ESP Biography



LAUREN MCGOUGH, MIT 2012, Mathmatics




Major: 18

College/Employer: MIT

Year of Graduation: 2012

Picture of Lauren McGough

Brief Biographical Sketch:

Lauren has been involved with ESP since summer 2005 - four years and counting! First as a student, and now primarily as a teacher, Lauren likes teaching math classes, music classes, and classes that involve lots of TEA!



Past Classes

  (Look at the class archive for more.)


Biophysics in Splash! 2011 (Nov. 19 - 20, 2011)
Physics provides beautiful insights into biology. I'll talk about examples where a systems approach changes our understanding of biology, and where experimentally determined facts like scaling laws can help us uncover a basic physical model for mechanisms underlying biological phenomena. I'll work from the molecular scale to the organism scale to the population scale, showing that physics-based methods and mathematical models can deepen our understanding of biology and evolution.


Classic Examples in Physics in Splash! 2011 (Nov. 19 - 20, 2011)
I'll go through both the thought experiments and real experiments that motivate various areas of physics, and use classic examples to give insight into what the foundational equations of the theories actually say. The motivations and explanations will not be highly mathematical, but I will do computations to demonstrate the power of the theories.


Modern Music in Splash! 2011 (Nov. 19 - 20, 2011)
Modern classical music - it is mind-blowing, and will stretch your definition of music. Used to Beethoven, Chopin, or even Shostakovich? Well, it turns out composers have been doing lots of radical things in the last 50 years - come find out about them.


Physics 'n' Coffee in Splash! 2011 (Nov. 19 - 20, 2011)
If mathematicians turn tea into theorems, do physicists turn coffee into awesomeness? We think so - come find out how while enjoying physics, coffee, and associated snacks.


Tea 'n' Math in Splash! 2011 (Nov. 19 - 20, 2011)
Tea is warm; cookies are sweet; math is beautiful. Come enjoy all three.


The Infinitely Many Gnomes Game in Splash! 2009 (Nov. 21 - 22, 2009)
You have infinitely many gnomes, and you give each one a hat.... can all but finitely many guess their hat color correctly? Do the gnomes have a winning strategy? We'll discuss different types of infinity in order to build up to a very crazy game with gnomes in more detail, and go over some very counterintuitive results!


This Ain't Yo' Gramma's Geometry! in Splash! 2009 (Nov. 21 - 22, 2009)
Did you know that every "nice" map from a ball to itself maps at least one point to itself? Can you imagine proving facts about polynomials using projection of a sphere onto a plane? Yo' gramma sure didn't know any of this stuff! In this class, we'll talk about how mathematicians study sufficiently "nice" surfaces and use them to derive beautiful results in a wide range of fields with little more than calculus.


(Really Really) Early Music in Splash! 2009 (Nov. 21 - 22, 2009)
Did you know there was lots of (Western classical) music written way before Bach? Did you know it's Awesome? We'll explore the development of Western classical music, starting with Gregorian chant, working our way to Baroque operas, and, if there's time, we'll talk about the "early music" mindset and hear some exciting and unusual performances of well-known classical pieces, recorded on period instruments and played the way we think people might have played them when they were written.


Permutations in Splash! 2009 (Nov. 21 - 22, 2009)
How many ways can you order a set of 3 things? of 4 things? of $n$ things? What if I put you and some friends in a line, and asked you to get into order by height, but put some restrictions on how you can switch positions? When will it be possible for you to get into the right order? How many moves will it take? We'll discuss the rich mathematics of permutations, play some games involving them, and derive some results about which permutations are obtainable from other permutations using certain kinds of "moves"!


The Pigeonhole Principle in Splash! 2009 (Nov. 21 - 22, 2009)
If you put 3 things in two boxes, at least two of them are in the same box. This simple principle has a vast array of surprising results in math! We'll be talking about lots of problems that use the Pigeonhole principle in surprising and interesting ways.


TEATEATEATEATEA in Splash! 2008 (Nov. 22 - 23, 2008)
Come learn about the awesomeness of Tea! It helps me survive and it can help you too! Try new kinds of tea, tea with milk, tea with boba, tea with scones, tea with sandwiches, tea with cake, tea with dim sum, tea with math... the possibilities are endless!


Creative Cake Decorating in Splash! 2008 (Nov. 22 - 23, 2008)
Do you like decorating cakes? Have you ever thought about the different possibilities while decorating a cake? Come explore different possibilities and have some fun while making cake designs that are beautiful, tasty, crazy, or even weird!


ULTIMATE Wikiracing in Splash! 2008 (Nov. 22 - 23, 2008)
Are you a master at getting lost in a whirl of links while you are on Wikipedia? Want to show off your skill in getting from random page A to random page B as fast as you can using only links on Wikipedia? Have you ever heard of Wikiracing? Come learn to wikirace, then show off your skills in the ultimate Splash Wikirace Showdown! Small prizes will be awarded to winners.


Modern Music: The Ridiculous, The Awesome, The Minimalist in Splash! 2008 (Nov. 22 - 23, 2008)
Sick of the dominance of Beethoven and Mozart? Interested in hearing what's happened in classical music since Rachmaninoff and Chopin? Yeah, we all love the classics, but come hear about the crazy things that have happened in classical music during the 20th century. Starting with Shostakovich, Bartok, Stravinsky, and moving quickly to the likes of John Cage, Ligeti, and Steve Reich, come hear the awesome things composers have done since 1900!


Early Music (especially for people who don't think they like early music) in Splash! 2008 (Nov. 22 - 23, 2008)
Does Baroque music just not get you excited the way Romantic music does? Would you agree with the statement, "If it's not Baroque don't fix it"? If yes, you should take this class! Starting with Medieval music and working our way up chronologically, focusing on Renaissance and Baroque, with a little bit of Classical thrown in, come discover how complex and modern music from five hundred years ago can sound! Explore the difference historically informed performances can make as we listen to recordings played on authentic instruments in settings similar to those which the composer might have intended. It makes a HUGE difference - I used to strongly prefer Romantic and Modern music, and now I'm an early music convert. Just think, you could be too! And if you don't know what I mean by Baroque and Classical, but you're interested in learning more about classical music, you will definitely gain a lot from this class. We will be exploring the different time periods and going into depth about the differences between them. This class assumes NO knowledge about classical music - only an open mind and an open ear!


Tea and Cool Mathematical Thought Questions in Splash! 2008 (Nov. 22 - 23, 2008)
Come relax, drink some tea and enjoy a mathematical journey as we explore different mathematical questions from different fields of math. Learn about the infinite, the mathematically beautiful, strange, bizarre, and just plain mind-blowing, as we explore interesting questions in mathematics and solve cool problems with the hope of gaining insight into some awesome topics.


Calculus: It's all Just One Theorem! in Splash! 2008 (Nov. 22 - 23, 2008)
Zomg, did you know all of calculus comes from the Mean Value Theorem? In high school I thought the fundamental theorem of calculus was cool, but it turns out that the mean value theorem is the true calculus G (i.e., in the gangster respect)! Come as we discuss analysis and realize that all of calculus comes from ONE theorem! It's Craziness!


Want to be a Groupie? in Splash! 2008 (Nov. 22 - 23, 2008)
Come learn basic group theory, and learn about the coolness that is abstract algebra! Don't know what I'm talking about? You'll find out! The goal of this class will be to build up basic group theory through Lagrange's Theorem and the First Isomorphism Theorem. If you already know what these are, this class will probably be too easy for you. Otherwise, come learn about the fun that is group theory!


Cake Lecture Series I in JUNCTION (2009)
I will bring in several interestingly-decorated cakes and teach you how I made them. Then, you will eat them. Yes, ...


Cake Lecture Series II in JUNCTION (2009)
A second section of Cake Lecture Series I - I'll bring in cakes again, teach you how I made/decorated them, ...


Differential Forms III: Yes, Differential Forms are Edible, and also Delicious in JUNCTION (2009)
Calculus without coordinates? In this third and final class of the differential forms sequence, we'll look at some beautiful applications ...


Differential Forms II: What is a differential form, and is it safe to eat? in JUNCTION (2009)
Calculus without coordinates? That's right! In the second of a three-part series, we learn about what a differential form is, ...


Differential Forms I: Manifolds and More in JUNCTION (2009)
Calculus without coordinates, you say? That's right - differential forms are a beautiful formalization of calculus that allow you to ...


Math and Tea 0: To Infinity, and Beyond! in JUNCTION (2009)
Did you know there are different sizes of infinity? What is infinity, anyway? A number? An idea? A lie?? (No, ...


Math and Tea I: "Algebra II and Precalculus" in JUNCTION (2009)
Does it ever frustrate you that so many math classes have "algebra II" and "precalculus" as prerequisites? Are you interesting ...


Music and Tea I: Early Music in JUNCTION (2009)
The first in a series of small, discussion-based seminars that involve tea and music. Enjoy a hot "cuppa" and related ...


Music and Tea III: Modern Music in JUNCTION (2009)
The third and last of a series of small, discussion-based seminars involving tea and music. Enjoy a hot "cuppa" while ...


Music and Tea II: Romantic Music in JUNCTION (2009)
The second in a series of small, discussion-based seminars involving tea and music. Enjoy a hot "cuppa" while having an ...


Tea and Math III: Mean Value Theorem in JUNCTION (2009)
That's right, the mean value theorem allows us to prove all of the important theorems of calculus. (Didn't know the ...


Tea and Math II: Pigeonhole Principle Problems in JUNCTION (2009)
We'll discuss some interesting problems and surprising results related to the Pigeonhole Principle, a simple mathematical statement, over tea and ...


Tea and Math IV: S_n and S^n are two different objects in JUNCTION (2009)
You sit, drink tea, eat snacks, and ask questions. I talk about math topics related to my research projects this ...


AP Calculus AB in DELVE (2008)
AP calculus in preparation for AB exam. How can you find the area under a curve? How do you find ...