost God-Like)
Teachers: Kristin Kuhn

Have you ever wanted to take photographs with bacteria? Or make a logic gate with E. Coli? How about designing the next cure for cancer?

In this class, you'll learn about the magic, er, I mean, techniques bioengineers use to do the things they do.

Some biology preferred

Walkthrough of MIT's Nuclear Reactor MIT-R

See a nuclear reactor first hand! With this once in a lifetime experience you can go inside the containment dome and see how a reactor operates first hand.

Note: Cameras, cellular phones, bags, backpacks, coats, suit jackets, etc., are permitted in the administrative building but are not permitted on the tour.

ALSO, please note that the tours are at
Sat. 11/21 1:30 - 2:15 p.m.,
Sat. 11/21 4:15 - 5:00 p.m., and
Sun. 11/22 2:45 - 3:30 p.m.

They tours do not necessarily start or end at the start or end of the period. You should come to the meeting place at least twenty minutes beforehand.

Must sign up by 11/19, no last minute slots.

Combinational Logic Circuits
Teachers: Tony Valderrama

Every second, you computer processor performs an incredible number of computations involving basic arithmetic. So how exactly does it perform these calculations? The answer lies in combinational circuits - circuits which are built entirely of logic gates. In this class, we'll cover the basics of boolean algebra, logic, and circuit design as we design rudimentary combinational logic circuits. If we have time, we'll build a working adder circuit at the end of class.

Design and Analysis of Roller Coasters
Teachers: Erik Olague

Learn about the design techniques that go into making roller coasters. Learn how designers go about making sure that the rider goes through the most intense experience possible and yet makes that experience as safe as he can. Delve into the minds of the greatest designers in the world.

Some calculus is needed to understand some of the more rigorous concepts, but general interest of roller coasters is all that is needed.

Building Combat Robots (For fun and... well... not profit)
Teachers: Nathan Partlan

Who doesn't love destroying carefully crafted machines in a hail of sparks and flying bolts? (Ok, maybe some people... but they're the crazy ones, right?) Well, this is the class that will explain the basics of (safely!) building machines that destroy other machines. In an arena. Possibly with fire. Enough said?

A love of destruction. No previous experience with robotics or mechanical work is necessary.

Bacterial Photography and Other Adventures in Synthetic Biology
Teachers: Alioth Drinkwater

This course will take you from high school biology up to understanding a particular engineered bacterium that takes photographs. We'll explore such mysteries as the bacterial two-component signaling system, the language of phosphorylation, and how to wire input A to output B. We'll also discuss the basic tenets of synthetic biology -- how people are trying to make biology a Real Engineering Discipline, with libraries of standard parts and off-the-shelf-installable logic gates.

You may also be interested in E2889: Methods of Biological Engineering (Or, How to Feel Almost God-Like).

High school biology or equivalent understanding of cells and biological molecules. If you've heard of Okazaki fragments and know what a catalyst does, you're probably good.

Composite Structures and Design
Teachers: George Hansel

A brief introduction to various types of composite --- e.g. carbon-fiber-reinforced-plastic --- structures, design, and fabrication.


I Don't Know How to Build a Windmill Full!
Teachers: Volunteer Teacher

I don't know how to build a windmill. And you probably don't, either! But I saw a thirty minute talk by this one guy who built a windmill once, and I think that if we get enough junk, we should be able to build one that powers something small. In Killian. In 5 hours. Maybe.

Ability to think, willingness to hold large pieces of wood for long periods of time, open friendliness towards your fellow windmill-makers, wearing appropriate clothes for working outside, tolerance for failure

Aircraft Jet Engine
Teachers: Mayank Agarwal

This is going to be a FUN class - I promise!!! Very few equations or Math. Lots of videos and pictures. I have 6 years of experience working with jet engines in the industry. The purpose is to generate awareness for the technology and science and aviation in general.

Engines are the powerhouses that help the planes take-off, keep them afloat, make them blast at speeds over Mach 2 (2 times the speed of sound) and provide auxiliary power for the cabin. Learn the basic thermo and mechanical principles of a jet engine.


Fabric Engineering: Building Teddy
Teachers: E Rosser

As a child, curled in your bed, snuggling with your favorite stuffed bear/dog/velociraptor, did you ponder the geometries that made his cuddly shape possible? Did you envision the static equilibriums and strains that held his cute little nose together? Did you contemplate the Young's Modulus of his soft, fluffy fur? If so, you and your unique childhood are welcome for this class!

We will look at stuffed animals and how they are held together, talk some basic mechanics and materials, and apply these principles to making our own stuffed...critter. These skills can not only be applied to standard engineering problems, but especially to sewing and design projects.

Basic sewing skills are useful, but not necessary. Come with imaginations warm and revving!

It's the Future! Why Aren't We Living in Space Yet? Full!
Teachers: Ben Corbin

Everyone's grandparents grew up thinking that by the year 2000 we'd have flying cars and round trip service to Moon hotels. Student will learn many of the challenges that still face our space program in allowing humans to live off Earth. Moon and Mars habitats as well as free-floating space colonies will be discussed along with the environmental barriers that must be overcome. Hosted by the Students for the Exploration and Developement of Space.



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Introduction to Ancient Greek, Part I Full!
Teachers: Pamela Alvarez

In this class for beginners, we will cover as much of the grammar of Classical (Attic) Greek as time will permit us.
In Part I of this two-class sequence, we will learn the Greek alphabet, along with some vocabulary, a declension or two, and some verb paradigms.
In Part II, we will continue our discussion of grammar and read some epigrams and the beginning of a Socratic dialogue in their original Greek.

Prior study of Latin extremely helpful, but not required

Politics in Science Fiction: Battlestar Galactica and Foundation Full!
Teachers: Louis Wasserman

The reimagined Battlestar Galactica series presents a stunning examination of the war on terror, civil liberties, prisoner torture, religious conflict, and democratic politics, through the lens of science fiction. Asimov's Foundation sequence depicts a growing political unit through periods related to American Manifest Destiny and to the rise of fascism in Germany. We'll discuss these depictions, and how the genre of science fiction enables us to consider important questions in a new light.

Some familiarity with the Foundation sequence or the reimagined Battlestar Galactica series is recommended.

Introduction to Human Rights Full!

We're starting to hear the term "Human Rights" more and more both at home and abroad, but what are human rights? What is the philosophical basis for human rights and what do human rights look like in practice? We'll be answering these questions and more in this class!

Swedish History, 1610-1650 Full!
Teachers: Sweet Tea Dorminy

Sweden sometimes seems like a backwoods of Europe, but in fact it was an influential player in early modern Europe. Did you know that Sweden had a colony in the New World? Or that Sweden was regarded as the European defender of Protestantism from 1630 to 1720? We'll examine Swedish history through the perspective of Axel Oxenstierna, Lord High Chancellor of Sweden and thus second in power to the king from 1610-1650.

We'll touch on Sweden in the New World, Sweden's progress from a medieval to a modern nation, their governmental reforms, and Oxenstierna's personal contributions to modernizing Sweden.

Thinking about Places Full!

In this class, we'll have an open discussion about the places we know well, what makes them different from other places, and how they absorb cultural identities.

We may talk about some or all of the following: our stereotypes of places; what we like or dislike in a place; what it really is about places that creates meaning; the differences between shallow expressions of local culture and more meaningful ones; the effect of different time periods and technologies and cultural movements on how we experience place; whether very small details can change individuals' views of places; how individuals can have different impressions of the same places.

Please come to this class with your own ideas on some of the issues raised in this description, or other related issues. Be ready to share your ideas, think about others' ideas, and see where the conversation takes us.

There will be a lot of pictures and maps to spur conversation, and I'll be ready to look for pictures on the fly to illustrate examples we may end up discussing.

An interest in place, and in what makes places special. A willingness to share your ideas, listen to others, and participate in a conversation that may end up just about anywhere.

A Brief Conversation About the Baha'i Faith Full!
Teachers: David Nawi

Can you imagine covering an entire religion in one hour? Neither can I. So let’s sit down, get relaxed, and have a short conversation about a religion you may not have heard of or know much about. Be sure to bring your questioning nature and open mind along for the ride.

no prerequisites.

What We Say to People, What People Hear
Teachers: Josh Shaine

“I don’t understand!” “What do you mean?” “How could you do that to me?” Have any of these been said to you? Did you know the answer? If you aren’t sure, take this course. We’ll discuss some of the reasons you are so misunderstood. The class will be lecture/discussion, with references to major theories and theorists as an inclusion, but not the major focus. The purpose of this course is to give you some tools for self-examination. It is neither for counseling nor for therapy.

The major prerequisite is open-mindedness, and the other is to be non-critical of other participant.

The Privacy Architecture of Facebook
Teachers: Chris Peterson

Everybody knows that privacy is a problem on social network sites.

But what is privacy, and what kind of problem is it? Why do these problems occur, and what can stop them?

This course will introduce students to some basic theories of privacy as a sociolegal construct. It will then discuss the environmental or architectural elements of privacy that are often invisible in our world. It will describe how these factors contribute to Facebook privacy problems, and what steps we might take to fix them.

This class is taught from an interdisciplinary humanities perspective. It will feature wide-ranging discussion about the various issues, and plenty of time for derails and interesting explorations of marginally related issues with privacy and social software.

Introduction to Latin, Part I Full!
Teachers: Pamela Alvarez

In this class for beginners, we will cover as much Latin grammar and vocabulary as time will allow us.
By the end of Part I of this two-class sequence, expect to be able to form simple sentences and read a couple of authentic inscriptions in Latin.
By the end of Part II, you will be able to read the beginning of Vergil's Aeneid in its original Latin.

Study of another foreign language helpful, but not required. Feel free to sign up for Part I but not Part II, and vice versa.

The Greek of Homer: Alphabet and initial paradigms Full!
Teachers: Craig Abernethy

We will learn the Greek alphabet and begin to look at how nouns and verbs behave in the Greek of Homer. At the end of the instruction, you will be able to read aloud some lines from the beginning of the first book of the Iliad.

Open to high school students. If you like studying foreign languages, you will probably enjoy this activity.

Why the World is the Way It Is: Recent World History Full!

Do you remember the Berlin Wall? 16-bit video game consoles? The Challenger disaster? Madeleine Albright? The Iran-contra scandal?

In this class we’ll explore how the short-term effects of events after 1960 have shaped the current state of the world.

This will be a discussion-based class. Bring questions that you might have about recent history, and we'll do our best to answer them!

U.N Millenium Goals: Can it be achieved? Full!
Teachers: Asvin Srinivasan

When many of us think of the United Nations we typically think of the Security Council and nuclear arms. However some of the U.N's most critical work is in development and poverty area. In 2000, the Millennium development goals were laid out as a roadmap for reducing poverty and improving the lives of millions. How is the U.N attempting to accomplish this? Are there better ways? How can you contribute? What does this mean for us as Americans?

I will provide some course background reading about the Millennium development goals prior to the class.

What is a liberal education?
Teachers: Michael Shaw

Many of you will end up in college in the not so distant future. You may be deciding between "liberal arts" colleges offering a well-rounded education, and technical schools providing more focused training. Howsoever can you choose?

Our nation is in the midst of a standards-based revolution, with the No Child Left Behind Act the epitome thereof. Teachers are told precisely which facts students are to know, and they teach you the same, but is this the right way to go about education? Should schools tell you what to learn?

More fundamentally, what should we all know? Patrons of the liberal arts believe that widespread knowledge of Shakespeare make our country better. Scientists say that unless most people learn more about evolution, about global warming, that we face impending catastrophe. Is this just specialists arguing for the supremacy of their field, or is there truth to their assertions?

We will spend the class probing our own ideas about a liberal education, about what we all should know to be good citizens, good people. You will come out of this class with a sense of the variety of perspectives in the world, and a firmer grasp of your own thoughts on the issue.

Highlights of Communications Law
Teachers: Paul Kominers

We'll discuss six important court cases dealing with emerging electronic communications (from telephones to radio to email), dealing with standards for privacy and obscenity. We'll also discuss implications of the cases, the reasons I got interested in the first place, and why Terry v. Ohio, which has nothing whatsoever to do with electronic communications, is awesome.

Inner Light: A Brief Introduction to Jainism Full!
Teachers: Finale Doshi-Velez

Jainism is a Eastern religion that talks about finding peace with oneself and the world. Although relatively little-known, it served as inspiration for the nonviolent nature of Gandhi's protests (which later inspired Martin Luther King). What else does Jainism say, and what do you have say in response? After a brief introduction about its history and principles, we'll focus the discussion on the implications of its philosophy in our current society.

open mind

A quick introduction to the Arabic Language Full!

Learn the basics of Arabic and get to hear some good Arabic music =-)

Creativity Full!
Teachers: Thomas Murphy

Creativity is one of the most highly-valued human traits. It has application in every field of human endeavor.
We will talk about creativity's role and function:
What causes it? Is it always desirable? Can peoples' limitations cause (or be) creativity? How much does it depend on environment? What is worth sacrificing for it?
Because they are well-suited to short classes, we will primarily talk about creativity in terms of art (movies, music, painting), but we'll also talk about business, interpersonal relationships, computer programming, and more.

Henry David Thoreau Full!
Teachers: Rachel Sealfon

"The greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad, and if I repent of anything, it is very likely to be my good behavior. What demon possessed me that I behaved so well?"--Henry David Thoreau
Have you ever visited Walden Pond? I visited Walden Pond for the first time last summer, and became curious about Thoreau, who lived for two years in a one-room cabin on the shores of Walden. In this seminar, we will read and discuss excerpts from Thoreau's writings (possibly parts of Walden or Civil Disobedience), and try to understand why Thoreau's revolutionary thoughts have inspired poets, writers, naturalists, leaders and reformers, including William Butler Yeats, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr.
Each student in this class will receive a free copy of "Civil Disobedience and Other Essays" by Thoreau.

There are no prerequisites for this course

Anatomy of a Metaphor
Teachers: A L

Running short on time? Classes giving you stress? Financial troubles weighing you down?

These questions may not seem metaphorical, but they are.

We not only encounter metaphors in the arts but also think with them. In this workshop, we'll look at various multimedia examples and discuss how metaphors are described in Conceptual Metaphor Theory to understand how we reason about and with them.

The Sonnet
Teachers: Lance Ozier

The sonnet is one of the oldest and most durable forms of poetry. It’s been used by great poets from Shakespeare to e. e. cummings. Because it must follow certain rules, it poses creative challenges for any poet, but as a result can yield poems that astonish and delight. Come see how poets have met the challenges and reaped the rewards over the past 400 years.

Interest in poetry and language

The French Revolution

In 1789, the French people rose up against the monarchy. What happened in 1789 that made them want to rise up? What kind of government did they want to create? Did they even know? And why did they have to chop off so many heads? Take this class to find out!

You should be able to look at a map of Europe, and label the major powers.

Partiality Full!
Teachers: Alex Kandell

When are we justified in favoring a certain person or group of people over others? Few would criticize a parent for providing food for their children at the expense of others (who may be more needy). On the other hand, a politician using such a relationship as justification for appointing the child to an important position would be frowned on. Our intuition is clear in these cases, but justifying such intuition can be tricky. Other cases of partiality are far more difficult to render a decision on - affirmative action, for example. We'll look at what a few philosophers have to say on these issues, then see what you think about them.

None. Experts are welcome, but should be warned that I'd like to keep the discussion accessible for beginners.

But Aren’t We Friends on Facebook?

You have 2 friend requests.

Aristotle – 2 mutual friends
Confirm? Ignore?
Karl Marx – 0 mutual friends
Confirm? Ignore?

Well, before we respond, maybe we should consider what they think a friend is. Have you ever stopped to think about this word “friend”? What is a friend to you? Why do we have them? How can we be better friends?
To help us think about these questions, we’ll be exploring how great minds like Aristotle and Karl Marx approached friendship. The goal is to help us form our own ideas and discuss them.
So, Confirm or Ignore?

Feminism: An Introduction
Teachers: Nalika Vasudevan

How many of us know what it really means to be a feminist? In this class we'll explore how the feminist movement began and how it has changed over the last century, and by the end of the class, we'll hopefully arrive at a clear conception of what feminism looks like today.

Social Innovation and Volunteerism - How to Make a Difference?
Teachers: Michelle Ng

Social innovation and volunteerism is on the rise among young people. We all want to make a difference. The question is… how? This course will begin with a 1-hour lecture on various topics related to social issues we face today (e.g., health care, poverty, hunger, education, environment). The lecture will be followed by a 1-hour interactive discussion to engage students on different ways to examine these issues and potential solutions. Plenty of young people want to make a difference to our world. The intent of the course is to broaden their horizon and encourage them to seek ways to make their impact.

An open mind and a desire to make a difference in the world.

History of Video Game Music
Teachers: Rob Speer

Atari. Commodore 64. The NES. Sega Genesis. The demoscene. MIDI. SoundBlaster. Koji Kondo. Bobby Prince. Nobuo Uematsu. Yasunori Mitsuda. OverClocked ReMix.

Video game music has evolved over three decades from simple blips and bleeps into a genre of its own. This genre has been influenced by the technological limitations of its roots, but also by numerous crossovers from popular music, electronic music, film soundtracks, and anime. In this class, I'll give a tour of the history of video game music, and we'll take time to appreciate some of the most significant technological and artistic accomplishments along the way.

An Introduction to Current Events
Teachers: Daniel Zaharopol

Interested in news and politics? We'll talk about all the latest events, focused on major activity in the last week before Splash. What happened to health care reform? What about the stimulus effort? What about Afghanistan? Iran? North Korea? In this whirlwind overview, we'll touch on a lot of the happenings, with an emphasis on US politics. We'll do things from the beginning; if you're not up on the news, that's OK. (It's what the class is for!)

You should have a basic understanding of the US government structure, and a general understanding of history and geography that you'd get from school.

Deep Play: Reexamining The Balinese Cock-Fight
Teachers: Race Wright

Cock Fights, though now illegal, remain an important part of Balinese culture, and an interesting phenomenon for analysis. Cock Fights are a more complex social phenomena than simply a "barbaric blood sport" which dirty "uncivilized" people in the middle of nowhere enjoy-- for the Balinese there are deep social and personal identity issues at stake in the fight.

This class is for anyone interested in applying a little bit of anthropological analysis to a social phenomena, or anyone interested in exploring something from an interesting and different culture.

Students are cautioned that there will be some media used in the class which some students might find disturbing.

American Sign Language by Deluge Full!
Teachers: Shawn Westerdale

Learn American Sign Language (kinda)! This class will be an hour long attempt at introducing ASL via submersion. I will try to familiarize you with ASL by only signing to you (I won't voice once the whole hour). We'll see how much we can cover before class ends, and in the end I'll point you to resources to learn more.

This class doesn't have any prerequisites, although I recommend familiarizing yourselves with the signed alphabet before coming to class.

Why So Serious?: Bad Things That Wouldn't Have Happened if We Just Lightened Up
Teachers: Kirsten Madsen

Sure, ruling the world is serious business, but sometimes world leaders just need to take a deep breath and count to ten. In this class, we will discuss historical events (from the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy to World War I) that would've happened very differently if the people involved had just calmed down a little. We will use our hindsight (it is 20/20, after all) to create alternative solutions for the sticky situations we discuss, in addition to discussing current crossroads where world leaders are choosing between laughing things off over a cup of coffee and launching full-scale military invasions.

An interest in history and historical anecdotes; A sense of humor

A Discussion of Current Events Full!
Teachers: Daniel Zaharopol

We'll pick 1-2 topics from current events and have a freeform discussion. We'll talk about what's been happening, who the major players are and what their plans are, and what we think the "right" course is.

Be prepared to contribute: this is for you to discuss, and there's no agenda or lesson plan for the class!

You should have an up-to-date knowledge of current events, for example, by taking the Introduction to Current Events class.

Story Writing Full!
Teachers: Lyndsey Moulds

Maybe you're just getting started with creative writing. Or, maybe you're putting the finishing touches on your 4000 page epic trilogy about the fated elves of Nornendorfendor. Either way, it never hurts to look at your writing through a different lens. In this workshop, we'll discuss how to write a story with a mature plot by beginning with a simple premise. We'll also do a few writing exercises, and share thoughts about the importance of characters, setting, and plot.

Students do NOT need prior experience in writing fiction, but they should come with an interest in crafting their own stories.

Devious Machinations: Contemporary Conspiracy Theories Full!
Teachers: Vikki Chou, Kyle Fritz

Everybody with power has an agenda, but all too often those motives are obscured behind distractions, innuendos, half-truths, and lies. How do you sort through the disinformation? Are you better off living in ignorance or knowing the truth? We will examine the evidence behind contemporary conspiracy theories and judge their legitimacy. Conspiracies can include FEMA, the H1N1 virus, Monsanto, world governments, global warming, and more. We will also construct our own conspiracy theory and support it with facts! The truth is out there!

Come Join The Terror of the North!
Teachers: Soren Rehn

Vikings held Europe in awe and terror for several hundred years. Come for a look deep into the runic lore, that we might find how the Norsemen wielded such power. (and perhaps there will be some adventures of our own!)

Elements of Fiction: A Writing Workshop
Teachers: Lyndsey Moulds

Should we always "write what we know," or write about what interests us? Is it always better to show instead of tell? By examining the elements of fiction that draw us to certain books, we can learn more about how to write stories that will keep us interested in writing and our audience interested in reading.

If you remember, please bring a copy of your favorite novel to this class.

Prior experience in writing fiction is not required, but students with interest in writing any sort of story (be it flash fiction or a full novel) are encouraged to register.

To be or not to be? A discussion about discussing. Full!
Teachers: Alexa Kottmeyer

I exist. Sometimes I think. Am I? Does one think when asleep? If not, does one exist when asleep? Does being imply thinking?

What is the difference between a sound argument and a valid one?

What can or must be assumed in any discussion?

In this course we will discuss these questions and more. I do not promise answers to most of the questions that we may discuss. Please feel free to bring any philosophical questions that you would like to talk about. (What makes a question philosophical?)

The ability to follow (and possibly create) a logical argument is necessary, but not sufficient, to enjoy this class.

Unknown Science Fiction and Fantasy Full!
Teachers: Josh Shaine

There’s nobody to discuss this book with, because you are the only person who has ever read it, that you know of! If you join us, you will be able to spread the word of unsung masterpieces, little known authors, and rare favorites, while picking up some new ideas for yourself! Be prepared to talk about what you recommend from beyond the mainstream, and why you recommend it. Please email me titles you know you are interested in discussing. That will help me to figure out what we will and will not be discussing and to prepare a list for the class.

You must enjoy reading Science Fiction and/or Fantasy and have opinions. A little bit of reasoning ability can be useful, too.

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog: A Discussion Full!
Teachers: Michael Lin

Viewing of Joss Whedon's web series "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog," as well as a discussion of the circumstances that brought about its creation and its context in the rest of Whedon's body of work. All are welcome, but newcomers to Dr. Horrible are especially encouraged.

How to Learn SAT Vocabulary Quickly and Easily
Teachers: Jae-Won (Jay) Kim

There is no escaping the fact that much of the verbal section of the SAT is really just a vocabulary test in disguise. I will show you strategies to memorize a large number of new words quickly and easily.

This class is designed for students who are taking the SAT at least 12 months from now. Students should have the desire to reach a score of 700 or higher on the verbal section.

Market Economics: Supply and Demand
Teachers: Zoe Thorkildsen

You hear about supply and demand on the news all the time, but what do they really mean? And are the newscasters even using the words correctly? (Answer: sometimes.) Learn about Adam Smith’s theory of the invisible hand, and about how markets reach equilibrium. We will also discuss elasticity of demand and supply and what implications they have for buyers and sellers in a market. From there, we will explore consumer and producer theory, as interest dictates. No previous knowledge of economics is required.

Basic understanding of the Cartesian coordinate plane and graphing linear functions (ie y=mx+b).

Distributive Justice
Teachers: Gregory Westcott

How is wealth distributed in our society? What is that distribution based on? Is that distribution fair? In this lecture, we will talk about some of the more influential theories of distributive justice and how they have affected our current society. We will start with a brief history of distributive justice followed by a more detailed discussion of modern thinkers on this subject (specifically John Rawls, Robert Nozick, and Michael Walzer). The focus will be theoretical rather than political, though I think that you will find many political applications.

49 Reasons Why California Is Better Than Your State
Teachers: Vikki Chou, Kyle Fritz

Every state in our country has rich culture and bountiful gifts. Yet, in our own completely unbiased opinions, California is the best state in the Union. But what specifically makes it so much better? In this course, we will look at what each state is best known for. Then, we will see how California does that same thing better. This most delightful look at California will enrich not only your knowledge of The Golden State, but also the rest of the country, and you too will be convinced that California is better than your state.

History of Europe in Two Hours
Teachers: Bruce Arthur

This class will cover the history of Europe from Ancient Greece to the modern day.

It is intended for students who have not yet taken a class on European History, or for those who want a quick review.

This is an introductory course. If you already know a lot about European History, you will probably find it uninteresting. Explore something new instead!

Connecting Religious and Scientific Belief Full!
Teachers: David Nawi

It is our beliefs that help guide our decisions and help us make sense of the world. Religious and scientific belief can thus be seen as two distinct yet complimentary aspects of our beliefs as a whole, and not as mutually exclusive. Come discuss more about why so many people feel the need to separate the two and denigrate one or the other, and how you can weave the two together in your own life.

no prerequisites

Educational Policy: How Should We Fix America's Schools? Full!

American education receives consistently low ratings in international comparisons. Why is this? What should we do to fix this?

This class will be discussion-based - I want you to come and share your ideas with other students.

A good knowledge of educational policy. You should be familiar with what a charter school is, the details of "No Child Left Behind", school vouchers, and other issues in education.

Predictably Irrational Behavior Full!
Teachers: Jae-Won (Jay) Kim

Why do people wait in line for hours on Black Friday just to save a few bucks? Why do people waste money, even if they know it's bad for them? We'll talk about consumer decisions that are clearly not rational, and the psychology behind what makes those behaviors predictable.


Where the Musical Scale Comes From Full!
Teachers: Rob Speer

Why does the musical scale we know consist of 12 notes, and why are they those notes in particular? It turns out that there’s some simple math that describes what sounds good to the human ear, and you can use that math to build up the familiar Western scale. Like curious engineers, we’re going to take apart the scale and see how it works — and then we’re going to put it back together differently.

By making different choices, you can end up building other musical scales used through history and around the world, or exotic scales that few people have ever heard. Instead of 12 notes, you could have 5, 19, 22, or even 53 notes in each octave.

You’ll hear some examples of music that doesn’t sound like anything you’ve heard before, learn why every piano is “out of tune” in one way or another, and you’ll even have the opportunity to play a keyboard with a 19-note scale.

This class will make use of some math. You should understand how to multiply fractions and raise numbers to a power. If you are familiar with logarithms, you will get more out of the math. If you are familiar with musical intervals -- for example, what thirds and fifths sound like -- you will get more out of the music.

How to Take Over the World Full!
Teachers: Naren Tallapragada

The year is 2020. You are a member of the Chinese Politburo, in charge of a country about to assume the role of the world's most powerful nation from the United States. In your way are challenges both internal and external, from shortages of food and water due to climate change to the American military, Indian spies and political dissidents. Your task - deal with these challenges and make China #1, whatever that means.

If you've ever wondered what the future might hold for the United States, wanted to know how empires have risen and fallen through history, or just wanted to be a megalomaniac for a day, this class is for you. The format is an interactive simulation.

- Enthusiasm - A willingness to write and think on your feet - Basic knowledge of current events

No Logo: The Rise of the Corporation
Teachers: Netia McCray

This class explores the effects of the brand in our world by exploring several categories:

Introduction: The Corporation
No Space: Marketing
No Choice: Rise of Corporate Culture
No Jobs: The Decline of the Employee
No Logo: Anti-corporate Activism

Based on the critically acclaimed book, No Logo by Naomi Klein. This class will feature the book as reference material. The class will also include material from such films and books as:

The Corporation Documentary
Capitalism: A Love Story
Super Size Me
Fast Food Nation
Hegemony and Survival: Noam Chomsky

The purpose is to explore the explosive growth of the Corporation in the past 140 years, the consequences of this growth, and solutions for the future. This class will be available online for those interested in exploring the topics discussed further or cannot attend the class.

None except an interest in globalization, capitalism, and corporate culture. I would suggest watching The Corporation (available for free on YouTube, seriously) before coming to Lecture so material will not seem so overwhelming. We will be covering 1000 pages of textbook material in 4 hours!

Intro to Newswriting Full!
Teachers: Natasha Plotkin

Learn the nuts and bolts of crafting a news article, from interviewing and researching to writing and editing. Key points will be illustrated through both hands-on exercises and stories from the muckraking experiences of a student journalist at MIT.

Social Psychology Full!
Teachers: Josh Shaine

Why do people behave differently in groups than they do when alone? Why would a perfectly reasonable person agree to administer shocks to somebody just because that person got questions wrong? Does power corrupt and if so, how? What experiment predicted what would happen at the prison, Abu Ghraib.

Willingness to question assumptions and your own thinking. Willingness to listen to others.

What is Economics, Really? (Microeconomics) Full!
Teachers: Zoe Thorkildsen

When most people think of economics, they think of checkbooks, interest rates, credit cards, and the Fed. In fact, economics is the study of human behavior, faced with constraints. In this course, we will briefly discuss recent research published in economics journals, and expand your knowledge of what economists really do with their lives.

How to Read a Newspaper Like an Economist
Teachers: Peter Rigano

"Eating tomatoes prevents cancer." "Having fat friends makes you fat." "Harvard is the best school in the U.S.A."

All of these statements have been presented as "facts" by major newspapers - but are they? What's correlation vs. causation? How can we spot researcher bias? What makes a good study? This class will give you the tools to read newspapers critically.

A basic understanding of algebra.

The Politics of European Soccer
Teachers: Diyang Tang

A rose by any other name may smell as sweet, but soccer by another name is a bigger deal. In Europe, as in many other places, "football" is important enough for us to use it to examine dynamics in European society and politics. This class will show you exactly how much you can determine about a place from soccer, and why we can determine all of that.

Interest in politics, sociology, international relations, or soccer's place in society make this class enjoyable.

Efficiency in Economics Full!
Teachers: Leonid Grinberg

Why do governments institute taxes? Is the stimulus bill a good idea? How about the healthcare bill? These are all incredibly open-ended questions with many difficult issues that need to be considered. We will look at one particular issue -- the question of economic efficiency, which helps us objectively look at some issues involved, without getting caught up in political ideology. Come and learn what operating systems, water fountains, car companies, and broken windows have in common, and be prepared to discuss some important open-ended issues!

Some algebra is a must; calculus could help a little, but is certainly not required. Be willing to tackle complex and open-ended issues!

Conversational Sign Language Full!
Teachers: Sachi Hashimoto

American Sign Language is a very useful language, whether you're using it to communicate with the Deaf, or with your friends in class. Come learn the basics of sign language and practice signing.

You should try and learn the ASL alphabet before coming to class. (Wiki page for the alphabet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_manual_alphabet )

Anatomy of a Banking Crisis
Teachers: Jean Otrakji

What exactly is a banking crisis and how do they occur? What are the economic implications thereafter? This class aims to dissect the anatomy of a banking crisis from its earliest phases to the subsequent recovery. Recommended for anyone interested in finance, economics, or current events.

General awareness of current events.

Learn the IPA! Full!
Teachers: Jennifer Melot

The International Phonetic Alphabet is a system of phonetic transcription that provides a relatively unambiguous way to notate speech. Extremely useful if you like learning foreign languages or are at all interested in linguistics.

This is a class for beginners - we will make various strange sounds at each other, match those sounds to symbols, and hopefully have a bit of fun! Time permitting we may play a little with Praat, a program which lets you make neat spectrograms of speech.

Paradoxes of Democracy: Fair Elections and Voting
Teachers: Stephen M. Hou

Come learn ideas with applications in mathematics, economics, engineering, and political science! What if, in hypothetical two-way races during the 2008 primaries, Clinton beats Obama, Obama beats Edwards, and Edwards beats Clinton? Is this even possible? (Yes.) What would then be a fair way to decide the "best" preferences of Democrats? Whether it's a T-shirt design contest or a presidential election, voting converts preferences of individuals into a single preference for the community. We'll discuss Arrow's Impossibility Theorem, which states that there is no "perfect" way of doing so. We'll demonstrate a few of the mind-boggling flaws that every voting method must have.

Comfort with arithmetic; interest in voting, political science, decision-making, and/or economics.

Introductory Swedish language Full!

Swedish from the ground up.

A desire to learn Swedish.

Introduction to Latin, Part II
Teachers: Pamela Alvarez

In this class for beginners, we will cover as much Latin grammar and vocabulary as time will allow us.
By the end of Part I of this two-class sequence, expect to be able to form simple sentences and read a couple of authentic inscriptions in Latin.
By the end of Part II, you will be able to read the beginning of Vergil's Aeneid in its original Latin.

Completion of Part I, or the equivalent

Introduction to Sudden Fiction Workshop Full!
Teachers: A L

The ideas and questions some writers pack into really short stories (mere paragraphs or even just sentences) can be surprising, intriguing and delightful.

This fascinating genre of flash/sudden/micro fiction is all around us. In the form of cell phone stories, TV/radio commercials, web videos and other manifestations, really short stories can be humorous, thought-provoking, informative and much more. Come sample some microfiction and write your own in this workshop! Bring writing materials!

One facet of Marxism: Surplus value = Social dynamite Full!
Teachers: Craig Abernethy

In this activity, we will look at the social roles of worker and capitalist, as Marx explains them in the first volume of Capital, with a primary focus on Marx's understanding of surplus value, which, according to Marx, is created by workers, but pocketed by those with capital, a process which is the mainspring of class conflict in industrial society.

Open to high school students. If you are interested in how society works, you will probably enjoy this presentation.

Poetry Through the Ages Full!
Teachers: Susan Shepherd

This class will present students with a brief history of songs and poems from the middle ages to the modern day (roughly divided into time periods), then give students the chance to listen to selections from each age. The class time will be roughly one-fifth history, one-fifth poem summaries and students voting on the poem(s) they want to hear, and three-fifths poetry reading.

Egyptian Mythology: Creation to Contendings
Teachers: Raisa Lardie

Most history classes gloss over Egyptian mythology in favor of studying the more well-known Greek and Roman gods—find out what you’ve been missing! We’ll cover the major gods involved in the Egyptian creation myth up to the Contendings of Horus and Seth, from Horus and Seth (duh), to lesser well-known deities like Khonsu and Nit.

None. If you're already familiar with ancient Egyptian mythology, you might bit a tad bored.

Non-Linear Thinking in a Linear World
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 hows and whys of non-linear thinking. We’ll talk about how to recognize and develop strengths, not just how to “fit in.”

Introduction to Socionics
Teachers: Roan LaPlante

Socionics is a field of barely scientific (some argue protoscientific) analytical psychology developed by Ausra Augustinavicitue, building upon ideas developed by Carl Jung. It is far more well known in Eastern Europe, where the majority of the major bodies of socionics study (such as the International Institute of Socionics in Kiev) exist.

Socionics, following in Jungian tradition, is perhaps best described as a language for understanding and interpreting processes of personality. It can be used as a typology, assigning particular personality types to individuals and using these types to systematically predict relational compatibility, but it is also often used to describe the habits and personality of different cultures (integral types) and myriad other applications with only a loose relationship to individual attributes. Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, thinking about socionics provides a concrete framework for thinking about questions of personality, social behavior, cognition, and philosophy.

none; familiarity with MBTI is potentially helpful but also potentially detrimental. familiarity with contemporary research on personality, social, and cognitive psychology and Russian language are invaluable for further study of socionics, but no background in psychology, socionics or Russian language is expected of any students in this class.

Glorious Music
Teachers: Lance Ozier

Sure, you've heard of Beethoven and Bach. We'll start there, but move quickly to some of the most glorious classical music of the 20th century, including pieces by Orff, Stravinsky, Ravel, Respighi, Gershwin, and Puccini.

Interest in orchestral music

EMP: The Iranian Threat to America
Teachers: Yale Zussman

During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union built up vast arsenals of nuclear weapons in pursuit of a strategy called "Mutual Assured Destruction." (MAD) The idea behind MAD was that if each country expected to be destroyed by the other in the event of war, neither would initiate an attack. Since we are still here, the strategy

In the last few years, a new strategy has emerged that would enable a state with only a small number of nuclear weapons to destroy a much larger enemy. That strategy is called an electro-magnetic pulse attack, or EMP for short.

In this program, we will discuss the effects of nuclear weapons, how an EMP attack would destroy an enemy, and finally both how the United States could protect itself as a nation and how you could prepare for the eventuality of such an attack.


Paradoxes of Democracy: Fair Apportionment
Teachers: Stephen M. Hou

Come learn ideas with applications in mathematics, economics, engineering, and political science! What happens when perfectly fair division isn't possible? Say you and your two siblings inherit your parents' cattle ranch, but the number of cattle isn't a multiple of three. How do you split the cattle? At the national level, how do we apportion seats in the U.S. House of Representatives? If a state's population indicates that it deserves 7.23 seats, is it awarded 7 seats or 8 seats? Or maybe even 6 or 9? Interesting paradoxes in fair division will be shown. For example, can a state lose a seat if the size of the House is increased by a seat (and the populations of all states remain unchanged)? You'll see...

Comfort with arithmetic; interest in voting, political science, decision-making, and/or economics.

Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time
Teachers: Josh Shaine

The Gathering Storm is out! Read it yet? If you have and you want to discuss it, complain about it, theorize on what will happen in the last two books, then this is a good place for you! . (The last time this class ran was right after Knife of Dreams, and I suggested we might debate whether he really WILL stop at 12 books, like he said. Clearly, the answer was no!)

So, come explore the saga of the Dragon Reborn!

Being a Wheel of Time fan (or critic)!

Introduction to Ancient Greek, Part II
Teachers: Pamela Alvarez

In this class for beginners, we will cover as much of the grammar of Classical (Attic) Greek as time will permit us.
In Part I of this two-class sequence, we will learn the Greek alphabet, along with some vocabulary, a declension or two, and some verb paradigms.
In Part II, we will continue our discussion of grammar and read some epigrams and the beginning of a Socratic dialogue in their original Greek.

Completion of Part I, or the equivalent

Parliamentary Debate
Teachers: Simone Agha

Decorum! Learn how to write your own bills and debate them using the much-loved Robert's Rules of Order.

Communist Thought and Theory Full!
Teachers: Wendy Cheang

During the 19th century, a radical new idea shook the very foundations of society. A German philosopher by the name of Karl Marx stunned the world with his publication of The Communist Manifesto. His writing inspired many of the greatest revolutions of his day.

This class analyzes basic communist theory, starting with The Communist Manifesto and moving into the writings of the communist thinkers Lenin and Trotsky. The readings will be supplemented by 19th and 20th century history and discussion.

A desire to learn and discuss history and philosophy.

How to Read a Poem
Teachers: Lance Ozier

Have you ever read a poem and wondered what the heck is going on? Or, to paraphrase the poet T. S. Eliot, have you “had the experience but missed the meaning”? In this class you will learn some simple ways to help you make more sense of the poems you read.

Interest in poetry and language

Grammar is Fun Full!
Teachers: Avril Kenney

In this class we will explore the structure of English sentences. Ideally it will be discussion-based, so come with questions! What we talk about will depend on the interests of the students. Some possible topics are:
- parts of speech
- common grammatical errors
- things your English teacher tells you not to do but aren't actually wrong
- ambiguous sentences

Some interest in language/grammar. If you know a lot you might be bored, depending on how much other people know.

Newcomb's Paradox Full!
Teachers: David Farhi

What does it mean to act rationally? In this class we'll discuss Newcomb's paradox, a strange philosophical question about the meaning of rationality. We may get sidetracked into discussions of free will, time travel, and parallel universes.

Comics, Heroes, and Mythology
Teachers: Zev Hurwich

From Samuel to Odin to Batman, mythology is one of the greatest forms of story mankind has to offer. Learn about what makes a hero super and why we even tell these stories. We will discuss fundamental questions like What is mythology? Why do we tell it?
We'll be delving into the basic stories of the myths we are analyzing, as well as a brief overview of a fair amount of super heroes. The first portion of class will be mostly lectures with a few important discussion questions. As we go over more background we will however be able to go over deeper questions, and will move to a discussion based format.
The class focuses on Norse, Greek, and Jewish cultures. We will read classical texts relating to Norse myth, biblical tales, and comic books like The Sandman, Superman, and more!
Also check out the class website to see what specifically is going to go down in this class.

Students should have background with basic myths (i.e. exposure to Greek, Norse, Egyptian, and whatnot), also students will be expected to discuss material as we go over it in class. This class will be delving into the religious beliefs of a number of cultures, however we will not be discussing veracity or legitimacy of any of them.

Egyptian art history
Teachers: Elisabeth Caron

We'll take a whirlwind virtual tour through the history of ancient Egypt, beginning with the primitive art of predynastic Egypt and ending with the foreign influences under Greek and Roman occupation. We'll discuss many works on display at Boston's MFA, so you can go see them in person if you'd like!

A familiarity with ancient Egypt or art history would be helpful, but is not required.


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Integers and Sequences
Teachers: Tanya Khovanova

Have you ever heard of "untouchable numbers"? How about "aspiring numbers"? I will tell you what they are.

I will explain how "perfect numbers" are connected to Mersenne primes. I will describe the biggest known prime number.

Have you ever wondered which is the most famous number sequence? Or which is the most versatile sequence? We will discuss that.

What is the largest amount of money in coins that you can have without being able to make change for a dollar? You can bring your answer to this seminar. What is so special about 1089? You will learn that, too. Is 42 (The Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything) more famous than 47 (the secret Star Trek TNG number)? I promise you the answer to that.

I will also show you key Internet resources about numbers, so that you'll be able to discover new truths about your favorite numbers.

Diophantine Equations
Teachers: John Hawley

Diophantine equations are polynomial equations in several variables that have integer solutions. Starting with only some basic facts about integers, we can find solutions to these equations and prove their uniqueness.

High school algebra. No knowledge of number theory required.

Fractals and Fractal Dimension
Teachers: Zandra Vinegar

Math through a kaleidoscope: http://www.fractal-recursions.com/
Beautiful, no?
This class will dive headfirst into the key concepts of Fractals including Symmetry, Expressible Infinity, and Chaos. Specifically, we will take an in depth look at the Sierpinski Triangle (briefly covering the difference between fractal dimension and topological dimension), the Lorenz Water Wheel (illustrating the ideas of the Butterfly Effect and Strange Attractors), and the well-known Mandelbrot Set. If you want to see mathematics from a completely alien perspective, this class is for you.

Build your own Stellated Polyhedra!
Teachers: Julia Boortz

Like building? Try your hand at building your very own stellated polyhedra out of straws. After you finish building it, you can even use it to blow bubbles!


Counting to Infinity Full!
Teachers: Daniel Bulmash

Did you know that a set can be completely contained in a set of the same size? Or that there are multiple sizes of infinity? Infinity makes strange things happen, and in this class we'll talk about some of these things along with the notion of countability.

Regression Analysis Full!
Teachers: Zoe Thorkildsen

Regression analysis is a statistical method that allows researchers to explore relationships between dependent and independent variables. These could range from the relationship between SAT scores and college admissions, or between natural resource abundance and likelihood of civil war. Far more than a simple correlation coefficient, regression analysis allows much more detailed and informative analysis. In this course, we’ll touch on research methods, basic statistics, conceptual mathematics, econometrics, and the study of social issues. You’ll get to participate in a mini-research project using statistical software to analyze some real world data using regression techniques.

Basic algebra (y = mx + b) and some very basic intuition about data, models, correlations, and best fit lines.

Geometry, Topology, and the Fourth Dimension
Teachers: Sachi Hashimoto

Delve into the mathematics behind how space could be shaped...what if the universe were curved? If we were living on the surface of a fourth dimensional Mobius strip? What does that even mean? We'll talk about universes where if you walk long enough, not only will you end up back where you started, all your writing will look like its mirror image, to everyone else—and everything about them will look like it's been mirrored to you! We'll also look at the complex plane, spheres, and different geometries, and relate that to all of these crazy universes.

There are no prerequisites, but we'll be moving fast and covering a lot of somewhat advanced math in a short period of time.

Teachers: Robert Assaly

What comes after 1, 1, 4, 10, 28? If you enjoy puzzles like this one, this class is for you. Not only are these problems fun, they lead to useful procedures for solving many math problems. We shall look into arithmetic sequences, geometric sequences, the Fibonacci sequence and the golden ratio. With what we learn we shall solve some equations, and this by methods not presented in regular classes.

Elementary algebra and an enjoyment of mathematics.

Samples from an Infinite Buffet: An Introduction to Nonparametric Statistics Full!
Teachers: Finale Doshi-Velez

What does a Chinese restaurant have to do with models of gene classification? An Indian buffet with models of what movies people will enjoy? Welcome to the quirky, exciting, and ultimately useful world of Bayesian nonparametric statistics, an area of mathematical modeling that says: "If designing big models is hard, maybe making them infinite will make things easier!" In this class you'll be introduced to two classic nonparametric models: the Chinese Restaurant Process and the Indian Buffet Process. We'll talk about what they are, how they're useful, and how to "solve" them using inference.

basic familiarity with random variables and probability distributions

Metric Spaces, Compactness, and the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra Part I
Teachers: Daniel Zaharopol

This class is about several different concepts in mathematics, and how they interact to produce some really stunning results. It’s about the power of generalization. And it all starts with one simple question. What is distance?

We’ll ask what the most important ideas about the notion of “distance” are, and then find a way to generalize them to places far different than just the distance between two points in space. This will lead us to define mathematical objects called “metric spaces,” sets of points where we can tell how far apart two points are, but nothing else. Yet even with just that – just a notion of distance – we’ll be able to come up with a huge host of results, including, finally, the idea of “compactness,” one of the most fundamental notions in mathematics.

These ideas are extremely abstract, and you should come prepared for a very difficult math class --- and a long one, lasting a total of six hours. However, when we’re done, we’ll be able to prove a truly amazing result: every polynomial has a root in the complex numbers. You'll also be grounded in an advanced field of mathematics possibly unlike anything you've ever seen before.

An open willingness for generalization. You are welcome to sign up just for Part I to see how it goes, and decide later if you want to take the rest. You should be very comfortable with high-school algebra. Note that you'll be expected to work on the mathematics during the class, not just to listen passively!

Number Theory
Teachers: David Roe

Number theory is the branch of mathematics that studies properties of the integers. Despite being around for thousands of years, there are still many fundamental unsolved problems. In this class we will cover some of the basic techniques of number theory, including modular arithmetic, Fermat’s Little Theorem, primes and unique factorization. These can help you understand where divisibility rules come from, how primality tests work and how to solve systems of modular equations.

There are no prerequisites for this course, but a comfort with abstract mathematics will help you get more out of this class.

Directional Derivatives
Teachers: Andrew Spieker

So, we know how to differentiate a function of a single variable. The derivative of a function at a point gives you the slope of the tangent line, of course!

But suppose you're standing on a surface in three dimensions, and you want to know what the instantaneous rate of change would be should you choose to move ANY direction whatsoever in three-space...is there a way to figure this out?

Of course there is! In this seminar we introduce partial derivatives of functions of several variables, the gradient vector, and the directional derivative, which will answer questions that will suddenly make math seem even cooler than it already is!

Understand what the derivative of a function is and how to find it; know how to differentiate basic polynomial functions. (At least currently taking calculus, essentially). An intuition of what surfaces in 3D look like could help you, but is not entirely necessary.

The Projective Plane Full!
Teachers: Lisa Danz

In the projective plane, all lines intersect, even "parallel" ones. You get the projective plane if you sew a disc onto a mobius band. (It is not physically possible to finish sewing this in three dimensions.) It's a pretty crazy world. Come along for the ride!

Algebra I and Geometry (or equivalent), a general comfort with using coordinates to describe points on a plane and in three-dimensional space (I mean your everyday planes and spaces; you don't need to know any projective geometry beforehand.)

Math from Way Back When
Teachers: William Steadman

What can you do if you don't have division? The Egyptians were able to build the Pyramids. What if you don't have multiplication? The Mayans were able to follow the orbits of planets. We'll look at how people discovered ideas that today we all take for granted.


Microeconomics in 50 Minutes Full!
Teachers: Scott Kominers

The title is self-explanatory.

Basic algebra is a must. Some calculus may be helpful, but is certainly not necessary.

How much do you bid? Full!
Teachers: Scott Kominers

First price auctions!
Second price auctions!
Auctions, auctions, and more auctions!

Basic algebra, critical thinking

Metric Spaces, Compactness, and the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra Part II
Teachers: Daniel Zaharopol

This is Part II of a three-part class. See the description under Part I!

This Ain't Yo' Gramma's Geometry!

Did you know that every "nice" map from a ball to itself maps at least one point to itself? Can you imagine proving facts about polynomials using projection of a sphere onto a plane? Yo' gramma sure didn't know any of this stuff! In this class, we'll talk about how mathematicians study sufficiently "nice" surfaces and use them to derive beautiful results in a wide range of fields with little more than calculus.

Comfort with algebra and comfort following mathematical arguments, calculus

Theory of Stochastic Processes
Teachers: Andrew Spieker

Stochastic Processes are, in short, just random process. In this two-hour seminar, we discuss some of the following topics:

+Conditional expectation and Wald's Lemma; +Gambler's Ruin and Game Strategy
+Random Walks
+Brownian Motion

Chances are, if you have enough interest in these topics, you will have sufficient motivation to master the material. This is the heart of applications of probability theory.

Algebra II (successful completion or current enrollment). Exposure to basic probability theory is helpful. Exposure to matrices may be helpful.

How to Become a Mathemagician: Mental Calculations and Math Magic
Teachers: Adam Gleitman

How do you multiply two numbers in your head? How do you add a sequence of numbers faster than someone can punch them into a calculator? How can you use minimal information to identify a special number?

In this course, entertainment meets education as I show you some incredible mathematical tricks, how to do them, and why they work! Amaze your friends, speed up your calculations, and get the phone number of that cute boy/girl who sits in front of you in class! (Seriously, I'm not kidding.)

None. The background information required for some of the explanations will be discussed in the course.

Linear Algebra

What are matrices and where do they come from? Are they actually useful? How can they be interpreted geometrically and related to the real world? All these questions and more will be answered in this session about matrices!

Quaternion Algebras
Teachers: David Roe

You've seen the complex numbers: they form a system of arithmetic where each number is specified by a pair of real numbers. Can you figure out a way to add and multiply triples of real numbers? Quadruples?

It turns out that if you want all of the rules of arithmetic to hold, you're out of luck. But if you're willing to relax the requirement that $xy=yx$, then it's possible to define a way of multiplying quadruples of real numbers (but not triples!) in a way that gets you everything else you'd want.

We'll construct these quaternions, discuss why it doesn't work in any dimension other than 4, and apply them to problems like efficiently rotating coordinates in 3 dimensions and generalize them to algebras over other fields.

This will be a difficult class: come prepared for quite a bit of abstraction.

Familiarity with complex numbers.

Unanswered Questions in Mathematics
Teachers: Michael Kling

Come check out some questions in mathematics that are simple to state, but still remain unanswered. Examples include the Collatz conjecture, the 196 algorithm, the Goldbach conjecture, and others. These can be stated in a sentence or two using only arithmetic and basic algebra, but we still don't understand how they work.


How far can YOU count with your fingers? Full!
Teachers: Sofia Magkiriadou

Ten? Twenty-five? How about 59,048?

We will try to come up with various counting systems that will allow us to use our hands to count to numbers much, MUCH greater than ten.

You should know how to count.

Metric Spaces, Compactness, and the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra Part III
Teachers: Daniel Zaharopol

This is Part III of a three-part class. See the description under Part I for more information!

The Mathematics of Monsters and Machines
Teachers: Zandra Vinegar

Can you add by dropping marbles through a maze of switches? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GcDshWmhF4A (watch with the volume off and figure out how it works - /very/ simple, but elegant, no?)
That machine clearly only works as directed for some range of numbers. How about if you want to add arbitrarily large numbers with one, finite machine? Can you build such a machine and then tell someone how to drop marbles into it to add their numbers? – NO!! STOP!! I did not ask, ‘how would you’ – I asked CAN you? Sure, you could prove the affirmative by construction, by making a machine which does so (if one can exist) but can you more succinctly, more elegantly, simply prove that such a machine exists? What if one could not exist? How would you go about proving this?
If you like looking at machines and figuring out what they do, or constructing machines to solve problems, then you will probably like this class. On the other hand, what this class is /really/ about is the mathematical treatment of ALL machines, ALL languages, ALL algorithms. Exactly what abilities – finitely many states? finite memory? infinite memory? non-determinism? – are necessary to solve problems? What sets of abilities are equivalent? How long does it take to solve problems of sufficient complexity? Are there problems that are simply impossible to solve, although they clearly must have an answer?

To answer the last question, YES! However, if you are willing to accept this claim without /proof! ‘you CANNOT say something like that without PROOF!’/ you probably can skip this class. But if that kind of claim shakes your world up a bit, come to this class and be shaken!!

Extremely fast paced, but starting from truth tables and binary. I intend the class to 1) be an awe inspiring introduction to the field of Theoretical Computer Science (TCS – my major!), and 2) introduce enough of the modern concepts and terminology to cover current TCS research topics like Pvs.NP and Building a “Turing Complete” Computer or AI.

Big Numbers
Teachers: Leonid Grinberg

Have you ever wanted to name a really large, thousand-digit number, and not known how to do it? Come to this class and learn about huge numbers -- numbers that it would take you the age of the universe to write out, numbers that, in some cases, cannot even be calculated by a computer, no matter how powerful. In the process, we will look at various sequences of numbers and learn nice ways of classifying and analyzing them.

Basic algebra. If you have seen calculus, you will understand some concepts a little bit better, but it's certainly not required.

Lagrange's Four Squares Theorem
Teachers: David Roe

$$719 = 26^2 + 5^2 + 3^2 + 3^2$$. Can you write it as a sum of three squares? Can you write $$2007$$ as a sum of four squares?

As it turns out, every positive integer can be written as the sum of four squares. We'll prove this result using a method known as infinite descent, and then proceed to discuss the number of ways a given $$n$$ can be represented so.

As for a sum of three squares, we'll see which numbers can be represented in this fashion along the way. See if you can figure out the answer now (and prove it too).

We'll use the tools developed in my Number Theory class. This course will not be as hard as Quaternion Algebras, but it will still be reasonably difficult, especially near the end.

Number Theory (in particular, a comfort with modular arithmetic, squares modulo $$p$$ and Diophantine equations)

Fractional Calculus
Teachers: W D

You've probably taken a derivative. Maybe even a second derivative. And if your teacher hated you, they probably made you take it at least n times, where you then looked at it in bamboozled awe. But your teacher stopped there, didn't they? They didn't tell you about $$\frac{1}{2}$$-derivatives, $$\frac{1}{4}$$-derivatives, $$\pi$$-derivatives, or $$i$$-derivatives, did they?

The time is nil to break free of integral constraints. We will explore the underworld of fractional calculus, where you can differentiate or integrate to any order you could possibly dream of.*

*Complex numbers, that is. Leave your quaternions and Cayley algebras at home.

Single variable calculus a must. The more math, the better!

Derivatives and integrals I: basic ideas and examples
Teachers: Michael Livshits

Let $$f(x)$$ be a polynomial and $$a$$ be a number. Then $$f(x)-f(a)$$ is also a polynomial in $$x$$, and $$a$$ is its root. Then, as you may remember from your algebra class, $$f(x)-f(a)=p(x,a)(x-a)$$, where $$p$$ is a polynomial in $$x$$ and $$a$$. The number $$p(a,a)$$ is called the derivative of $$f$$ at $$a$$ and written as $$f'(a)$$. This is differentiation, as understood by Descartes. You may notice that $$a$$ is a double root of $$f(x)-f(a)-f'(a)(x-a)$$, that is why the straight line $$y-f(a)=f'(a)(x-a)$$ is the tangent at the point $$(a,f(a))$$ to the curve $$y=f(x)$$, the graph of $$f$$, and why polynomials with positive derivarives are increasing functions.

You can look at $$f$$' as a new function, the derivative of $$f$$. Now, for $$x > 0$$ take the triangle on the xy-plane with the vertices $$(0,0)$$, $$(x,x)$$ and $$(0,x)$$. Its area, $$A(x)=x^2/2$$ is "the area under the graph" of the function $$y=x$$ between $$0$$ and $$x$$. When you differentiate it, you get $$A'(x)=x$$, which is the function you had started with! This fact is called Newton-Leibniz theorem and it is useful for calculating areas, since for many functions $$f$$ it is easy to find an antiderivative, i.e., such a function $$F$$ that $$F'=f$$. Definite integrals are areas under the graphs, and indefinite integrals are antiderivatives.

Looks rather simple so far? It is, but we have to deal not only with polynomials, and it gets a bit tricky. I will explain some of these tricks in a mathematically sound manner, but without obscuring the basic ideas with excessive generality and heavy technicalities, such as continuity, limits or real numbers.

Fluency in high school algebra (powers, roots, polynomials, factoring) and plane geometry (tangency, area) is essential, familiarity with functions and their graphs, a.k.a. "precalculus" is desirable. Interest in physics and other natural sciences, as well as mathematical reasoning and problem solving would help with motivation.

Trigonometry With Pictures
Teachers: Andrew Geng

Trigonometry can be intimidating, especially if you're trying to understand it intuitively. Formulas like the law of cosines look pretty scary, but since they're supposed to address questions from geometry, geometry might give us some insight into why they work!

So, armed with the techniques of high school geometry, we'll draw some pretty pictures and derive the law of sines, the law of cosines, the angle addition formulas, the half-angle rules, and a few more obscure identities if we have time!

I will assume familiarity with high school geometry and prior acquaintance with trig functions. If you can (1) explain why two right triangles sharing an angle are similar and (2) calculate (or remember) the cosine of 60 degrees, you're probably ready.

The Infinitely Many Gnomes Game
Teachers: Lauren McGough

You have infinitely many gnomes, and you give each one a hat.... can all but finitely many guess their hat color correctly? Do the gnomes have a winning strategy? We'll discuss different types of infinity in order to build up to a very crazy game with gnomes in more detail, and go over some very counterintuitive results!


Become a LaTeXer!

Want to learn how to use LaTeX to format your mathematical formulae like this: $$\sum_{n = 1}^{\infty}\frac{1}{n^2} = \frac{\pi^2}{6}$$? Want to make your English teachers think you're crazy for having your papers formatted nicely in scientific form? Come learn the basics of LaTeX, the standard mathematical typesetting language. Works on any platform. We provide the computers. But we'll tell you how to install it on your own computers.

Although we'll provide example mathematics to typeset, you'll probably get more out of the class if you bring your own mathematics to typeset (e.g. notes or homework from your math class).

If you want to use your laptop instead, you should install MiKTeX and TeXnicCenter (either together from http://www.tug.org/protext/, or separately from http://miktex.org/2.8/setup and http://www.texniccenter.org/resources/downloads/29), or another LaTeX editor (if you don't use windows) before you arrive; the installation of MiKTeX can take about half an hour to an hour.

Small Universes
Teachers: Sachi Hashimoto

If I lived on a universe that was connected to itself, I could walk forward and end up where I started. What would it look like if that universe were only as big as a room and I looked up? I could play catch with myself. If it were twisted, even more weird stuff happens. Find out more in this class.

Melissa the Mathemagician
Teachers: Melissa Kaufman

Amaze your friends with these fun math tricks! I lnow a bunch of mind-reading tricks to share with you, but feel free to bring your own.

pre-algebra (very basic, know how to solve things like 2x+3=11)

Surfaces and Low-Dimensional Topology
Teachers: Daniel Zaharopol

There are some amazing things that happen in two dimensions.

“Two dimensions” doesn’t mean the plane. It means all spaces that *look* two dimensional, like spheres and the surfaces of donuts (what mathematicians call “tori”). It also means strange, less familiar spaces, like the Klein bottle – which is two-dimensional everywhere, but you can’t fit a copy of it in our three-dimensional world; you need four-dimensions to comfortably fit it at all.

We’re going to explore the many (infinitely many!) kinds of “surfaces,” two-dimensional objects like these. Even though the objects are two-dimensional, they might not fit even in our three-dimensional world, yet we'll still be able to develop a way to study them. By the end, we’ll understand what all of them look like, even the ones that don’t fit in three dimensions at all. I’ll also talk a little bit about what happens in higher dimensions, studying a kind of object called a “manifold.”

This class will require a lot of thinking, so please come prepared for some very challenging abstract thought.

Recommended only for high-school age and above.

Teachers: Ruth Byers

Proofs are a part of math that is fun rather than tedious! Students will be shown basic proof techniques and then get a chance to try their hands at simple proofs.

Basic knowledge of geometry

Probabilistic Banana Peels
Teachers: Stephen Xu

People have good intuitions about a lot of things, but probability isn't one of them. The world of probability is full of unintuitive results and surprises that most people will trip over. We'll go through several of these examples, starting with the famous Monty Hall problem and moving on to answer questions such as "Do men have more sisters than women?", famous paradoxes like Simpson's paradox, and others.

Note: This course will likely not involve bananas in any way. The banana peels are purely metaphorical.

A basic understanding of probability

Derivatives and integrals II: some theory and many variables
Teachers: Michael Livshits

Continuation of Derivatives and Integrals I.
I will present a streamlined theory of differentiation and integration, based on some simple inequalities. Then I will show how the ideas that work for functions of one variable can be extended to two variables. I will discuss more than 2 variables briefly, depending on time and the audience.

Derivatives and integrals I, or calculus in one variable. For 2 variables familiarity with vectors, linear functions and linear transformations in 2 variables, 2x2 matrices and their determinants will suffice. For many variables the higher-dimensional analogs of these notions, i.e., some rudiments of linear algebra will help.

Rational Tangles Full!
Teachers: Liz Simon

Knot theory is a subfield of topology which studies knots from a mathematical perspective. A tangle is a portion of a knot, examined independent from the rest of the knot. Come to learn about the interesting properties of a subset of tangles: rational tangles, and how they relate to the rational numbers!

Some interest in theoretical mathematics. No specific math experience needed.

Solve this SUDOKU Full!
Teachers: Robert Assaly

x7x xxx x51
8x5 1xx x36
3xx xx4 xx8

xxx x35 xxx
x38 x7x 54x
xxx 24x xxx

1xx 4xx xx5
75x xx3 6x4
46x xxx x9x

and show us how you did it,
at the board.

Better still, make a handout, 25 or so.

Other Sudoku and KenKen puzzles
will be presented.

Know the requirements for the solutions of these puzzles..

How to Win $$$ Full!
Teachers: Zandra Vinegar

How to make the right choice… in order to win money, of course! A bit of math, and then some game shows tricks and gambling card games in which most people are /very/ likely to slip up. And if you’re not into gambling yourself, at least come learn how to not get tricked.

Complex Variables
Teachers: Andrew Spieker

So you're told that there are these things called "complex numbers" that are of the form a+bi, where i is the square root of -1; but what does that actually mean? How did people come up with this garbage?

We will discuss functions of a complex variable, the motivation for them, isomorphism (what? come and find out!) between the complex plane and two dimensional space, geometry of functions of a complex variable.

Did I mention that e^(pi*i) = -1? Well anyway, that is true. Come and find out why!

This seminar will be quick-paced, activity-based, and a lot of fun. Three hours goes by very, very quickly on this topic, so it's an investment of your time you probably want to make, and an opportunity you don't want to miss!

Just some knowledge of polynomial functions, how the behave, basic algebra. Motivation to think abstractly is a must. Previous exposure to complex numbers can be beneficial.

The Pigeonhole Principle
Teachers: Lauren McGough

If you put 3 things in two boxes, at least two of them are in the same box. This simple principle has a vast array of surprising results in math! We'll be talking about lots of problems that use the Pigeonhole principle in surprising and interesting ways.


The Joy of Eigenvalues
Teachers: Kyle Miller

Linear recurrence relations, generating functions, graphs, oh my! We will explore the connection between these seemingly unrelated ideas by the numbers which are intrinsic to their structure. Applications include Google PageRank, vibrating systems, and population dynamics. We will start with the definition of an eigenvalue and continue from there (with many examples and $$\lambda$$'s).

A strong background in at least precalculus is preferred.