ESP Biography

NICHOLAS CUCCIA, Harvard Graduate Student Studying Physics

Major: Applied Physics

College/Employer: Harvard University

Year of Graduation: G

Picture of Nicholas Cuccia

Brief Biographical Sketch:

I come from Cold Spring Harbor, NY, where is ocean is cool and the trees colorful. I went to college at Emory University in Atlanta, GA, studying physics and computer science. From there I found myself making the choice to go to graduate school, finding myself studying physics at Harvard University. Feel free to ask me questions about life, the universe, or anything, but don't be surprised if my answer is simply '42'.

Past Classes

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

S14231: Intro to Soft Matter and Fluids in Splash 2020 (Nov. 14 - 15, 2020)
This class will be a short introduction to the physics of soft matter and fluids. Learn about everything from bubbles to colloids to turbulence!

S13635: Chaos Theory: Physics of the Complex System in Splash 2019 (Nov. 23 - 24, 2019)
Have you ever wondered where the term 'butterfly effect' comes from? Are you ever curious about the underlying cause of fractal patterns in nature? Do you yearn to see the utter breakdown of modern physics' ability to make simple basic predictions? If any of these apply to you, then you are in luck! In this class, we will answer all of these questions, and more, through the study of chaotic systems and chaos theory. Chaos theory is built on the modern discovery that certain simple deterministic systems can behave unpredictably and chaotically. It may seem like a contradiction to say that a deterministic system can be unpredictable, but that is the beauty of chaos theory. Across many different areas - oscillating mechanical systems, chemical reactions, fluid flow, lasers, population growth, the spread of diseases, cryptography, mosh pits, and many more - physicists and mathematicians have developed entirely new frameworks in order to understand their complex chaotic behavior. We will delve into why chaotic behavior occurs and look at a variety of real-life examples which exemplify chaos. Any student can expect that this class is going to be chaotic in all the right ways.