ESP Biography



KENNETH WANG, Harvard Graduate Student in Physics




Major: Physics

College/Employer: Harvard University

Year of Graduation: G

Picture of Kenneth Wang

Brief Biographical Sketch:

I grew up in New York City, and attended Stuyvesant High School. I am now a third year graduate student in physics at Harvard. I was a chemistry and physics major in College. I have a passion for teaching, and love helping students discover their passions and learn new things about this amazing world we live in. I have taught at Splash in 2014, 2015, and 2016, 2017, HSSP in 2018 and AP Chemistry in Delve.



Past Classes

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

S13340: Ultracold Atoms and Molecules in Splash 2019 (Nov. 23 - 24, 2019)
Want to be cool? Take this class! Get it? Okay, sorry, excuse the pun. In this class, we explore the physics of ultracold atoms and molecules. In the ultracold regime, quantum mechanical effects become important, and thus they can be used to simulate real quantum systems and potentially used in an implementation of a quantum computer. We will explore how we can take advantage of quantum mechanics to make very cold (ultracold!) atoms and molecules under a micro Kelvin above absolute zero! We then discuss how we can trap and utilize these atoms and molecules. Join us in an adventure to the ultracold world, a cutting edge frontier of modern research!


S13344: Solid State Physics in Splash 2019 (Nov. 23 - 24, 2019)
In this class, we will explore the theory of one of the most ubiquitous states of matter that we interact with, the solid phase. We will explore why some materials conduct heat and electricity, why others don't, and why others sorta do (semiconductors). To do this, we will use some simple quantum mechanics (which is necessary!) and sketch out a quantum theory for the solids. Along the way, we will also explore the vast and deep consequences of symmetry. If you want to learn more about how materials work, this is a solid choice for you.


S13349: Statistical Thermodynamics and the Physics of Life in Splash 2019 (Nov. 23 - 24, 2019)
Ever wondered what entropy actually was? How about temperature? In this class, we explore the microscopic origins of these very important concepts that are ubiquitous in everyday life and across the sciences. We will see that these concepts naturally arise when studying large systems in a statistical way (i.e. statistical mechanics) and thus that they are rigorously defined in a microscopic way. We will then apply these concepts to study complex biological systems, such as proteins. For proteins to function, they must acquire specific structures in the crowded, chaotic cellular environment. Using statistical mechanics, we can understand what causes proteins to become structured, or "fold" correctly, and under what conditions folding is disrupted, potentially leading to diseases such as Alzheimer's and cancer.


S13351: Conceptual Quantum Mechanics in Splash 2019 (Nov. 23 - 24, 2019)
Want to sound cool to your friends? Just tell them you took a quantum mechanics course :) This course seeks to explain quantum mechanics in a completely conceptual way, avoiding any calculus. You will learn the key concepts of quantum mechanics, and emphasis will be placed on its impact on our physical intuition and the quantum mechanical world! We will also discuss some of the many interpretations, which have led to philosophical debate, of the wacky results from quantum mechanics.


M12122: A Tour of Cool Mathematics in HSSP Spring 2018 (Feb. 24, 2018)
The goal of this course is to show students that math can be cool and useful! The focus will be on breadth and application as opposed to formalism and depth. We will cover three areas of mathematics typically reserved for the later years of high school or the early college years: Calculus, Linear Algebra and Probability/Statistics from the bottom up. It is impossible to cover the entirety of these subjects in six weeks, but we will cover some of the highlights and main ideas of these fields and where they can be used. Come along for a ride through a bunch of cool mathematics!


S11581: Conceptual Quantum Mechanics in Splash 2017 (Nov. 18 - 19, 2017)
Want to sound cool to your friends? Just tell them you took a quantum mechanics course :) This course seeks to explain quantum mechanics in a completely conceptual way, avoiding any calculus. You will learn the key concepts of quantum mechanics, and emphasis will be placed on its impact on our physical intuition and the quantum mechanical world! We will also discuss some of the many interpretations, which have led to philosophical debate, of the wacky results from quantum mechanics.


S11582: Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry in Splash 2017 (Nov. 18 - 19, 2017)
This course will aim to provide the fundamentals for an understanding of organic chemistry. We will especially explore Molecular Orbital Theory and use it to explore many phenomena in organic chemistry. We will also discuss energy diagrams, and how they're essential to reactivity. Interspersed through all of this will be examples of reactions and cool structural conclusions. Through this course, hopefully organic chemistry will seem more reasoned and less mystical!


M11583: Introduction to Probability in Splash 2017 (Nov. 18 - 19, 2017)
Randomness is all around us! In this course, we explore a framework to deal with randomness, namely probability. We will talk about a rigorous definition of probability, as well as a couple of cool examples of it in action. We'll discuss random variables and how they can be used to characterize real life situations. This class will be good preparation for "Machine Learning: The Big Picture".


C11584: Machine Learning: The Big Picture in Splash 2017 (Nov. 18 - 19, 2017)
A big topic these days is big data, and one way to tackle big data is with machine learning. Machine learning algorithms underlie many modern devices and are responsible for powerful voice recognition, self driving cars, image recognition, and the best Go player/computer in the world. How do computers/machines learn from data sets? How can they use past information in a rigorous way to give off the illusion (or not illusion) of intelligence (artificial intelligence)? We will look to answer these questions through a big picture approach. We will focus on concepts, and not the mathematics. However, probabilistic reasoning is crucial, and it is recommended that you take "Introduction to Probability".


S11585: Introduction to Quantum Computation in Splash 2017 (Nov. 18 - 19, 2017)
Quantum computers have the potential to revolutionize computing forever. Quantum algorithms already exist that are faster than classical algorithms, and sometimes exponentially faster. This poses risk in the field of cryptography which relies on the difficulty of factoring a large number. A quantum algorithm already exists to solve this problem fairly efficiently! How do quantum computers work? How do they leverage the power of quantum mechanics to produce these faster algorithms? The answer to these questions is still an area of active research, but we will attempt to scratch the surface. We will talk about the fundamentals of quantum computing and a couple of simple algorithms. We will also talk about quantum cryptography. If time permits, we will also discuss some attempted physical implementations of a quantum computer. We will be able to get to these core concepts without too much physics, but if you'd like to have a better understanding of the physics, consider taking "Conceptual Quantum Mechanics" or any other quantum mechanics course.


M11610: Actually Useful Math: Linear Algebra in Splash 2017 (Nov. 18 - 19, 2017)
In this class, we study the beautiful subject of linear algebra. The focus of the class will not be formalism but rather on applications. We will discuss the technique of row reduction to solve systems of equations efficiently, as well as delve into the abstract world, where linear algebra can help one interpolate polynomials and find fibonacci numbers. Linear algebra is possibly one of the most useful branches of mathematics, so come on this wild ride of cool math!


S10829: Conceptual Quantum Mechanics I in Splash 2016 (Nov. 19 - 20, 2016)
In this course, we'll explore the weird quantum world without any serious mathematics! The goal will be to attempt to understand quantum mechanics in a completely conceptual way without solving any differential equations. Emphasis will be placed on using your classical intuition and use that to understand quantum phenomena. We will discuss why carrots are orange, and how the most accurate microscopes rely on quantum tunneling to work. We will discuss what photons are and how they are related to masses on springs. The continuation of this class is offered as Conceptual Quantum Mechanics II. Join us on a tour of the quantum world with no math!


S10830: Conceptual Quantum Mechanics II in Splash 2016 (Nov. 19 - 20, 2016)
This is a continuation of Conceptual Quantum Mechanics I, and we move to even cooler concepts! However, it will be disjoint enough that even students without the first class should be able to follow. We will talk about electron spin as a general two state system and discuss superposition states. These superposition states will form the basis of a discussion of a quantum entanglement when Einstein was actually wrong! Quantum mechanics appeared to make a statement on philosophy. Then, we will move on to Quantum cryptography and if time, quantum computing and a quantum algorithm. Once again, in the spirit of Conceptual Quantum Mechanics I, we will attempt to do all of this with very little mathematics!


M10838: Introduction to Probability and Statistics in Splash 2016 (Nov. 19 - 20, 2016)
The world is filled with chance, and in this class, we will attempt to rigorously deal with chance. We will tackle famous probability questions, such as the birthday problem, and the Monty Hall problem. We will then discuss random variables and sequences of random variables to reach the foundational result, the Central Limit Theorem! Then, we will use it to derive results in statistics, and understand confidence intervals and other ideas that get thrown around in journalism and the everyday world a lot. Join us and learn about how to understand and interpret data!


S9750: Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry in Splash 2015 (Nov. 21 - 22, 2015)
This course will aim to provide the fundamentals for an understanding of organic chemistry. We will especially explore Molecular Orbital Theory and use it to explore many phenomenons in organic chemistry. We will also discuss energy diagrams, and how they're essential to reactivity. Interspersed through all of this will be plenty of example reactions and situations. This will provide a strong foundation and a causal understanding of organic chemistry for the "All of Organic Chemistry in 3 Hours" class.


S9751: All of Organic Chemistry in 3 hours in Splash 2015 (Nov. 21 - 22, 2015)
Fine, we won't cover ALL of organic chemistry, but we will do a fast survey of a wide breadth of organic chemical reactions. We will explore how functional groups can be converted into other functional groups, and how it all comes together in the chemical synthesis of a molecule. Get ready for an exciting, fast ride through a great deal of organic chemistry!


S9752: Conceptual Quantum Mechanics in Splash 2015 (Nov. 21 - 22, 2015)
Want to sound cool to your friends? Just tell them you took a quantum mechanics course :) This course seeks to explain quantum mechanics in a completely conceptual way, avoiding any calculus. You will learn the key concepts of quantum mechanics, and emphasis will be placed on its impact on our physical intuition and the quantum mechanical world! We will also discuss some of the many interpretations, which have led to philosophical debate, of the wacky results from quantum mechanics.


S8650: Introduction to Special Relativity and Application to Magnetism in Splash 2014 (Nov. 22 - 23, 2014)
Ever wondered what the heck magnetism is? Are electricity and magnetism related beyond Faraday's law of induction? In this class, you will come to see that these two are really manifestations of the same phenomenon! Along the way, we will need to develop some special relativity, so we'll do all the basics of it as well, including time dilation and length contraction.


S8651: Introduction to Lagrangian Mechanics in Splash 2014 (Nov. 22 - 23, 2014)
Can $$ \vec{F} = m\vec{a} $$ be derived? It turns out it can be from Hamilton's Principle of Stationary Action and the Euler-Lagrange Equations, which in a way are a bit more fundamental than $$ \vec{F} = m\vec{a} $$. We will develop Lagrangian Mechanics from Hamilton's principle, and then use it to solve simple mechanical systems. If we have time, we will use these equations to explore the ease at which we can solve coupled oscillators and Atwood machines.


S8652: All of Organic Chemistry in 2 hours in Splash 2014 (Nov. 22 - 23, 2014)
Fine, we won't cover ALL of organic chemistry, but we will do a fast survey of a wide breadth of organic chemical reactions. We will explore how functional groups can be converted into other functional groups, and how it all comes together in the chemical synthesis of a molecule. Get ready for an exciting, fast ride through a great deal of organic chemistry!


S8653: Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry in Splash 2014 (Nov. 22 - 23, 2014)
This course will aim to provide the fundamentals for an understanding of organic chemistry. We will especially explore Molecular Orbital Theory and use it to explore many phenomenons in organic chemistry. We will also discuss energy diagrams, and how they're essential to reactivity. Interspersed through all of this will be plenty of example reactions and situations. This will provide a strong foundation and a causal understanding of organic chemistry for the "All of Organic Chemistry in 2 Hours" class.


S7343: AP Chemistry 1 in Delve Fall/Spring 2013-14 (Sep. 15, 2013)
This course prepares students to take the AP Chemistry exam in the spring.