ESP Biography

ZACHARY ABEL, ESP Teacher

Major: Mathematics

College/Employer: MIT

Not Available.

Past Classes

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

W11035: Paper Staple Madness in Splash 2016 (Nov. 19 - 20, 2016)
Put your stapling skills to good use while designing and constructing fun, wavy, bouncy, intricate polyhedral structures!

W9859: Paper Staple Madness in Splash 2015 (Nov. 21 - 22, 2015)
Put your "cut here" and "staple there" skills to good use while constructing fun, wavy, bouncy, intricate polyhedral structures! Patterns will be provided.

W8988: Paper Staple Madness in Splash 2014 (Nov. 22 - 23, 2014)
Put your "cut here" and "staple there" skills to good use while constructing fun, wavy, bouncy, intricate polyhedral structures! Patterns will be provided.

W7724: Mathematical Card Castles in Splash! 2013 (Nov. 23 - 24, 2013)
We will make card castles like you've never seen them before. In this large-scale collaborative sculpture, we will assemble almost 36 full decks of cards, some metal fasteners, and a bunch of unique mathematical insight into two large, intricate, and mystifying creations. Come be part of this massive undertaking!

M6595: Lagrange's Four Squares Theorem in Splash! 2012 (Nov. 17 - 18, 2012)
Lagrange's astounding four squares theorem states, quite simply, that every positive integer can be written as a sum of at most four squares. For example, 2012 = 44^2 + 6^2 + 6^2 + 2^2. This lecture will provide a complete, self-contained proof of this difficult theorem that relies on surprising connections to other parts of number theory, lattice theory, algebra, and more. Foundational knowledge of algebra, geometry, and modular arithmetic will be assumed.

M6013: Mathematical Symmetry, Geometric Sculpture, and Office Supplies in HSSP Summer 2012 (Jul. 08, 2012)
Come transform ordinary items into extraordinary geometric sculptures. In this hands-on course we will construct complicated balls with binder clips; room-filling beasts with rubber bands; crazy spheres with slotted cards; and much more. Assembling these geometric creations requires scrutiny of their beautiful mathematical underpinnings, thus allowing us to dive deeply into such geometric topics as polyhedra, symmetry, fractals, and more. Each week introduces a new mathematical topic with a new sculptural medium, so come prepared to learn, think, and build!

W5460: Gigantic Rubber Band Web in Splash! 2011 (Nov. 19 - 20, 2011)
Learn how to make huge, sprawling, stretchy, geometric webs out of household rubber bands. In this collaborative project, we will build a mathematically-inspired geometric sculpture that stretches, quite literally, from wall to wall, floor to ceiling. No artistic or mathematical abilities are required.

W4254: Gigantic Rubber Band Web in Splash! 2010 (Nov. 20 - 21, 2010)
Learn how to make huge, sprawling, stretchy, geometric webs out of household rubber bands. In this collaborative project, we will build a mathematically-inspired geometric sculpture that stretches, quite literally, from wall to wall, floor to ceiling. No artistic or mathematical abilities are required. (To learn more about the underlying mathematics of the construction, consider coming to the related Math lecture titled "Rubber Band Sculptures: a Knot Theory Perspective.")

M4255: Rubber Band Sculptures: a Knot Theory Perspective in Splash! 2010 (Nov. 20 - 21, 2010)
After introducing a cool method for building geometric sculptures out of household rubber bands, we study the knot-theoretic limitations of the medium. Specifically, consider the task of building a graph out of rubber bands, where each edge corresponds to a single rubber band, and each node nontrivially connects all incoming edges (locally). Which graphs can be built? No previous knot theory experience is required, but you must enjoy looking at lots of pretty diagrams. (To use this method in practice to built a huge rubber band sculpture, consider attending the Walk-in Seminar "Gigantic Rubber Band Web".)