Splash Spring 2015
Course Catalog


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Arts Engineering
Humanities Math & Computer Science
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History


Arts

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A270: The Theory of K-Dot Full!
Difficulty: **

There is something tremendously powerful about Kendrick Lamar’s music that reverberates within the walls of an institutionalize oppressive complex as much as it does within the collective consciousness.

Kendrick Lamar’s art becomes a prism through which we are able to diffract the distinct wavelengths of the individual experience that have been elevated onto a public platform.

Whether it be his deeply personal anecdotes, his unapologetic resistance, his masterful technique, Kendrick's art is an unprecedentedly, ingeniously crafted exploration of the intersections of chaos, race, poetry, religion, jazz, insanity, harmony. Kendrick Lamar encapsulates a revolution; a revolution that has distilled and disseminated far beyond the borders of his own being.

This discussion will aim to explore the responsibilities that lie at the hands of a poet whose verses, although they delineate a painful reality, leave us yearning for resolution.


Prerequisites
An open mind, a working knowledge of hip-hop and rap within context. Please bring a short analysis of a Kendrick Lamar song of your choosing. All students must have listened to the majority of Kendrick Lamar's discography (Section.80, good kid, m.A.A.d city, To Pimp a Butterfly) which is available for streaming online or on Spotify.


Engineering

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E253: Anatomy of an Oil Refinery
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Joshua Velson

Oil refineries are big, complex, and essential to modern life. This class will make an earnest attempt to go through an oil refinery unit by unit, from crude oil to finished products like gasoline, jet fuel and diesel fuel. We will work from both a chemistry-based and historical perspective to explore how oil refinery components were created to solve specific challenges, from fueling World War II fighter planes to cutting smog.


Prerequisites
Some chemistry background is desirable but not strictly necessary.


Humanities

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H231: Listening to and Understanding Classical Music: An Introduction
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Thomas Nielsen

In this course, we will briefly and broadly overview Western classical music from Bach to the 20th century. Famous examples of each genre will be played, and we will think about questions important to considering music critically, such as: why do people write music? Why are some pieces timeless? What place does classical music have in the 21st century?


Prerequisites
None, just an interest in learning more about classical music!

H232: Feminism: Then and Now
Difficulty: **

Did you know that when your mother was your age, women in the United States were not allowed to hold credit cards, without asking their father or husband for permission?

You may have heard about Sheryl Sandberg’s recent book, Lean In, or about the controversy surrounding it. What is feminism? And more importantly, does it still have a meaning for us today, in 21st Century America? What impact will feminism have on you, your career, your life? And more importantly, how can we make a change?

Female and male students both encouraged to attend!!!!

H259: The Creative College (or Personal) Essay Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Rachel Mikofsky

In an application process that may seem cold and robotic, the essays are where your personality can shine through. However, a dull essay will not show off who you are. Learn to highlight your skills and passions to wow a reader. This ability is also very important for personal essays.
**Please bring your work or ideas to edit!**


Prerequisites
**Please bring your previous work or ideas to edit!**

H261: On the Potential Physical Foundations of Morality Full!
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Zachary Richards

Throughout most of history, it has been the case that discussions of morality have been restricted to the domains of philosophy and religion, but with advents in neuroscience, game theory, and evolutionary biology primaily, we are beginning to develop scientific answers to questions of right and wrong. This presents the necessity of a moral framework for understanding these developments. This class will look at the data impinging on moral thinking and examine potential ideas to incorporate this data into moral theory.

H271: Tibetan Spirituality and the Fundamental Structure of the Universe Full!
Difficulty: **

What is order? What is chaos? What is harmony? What is unity?

If the human spirit and the universe are made of the same material, does that not mean that they can be explained using the same physical rules, applied to systems made of the same matter?

What is the extent of our spiritual and physical ability to understand the underlying order of the universe? Physical rules aside, how do we find harmony within the intangible?

This class will explore the cross sectionalism of the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual theory and that of the cosmological model of the universe. We will trace the parallelisms between the two and come to conclusions about how two distinct approaches can lead to the same conclusion.


"It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness.” ― Leo Tolstoy, The Kreutzer Sonata


Prerequisites
An open mind!

H250: The Two Lenses: Adhering to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights While Maintaining Cultural Values
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Julien Rosenbloom

The “Two Lenses” lecture examines the relationship between the cultural aspect and ethical aspect to human rights law and the general notion of human rights, which make up the two lenses by which human rights violations and measures of adherence to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 are evaluated. It considers a wide range of case studies in such countries as Malawi, Sudan, Liberia, and the like; in such revolutions as South Sudan’s (and its ensuing civil war), Haiti’s, Latin America’s, the Arab Spring, and the United States’; and in such practices as genital mutilation (especially in females), early and arranged marriages, chiefdom, and religious rites; and challenges the students to think critically about the lens with which these are typically associated and evaluate these associations. Transitory instances of human rights violations and adherences will also be discussed. An overlying theme that will be frequently synthesized into case studies and concept discussions is the role of westernization and the westernization of human rights as a whole. Within this framework, students will leave with a broadened understanding of human rights and current events and be able to utilize the case studies and concepts as catalysts for discussion and debate in the future.


Prerequisites
A background in world history may prove helpful in contributing to and engaging in discussion and debate, though it is certainly not required.

H245: A Classical Perspective on Medicine
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jessen Thomas

Ever wonder what the Greeks and Romans thought of the human body? Have you ever wondered the challenges that scholars face in studying these schools of thought? If so, join this class for a perspective on Ancient medicine from the Western Hemisphere and see how it relates to modern medicine.


Prerequisites
English


Math & Computer Science

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M227: Mathematical Methods for Sciences
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Silas Grossberndt

A quick overview of advanced mathematics techniques that are useful in solving advanced physical problems. This course will cover techniques to simplify classes of problems.


Prerequisites
Some familiarity with Calculus, and complex numbers.

M229: The mysteries of PI
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Adrien Brochard

Come and learn all about PI. How to approximate it, from the simplest methods to the most elaborate ones. And what are its applications? (aka. radians) And there will be pie (maybe).


Prerequisites
a bit of calculus cannot do harm, some geometry skills neither.

M237: The Riemann Hypothesis
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Theo Coyne

"If you can state a problem in mathematics that's unsolved and over 100 years old, it is probably a problem in number theory" (Erdős). We will describe the Riemann zeta function in enough detail to give a precise statement of the Riemann Hypothesis- a conjecture about the zeroes of this function that has confounded mathematicians since it was posed in 1859. Although the Riemann Hypothesis, strictly speaking, is not in the realm of number theory, it is interesting mainly because of the implications it has to the distribution of the prime numbers. These connections to number theory will be discussed, time-permitting.


Prerequisites
A proficiency with single-variable calculus (at roughly the level of AP BC) and a working knowledge of complex numbers will be assumed. Anything further can only help.

M243: The Calculus Of Variations - Minimization / Maximization Principles in Physics
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Noah Miller

What do optics, classical mechanics, relativistic mechanics, and quantum mechanics all have to do with each other? They can all be expressed elegantly using the Calculus of Variations! What is that, you ask? Well, what's the shape of a rope hanging from 2 endpoints? It's the curve that minimizes the gravitational potential energy, but how do you calculate that shape? This course will discuss the mathematics necessary to solve questions like that, and explain the minimization principles that unite seemingly disparate branches of physics. This isn't your grandpa's calculus!


Prerequisites
Introductory High School Physics (Newtonian Mechanics) A working knowledge of differential and Integral Calculus

M244: Theory and Implementation of Ciphers
Difficulty: **

Number theory -- the study of integers and their properties -- was long thought to be a subject with little real-world relevance. Hardy, in his essay, A Mathematician's apology, is thankful that his work in number theory cannot be used for malicious purposes- since it cannot be used at all! Some years later the situation is different, as number theory is now integral in cryptography, the theory of encrypting and decrypting messages so that the intended recipients, and only the intended recipients, can read them.

Security of computer systems in one of the biggest issues in the modern era. Learn how one of the oldest problems in mathematics, factoring integers, can be used to create encryption schemes powerful enough to protect sensitive information in a digitalized world.



We will use both proof and implementation to demonstrate the goals and techniques of cryptography and a commonly used cipher.


Prerequisites
high school algebra, programming experience (optional)

M258: Introduction to Inequalities
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Tony Jin

Learn about common inequalities used in advanced mathematics, such as AM-GM (arithmetic mean-geometric mean), Cauchy-Schwarz, and Jensen. You will learn not only how to use them but why they work, both intuitively and rigorously.


Prerequisites
Students should be capable of following a mathematical proof. Calculus will be mentioned but is not essential for understanding most of the content. Paper will be provided, but please bring your own pencil/pen.

M268: Introduction to Computer Architecture
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Jeffrey Tao

This class will give a cursory overview of how a computer functions from a theoretical perspective, including (but not limited to) topics such as:
- Logic Gates & Boolean Logic
- High level overview of CPU and Memory functionality

M269: Below the Code: Computer Operating Systems
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jennifer Lam

Always wondered what's the big deal over Windows vs. Mac OS X? Or why some people are die-hard Linux fans? Here's an introductory class for all your questions! This class covers the basics of the role an operating system plays on a machine and how a basic computer program interacts with it.


Prerequisites
No strict ones. Some interest in programming is helpful (and if you're not interested yet, you will be after this class).


Science

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S226: Fundamental Particles: From Atoms to the Higgs boson
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Silas Grossberndt

This course is designed to take a look at "Fundamental Particles" and our view of what is fundamental throughout history. I will start with a brief overview of the atom and get to modern theories: the Standard Model and beyond. Topics to be covered: History of Fundamental Particles, The Standard Model, The Higgs boson and experimental verification, and what may lie in the future


Prerequisites
A basic familiarity with physics and Atoms. Some knowledge of trig would be useful but not necessary. The math will be done in a "hand wavy" fashion.

S230: Cognitive Illusions
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Katherine Broekman

Can you trust what you see? How reliable is your intuition? Does being "smart" mean that you can see through these illusions? The shortcuts we use to quickly interpret the world we perceive can betray us, and the extent to which perception is fallible. Come ready to participate, discuss, and have fun!

S236: Special Relativity
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Patrick Rutkowski

This course will dive into the mathematics of Einstein's theory of special relativity. We will see how space and time mix and distort. We will prove that the nature of space-time disallows faster-than-light travel. If we have time, we will also explore the connection between mass and energy.

Come prepared to grab some chalk and work out the mathematics for yourself on the board (with guidance). As many students will be standing as we have board space to accomodate. You should have a high proficiency in algebra, an understanding of the pythagorean theorem, and an enjoyment of mathematics. You should also have a basic understanding of physics, on the level of $$\rm velocity = distance / time$$. No calculus will be required.

We wil be looking at Einstein's theory in its detailed mathematical form, not in colloquial plain English.


Prerequisites
Algebra The Pythagorean Theorem Basic Physics (relating to velocity and distance) Math check: If you can expand $(a+b+c)^4$ or $1/(1 - a^2) - 1$, you will probably be able to follow the session's mathematics.

S240: The World of the Cell
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Zhaoqi Li

In this course, we will start off with a very rapid overview of the structure and functions of the main organelles in the eukaryotic cell. Then, we will branch off and focus specifically on two topics of the class's choosing, paying special attention to the research that led to the discoveries associated with these processes. The topics are as follows:
1. Cancer and the Cell Cycle
2. Metabolism
3. Apoptosis: Programmed Cell Death
4. Developmental and Stem Cell Biology
5. Genetics and model organisms
6. Viruses and Vaccines

This class is meant to be a discussion between the lecturer and the class. Please ask lots of questions!! Estimated class time: 1 hour 45 mins.


Prerequisites
A familiarity with the cell and basic genetics is preferred.

S246: The Mitochondrion
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Stephanie Siegmund

Did you know that you have thousands of mitochondria inside every cell type in your body? (There is one exception - do you know it?) Did you know that the mitochondrion is mose closely related to an intracellular parasite that causes endemic typhus? Did you konw that you make and consume your body weightin ATP every day?

Come learn more about the mitochondrion, a truely incredible organelle!


Prerequisites
Biology

S251: Computational Modeling in Science
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Grace Lindsay

From meteorology to neuroscience to biochemistry, mathematical models and computer simulations are used to aide understanding of complex systems. We'll go over what a computational and/or mathematical model is, the many ways they're used in a variety of fields, and how scientists build them.

S252: The Chemistry of Gunpowder Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Joshua Velson

Pyromania is an underappreciated part of a modern chemistry education.

The historical chemistry of gunpowder, from black powder to modern smokeless gunpowder, is a fascinating look at some of the principles behind how chemists solve challenging problems. Also explosions.

Please note that we will not actually be blowing anything up.


Prerequisites
If you do not know some chemistry you will probably be confused.

S254: Mysteries and Mechanics of "Magic-Size" Nanomaterials
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Michele Myong

This is an introduction to nanocrystal chemistry, current and seminal research in the field, and the applications of these amazing nanomaterials. Come to learn how chemists can fine tune the world!


Prerequisites
General chemistry (high school freshman chemistry).

S255: Learning is Life
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jeremy Sherman

This is a neuroscience based course which will explain learning as a biological phenomenon. There will be technical parts for those with more advanced backgrounds in biology, such as sensitization, habituation and long-term potentiation, which serve as simple examples of how learning works on a cellular level. But there will also be points accessible to people with no background at all. These will include optical illusions, and descriptions of studies including the HM case of a man without memory. Each concept will be explained in increasing levels of detail, so anyone with an interest in learning, neuroscience and the mind is welcome to join regardless of their background.

S260: Blow Your Mind! Modern Neuro Crash-Course Full!
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Rachel Mikofsky

This course will review some of the basics of neuroscience. Then we'll cover some of the more modern findings and techniques in neuroscience. Including: addiction, learning, movement, optogenetics, mouse genetic engineering and fluorescent proteins.


Prerequisites
Basic (non-AP) biology, including genetics and neuroscience is desired.

S262: This Is Your Brain on Drugs
Difficulty: **

Ever wondered how drugs affect your brain and drive specific behaviors?
Come learn about the messengers of the mind and how they control your emotions. We will be focusing on examples of how drugs hijack your "happy molecules" (serotonin and dopamine) to influence your mood and behavior.


Prerequisites
1 year of high school biology,

S264: Think global, Act local: An interactive discussion on global health
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Samik Upadhaya

The CEO of a pharmaceutical company? The president of a University? A student activist? What will you be to help solve the global health crises? Have you ever wondered about epidemic diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria or Ebola? Ever wondered how a global health crisis gets handled in the real world? Come and learn how you can help solve global health problems in this fun and interactive class.


Prerequisites
Willing to learn and participate! (:

S266: Cardiac Physiology and Pathophysiology Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Gary Peng

The heart can beat more than two billion times in a lifetime. In order for us to stay alive, Its constant function is necessary.

In this course we address the following questions:
1) How does the heart work?

2) What are tools that can evaluate cardiac function, such as EKG and echocardiogram?

3) What causes "heart attacks"?

4) What are some other diseases of the heart, such as arrhythmias and heart failure?

S267: Introduction to Quantum Mechanics
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Waseem Khan

"I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics." - Richard Feynman

You might have heard of Particle-Wave Duality or the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, but where do these notions come from and why are they necessary? This class will give a semi-rigorous mathematical introduction to quantum mechanics, and use our formulation to look at basic problems. This class will move fast, and although you may not be able to truly understand quantum mechanics, you will be able to see how it is applied.

Based on interest and remaining time, we can discuss more advanced topics (paradoxes (Schrodinger's cat, EPR), complex potentials, applications, etc.)


Prerequisites
Some calculus (know what a derivative and an integral are), basic probability, complex numbers, algebra.

S272: The Evolution of the Universe Full!
Difficulty: ****

This class will give you a solid foundation of the core physical concepts of cosmology, also know as the science of the evolution of the universe, and major recent development in the field.

We will trace the development of the universe using 'time' as our basis unit and expanding all the way to present day.

Topics covered:

Fundamental Observations
Newton vs Einstein
Nucleosynthesis
Inflation and the Very Early Universe
Formation of Structure


Prerequisites
I will not lose students in the complex math but an intuitive understanding of how different relationships depends on each other is vital. This course will use mathematical modeling to explain cosmological parameters and develop an intuitive understanding of the history of the universe.


Miscellaneous

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X225: Introduction to Photography
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Tony Jin

Come find out what makes a great photo! You'll learn about topics like composition, exposure, lighting, etc. Don't know what those are? Great! We'll teach you all that. You'll come out of the class with a better understanding of how a camera works so you can use that knowledge to your advantage and show off your awesome photography to your friends!

After a brief lecture, we will go on a campus tour, taking pictures as we go. At the end we can compare photos on a computer and even edit them if we have time.

Our plan is to spend 2 hours in class and 1 hour taking pictures. If it rains, we will go over some extra material instead of going outside.


Prerequisites
A camera is required for this course, preferably a camera with manual controls such as a DSLR. You do not need previous experience in photography.

X235: How to ace the ACT
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Kayla Neville

What is this ACT anyway, and why is it cooler than the SAT? How can I stay awake for three hours? What should I write about in my essay? What is in the science section? Find out the answer to these questions and more!

X238: It's a Cospiracy! From Aliens to the XYZ Affair
Difficulty: *

“Did you hear that?”
“No, what?”
“That sound, like an authority figure trying to tell me what to do.”
“Are you okay?”
“How can I be okay when the world is conspiring against me!?”
Have you ever felt like you were being lied to or cheated by the government? Have you been called crazy by your friends for sharing with them your entirely valid concerns? Do you not believe in any conspiracy theories but find them interesting/thought-provoking/hilarious? Then this is the class for you! We will go over a bunch of mainstream (and far off the mainstream) conspiracy theories! We will also bring food, because, as we all know, handing out free food is the best way to make people listen to you (just add a circus and it will be like Ancient Rome). So come learn what the people screaming on the streets are all about! Or maybe we’ll just drain your souls and use your bodies as puppets to serve our own nefarious purposes, you really can’t be sure.

X242: Entrepreneurship: What does it take to start your own company? Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Courtland Thomas

What does it mean to "start your own company?" Is it the same as the lemonade stand you and your friends had when you were little? Actually... yes!

Starting your own company is a route many passionate, driven people take to meet personal and professional goals. Learn what exactly "starting your own company" means, and what it takes to succeed in doing so.


Prerequisites
None!

X247: Science and Politics
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Stephanie Siegmund

In science class, we learn the scientific method as a process designed to uncover truth, and to investigate the world around us in an unbiased and empirical way. Still, science is conducted by people, and scientists have historically had a complicated relationship with religion and politics. Come learn about some of the ways in which science and politics have clashed or worked together in the United States! We will discuss issues including smoking and lung cancer, leaded gasoline, and climate change.

X248: The Economics of Energy in America
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Stephanie Siegmund

Learn about how energy is generated in America, where we stand compared with other countries in the world, and what steps we have taken (if any) to respond to the growing threat of Climate Change.

X249: Entrepreneurship, Consulting and Innovation: Building Your Next Venture Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Tony Hung

Facebook has a $200B valuation. Twitter's IPO in 2013 led to a $24B valuation if the company.

But what do these numbers mean? And how do we reach an understanding of these numbers, to help YOU build your idea, and turn it into a profitable venture?

This class will go through all the phases of entrepreneurship, from idea inception to reality, with an emphasis on the consulting mindset of evaluation. We will teach you how to evaluate existing companies as well as your own ideas using a consulting framework, and determine a business plan to bring that idea to market.

X256: Vampires vs Zombies
Difficulty: *

Has your friend developed a taste for brains? Does your sister sleep hanging from the rafters? Do the neighbors sometimes dig in their backyard late at night? You might be dealing with a supernatural being. Come to Vampires vs. Zombies to learn how to deal with your batty professor or the rotting, undead football team. This class will tell you all you need to know about vampalicious and zombirific folklore as well as modern adaptations!

X263: The Secret Language in Plain Sight
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Andelyn Russell

Does your lab partner have a defensive attitude, or is he/she just feeling cold? Did a salesman just lie to you? Come learn body language essentials: how to read others, change social dynamics, and the evolutionary and cultural roots of our unconscious behaviors.

X265: Introduction to Competitive Impromptu Speaking
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Shrey Chandra

To improvise a speech of several minutes with only seconds to prepare is one of the most impressive things you could do. Few people realize however that it is a skill that can be trained, and I know exactly how. We will go over the basic format of competitive impromptu speaking, and then learn the relevant skills which will surely help you wherever you go. Nothings beats knowing what to say at any time.


History

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Y228: The 20th Century
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Armando León

This course will examine the history of the 20th century in the West, placing it in context with key global events such as imperialism, the two World Wars, decolonization, the Cold War and the modern War on Terror. Emphasis will be placed on the important social, political and economic changes that take place throughout the world during the 20th century. In addition we will review some key assumptions to how we talk about history today: Were there really two World Wars? What is the East and what is the West? What is globalism, and does it really exist? Is the Cold War really over?

Y233: The Fall of the Roman Republic
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Thomas Flynn

This course will follow the last century of the Roman Republic. It will tell the epic story of one of the most defining periods in human history that ushered in the Roman Empire. The course will start with the Gracchi brothers and end with Augustus' ascendancy to Rome's first Emperor.