ESP Biography



ADAM HESTERBERG, Mathcamper and MIT second-year math grad student




Major: 6

College/Employer: MIT

Year of Graduation: G

Picture of Adam Hesterberg

Brief Biographical Sketch:

I'm a second-year MIT math grad student, graduated from Princeton, live in Seattle, grew up in Pennsylvania, was born in Minnesota, and my family's from Germany. I was a Mathcamper in 2003, 4, 5, and 7 and a mentor in 2012 and 2013.



Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

W13588: Food tongue 101 in Splash 2019 (Nov. 23 - 24, 2019)
Come learn food tongue, a language in which every word is a food, by immersion!


W13589: Linguistics Problem Solving in Splash 2019 (Nov. 23 - 24, 2019)
Do you enjoy unraveling logic puzzles, want to learn about other languages, or crave the feeling of a good riddle? Come solve fun problems from the Linguistics Olympiads, NACLO and IOL! A variety of languages, problem styles, and difficulty levels will be provided for you to solve. Logic and reasoning are your main weapon here – no prior linguistics knowledge required!


M13593: Simple Models of Computation in Splash 2019 (Nov. 23 - 24, 2019)
Almost all programming languages are equally powerful—anything one of them can do, they all can. We’ll talk about two less powerful models of computation—ones that can’t even, say, tell whether two numbers are equal. They’ll nevertheless save the day if you have to search through 200MB of emails looking for something formatted like an address. This is a math class, not a programming one—we’ll talk about clever proofs for what those models of computation can and can’t do.


W12773: Food tongue 101 in Splash 2018 (Nov. 17 - 18, 2018)
Come learn food tongue, a language in which every word is a food, by immersion!


W12775: Linguistics Problem Solving in Splash 2018 (Nov. 17 - 18, 2018)
Do you enjoy unraveling logic puzzles, want to learn about other languages, or crave the feeling of a good riddle? Come solve fun problems from the Linguistics Olympiads, NACLO and IOL! A variety of languages, problem styles, and difficulty levels will be provided for you to solve. Logic and reasoning are your main weapon here – no prior linguistics knowledge required!


X11846: Effective Altruism in Splash 2017 (Nov. 18 - 19, 2017)
Effective altruism is the practice of using evidence and reason to determine how to most improve the world. This class will discuss how YOU can be an effective altruist and make the greatest positive impact!


W11907: Food tongue 101 in Splash 2017 (Nov. 18 - 19, 2017)
Come learn food tongue, a language in which every word is a food, by immersion!


W11908: Linguistics Problem Solving in Splash 2017 (Nov. 18 - 19, 2017)
Do you enjoy unraveling logic puzzles, want to learn about other languages, or crave the feeling of a good riddle? Come solve fun problems from the Linguistics Olympiads, NACLO and IOL! A variety of languages, problem styles, and difficulty levels will be provided for you to solve. Logic and reasoning are your main weapon here – no prior linguistics knowledge required!


M11909: Simple Models of Computation in Splash 2017 (Nov. 18 - 19, 2017)
Almost all programming languages are equally powerful—anything one of them can do, they all can. We’ll talk about two less powerful models of computation—ones that can’t even, say, tell whether two numbers are equal. They’ll nevertheless save the day if you have to search through 200MB of emails looking for something formatted like an address. This is a math class, not a programming one—we’ll talk about clever proofs for what those models of computation can and can’t do.


W11389: Food tongue 101 in Spark 2017 (Mar. 11 - 12, 2017)
Come learn food tongue, a language in which every word is a food, by immersion!


W11390: Linguistics Problem Solving in Spark 2017 (Mar. 11 - 12, 2017)
Do you enjoy unraveling logic puzzles, want to learn about other languages, or crave the feeling of a good riddle? Come solve fun problems from the Linguistics Olympiads, NACLO and IOL! A variety of languages, problem styles, and difficulty levels will be provided for you to solve. Logic and reasoning are your main weapon here – no prior linguistics knowledge required!


W10937: Food tongue 101 in Splash 2016 (Nov. 19 - 20, 2016)
Come learn food tongue, a language in which every word is a food, by immersion!


M11008: Zero-knowledge proofs in Splash 2016 (Nov. 19 - 20, 2016)
I can convince you I know how to solve any given position of a Rubik's cube without showing you at all how to solve that position, convince websites that I know my password without doing anything as risky as sending the password, and similar stuff. We'll see how.


W11009: Linguistics Problem Solving in Splash 2016 (Nov. 19 - 20, 2016)
Do you enjoy unraveling logic puzzles, want to learn about other languages, or crave the feeling of a good riddle? Come solve fun problems from the Linguistics Olympiads, NACLO and IOL! A variety of languages, problem styles, and difficulty levels will be provided for you to solve. Logic and reasoning are your main weapon here – no prior linguistics knowledge required!


M11010: Simple Models of Computation in Splash 2016 (Nov. 19 - 20, 2016)
Almost all programming languages are equally powerful—anything one of them can do, they all can. We’ll talk about two less powerful models of computation—ones that can’t even, say, tell whether two numbers are equal. They’ll nevertheless save the day if you have to search through 200MB of emails looking for something formatted like an address. This is a math class, not a programming one—we’ll talk about clever proofs for what those models of computation can and can’t do.


W9718: Learn Food Tongue by Immersion in Splash 2015 (Nov. 21 - 22, 2015)
Mint-apple sauce food tongue. Pear spinach sauce food tongue. Pear wonton pasta-peach-sauce food tongue? Pear shrimp kumquat plantain mint-apple clam peach-sauce pear!


M10165: Discriminant Inequalities in Splash 2015 (Nov. 21 - 22, 2015)
A quadratic has real roots if and only if its discriminant is nonnegative. We'll show how to use this to prove a famous mathematical inequality or two and solve some math olympiad-style inequality problems.


M10166: Zero-knowledge proofs in Splash 2015 (Nov. 21 - 22, 2015)
I can convince you I know how to solve any given position of a Rubik's cube without showing you at all how to solve that position, convince websites that I know my password without doing anything as risky as sending the password, and similar stuff. We'll see how.


W10167: Slightly Linguisticsful Linguistics Problem Solving in Splash 2015 (Nov. 21 - 22, 2015)
The following six English sentences are translations, in random order, of the following six Kurmanji Kurdish sentences: A. You see Bear. 1. Ez h'irç'ê dibînim B. You see me. 2. Tu dir'evî C. Bear runs. 3. Tu min dibînî D. You run. 4. H'irç' dir'eve E. I see Bear. 5. Ez dir'evim F. I run. 6. Tu h'irç'ê dibînî Which is which, and what does "H'irç min dibîne" mean? Stop by and solve some logic puzzlesl ike that one, which don't need any prior linguistics knowledge, and see how they relate to the major branches of linguistics: how to go from a mouth to sounds to words to sentences to meaning.


M10169: Simple Models of Computation in Splash 2015 (Nov. 21 - 22, 2015)
Almost all programming languages are equally powerful—anything one of them can do, they all can. We’ll talk about two less powerful models of computation—ones that can’t even, say, tell whether two numbers are equal. They’ll nevertheless save the day if you have to search through 200MB of emails looking for something formatted like an address. This is a math class, not a programming one—we’ll talk about clever proofs for what those models of computation can and can’t do.


X8332: Linguistics Problem Solving in Spark 2014 (Mar. 15 - 16, 2014)
Do you enjoy unraveling logic puzzles, want to learn about other languages, or crave the feeling of a good riddle? Come solve fun problems from the Linguistics Olympiads, NACLO and IOL! A variety of languages, problem styles, and difficulty levels will be provided for you to solve. Logic and reasoning are your main weapon here – no prior linguistics knowledge required!


W7365: Linguistics Problem Solving in Splash! 2013 (Nov. 23 - 24, 2013)
Do you enjoy unraveling logic puzzles, want to learn about other languages, or crave the feeling of a good riddle? Come solve fun problems from the Linguistics Olympiads, NACLO and IOL! A variety of languages, problem styles, and difficulty levels will be provided for you to solve. Logic and reasoning are your main weapon here – no prior linguistics knowledge required!


L7367: Writing Systems in Splash! 2013 (Nov. 23 - 24, 2013)
How are the worlds' writing systems different, beyond just using different characters? What writing systems are more similar to each other than others, and why? Why is Hangul (the Korean writing system) the best in the world, and Chinese characters the worst?


W7404: Foodtongue! in Splash! 2013 (Nov. 23 - 24, 2013)
Yogurt mint cake! Apple oyster Peach-Sauce-Sandwich! What could these random collections of food possibly mean? Come learn Foodtongue, a constructed language where all of the words are food in an immersive learning environment. Beginners and polyglots welcome!


L7948: Linguistics Problem Solving in Splash! 2013 (Nov. 23 - 24, 2013)
Do you enjoy unraveling logic puzzles, want to learn about other languages, or crave the feeling of a good riddle? Come solve fun problems from the Linguistics Olympiads, NACLO and IOL! A variety of languages, problem styles, and difficulty levels will be provided for you to solve. Logic and reasoning are your main weapon here – no prior linguistics knowledge required!


X6851: The Building Blocks of Languages in HSSP Spring 2013 (Mar. 02, 2013)
Explore the many human languages, piece apart their puzzles, and even create your own! This class will be an in-depth introduction to linguistics, the scientific study of human languages. We'll solve logic puzzles that don't require any linguistics knowledge, but that, in answering, should lead to insights about what sounds languages can be made of, how we put them together to form meaning, and how the world's languages have developed and changed. We will discuss a sampling of these aspects of languages over the course of HSSP. The central theme of this class will be for you, the students, to create your own conlangs (constructed languages) by the end of the class. Building the parts of your conlang will be assigned as light homework. Come expecting to learn, to decipher, and to create.


W6197: Linguistics Problem Solving in Splash! 2012 (Nov. 17 - 18, 2012)
اللسانيات! Мовазнаўства! भाषाविज्ञान! 언어학! Γλωσσολογία! Ngôn ngữ học! Linguistics! Do you enjoy unraveling logic puzzles, want to learn about other languages, or crave the feeling of thinking about a good riddle? Come solve fun problems from the Linguistics Olympiads, NACLO and IOL! A variety of languages, problem styles, and difficulty levels will be provided for you to solve. Logic and reasoning are your main weapon here – no prior linguistics knowledge required!


W6291: Premodern cryptography in Splash! 2012 (Nov. 17 - 18, 2012)
UI UOHH JFHQI SGXEKFNGMT ELZZHIJ HOWI KRI FDIJ KRMK XFL TONRK AODP OD M DIUJEMEIG, AOGJK CX KGOMH MDP IGGFG, KRID CX KISRDOBLIJ KRMK YLJK IVKIGTODMKI KRIT.


M6293: Discriminant Inequalities in Splash! 2012 (Nov. 17 - 18, 2012)
A quadratic has real roots if and only if its discriminant is nonnegative. We'll show how to use this to prove a famous mathematical inequality or two and solve some math olympiad-style inequality problems.


M6294: Zero-knowledge proofs in Splash! 2012 (Nov. 17 - 18, 2012)
I can convince you I know how to solve any given position of a Rubik's cube without showing you at all how to solve that position, convince websites that I know my password without doing anything as risky as sending the password, and similar stuff. We'll see how.


Linguistics Problem Solving in DELVE (Spic)
Do you enjoy unraveling logic puzzles, want to learn about other languages, or crave the feeling of thinking about a ...