# ESP Biography

## BEN ZINBERG, ESP Teacher

Major: Math

College/Employer: MIT

Not Available.

## Past Classes

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

C7079: Algorithms: From Sorting to Water Pipes in Spark! 2013 (Mar. 16, 2013)
Let's say you want to sort a list of N numbers (N is large). You have a really fast computer with infinite disk space and memory; you're hoping to get the job done in N seconds. Can you do it? (Answer: No.) Suppose you have 100 males and 100 females, all heterosexual. For each male there is some subset of the females that he would be willing to marry, and for each female there is some subset of the males that she would be willing to marry. We wish to wed as many couples as possible. The question is -- how can we use water pipes to figure out the optimal matching? In this class we will discuss algorithms, which are sets of instructions that take an input and produce an output. Algorithms are a key component of all computational technology, central to both theory and practice. It turns out that for most computational tasks, the way in which you choose to solve a problem can make a *huge* difference as to your efficiency. Some problems have elegant, fast solutions; some have no efficient solutions; and there are some problems for which no one knows whether there is an efficient solution. We will see concrete examples of all three of these.

H6312: How to Bullshit in Splash! 2012 (Nov. 17 - 18, 2012)
There are 47% of Splash students who won't take this class no matter what. All right, there are 47% who are dependent on being taught, who believe that they are victims, who believe that Splash has a responsibility to teach them everything, that they are entitled to instruction on every individual thing. That that's an entitlement. And that Splash should give it to them. And they won't take this class no matter what. These are students who pay no information tax. 47% of Splash students deal pay no information tax. And so our job is not to worry about those students- we'll never convince them to take personal responsibility and care about their lives. Our job is to teach you, the rugged individualists, all about creating information. In this class, you'll pull yourself up by your mental bootstraps and become experts at info-genesis. And once you finish this class, you will make all other Splash students intellectually wealthier as your knowledge and competency trickle down. Sign up for this class, because you are information creators, and are more valuable than the fact-poor who rely on Splash handouts to get by.

M6561: Important Directions in Splash! 2012 (Nov. 17 - 18, 2012)
There are lots of directions out there -- up, northeast, 11 o'clock.... In this class we will study these directions and ask, which ones are the most important? For example, by computing the direction in which the Fibonacci numbers travel, we will be able to come up with an explicit non-recursive formula for the nth Fibonacci number. Time permitting, we will look at applications to physics, differential equations, and numerical computation. (Mathematical buzz word: Eigenvector.)

M5854: Important Directions in Spark! 2012 (Mar. 10, 2012)
There are lots of directions out there -- up, northeast, 11 o'clock.... In this class we will study these directions and ask, which ones are the most important? For example, by computing the direction in which the Fibonacci numbers travel, we will be able to come up with an explicit non-recursive formula for the nth Fibonacci number. Time permitting, we will look at applications to physics, differential equations, and numerical computation. (Mathematical buzz word: Eigenvector.)