ESP Biography



MARCUS BOORSTIN, ESP Teacher




Major: 6

College/Employer: MIT

Year of Graduation: 2017

Picture of Marcus Boorstin

Brief Biographical Sketch:

Not Available.



Past Classes

  (Look at the class archive for more.)


Let's talk about Watergate in Spark 2018 (Mar. 17 - 18, 2018)
Let's talk about Watergate - what actually happened (people broke into DNC headquarters), what people think happened (Rose Mary Woods erased some tapes?), and what probably didn't happen (aliens did everything?). Bring questions and conspiracy theories!


Harry Potter ft. Conspiracy Theories in Spark 2018 (Mar. 17 - 18, 2018)
Come forewarned: this class is run by you. I want your stories, your headcanons, your bizarrely specifically thought-out theories. Come ready to talk about implications of love potions in this universe, about government interference in schooling, about ethics of werewolves teaching children, about memory modification, about rights for sentient beings. Tell me the strangest coincidences you noticed, the oddest character quirks you found, the underlying theories that you and only you have ever discovered. This class will be completely informal unstructured discussion, its general aim merely to encourage you to think deeply about societal structure, fictional or not. Let's talk about magic... if you aren't as big a bunch of dunderheads as I usually have to teach.


King John: Not the Robin Hood Version in Spark 2018 (Mar. 17 - 18, 2018)
If you've ever seen the animated Robin Hood movie, King John is a very angry and incompetent lion disliked by his people. This is a *slight* exaggeration of the actual King John of England - but not much. Come learn about the *real* King John, who was hated so much his barons went to war against him and made him sign the Magna Carta - which he promptly ignored. There will definitely be clips from Robin Hood.


Let's talk about Watergate in Splash 2017 (Nov. 18 - 19, 2017)
Let's talk about Watergate - what actually happened (people broke into DNC headquarters), what people think happened (Rose Mary Woods erased some tapes?), and what probably didn't happen (aliens did everything?). Bring questions and conspiracy theories!


Introduction to Quantum Mechanics in Splash 2017 (Nov. 18 - 19, 2017)
Ever heard quantum mechanics talked about in vague or mystical terms but never understood it rigorously? We’ll give a (mathematical) introduction to quantum mechanics, use it to explore some basic problems, and then depending on what the class is interested in discuss other topics in QM (the uncertainty principle, states of the hydrogen atom, etc).


How Do Computers Add? in Splash 2017 (Nov. 18 - 19, 2017)
How do computers add? What happens behind the scenes when your program runs the line "int z = x + y;"? This may seem simple for you, but it's NOT for your computer. We'll discuss the nitty-gritty of how hardware adders work, starting with transistors and working our way up through logic gates to the complex hardware algorithms modern computers use.


Assembling Assembly in Splash 2017 (Nov. 18 - 19, 2017)
How does your computer actually execute instructions? What's the mystical and scary "assembly language"? We'll dive deep into how computers execute low level instructions, and you'll write your own short x86 assembly program.


Let's talk about Watergate in Spark 2017 (Mar. 11 - 12, 2017)
Let's talk about Watergate - what actually happened (people broke into DNC headquarters), what people think happened (Rose Mary Woods erased some tapes?), and what probably didn't happen (aliens did everything?). Bring questions and conspiracy theories!


Cryptography: Making and breaking secret codes in Spark 2017 (Mar. 11 - 12, 2017)
Ever wondered how secret codes are made, or wanted to write a secret note to your friends? In this class, we'll look at some ways of making codes, practice sending secret messages, and then talk about breaking them.


How Do Computers Add? in Spark 2017 (Mar. 11 - 12, 2017)
How do computers add? What happens behind the scenes when you ask your computer to find $$1+2$$? This may seem simple for you, but it is NOT for your computer. We'll discuss an amazing invention called a transistor which made modern computers possible, and then see how transistors are used in computers to add.


Let's talk about Watergate in Splash 2016 (Nov. 19 - 20, 2016)
Let's talk about Watergate - what actually happened (people broke into DNC headquarters), what people think happened (Rose Mary Woods erased some tapes?), and what probably didn't happen (aliens did everything?). Bring questions and conspiracy theories!


Introduction to Quantum Mechanics in Splash 2016 (Nov. 19 - 20, 2016)
Ever heard quantum mechanics talked about in vague or mystical terms but never understood it rigorously? We’ll give a (mathematical) introduction to quantum mechanics, use it to explore some basic problems, and then depending on what the class is interested in discuss other topics in QM (the uncertainty principle, states of the hydrogen atom, etc).


How do operating systems work? in Splash 2016 (Nov. 19 - 20, 2016)
Why do we need operating systems? What do they do? How do they do it? We'll discuss some of these ideas, and then look at some actual code.


To The Moon! in Splash 2016 (Nov. 19 - 20, 2016)
Ever wondered how the Apollo missions got to the moon? Does "weaving 2 cubic feat of memory" strike fear into your heart? How about "Program Error 1202"? We'll discuss some of the hardware and software (and how the two interacted) of the Apollo Guidance Computer, and then play with a simulation!


How Do Computers Add? in Splash 2016 (Nov. 19 - 20, 2016)
How do computers add? What happens behind the scenes when your program runs the line "int z = x + y;"? This may seem simple for you, but it's NOT for your computer. We'll discuss the nitty-gritty of how hardware adders work, starting with transistors and working our way up through logic gates to the complex hardware algorithms modern computers use.


Cryptography: Making and breaking secret codes in Spark 2016 (Mar. 12 - 13, 2016)
Ever wondered how secret codes are made, or wanted to write a secret note to your friends? In this class, we'll look at some ways of making codes, practice sending secret messages, and then talk about breaking them.


Let's talk about Watergate in Spark 2016 (Mar. 12 - 13, 2016)
Let's talk about Watergate - what actually happened (people broke into DNC headquarters), what people think happened (Rose Mary Woods erased some tapes?), and what probably didn't happen (aliens did everything?). Bring questions and conspiracy theories!


Introduction to Quantum Mechanics in Splash 2015 (Nov. 21 - 22, 2015)
Ever heard quantum mechanics talked about in vague or mystical terms but never understood it rigorously? We’ll give a (mathematical) introduction to quantum mechanics, use it to explore some basic problems, and then depending on what the class is interested in discuss other topics in QM (the uncertainty principle, states of the hydrogen atom, etc).


How do operating systems work? in Splash 2015 (Nov. 21 - 22, 2015)
Why do we need operating systems? What do they do? How do they do it? We'll discuss some of these ideas, and then look at some actual code.


Let's talk about Watergate in Splash 2015 (Nov. 21 - 22, 2015)
Let's talk about Watergate - what actually happened (people broke into DNC headquarters), what people think happened (Rose Mary Woods erased some tapes?), and what probably didn't happen (aliens did everything?). Bring questions and conspiracy theories!


How to Avoid Solving Equations in Splash 2015 (Nov. 21 - 22, 2015)
Solving equations is hard and annoying (and sometimes impossible). Turns out you often don't have to! We'll learn some numerical methods that let us do only a little bit of work to get really good estimates for really hard problems.


Special Relativity in Spark 2015 (Mar. 14 - 15, 2015)
Ever heard of the equation $$E=mc^2$$? It's part of an idea called "special relativity", developed by Albert Einstein, that tells us something very fundamental about how time works. In this class we'll go through a few of Einstein's ideas, look at how he discovered special relativity, and then do a little of the math behind it.


How Do Computers Add? in Spark 2015 (Mar. 14 - 15, 2015)
How do computers add? What happens behind the scenes when you ask your computer to find $$1+2$$? This may seem simple for you, but it is NOT for your computer. We'll discuss an amazing invention called a transistor which made modern computers possible, and then see how transistors are used in computers to add.


Cryptography: Making and breaking secret codes in Spark 2015 (Mar. 14 - 15, 2015)
Ever wondered how secret codes are made, or wanted to write a secret note to your friends? In this class, we'll look at some ways of making codes, practice sending secret messages, and then talk about breaking them.


Introduction to Quantum Mechanics in Splash 2014 (Nov. 22 - 23, 2014)
Ever heard quantum mechanics talked about in vague or mystical terms but never understood it rigorously? We’ll give a (mathematical) introduction to quantum mechanics, use it to explore some basic problems, and then depending on what the class is interested in discuss other topics in QM (the uncertainty principle, states of the hydrogen atom, etc).


Special Relativity in Splash 2014 (Nov. 22 - 23, 2014)
Everyone’s heard of special relativity, but do you actually know what it means or where it comes from? From a few simple thought experiments we’ll rigorously derive the Lorentz transformation, and then (still rigorously) use it to get $$E=mc^2$$ and the rest of special relativity. If we have time, we'll look at its implications and paradoxes.


How Do Computers Add? in Splash 2014 (Nov. 22 - 23, 2014)
How do computers add? What happens behind the scenes when your program runs the line "int z = x + y;"? This may seem simple for you, but it's NOT for your computer. We'll discuss the nitty-gritty of how hardware adders work, starting with transistors and working our way up to the complicated hardware and algorithms modern processors use.


Special Relativity in Spark 2014 (Mar. 15 - 16, 2014)
Ever heard of the equation $$E=mc^2$$? It's part of an idea called "special relativity", developed by Albert Einstein, that tells us something very fundamental about how time works. In this class we'll go through a few of Einstein's ideas, look at how he discovered special relativity, and then do a little of the math behind it.


Cryptography: Making and breaking secret codes in Spark 2014 (Mar. 15 - 16, 2014)
Ever wondered how secret codes are made, or wanted to write a secret note to your friends? In this class we'll look at some ways of making codes, practice sending secret messages, and then talk about breaking them.


Introduction to Quantum Mechanics in Splash! 2013 (Nov. 23 - 24, 2013)
Ever heard quantum mechanics talked about in vague or mystical terms but never understood it rigorously? We’ll give a (mathematical) introduction to quantum mechanics, use it to explore some basic problems, and then depending on what the class is interested in discuss other topics in QM (the uncertainty principle, states of the hydrogen atom, etc).


Special Relativity in Splash! 2013 (Nov. 23 - 24, 2013)
Everyone’s heard of special relativity, but do you actually know what it means or where it comes from? From a few simple thought experiments we’ll rigorously derive the Lorentz transformation, and then (still rigorously) use it to get $$E=mc^2$$ and the rest of special relativity. If we have time, we'll look at its implications and paradoxes.


Cryptography: Who are Alice, Bob, and Eve, anyway? in Splash! 2013 (Nov. 23 - 24, 2013)
Cryptography (the study of codes) is REALLY cool: it blends together math, logic, and problem solving (code breaking is fun!). We’ll discuss, use, and break simple historical ciphers like Caesar, Vigenere, and Playfair. We’ll take an in-depth look at the Enigma, and then the math and technology that broke it. Finally, we’ll examine modern computer encryption such as RSA and elliptic curve cryptography.