ESP Biography

LEO YAO, ESP Teacher

Major: 8+18C

College/Employer: MIT

Year of Graduation: 2025

Picture of Leo Yao

Brief Biographical Sketch:

Not Available.

Past Classes

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

S16014: Traveling at the Speed of Light in Spark 2024 (Mar. 16 - 17, 2024)
Ever wondered what’s inside a black hole? Or what happens when you try to travel at the speed of light? In this class, we’ll give a brief tour of the postulates of relativity, and some surprising results that follow. Make yourself shorter or make time run slower? Turn red flags green or the other way around? While we won’t get to go faster than the speed of light or travel to the past, we will get to learn about clocks, rulers, light and gravity, and maybe even what’s really at the center of a black hole.

S15868: Stars, Sundials, and Shadows in Splash 2023 (Nov. 18 - 19, 2023)
Did you know that twice a year, the shadow of a sundial will trace out a straight line? Get ready to learn about how the Sun actually moves in the sky (it's a bit more than just going 'round each day'), how to define coordinates for the stars above us, and what seasonal changes mean for observers (us!) on the ground. We'll go through the conceptual basics of geometry on a sphere, how the night sky changes over the course of a year, and whether the Sun really does rise in the east and set in the west. And while we're at it, we'll put the Earth at the center of the Universe, explain the Infinite Corridor's twice-yearly perfect alignments, and might even pick out a surprising conic section! (no previous knowledge of heliocentrism required)

S15598: Take Flight! in Spark 2023 (Mar. 18 - 19, 2023)
Want to know what happens from wheels up to wheels down? In this class, I'll be discussing the basic physics of airplanes, while also running a simulated flight between New York and Boston (with lots of time for questions while we're on autopilot). As we go, we'll also learn about various other tidbits of piloting along the way (airbrakes? spoilers? speed limits?). If time permits, we'll make the flight again in a fighter jet!

S15382: How to Get to the Moon in Splash 2022 (Nov. 19 - 20, 2022)
The moon sits in the sky every night, but do you know how to get there? Starting from the launchpad, we'll discuss getting up into space, orbital maneuvers, and how not to run out of fuel. Aided by visualizations (and explosions) from Kerbal Space Program, we'll launch, make orbit, navigate around, and even attempt a moon landing!