ESP Biography


Major: Linguistics & Philosophy

College/Employer: MIT

Year of Graduation: G

Picture of Trevor Driscoll

Brief Biographical Sketch:

Linguist and ferret wrangler by day, uninteresting by night. As a linguist, I study how grammar informs the way sounds are structured and work with speakers of indigenous American languages. As a ferret wrangler, I try (unsuccessfully) to keep four furry anarchists from stealing bottles, climbing on tables, and pooping on the floor.

Past Classes

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

S15324: Disability - Neurodiversity - Superpower: A Neuroscientific Examination in Splash 2022 (Nov. 19 - 20, 2022)
In this class, we'll consider a number of neuropsychiatric conditions across contexts of advantages and disadvantages in function. We'll learn what biology we can about these conditions through neuroscience and genetics, and we'll bring that understanding to light when examining behavior and society. Some focuses will include: Models of disability, neurodevelopmental conditions like ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM-defined personality disorders like Borderline Personality Disorder, the relationship of mood and schizophrenia spectrum disorders and creativity, intrinsic circadian rhythm disorders like Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder, and some additional considerations like synesthesia or Congenital Insensitivity to Pain.

S15325: MIT Linguist vs. Tom Scott in Splash 2022 (Nov. 19 - 20, 2022)
YouTuber Tom Scott has a series of videos in which he addresses a variety of linguistic phenomena. He's intelligent and charismatic, but has anyone fact checked this guy? Can the complexities of language be adequately captured in his 5 minute video format? In this class, you'll get to see where Tom Scott gets it right, gets it wrong, doesn't have enough time to discuss the nuance, and learn about the science underlying this beloved video series. ***This class features mild profanity to illustrate linguistic concepts***

S15326: All About Alcohol: Neuroscience, Genetics, and Society in Splash 2022 (Nov. 19 - 20, 2022)
Let's take a deep dive into one of our society's most ubiquitously used and abused psychotropic agents. The scope of this class is going to range from the microscopic to the societal: Among other topics, we'll talk GABA receptors, genes like the hilariously named *cheapdate* in fruit flies, and genes that less hilariously have a lot to do with clinical anxiety presentations. We'll talk about drugs that are used to help treat addiction to other drugs, and we'll examine some statistics and culture in the context of one of few widely legal drugs of abuse.

S15327: Cryptographers Needed: Work for the FBI in Splash 2022 (Nov. 19 - 20, 2022)
If you like language, puzzles, language puzzles, or puzzling languages this class is for you! In this class, we will collaborate to break a real code used in a criminal investigation and along the way, you'll learn about the structure of language needed to decrypt language codes ***This class features mild profanity to illustrate linguistic concepts***

S15328: I'm Not a Morning Person: Chronobiology in Splash 2022 (Nov. 19 - 20, 2022)
Circadian rhythms - everyone has one, right? Turns out that some people have rhythms that make them woefully nocturnal (hi), while some people would be better suited for life on another planet. This class is for anyone who HATES waking up early, anyone who's ever felt like they got run over by a bus after hopping some time zones, or anyone who is interested in why exactly the number "24" isn't just a social construct but is woven into our DNA. We'll definitely be getting into some neuroscience and genetics here, but we're also gonna talk about what it's like to live in a cave and whether that sleeping cure your Grandma tells you "works every time" is real or not.

X15329: Want to Play in a Game Show? in Splash 2022 (Nov. 19 - 20, 2022)
My absolute guilty pleasure is watching game shows of all kind. Chain Reaction got rebooted? I'm on it. I've probably seen every episode of Cutthroat Kitchen twice. And don't even get me started when the Big Brother live feeds turn on. But I'm sick of just watching game shows - - which is why I've created my own for you all to play. There'll be teams, there'll be challenges, and there may even be prizes. Whatever your thing is - solving puzzles, thinking outside the box, competitive drive, cooperation (or manipulation... what?)... Game on.