ESP Biography
JAMES KOPPEL, CS grad student at MIT
Major: Computer Science College/Employer: Mirdin, LLC Year of Graduation: 2021 

Brief Biographical Sketch:
Not Available. Past Classes(Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)A15526: Make and Play a Didgeridoo in Spark 2023 (Mar. 18  19, 2023)
awuwuwuwuuuuweeorweeorwadelewadelewu! The didgeridoo is an Australian instrument that adds a tribal flair to any situation. In this class, we'll build our own didgeridoos out of PVC pipe, and then learn to play them. With the didgeridoo, you can create a variety of rhythms, produce animal noises, and make yourself sound like there's two people playing! For people with little to no experience.
M15527: Finite Automata in Spark 2023 (Mar. 18  19, 2023)
Would you like to find patterns in text? Prove your program doesn't have an infinite loop? Monitor a nuclear reactor? Find structure in DNA?
In this class, you'll learn about finite automata. Finite automata, or "state machines" can be thought of as just moving a marker between some states according to some simple rules, but their simplicity hides deep mathematics and allows you to manipulate them in interesting ways. We'll start with the basic definition and take you through the math and into some powerful applications.
M15582: Demockracy in Spark 2023 (Mar. 18  19, 2023)
Having a fair election with two candidates is pretty simple: everyone votes for their favorite candidate and whoever gets the most votes wins. However, as anyone who was around for the US presidential elections in 2000 (or 1992, or 1912, or 1860) will tell you, things get complicated with three or more candidates. It's sometimes the case that you should vote for a candidate you think is likely to win instead of a fringe candidate you agree with more. We can think of different voting systems that try to get around this and other problems, but every voting system seems to be flawed in one way or another.
You might ask: is there a "perfect" voting system out there? The answer: no! Come to this class to find out why.
W15030: Codenames in Spark 2022 (Mar. 12  13, 2022)
Play a board game of guesswork and word association with us! Codenames has two teams compete to guess the other team's secret words based on one word clues.
$$\textbf{This is a walkin activity; you can drop in and out of this class at will.}$$
W15031: GeoGuessr in Spark 2022 (Mar. 12  13, 2022)
Come help guess where we are in the world based on one picture!
$$\textbf{This is a walkin activity; you can drop in and out of this class at will.}$$
W15032: Wordle (and clones) in Spark 2022 (Mar. 12  13, 2022)
Come play Wordle and similar games and get really good at guessing esoteric words.
$$\textbf{This is a walkin activity; you can drop in and out of this class at will.}$$
Z14694: Supercharging Your Learning in Splash 2021 (Nov. 20  21, 2021)
Want to spend less time studying while remembering more? In this class, we’ll learn about the science of learning and memory, and share some concrete things you can do to remember things you learn forever, get facts popping into your mind the moment you need them most, and make yourself understand something better than your teacher. We’ll also introduce you to real websites and apps you can use to put all this into practice as soon as class is over. Soon you’ll be able to ace classes just using the time you already spend walking or on the toilet.
H14169: Making deep friendships  Circling in Splash 2020 (Nov. 14  15, 2020)
Most of your Splash classes will be about objects and things. Some of your conversations will involve personal history, where you grew up, what you like and dislike. This class will be a third kind of conversation, about what our present experience is, as we're having it.
Access to this level of conversation has a way of facilitating deep connections where you can feel deeply seen and welcomed. Circling is a practice about getting others' worlds, sharing what it's really like to be you, and having that be seen and reflected. Come experience the magic.
A13798: Make and Play a Didgeridoo in Spark 2020 (Mar. 14  15, 2020)
awuwuwuwuuuuweeorweeorwadelewadelewu! The didgeridoo is an Australian instrument that adds a tribal flair to any situation. In this class, we'll build our own didgeridoos out of PVC pipe, and then learn to play them. With the didgeridoo, you can create a variety of rhythms, produce animal noises, and make yourself sound like there's two people playing! For people with little to no experience.
M13920: Finite Automata in Spark 2020 (Mar. 14  15, 2020)
Would you like to find patterns in text? Prove your program doesn't have an infinite loop? Monitor a nuclear reactor? Find structure in DNA?
In this class, you'll learn about finite automata. Finite automata, or "state machines" can be thought of as just moving a marker between some states according to some simple rules, but their simplicity hides deep mathematics and allows you to manipulate them in interesting ways. We'll start with the basic definition and take you through the math and into some powerful applications.
X13195: Being an Immovable Object in Splash 2019 (Nov. 23  24, 2019)
If you twist your shoulder in the right way, you can lift twice as much. Tense your abs in the right way, and you can punch three times as hard. Whether you like martial arts or yoga, dancing or football, or even if you just want to seem more confident when presenting, you can do more with less effort when you put your body in a position of stability. So come to this class and get better at everything!
X13196: Being a Proud Tribesman in Splash 2019 (Nov. 23  24, 2019)
Give an American soldier a heavy pack, and moving becomes harder. Give it to an African villager, and moving becomes easier. Turns out they're just better at walking than us. And standing and sitting. Come learn why everything you know about posture is wrong.
Superpowers to be had from this class include the ability to see things directly behind you and being able to sleep on a wooden log. Some increase in height may be expected. Warning: Upon completion of this class, your life may feel like an endless massage. You may also experience a sudden urge to replace all your furniture.
M13360: Term Rewriting and Gröbner Bases in Splash 2019 (Nov. 23  24, 2019)
Solving systems of linear equations is easy. How about systems of polynomial equations?
We're not really going to teach you that. Instead, we're going to teach you about Gröbner bases, a crazy way of representing spaces of polynomials, which also gives the ability to solve polynomial equations.
Actually, we're not going to really teach you that either. Instead, we're going to go into a separate branch of mathematics called Term Rewriting and teach you about KnuthBendix Completion, a "metaalgorithm" which can take definitions of equality and give you an algorithm for telling whether two things are equal. We'll present Gröbner Bases as a special case of KnuthBendix Completion. We might even have time to solve a polynomial equation or two!
M12892: Finite Automata in Spark 2019 (Mar. 16  17, 2019)
Would you like to find patterns in text? Prove your program doesn't have an infinite loop? Monitor a nuclear reactor? Find structure in DNA?
In this class, you'll learn about finite automata. Finite automata, or "state machines" can be thought of as just moving a marker between some states according to some simple rules, but their simplicity hides deep mathematics and allows you to manipulate them in interesting ways. We'll start with the basic definition and take you through the math and into some powerful applications.
A12893: Make and Play a Didgeridoo in Spark 2019 (Mar. 16  17, 2019)
awuwuwuwuuuuweeorweeorwadelewadelewu! The didgeridoo is an Australian instrument that adds a tribal flair to any situation. In this class, we'll build our own didgeridoos out of PVC pipe, and then learn to play them. With the didgeridoo, you can create a variety of rhythms, produce animal noises, and make yourself sound like there's two people playing! For people with little to no experience.
H12685: Neurodivergence in Splash 2018 (Nov. 17  18, 2018)
Neurological spectrum conditions, such as autism, Aspergers, etc. are growing more prevalent and wellrepresented in our society today. Come learn what these conditions are and what it is like to live with them, strengths and challenges facing the community, and how people on and off the spectrum can contribute to a neurodiverse world.
X12686: Being a Proud Tribesman in Splash 2018 (Nov. 17  18, 2018)
Give an American soldier a heavy pack, and moving becomes harder. Give it to an African villager, and moving becomes easier. Turns out they're just better at walking than us. And standing and sitting. Come learn why everything you know about posture is wrong.
Superpowers to be had from this class include the ability to see things directly behind you and being able to sleep on a wooden log. Some increase in height may be expected. Warning: Upon completion of this class, your life may feel like an endless massage. You may also experience a sudden urge to replace all your furniture.
X12687: Being an Immovable Object in Splash 2018 (Nov. 17  18, 2018)
If you twist your shoulder in the right way, you can lift twice as much. Tense your abs in the right way, and you can punch three times as hard. Whether you like martial arts or yoga, dancing or football, or even if you just want to seem more confident when presenting, you can do more with less effort when you put your body in a position of stability. So come to this class and get better at everything!
M12145: Finite Automata in Spark 2018 (Mar. 17  18, 2018)
Would you like to find patterns in text? Prove your program doesn't have an infinite loop? Monitor a nuclear reactor? Find structure in DNA?
In this class, you'll learn about finite automata. Finite automata, or "state machines" can be thought of as just moving a marker between some states according to some simple rules, but their simplicity hides deep mathematics and allows you to manipulate them in interesting ways. We'll start with the basic definition and take you through the math and into some powerful applications.
A12146: Make and Play a Didgeridoo in Spark 2018 (Mar. 17  18, 2018)
awuwuwuwuuuuweeorweeorwadelewadelewu! The didgeridoo is an Australian instrument that adds a tribal flair to any situation. In this class, we'll build our own didgeridoos out of PVC pipe, and then learn to play them. With the didgeridoo, you can create a variety of rhythms, produce animal noises, and make yourself sound like there's two people playing! For people with little to no experience.
X11803: Being an Immovable Object in Splash 2017 (Nov. 18  19, 2017)
If you twist your shoulder in the right way, you can lift twice as much. Tense your abs in the right way, and you can punch three times as hard. Whether you like martial arts or yoga, dancing or football, or even if you just want to seem more confident when presenting, you can do more with less effort when you put your body in a position of stability. So come to this class and get better at everything!
X11804: Being a Proud Tribesman in Splash 2017 (Nov. 18  19, 2017)
Give an American soldier a heavy pack, and moving becomes harder. Give it to an African villager, and moving becomes easier. Turns out they're just better at walking than us. And standing and sitting. Come learn why everything you know about posture is wrong.
Superpowers to be had from this class include the ability to see things directly behind you and being able to sleep on a wooden log. Some increase in height may be expected. Warning: Upon completion of this class, your life may feel like an endless massage. You may also experience a sudden urge to replace all your furniture.
M11805: Gröbner Bases and Term Rewriting in Splash 2017 (Nov. 18  19, 2017)
Solving systems of linear equations is easy. How about systems of polynomial equations?
We're not really going to teach you that. Instead, we're going to teach you about Gröbner bases, a crazy way of representing spaces of polynomials, which also gives the ability to solve polynomial equations.
Actually, we're not going to really teach you that either. Instead, we're going to go into a separate branch of mathematics called Term Rewriting and teach you about KnuthBendix Completion, a "metaalgorithm" which can take definitions of equality and give you an algorithm for telling whether two things are equal. We'll present Gröbner Bases as a special case of KnuthBendix Completion. We might even have time to solve a polynomial equation or two!
M11292: Finite Automata in Spark 2017 (Mar. 11  12, 2017)
Would you like to find patterns in text? Prove your program doesn't have an infinite loop? Monitor a nuclear reactor? Find structure in DNA?
In this class, you'll learn about finite automata. Finite automata, or "state machines" can be thought of as just moving a marker between some states according to some simple rules, but their simplicity hides deep mathematics and allows you to manipulate them in interesting ways. We'll start with the basic definition and take you through the math and into some powerful applications.
M11293: Chaotic Reduction: Play the Math in Spark 2017 (Mar. 11  12, 2017)
Chaotic Reduction is a computer game that turns mathematical problems into puzzles. We will study famous problems such as the Post Correspondence Problem and Conway's Soldiers in computer game form, and then make our own levels!
A11294: Make and Play a Didgeridoo in Spark 2017 (Mar. 11  12, 2017)
awuwuwuwuuuuweeorweeor<roaaaar>wadelewadelewu! The didgeridoo is an Australian instrument that adds a tribal flair to any situation. In this class, we'll build our own didgeridoos out of PVC pipe, and then learn to play them. With the didgeridoo, you can create a variety of rhythms, produce animal noises, and make yourself sound like there's two people playing! For people with little to no experience.
H11349: Circling  Intersubjective Meditation in Spark 2017 (Mar. 11  12, 2017)
Most of your Spark classes will be about objects and things. Some of your conversations will involve personal history, where you grew up, what you like and dislike. This class will be a third kind of conversation, about what our present experience is, as we're having it.
There's a kind of magic to being deeply seen, and to being welcomed as you are. Circling is a practice about getting others' worlds, and sharing what it's really like to be you, and having that be seen and reflected. Come experience the magic
X10729: Being an Immovable Object in Splash 2016 (Nov. 19  20, 2016)
If you twist your shoulder in the right way, you can lift twice as much. Tense your abs in the right way, and you can punch three times as hard. Whether you like martial arts or yoga, dancing or football, or even if you just want to seem more confident when presenting, you can do more with less effort when you put your body in a position of stability. So come to this class and get better at everything!
X10730: Being a Proud Tribesman in Splash 2016 (Nov. 19  20, 2016)
Give an American soldier a heavy pack, and moving becomes harder. Give it to an African villager, and moving becomes easier. Turns out they're just better at walking than us. And standing and sitting. Come learn why everything you know about posture is wrong.
Superpowers to be had from this class include the ability to see things directly behind you and being able to sleep on a wooden log. Some increase in height may be expected. Warning: Upon completion of this class, your life may feel like an endless massage. You may also experience a sudden urge to replace all your furniture.
M10731: Gröbner Bases and Term Rewriting in Splash 2016 (Nov. 19  20, 2016)
Solving systems of linear equations is easy. How about systems of polynomial equations?
We're not really going to teach you that. Instead, we're going to teach you about Gröbner bases, a crazy way of representing spaces of polynomials, which also gives the ability to solve polynomial equations.
Actually, we're not going to really teach you that either. Instead, we're going to go into a separate branch of mathematics called Term Rewriting and teach you about KnuthBendix Completion, a "metaalgorithm" which can take definitions of equality and give you an algorithm for telling whether two things are equal. We'll present Gröbner Bases as a special case of KnuthBendix Completion. We might even have time to solve a polynomial equation or two!
Bring your generalization goggles, 'cause things are about to get abstract.
M10332: Chaotic Reduction: Play the Math in Spark 2016 (Mar. 12  13, 2016)
Chaotic Reduction is a computer game that turns mathematical problems into puzzles. We will study famous problems such as the Post Correspondence Problem and Conway's Soldiers in computer game form, and then make our own levels!
M10333: Finite Automata in Spark 2016 (Mar. 12  13, 2016)
Would you like to find patterns in text? Prove your program doesn't have an infinite loop? Monitor a nuclear reactor? Find structure in DNA?
In this class, you'll learn about finite automata. Finite automata, or "state machines" can be though of as just moving a marker between some states according to some simple rules, but their simplicity hides deep mathematics and allows you to manipulate them in interesting ways. We'll start with the basic definition and take you through the math and into some powerful applications.
X9745: Being an Immovable Object in Splash 2015 (Nov. 21  22, 2015)
If you twist your shoulder in the right way, you can lift twice as much. Tense your abs in the right way, and you can punch three times as hard. Whether you like martial arts or yoga, dancing or football, or even if you just want to seem more confident when presenting, you can do more with less effort when you put your body in a position of stability. So come to this class and get better at everything!
X9747: Being a Proud Tribesman in Splash 2015 (Nov. 21  22, 2015)
Give an American soldier a heavy pack, and moving becomes harder. Give it to an African villager, and moving becomes easier. Turns out they're just better at walking than us. And standing and sitting. Come learn why everything you know about posture is wrong.
Superpowers to be had from this class include the ability to see things directly behind you and being able to sleep on a wooden log. Some increase in height may be expected. Warning: Upon completion of this class, your life may feel like an endless massage. You may also experience a sudden urge to replace all your furniture.
M9748: Causal Inference in Splash 2015 (Nov. 21  22, 2015)
Big data is all the rage these days. Let's talk about some things that even infinite data can't do. First we'll use statistics to prove why you should never go to the doctor. Then we'll show that smoking prevents cancer. Once we've finally kicked the statisticians out of the room, you'll learn the right way to reason about causality. We'll resolve the ageold question of whether war causes poverty or poverty causes war, and show how to predict the results of a randomized controlled experiment without actually doing one.
C9958: Advanced Functional Programming in Splash 2015 (Nov. 21  22, 2015)
Oh sure, you could write a program that runs over all the elements of a list and does something, but that's not interesting. How about something that iterates over any data structure? Or a function that runs backwards? Maybe we'll even make the "printf" function typesafe. Monads and typeclasses will be among the easier things we cover in this class. This class will be taught in Haskell, but the concepts covered are more general.
S9543: Lecture Series  Research in HSSP Summer 2015 (Jul. 12, 2015)
Learn about current developments across math, science, and computing! Every week, a different guest speaker will talk about their current research. Find out some of the cool things that MIT students spend their time working on.
Schedule:
7/12: "Civil Structures," Yasamin Tari
7/19: "Synchronization Inspired by Fireflies", Iva Bojic
7/26: "Skeletal Biology," Sara Elaine Strecker
8/2: "Chemistry," Sneha Shastry and Tej Shastry
8/9: "Solar Energy Conversion," Bikram Bhatia
8/16: "DNA Organization in the Nucleus," Wouter Meuleman
M9544: Lecture Series  Math in HSSP Summer 2015 (Jul. 12, 2015)
Want to learn how to keep secrets from your little sister or a wellfunded intelligence agency? Why 19 is a happy number, but 20 isn't? How to count to infinity, and then some? Then sign up for this whirlwind tour of math! You'll learn about something completely different each week from a series of 6 speakers.
Schedule:
7/12: "Prisoner's Dilemma," Elizabeth Proctor
7/19: "Intro to Group Theory", Andreea Bobu and Lara Booth
7/26: "Intro to Number Theory," Sam Bauman
8/2: "Infinities and InfiniteDimensional Spaces," Yash Kothari
8/9: "Finding patterns in everyday life," Nisha Rajagopal
8/16: "Noncooperative Games," Stirling Newberry
