Splash 2022
Course Catalog


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


Arts

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A15154: Swing Dance!
Difficulty: **

ya like jazz???
If you happen to like jazz music *and* dancing, come learn how to swing dance! We will do an hour lesson, and then we will have an hour social dance immediately after the lesson so you can show off your newly acquired skills! (No partner is necessary!)


Class Style
Activity

A15308: A Bhangin' Bhangra Workshop!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Teresa Gao, Esha Ranade

Join us for a fun workout to learn all about Bhangra, a traditional folk dance style originating from Punjab!


Class Style
Activity

A15281: Sword/Lightsaber Spinning Workshop Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jack Lewis, Nine Morch

Have you ever been watching a Star Wars movie and seen people spinning their lightsabers to assert dominance over their opponents? If you haven't, you should: https://youtu.be/gkJ1wJ2kdpA?t=6
Or maybe you've seen people spin fire swords (possibly even MIT Spinning Arts)? Again, if you haven't, you should: https://youtu.be/MIpFGpqe--8
In this class, you can learn how to spin swords just like that! We'll go over some basic moves, building up to slightly more complicated spins, and you'll learn how you can go home and continue spinning on your own. No prior knowledge/experience necessary.


Class Style
Activity

A15376: Learn to Crochet Full!
Difficulty: **

Beginner friendly course on how to crochet! Join us in learning the basic stitches. We'll be making mini octopus!


Class Style
Activity

A15278: Rope Dart Training Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jack Lewis, Nine Morch

Learn the basics of spinning rope dart! Rope dart originated as a martial arts weapon, but nowadays it can be spun as a performing arts prop in a variety of ways, where the dart head may be replaced with ribbons, glowing lights, or fire! We'll be using a practice (safe!) version of a rope dart to learn some basic moves, and you'll also get some resources to continue learning at home.


Class Style
Activity

A15294: get knotty with us
Difficulty: *

come make friendship bracelets with us! all materials provided :))


Class Style
Activity

A15320: Creative Activism
Difficulty: *

This class explores the power of public activism through design interventions. Students will learn about the role design and designers play in social activism, to subvert, amplify, resist, intervene, disobey, and protest in favor of principles that matter on a personal level. Additionally, they will learn strategies for research, ideation, prototyping, and testing design solutions. Students will examine/develop criteria for successful acts of social resistance. They will work individually or in groups to design and implement a campaign for a concept of their choosing; final deliverable forms will include posters and a public art installation.


Class Style
Activity

Prerequisites
None

A15222: Introduction to Conducting and Score-Reading Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Lauren Li, Tristan Shin

Ever wanted to "play the orchestra," literally? Come learn to be a conductor! We will cover different beat patterns, the basics of score-reading, and other miscellaneous topics. There may be singing involved.


Class Style
Activity

Prerequisites
Ability to read sheet music.

A15116: Japanese in 50 minutes!
Difficulty: *

Ever think about going to Japan? Want a crash course in the Japanese language including reading and writing, conversation, and culture? Look no further! We'll get you ready to socialize in Japan, maybe understand a few menu items at a restaurant, and definitely count to three.


Class Style
Activity

Prerequisites
N/A

A15231: Designers, Branding, and the Advancing Fashion Industry Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Steven Faerm

In our current world of over-abundance where material needs are met (and often over-met), what are we really seeking from the products we buy? How are the new, emerging consumer behaviors that prioritize the emotional over the mere material and aesthetic altering the purpose of design and attendant design industries? In what ways will the attributes of ‘Generation Z’ affect the future design marketplace?

This presentation explores the fundamentals of branding, emergent consumer behaviors, and the future role of design and designers. Due to consumers’ increasingly nuanced emotional needs, designers must replace their traditional role as independent ‘style dictators’— in which they create product based on personal whims and biases in the hopes their work will appeal to consumers—with that of “Designer-As-Social Scientist” whose research into consumers’ demographics and psychographics drive all subsequent design proposals. Following this introduction, several case studies will be presented and analyzed to illustrate key ideas about branding, ‘emotional value’ in design, and the future marketplace

This is a lecture presentation (not a workshop).
Presented by Steven Faerm, Associate Professor at Parsons School of Design


Class Style
Lecture

A15181: Beginner's Tap Dance
Difficulty: *

Do you like music, dancing, or just grooving to a good beat? Come learn how to tap dance! No experience is required! We'll have fun playing with sounds, learning some fundamentals, and choreographing a short dance! This class will be a low-stress environment open to all levels of dancers, but will be specifically geared towards beginners.


Class Style
Activity

Prerequisites
Bring hard soled shoes (anything that makes sound) but if not sneakers are okay too

A15354: Let's Get Loopy: Crochet 101 Full!
Difficulty: **

Want to crochet a headband, coaster, slug, or just freeform? Then come over and learn how! Yarn and crochet hooks provided for you all to keep


Class Style
Activity

Prerequisites
None

A15230: Innovative Design Demands Process Innovation
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 creativity? What is “design process” and how can it be used to achieve maximum creativity and, in doing so, enable design to not be just “stuff” but something that contains deeper, emotional meaning?

This lecture analyzes undergraduates’ design projects that are remarkable for their incredibly inventive design processes — a critical stage that proceeds research exploration and precedes final design outcomes. This “middle-stage” is perhaps the MOST important stage! It is when your playful explorations and experimentations will produce optimal creativity and innovation. This critical stage can then spawn designs that have conceptual and intellectual depth—something that is increasingly sought by consumers today.

During this presentation, you learn how to innovate your own CREATIVITY by listening to how select design projects are “dissected” and analyzed. These inspiring methods may then be applied to your own art and design projects!

Please note, this is a lecture presentation and not a workshop.
Presented by Steven Faerm, Associate Professor at Parsons School of Design.


Class Style
Lecture

A15288: Embroidery Basics Full!
Difficulty: *

Ready to relax between learning python and particle physics? Come learn some basic embroidery stitches and then make a fun momento to remember your time at SPLASH MIT.


Class Style
Activity

Prerequisites
NONE

A15387: Hand Embroidery: Counted Blackwork
Difficulty: **

Come learn some historical embroidery (popular from like the 1500s - 1700s)! We will teach the basics of in-hand embroidery and thread counting as well as more advanced techniques like the path method for near-perfect reversibility. Then we'll just have some time to hang out and embroider stuff together!


Class Style
Activity

Prerequisites
Some amount of hand sewing experience recommended.

A15262: Sing Like a Scientist with Members of the MIT Chorallaries!
Difficulty: **

Come sing fun songs with us and learn all about how MIT's finest MIT Engineers (not a typo) sing a cappella!

Topics covered include just intonation, overtones, the physics of singing a cappella, arranging, vocal techniques, performance, and audition tips. Everyone is welcome--whether you have experience singing in the shower or not!


Class Style
Activity

A15398: Group folk dance!
Difficulty: *

Polish folk dance, simple set of moves, no experience required, good vibes!


Class Style
Activity

Prerequisites
None B)

A15216: Throat Singing Workshop
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jason Li

Dive into the centuries-old art of Siberian/Mongolian throat singing! In this interdisciplinary class, we’ll learn about throat singing history and cultures, the physics and acoustics underlying throat singing, and the anatomical secrets behind the deep growls and high whistles. Of course, you’ll get to hear some live demos and try out some techniques to begin learning how to throat sing yourself!


Class Style
Lecture

A15200: Intro to Crochet: Make Squishy Pokeballs! Full!
Difficulty: **

Do you want a cute stressball? Do you have the cat urge to play with yarn? Do you want to CATCH ‘EM ALL?? Join us and make crocheted Pokeballs!!! We will give an introduction to crochet and guide you through the process of making a squishy sphere (with two colors!). Feel free to squish it before a test or throw it at your friends (gently). :)


Class Style
Activity

A15245: How to Structure a Novel Full!
Difficulty: *

Come learn about novel structure and plots! We'll talk about narrative story arc, walking through 1-2 popular novels (Percy Jackson? Mistborn?) as exemplars, and get creative gears turning!

Inspiration from Brandon Sanderson's "Writing Excuses" podcast.


Class Style
Seminar

A15420: Beginners Guide to Ukelele Playing
Difficulty: **

Do you want to get into music? Have a ukelele you've always been meaning to learn how to play? In this class we'll start at the basics, and learn enough about ukeleles to continue practicing on your own.


Class Style
Activity

Prerequisites
Having touched a ukelele before would be great, but not required. Instruments will be provided for the class!

A15158: Bleeps, Bloops, and Bleyond: A Synthesizer Crash Course
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Hadrian Merced

We will spend the first hour going over some fundamental concepts and the second hour using those concepts to design wild and crazy sounds on an analog synthesizer.


Class Style
Seminar

Prerequisites
Trigonometry: You should know what sine means

A15293: Intro to Tatreez (Embroidery)
Difficulty: **

Tatreez (Arabic for Embroidery) is an old practice preserved through intergenerational exchange. In this class, you will learn about different patterns and make your own flower-shaped piece.


Class Style
Activity

Prerequisites
Patience!

A15358: Mathematical Crocheting
Difficulty: ***

Come learn about the art of mathematical crochet! We'll talk about some basic concepts in topology, the mathematical underpinnings of hyperbolic crochet, how to crochet manifolds and non-orientable surfaces, and you'll get to crochet your own hyperbolic object :) no experience with topology or crochet expected.


Class Style
Activity

A15177: Beeps, Boops, and Bops
Difficulty: *

Ever listen to music from old Nintendo and Sega games and go like: "I wanna make music like that?" Then this course is for you!

In this class, we'll explore chiptune music - the history, the technique, and the practical - with plenty of examples thrown in! Learn about what makes chiptune... chiptune, and how you might be able to make it yourself.


Class Style
Lecture

A15318: Fashion Through the Architectural Lens
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Elle Scheffel, Li Yin

Pierre Balmain once described fashion, or rather dressmaking to be the architecture of movement. Indeed, in both art forms, we witness identical concerns for proportions and volumes as well as the desire to find the right balance between creativity and functionality. Through the pieces of Hussein Chalayan, Iris Van Herpen, Thierry Mugler, Rei Kawakubo, and Pierre Balmain, the interchangeability and close parallels between the two mediums, and how knowledge in one influences creative decisions in another are evident. In this class, we hope to draw particular connections between architecture and fashion—the incorporation of geometric perfection, the contradiction and confluence of fluidity and structure, and the defiance of gravity. At the same time, we hope to provide a space for students to utilize what they have learned in a hands-on experience: creating one fashion piece (accessories/shoes/etc. accommodated) that references architectural concepts.


Class Style
Activity

A15400: How to Draw Cursed Fanart Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Anika Huang

Have you ever wanted to use your artistic abilities or lack thereof for evil? Have you ever wanted to scald people’s eyes with your creativity? Well here’s the tutorial for that. Join me as you will on this journey of terrorization.


Class Style
Activity


Computers and Programming

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C15109: Cellular Automata
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Emily Liu

Cellular automata are dynamic systems of "cell"-like objects that evolve over time to generate patterns. They have been studied extensively for their application to physics, biology, ecology, sociology, and more, in addition to posing interesting theoretical questions.

Ideal for lovers of programming, mathematics, and art, this class will open with a brief lecture on history and application, as well as the rules for some basic CA. Students will then have the opportunity to implement elementary CA and Conway's Game of Life in Python.


Class Style
Activity

Prerequisites
Basic Python knowledge (will cover important parts) Comfortable with high school level (pre-calculus) mathematics

C15194: Web Development Crash Course: Build a Memes Site

Why are there so many websites out there? Well, we can't do much about that, but what we can do is to teach you a little itsy bit of all things web development. Things like HTTP, HTML, Code, Design, etc. and you will build a simple MEMES PAGE! How cool is that now, c'mon!


Class Style
Lecture

C15139: How to Fail AP Computer Science
Difficulty: ***

"My hope is that this code is so awful I'm never allowed to write code again"

I did terribly at AP Computer Science and so can you! Join me as I not only teach you bad computer science, I will *badly* teach you bad computer science.

(And maybe, if we still have time at the end, I can answer your questions about actually doing computer science in both college and work)


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
A basic understanding of programming concepts is assumed, but the class itself is language agnostic - we'll be covering multiple programming languages in the class, except Java

C15236: Analyzing MIT Tweets Using Text Mining in R
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Umutcan Ay

In this course, we will investigate the MIT-themed tweets published in 2022 by using text mining techniques using the R programming language. Each attendant will receive the codes used during the lecture so that they could scrape tweets of their liking and conduct a similar analysis. (or maybe more)


Class Style
Seminar

Prerequisites
Basic understanding on programming languages (not specifically R)

C15322: Fun with Algorithms Full!
Difficulty: **

Students will get exposure to a variety of algorithms and become more familiar with algorithmic problem solving ranging from topics such as primality tests and divide and conquer algorithms.


Class Style
Discussion

Prerequisites
There are no prerequisites but familiarity with problem solving in math or computer science will be helpful.

C15106: Password Safety on an Unsafe Internet
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Miles Dai, Jiayi Dong

We've all had to make passwords for accounts, but lately, this is increasingly frustrating. Websites now require wacky symbols in passwords and secret codes from text messages. Do these features actually improve security? Is this how the internet is going to be from now on?

In this class, we will look at the latest technologies surrounding online authentication. You will learn about what makes an (in)secure password, the technologies created to protect you, the techniques hackers use, and how to use a password manager to beef up your own digital security.


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
This class is not a computer science class and requires no such background. If you've made an account online with a password before, you are ready.

C15208: Cookie Consent Policies Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Margaret Wang

We use cookies to enhance your experience. By continuing to browse, you agree to saving third-party cookies on your device. Come take this class for more details on what it all means.


Class Style
Lecture

C15267: How Processors Remember & Efficient Parking Lots Full!
Difficulty: **

How do parking lot owners prevent multiple people from using one ticket? What is a CPU? How many flip flops can fit in your personal computer? How many analogies can I use to teach digital logic? Come find out!


Class Style
Seminar

C15168: Anatomy of a Game Engine: How Video Games Really Work Full!
Difficulty: ****

This class will focus on some of the core components of a game engine, which is the underlying program that a video game runs on top of. We will discuss topics like data structure design choices, the application loop, graphics/rendering, input, and other core subsystems that go into building a game engine. We will also go more in depth into the graphics/rendering area.


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
Knowledge of basic programming concepts (arrays, loops, memory, etc.) highly recommended.

C15213: Introduction to Haskell
Difficulty: ***

Learn a cool new way of thinking about programming with a unique language—Haskell.

Find out what scary words like “declarative”, “purely functional”, and “lazy evaluation” mean and have fun writing programs.


Class Style
Activity

C15280: Automatic Differentiation with Pure Python
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Alan Chen, Wenqi Ding

we will implement an automatic differentiation engine from scratch

In PyTorch, one can compute arbitrary gradients easily, such as:

import torch
a = torch.tensor(3., requires_grad=True)
print(torch.autograd.grad(a**(3*a-4), a)) # prints (tensor(1205.8884),)

You never needed to tell torch what the derivative of x^(3x-4) is; torch figures it out itself, using something called automatic differentiation. Automatic differentiation allows for differentiating arbitrary functions, which forms the basis of Machine learning frameworks, such as PyTorch or JAX.

In this class, you will learn how automatic differentiation works, and implement it from scratch in vanilla python. Hopefully, after this class, you will better understand how your favorite ML framework works under the hood, and the performance implications of those frameworks.


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
Be familiar with Python. Know basic calculus (differentiation and chain rule) and graph algorithms. Non-prereq: knowledge of torch/ML

C15169: What can we compute? Full!
Difficulty: **

We will examine the fundamental and theoretical understanding of a computer through Turing machines. We'll look at some of the most interesting problems in the field: the halting problem, P vs NP (nondeterminism), and NP-Completeness (reductions).


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
Prior programming experience will be helpful

C15406: Gwaphs fow Kids
Difficulty: **

Learning about basic graph theory and using our knowledge to implement simple graph algorithms. For example, we will cover Euler tours and graph colorings.


Class Style
Activity

Prerequisites
If students would like to program algorithms they learn in class, they should bring a laptop with Python installed.

C15240: Rust for Fun and Profit
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Colin Clark

Is the Python interpreter too slow for your complex needs? Is C too unsafe for your tastes? Do you have too many friends? If yes, it just might be time to learn Rust.

We'll start with the basics of Rust and conclude with best practices to get the most out the language, all while building a (hopefully) fun project.


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
basic programming experience in any language is recommend

C15207: Algorithms
Difficulty: **

Ever wondered how to write efficient programs? Interested in learning how numbers can be sorted efficiently, or how you can find numbers quickly? Learn about binary search, merge sort, and how going binary can speed up your algorithms!


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
Knowing binary numbers is helpful but not required

C15253: Intro to Game Design
Difficulty: *

Ever wanted to make a mind-bending puzzle game, an awesome shooter, or a cute visual novel. In this class we walk you through the process of designing games, everything from choosing the genre to designing mechanics to making levels. At the end you get to (literally) sketch out your own game ideas using things you learn in class and maybe get some inspiration from your friends' ideas. In game design the only limit is your imagination (but a plan certainly helps ;))


Class Style
Activity

Prerequisites
Some knowledge of famous video games will help understand the examples we use, but it's not necessary.

C15351: Code a website in Notepad!
Difficulty: **

You probably visit dozens of websites daily, but have you ever thought about creating one yourself? Well now, you can learn how to code your own simple website—even better, in an app as simple as Notepad (or TextEdit if you use Mac)! No previous web development nor programming experience required.


Class Style
Activity

Prerequisites
students should bring a laptop with them to class

C15161: AI, Web3, and Human-centered Design
Difficulty: **

What is AI, what is Web3, and what is human-centered design? This course will teach about how AI and Web3 can be more accessible to the larger community via human-centered design methodologies. The course will also explore how AI and Web3 can make hip-hop, fashion, and finance more accessible via AI and Web3 as well. The course includes an introduction to prototyping software such as Figma.


Class Style
Lecture

C15295: Learn the Rust Programming Language!
Difficulty: **

Are in interested in learning a new language? Blazingly fast software? A super-smart compiler? Low-level programming? Start learning some Rust by writing a program with me. I'll show you the things that make Rust special and what you can do with it. Then, we'll write the classic todo list, but with a Rusty twist! (And maybe we'll code up a practical joke)

No Rust experience required, or expected, but this will be pretty fast-paced :)


Class Style
Activity

Prerequisites
Some programming experience. Mainly just familiarity with code is necessary. No need to be a genius hacker.

C15371: Solving Mazes in Python
Difficulty: **

In this class we will explore various methods to solve mazes, from small sizes to extremely large sizes. These methods will range from trivial solutions to more advanced algorithms, such as breath first search. Our goal is to develop a good maze solver that is efficient. This class's content scales to large, real world examples, such as finding the shortest path from Boston to Seattle (think Google Maps). This class is especially useful for those interested in computer science, math, or solving puzzles. Students will work together to try to solve these problems.


Class Style
Seminar

Prerequisites
Some Python or other programming language knowledge preferred

C15347: What NLP can tell us about Fandom History!
Difficulty: **

Do you want to learn about fandom history? Or learn more about Natural Language Processing (NLP)? Do you just want to vibe and try to scrape AO3 data as we heatedly debate the varied versions of Fandom History we've got? Or both? Then join us in using NLP techniques on some milestone fanfictions (yes i mean my immortal, no i don't mean only my immortal), and generally fanfictions spread across the decades to Draw Conclusions TM. Our topic of investigation will depend on popular demand, but the default will be examining attitudes towards gender and sexuality as they evolved over time.

I'll be reviewing what NLP is, different approaches to it at the beginning, and, of course, a generalized timeline of fandom history. We will then dive into getting set up with NLP stuff and investigating Stuff! If we've time, we'll also review stuff people have done on Fandom and Data/NLP!!

PS. Remember to leave your judgement and ego at the door- this will be a respectful, accepting atmosphere for all students. We're here to learn not to hash out arguments the fandom world has every day.


Class Style
Seminar

Prerequisites
Know how to Python. Have a reasonable version of Python 3 and numpy on your laptop.

C15277: Skrillex 101: EDM production crash course
Difficulty: **

Learn how to produce Electronic Dance Music like Skrillex, Habstrakt, Virtual Riot, etc.!

Beginner oriented, no experience required. We will explore sound synthesis, drum programming, audio processing and MIDI.


Class Style
Seminar

Prerequisites
Laptop (which you can install software on) and headphones are required. We can provide if necessary.

C15303: Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Isabella Struckman

What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)? How does it work? Why is it being used so much now? What does the future of AI look like?

We'll answer all these questions and more in this introductory class to AI as a concept and tool. No past experience or knowledge needed--just an interest in one of the most important topics of this century!


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
None

C15182: How Computers Think: An Introduction to Microarchitecture
Difficulty: ***

Have you ever wondered how computers work? You may know that they store information in binary, or that they consist of components such as a CPU and memory, but how do they really work? Join us for an overview of basic microarchitecture, starting from the level of logic gates and building up to a high level circuit that can execute programs. No experience necessary!


Class Style
Lecture

C15410: Artificial intelligence and diffusion models: what, how, why?
Difficulty: **

Artificial intelligence (AI) can produce art of its own given a topic, compose brand-new music, and generate portraits of humans who have never lived. How does it do this? In this class, we'll learn about the hottest new advances in AI that have made these tasks possible. We'll focus on diffusion models — the latest and greatest development. Everyone is welcome in this class. No prior experience in AI required!


Class Style
Seminar

C15276: Racist Chatbots, Sexist Recruiting Tools and Flawed Facial Recognition - AI Gone Wrong and How to (try to) Fix It
Difficulty: *

From personalized TikTok feeds to smart assistants to self-driving cars, artificial intelligence (AI) has transformed our lives. However, it’s not always been for the better. In this class, you will learn not only about times when AI went wrong, such as racist chatbots and sexist recruiting tools, but also how to try to mitigate this risk through safe and ethical AI practices. Find out with us in this awesome course - no prior background in AI is needed - we hope to see you there!


Class Style
Lecture

C15292: Building Games in Python! Full!
Difficulty: *

In our class, you will be introduced to python by learning about turtle. Additionally, you will be building your first interactive game!


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
None. Just bring your own laptop.

C15170: Blockchain 101 Full!
Difficulty: **

What is a blockchain? You've probably heard of Bitcoin or Ethereum or even Dogecoin, but what is the technology behind the hype?

This class will cover the fundamentals of blockchain technology, such as different forms of consensus, the basics of smart contracts, and whatever else we have time to cover.

This class will not contain any investment advice or how to get rich quick or anything like that. It will be about the technology.


Class Style
Lecture

C15383: A Scattershot Intro To Algebraic Types
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Alex Yi

Ever used a language with a type system like Java? Take a look at a type system that's almost, but not entirely, totally unlike it! (I mean like Haskell's, if you've heard of that)

Explore an interesting way to think about types and programs-- mathematically! (Some algebra required.) Learn about curry! Learn about proving things with types! I'll play fast and loose, though, so buckle up.


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
Some moderate experience in a strongly-typed programming language; Java is fine, if you know only Python then maybe pass

C15179: A Crash Course in Video Games Full!
Difficulty: **

Video games! You know them, you love them... But do you know how to make them?

Join me as we not only learn about how to make video games, but also how to make fun, engaging, and exciting games. We'll cover all the fundamental requirements to make video games - design, programming, sound, and graphics. Also, we'll cover some of the more practical aspects of game development: What software can I use? How do I get started? Where can I find game dev opportunities?


Class Style
Seminar

Prerequisites
No prior experience is necessary or expected, and this class is for anyone interested in making video games - designers, programmers, artists, and musicians all welcome!


Engineering

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E15256: Computer Aided Design 101 Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Vishakh Talanki

Ever wanted to try modeling something on computer - maybe just to try it out, maybe to 3D print it or run some simulations? Join an (almost) mechanical engineer and get the basics in under an hour! You'll get a quick intro to SOLIDWORKS and potentially even ANSYS, two pieces of software every (budding) mechanical engineer should know!

If you bring a laptop, you might be able to follow along! If not, no worries - you're welcome to try on mine, or just watch and learn!


Class Style
Activity

E15113: Geometry and Beauty of Soap Bubbles
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Harsh Bhundiya

Did you know that soap bubbles always take on a shape which minimizes surface area? And did you know that soap films have inspired engineering concepts for structures in space? Come find out in this class about the geometry and beauty of soap bubbles. And have some fun blowing bubbles of your own :)


Class Style
Lecture

E15343: Introduction to Quantum Technologies
Difficulty: ***

Have you ever heard of the second quantum revolution? Want to learn how quantum computers work and what makes them unique compared to their classical counterparts? Eager to hear more about quantum teleportation? Wonder if quantum cryptography is truly unhackable? Curious if quantum technologies have useful real-world applications?

If yes, take this class and get those questions answered!


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
Advanced physics and mathematics. Some engineering background would be helpful too!

E15224: How Polymers Connect to State Machines and the Environmental Crisis
Difficulty: *

From the nylon in our clothing to the PVC in our shoes, polymer materials, or large molecules consisting of many repeating units, are everywhere and have completely transformed our lives in the 20th century, providing clothing, shelter, electronics, and healthcare to humanity. We will introduce polymers and discuss challenges that impact us in the 21st century: how do polymers and plastics impact the sustainability and waste crisis? Then, for the first time ever, we will introduce how polymers connect to state machines, a model of computation in many devices in modern society like vending machines, and how models can be built to address sustainability. As brilliant engineers, we will then have an engaging activity, teaching you how to design reactors that can decompose plastics!

This class may have new topics for some, but we will distill it as much as possible and have fun! 😊


Class Style
Lecture

E15185: Build with Nature: Experimenting with Coastal Ecosystems and Adaptations Full!

Join MIT graduate students in a hands-on wave flume demonstration to learn more about how water waves interact with natural and man-made features near the coast. You will have the opportunity to design your own shoreline adaptation, choosing from a kit-of-parts that includes coastal defense measures from seagrass and oyster gabions (i.e., cages) to traditional seawalls. Pieces can be arranged in countless ways, allowing us to test various hypotheses, e.g. sparse vegetation vs. dense, or oyster gabion + vegetation vs. seawall as we work together to develop not only a greater physical intuition of water wave mechanics, but also an understanding of how various physical, ecological, and social processes in coastal regions are impacted by climate change.
Students will meet teachers at 66-154 and be escorted to the new Learning Labs at the MIT Museum Building (just a 3-minute walk).


Class Style
Activity

E15428: Build Your Own Wind Turbine! Full!
Difficulty: **

Have you ever looked at a windmill and wondered how it worked?
Come build your own mini circuits with wind circuits, capacitors, and LEDs!
This workshop will go over the current types of renewable energy such as solar and wind and how each type works. This information will be supplemented by a circuit lab where students make their own mini solar panel circuit and wind mill. It will also cover the various challenges different types of renewables are facing.


Class Style
Activity

E15165: Designing a Sustainable Product in Fusion 360 Full!
Difficulty: **

This will be a workshop where we walk students through the basics of fusion 360. First, we will give them a tutorial where they model a sustainable product. After the tutorial, we will give students time to develop their own design which they will submit at the end. They can vote on the best product design, and we will 3D print that part for the student to get as a prize!


Class Style
Activity

Prerequisites
None

E15416: Controlling a Robotic Arm using Computer Vision Full!
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Laurence Liang

How can you control a robotic arm?

Meet control systems! There are multiple ways to control a robotic device, from working with distance sensors to implementing algorithms such as PIDs. In this session, we'll write a computer program that can track hand and arm movement in real time (using computer vision), and we'll create the logic layer that associates human hand/arm movement with robotic arm movement.

Using a camera and a real-life robotic arm, we will fine-tune the parameters and algorithms behind our computer program. This will allow us to test the ability of our robotic arm to complete a variety of tasks.


Topics: Python, Robotics, Control Systems, Computer Vision, OpenCV, Gesture Tracking


Class Style
Activity

Prerequisites
Everyone is welcome to join, though reading an introduction to the following topics is helpful: programming (variables), basic trigonometry

E15195: Soft Robotics
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Charlie DeLorey

Are you interested in robotics? Curious what soft robotics is? Well this is the class for you! In this (primarily) lecture-style course, we will explore the origins of this relatively young discipline in robotics, what exactly a "soft" robot is, how they work, and what we can do with them.


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
Experience with low to mid-level high school mathematics and physics would be useful for understanding certain terms and ideas, but won't be necessary; any terms or concepts will be explained during the lecture.

E15373: How To Build a Self-Driving Car
Difficulty: **

Ever wonder how autonomous vehicles work? In this lecture, we'll explore a high-level overview of the sub-systems and math involved in making a car drive on its own! Lets talk about sensors, navigation, control, and the state of the art in self-driving technology. Everyone is welcome!


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
Some coding experience will be beneficial, but not required.

E15427: Engineers Without Borders - Building a Sustainable Food System
Difficulty: *

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a collection of 17 interlinked global goals established in 2015 by the United Nations as a "shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future". One of the goals is setting up a sustainable food system that will end food insecurity and improve nutrition by 2030.

A sustainable food system is defined as “a food system that delivers food security and nutrition for all in such a way that the economic, social and environmental bases to generate food security and nutrition for future generations are not compromised.”


In this class, we will explore the challenges to building a sustainable food system on a global scale and look at examples of sustainable food initiatives, including one of MIT Engineers Without Borders’ projects.

In the end, students will brainstorm solutions to a hypothetical scenario in which a community is facing food insecurity based on the principles of a sustainable food system.


Class Style
Activity

E15232: Soccer Ball Science
Difficulty: **

What makes soccer balls bounce and fly off your foot? Have you ever tried to look inside? The central focus of soccer is the ball, so this is where we will start. We will dissect a soccer ball to learn about each of the different layers, which will serve as an introduction to different types of polymeric materials and their specific properties. Students will separate these materials and perform basic mechanical tests to understand the function they impart to the ball. The lessons will include where and how polymers are made with green poly(ethylene) (PE) used as a case study.


Class Style
Activity

Prerequisites
intro to chemistry class

E15162: Discovering Rocketry with MIT Rocket Team Full!

Come learn how rockets work with the MIT Rocket Team! Discover the basics of rocketry and learn how to design your very own rocket!


Class Style
Lecture

E15148: From Water Pipes to Rocket Engines: A Brief Introduction to Fluid Mechanics
Difficulty: **

Provides an engaging introduction to the basics of (one-dimensional) fluid mechanics and applications to mechanical and aerospace engineering.

This class focuses on providing students with a broad theoretical and practical understanding of fluid mechanics through derivations, worked examples, and physical demonstrations of the principles taught.

Topics include fluid behavior in the incompressible subsonic, compressible subsonic, and compressible supersonic regimes.


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
High-school algebra Being excited about physics

E15340: How to Run an Airline
Difficulty: **

Right now, there are about 10,000 aircraft flying around the world, each traveling hundreds of miles per hour, carrying people in a manner safer than driving a car. This amazing feat is the work of a global airline industry which is a marvel of our time. But how is this done? Also, why are flights always delayed and how can you get the best price when taking a flight? In this class we will answer these questions by delving into how airlines operate from a technological and business perspective. We will start by looking at an overview of the US domestic airline industry and the business models of different airlines. Next, we will cover ticket sales/distribution, the timeline of a typical flight, and airport operations. Finally, we will explore the process for becoming a pilot and how to identify common plane types.


Class Style
Lecture

E15110: Learn to Fly!
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Amira Malik

Ever wanted to fly a plane? Learn all the controls and advance techniques? I'm a pilot and after a "crash course" on flying, we'll go outside and fly radio-controlled planes! While flying, we'll go over controls, techniques, and laws regarding flying large planes and even how you could get your pilot license.


Class Style
Activity

Prerequisites
In or taking advanced physics OR Calculus II / AP Calc BC.

E15261: Iterative Prototyping and Product Design Full!
Difficulty: **

Ever wonder how people come up with great designs for new technologies? Usually the answer is: start building!

You'll be given a provocative design prompt, sketch some possible ways to address it, and then start making and testing your favorite ideas using materials we have in the room.

In the meantime, we will talk about some of the prevailing design techniques, methodologies, successes, and failures, and how the best products are made.


Class Style
Activity

E15379: Fundamentals of Electromagnetic Projectile Systems Full!
Difficulty: ***

Interested in coilguns and railguns? This class will detail the physics and mechanics behind them in detail.
Time permitting, there will also be a demonstration of MIT student-made EM devices.


Class Style
Lecture

E15212: Robot in a Day: Full Stack Robotics Engineering
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jacob Rodriguez

Robot in Day is a full comprehensive course on the art of full stack robotics development that will take you on a journey of ideating, designing, building, and coding all types of robots from the ground up the same way MIT and NASA engineers do. No dumbing down, no over-simplification, but rather a full exposure to the guts of what real robotics engineering is. You will learn about Linux, the Robot Operating System (ROS), various microprocessors / computers, mechanism design, controls, manipulation, mobility systems, simulation, perception, communication, and multi-agent autonomy all in one 3 hour class. The goal is to give everyone a limited yet deep introduction to all the concepts exercised when designing robotic systems from scratch, in order to create a broad foundation that can easily be built on. You will be exposed to a variety of real robots in-person such as the mini-cheetah, an industrial robotic arm, drones, autonomous racecars, and even a lunar exploration rover. At the end of the course you will have a toolbox necessary to start your own robotics projects and manage them from start to finish!


Class Style
Activity

Prerequisites
No hard pre-requisites. Experience with coding and calculus may be helpful but a passion for robotics is required!

E15190: Let's make (and fly) some planes! Full!

Come learn about planes with MIT's Design/Build/Fly team! We'll chat about some basic aerodynamics, build gliders, and even get to fly them at the end! Plus, we'll bring in some of our past planes, and explore how they were made, and what we're working on right now!


Class Style
Activity

E15135: How to Settle a Planet
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Naylah Canty

Have you ever envisioned a future for humanity beyond our earth? How about an outpost for scientific discovery as close to the last frontier as we can go? If so, you would be a perfect candidate to learn How to Settle a Planet - the art of doing what has never been done before. Planetary settlement, what seemed like science fiction a few decades ago, has blossomed into a hotbed of engineering ingenuity and business opportunity. While constraints on settlement establishment are imposed by survival needs and resource (oxygen, fuel, minerals, power, etc.) limits, we (yes, you and I!) have the unique chance to design an ideal society that draws on the lessons we learned from settling Earth.


Class Style
Seminar

Prerequisites
Familiar with basic history of manned and robotic missions to the Moon and Mars

E15403: How to Design and 3D Print (almost) Anything Full!
Difficulty: ***

Learn how to turn your ideas into hardware with CAD and 3D printing! We will teach you how to make 3D models of parts using a design software called Onshape. After you learn the basics of 3D design, you will have a chance to design whatever part you want and we will 3D print it for you.


Class Style
Activity

E15341: So you want to be an astronaut
Difficulty: **

If you have dreams of floating around in zero-gravity and seeing the Earth from above, then this is the class for you. This class will cover several aspects of being an astronaut including pathways to prepare you for an astronaut career, the application process, and the missions you are likely to perform as an astronaut. We will also look at what astronauts do for NASA when they aren’t training for a mission or flying in space. Last, we will explore emerging commercial astronaut opportunities and other amazing careers in the aerospace field.


Class Style
Lecture

E15229: Fun with polymers!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Celestine Hong

In this class, we will talk about what polymers are, what makes them different from other smaller molecules, and what they can be used for! Half the class will be a mini-lecture, while the other half will be a panel session where students can select specific categories of polymers to learn more about.
There may also be a couple of examples/demonstrations of different polymeric materials used in food or biomedical fields - join us to learn more!


Class Style
Lecture

E15227: How to Build a Solar Car in Two Years
Difficulty: *

We are MIT Solar Car! Every two years, we design, build, and race a solar powered car that goes on the road! We'll show you the art of solar racing and the process of building a solar car with some fancy glue, paper, and metal.


Class Style
Lecture


Humanities

[ Return to Category List ]

H15285: Queering Neuroscience
Difficulty: *

Interested in neuroscience? Anthropology? Gender studies? Come join two queer Wellesley students to chat about the nuances of the mind-body problem as it relates to gender :)


Class Style
Seminar

Prerequisites
None

H15204: Tanakh Crash Course
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Isabel Anderson

This class will cover the structure and some history of the Tanakh (also known as the Hebrew Bible) through an academic lens as well as an overview of what the other major texts of Judaism are. You do not need to know anything about Judaism (or any religion) to take this class; the goal is to explain what the different terms that are thrown around mean as well as give some historical context for the linguistic and narrative elements of the Tanakh.


Class Style
Lecture

H15299: How To Tackle AP World
Difficulty: *

Is history a bore? Do you hate the stress of all the prep for the Ap tests? Why is it so complicated to teach world history. The trick is, it isnt that hard at all!
In this course I (A Minor in history at MIT) Will walk you through how I aced my World History AP test many many years ago, without needing to cram or waste time with buying study materials. In this course, I'll walk you through a bit of history, but I'll focus on ideas of world history, methods to remember and understand world history courses, and materials to help you get prepped super easy.
The class is gonna be chill as well, so if you're just curious on how to study history with some fun resources, by all means show up. If you're unsure about history, or you feel you haven't gotten a good shake with your past history teachers, also pull up.


Class Style
Seminar

H15188: Crash course in oboe playing Full!
Difficulty: ***

Ever wanted to learn a new instrument but thought it was too late to start? We will give you an instrument, a reed, and a crash course in how to play the oboe! You will also learn a history of the instrument and principles of music theory. Designed for students who have prior music experience.


Class Style
Activity

Prerequisites
Prior music experience, preferably playing another instrument

H15126: Chinese Pinyin: A Brief History and Guide
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Vivian Hir, Lumia Neyo

Want to learn more about how the Chinese romanization system works? Curious about how to pronounce Chinese surnames like Xu, Cai, or Qiu? Come to this class to gain a better understanding of how China developed the Hanyu Pinyin system and learn how to read romanized Chinese words. I will go over the basic tones as well as tricky initials and finals sounds.


Class Style
Lecture

H15124: Mr. Madison's War
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Bil Lewis

With the assistance of students playing the roles of Patrick Henry, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Dolly Madison, etc., Bil will lead investigations into events from the beginning of Jefferson's presidency through his own, focusing most specifically on the war of 1812.


Class Style
Activity

H15254: Technology + Health Rights Full!
Difficulty: *

Apple watches, Fitbits, step counters—we have access to a wealth of data and health tracking resources…but who else does? If your Fitbit can predict your heart rate will spike at 11:30, and Flo knows when you’re going to start your period, can advertisers better target products to you? Can law enforcement use this data as evidence in a criminal case? Could an employer use it as grounds to fire you? In this class, we’ll explore what it means for Apple, Google, and third party apps to have our biological data, both broadly and in the context of reproductive health rights.


Class Style
Discussion

H15311: Introduction to the Achaemenid Empire
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jonathan Herbst

Everybody's heard about Alexander the Great, but what about the empire he conquered? Come learn about the dawn of the mighty Persian kingdom, from the region's humble beginnings in shepherd tribes to the world's first major centralized economy under Darius I. We'll discuss major historical events, several linguistic etymologies, and the inherent bias of understanding a civilization purely from the accounts of their enemies.


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
An interest in the ancient world!

H15150: Intro to Norse Mythology Full!
Difficulty: **

Have you wondered where we know Norse myths from? Would you like to learn the basics about the Norse gods as they were in the Middle Ages? Come to Intro to Norse Mythology!


Class Style
Lecture

H15366: How to NOT be a Decent Human Being
Difficulty: *

Is your ideal future self a complete narcissist? Is being considerate of others utterly exhausting? Or maybe, just maybe, there's someone in particular you want to... annoy.

If you answered yes, this class is for you! There are countless reasons to not want to be decent.

(Note: not being decent is different from being indecent. Even we have standards.)


Class Style
Lecture

H15104: The History of the English Alphabet
Difficulty: *

Have you ever wondered why English spelling gets so confusing? Wondered where our alphabet came from? Here's all you could have ever wanted to know from the Egyptians to today! We'll talk about the history of English, the Phoenicians, the Greeks, the Etruscans and more!


Class Style
Lecture

H15315: The Crystal Palace: How a World Fair Became a New Architectural Style
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jonathan Herbst

Prince Albert's World Fair (then called the Great Exhibition) marked the first time in history that all nations would be gathered together in industrial discussion under a single roof. The roof that would house it was constructed over the course of nine months, and went on to grace the London skyline for more than eighty years. Come learn about the man who designed it, the new structural elements that made it possible, and how it changed the nature of architecture permanently.


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
an interest in looking up.

H15335: Introduction to Latin
Difficulty: **

This course will cover the basics of the Latin language--case, the 1st and 2nd declensions, the 1st conjugation, and just enough vocabulary to be able to put it all together.


Class Style
Seminar

H15252: Introduction to Global Health
Difficulty: *

How do we guarantee medical care for all? Should vaccinations be mandatory? How should we conduct triage if our medical system is under stress? Is it possible to balance protecting our economy, our environment, and our citizens? Physicians, scientists, politicians and advocates work tirelessly to promote global health equity—but how? In this class, we’ll learn about how we can work towards achieving equal, accessible, and quality care for all—and what that means globally.


Class Style
Activity

H15355: ConLangs: Construct your Own Language
Difficulty: **

Want to construct your own language? Come join us as we lead you through an interactive session of creating your own mini-language!


Class Style
Activity

H15156: What makes a good adaptation?
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Isabel Anderson

Are you tired of seeing books get horribly butchered by the people turning them into movies? Have you been excited to see a classic story be adapted into something for the modern day, only to find that the characterizations are all wrong? In this seminar-style class, we will be discussing types of adaptations, the considerations that go into them, and what makes an adaptation good. While I will give a brief lecture at the beginning, this is not meant to be a lecture-style class! Please bring your opinions (and be prepared to talk about them)!


Class Style
Discussion

H15399: New England
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Dien Nguyen

A brief introduction to the oldest region of America. Following the footsteps of some of the greatest people of many fields, let us explore these six beautiful states.


Class Style
Lecture

H15115: How to be moved by a work of art
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Kartik Chandra

What does one *do* in an art museum? Stand in front of a framed painting: do you feel drawn in, or does the canvas resist you? How, then, do you invite the image into your mind, into your life? —what are the stakes to doing so? And why do we look at art, anyway? What is seeing, and what is believing? These are some of the questions we will ask, together, in this course.


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
Thoughtfulness and a willingness to engage with challenging works of art

H15287: Master Chinese in One hour
Difficulty: *
Teachers: xianglin ji

Master Chinese in one hour!I promise that!
Two native Chinese speakers will lead you into this old language. After this class, you can pronounce like Chinese, write Chinese characters yourself and know more about this nation.


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
For students who know nothing or little about Chinese

H15186: The Gangsters of Chinatown: Sister Ping on Trial
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Zara Poon

In this course, we will learn about human smuggling, gangsters in Chinatown, and the controversial woman behind it all: Sister Ping: Hero. Criminal. We will explore events like the arrival of the Golden Venture and investigate passages from Patrick Keefe's book "The Snakehead." Get excited to participate in a discussion based game where YOU get to decide whether Sister Ping is innocent. My hope is to spark curiosity and acceptance of students' own cultures and backgrounds. So come join me, and maybe even learn a few words in Fuzhounese! I look forward to learning with you!


Class Style
Discussion

H15402: Why Do We Still Care About Opera?!!!
Difficulty: *

Opera is considered a form of high art and has a prestigious place in society. Yet the stories that are portrayed on the operatic stage often do not reflect our current values, especially regarding women and minorities. We will survey a few problematic opera plots and discuss how we can potentially reconcile an appreciation for opera and respect for our community. No background knowledge of opera required!


Class Style
Seminar

Prerequisites
Enthusiasm for learning about opera

H15187: History of France, Told Through Music
Difficulty: *

Explore the last two centuries of France and classical music with us, told through pieces like Clair de Lune, Bolero, and Carnival of the Animals! Come learn about French music and discuss your favorite pieces and composers!
No prior music study needed.


Class Style
Lecture

H15123: James Madison on the Founding of the United States
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Bil Lewis

President James Madison would like to come to your classroom and lead a forum on the issues and debates leading to the establishment of this country.

From 1776 onward, as the United States came into being, James Madison was at the center of it all. With the assistance of audience members reading appropriate dramatic quotations from Patrick Henry, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Dolly Madison, etc., he 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 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.”


Class Style
Activity

H15291: Bioethics and the Olympics
Difficulty: *

Would you sacrifice your health and well being in order to win Olmypic Gold? You probably shouldn’t but some actually are willing to cheat, use performance enhanci mg drugs, and any means necessary to do so!

Come an learn why this goes against the spirit of Olympism, find out what real Olmypic Champions do, how they think, get advice from an Olympic level cyclist, and leave a better and more ethical person knowing a lot more about the meaning of life, exciting cases from part Olympic Games, hold an actual Olympic medal in your hand and have a chance to examine your own life!


Class Style
Discussion

Prerequisites
None

H15302: Can a Christian Support a War?
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Eric Wooten

Christians have fought in many wars over the last two thousand years, but the teachings of Christ seem to favor pacifism. This class examines some of the historical arguments used by Christian thinkers to justify warfighting and to lay out the rules for war, many of which form the basis of modern international law.


Class Style
Lecture

H15141: Is Morality a Matter of Opinion?
Difficulty: **

When Will Smith slapped Chris Rock, some people thought he did something very wrong, while others thought what he did was okay. Does this show that moral right and wrong is just a matter of opinion? A more serious example of disagreement is the controversy over whether the death penalty is ever justified: some think it is, some think it isn't. Is there an objectively correct answer to moral questions like these?


Class Style
Discussion


Lunch

[ Return to Category List ]

L15422: 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.

L15421: 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

[ Return to Category List ]

M15203: Introduction to Fractals Full!
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Isabel Anderson

Ever wondered where fractals come from? In this class we will talk about how fractals are formed, specifically the Mandelbrot and Julia sets, and how the two are connected. If there is time, we will also look at fractal dimensions. While it is helpful to know what complex numbers are for this class, it is not required, and I will try to remember to send information about complex numbers prior to class.


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
Know what a plane is

M15102: Game Theory and Chomping Monsters Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Stirling Newberry

This is a course on how Game Theory is present in role-play games such as Dungeons and Dragons. Starting from the basis of player versus player interactions it shows how beating each other with swords is the same in a mathematical way as population movement, risk taking with stocks, and nuclear war. Get set to learn how von Neumann, Turning, and Schelling have influence our daily lives, and our games.


Class Style
Seminar

Prerequisites
None

M15268: Modal Logic
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Matthew Benet

Necessary? Sufficient? What do they even mean? And why do some people think there is a multi verse?

In this class we will look at modal logic from a mathematical and philosophical perspective, and answer all these questions and more!!


Class Style
Seminar

Prerequisites
Every one is welcome! Some logic would be good, but not necessary. There will be some pre-class readings you can do if you have NO experience.

M15359: Intro to Sports Analytics Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Max Gold, Nicki Gold

Many professional sports teams are using advanced analytics to improve performance, but what does “analytics” really mean? This course will introduce some topics in statistics and machine learning that are commonly used to help interpret sports datasets. We will primarily focus on football, and as a group, we will go through a series of activities to understand how an algorithm can be designed to help a coach make fourth down decisions (i.e. punt, kick, or go for it).


Class Style
Seminar

Prerequisites
No machine learning or statistics background is necessary. A basic understanding of NFL football will be helpful, but is also unnecessary.

M15368: Fun with Polyhedra
Difficulty: ****
Teachers: Yuan Yao

You might have heard that there are five Platonic solids: tetrahedron, cube, octahedron, dodecahedron, and icosahedron. However, there are also many other solids (or polyhedra) with interesting symmetries that are worth studying. In this class, we will give a tour of several other types of polyhedra and understand how they relate to each other. Get ready for a wild ride!


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
Familiarity with three-dimensional geometry.

M15332: Probability, Statistics, and Understanding the World Full!
Difficulty: ***

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.


Class Style
Activity

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

M15211: How to Teach Math
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Rey Li

Teaching is hard. This class will teach actionable tips and tricks to improving your teaching, whether your goal is to become better at helping your friends with homework or to become an educational content creator. Mathematics (Algebra I) will be the subject we use as our example. Come learn the basic strategies that can revolutionize your explanatory process!


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
There will be many examples in this class and they will use Algebra I concepts; however, you still can get useful information from the class even if you do not know Algebra I

M15226: Folding Origami with Math
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Chirag Falor, Lauren Li

See the amazing world of origami through math! Make a perfectly modular ring, apply your geometry intuition, challenge your paper folding skills.


Class Style
Activity

Prerequisites
Basic geometry, flawless paper folding skills ;)

M15352: Intro to Cryptography
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Joey Zheng

Do you want to send secret messages to your friends? Do you want to learn the mathematics of secrecy? Then you've come to the right class! We'll talk about how cryptography is used today to protect privacy and advance technology!


Class Style
Seminar

Prerequisites
Familiarity with discrete math is helpful but not required.

M15209: Evaluating Infinite Series
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Allen Lin

Provides an introduction to infinite series and methods to determine convergence or divergence. States values of well-known results from power, geometric, and Taylor series, with special examples from the Riemann zeta function $$\zeta(s)$$ and Dirichlet series $$L(s,\chi)$$.


Class Style
Lecture

M15279: Diffie-Hellman Protocol
Difficulty: **

Suppose Alice and Bob are spies collaborating on the same project. But they live in different cities and have never met. Worse, their enemy Eve has access to all the messages they send to each other. Is it possible for Alice and Bob to talk with each other and still manage to keep their conversation top-secret? Miraculously, the answer is yes! In 1976, Diffie and Hellman came up with an ingenious way to do precisely this, and created the field of "public-key" cryptography, which is essential to almost every communication that takes place on the internet. In this class, we'll learn about their beautiful protocol, a foundational encryption algorithm and the first public-key encryption system to be published.


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
Basic algebra (polynomials, exponentiation, etc.) and number theory (primes, factorizations, etc.)

M15412: Game theory Full!
Difficulty: ***

How do games work? What in life can be formalized as a mathematical "game"? An interactive class relating the language of mathematics, rationality and game theory.


Class Style
Seminar

M15415: Surreal Numbers and Games
Difficulty: ***

Learn how to play Hackenbush, a simple game that leads to interesting mathematics. After getting some practice playing, we'll see how the game inspires the surreal numbers, a system of numbers that allows us to to play with infinity in an unusual way.


Class Style
Discussion

M15414: Math in Logic Puzzles
Difficulty: ***

You've probably solved a few pencil-and-paper logic puzzles like Sudoku, Slitherlink, Yajilin, etc. But did you know there's a lot of math hiding in these?

We'll go over the rules of several puzzle types, and talk about some theorems related to them. These theorems provide tools to solve the puzzles, and let you solve puzzles which otherwise seem impossible.

We'll pass out lots of puzzles for you to try, of a range of difficulty, including some to test your understanding of the theorems we discuss.


Class Style
Discussion

M15353: Everything is a Window Full!
Difficulty: ***

Have you ever wondered what the applications of abstract algebra to real world life are? Explore how groups can be used to solve a famous puzzle involving a game (the 15 puzzle) and more. [Edited]


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
Should be familiar with basic linear algebra and be comfortable with fundamental high school math. Should have seen a window before.

M15273: Game Theory Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Matthew Benet

People act strange.... but maybe there is some logic to this madness.

In this class, we will try to understand with game theory and some of the fun problems that come along with it.

Trust me, it's fun.


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
None!

M15394: The Art of Mathematical Pickup Lines
Difficulty: *

Have you ever wanted to use the math you've learned for good? Are you looking for the confidence needed to pursue romance? If so, this class is for you.

In this class, we will provide a crash course on designing successful and instructive mathematical pickup lines. Providing brief introductions to a few interesting subjects in math, we'll then discuss how to turn this concepts into winning pickup lines.


Class Style
Seminar

M15259: XOXO Gossip Girl (*all* the variants of Tic Tac Toe)
Difficulty: *

Disclaimer: This course is not about the TV show Gossip Girl!
However, you will still be working with X's and O's as we take you through the variants of "the fun and exciting" game.
xoxo tic tac toe


Class Style
Activity

Prerequisites
*flawless* ability to draw either X or O. Ability to draw grids optional but encouraged!

M15397: Tilings and Groups
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Daniel Gulotta

Here is a problem that you may have seen before. Suppose you have a
chessboard with two opposite corners removed. Can it be tiled with dominoes?

The answer is no: each domino will cover one light square and one dark square,
and there are different numbers of light squares than dark squares.

Now consider the following problem. For which $m$ and $n$ can an
$m \times n$ rectangle be tiled by tiles in the following shapes (rotations and reflections
are allowed)?
$$\begin{array}{ccc}& * & \\ {}* & * & * \\ & * & \end{array} \qquad \qquad \begin{array}{c} * \\ {}* \\ {}* \end{array} \qquad \qquad \begin{array}{cccc} * \\ {}* & * & * & * \\ & & & * \end{array} $$
If $mn$ is divisible by $3$, then it is easy to tile the rectangle with copies of the second tile.
If $mn$ is not divisible by $3$, then you will find that tiling the
rectangle seems to be impossible, yet there does not seem to be
a coloring argument that proves that it is impossible to tile.

I will describe a method of proving that a region cannot be tiled by
drawing decorations along the edges of the tiles and the region,
and explain how this method generalizes coloring arguments.


Class Style
Lecture

M15149: String Theory in a Nutshell Full!
Difficulty: ****

Ever heard of string theory? Wondered about how the universe could possibly be made up of strings vibrating in 10 and 11 dimensions? Look no further! This class will cover the some of the most mind-blowing ideas in this mysterious and fascinating branch of physics. Expect to come away knowing the answer to life, the universe, and everything.


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
Some mathematical maturity and a deep interest in physics. Knowledge of quantum mechanics might be nice but is not required.

M15202: Cryptography and Number Theory
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Amir Kolic

Were you ever interested in how does security online work? How does Facebook or Apple store your password securely? How sure are you that the person you are messaging is that person all the time and not a third party at moments? How sure are you your messages are not being read as they make their way to that person? Even if you have looked up these topics or heard about them, perhaps you are interested in the nitty-gritty of it outside of the conceptual area. What are these “keys” that computers use for security? What even is an elliptic curve? This course will go into the fundamentals of cryptography and the processes by which we secure data and information in the digital world. We will introduce the concepts behind these topics and dive into the actual mathematics that defines them, not only getting a vague sense of how things work, but also a deep dive into the atomic structure of cryptography. In the world of computer science, we will see the mathematics behind private-public key encryption, what a PGP key is, as well as basics of hashing and blockchains, and potentially mentioning more complex methods of encryption and elliptic curves. On the mathematical side of things, we will of course see the turning gears behind these concepts, focusing mostly on number theory and prime numbers. If you want to get a fundamental basis for the world of computer security, make sure to stop by!


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
Basic mathematics.

M15419: A Random Random Walk Walk
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Derek Lim

A random walk is a simple thing that appears everywhere in the world. It can be used to describe animal movement, an internet user jumping between websites, the prices of financial instruments, the outcome of shuffling a deck of cards, and much more. Walk on over to this class to learn about the random walks from the perspective of mathematics, computer science, statistics, and more. Along the way, we will learn what the mathematician Shizuo Kakutani meant when he said that a confused person will make their way home, but a confused bird may be forever lost.


Class Style
Lecture

M15206: Fold-ing and Math-ing
Difficulty: **

Come here for the art, stay for the math!
Fold an origami model and learn some cool facts about the patterns hiding behind the folds.


Class Style
Activity

M15275: Construction of numbers - why is 1+1=2?
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Astrid Luo

We will first talk about some characteristics of functions (injection, surjection) and other group notations. The ultimate goal of this class is to introduce the Peano's axiom.


Class Style
Lecture

M15121: Matrices as Numbers Full!
Difficulty: **

A quick look at how matrices can be used to represent the numbers you're already used to. Assumes no prior knowledge of any matrix operations or linear algebra. We'll start with how to multiply matrices, then figure out how to make numbers out of them, and then see some interesting results, including complex numbers and using matrices as exponents!


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
A willingness to learn about matrices!

M15130: pRoPoSiTiOnAL LoGiC
Difficulty: **

You are at a crossroads. One path leads to free bubble tea. One path leads to an empty room with a one-way (shatter-proof) window through which you can see people drinking free bubble tea.
Two judgmental talking trickster frogs are at the crossroads. One only tells the truth, and the other only tells lies. You can only ask one frog one question.
Goal: Get free bubble tea with your new frog friends!
Material includes propositions, truth value, logical operators, truth tables, logic puzzles, tautologies, equivalences, arguments, rules of inference, and fallacies.


Class Style
Seminar

Prerequisites
possession of a brain; this is an introductory class that doesn't require additional knowledge beyond what is covered in school

M15286: Catalan Numbers
Difficulty: **

How many ways can we write a valid sequence of $2n$ parentheses? How many rooted binary trees are there on $n$ vertices? How many up-right paths from $(0,0)$ to $(n,n)$ stay on or below the line $y=x$?
In this class, we will explain what these questions mean and why they are all answered by a sequence called the Catalan Numbers.


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
-

M15122: A Survey of Mathematical Memes
Difficulty: *

Ever seen a math-based meme you couldn't understand? Or do you already love math memes? If either of these apply to you, then this class is right for you! I'll show you some of my favorite math memes and explain some of the math behind them!


Class Style
Lecture

M15260: The Math Behind the Movies Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Sophie Vulpe

Ever wonder why Pixar movies are so effective at making you break down crying over familial relationships? Or how Marvel movies can bring comics characters to life so well? Come explore the math behind VFX. We'll look into a variety of animated and action movies and discuss the algebra, trigonometry, and linear algebra that make the magic happen.


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
Geometry and algebra II; single-variable calculus recommended. Basic knowledge of physical forces and 2D and 3D motion.

M15151: Cracking the Enigma Cipher
Difficulty: ***

The Enigma Machine: the German WWII cipher machine that was unbreakable. Until it wasn’t. Come learn the math behind how the Polish broke the Enigma Machine (yes, the Polish broke it before the British) and take a crack at it yourself! We will also cover some of the history behind Enigma and how the Allies went from mathematical ideas to actually intercepting messages and saving lives.


Class Style
Activity

M15220: Excursions and Pitfalls in Randomness and Probability
Difficulty: ***

Uncertainty plagues the world around us.
Can a drunk man make it back home? How about a drunk bird?
How many people do you need to collect to find a shared birthday?
How often do ants bump into each other?
How do you gamble your way to a fortune?
Is the end truly nigh?
Join our class to find out, challenge your intuitions, have your minds blown and show off to your friends later!
Some familiarity with probability will be helpful but not required.


Class Style
Discussion

Prerequisites
Some familiarity with mathematical reasoning


Pop (and not-so-pop) Culture

[ Return to Category List ]

P15105: Girl Scout Uniforms: 100 Years of Fashion History
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Elsie Birnbaum

Over the past 110 years, the Girl Scouts have had to walk a fine line in uniforming their members as the uniform had to be fashionable enough to appeal to scouts but not so avant garde as to worry their parents. Because of this the Girl Scout uniform provides an excellent case study in fashion trends with a new uniform nearly every decade and several uniforms designed by couture designers. This lecture will tell the story of the 20th century American women's fashion through looking at the evolution of the Girl Scout uniform.


Class Style
Lecture

P15172: A brief history of Japanese Manga
Difficulty: *

The history of manga is a lecture-styled course about the history behind manga, one of the most well-known modern forms of storytelling and visual arts. In this course, you will learn about the origins of manga, the rise of manga in Japanese and worldwide popular culture, and the evolution of manga stories and arts over time. This course will also introduce you to some of the finest works that have transformed manga itself, and some of the works that you might not have encountered before, that we find especially interesting and important.


Class Style
Lecture

P15372: Sports Analytics: Fantasy Football and Beyond
Difficulty: *

Ever played fantasy football and wondered how to dominate your friends? In this class, we'll be finding the best strategy, exploring the world of sports analytics, from fantasy PPR to baseball predictions and more.

PS: 100% fantasy win rate guaranteed (I hope)!


Class Style
Seminar

P15136: "Trending Now..."- Intersectionality in Media and Pop Culture
Difficulty: **

Do you love music? Kpop, Rap, Pop, Country etc?

Do you watch a lot of movies and tv?

Are you interested in exploring your own identity?

Are there social norms that you are passionate about critiquing?


In this course you will be introduced to queer, bipoc, transnational, feminist theory. With feminist theory as a guide, we will explore how gender, race, and sexuality have been constructed and understood within a cultural domain of power and how intersectionality has been presented through media and popular culture and shaped our lives and identities.

All who are willing to explore with an open mind are welcome!


Class Style
Seminar

P15221: Gotta Catch Them All At MIT Full!
Difficulty: *

Center your entire MIT experience around Pokemon Go! Learn what are the best dorms to live in if you want to farm pokestops in your sleep, what classes to take so you can fight gyms during boring lectures, and general game suggestions if you wanna be the very best.


Class Style
Activity

P15198: Intro to Breakdancing
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Serena An, Jessica Wu

Come learn about breakdancing and some intro moves from the MIT Imobilare breakdancing team! No dancing experience required. Pull up for funky music and fun times.


Class Style
Activity

P15239: So Bad It's Good: The Art of Fanfiction
Difficulty: *

Ever wondered what exactly makes you unable to put down that terrible fanfiction? Or how the tropes are so unrelatable yet still hook you? In this class, we'll be diving into the hallmarks of bad fanfiction pop culture and why your brain can't seem to stop coming back for more.


Class Style
Discussion

P15316: Secure. Contain. Protect.: A Guide to the SCP Foundation
Difficulty: *

There is a hidden world out there. A world of anomalies, monsters, and terrors beyond our imagining. In that world, one group works behind the veil to protect humanity and the world. That group is the SCP Foundation. This is their story.

Join me as I show you a quick introduction to the SCP Foundation - one of the greatest collaborative writing projects on the internet.


Class Style
Seminar

Prerequisites
Content Warning - SCP stories are horror stories, and as a result can get quite dark, with themes of death, body horror, and psychological horror all present. We won't *extensively* go into these in the class, but they will be present.

P15174: Scanlation: The (Somewhat Illegal) Process of Translating Manga and Webcomics Into English
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Raleigh Berman, Lana Xu

Manga and webtoons are pretty mainstream these days, but this wasn't always the case. Back when publishers didn't see value in getting these works translated into English, groups of dedicated fans of the series would get together and translate chapters of their favorite series into English, bringing the stories overseas to a small audience of fans. Eventually, this small audience grew bigger and bigger until it grew large enough for publishers to notice, and now we have the officially published comics you know and love. How did we get here? Where did this hobby first start? How blatantly does this violate copyright law? And... how does this practice continue today? If those questions interest you, sign up for this class!


Class Style
Lecture

P15411: Taylor Swift: Influence and Impact Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Alor Sahoo

From country to pop to whatever other genre of music "Midnights" has, Taylor Swift's music transforms the pop culture landscape, especially since her music is filled with interweaving stories and real-life inspirations! In addition, she has an outsized impact in the political sphere, which intersects with her music in really cool and interesting ways!


Class Style
Discussion

P15350: Surviving the Midwest
Difficulty: **

Travelling to the Midwest? Thinking of it? Terrified that you'll find yourself stranded in a social gathering of Midwesterners and not know why they've said "goodbye" five times? Take this course to learn and appreciate all that this beautiful corner of the U.S. (and Ohio) have to offer!


Class Style
Lecture

P15342: How Not to Listen to Music Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jordan Tierney

Have you ever wondered how on Earth some people find so much new music? Are you concerned by your embarrassing Spotify wrapped? Do you face choice paralysis over deciding which playlist to listen to? Never fear, for there is a simple solution: Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of all time. In this class, I'll tell you everything you never wanted to know about the list, and we'll take some deep dives on some of my favorite albums, and listen to lots of good music in the meantime.


Class Style
Seminar

Prerequisites
A vague interest in popular music

P15137: Deep Dive on the Internet: Discussion on Everything Pop Culture
Difficulty: **

Unrealistic Toxic Beauty Standards?
Social Media is Ruining Our Lives?
Celebrity Skincare?
Performative Activism?
Are we really “BE”ing “REAL?
Body Positivity on Tiktok?
Kardashians, Consumerism, and $500 SHEIN hauls?
BTS, Bridgerton, Lil Nas X, Euphoria, TikTok, Instagram?

These are examples of ideas, people, and places that we are going to do a deeper dive into during our time together.

This class is all things Gen-Z. In this class you are given the opportunity to discuss a wide range of topics and to bring their own interests from their own lives. All are welcome!


Class Style
Discussion

P15251: A Brief History of Memes
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Vincent Bian, Tung Tran

How did we go from viral videos and trollfaces of early 2000s internet to the deep-fried and abstract internet humor of today? Find out here!


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
Has been on one of the following: Facebook, Reddit, Instagram, 4chan, Imgur, TikTok, Youtube, iFunny, Twitter, MySpace, Google Plus, or any internet page

P15357: The JFK hour
Difficulty: *

Do you like scandals? Do you like history? Do you like people with lives that vaguely resemble an average episode of Riverdale? Well, do I have a guy to tell you about! JFK! You know the president? In this course we will be going over the life of JFK and those around him from roughly 1920-1999.


Class Style
Lecture

P15247: Intro to Lightsaber Dueling and Spinning
Difficulty: **

“I’ll try spinning, that’s a good trick!”

In this class we will dive into some basic stage combat with learning a simple 4+6 beat lightsaber duel routine and some types of basic spins for flair. Please wear comfortable clothing!

Prequel and OG Trilogy memes highly encouraged.


Class Style
Activity

P15392: How to Make Cat Ears Full!
Difficulty: **

Come make cat ears with us nyan uwu miao~


Class Style
Activity

P15305: Narrative in Video Games Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Janavi Padala

Do you like video games? Are you interested in storytelling? If so, this is the class for you! We'll talk about what makes video games a unique media form, how to craft a strong narrative, and we will examine some games with innovative narrative design (for example Hades, The Last of Us, and Stray). We'll also discuss how theoretical aspects of narrative design manifest for the player. All you need is an interest in video games - come prepared to talk about some of your favorites!


Class Style
Seminar

P15375: Intro to Genshin Impact's Combat Mechanics
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Obinna Modilim

This class serves as a breakdown of the combat system in Genshin Impact. Both experienced players and complete newcomers are invited to attend. Topics include character builds, team building, elemental reactions, rotations, and Spiral Abyss strategies.


Class Style
Lecture

P15380: ~Queer Cartoons~ (and their affect on society)
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Juan Alvarez, Ryan Stam

Are you queer? Do you like queer TV shows? Are The Owl House, Steven Universe, She-ra, and the other gay children cartoons single-handedly combating your fear for the future of society? Then come to ~Queer Cartoons~, where we analyze their affect on youth and society (and maybe watch an episode or two)!


Class Style
Seminar

Prerequisites
must not be homophobic or transphobic (or any other -phobics)

P15367: X-Ploring Superhero Adaptations
Difficulty: *

Sure, the MCU is the most famous example of cinematic superhero adaptations, but is it the only one? Come help us analyze superhero movies (and the difficulties of adaptation in general!) using the seven core X-Men movies as a case study. Instead of dismissing movies with the classic "The comics did it better," let's figure out what changes were made, which ones worked, and which ones didn't. Hey, media analysis is more fun when you're talking about Wolverine, right? No prior knowledge of the X-Men or their movies necessary, and students will receive small pieces of X-Men paraphernalia at the end of class!


Class Style
Discussion


Science

[ Return to Category List ]

S15377: Autism is "Awetism" Full!

Most people annotate autism negatively due to mass of information out there talking about it as a disorder. But neurodiversity like autism has its own set of positive traits. Although autism is a spectrum condition, there are skills that are pretty common. This course would discuss the “awesome” skills of autistic individuals, how they function uniquely neurologically, why do we need to research autism and the need for being inclusive. This will be a fun seminar-based learning course.


Class Style
Seminar

S15431: Food Science - Cooking for Experimentalists Full!
Difficulty: **

Ever wonder what chocolate and airplane wings have in common? What about whipped cream and styrofoam? Ice cream and solar cells? Learn about foundational science and engineering through the lens of food! Students will learn scientific concepts and build chemical intuition which can be applied in school and in the kitchen.


Class Style
Lecture

S15183: Introduction to the Lagrangian Formalism
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Brennen Black

This class serves as an introduction to Lagrangian Mechanics, a unique formalism of Classical Mechanics. Students will learn what a Lagrangian is, and how to use it to make classes in CM not only easier, but more interesting! This class if perfect for students who love the theoretical side of physics but is also presented at a level suitable for students who have limited experience in physics and mathematics.


Class Style
Lecture

S15271: Why the World Might Need Room Temperature Superconductivity
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Caolan John

Electricity is a defining feature of our age - it charges our phones, powers our homes, and courses through our cities. While most materials host a resistance to the flow of electricity, quantum mechanics allows for a unique phase of matter at that can conduct electricity perfectly. At low enough temperatures, the electrons in this phase can travel through the material as if they don’t bump into anything - losing no energy as they move from one end to the other. This wonderful phase is known as the superconductor.

In this course we will explore the story of superconductivity, beginning with its discovery and surveying the superconductors remarkable properties along with the curious dance that the electrons perform beneath its surface. We will motivate how driving this phenomena to room temperature or higher would enable a significant advancement in our current energy infrastructure and would help combat some of our most challenging energy problems. Bring your curiosity and we’ll provide the rest!


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
Curiosity; exposure to physics can be helpful but not required

S15191: Sugars: How they define your blood and help cells hide
Difficulty: **

We all know that we need sugar for energy, but our bodies use sugar in tons of different ways! Join us to learn about the fundamentals of protein glycosylation: how proteins are modified with sugars. After covering the basics of sugar protein modifications, we’ll apply our knowledge to understand how sugar-modified proteins both determine our blood type and help cancer cells evade our immune system.


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
High School Biology

S15407: How tall will your children be? A quantitative perspective on inheritance.
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Zhao Yu Ma, Zipei Tan

This class introduces basic concepts in statistics and shows how statistical methods can be used to model inheritance. The focus of the class is heritability - how much genes play a part in a trait, and we'll also explore related topics such as artificial selection. Plenty of examples in the real world and mathematics explained in an understandable way!


Class Style
Lecture

S15418: Identifying Cancerous Cells Using Genetic Analysis and Computer Vision
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Laurence Liang

How can you identify cancerous cells?

Numerous methods exist to identify cancers from counting blood cell types to identifying specific proteins. In this session, we will be using 2 computational methods - image segmentation and genetic analysis - to identify cancerous cells.

We will write a computer program that uses artificial intelligence to identify cancerous cells in a microscope photograph. We will also write a second computer program that performs genetic analyses (and sequence alignments) to track down genes with properties related to cancer.

Topics: bioinformatics, genetics, cancer, computer vision


Class Style
Activity

Prerequisites
Everyone is welcome! Reading an introduction to the following topics is helpful: programming, biology (how cells work, what is cancer)

S15225: Design a DIY biology project
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Sasha Targ

Let's design a DIY biology project together! You'll learn some of the basic steps in choosing a goal or question, planning/designing experiments, analyzing the results, and tools and resources to help you out along the way. As a group, we'll decide on a topic to focus on (ex: making a genetically engineered organism, analyzing the microbiome, creating a new and brighter fluorescent protein).

Depending on the project, we can analyze real data and help build the skills to start you on your way towards actually carrying it out in a real lab!


Class Style
Discussion

Prerequisites
basic biology knowledge (intro biology course or equivalent), computational background is helpful but not required

S15159: Introduction to Economics workshop Full!
Difficulty: **

J-PAL North America's "Introduction to Economics" workshop provides high school students with the opportunity to engage with the field of economics and understand how they can use economics as a tool for social change. This course will explore important questions, including but not limited to:
What is economics?
How are my passions and the field of economics connected?
What is it like being an economics student?
What topics do you study?
What career pathways are available in economics?
If I’m interested in economics, what should I do next?

Students will learn how economists use data to inform approaches to social issues. The workshop will introduce career options for students who may be interested in majoring in economics in college.


Class Style
Activity

S15282: The Neuroscience of Mind Control Full!

Ever wonder how a 3 pound mass of tissue in your head gives rise to all your thoughts, emotions, and experiences? Or how neuroscientists can use new technologies to read thoughts and control minds? Come learn about how your brain works, from the level of individual neurons to massive networks of cells. We'll be talking about some of the groundbreaking new techniques that neuroscientists here at MIT use to study (and control!) the brain.

We're excited to explore the brain with you!

Note: The class will include a sheep brain dissection and an arm muscle control demo that involves a minor electrical shock. These are fully optional and students will not be required to participate if they so choose.


Class Style
Activity

S15306: Learn the International Phonetic Alphabet!
Difficulty: **

Or, [lɝn ði ɪntərnæʃnəl fənɛdɪk ælfəbɛt]!

Ever seen a word's pronunciation on Wikipedia and not understood how to read it? Ever wanted to be able to precisely and accurately explain how to say a certain word? Interested in studying linguistics? Come learn the IPA!

In this class, you'll understand the basics of how to transcribe American English pronunciation, and if we have time, we'll begin to cover symbols for sounds that appear in other languages.


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
Must not be afraid of unfamiliar words.

S15193: Making your own water filter Full!

Learn about the importance of water filtration by making your own water filter out of household materials! We will test our water filters and discuss how they work, and learn about the history of water treatment and how we treat water today to make it safe for everyone to use.
Students will meet teachers at 66-154 and be escorted to the new Learning Labs at the MIT Museum Building (just a 3-minute walk).


Class Style
Activity

S15171: Synthetic Biology: How Scientists Program Cells to Make and Discover New Drugs Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: William Owens

How can scientists hack yeasts into making psychoactive drugs? How can we reprogram cancer cells to help us study neurological disease?

In the past twenty years, synthetic biology has profoundly impacted scientific research and created a rapidly growing, multi-billion dollar industry. But what is "synthetic biology" and how does it work?

This course will begin with a background on molecular biology and explain the basic principles behind many common biological engineering tools. From there, students will learn the ways that scientists can reprogram bacteria, yeast, and human cells to create new technologies. Finally, we will study a few fascinating examples of cutting-edge synbio applications, with emphasis on drug discovery.


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
High school level biology or higher recommended.

S15298: The Magic of Macaron Making Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Alice Lam, Grace Smith

Are you tired of paying too much for cookies too small? Have you tried to make macarons only to be greeted by a tray of cracked shells, soggy cookies, and inevitable sadness? Come join us for the science behind macarons, a foolproof macaron recipe (with a nut free alternative for those with allergies!) and the tricks we’ve learned over the years!

ALLERGEN WARNING: Please know that this class will contain almonds. While we can help you make a nut-free batch, we cannot guarantee that there is no cross-contamination or airborne particles.


Class Style
Activity

S15327: Cryptographers Needed: Work for the FBI Full!
Difficulty: **

If you like language, puzzles, language puzzles, or puzzling languages this class is for you! In this class, we will collaborate to break a real code used in a criminal investigation and along the way, you'll learn about the structure of language needed to decrypt language codes
***This class features mild profanity to illustrate linguistic concepts***


Class Style
Activity

S15363: Atoms?! How did we know? Full!
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Albert Qin, Tung Tran

“If we were to name the most powerful assumption of all, which leads one on and on in an attempt to understand life, it is that all things are made of atoms, and that everything that living things do can be understood in terms of the jigglings and wigglings of atoms.”- Richard Feynman

Without a "microscope", the existence of atoms is not evident. The brightest minds back in the day even conjectured that everything is made from... water, because it can be solid, liquid, and gas. Then, how did science figure out that atoms indeed exist?


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
None

S15129: Avian Aerodynamics Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Ruth Lu, sandra youssef

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's the physics of flight!

We'll be taking a birds-eye view of aerodynamics, then focus on the anatomies of various feathery friends and how that allows them to complete incredible feats such as flying nonstop for over 10,000 kilometers. If you love birds and/or want to learn more about how things move through the air, join us!

No prior physics knowledge required.


Class Style
Lecture

S15223: CRISPR: The Molecular Scissors
Difficulty: **

Did you all hear of genome editing? The term has been on the news since previous century and provoked both excitement and concerns among the broad public. The truth is, no matter how exciting on a scientific basis that seems, biologists have tried for a long time to edit the human genome specifically. It only happened during the last two decades that genome engineering came to the point of being carried out on real-life biological case studies and giving the possibility to target specific sequences and leading to the implementation of prime editing for curing diseases and engineering organisms. Want to know how this happens? Come and learn about CRISPR “Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats” technique, awarded the Nobel Chemistry Prize in 2020.


Class Style
Lecture

S15409: Blood Things
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Vera McCoy, Olivia Tang

Are you curious about animals that can live off blood? Solve that problem. I promise it won’t suck!


Class Style
Lecture

S15112: Nuclear Fusion: Fact and Fiction
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Amelia Cavallaro

Have you read headlines the past couple years on major fusion advances from private companies, or hear news about trillion dollar research labs in China or South Korea? Does it all seem a bit suspicious to you, or confusing? This class aims to make things more clear, with an MIT fusion scientist separating fact from fiction.


Class Style
Seminar

Prerequisites
Pop-sci level understanding of physics, thermodynamics, and nuclear stuff would help.

S15328: I'm Not a Morning Person: Chronobiology
Difficulty: **

Circadian rhythms - everyone has one, right? Turns out that some people have rhythms that make them woefully nocturnal (hi), while some people would be better suited for life on another planet. This class is for anyone who HATES waking up early, anyone who's ever felt like they got run over by a bus after hopping some time zones, or anyone who is interested in why exactly the number "24" isn't just a social construct but is woven into our DNA.

We'll definitely be getting into some neuroscience and genetics here, but we're also gonna talk about what it's like to live in a cave and whether that sleeping cure your Grandma tells you "works every time" is real or not.


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
Some genetics knowledge will be helpful, but I'll teach you all you need to know!

S15128: Crystal Field Theory: Why Copper Solutions are Blue
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Vivian Hir, Karla Ravin

Have you ever wondered why what makes certain transition metal solutions have distinct colors, from copper's vivid blue color to nickel's green hue? The theory that addresses this phenomenon is crystal field theory.
This rigorous class will go over the chemistry concepts behind crystal field theory and discuss interesting properties/applications of some coordination complexes.


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
AP Chemistry recommended

S15314: A Glimpse into Earth History: Climate of the Past
Difficulty: *

Have you wondered what the world looked like when dinosaurs walked around the surface? The Earth is currently warming at an unprecedented rate since the dawn of industrialization. While most attention is focused on recent climate change and future projection, this interactive class will take a different perspective on Earth’s climate by looking into its past, over a range of time scales: from the far distant geologic past, dinosaur eras, then fast forward to the pre-historic past over human evolution. We will travel through time and look into how scientists piece puzzles together to reconstruct the past climate, how we think it has changed, and what we know about the evolution of biosphere and ecosystems at the turning points throughout the Earth history.


Class Style
Activity

Prerequisites
Curiosity about the Earth…! Some basic knowledge of physics and chemistry would be useful too

S15325: MIT Linguist vs. Tom Scott
Difficulty: **

YouTuber Tom Scott has a series of videos in which he addresses a variety of linguistic phenomena. He's intelligent and charismatic, but has anyone fact checked this guy? Can the complexities of language be adequately captured in his 5 minute video format? In this class, you'll get to see where Tom Scott gets it right, gets it wrong, doesn't have enough time to discuss the nuance, and learn about the science underlying this beloved video series.
***This class features mild profanity to illustrate linguistic concepts***


Class Style
Seminar

S15389: Could humanity end in the next century?
Difficulty: *

Humanity could survive for millions of generations—enough time to end disease, poverty, and injustice, and reach new heights of flourishing. But this vast future is at risk. With the advent of nuclear weapons, humanity entered a new age, gaining the power to destroy ourselves without the wisdom to ensure that we won’t. Since then, these dangers have only multiplied, from climate change to engineered global pandemics and the potential for highly capable unaligned artificial intelligence. If we do not act fast to reach a place of civilizational security, it may soon be too late.

In this class, we will attempt to answer some key questions relating to existential risk — the risk of a catastrophe that would permanently end civilization and curtail humanity’s future potential:
- What is the likelihood of civilization collapse in this century? What are the most likely causes?
- How good could the future of human civilization be, barring disasters?
- What are the best ways to mitigate existential risks?


Class Style
Lecture

S15118: A Crash Course on Relativity
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: April Cheng, Sonny Wu

Have you ever heard of weird, unsettling statements like "time goes slower if you move faster" or "space and time are all relative"? Turns out, while unintuitive, relativity is not so spooky! We will learn about the two simple foundational axioms of relativity, and the beautiful formalism and strange predictions that emerge from it. Spacetime diagrams, the metric, Lorentz transformations, time dilation, length contraction, thought experiments with trains and light beams and mirrors--all in one crash course on relativity!


Class Style
Lecture

S15107: Soils Lab: Formation and Classification Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: H. Alexander Chen

The hands-on laboratory portion of this module will teach students how to identify soil horizon and texture. Students will investigate in their associated geological, biological, and chemical characteristics. In the discussion portion of the module, we will explore environmental and geological factors that contributes to soil formation. We will learn about how the last ice age shaped much of the geological landscape in the Northeastern United States.


Class Style
Activity

S15386: Make your own popping boba! Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Yiqing Du, Gilford Ting

Have you ever been disappointed in the variety of popping boba available at your favorite boba store or ice cream place? Ever thought to yourself "man, I really wish I could make some popping boba using tea and INVERT my milk tea!!!!!" (you probably haven't)? Either way, come learn how to make your own popping boba using (almost) any liquid beverage! We'll have lots of juices and syrups and drinks for you to try out - you can even bring your own drinks to try spherify-ing them!

If you're allergic to chemistry, don't worry - we'll teach you why things work, but most of the time will be dedicated to making your spherical creations - and eating them!


Class Style
Activity

S15425: Three Key Things to Know about Your Environment
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Amy Nelson

Environmental Science is a broad topic, sometimes overwhelming to wrap your mind around. So let's start with a manageable amount of information. This course will cover three key topics that high school graduates should know; for potential careers; and for personal health and well being. The information discussed will draw from your instructor's 20 years experience in environmental risk assessment conducted for engineering firms working on contaminated sediment sites, with focus on the following:

1. What’s PFAS and why is it important?
a. This "emerging" contaminant has definitely emerged.
2. Everything in Moderation, Yes, even Moderation
a. this will include a brief introduction to toxicology and the importance of "dose".
3. It's gotten better. No really, it has, keep going!
a. Sometimes, it is difficult to see the good through all of the environmental issues in the world. We will look at examples of success stories in environmental improvements to keep us motivated. And discuss resources for finding out more information related to your community and your academic interests.


Class Style
Lecture

S15234: Thrills of Thermochemistry
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Andy Fong

The Thrills of Thermochemistry introduces students of all chemistry backgrounds to the practicalities of one of the fundamental governing principles of chemistry: thermodynamics. In this class, you will learn how railway tracks are melted together, how two Big Macs have the equivalent energy of one kg of TNT, how to carbonate soda, and more!


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
Algebra II (can be concurrently enrolled) High School Chemistry (can be concurrently enrolled)

S15101: Cool Stuff: The Hot Science of Thermal Materials
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Simo Pajovic

The process of heat transfer is extremely important and prevalent on almost every length scale. From electronics, to cooking, to climate change, the ways matter interacts with the three modes of heat transfer—conduction, convection, and radiation—shapes the world around us and the technology we use to solve our problems. This course will introduce students to various thermal properties of materials and their microscopic origins in electrons, phonons, photons, and more. Students will also learn about the cutting edge of thermal materials and how they are being used to solve some of humanity’s greatest challenges, such as water scarcity and climate change. Hopefully, this course will inspire students to pursue careers in the thermal sciences and engineering.


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
We will start from scratch, but a basic understanding of atoms, their structure, and how they bond (ionic, covalent, metallic, and intermolecular bonding) would be helpful. Only a knowledge of basic algebra is required, but students with a more advanced knowledge of functions and calculus will enjoy some of the sidebars.

S15142: Why is CO poisonous, but not O2? Answers from Molecular Orbital Theory
Difficulty: ***

What makes O2 compatible with life but CO poisonous with the change of one atom? We will delve into the molecular structure of a few diatomic molecules, in addition to answering this question. The molecular orbital theory we will use is key to a deeper understanding of how our bodies interact with molecules in the world and of higher-level chemistry.


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
Knowledge of atomic orbitals and how to fill them. Eg: what is the electron configuration of an oxygen atom in the ground state?

S15266: Shedding Light on the Brain: An Overview of Optogenetics and Neuroscience
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Dongyao Jiang

A basic introduction to neuroscience with a focus on optogenetics and its applications. We will spend one hour on the anatomy of the neuron and how the neurons sends its signals. We will also discuss glial cells and how they play a role in the nervous system. The second hour will be about optogenetics, its origins, and its applications on neuroscience, including potential treatments for some diseases such as Alzheimer's.


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
Basic biology recommended, but no actual prerequisites. You'll learn everything you'll need to know in class.

S15167: Candy Science: Where "Softball" isn't Talking about the Sport Full!
Difficulty: **

Do you enjoy chocolate? Have you ever wondered how candy is made? Come find out at this class! We will explain how different temperatures and ratios of sugars to fats affect the structure and texture of the resulting candy and talk about some of the fun features of chocolate. And of course you'll have the chance to make (and eat) some candy of your own. We will teach you how to pull taffy and properly cover candy in chocolate. Stop by for a delicious lesson!


Class Style
Activity

S15370: Tinkering with Genes: How to Cure Disease
Difficulty: **

As we enter into a new age of medicine where scientists seek to specifically modify our genetic makeup, it is imperative to be aware of the current efforts to cure various diseases. In this class, our focus is on gene therapy and how it has revolutionized the way we think disease relates to genetics. From blindness to cancer, gene therapies are the future of medicine!


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
An interest in biology, genetics, or medicine and disease. Students should have a general knowledge of how cells take DNA and translate it to making proteins.

S15333: Tetraodontiformes!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Paige Lauren Kight

Molas and puffers and triggers, oh my! Tetraodontiformes are fish—specifically a group of 10 closely related families. They are very diverse, but nearly all families have non-traditional scales and “beaks” formed by fused jawbones. Come learn about the taxonomy and morphology of my favorite group of fish! This class will survey each of the 10 families of tetraodontiform fishes, comparing them to each other and other fish. Bonus topics for each family may include conservation, applications to other scientific fields, and cultural history.


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
None! A glossary of relevant biological terms will be provided :)

S15134: Detecting Exoplanets
Difficulty: **

How many planets are in the universe? Are there any other planets like our Earth? How do we find exoplanets, planets outside our solar system? Come learn about what an exoplanet is and how they are discovered!


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
Some physics background is nice, but not necessary

S15356: What Happens Next? The Science of Forecasting
Difficulty: **

Have you ever read about something in the news, and thought "Man, this could go either way, but I have no idea what will happen?" Have you ever wondered why some people's predictions of the future are so accurate, and some are not so accurate? Have you ever estimated how long it would take you to finish a school assignment, and then it took longer than even your worst-case estimate? If so, this class is for you! This class discusses why forecasting is important, why human psychology makes forecasting difficult, and how to get better at forecasting by using statistics, combined with practice.


Class Style
Lecture

S15243: The physics and philosophy of entropy
Difficulty: ***

What is entropy? This recent concept in science has helped us to understand many physical systems, but not only that. The second law of thermodynamics is intimately related with the inexorable march of time... but what does that mean for us? For the universe? For science and the meaning of our lives? Come to learn where this concept comes from, the ways entropy can be used in our favor and the ways in which it can't


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
Familiarity with basic statistics, and basic chemistry (definitely not enforced, the focus will be on the results, not on the derivation)

S15244: An Introduction to Climate Modeling
Difficulty: **

Ever wondered where all those climate change forecasts come from? And how do we know that the climate is changing, anyway? In this class, we'll start at the beginning and work our way through the history of climate modeling up to the current giants of the field. We'll talk about climate models look like today, how they're built, and what they can (and can't!) tell us about the future. We'll finish by discussing the shortcomings of climate modeling and the pressing issues of the field.


Class Style
Lecture

S15382: How to Get to the Moon
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Leo Yao

The moon sits in the sky every night, but do you know how to get there? Starting from the launchpad, we'll discuss getting up into space, orbital maneuvers, and how not to run out of fuel. Aided by visualizations (and explosions) from Kerbal Space Program, we'll launch, make orbit, navigate around, and even attempt a moon landing!


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
General knowledge of mechanics is helpful for understanding concepts, but not required to enjoy the gameplay!

S15108: Rocks Lab: Documenting Earth Processes Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: H. Alexander Chen

In this laboratory-based module, students will carefully examine and identify rocks to complete series of inquiry-based tasks related to earth's dynamic processes. Basic minerology will also be introduced. In the final part of this module, students will explore the impact of rock formation and composition in our environment and its impact on biota.


Class Style
Activity

S15296: 3,2,1 Beyblade Physics!
Difficulty: **

We will explore the intricacies of the physics of a spinning top! We will look at cool clips from the show, memes, and learn some physics along the way!


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
AP Physics 1 is helpful but really any knowledge level about physics is fine

S15424: Your Brain on Love
Difficulty: **

Ever heard the phrase "love is a drug"? Sadly it never seems to be in stock at our local CVS... come learn about the brain chemistry of infatuation, emotional management strategies, ingredients for a healthy relationship, and more!


Class Style
Lecture

S15119: The Sounds We Make
Difficulty: **

Ever wondered how talking works? This class will answer questions from "What even is sound?" to "How do we classify the sounds humans make?" and "How different is singing from talking?"

We'll touch on the basic ideas of sound physics and phonetics, and give you tools to analyze your own speech!


Class Style
Lecture

Prerequisites
Knowledge of sine and cosine waves recommended, but certainly not required.