ESP Biography



YALE ZUSSMAN, Long-time teacher in ESP programs




Major: Political Science, Management,

College/Employer: MIT

Year of Graduation: 1974

Picture of Yale Zussman

Brief Biographical Sketch:

Dr. Zussman earned five degrees from MIT including SBs in Earth & Planetary Sciences and in Political Science, SMs in Management and Political Science, and a PhD in Political Science, where he taught Arms Control.

He has taught math, physics, US and world history, and civics in various public and private middle and high schools.

His most unusual job was International Affairs Specialist for NASA where he was responsible for coordinating joint US-Soviet programs in deep-space exploration.

He developed CRISIS, a program on international affairs for high school students.

Other classes offered include "Science Discovers G-d" and "The Origins of Writing" for SPARK.



Past Classes

  (Look at the class archive for more.)


Evolution of Writing in Spark 2019 (Mar. 16 - 17, 2019)
We will begin with the earliest plain tokens and continue through the evolution of full-blown cuneiform. Students will take their "notes" using a clay tablet and stylus. The final step will be to write their names in Old Assyrian cuneiform. The tablets will be fired, giving them a half-life of a million years.


Evolution of Writing in Spark 2018 (Mar. 17 - 18, 2018)
Students will take their "notes" about the process that led to writing using a clay tablet. We will begin with the earliest "simple tokens" and proceed to the origins of cuneiform. The final piece of the class will give students an opportunity to write their names in Old Assyrian cuneiform. The tablets will then be fired giving them an expected half-life of a million years.


Origins of Writing in Spark 2017 (Mar. 11 - 12, 2017)
We will follow the evolution of writing from the earliest plain tokens through to the development of cuneiform. Students will take notes on a clay tablet and will conclude by writing their names in cuneiform. Tablets will be fired and have an expected half-life of about a million years.


Science Requires G-d in Splash 2016 (Nov. 19 - 20, 2016)
Application of the processes of Science to Science itself leads to the conclusion that an entity with all the necessary properties of G-d must exist -- or Science itself will rest on shaky grounds. Come find out why.


The Meaning of Election 2016 in Splash 2016 (Nov. 19 - 20, 2016)
Although this description was submitted before the polls opened, by SPLASH the voting will presumably be over and it will be time to try to figure out what happened, why, and perhaps what can be done to ensure it doesn't happen again.


Origins of Writing in Spark 2016 (Mar. 12 - 13, 2016)
We will follow the evolution of writing from the earliest plain tokens through to the development of cuneiform. Students will take notes on a clay tablet and will conclude by writing their names in cuneiform. Tablets will be fired and have an expected half-life of about a million years.


The Iran "Deal" in Splash 2015 (Nov. 21 - 22, 2015)
There has been a great deal written and spoken about Pres. Obama's "deal" with Iran over its nuclear program. Much less of this has been useful than one would hope for an issue this important. Several critical factors have been excluded almost entirely. This class will address questions such as: Why did Pres. Obama initiate the talks with Iran in the first place? What if Iran already has, or has access to, nuclear weapons? How does the "deal" evolve over time? And finally what political consequences might there be for how the "deal" came to be and how it works out.


"The Origins of Writing" in Spark 2015 (Mar. 14 - 15, 2015)
We will follow the evolution of writing from the earliest plain tokens through to the development of cuneiform. Students will take notes on a clay tablet and will conclude by writing their names in cuneiform. Tablets will be fired and have an expected half-life of about a million years.


Science Discovers God in Splash 2014 (Nov. 22 - 23, 2014)
By identifying certain themes that connect the various sciences, it is possible to derive a scientific requirement for an entity having all the essential properties of God. Along the way, we will discuss the role of pure chance in physics and chemistry, what distinguishes life from non-life, why animals are different from other living things, what distinguishes humans from other animals, and the role of civilization. Although it will not be highly technical, this course is not for the intellectually faint of heart.


The Evolution of Writing in Spark 2014 (Mar. 15 - 16, 2014)
Come learn how writing came to be while taking your notes on a clay tablet. The program culminates with your being invited to write your name on the tablet in cuneiform. Tablets will be fired and returned to you, good for some tens of thousands of years.


Science Discovers G-d in Splash! 2013 (Nov. 23 - 24, 2013)
Recognition of the relationship between physics, biology, sociology, and culture lead to a proof of the existence of G-d that follows all the rules of Science. Come find out what this relationship is and how it leads to a requirement for an entity with all the essential properties of G-d.


Science Discovers God in Splash! 2012 (Nov. 17 - 18, 2012)
A proper understanding of the scientific enterprise requires the existence of an entity with all the essential properties of God. Come find out why this is the case and what it means for the debate between science and religion. You will come away with a very different understanding of both science and religion. Although this class is not highly technical, it would be useful for students to be generally familiar with the central ideas in physics, chemistry, and biology.


Origins of Writing in ESPrinkler Summer 2011 (Jul. 10 - Aug. 21, 2011)
Which came first, reading or writing? Find out how reading and writing came to be, taking your notes in an historically-appropriate manner: in clay using the markings of the era. At the end of the session, you will write your name in cuneiform. The tablet will be fired, and returned to you before the end of ESPrinkler.


EMP: The Iranian Threat to America in Splash! 2009 (Nov. 21 - 22, 2009)
During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union built up vast arsenals of nuclear weapons in pursuit of a strategy called "Mutual Assured Destruction." (MAD) The idea behind MAD was that if each country expected to be destroyed by the other in the event of war, neither would initiate an attack. Since we are still here, the strategy "worked." In the last few years, a new strategy has emerged that would enable a state with only a small number of nuclear weapons to destroy a much larger enemy. That strategy is called an electro-magnetic pulse attack, or EMP for short. In this program, we will discuss the effects of nuclear weapons, how an EMP attack would destroy an enemy, and finally both how the United States could protect itself as a nation and how you could prepare for the eventuality of such an attack.


Science Discovers God in Splash! 2009 (Nov. 21 - 22, 2009)
By identifying certain themes that connect the various sciences, it is possible to derive a scientific requirement for an entity having all the essential properties of God. Along the way, we will discuss the role of pure chance in physics and chemistry, what distinguishes life from non-life, why animals are different from other living things, what distinguishes humans from other animals, and the role of civilization. Although it will not be highly technical, this course is not for the intellectually faint of heart.


Science Discovers God in Splash! 2008 (Nov. 22 - 23, 2008)
By identifying certain themes that connect the various sciences, it is possible to derive a scientific requirement for an entity having all the essential properties of God. Along the way, we will discuss the role of pure chance in physics and chemistry, what distinguishes life from non-life, why animals are different from other living things, what distinguishes humans from other animals, and the role of civilization. Recommended for participants in How Leaders Function. Although it will not be highly technical, this course is not for the intellectually faint of heart.


How Leaders Function in Splash! 2008 (Nov. 22 - 23, 2008)
Most leadership training programs leave out the key question, namely how leaders actually affect their groups. This course will fill this gap. We will cover the three processes that take place in every group: resource recruitment, combination of those resources, and distribution of the results; resource categories; modes of leader influence on member motivation; and leader motivational profiles. Suggested for students who would like to be more effective leaders.


Failed States in SPLASH (2007)
Many of the most serious problems in international affiars today arise from failed states. What is meant by the term ...


Introduction to Diplomacy in SPLASH (2007)
Ever wonder what diplomats actually do? Here's your opportunity to find out. We will discuss the purpose of diplomatic activity, ...


Introduction to International Law in SPLASH (2007)
International Law (IL) is both similar to and very different from the law we encounter in our nation, state, and ...


Let's Bring CRISIS Back! in SPLASH (2007)
CRISIS is a program in international affairs for high school students that ran within SPLASH until 2004. It includes a ...


Science Discovers God in SPLASH (2007)
By identifying certain themes that connect the various sciences, it is possible to derive a scientific requirement for an entity ...


How Leaders Function in SPLASH (2006)
Most leadership training programs leave out the key question, namely how leaders actually affect their groups. This course will fill ...


Science Discovers God in SPLASH (2006)
By identifying certain themes that connect the various sciences, it is possible to derive a scientific requirement for an entity ...


How Leaders Function in SPLASH (2005)
Most leadership training programs leave out the key question, namely how leaders actually affect their groups. This course will fill ...


Science Discovers God in SPLASH (2005)
By identifying certain themes that connect the various sciences, it is possible to derive a scientific requirement for an entity ...


CRISIS, 2005 in SPLASH (2004)
A political-military-economic simulation of world affairs, now in its 16th year. Participants will role-play real-world people trying to solve (or ...


CRISIS Preliminary Meeting in SPLASH (2004)
First meeting of all participants in CRISIS, 2005, which is scheduled for 2-6 PM on Sunday, November 21. The Meeting ...


How Leaders Function in SPLASH (2004)
Most leadership training programs leave out the key question, namely how leaders actually affect their groups. This course will fill ...


Science Discovers God in SPLASH (2004)
By identifying certain themes that connect the various sciences, it is possible to derive a scientific requirement for an entity ...


How Leaders Function in SPLASH (2003)
Most leadership training programs leave out the key questions, namely how leaders actually affect their groups. This session will fill ...


Science Discovers God in SPLASH (2003)
Prerequisites: Some familiarity with current thinking about the origin of the universe, the origin of life, and the development of ...


How Leaders Function in SPLASH (2002)
Most leadership training programs leave out the key questions, namely, how leaders actually function. This course will fill in the ...


Science Discovers God in SPLASH (2002)
Prerequisite: Some familiarity with current thinking about the origin of the universe, the origin of life, and the development of ...


How Leaders Function in SPLASH (2001)
Most leadership training programs leave out the key questions, namely, how leaders actually function. This course will fill in the ...


Science Discovers God in SPLASH (2001)
By identifying certain themes that connect the various sciences, it is possible to derive naturally the requirement for an entity ...


How Leaders Function in SPLASH (2000)
Most leadership training programs leave out the key questions, namely, how leaders actually function. This course will fill in the ...


Science Discovers God in SPLASH (2000)
By identifying certain themes that connect the various sciences, it is possible to derive naturally the requirement for an entity ...


Science Discovers God in SPLASH (1999)
By identifying certain themes that connect the various sciences, it is possible to derive naturally the requirement for an entity ...