ESP Biography


Major: 22

College/Employer: MIT

Year of Graduation: G

Picture of Sterling Harper

Brief Biographical Sketch:

Not Available.

Past Classes

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

E13400: Chernobyl: Fact and Fiction in Splash 2019 (Nov. 23 - 24, 2019)
The 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident was one of the largest and most expensive disasters in human history. The accident was a combination of human, political, and technical failures - resulting in the permanent evacuation of over 1000 square miles of land around the reactors and radioactive contamination of thousands of people. The HBO mini series Chernobyl recently portrayed the story of the disaster but did you ever wonder how accurate the TV series is? We'll talk about the real science and engineering behind the Chernobyl nuclear accident, how the accident happened at Chernobyl, and talk about what the HBO mini series may have gotten right or wrong! We'll also discuss why an accident like Chernobyl couldn't happen in the United States and the Chernobyl site is like today - over 30 years after the accident.

Z13638: From Galen to Gawande: The History of Medical Science in Splash 2019 (Nov. 23 - 24, 2019)
Is the practice of medicine a science? It certainly looks like science with its precision instruments, technical journals, Latin words, and years of required post-secondary education. But for millennia, medical practices were established using expert judgment instead of the scientific method. As a result, physicians of the past employed a dubious array of treatments and inflicted unnecessary suffering on their patients. Thankfully, the last century or so has seen a wholehearted embrace of science by medical practitioners. The pace of change was so rapid, that today’s hospitals are significantly safer even than the ones our parents were born in. Come learn about the history of medicine and its surprisingly slow but powerful adoption of science. You’ll learn about some tragedies such as the near discovery of the cure for scurvy and some astounding success stories such as a 20x decrease in anesthesia-related deaths seen in the 1980s.

E13683: FUNdamentals of Cave Rescue in Splash 2019 (Nov. 23 - 24, 2019)
When a group of people get stuck in a cave, how do you get them out? We'll discuss basic principles of cave safety, cave rescue, learn some useful knots and hauling systems and try them out in various scenarios. This course won't make you qualified to rescue someone in a cave.

Z12555: Reasons for Optimism: Modern Social Statistics in Splash 2018 (Nov. 17 - 18, 2018)
It is easy to be pessimistic about the state of the world. Every time we turn on the news, we are confronted with some new story about violence, poverty, or disease. It is easy to think that the good days are behind us, and the world is descending into chaos. But the statistics tell a different story. In the last 20 years, we have halved the fraction of the world population living in extreme poverty. Illiteracy is declining, vaccination is growing, and fewer children are dying. The recent years have been among the least violent in human history. Take this class and equip yourself with hard empirical data to combat the pessimism and quantify the ongoing miracle of the improving human quality-of-life.