ESP Biography

ALYSSA SMITH, weird girl in a weird major.

Major: 21E

College/Employer: MIT

Year of Graduation: 2017

Picture of alyssa smith

Brief Biographical Sketch:

me in a list (narrative is too narrative)
what i've collected over the past month-ish:
knee bruise (went running when it was icy out because people don't ice sidewalks)
all-too-intimate knowledge of python's unicode issues
mild loathing of github and the concept of the personal website
the disgusting habit of waking up early to be a productive human
a bit more faith in humanity (i blame it on the current dearth of psets)

Past Classes

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

X10361: conspiracy theories! in Spark 2016 (Mar. 12 - 13, 2016)
with the election season well upon us (for medium-sized values of "well upon us"), the conspiracy theories are flying right and left. as it should be, because conspiracy theories are an important part of the American political process or something. we'll talk about why conspiracy theories are appealing, why conspiracy theories take hold, and what makes an effective conspiracy theory.

C9689: How to Make a Twitter Bot in Splash 2015 (Nov. 21 - 22, 2015)
Twitter bots are pretty cool. They can say random things (sometimes meaningless; sometimes surreal; always pretty amusing). They're also not that hard to implement in Python. We'll talk about different examples of Twitter bots, things to be aware of when making a bot, and the math (yes, real math) behind many Twitter bots you see online.

X9233: Introduction to Conspiracy Theories in Spark 2015 (Mar. 14 - 15, 2015)
Who really are the lizard people? Is Beyoncé actually part of the Illuminati? And was the Moon landing fake? I don't know if we'll answer all these questions, but we can talk about some of the more out-there conspiracy theories, as well as some of the more plausible ones, and think about what aspects of human nature draw us to think these things up.

H8258: The Fellowship of the Ring and the Hero's Journey in Spark 2014 (Mar. 15 - 16, 2014)
The hero's journey is an archetypal path that many protagonists in fiction follow as they progress from the n00b state to the Hero as we know and love them. A surprising number of stories (novels, folktales, etc.) fit this pattern, and it's a pretty cool way to analyze character development. Fellowship of the Ring is particularly interesting to analyze because multiple characters go through this process and experience it very differently.