ESP Biography
SEMON REZCHIKOV, MIT sophomore; studying mathematics and reality
Major: Mathematics College/Employer: MIT Year of Graduation: 2016 

Brief Biographical Sketch:
I used to work in a synthetic biology lab, write computational models, build robots, and spend way too much time browsing weird corners of the internet. Now I spend way too much time reading textbooks, drinking coffee, and taking long walks trying to figure things out. I am currently trying to learn some real math; we'll see how that goes. Future plans are lacking, but I seem to end up in interesting places. Past Classes(Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)M9227: Introductory Topics In Pure Mathematics in HSSP Spring 2015 (Feb. 21, 2015)
In this course, we will introduce several elementary topics in pure math. We will discuss some basic techniques and notions of abstract algebra, topology, analysis and geometry. There will be a focus on broad themes in mathematics and we will discuss some recent math research.
There will be optional reading and exercises handed out at the end of every class.
X8126: Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room or: Introduction to Social Dynamics in Spark 2014 (Mar. 15  16, 2014)
Navigating a crowded party is like traversing a minefield. Engineering is about iteration, but in social engineering, you only have one shot to get it right. Learn how to get the conversations you need, use the conversations you have and hack any situation.
Results not guaranteed. Always add water.
X7326: Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room or: Introduction to Social Dynamics in Splash! 2013 (Nov. 23  24, 2013)
Navigating a crowded party is like traversing a minefield. Engineering is about iteration, but in social engineering, you only have one shot to get it right. Learn how to get the conversations you need, use the conversations you have and hack any situation.
Results not guaranteed. Always add water.
M7789: Winning Ways for Your Mathematical Plays in Splash! 2013 (Nov. 23  24, 2013)
One of the themes running through modern mathematics is that by looking at the formal, algebraic structure in the objects we intuitively perceive, we can find powerful, beautiful, and *very weird* abstractions that solve huge classes of problems.
However, mathematics often lacks a sense of humor. Luckily, combinatorial game theory was developed by a bunch of punsters and jokers. It'll be a wild ride.
We'll start by playing with matchsticks, start thinking about games with uncountably many turns and moves that have a "temperature", and end by constructing the "surreal numbers", which include infinitely small numbers and infinitely large numbers and are fascinating from the standpoint of mathematical logic. In the process, we will learn how to win every impartial game, find out that all games are just heaps of sticks, use words like "nimbers" in complete seriousness, learn a lot about what games *are*, and see what happens when playful mathematicians decide to play some mathematical games.
M7271: Introductory Topics In Pure Mathematics in HSSP Summer 2013 (Jul. 07, 2013)
In this course, we will introduce several elementary topics in pure math. We will discuss the basic techniques and notions of analysis, topology, abstract algebra and geometry. There will be a focus on broad themes in mathematics and we will discuss recent math research.
There will be optional reading and exercises handed out at the end of every class.
M6951: Winning Ways for your Mathematical Plays in Spark! 2013 (Mar. 16, 2013)
Have you ever heard of chess? Yes? How about Go? Yes? How about that silly game called Nim, where where you have a bunch of heaps of matchsticks, and each player takes turns removing some amount of sticks from some pile, until some player cannot make a move? No? Well, this game is called Nim, and it, together with a bit of abstraction and mathematical trickery, we can use it to analyze huge classes of games! (Also, we will use words like "nimbers" in a totally serious manner.) Moreover, in the process, we will construct a set of mathematical objects called "games", a subset of which will be the "surreal numbers", which contain both infinitely large and infinitely small numbers? Come see what happens when the mathematical mind gets applied to silly games :)
I'll have tea and cookies, because it's more fun when things are casual.
This course is based off of a book by John Conway of the same name; if you like the class, you should check it out of the library afterwards!
M6620: Nonrigorous proofs that work in Splash! 2012 (Nov. 17  18, 2012)
Sick of epsilondelta proofs in your calculus class? Come see the world with Euler's eyes and learn how the mathematicians of the 1700s proved powerful theorems using methods that would horrify your teachers! Sum series buy expanding complicated functions as just infinite products of linear functions, and expanding nonconverging operators as Taylor series in derivatives! It'll be fun; tea and cookies will be made and laughs will be had.
