Splash 2018
Course Catalog


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Visual and Performing Arts Computers and Programming
Engineering Humanities
Lunch Languages and Literatures
Mathematics Pop (and not-so-pop) Culture
Science Walk-in Activity
Miscellaneous Social Studies


Visual and Performing Arts

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A12731: Crocheting for Beginners Full!
Difficulty: **

Want to learn how to crochet mini things? Come join us to learn how to make mini hearts, octopi, and more!

A12413: Crafting the Design Process: The Role of ‘Play’ and Experimentation in Design Innovation Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Steven Faerm

Have you ever wondered how artists and designers develop their innovative work? Do you want to become a better artist or designer by strengthening your creative approach and development? What is the “design process” and how can it be used successfully to achieve authentic and exciting results?

This 45-minute presentation analyzes undergraduate-level design projects that are noteworthy for their inventive design processes — a critical stage that proceeds research exploration and precedes final design outcomes. This “middle-stage” is arguably the most important stage. It is when playful exploration and experimentation yield optimal creativity. This presentation will show you how to innovate your own creative processes through select examples. These methods may then be applied to your own art and design projects.

Presented by Steven Faerm, Associate Professor at Parsons School of Design.

A12447: Performers Practice Circle Full!
Difficulty: *

Sing a song. Tell a story. Recite a poem. Do a dance. Come practice your performance piece in a room where there is no audience, just other performers. All types of performing art are welcome, and you will have the opportunity to receive critique from our other performers. (But it's not required! If you just want to try something out in a low-stakes environment, that's okay too!)


Prerequisites
Students are expected to bring a piece to perform.

A12454: How to play Ukulele
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Julian Hamelberg

Learn some chords and how to play some songs


Prerequisites
nothing

A12499: A Cappella Workshop with The Chorallaries! Full!

Ever wanted to perform with MIT’s oldest competitive a cappella group? Come live out your “Pitch Perfect” fantasy with The Chorallaries of MIT! Come and sing our arrangements with us and get to know our members and the inner workings of a cappella music. Food will be provided, and all are welcome!

A12678: Introduction to Typography
Difficulty: **

Typography is the art of type: making text readable and appealing. Come learn about how it works and how to make your own text prettier — be it web pages, résumés, or course descriptions.

A12428: Poetry class; An Open Mic Concept Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Natasha Gonzalez

Ever thought about being the next Rupi Kaur or Rudy Fransisco? Do you just like poetry in general? Come talk about poetry and even preform something if you're brave enough!

A12626: Learn Indian Classical Dance: Odissi Edition!
Difficulty: *

Learn some steps and choreograph in an Indian Classical Dance style from Northeast India! We'll play around with combining ancient steps and modern music and students will be able to create some of their own pieces!

A12439: Piano Chords for Beginners: Play Any Song in 5 Minutes
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Evan Tey, Sara Wilson

Are you a pianist? Are you tired of reading sheet music? Chords are an easier way to quickly learn songs! Chord progressions can be applied to any piece, from classical to pop, and mastering chords can facilitate learning new songs or composing you own. Any pianist skill level is welcomed!


Prerequisites
Recommended to be familiar with the piano keyboard and reading sheet music

A12551: Ukulele Full!
Difficulty: *

Always wanted to play a ukulele but never got to learn? Now's your chance!

A12640: Learn to Knit Full!
Difficulty: *

Learn to knit! Ever wanted to knit yourself a hat, sweater, scarf, or toy for your cat?

We'll teach you!

We'll provide the yarn and needles, you just bring your hands and some patience.

No experience required, just willingness to play with sticks, yarn, and the realization that it will seem awkward at first (with practice, it becomes smooth and relaxing!)


Prerequisites
two working hands.

A12730: MITch Perfect Full!
Difficulty: **

Do you like singing in the shower? Have you always wanted to star in an a cappella group like pitch perfect? Well, this is the perfect class for you! Come learn an arrangement with us and practice how to blend and perform with a group. We might even teach you how to beatbox!!


Prerequisites
Preferably some choir experience, but welcome to anyone who is willing to learn!

A12700: The Magic of Movie Music Full!
Difficulty: **

Do you love movies? Believe it or not, one of the most important aspects of how we react to a movie is in its soundtrack. And once you start listening, you'll start seeing movies in a whole new way.

In this class, we'll talk about how different styles of film music work in a variety of movies, ranging from silent films to Star Wars. Then you'll have a chance to be a film composer yourself and choose music to underscore a real movie clip!


Prerequisites
A basic understanding of music is helpful (reading sheet music not required).

A12733: Jam Session! Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Josh Talbot, William Wu

Have you ever wanted to make music but couldn't find the time/instruments/people? Is there a melody or rhythm stuck in your head that you can't keep from sharing? Maybe you ask: "I've listened to music, but what is this 'jam' you speak of?" Well then sign up for Jam Session!


Prerequisites
No musical experience required!

A12502: Radio Production & Engineering Full!

Radio is the original electronic "social medium;" connecting diverse groups of people through common language and shared cultural experiences. Join several DJ's and producers from WMBR Radio as we demonstrate the practical how-to's of communicating over the air. This course will introduce participants to the basic of WMBR's (MIT FM Radio station) B Control engineering training.

A12719: Dying and Being Dead: Acting on the Other Side Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Joseph Noszek

They say dying is easy and comedy is hard. But what if you want to die really well? Or what if you want to die in a comic fashion? Or what if you're past that stage and want to be (un)dead? Come join Joey, possibly MIT's most experienced actor when it comes to death in this acting workshop that is sure to be an hour of graveyard fun.

A12417: Don't Go To Film School
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Ari Donnelly

Are you interested in becoming a Director, Producer, Screenwriter, Actor, Editor, Animator, Cinematographer, Production Designer, Gaffer, Sound Mixer, Steadicam Operator, Costume Designer, Casting Director, Talent Agent, or Boom Op?

Are you thinking of going to Film School to learn more? Don't. It's a trap. Come to my class instead. You'll get a crash course in: the many disciplines of film, the best film schools you shouldn't go to, how you can start making movies now, the truth about unpaid internships, and what a Best Boy is.

Filmmaking is a hard path, but despite what college tuition would suggest, it's never been cheaper. For the price of Splash, I'll give you the inside scoop on the most dubious college major of all time (besides political science).


Prerequisites
All are welcome, whether you've never touched a camera, or you're already making your own movies.


Computers and Programming

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C12754: Computational Linguistics Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: John Mori, Sophie Mori

How can we use computation to study and learn more about language? What are practical problems we can solve with these approaches? We will learn about some basic probabilistic language models and briefly look at more complex problems being worked on today in the field of natural language processing.


Prerequisites
Basic probability

C12564: Graph Search and 15-Puzzles Full!
Difficulty: **

We'll learn what a graph is (hint: this kind is more like cities connected by roads than an x and y axis) and how we can find good paths in graphs. Then we'll see how we can represent a 15-puzzle as a graph and solve it by finding the right path. I'll provide the starter code, and you'll implement the graph search (in the Python programming language). This class should help you learn more about algorithms / computer science and how fun and useful they are. You'll see how graph general techniques can be applied to real world problems and have fun programming one yourself. See here (https://neighthan.github.io/graphs_and_games/eight_puzzle.html; just click play) for what this sort of puzzle looks like.


Prerequisites
Basic programming experience (e.g. lists, for loops, if statements), ideally in Python. You can gain this in not too much time by going through the basics at this website or a similar one: https://www.learnpython.org/

C12495: Wireshark Workshop
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Harvey Yee

Although this is a follow-up course to Promiscuous Mode-Network Protocol Analysis, it is not a prerequisite for this course. In this course, we will hone our knowledge and skills in understanding and decoding network traffic.
Come prepared to get a deep dive into network protocol analysis by bringing a laptop so you can participate in a course discussion of some of the problems that we will uncover and solve.


Prerequisites
None, other than a sense of curiosity.

C12586: Basic Complexity Theory Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Avik Laha, Justin Wong

We will define formal languages, (deterministic, one-tape) Turing machines, and give the verifier-based definition of NP. We will then discuss the ideas of undecidability (briefly), reduction, and completeness, giving several examples. A potential auxiliary topic, depending on interest, is the equivalence of the verifier-based and machine definitions of NP.


Prerequisites
Minimal - just be comfortable with abstraction.

C12442: Introduction to Python Full!
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Nathan Weckwerth

Ever wanted to try programming, but didn't know where to start? Come learn some basic skills in Python! We'll go over the basics and have a fun time!

C12378: What Is A Computer?
Difficulty: **
Teachers: John Gregg

You may know how to program, but what is a computer such that it needs programming? Everyone knows that computers "think" in 1's and 0's, but why, and what does this even mean? Poets welcome!

C12328: Intro to Game Development with Love <3 Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Mimi Suarez

Learn basic game development concepts and techniques using the Love2D game framework. Don't have much programming experience? Lua is EXTREMELY easy to learn! There will be a crash course in Lua before any game dev starts. Happy coding :^)

C12494: Promiscuous Mode-Network Protocol Analysis Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Harvey Yee

Do you want to be in Promiscuous (Monitor) mode? You may if you are 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 classroom, 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.


Prerequisites
Just come with a sense of curiosity!

C12486: Intro to Circuits and Coding with Arduino Full!
Difficulty: **

Learn the basics of building a circuit on a breadboard. Program an LED light to blink in time with music using an Arduino. An Arduino is a small device that allows your code to come alive on your circuit. No prior knowledge of circuits, programming, or Arduino is required for this class.

C12628: Cracking Codes and Cryptography Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Sharon Lin

Ever wonder how your information is secured when you enter it into a website, or how hackers really crack into accounts? You'll learn about vulnerabilities in websites, methods for storing secret information in innocuous files, basics of cryptography, and how you can best those hackers!

C12697: Computational Music Theory Full!
Difficulty: **

How does hitting a key on a piano produce air pressure waves? How are these waves interpreted by the ear as music? How can computers generate and understand these musical signals?

Come learn the foundations of music from a computational perspective, and experiment to produce your own computer-assisted music compositions!


Prerequisites
Should have some familiarity with sin and cos functions. Basic understanding of music and scales is helpful but not required.

C12710: Sculpting with Code: Using Signed Distance Functions to Create Procedurally-Generated Art
Difficulty: ****
Teachers: Srinivas Kaza

Are you an artist?

Enjoy math?

Like writing code?

This course is an introduction into a somewhat unusual rendering technique that is well suited to simple interactive 3D demos. We are going to be writing shaders in the OpenGL shading language (GLSL). Don't worry, it's not a hard language to learn, and we'll spend the first half hour of the course covering its use.

http://www.iquilezles.org/www/articles/raymarchingdf/raymarchingdf.htm

DISCLAIMER: I am not an artist! That's why you're here!


Prerequisites
Understanding of any programming language Precalculus (basic vector math) Creativity! Optional: 3D modeling experience

C12407: Compression: A Deep Dive Into gzip
Difficulty: ***

This course will be broken into three parts.
First, we will cover the basics of information encoding and representation on computers.
Second, we will learn about the basics of Huffman and LZW compression - two state of the art compression algorithms that allow us to compress any type of data.
Finally, we will walk through the implementation of gzip, a standard file compression utility on GNU, and how your data is compressed on modern computers (think zip, winzip, 7zip, etc.).


Prerequisites
Familiarity with C will be useful

C12437: Data and Visualization
Difficulty: *

This course will focus on the following topics: concept and examples of big data; roles of visualization; visualization tools; effectiveness and expressiveness of visualization design; design principle and critiques; open discussion on exploratory data analysis.


Prerequisites
None

C12679: How to Not Get Pwned
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Brian Chen, Ashley Kim

The internet is a wonderful place, but also a place full of dangers. Learn how to use a computer and browse the internet without getting hax0red (or at least, make it much less likely). We'll talk about basic internet security, phishing, social engineering, password security, and anything else we have time for.

Warning: may induce paranoia around computers.

C12461: Introduction to the Internet of Things
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Mihir Trivedi

This class will teach students the basics of a full-stack software and hardware system, building a simple "Internet of Things" device. Will write server/endpoint code in Python, and Arduino firmware code in Arduino C++. Students should know programming basics.


Prerequisites
Students should know how to program, but proficiency in Python or C++ is not required.

C12492: Finite Automata and Regular Expressions
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Clayton Dembski

In this class, we'll start by teaching the basics of Regular Expressions: sequences of characters that search for patterns of letters and numbers. After that, we'll look at deterministic and non deterministic finite automata -- state machines -- to understand how computers identify and interpret these expressions and represent them as languages.


Prerequisites
Basic set theory may be nice, however it is not a requirement.

C12356: Anyone Can Quantum!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Olivia Waring

A broad overview of quantum computing: heavy on concepts and applications, light on scary math, and hopefully funny and fun! My goal is to demystify the discipline, hopefully sparking curiosity and dispelling the myth that quantum computing is scary and inaccessible (particularly for young women).


Prerequisites
None in particular, although it would help to have some basic knowledge of how computers encode data (e.g. bits) and 9th grade math skills.

C12415: Autonomous Vehicles: Perception and Path Planning Challenges
Difficulty: ***

Have you ever wondered how autonomous vehicles operate? How they sense their environment and plan to move? This course will begin with a broad overview of AV technology and the industry, and then introduce some of the hottest challenges in computer science today: perception and path planning. We will also cover a number of relevant algorithms currently in use.


Prerequisites
We encourage, but do not require, some introductory knowledge of computer science.

C12728: Intermediate Java Programming
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Prem Chintalapudi

We will be going over concepts more advanced than AP Computer Science. These will include generics, wildcard bounding, autoboxing, and if time allows, anonymous classes and lambda expressions.


Prerequisites
Students should understand the concepts of classes, objects, primitives, and be able to import classes from the Java Standard Library. A computer with JDK 8 or higher is required, along with an IDE of choice (i.e. Eclipse, Netbeans, or Intellij).

C12339: Intro To Modern UI/UX Development
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Henry Keena

This class is an introduction to modern User Interface(UI) and User Experience(UX) design and development. It will cover key general concepts in UI and UX development. It will also cover what languages, tools, and specifications to use when building the front-end of web, mobile, and desktop applications. This is a good starting place for anyone interested in getting a first look into how front-end development and design works.


Prerequisites
No real prerequisites are required, however a general understanding of computer programming and design would be helpful.

C12434: How to computer (more) safely Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Samantha York

Computers are being involved more and more in our lives every day, but that means that all of our data and history is also easier to get ahold of if we're not careful.

The class will teach you some basic to-dos and do-nots in order to make your computer use safe(r). We will cover topics such as basic browsing habits, what "encryption" means and how to use it, TAILS, and more!

If you have a computer available to you, feel free to bring it to try these things yourself!

C12509: Intro to Game Design and Development Full!
Difficulty: **

What makes games fun, and how do you make them in the first place? What's involved in designing and developing one of them? How can you get started on the path to make the games you've envisioned a reality?

Join us for a fun, hands-on experience in discussing the designing of games and making one ourselves using GameMaker:Studio 2 (the same development environment used to make hit games like Hotline Miami and Undertale!). No previous programming or game dev experience required.

C12423: How to Hack Minesweeper
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: John Piotti

Ever wanted to see your name at the top of the leader-boards of minesweeperonline.com? This class will teach you how a few lines of code can have astonishing results.

In class, we will create a javascript bot from scratch which solves an online minesweeper game in under a second. In the process of making our bot, we'll learn how javascript and HTML make websites work, and of the inherent vulnerabilities that come with web development.

Some say hacking is cheating, but true hackers know it's a beautiful demonstration of skill and cleverness. And always remember: with great power comes great responsibility.


Prerequisites
Basic programming knowledge (functions, loops, conditional statements, arrays, etc.) Javascript experience not required.


Engineering

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E12629: Build Your Own Radio! Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Sharon Lin

Ever wanted to hear what was going on in the radio waves? Using basic household materials, wires, capacitors, op amps, and resistors, you can create your own AM radio!

E12366: The Design and Structure of Airports Full!
Difficulty: **

Have you ever wondered how airports are laid out and how all those complex systems that move around passengers, luggage, and aircraft work? Come learn about runway configurations, terminal design, and recent trends of airports and the flight industry around the world!

E12544: Make Long Bows and Learn the Physics of Archery Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Margaret Shutts

Come learn how to make your own long bow! No prior machining experience is required, we will teach you everything you need to know. Afterwards, we will learn the physics of longbows including topics such air trajectory and spring force.

E12670: How things move!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Shannon Cassady

Sea, land, air, space....how do things move around? I'll talk about all sorts of propulsion and water/land/air/spacecraft and where technology is going these days, from sailboats to electrospray thrusters on satellites!

E12750: Crazy about Lasers
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Katia Shtyrkova

Intro into the physics and design of lasers and laser systems; overview of various types of lasers, and discuss common and novel laser applications, such as Airborn Laser and Free Electron Laser.

The first half of the class will be spent on basic laser physics and understanding of what makes lasers different from LEDs and other light sources. The second half of the class will be spent on learning about cool laser applications.

E12580: Casual Conversation on Concurrency Full!
Difficulty: **

You and your homies are given a group project so you split up the work into tasks and let each person pick what they want. The due date arrives and your group unveils their masterpiece. But pride turns to horror when you realize that everybody chose the same task! Sound familiar? Well ... no ... not to me either. Come for a casual introduction to how computers know how "not to be that guy" by managing parallel operations and concurrent execution.


Prerequisites
Ears to hear and eyes to see

E12699: Kerbal Space Program -- Relax, It's Just Rocket Science
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Srinivas Kaza

Have you ever wanted to design and test rockets, but didn't want to deal with multi-million dollar budgets and years of preparation? Well, this is the game/class for you! We'll be playing Kerbal Space Program, a perfect middle-ground between brutally realistic rocket sim and space-themed fantasy. We'll be covering some basic rocket-related math and physics, and then play the game. DISCLAIMER: I do not study anything related to rocket engineering/science.


Prerequisites
None! Some understanding of physics might be useful though.

E12503: Improving Computing: Nanoelectronics & Beyond
Difficulty: **
Teachers: John Niroula

Did you know that the fundamental backbone of computers, the stuff that actually represents the bits, are nanoscale electronic devices? We're talking about electronics with features the size ~ 10 atoms!
For the past 50+ years, computers have gotten faster because we've been able to make these devices faster and smaller, but it's hard to imagine making them even smaller than a couple atoms, so how do we continue improving computing?

In this course, I'll give a brief intro on how computers work at the fundamental device level and a historic overview of how computers have gotten faster over time. Then I'll discuss what next generation computer devices might look like with perspectives on 3D nanoelectronics, new materials, quantum computing, and brain-inspired neuromorphic computing.

E12684: How to Rocket
Difficulty: **

Become rocket scientist in a matter of minutes

E12510: Everything you want to know about nuclear weapons
Difficulty: **

Do you want to know how to build a nuclear bomb? Are you curious why centrifuges are so important in international diplomacy? Did you know that a single nuclear weapon can explode with the same energy as all explosives used in World War 2 combined? Why should we care about countries getting nuclear weapons, anyways?

In this course, we'll review the history of nuclear weapons, talk about the art and science of designing them, and see what the effects these weapons have had on the world. We'll also cover the current state of nuclear weapons and what you should know about modern scientific and political discussions about them. By the end of this class you'll know how to design a nuclear weapon but also understand the human risks and costs.


Prerequisites
Basic conceptual understanding of chemistry and physics.

E12343: My Journey Into High-Power Rocketry
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Victor Lupi

Growing up, I played around with all sorts of Estes rockets, never knowing there was another level to the hobby. This course chronicles my journey through Level 1, Level 2 and (hopefully) Level 3 certification. Along the way, you will get a chance to see some cool videos and get your hands on a bunch of high-power rocketry components. Theoretical and practical aspects of the hobby will be discussed.

E12647: Product Design 101 Full!
Difficulty: **

For the first half of class, students will learn basic strategies on how to come up with good product design ideas. In the second half of class, students will get to design and build a simple product out of given materials to accomplish a given task. Students will learn strategies on how to come up with product ideas, design, and build those ideas.

E12597: Photovoltaics
Difficulty: **

Solar power holds lots of potential as a source of energy for the present and future. This class will help you understand the basics of how photovoltaic cells and other technologies work.


Prerequisites
Basic physics/chemistry

E12482: Intro to Orbital Mechanics Full!
Difficulty: **

When things are in orbit they "fall so fast they miss the earth", but what does that really mean? Sure, Kerbal Space Program spits a bunch of numbers and circles at you, but how did it figure those out? Come learn how engineers determine orbits and calculate orbital maneuvers.


Prerequisites
Background in mechanics, specifically energy and momentum concepts. Pre-calculus is also helpful.

E12506: Space Exploration Full!

Are you curious about what is out there? About how other planets are? If there is life outside the Earth? About how the human body reacts to the space environment? Well... scientists and aerospace engineers certainly are!
In this class we are going to talk about how exoplanets are identified and characterized, how scientists search for life in other planets, and what are the effects of space environment on your body.


Prerequisites
Basic physics and mathematics.

E12347: Practical in Humanoid Robotics Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: marcelo anjos

Mounting.
Programming.
And execute a created choreography dance with humanoid robots


Prerequisites
Nothing

E12693: Handheld Motor Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Bradley Albright

Our world is run by electrical motors from transportation like Tesla cars, to climate control like air conditioned fans, to conveniences like elevators. Learn to motorize our world, or at least a small coil. Students will leave with the world's simplest motors in their hand and a wealth of knowledge in their head!

E12341: Design / Build / Fly Full!
Difficulty: **

PLANES! What are they? How do they work? Can a schmuck like me make one? Of course! Join us as we make and race multiple styles of balsa gliders to learn about plane design!


Prerequisites
Basic familiarity with physics and ability to be safe in a lab setting.

E12393: C.A.R.S. - Combining Automobiles and Real Science Full!
Difficulty: **

How do topics like work, gears, and thermodynamics relate to cars? Engines and motors are powerful tools which can be taken for granted along with the scientific fields that helped invent them. A perfect pairing of science, engineering and math would be the car: Model T to Formula One.

E12460: How Drones Work Full!

Come flex your quads with us! No, not those quads, I mean quadcopters! In this class we'll explore how drones fly, and the electronics and algorithms that power them. If you've ever wanted to know what's inside a drone, or even if you haven't, come listen to us drone on about drones!


Humanities

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H12479: Nationalism in Modern Turkey
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Matt Yarnall

The Republic of Turkey is the most diverse country in the modern Middle East. Its over 80 million citizens hail from across eastern Europe, the Balkans, Asia Minor, and the Arabian world. Turkey’s diversity is attributable to its unique geopolitical position: it sits at the crossroads of Europe and west Asia, and has historically been an intersection of innumerable peoples, cultures, religions and ideas. Due to this incredible diversity, Turkey has been continually faced with the deceptively simple question “Who is a Turk?” over its 80 year history. This question is highly political, as it relates to how Turks understand themselves in the broader context of the world. Are all Turks Muslim? Are they European? Are they Western or eastern? Can they be all these identities or do they have to choose one?
In this class, we will be looking at how Turkish politicians have defined what it means to be a “Turk” and how this has related to their broader political agendas. We will be focusing on two Turkish politicians specifically: Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (the founder of Turkey and its first president) and Racep Erdogan (Turkey’s current president). Understanding the struggle for national identity in Turkey has never been more urgent than today, as Turkey is undergoing rapid political change and shifts in collective consciousness.

H12379: Philosophy of Mind and Consciousness
Difficulty: **
Teachers: John Gregg

What is a mind, and why is it so special? Is it special? How could it possibly work? Won't brain science, psychology and/or cognitive science answer any questions anyway? What do we need philosophy for? Do I have to wear a toga? No to that last one, but for the rest, sign up for this class. A brief history, and a primer on the current debates in this contentious field.

H12746: Languages of Middle Earth Full!
Difficulty: *

Love Lord of the Rings? Ever wondered where all the names in Middle Earth come from? Come find out more about the complex linguistic systems underlying Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series. For instance, did you know that Tolkien was a linguist and actually invented an entire Elvish language before even writing the Lord of the Rings books? Learn about some of the real world languages that inspired and influenced Tolkien’s invented languages. And find out more about the history of Middle Earth and how its languages came to be what they are now.


Prerequisites
None, if you've taken this class before, it will be the same material.

H12724: How to Study Abroad without Dying
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Kelsey Becker

Ever wonder what it's like to live abroad? Learn the do's and don'ts of studying abroad including what to pack, what to expect, and how not to die.

H12441: Philosophical Puzzles and Paradoxes
Difficulty: **

This course is a brief introduction to the exciting world of philosophical puzzles and paradoxes throughout the history of western philosophy. Each seminar will cover four unique problems from different philosophical eras (e.g. ancient, medieval, modern) and end with a reflection on popular puzzles and paradoxes in our world today. No philosophical experience is required in advance and all are welcomed to attend!

H12478: Writing the Past: The Theory and Practice of History Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Matt Yarnall

History is a fascinating discipline that allows us to study the rise and fall of empires, the accomplishments of great individuals, and change of societies over time. We study history to gain insights into the present political/societal moment–and so we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past. But what exactly is history? Carl Becker answers this question: “History is what the present chooses to remember about the past.” Becker’s point is very problematic if we want to discover what actually happened in the past; if history is an incomplete recollection of the past, then how do we discover what actually happened so we can learn from it? How do we get to the truth?
In this class, we will be trying to answer the above questions. To do so, we will be introduced to the field of “Historiography,” the study of historical theory and methods. We will look at a couple historical case studies, and have time for discussion at the end. I would highly recommend anyone interested in history to take this introduction to historiography; an understanding how to study human experiences in the past–and the historical events which connect them– is indispensable to the modern historian.

H12534: Weird Laws and Cases Full!
Difficulty: *

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

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

H12558: Oriental Oracle and Probability
Difficulty: **

1. a brief introduction and history of the oriental oracle system, I Ching.
2. the process to generate the hexgram by manipulating 49 sticks
3. mathematical representation of the above steps and probability analysis
4. write computer program to generate hexagram
5. hexgram interpretation and discussion

H12538: All About Bail Full!
Difficulty: **

The criminal justice system is wrought with issues, but one that many don't think about is the people stuck in jail awaiting trial. Bail is the price judges set for defendants to pay to get out. There is a debate in several states about replacing monetary bail with other alternatives, but that can also come with problems. In this seminar, we will discuss some background and potential ideas related to bail.

H12539: The Amazing History of Rome
Difficulty: *

What do you picture when you think of Roman history? Grand battles, stunning betrayals, dashing generals, and brave gladiators, perhaps? Come and hear stories about all these things and more! This course is a short introduction to the history of Rome, spanning from its foundation by Romulus to the deposition of the last emperor. In addition to history, we will also touch on ancient Roman life, literature, philosophy, religion, and the sources we have that tell us what the world was like back then.

H12635: Writing for Social Change
Difficulty: **

In this class, we will cover the use of writing for social change. Students will learn how to write powerful pieces of writing that go from informational to persuasive. We will cover argumentative structures, common mistakes, writing with purpose, and influencing the reader.

H12333: The Master and Margarita
Difficulty: **

For those interested in Russian literary history, come explore perhaps the greatest story to come out of Stalinist Russia.

"Suppressed in the Soviet Union for twenty-six years, Mikhail Bulgakov's masterpiece is an ironic parable on power and its corruption, on good and evil, and on human frailty and the strength of love. This book combines fable, fantasy, political satire and slapstick comedy."

The Master and Margarita was Mikhail Bulgakov's deathbed masterpiece. We will discuss the story and everything that made it so controversial at the time, pointing out the sarcasm, satire, subtle nods, and quirky translations. An excellent primer for anyone interested in Russian literature, and a fun exploration for those who already know the book.


Prerequisites
Either having read or started The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, or at least its Wikipedia page.

H12685: Neurodivergence Full!
Difficulty: **

Neurological spectrum conditions, such as autism, Aspergers, etc. are growing more prevalent and well-represented in our society today. Come learn what these conditions are and what it is like to live with them, strengths and challenges facing the community, and how people on and off the spectrum can contribute to a neurodiverse world.


Prerequisites
None

H12713: Let Me Queer Things Up For You... Full!
Difficulty: **

An overview of selected topics from queer theory, including breaking down the traditional binaries of gender and sexuality, exploring the contributions of related fields such as radical feminism and gender studies, critically analyzing drag performance, and applying principles of queer theory to everyday communication.

H12352: President Madison on the Founding of the United States
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Bil Lewis, Mary Mangan

With the assistance of audience members reading appropriate dramatic quotations from Patrick Henry, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Dolly Madison, etc., we will lead investigations into events from the House of Burgesses, the Constitutional Convention, the “Dinner Party,” etc., that marked the coming of age of the United States.

More than a mere recitation of dates and facts, this will be an exploration into the underlying reasons that prompted them to act as they did. Many of the issues they confronted then continue to be relevant today.

Should we be one Country?
What debts should be paid?
Who gets the power of Taxation?
Should a Private Bank issue money?
Should we be agrarian? Or a center of manufacturing?
How do we limit the influence of Great Corporations on our public life?
How can we protect the Common Man from the rapaciousness of the Rich and Powerful?
How do we eliminate Slavery?
How do we make real the “Spirit of ’76?” So we can truly say that “All Men are Created Equal.”

H12715: Redesigning Education! Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Paolo Adajar, Evan Tey

Have you ever found yourself bored in school? Do you feel like you're wasting your time learning irrelevant information? Schools, as institutions, have kept the same structure for a long time, but society continues to evolve. Come discuss how we might redesign education for the future!

H12424: Does God exist? Full!
Difficulty: **

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

H12641: Introduction to Socionics
Difficulty: ***

In this class we will review Socionics, a personality typology and branch of Jungian analytical psychology developed by a Lithuanian woman named Ausra Augustinavicitue in the 1970s. Socionics is moderately well popularized in Eastern Europe and almost unheard of in Western Europe or America.

Socionics is an abstract philosophical model and language for describing people and their social interactions, which attempts to answer the question, "How are different people different?" More concisely, it is a system of personality types. In this class, we will simultaneously review the conceptual foundations of this typology, and in doing so, we will address the problem of knowledge and numerous issues in practice. Specifically we will point out the problems and vagueness of the topic of personality types in itself, how it relates to science (socionics is *not* science) and ask what understanding personality types is actually useful for.


Prerequisites
A desire for self-knowledge and a willingness to think critically. Familiarity with MBTI is potentially helpful but also potentially detrimental. Some background in psychology is helpful but not needed.

H12465: How to (Kind of) Write Your Own Novel Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Vivian Vu

Nanowrimo is for plebs. Learn how to write a novel as done so by a self-published author who procrastinated for essentially 5 months until two weeks before the print deadline. Class will be about how to write a novel, from getting an idea to actual writing structure (outlining, editing, etc.) to publishing the work (if one so chooses), according to someone who only kind of written a novel but can still say they did it.

H12425: Poetry and Philosophy
Difficulty: **

In this course, we'll use poetry as a means of discussing a variety of philosophical topics.

H12643: The Art of Riddling Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Shardul Chiplunkar

You're in the palace of an Ancient and Powerful King, and the Master of Knowledge has just asked you an artful riddle to test your worth. You're smart: you deliver an impeccable answer in seconds. Of course, it is but courteous to return the exchange by posing a riddle of your own... oh. You don't know any. Now what?

It has to be challenging, but solvable. It has to be majestically poetic, but not cringy. Its lines should resound in the halls and minds of the palace and thrust an irresistibly fascinating mystery upon them.

Come learn the Art of Riddling.

H12477: Controversial Archeology: How Greece Lost its Marbles Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Matt Yarnall

The Parthenon in Athens is perhaps the most iconic structure in the western world. It is seen by many westerners as a monument to democracy, education, and civilization. The Parthenon was once adorned with the finest marble statues of the classical world, depicting the adventures of the mighty Greek gods and goddesses: Zeus, Poseidon, Hermes, and of course–Athena. Yet today, the Parthenon has been stripped of its marbles, it stands on the acropolis, bare and unornamented. How could this have happened to the greatest architectural masterpiece of the western world?
In this class we will learn about the incredible life story of the Parthenon marbles. We will meet a fascinating early archeologist named Lord Elgen, who won an entire war in Egypt so he could controversially strip the marbles in the early 1800s. We will uncover how Greece responded to Elgen, how the debate over the true ownership of the marbles is still raging, and where the marbles are today. This class will illustrate how controversial archeology can be–once the hatchet has been unearthed, it is not easily buried.

H12449: A Guide to Thinking like the Lorax
Difficulty: *

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not!" -Dr. Suess

How does your lifestyle affect the world around you? Ever thought about where that straw you sipped from in your bubble tea went? Ever thought about your carbon footprint? What even is a carbon footprint? Join us in this journey to answer these questions like the ultimate environmentalist, The Lorax, and help make a positive impact on the environment.


Prerequisites
None but English speaking preffered.

H12698: Why Read Fiction?--Overview of Novel Theory
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Valerie Chen, Xiang Wan

Explore why we enjoy reading fiction, especially novels: is it to escape real life? To fulfill our imagination? To learn about human nature? We'll examine and compare different types of theories in social, historical, cultural contexts then come up with our own interpretations.

H12484: Building Histories for Your Fantasy, Science Fiction, or Dystopia Full!
Difficulty: **

In the year 2150, we've colonized Mars. How did we get from here to there?

On the planet Trzymy, there is a plot to overthrow the Usurper! How did he come to power and what is the heritage of his country?

We're doomed. We know we're doomed. The leaders say so. Has it always been this way? If not, when did things change and how?

Creating a solid history to lean on in your story telling can make the tale a lot easier to craft for an author, or at least a lot easier to follow for a reader!

We will work to understand how histories work and what we need to do to build them!


Prerequisites
Must love one or more of the genres in the title and have a desire to create your own!

H12672: Random Facts about Communist Countries
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Saranesh Prembabu

Did you know Marie Curie's son-in-law won the Stalin Peace Prize? Chile ran its planned economy with a prototype neural network software in the 70's? The Việt Minh guerrilla movement published a high school geometry textbook during the First Indochina War? Come learn about intriguing things that happened in the communist world that you'd never find in a history book!

This class does not endorse any political ideology, and won't be a comprehensive history lesson but just a bunch of miscellaneous facts. Since we're at MIT, we'll be particularly interested scientific/technical topics among others.


Prerequisites
None, but a standard knowledge of 20th century history/geography may make it more entertaining

H12571: MIT Model United Nations - Intro Full!
Difficulty: *

The course will provide an introduction to international relations, a branch of political science focused on foreign policy. Students will gain an understanding of parliamentary procedure, committee debate, and how MIT Model United Nations Conference works.

H12344: Liberty or Justice For All: How Far Should the State Go?
Difficulty: ***

In this class, we will focus on the dilemmas between liberty and justice that modern democratic states face in making state policy. We will have discussions about how states should make policies in cases where pursuing justice would infringe on individual liberties. This will include a discussion about what are liberties and what is justice. We will then talk about cases like naming children, restricting sugar content in fast food, smoking regulations, circumcision and the banning of religious headwear.

H12399: Healthcare: At Home and Abroad
Difficulty: *

Your throat is sore, your nose is stuffy and you have a headache. What do you do? Go to the doctor? How do you pay to go to the doctor and what do you expect from them? Do you ask for antibiotics? The healthcare system is riddled with challenges spanning inequities in patient-doctor interactions to funding treatment of large scale epidemics in Africa. If you are interested in healthcare in this state, in this country, or in the world as a whole come to our class!


Languages and Literatures

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L12332: The Language of Nonsense Full!
Difficulty: **

Nonsense isn't as crazy as it seems. Nonsense has linguistic, cognitive and logical bases. Nonsense follows rules! Sometimes. From syntax, literature and cognition, we explore the little known and largely ignored structure of nonsense literature and speech. Using examples from the poems of Lewis Carroll and Finnegan's Wake, come learn fun facts about strange stories.

L12588: Introduction in ci (詞), the poetry in Song dynasty
Difficulty: ***

Want to learn about the poetry in Song? We will be reading different poetries in Song and talk about the stories of those poets.


Prerequisites
Able to read and speak Chinese.

L12493: Once Upon A Time, The End.The art of incredibly short fiction. Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: A L

A tear formed in my eye as I watched him pick out the peas from his carrots. He learned it from her. That's it. A complete work of fiction in two sentences. Inventive writers are now crafting really short stories that can be surprising, intriguing and delightful. The 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, highly compact stories can be humorous, thought-provoking, informative and much more. Come sample some microfiction and write your own in this workshop!


Prerequisites
Fluency in English may be helpful as we will be reading a number of brief works of fiction.

L12683: Learn Japanese Instantly Full!
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Joonho Ko, Cory Lynch

We have two hours. By the time you leave, you'll know the entire Japanese language. (ok maybe not)

Prepare to speak a lot in the class! We'll be doing a lot of drills to make sure you speak like a true 日本人.


Prerequisites
No prior Japanese needed.

L12515: Reciting Ancient Greek Full!
Difficulty: **

Are you wondering what Homer sounded like? Want to impress your friends by reciting Sappho? It's time to let our your inner ῥήτωρ!
In this class, we will do a crash course in the Greek alphabet and pronunciation of words, then move into an introduction of Ancient Greek meters. From there, we will spend time practicing recitations of authors like Homer, Sappho, Euripides, Aristophanes, and more.

*nota bene: we will NOT be learning to translate Ancient Greek in this class, merely how to read it out loud.

L12541: Dante in Context Full!
Difficulty: **

Have you ever wondered about Dante's Inferno? What is it? When and why was it written? Who are all the people mentioned in it, like Virgil, Guido Cavalcanti, Odysseus, and Nitokris? Who is this Dante guy, anyway? Come find out in this course! We will discuss who Dante was, the literary traditions his work built off of, and the historical, political, social, and philosophical contexts of Inferno and the larger Divine Comedy.

L12389: d(word)/dt: English Etymology Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Kathryn Jin, Mindren Lu

Did you know that a sophomore literally means someone who is "wise and stupid"? Or that a peninsula is something that's "almost an island"? Or that "hamburger" isn't ham+burger, but actually Hamburg+er? Come explore the fascinating world of etymology as we dive into the quirky ways many words have come into the English language.

L12483: Magic Systems in Fantasy Stories Full!
Difficulty: **

We'll spend a good chunk of this class exploring how magic is presented in a variety of books and movies, after which we will see about constructung our own, either individually or collectively, as the class prefers.


Prerequisites
Must love fantasy stories!

L12659: Fantasy World Building Full!
Difficulty: *

Have you ever wanted to create your own world just like Westeros? Or maybe that's a bit too dark for you and you prefer Azeroth. Or maybe that's just got too many things going on and you'd prefer Earth, but with Hogwarts. Or maybe we're still too close to home and we should head to Tattooine. In this class we will be exploring what all of these worlds have in common and how we can build one from scratch. We will also design the blueprint of one in class.

L12453: Thinking Like a Linguist Full!
Difficulty: **

In this interactive course, students will try to make sense of language, by thinking like linguists. Students will receive a gentle introduction to linguistics and its subfields, and then begin to confront and quantify various subtle features of the English language.

L12573: How to make your own writing system!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Helen Read, Erica Weng

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

L12548: How to Insult, Seduce, and Entertain in Classical Latin
Difficulty: *

Ever wonder what kinds of shenanigans the Romans got up to? Wish you could roast your friends in Latin? Wanna know what Ovid really meant by the "Art of Love"? Then this is the class for you! We'll be exploring the most interesting, unusual, and hilarious facets of Latin literature on a quest to highlight just how entertaining and weird the Romans really were. No prior Latin experience needed!

L12688: Intro to Ancient Greek Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Valerie Chen, Xiang Wan

Brief overview of Ancient Greek including basic grammar and historical/cultural context!

L12433: Anatomy of a Metaphor
Difficulty: **
Teachers: A L

Has someone given you a warm smile recently? Are concerns weighing on your mind? How close are you to meeting your personal goals? These questions may not seem metaphorical, but they are. Metaphors aren't just found in the arts---they are fundamental to the structure of our thoughts. Find out how during this short, fun introduction to Conceptual Metaphor Theory. We'll get acquainted with basic concepts and consider some interesting examples from ads, anime and news stories.


Prerequisites
None, fluency in English may be helpful

L12427: Learn how to become a badass Albanian!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Kristina Spiru

I always like to describe Albania to foreigners as the Narnia of the real world, because of how geographically small and culturally unknown it actually is. Albania, is a costal country found in the southern part of the Balkan peninsula. It is known for it's amazing food, crazy people and unique language which is spoken by around 7 million people in the whole world.

Albanian doesn't resemble any other language in the world, and in fact it occupies an independent branch in the language tree. So if you want to complain about your math teacher to your friend, without the teacher having a clue about what you're saying, please feel free to take this class.

P.S If you are a big fan of the movie Taken, we will also translate what the "bad guys" (aka Albanian mafia) say in the movie.

L12357: Weird Words and Other Etymological Oddities
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Olivia Waring

An exploration of the wacky and beautiful English language... Also, a brief overview of basic linguistic principles and a chance to "speed learn" a foreign language of the students' choice.


Prerequisites
None

L12435: Latin: A Dead Language? Full!
Difficulty: *

Salvete, discipuli! Do you often hear that "Latin is a dead language"? Well I disagree! Latin is still very much alive and a part of everyday life! Come explore how the Latin language, myths, and culture still influence us today. As my Latin teacher used to say, Latin is immortal!


Lunch

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L12770: Lunch Period
Difficulty: None
Teachers:

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

L12771: Lunch Period
Difficulty: None
Teachers:

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


Mathematics

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M12362: Ordinals and Hydras
Difficulty: ***

What happens when you start counting and don't stop? Can a hydra be beaten? What do hydras even have to do with math? Come to this class to find out!


Prerequisites
You should be able to write numbers in different bases. Prior experience with proofs and set theory would be helpful.

M12595: Introduction to Proofs Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Sinho Chewi, Rachel Lum

We will introduce you to what a mathematical proof is, and how to write one. We will cover basic proof strategies and go over famous examples of proofs.

M12727: Brouwer's Fixed Point Theorem
Difficulty: ****
Teachers: Mark Kong

We will prove Brouwer's Fixed Point Theorem; everything else is (as of writing this) subject to change.

The current plan is to prove it for a (2 dimensional) disk using the fundamental group, then to prove it for higher dimensions using homology groups, and to finish with some applications (namely the Jordan Curve Theorem and the Hex Theorem)


Prerequisites
Familiarity with proving things. Know what $$\mathbb{R}^n, D^n, S^n$$ (i.e. $$n$$-dimensional Euclidean space, the $$n$$-disk, and the $$n$$-sphere) are. You do not need to know what a group is to get something out of the class, but if you do then you might get more out of the class.

M12419: The Baire Category Theorem
Difficulty: ***

Does there exist a function which is continuous exactly on the irrational numbers? It turns out the answer is yes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomae%27s_function. The natural next question is: "What about he complement? Is there a function exactly continuous on the rationals?" The answer to this is, somewhat surprisingly, no! To answer this question we will need to develop some powerful tools in analysis such as the Baire Category Theorem and Borel Hierarchy which tell us about what happens when we take repeated intersections, unions, and complements of infinitely many open sets.


Prerequisites
Know the epsilon-delta definition of limits and continuity well. There will not be too much epsilon-delta manipulation in this class but it is important to understand this background. One should also understand the difference between a countable versus an uncountable set. Knowing what open and closed sets are and the operations of closure and interior would be helpful but is not assumed and will be explained.

M12743: What The Heck Is A Manifold?
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Zachary Steinberg

How do you do geometry in four dimensions? Manifolds! Manifolds are one of those concepts that sounds scary but is actually surprisingly simple. By the power of 𝟛 𝔻 𝕥 𝕖 𝕔 𝕙 𝕟 𝕠 𝕝 𝕠 𝕘 𝕪, come learn what a manifold is and why mathematicians love them, visually!


Prerequisites
If you know what a plane is, you're good. Bring with you a love of cool visuals. Calculus might let you get more out of the class, but you don't need it!

M12654: Intro to Cryptology Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Matthew Benet

This course is designed to give a brief introduction to the the study of codes, and the art of writing and solving them. This class will move chronologically through the history of cryptology: we will start around 500 BCE with the simple Atbash cipher and other monolphabetic substitution, touch upon the beginnings of steganography, and work our way through the Renaissance and the Vignere Cipher. If time permits we will
end with 20th century ciphers as used in war time (ADFGVX and, if time permits, Enigma).

The focus will be on learning the functionality of each cipher, as well as their strengths and weaknesses. There will be code-breaking in this class.

M12664: Infinities
Difficulty: **

Imagine something that's infinitely large. Now imagine something that's even larger. Sounds impossible? Come learn about different infinities!

M12462: SAT Math Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Julia Wang

Get ready for the big test by attending this 50-minute crash course review! Practice problems, review resources, and testing tips will be provided!


Prerequisites
Algebra I

M12587: Why P vs. NP isn't trivial Full!
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Avik Laha, Justin Wong

We will begin with the basics, defining I/O Turing machines and discussing what it means for a problem to require some amount of time or space, and giving central foundational results/techniques like the hierarchy theorems and diagonalization, and some applications. Afterwards, we will define oracle Turing machines and discuss the concept of completeness. We will conclude the main part of the course by showing that techniques like diagonalization cannot separate P and NP - in particular, any proof of their inequivalence cannot relativize. As time permits, we will look at other notable complexity classes lying between P and PSPACE, e.g. PH, BQP, and IP.


Prerequisites
Familiarity with basic computational complexity on the level of our other course on the topic

M12742: Enumerative Combinatorics
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Kaarel Haenni

This class will be a quick tour of some counting arguments, with an introduction to a few general methods. Here are some examples of what might be counted: lattice paths, triangulations, trees, tilings, functions, and partitions.


Prerequisites
Some familiarity with proofs and bijections is recommended.

M12753: Fun with the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Ria Das, Vanshika Jain

Have you ever wondered how many roots a polynomial has? If you know the answer, want to learn how to prove it? If you know how to prove it one way, do you know two other proofs? This class will cover what the fundamental theorem of algebra is and how to prove it in three different ways. We will prove it using number theory, complex analysis, and topology. Join us if you want an accessible introduction to three really cool areas of math!


Prerequisites
Some familiarity with proofs.

M12391: Ramsey Theory
Difficulty: ***

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

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

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

M12634: The Mathematics of Doodling
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Sualeh Asif, Andrew Lin

This is a class based off a paper of the same name. Draw a shape on your piece of paper, and then draw a curve tightly around it, as close as you can. After you’ve completed the loop, do it again. And again. And again. Does the shape get more circular, and how? We'll answer this and then extend to more topics in geometry, topology, and much, much more!

M12421: BIG Numbers
Difficulty: ***

What's the biggest number you know? 6? A million? A googolplex? In this class, we'll talk about ways to describe way bigger numbers.

M12575: Infinite dimensional topology
Difficulty: ****

Topology is the abstract study of shape. We will be covering some point-set topology. In particular, we will start by looking at the real line, generalize to higher dimensional real space, and then consider the infinite case.

In doing so, we introduce topologies, as simple structures that can be given to sets. We study some basic operations that can be done on topologies, and focus on metric topologies, or rather metric spaces. Wherin we use a notion of distance to give a type of shape.

We will then consider how to close a set. Which essentially looks like adding the things on its boundary. And using closures we will consider which topology on infinite dimensional space is most satisfying.


Prerequisites
There are few specific prerequisites for the course, but mathematical maturity is going to be extremely helpful. I will be introducing all the basic notions used in topology, and so exposure to college-level theoretical mathematics is key. Exposure to topology is not necessary, but will definitely be helpful.

M12620: Intro to Trading
Difficulty: *

What is a market? If you're interested in math, probability, or finance, learn about trading by playing a fun estimation game!

M12377: Complex Numbers: Math That Will Freak You Out (at least a little bit)
Difficulty: **
Teachers: John Gregg

I promise this math will freak you out at least a bit. We will explore the existence or non-existence of nonsensical things called complex numbers, or less scarily, imaginary numbers (aren't they all?). We will end up deep, deep inside a certain blob called the Mandelbrot set, which is made of these "imaginary" numbers.

M12568: Calculus of Variations Full!
Difficulty: **

Many problems in physics and elsewhere demand finding the path that minimize a certain quantity. For example, given two end points, we might want a bead to slide along a path between the two points in the shortest amount of time. The problem of finding this path is called the brachistochrone problem. In this class we'll discuss the calculus of variations, which allows us to solve such problems. We'll discuss Lagrangian mechanics (a reformulation of classical mechanics), and solve the brachistochrone problem.


Prerequisites
Calculus

M12376: The Foundation Crisis in Mathematics
Difficulty: *

For centuries, mathematics was considered to be the most stable and deductive reasoning, which gives results with absolute certainty, it was
long believed that mathematical knowledge was beyond doubt. But at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, several developments shook our faith in the unshakable nature of mathematical reasoning. The emergence
of non-Euclidean geometry undermined absolute acceptance of the theory
of space and shape that had reigned since classical Greece. Gregor Cantor’s work on the nature of infinity forced us to rethink our sense of numbers. And Kurt Gödel’s incompleteness theorem cast doubt on the possibility of a completely well-grounded notion of mathematical truth. In this class, we will explore the fundamental philosophical uncertainty in mathematics, and hopefully I will convince you that the math you have known and loved your whole life is built on shaky ground. This class will include discussions on the philosophy of math and whether it is grounded in the real world, or own minds, or somewhere far stranger.


Prerequisites
A heavy skepticism of mathematicians.

M12385: Intro to Quantum Computation
Difficulty: ****

Curious what the hype around quantum computing is all about? Want to know what quantum computing actually is? In this class, we'll discuss the key quantum mechanics that quantum computing is based on and how it differs from classical computing. Then, we'll see a few examples of simple quantum algorithms.

Note that this isn't a class on how a quantum computer can physically be built. Instead, we'll be discussing the theory of quantum computing.


Prerequisites
high school algebra

M12531: Probability, Statistics, and Understanding the World Full!
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Farita Tasnim, Evan Tey

Probability is the language we use to understand the world around us. It helps us conclude that gravitational waves exist or that certain drug treatments actually help cure a disease. Come learn the fundamentals fundamentals of probability and statistics from random variables to estimation. In particular, we'll talk about where these come up in the world and why it's important to understand them.


Prerequisites
No explicit prereqs, but the more comfortable you are with high level math the better.

M12536: Machine Learning Without the Buzzwords Full!
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Anthony Cavallaro

Are you curious about what machine learning is? Or what you can do with it? Are you suspicious of how people treat it like magic?

So am I! It's not magical, it's not anything super new, and using it without care can do a lot of harm. In this class, we'll talk about some common machine learning algorithms, the statistical assumptions behind them, common applications, and best practices.

M12547: Quick Mafs
Difficulty: **

We may not be Big Shaq (though Shaq was a favorite basketball player for a long while), we'll be teaching you about how to do mental math quickly!

Imagine wowing your friends with how quickly you can square 175 in your head (30625), or figure out what day of the week January 12, 1999 (my birthday!) was (Tuesday). This class is focused on showing you all sorts of really cool math tricks!


Prerequisites
Introductory knowledge of algebra important! This doesn't mean that you know how to solve a cubic equation, but you should generally know what a variable is, what the distributive property is, and knowing what FOIL is will be helpful

M12450: Robust Statistics and Machine Learning
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Andy Wei, Kai Xiao

"Robust statistics seek to provide methods that emulate popular statistical methods, but which are not unduly affected by outliers or other small departures from model assumptions" - Wikipedia

We'll also see some applications of robust statistics ideas in machine learning, where state-of-the-art deep neural networks are prone to classifying two very similar images differently, and how we can avoid these problems.


Prerequisites
Some math and probability background

M12360: Introduction to Applied Mathematics
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Lester Kim

This course will explore different topics in applied mathematics with examples from physics, economics, computer science, finance, and more. If you ever wondered how the math you learn in high school applies to the real world, this is the class for you.


Prerequisites
High school algebra

M12559: Introduction to mathematical proofs
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Dalila Valdes

The course will introduce students how to approach concepts in order to be able to generalize them and prove them. It will mainly focus on the way of reasoning and it will also cover basic concepts and vocabulary such as proofs by induction, construction and contradiction.


Prerequisites
Love math

M12359: Bridges, Maps, and Networks: An Introduction to Graph Theory Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jessica Oehrlein

Graph theory is a relatively young area of mathematics, focused on studying structures that show the relationships among people, places, or objects. We'll talk about two of the first key questions in graph theory, the Königsberg bridge problem and the Four Color Theorem. We'll also explore some applications of graph theory, such as modeling social networks or the spread of information or disease.


Prerequisites
Comfort with using variables, reading algebraic expressions, and probability. It's helpful but not necessary to have seen proofs by induction and/or contradiction.

M12744: Combing cats with the hairy ball theorem
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Kaarel Haenni

Is it possible to comb a cat? Will there always be a tuft or swirl of hair left uncombed? Come get your existential questions answered in this class about the hairy ball theorem.

It turns out that you can't comb a hairy ball. A bit more rigorously, the hairy ball theorem is the following statement in topology: every smooth vector field on a sphere has a singular point. In this class, I will give an outline of a proof of this statement. If there is any time left, I might also talk about some fixed point theorems.

Warning: there probably won't be any actual cats, I'm sorry. But there might be some inanimate substitutes to play around with.


Prerequisites
Being comfortable with math and hairy animals is a plus.

M12656: Gödel on Fast Forward
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Shardul Chiplunkar

URL: buzzfeed.com/science
Year: 1931
Title: "Mathematicians Hate Him! How One Man Broke Math Last Winter"

A fast run-through of Gödel's Incompleteness Theorems, including some history, just enough basic math and logic to understand them, an outline of their proofs (they aren't so hard!), and what they *really* mean. Come have your mathematical intuitions knocked askew!


Prerequisites
Comfortable with basic algebra and arithmetic. Helpful if you know basic logical notation, but not required.

M12711: Beyond P vs NP: Hardness of Approximation
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: David Yang

This summer, I want to go to each of the million biggest cities in the world. I want to save money though, so I need to know in what order I should go to these cities to minimize my total airplane ticket cost. Please help!

Unfortunately, if you believe that the computational complexity classes P and NP are different, I am out of luck. There is no way I could possibly compute the best path in time. But luckily, I have some room in my budget - I'm willing to settle for any route whose cost is within 50% of the price of the best route. Can I quickly find a decent plan then? What if I need within 25%?

Such is the domain of the PCP theorem, the most important theorem in computational complexity proved in the last 30 years. We will talk about approximate solutions to hard (NP-complete) problems, and our best ways of showing that they don't exist.


Prerequisites
Ideally you would have heard a quick explanation of the P=NP question before - we'll review it a bit, but this will be a relatively small part of the class.

M12605: Crash Course in Game Theory
Difficulty: **

In the prisoner's dilemma, two prisoners face a critical decision: to defect or to cooperate. While it would be best if both prisoners cooperated, each one has something to gain by defecting, and both end up getting a worse overall outcome than if they had both cooperated.

Come learn about interesting problems like this in our crash course in game theory, which explores the science of optimal decision-making.


Prerequisites
None

M12579: Ordinal Numbers
Difficulty: **

Come learn about the all the infinite infinities that come after the counting numbers!

We will be discussing well-ordered sets, which are a particularly well behaved class of objects.

Starting with the definition of a well ordered set, and continuing on to examples. We will then demonstrate the general process for constructing more and more well ordered sets, and write down a bunch of different sets.

It's going to be a lot of fun, you should totally come!


Prerequisites
There aren't many prerequisites for this course, but familiarity with abstract mathematics will be helpful.

M12340: The Physics of Martial Arts Full!
Difficulty: **

This course aims to understand the principles of martial arts through the lens of physics and mathematics. The first half of the course will review basic concepts of physics and translate them into principles of martial arts. The second portion will be a hands-on martial arts class, where students can apply the principles they've learned in real self-defense techniques!

M12397: Is Euclidean Geometry Dead?
Difficulty: **

Have you ever experienced difficulties with any type of Euclidean Geometry problem (high school or olympiad-style)? Well, this course is for those, who want to use their basic algebra knowledge to kill almost any Euclidean geometry problem using Cartesian plane.

No creativity needed on the lesson, only good pen and fast hands. Prepare... We will prove that it is actually dead (or at least injured)!


Prerequisites
High School Algebra will be very helpful

M12696: Hands-On Statistics and Data Analysis
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Ricardo Baptista

In this course, we will learn how to use modern tools for analyzing and extracting information from real-world datasets to answer statistical inference questions. Potential datasets may include medical, social network, and weather forecasting data. For each dataset, we will explore tailored methods for processing, analyzing and visualizing the results such as regression, principal component analysis and clustering. With the increasing trend of big data, we will also focus on the computational aspects of working with large-scale datasets and present scalable approaches for addressing these challenges. We ask students to bring a laptop if possible to implement the methods during the course.

M12581: Elliptic Curves, Complex Torii, and maybe a few l-adic Galois Representations
Difficulty: ****

Elliptic curves are a class of cubic curves (defined by a cubic polynomial in two variables) with deeply surprising and beautiful properties. The most surprising fact about elliptic curves is that their points naturally form a group structure under some geometric operation. Elliptic curves show up everywhere in mathematics from torii defined over the complex numbers to generating abelian extensions of number fields. Elliptic curves also feature prominently in the Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer conjecture, one of the millenium prize problems, and Andrew Wiles' proof of Fermat's last theorem. In this class we will develop the fundamental results about elliptic curves such as the Mordell-Weil theorem and Weierstrass function theory before diving head-first into some more advanced territory mentioned above. This class will be a meandering relentless rollercoaster through some of the most beautiful connections in modern mathematics rather than a reasonably-paced, well-structured, and rigorous development of a topic. Expect proofs to be "sketched", definitions to be hand waved, and lots of inane terminology to be used. That said, expect to come away with an broader awareness of open problems in mathematics, a much richer appreciation of the interplay between geometry and algebra, and a healthy respect for cubic polynomials in two variables.


Prerequisites
Familiarity with groups is a must. Know what fields, extensions, and Galois groups are. You should also know what it means for a function to have a complex derivative. Basically know what it means if I say a function is "holomorphic" or "meromorphic". Mostly, be prepared to be drenched with crazy math.

M12739: Mathematicians Are Really Bad At Naming Things Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Zachary Steinberg

Mathematicians study a lot of different types of things with absolutely horrible names. Sometimes they’re metaphors that break down when translated. Sometimes they just don’t make any sense. And sometimes, they’re even the same name as something that does make sense. Come learn about them!


Prerequisites
This class is going to cover a wide range of topics, and you don't need to know any of them!

M12540: Sharing Information Without Knowing It and Other Wonders of Cryptography Full!
Difficulty: **

In this course we'll discuss how to prove you know something without telling anyone the answer and how to split up information so a group can know a secret without any individual knowing any part. These fascinating results called Zero Knowledge Proofs and Secret Sharing use relatively simple math to achieve seemingly impossible results. We'll even cover methods you can implement at home!


Prerequisites
High-school algebra will be needed for part of the course; the rest can be appreciated with elementary arithmetic and logical thinking.

M12363: Computability Theory
Difficulty: ***

Computers can do a lot of things. If you've ever programmed, you might think you can theoretically write a program that does anything. But it turns out there are things you can't program, no matter how clever you are! In this class, we'll see examples of such things and proofs of why they can't be computed.

M12342: Fractals and Dimension
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Victor Lupi

A line is one-dimensional, and a plane is two-dimensional. Makes sense, right? What if I told you there are objects that are 1.5-dimensional? Would you believe me? How about if I generated them on a computer screen? In this course, we will study the tricky concept of dimension and its various definitions. Along the way, we will encounter fractals, curious objects that are both exceedingly simple and breathtakingly complex. Expect lots of pretty pictures. If time permits, we’ll take a look at the surprisingly simple software needed to generate these beautiful geometric objects.


Prerequisites
Knowledge of logarithms, while not essential, will enhance understanding of the material.

M12591: Quirky Quarternions: An intro to non-commutative algebra
Difficulty: ***

$$ab = ba$$: You may have learned about this seemingly universal truth in grade school. However, in this class, we'll throw the commutative law of multiplication out of the window, and go back to the drawing boards to define an algebra of numbers with three imaginary units.

We will begin the class with a short introduction of complex numbers, their geometric representation as points on the complex plane, and the geometric meaning of their multiplication. We will then introduce the fundamental multiplication law for quaternions, $$i^2 = j^2 = k^2 = ijk = -1$$, and show how everything about quaternions falls into place following this formula. You will also learn a few party-twister tricks that work thanks to quaternion algebra.


Prerequisites
Geometry, Algebra 2 and trigonometry. Preliminary knowledge of complex numbers and vector dot and cross products is a plus.

M12560: The Computational Complexity of Games and Puzzles
Difficulty: ***

Every hear about P vs. NP? Did you know that this fundamental mathematics question also relates to games and puzzles? This class will explore how the mathematics of computational complexity relates to games and puzzles.


Prerequisites
High-school algebra and basic discrete mathematics helpful but not necessary.

M12709: How to Properly, and Physically, Throw away Infinities
Difficulty: ****
Teachers: Patrick Ledwith

While in simple mechanics all answers are finite, even in classical electrodynamics one encounters perilous infinities that seem to plague the mathematical consistency of our physical world. In this class we will explore these, mostly focusing on the infinity that appears in the Casimir effect.

We'll show you how to get rid of them when they're bugging you, but we'll also develop an intuition for why they occur and give a precise meaning to why some people claim the seemingly false identity $$1+2+3+4+... = \frac{-1}{12}$$. If we have time we'll also talk about why physicists like to work in dimensions really close to 4, but not 4.


Prerequisites
Some calculus, and you probably should have studied waves at least a little bit.

M12622: Mental Math Tricks Full!
Difficulty: ***

Come learn some cool mental math tricks to impress your friends and teachers!

M12334: What is a vector?
Difficulty: ***

No magnitude. No direction. No arrows. No lies. The general truth about day 1 of every STEM class.

M12584: Knot Theory: An Introduction
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Kevin Gong, Yi Wang

Knot theory is a burgeoning branch of mathematics which has numerous applications to modern topological and geometric problems. In this class, I will define a mathematical knot, draw numerous examples of knots, define what makes a knot the "same" as another knot, and introduce some ways of distinguishing knots from others. This is intended to be a rudimentary introduction to an incredibly rich branch of modern mathematics.

M12445: Solving the Cubic Equation
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Kevin Ren

In elementary school, you learned to solve linear equations $$ax + b = 0$$. In middle or high school, you learned to solve quadratic equations $$ax^2 + bx + c = 0$$. But nowhere in the curriculum is there any method on solving cubic equations $$ax^3 + bx^2 + cx + d = 0$$. If you feel you have been cheated out of your math education or simply want to learn about the intriguing history of this innocuous-looking equation, this class is for you! Bring scratch paper and a creative mind.


Prerequisites
Mathematical background required: at least Integrated Math 2 (or equivalent), as well as an ability to understand equations scrawled (sometimes illegibly) on the chalkboard. Math contest experience recommended but not required.

M12578: A bit of Galois
Difficulty: ****

Hold on to your hats, because this is a roller coaster of algebra. I will be rapidly presenting a bunch of complex algebraic concepts, for any students who want a taste of the tougher stuff.

We're going to put the idea of the complex numbers in its appropriate wider context, that of field extensions. I will explain the fundamental algebraic reason why complex solutions to polynomials always come in conjugate pairs, and show you how to permute superfields which fix underlying subfields, using the polynomial ring over a field.

I will introduce groups, fields, rings and vector spaces, and then put them all together using Galois theory. This class will move pretty fast, and it will be a whole lot of information to take in.


Prerequisites
There isn't all that much I can teach you in the time we have. So if you haven't seen groups before, I might be able to explain what those are, but I probably can't explain what's so special about a Galois group. If you've seen any higher algebra and loved it, then you're bound to enjoy this class, which will make use of all the basic constructions in college algebra. If you aren't yet familiar with any group theory, you may find this class to be quite nonsensical. I suggest at a minimum googling "group" and "vector space" so that when I present these you'll have seen them before.

M12373: Fun with Algebra
Difficulty: *

I will go through the very basics of algebra with everyday examples. I will talk about terms, expressions and converting word problems to mathematical equations and solving for the unknowns. The main goal of this course is to ensure that students are not scared of algebra and instead, they treat the algebraic problems as puzzles which they love solving!


Prerequisites
Mathematical operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division

M12594: Numerical Methods for Ordinary Differential Equations
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Samuel Majors

Learn how to find approximate solutions to differential equations that are impossible to solve (or that you're just to lazy to solve). We'll cover (ideally), forward Euler, Runge-Kutta, backward Euler, and some programming examples (Python).


Prerequisites
Be comfortable with integral and differential calculus and matrix algebra. Exposure to any of the following is a plus, but not required: vector calculus, differential equations, programming (esp. Python, but anything helps).

M12418: A Headfirst Dive Into "Mathematical Logic"
Difficulty: ****

The meaning of term "Mathematical Logic" is fairly non-trivial. Mathematical logic is, on the one hand, the study of the logic of mathematics rigorizing the notions of "proof" and "example" in the framework of formal logic. But Mathematical logic is also the application of mathematical methods to logic using tools such as induction and set theory to proof meta-theorems about logic. It is even the application of logic to solving (somewhat) concrete math problems. In this course we will discuss all these flavors of mathematical logic as we introduce the basic concepts of completeness, consistency, satisfiability, and categoricity, discuss foundational results linking model theory (the study of examples) to proof theory (the study of formal proofs), then investigate the limitations of first-order logic, and finally prove Godel's momentous incompleteness theorem of first-order arithmetic. On the way, we will naturally develop foundational ideas about the theory of computation and how decidability and incompleteness are intricately linked. Time permitting, we will discuss applications of mathematical logic to problems in algebraic geometry such as the Ax-Grothendieck theorem and Lefschetz principle.


Prerequisites
There are no formal prerequisites. However, this course will move very quickly and present a lot of highly abstract ideas so be prepared.

M12358: Population Modeling Full!
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Jessica Oehrlein

Can trapping invasive crawfish save a newt population? How do regional or minority languages like Galician survive? When can two species with the same food sources coexist? In this class, we'll build mathematical models of populations to answer questions like these. In groups, you will mathematically describe different ways in which populations grow, decline, and interact. Each group's model will answer key questions about population behavior or control. We'll also discuss challenges and alternate methods for modeling.


Prerequisites
Comfort with thinking of derivatives as rates of change.

M12701: Neuron Models Full!
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: David Yang

BRAINS

(now with math!)


Prerequisites
Ideally you should know what a derivative is.

M12632: The Mathematics of Music
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Andrew Lin, Justin Park

Some fun facts: (1) Pianos used to be tuned in a way that made them sound good in certain keys and very odd in others. (2) When you play two notes on a violin, you can sometimes hear a third, fainter note in the background. (3) Out of all the possible ways to split an octave into parts, Western music has settled on twelve.

What's the reason for all of this? Come to this class to learn about sound waves, Tartini tones, beats, and much more!


Prerequisites
High-school math and some familiarity with trigonometric functions is recommended.

M12350: Splitting Cake with Sperner's Lemma
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Nelson Niu

You and your friends have attained a large, multi-flavored cake. You would all like to eat some of that cake, but you each have slightly different preferences about what part of the cake you want. Some of you love the coconut shavings; some will avoid the chocolate icing at all costs. The large scoop of ice cream in the corner is particularly popular. Is there a way to split up the cake fairly amongst yourselves—without losing any friends in the process?

It turns out there is, and we can prove it! All it takes is a cute little theorem about coloring points in triangles called Sperner's Lemma. In fact, not only does our theorem tells us that a fair division exists, it can even tell us exactly how—plus or minus a sprinkle. Come see how it all works here!


Prerequisites
Some experience with proofs is recommended; you should, at the very least, know how to prove a statement by induction. It would also help to know what the graph of $$ x + y + z = 1 $$ looks like.

M12721: Bayes Theorem and How It Changed Statistics Full!
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Evan Tey

Thomas Bayes, a British minister and statistician, presented a theorem in the 18th century that came to be named after him. This theorem paved the way for a completely new understanding of statistics. Now, "Bayesian thought" appears nearly everywhere from social science, to physics, to machine learning!


Prerequisites
Some exposure to probability would be nice.


Pop (and not-so-pop) Culture

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P12535: Theme Parks: Creating an Immersive World
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Anthony Roman

The greatest theme parks are pinnacles of technology and theatrics, using cutting-edge innovations and clever designing to immerse people into a fantastical world. This class will unveil what exactly goes into the creation of an incredible theme park, including the astounding feats of imaginative engineering from the past, present, and future that bring stories and worlds to life.

P12532: Write Your Own Parody Full!
Difficulty: **

Have you ever wanted to take a song you know and make it your own? In this class, you can rewrite any song about something you actually know and care about. Or something you don't know or care about, it's all up to you!

P12627: The Science of Star Wars Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Emma Liu, Varnika Sinha

Have you ever wondered about the science behind Star Wars? If so, this is the class for you! We will explore topics ranging from lightsabers to hyperspace travel to droids. Learn about the scientific inaccuracies in the movies and the analogies to modern technology. All are welcome regardless of Star Wars knowledge.

P12631: It’s a Conspiracy! From Aliens to the XYZ Affair
Difficulty: *

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

P12722: Introduction to Competitive Pokémon Battling
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Desmond Edwards

You ever heard about Pokémon? Of course you have! Ever heard about competitive Pokémon battling though? Maybe you have, maybe you haven't. Either way, I think it's pretty cool.
This course gives a quick-ish rundown of the elements that go into competitive Pokémon battling in the main series video games.

P12387: Anime Through the Ages
Difficulty: *

This is a two part class: for the first hour we teach about the conception/history of anime, and for the second hour we talk about different genres and production studios in modern-day anime.

P12496: From the Depths of Wikipedia
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Mathew Suazo

Wikipedia has nearly 5.5 million articles in the English language. This class will explore some of the most interesting hidden gems, from "Lawsuits against God" to the "World's littlest skyscraper."

P12513: The History of Memes: Impact Text to Deep Fried
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Vivian Vu

The term 'meme' was first coined in 1976 by a guy named Richard. Learn about the proposed "ages" of internet memes, how memes have evolved from the days of the early meme to now, and what it takes to make a relatable meme.

P12497: Depths of Wikipedia 2: Electric Boogaloo
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Mathew Suazo

Wikipedia has nearly 5.5 million articles in the English language, and as such, just one class isn't enough to cover all the cool stuff it has to offer. This class will explore even more interesting hidden gems, from the "Indiana Pi Bill" to the "Oak Island mystery."

P12545: Introduction to Tengwar Full!
Difficulty: **

If you're J.R.R. Tolkien, writing a book starts with creating a a whole system of languages for your world. His constructed languages - such as Quenya, Sindar, and Khuzdul - are remarkably complete and use their invented own writing system. This class will teach you the basics of writing Tengwar, the system used by the elves of Middle Earth. We'll be learning how to write and read English transliterations of the standard English form of Tengwar.

P12498: Depths of Wikipedia 3: Return of the Wiki
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Mathew Suazo

Wikipedia has nearly 5.5 million articles in the English language, and as such, even two classes aren't enough to cover all the cool stuff it has to offer. This class will explore yet more interesting hidden gems, from the "Corrupted Blood incident" to the "Boston Molasses Disaster."

P12351: Revelio: What Harry Potter Teaches Us About Writing Shocking Plot Twists Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Nelson Niu

Think of that one book or movie with a killer twist ending, a shocking reveal that blew you away and left you stunned in your seat, marveling at the storyteller's cunning and cheek. (Don't tell me what it is, though: I don't want to be spoiled.) Ever wondered how the writer or director managed to pull it off?

Now think of that other twist ending that was absolutely atrocious, that left you feeling confused, cheated, or rolling your eyes because you'd seen it coming from a mile away. (Again, don't tell me what it is: spoilers for bad stories are spoilers, too.) What makes some twists work and others flop?

This is an intriguing topic that is very difficult to discuss, because, as you've probably already noticed, talking about plot twist is difficult without, well, actually talking about those twists, thereby spoiling them. Fortunately, there's one series chock-full of excellent surprise endings that nearly everyone of our generation has already been exposed to: Harry Potter.

We'll examine and discuss the techniques J. K. Rowling employs to create some of her most shocking revelations, as well as the broader thematic ideas that a clever twist can convey. And perhaps you'll come out of this class ready to craft your very own mind-blowing plot twist.


Prerequisites
You should be familiar with all seven books in the Harry Potter series.

P12364: Memeology
Difficulty: ****

Learn about memes and the surrounding social factors and implications on the on world wide web.


Prerequisites
40000 IQ

P12501: FANtastic!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Sam Pauley, Rona Wang

Are you a SuperWhoLockian weeaboo who just doesn't have time for all these Muggles? Do one or more of the following things spark joy in your soul: BTS, B99, OHSHC, LiS, HTGAWM, LOTR, or GoT? Come learn about the history of fandom, and contribute with some fanworks of your own!

P12508: Press Start to Die: An Analysis of Indie Horror Games Full!
Difficulty: *

Indie horror games showed up on the scene as a big craze, and have refused to die out ever since. It seems like every couple of months, a new one blows up.

What's the magic behind them? Are they good games? Are they good horror? Do they have deeper meanings, and can they be considered art?

We'll be examining the rise of indie horror games from Yume Nikki to Doki Doki Literature Club, and analyzing just what makes them tick.


Prerequisites
The games studied contain disturbing themes and imagery. If you're susceptible to that kind of thing, we recommend not taking this course.

P12386: Introduction to MOBA's Full!
Difficulty: *

A Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA), also known as action real-time strategy (ARTS), is a subgenre of strategy video game. Maybe you haven't heard this specific term, but you've heard of games like DotA 2 or League of Legends. Come learn about the genre and how it has grown so much in popularity recently.

P12383: American History Through Comics Full!
Difficulty: *

Superheroes were popularized during and after World War II when Americans needed hope against crime in cities and international violence. Comic strips in general represent much of the culture of their time, from politics to technology to social life. We'll go through American history (~1920-present) through the lens of comics to see how we can learn from the past through publications made for children and young adults.

P12463: Hip-Hop Dance Full!
Difficulty: ***

Learn a dance. It's gon' be lit.


Prerequisites
Arms and/or legs

P12416: Neon Genesis Evangelion: A Dialectic
Difficulty: **

What is Evangelion? A cult phenomenon 90s anime which ran out of money and ideas? An overhyped robot show that was just a vehicle for a lonely man's insecurities? Or a misunderstood masterpiece of modern culture? In this talk, we will discuss how a strange Japanese cartoon two decades old might have startling implications for your life and the nature of the human spirit. Evangelion is a show about middle-school kids getting in big "robots" and saving the world. It is also a deconstructive subversion of anime itself, a terrifying exploration of the mentality of such child soldiers and the fundamental brokenness of human relationships. Expect to leave singing the words "come, sweet death."


Prerequisites
If you haven't seen the show, expect to be basically as confused as if you have seen it (but seriously watch the show). It is also helpful to have a knowledge of anime as a medium and its history.

P12365: Analyzing Beyoncé's Impact
Difficulty: **

Do you love Beyonce? Of course you do! This class will analyze some of Beyonce's most memorable videos, performances, and moments. We will discuss the social and historical impact she has made in her career, and how it has shaped society.


Prerequisites
General appreciation and/or adoration of Beyoncé

P12703: D&D Session Full!
Difficulty: **

Whether you are a veteran RPG player or completely new to the genre, join us for an invigorating session of Dungeons and Dragons (5th edition)! D&D is a rule-based roleplaying game in which players assume identities and embark on quests in fantasy environments. Everything from discovering long lost underwater cities to hijacking pirate ships to uncovering ancient tombs to negotiating peace treatises between sovereign nations. It's basically make-believe for adults. We'll be running two sessions during this class -- one tailored towards new players and another for more experienced players.

P12694: Paul is Dead
Difficulty: **

“I am he, as you are he, as you are me, and we are all together.” I’m not saying we buy it, but we’ll tell you we do: Paul McCartney is long dead. Think about it. Egypt Station sounds nothing like the old Beatle we all know and love. What more do you need to know? Oh, so much more. Come learn about the overwhelming, uh, evidence that fuels our conviction that, as the title says, Paul is dead.


Prerequisites
An open mind and familiarity with the Beatles’ greater and lesser known works.

P12519: Intro to Pop Culture
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Tova Brown

What is aesthetically pleasing? What is popular right now and why? What makes something a trend and how do we follow one? What do the youth WANT to see, hear, and be apart of? Pop Culture recognizes ideas that are transmitted through any type of social interaction and how they become powerful - how we remember them! For this course, we’ll talk about mainstream social media, top charting albums, both male & female fashion icons, and much more that easily grasps our attention and WHY.

P12438: Star Wars: Reading & Writing Aurebesh Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Isabella Torres

Ever wondered what those weird symbols in Star Wars mean? Learn to read and write in Aurebesh, the most common alphabet in the galaxy!

P12702: The Greatest Game You Will Ever Play Full!
Difficulty: **

Nethack is the greatest game you will ever play: http://www.thegreatestgameyouwilleverplay.com/ . Come to pay homage to the greatest contribution to the roguelike genre (and gaming in general), and enjoy the world's oldest videogame still in active development. This class will be part tutorial for Nethack, and part playtime.


Science

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S12335: Atomic Theory I: The Basics Full!
Difficulty: **

From "opposites attract and likes repel" to why we say an atom has protons, neutrons, and electrons - an experimental journey into the basics of chemistry.

S12520: [Science Olympiad - Div C] Designer Genes, Day 1 Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Miles Dai, Annika Gomez

This course will provide an overview of molecular biology fundamentals and data analysis techniques needed to solve genetics problems. With a focus on subjects relevant to the Science Olympiad Division C event Designer Genes, we will review classical genetics techniques such as crosses, molecular concepts such as DNA structure and replication, transcription, and translation, and modern techniques such as DNA sequencing, CRISPR, microarrays, and cloning.
The goal of this course is to prepare students to compete in the Science Olympiad event Designer Genes, but all students are welcome!

S12740: How to win a tank battle Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Brian Hoh

Learn about the evolution of the tank from a sluggish and unreliable hunk of metal to an efficient, deadly weapon of the battle field and how people outside the armor found increasingly devious methods to turn people inside the armor into mutilated bio-hazards throughout the ages.

S12511: Protein Folding - it's like origami but not!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Zion Perry

Learn the basics of protein structure and folding, and if there's time, even protein UNfolding. We will use origami paper to model proteins.


Prerequisites
Some basic biology knowledge helps

S12561: Formaldehyde- further stories of pathology
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Andrew Thompson

An introduction to pathology's favorite tissue fixative. We will explore the chemistry of formaldehyde molecule and it's role in tissue preservation and embalming, billiard balls, mirror manufacture, moonshine, and a variety of other areas of life.. Then we will circle back to pathology with the discovery of antigen retrieval, and how this opened a new era of immunohistochemistry

S12592: Exoplanet Excavation
Difficulty: *

How can we discover exoplanets when they're so insanely hard to detect? We'll look at the current methods of discovering planets beyond our solar system and see exactly why these objects are hard to confirm. The class will also discuss what we can deduce about these planets, why this science matters, and what the future looks like for this field.

S12528: History of Modern Physics!
Difficulty: **

Physics is about ingenuity and creativity. It's about some of the greatest minds on our planet coming up with explanations for the universe around us. In the 20th century, this meant a space-time continuum and randomness/uncertainty unlike we're used to... Come learn about electromagnetics, quantum mechanics, relativity, and more as we walk through the last century of physics!


Prerequisites
The more physics you already know the better, but we won't be doing too much math, so don't be afraid to register.

S12599: Thermodynamics, Entropy and Heat Engines
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Keith Phuthi

Introduction to the basic concepts involved in understanding thermodynamics and entropy leading up to an explanation of what a heat engine and the Carnot efficiency are.


Prerequisites
Some basic physics like vectors. Most of the background will be explained.

S12600: Intro to What Quantum Mechanics is and What it Means to you
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Keith Phuthi

An explanation of why quantum mechanics came to be and a few of the important results that come from it. There will be an emphasis on how this actually affects the physical world you are used to.


Prerequisites
None. Although some basic physics concepts will be used, there will be something for everyone in this class

S12422: A Rigorous Development of Classical Mechanics
Difficulty: ****

This class will discuss classical mechanics from a fairly abstract perspective. We will first introduce the Lagrangian formalism and discuss the principle of least action, its motivation, and its consequences. Next, using the Lagrangian perspective, we will develop the Hamiltonian framework which elegantly formalizes and extends the notions of momentum and energy. From there, we will discuss the theory of canonical transformations leading to Hamilton-Jacobi theory. If time permits, we will investigate advanced topics such as adiabatic invariants and show how Hamilton-Jacobi theory is the "ray-optics approximation" to the Schrodinger equation and how this insight lead Schrodinger to develop quantum theory. Along the way, we will discuss Noether's theorem on the connection between symmetries and conservation laws from each of these perspectives since each one gives their own flavor to this wonderful theorem.


Prerequisites
Multivariable calculus is ABSOLUTELY required. You MUST know what a partial derivative is. Basic knowledge of mechanics such as Newton's laws and angular momentum will be assumed but very little background physics knowledge will be needed. More importantly is a strong physical intuition and a healthy dose of skepticism for what you know about concepts such as "momentum" or "energy."

S12470: Chromatography Full!
Difficulty: *

Ever wanted to try Chromatography? Don't know what that is? Now's your chance to learn! Join us as we embark on an adventure using local flora and fauna. This will be a simple take home DIY! No experience necessary but an interest in plant biology would be helpful.

S12723: How to answer biological questions Full!
Difficulty: ***

Have you ever wondered how all of the cool facts in your biology class were deduced? In this class, we'll focus on the central dogma and introduce you to some basic assays in molecular biology and some not-so-basic ones as well. Through discussion, we'll try to design and come up with ways to try and answer questions like "How does the 3D shape of the nucleus affect gene expression?" and "How do we know where a specific protein binds in the genome?"


Prerequisites
AP Biology, or an equivalent level of molecular biology; a decent background in chemistry or statistics would also be helpful.

S12522: [Science Olympiad - Div C] Circuit Lab, Day 1
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Miles Dai, Annika Gomez

An introduction to the fundamental concepts of circuits and electronics. This course is geared towards students interested in competing in the Division C Science Olympiad Circuit Lab event, and we will be covering many of the concepts on the rubric such as Ohm’s Law, KVL, KCL, circuit construction, and measurement techniques. We will be giving you a solid foundation as well as further resources for you to continue your studying as you prepare for the season.

While this course is designed around the Science Olympiad rubric, all students are welcome to come and learn!

S12680: Quantum Fun-om-nom-ology
Difficulty: **

This class is gonna be bananas. The title says it all: FUN + NOMS. Get ready to digest some awful puns. As a warning, we may go nuts with the extended food metaphors. Forget the vanilla physics you know, we will talk about surreal effects only possible through the strange laws of quantum mechanics. No matter what, you will have fun and nom some noms :)


Prerequisites
A healthy appetite for learning

S12582: Superconductors are COOL and here's why Full!
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Kohtaro Yamakawa

This course will be given as an introduction to superconductors, via the marvelous effects its unique properties induce AND the beautiful mathematics that underlies it. Why in the heck do they have zero resistance? By introducing certain tools from quantum mechanics, I will attempt to describe to you why the field of superconductivity is awesome.


Prerequisites
Rudimentary understanding of quantum mechanics and classical mechanics.

S12550: The Nitrogen Cycle
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jarek Kwiecinski

All life on Earth requires nitrogen to survive. An important component of proteins and DNA, nitrogen is abundant in the atmosphere but difficult for organisms to use directly. This course is about the network of specialized microbes that make nitrogen available to other organisms before returning this vital element to the air. Focusing primarily on soil and ocean environments, we will discuss how these microbes transport billions of tons of nitrogen each year to complete a cycle that sustains both human and natural systems.


Prerequisites
High school chemistry or biology.

S12457: Microbiome 101: What's in your poop? Full!
Difficulty: *

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

S12516: Special Relativity
Difficulty: **

Come explore space and time, and see how the main ideas of special relativity can be derived from simple principles and some basic algebra! If we have time, we'll also talk about relativity "paradoxes" and how to resolve them.


Prerequisites
Algebra (at the Algebra 1 level). Algebra 2 and basic physics are helpful, but not required.

S12567: Cool Mathematical Curves and Their Properties
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Sujay Kazi

An introduction to various interesting mathematical curves and their mathematical and physical properties! How can you find the area under certain curves without calculus? How can you adjust a pendulum so that its period is independent of its amplitude (and not just approximately)? Why does a hanging chain assume a certain shape? Learn all of this and more!


Prerequisites
very basic physics, a little bit of calculus knowledge will be helpful

S12529: [Science Olympiad - Div C] Thermodynamics, Day 1
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Miles Dai, Robert Kao

An introduction to the theory of thermodynamics and heat transfer that aims to cover basic material that is tested on the Science Olympiad event. Topics will include temperature scales, ideal gases, entropy, specific heat, and heat engines. There will also be an introduction to the thermos activity and things to consider before and during the test.

S12748: Paleoclimate Full!
Difficulty: **

Have you ever wondered about how we know what the Earth was like millions of years ago? What types of plants and animals used to exist? What was the climate like way back when? What natural systems do we study to learn about past climate?

S12348: Climate Change Science Full!
Difficulty: **

Discover the science behind climate change and its impacts, including why carbon dioxide is produced, the impact of other greenhouse gases, and the chemical and ecological effects in the ocean, on land, and in the atmosphere.


Prerequisites
Some chemistry knowledge would be helpful, no climate background is needed

S12361: Assassins of the Sea: The Life and Times of Jellyfish Full!
Difficulty: *

You might touch one and die in ninety seconds...or you might feel a mildly underwhelming, slimy sensation. Learn about jellyfish, things that look like jellyfish (but aren't) and things that don't (but kind of are). Also, stickers.

S12593: Intro to Lagrangian Mechanics
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Samuel Majors

Come learn about the Lagrangian formalism for classical mechanics and how it applies to orbital mechanics, particle physics, and making your physics homework easier, but, more importantly, be able to impress your friends with terms like "calculus of variations."


Prerequisites
Be comfortable with integral and differential calculus and Newtonian mechanics (springs, masses, dampers, gravity, pulleys, etc.). Exposure to vector calculus or differential equations is a plus.

S12577: Prove that magnets exist using math
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Saranesh Prembabu

The Ising model, a simplified description of a material with interacting spins, is a key area of modern theoretical physics research. We will explore the model using clever mathematical techniques like transfer matrices and mean field theory. We can apply this to uncover the fascinating behaviour of materials under magnetic field, including when a metal becomes a ferromagnet, and other intriguing statistical effects and extensions (like water boiling).


Prerequisites
Be comfortable with multiplying 2x2 matrices and taking logarithms. Basic differential calculus may be useful. No special physics knowledge is required, but familiarity with thermodynamics may enrich your understanding.

S12327: Organic Chemistry through the Lens of Aromaticity Full!
Difficulty: ***

This lecture intends to introduce students to the language of Organic Chemistry through an in depth discussion of ring structures. Specifically, we will explore pericyclic reactions (sigmatrophic rearrangement, electrocyclic., and cycloaddition) and aromatic compounds. Students should expect to gain a deeper understanding of molecular orbital theory, and the principles and methods used in organic synthesis.


Prerequisites
Assumes AP chemistry or equivalent chemistry exposure; all other content will be introduced in lecture. Contact the instructor if you have any questions.

S12337: Atomic Theory III: Mostly Particle Physics Full!
Difficulty: ****

Break protons and neutrons into quarks and gluons, think about waves, learn about energy and the rest of the Standard Model.

For pure enjoyment - topics you won't see for 4+ years. First half is an overview, the rest is pure math.


Prerequisites
Intro chemistry & physics

S12500: Talking Brains: Neuroscience of Language and Thought Full!
Difficulty: **

What happens in your brain as you read this sentence? Does the language you speak affect the way you think? How are some people capable of learning dozens of languages while others can't go beyond one? Come ponder these questions with us as we discuss the neuroscience of language and human thought.

S12734: A Rigorous Introduction to Molecular Orbital Theory and its Applications in Chemistry Full!
Difficulty: ***

The central focus of chemistry is to achieve an understanding of the structure and reactivity of the molecules that construct our surrounding world. Molecular orbital theory is crucial to developing an intuitive understanding of the chemical behavior that governs everything from biological systems to fuel cells. This class presents a rigorous introduction to molecular orbital theory and explores its applications in chemical bonding and reactivity.

This class will cover the following topics:
- Introductory quantum mechanics (e.g. wavefunctions, operators, Schrodinger equation, etc.)
- Atomic structure and mathematical description of atomic orbitals
- Valence-bond theory (including hybridization and VSEPR)
- Linear combinations of atomic orbitals (LCAO-MO) and molecular orbital theory (including orbital mixing and MO diagrams)
- Molecular symmetry and group theory
- Construction of symmetry-adapted linear combinations of atomic orbitals and metal-ligand bonding
- Applications of MO theory to inorganic chemistry (e.g. crystal and ligand field theory)
- Applications of MO theory to organic chemistry (e.g. explanation of reactivity with frontier orbital theory)


Prerequisites
Required: Solid understanding of high school chemistry and single-variable calculus Recommended: university-level general chemistry, organic chemistry, introductory quantum mechanics Useful: Linear algebra and group theory