Splash Fall 2019
Course Catalog


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Arts Engineering
Humanities Lunch
Math & Computer Science Science
Walk-in Seminar Miscellaneous
History


Arts

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A872: Crash Course on Screenwriting
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Syeda Anjum

This crash course goes over the essentials of screenwriting, from the necessary components of developing a solid story to nailing the basics of structure. We’ll learn how to adapt our stories to a visual medium and how characters and plot impact one another. All you need is a passion for writing!

A885: Let's OULIPO (an introduction)
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Lizka Vaintrob

Come explore OULIPO (“workshop of potential literature”) and try your hand at constrained writing or generating poems. We’ll spend about half the class exploring cool poems/excerpts, then we can write some of our own—establish our laws and observe them.

Some classic constraints: palindromes, writing without the letter “e,” writing “snowball” poems—example below, etc.
Wacky generative techniques: N+7, Queneau’s 99 “Excercises in Style,” his One Hundred Thousand Billion Poems, etc.

I
am
now
post
haste
(sort of)
posting
new topic
to discuss.

do you enjoy
constraints?
does word play
give headaches?
are you confused?
This is a snowball,
A poetic form which
was created by those
who group themselves
with the name of Oulipo.
Every line contains one
Additional letter. U like?
(by John Newman)


Prerequisites
Read and write in English


Prerequisites
Read and write in English

A821: Creative Writing Workshop
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Michelle Chow

We read a few passages, look at components like style and form, then try some writing exercises. Students interested in both prose and poetry, and those of all experience levels with creative writing, welcome.

A855: Writing Workshop: Creation & Revision
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Michelle Chow

We read a few passages, look at components like style and form, then try some writing exercises. Students interested in both prose and poetry, and those of all experience levels with creative writing, welcome.
As the longer version of the class, we'll go through some revision strategies in the second half, and generally talk about editing as well. If you'd like, you can bring in something you've worked in on your own to discuss.
Students will share their constructive criticism and opinions of each other's work. They should be open to sharing the material they work on in class with others as this class will focus on what goes beyond the first act of writing. (If you do not feel comfortable doing so, but still want to work on your writing, please feel free to take the shorter Creative Writing Workshop!)

A866: Acting Workshop
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Mia Kyler

Have you never taken a theater class in your life? Are you a regular on your high school's theater scene? Do you just want to get out of your head and play for an hour or two? Come exercise your imagination in an acting class for all levels focused on playfullness, creativity, and joy. No experience needed!


Engineering

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E867: Biomedical Engineering 3D Printed Prosthetic Hands Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Hannah Ballard

3D-printable prosthetics are changing the face of medicine. Consumer 3D printing is leading to an even bigger revolution: "DIY" assistive devices that can be printed by virtually anyone, anywhere.
In this class, we will be assembling 3D-printed prosthetic hands while discussing the engineering design process. Almost like a puzzle, you must figure out the correct assemblage of the hand while also examining the mechanical and material choices behind the design.
We will also include a brief introduction to major biomedical engineering topics and their applications.

**Hosted by the Biomedical Engineering Society**

E856: Introduction to the Genealogy of Modern Japanese Architecture
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Mackinley Wang-Xu

The course seeks to provide an introduction to history of which Japanese architecture evolved since the mid-nineteenth century. From the earliest generation of architects like Ito Chuta and Tatsuno Kingo to the contemporary masters like Ando Tadao and Ito Toyo, the course will both seek to both provide breath in terms of architects and works introduced as well as depth in considering the dynamics and condition of which architecture developed in modern Japan.


Humanities

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H874: Game Theory Experiments Full!
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Ruchi Avtar

Come join as we dive into a game theory experiment wherein you have to make decisions, but it isn't as easy as it seems!

After participating in a game or two, we will go through the results and discuss the basic idea behind game theory and experiments, and why you acted the way you did.

H879: Should Capitalism End?
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Henry Williams

With the rise of both Democratic Socialism as championed by figures like Bernie Sanders, as well as the insurgent Populism of leaders like President Donald Trump, this question: "Should Capitalism End?" is the defining political conflict of our time. In 21st Century America, we live in an economic system which distributes resources according to the workings of free exchange through markets. Since the industrial and market revolutions in Europe in the 1800s, Capitalism has been the dominant organizing force of Western societies, and with the end of the Soviet Union in the 1990s, it appears unchallenged. This class will serve as an introduction to the theory of capitalism, and we will discuss the work of many great thinkers and economists: Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Joseph Schumpeter, Hannah Arendt, Michel Foucault, Jean Baudrillard, and Mark Fisher, among others. My goal is not to argue a particular political point of view, but instead to explore the fascinating and long-running debate over how human societies should be structured - and to help you understand how this debate is deeply connected to your own life.


Prerequisites
A general curiosity about human nature, sociology and economics.

H820: Modernism
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Michelle Chow

An examination of the Modernism movement in literature, as well as an example of a seminar-style English class. We'll look at a few key authors and ideas as well as overarching concepts and contexts. It will be helpful to have read even one Modernist work as background knowledge, but not necessary. Discussion will be encouraged!

H881: Artificial Intelligence and The First Amendment
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Coby Simler

This course will focus on how contemporary theories of the First Amendment apply to speech created by artificial intelligence algorithms (bots, digital assistants, etc.). Students will explore how AI/Machine Learning-generated speech might interact with the marketplace of ideas theory, autonomy theory, and utility theory of free speech. The course will be based on a reading of two law review articles and discussion.

H863: Intro to American Sign Language (ASL)
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Daniel Mitropolsky

Sign languages are sophisticated, natural, full-fledged languages that are entirely visual. Though there are many sign languages in the world, American Sign Language (ASL) is the native language to Deaf people and their families in North America. I have a lot of experience teaching ASL. After this class you'll know the basics of ASL, including the manual alphabet, basic sentence structure, and enough vocabulary and patterns to introduce yourself, ask/answer questions, and a base for continuing to learn sign. Learning sign language is EXTREMELY fun. You're not just learning a language, but you're learning how to think and communicate VISUALLY in a completely different language.

There's no talking at all in this class- from the second you walk in, we will be signing and communicating visually. You may have never experienced a setting like this, so embrace the challenge. Shut off your ears, open yours eyes, and focus on thinking and communicating visually.

Please learn the manual alphabet BEFORE class. We'll go over it quickly, but it is important that you learn the manual alphabet BEFORE coming to class so that we have time to learn the actual language and talk to each other in it! Please watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXf4d23WqiA to learn the letters and practice spelling words BEFORE class.


Prerequisites
You must learn the manual alphabet BEFORE class. It is important that you learn the manual alphabet BEFORE coming to class so that we have time to learn the actual language and talk to each other. Please watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXf4d23WqiA to learn the letters and practice spelling words BEFORE class. If the link doesn't work search for "Learn ASL: The Fingerspelling Alphabet for Beginners" on Youtube, from the user ASLMeredith

H886: Human Behavior
Difficulty: **

Did you know that individuals are less likely to offer help to a victim when other people are present? Or that a mass shooting in the United States is followed by other mass shootings? This course will explain human behavior with psychological phenomena such as the bystander effect and mass hysteria and will discuss infamous behavioral experiments.

H893: How to Write a Kickass College Application Essay
Difficulty: *

Are you worried about applying for college? Have you heard that the essay can make or break your application, but you're not sure where to start? Do you want to learn from someone who's already been through it how to make yourself stand out as an applicant and turn heads in the admissions office? Then come get all the answers to your questions, and learn how to write a killer essay that'll knock your readers' socks off! (There will be snacks.)

H894: Creative Writing: Beyond 101
Difficulty: *

Do you love reading, and now you want to create your own stories? Do you have Thoughts on the Subject whenever you read your favorite books? Do you already have a grasp of plot, characterization, and setting, and feel ready to move on to bigger and better things in your writing? Most of all, do you want to learn the secrets that professional writers use to draw their readers in?

Then this is the class for you! Taught by a Columbia University creative writing major, we'll be taking a prose- and fiction-focused approach to creative writing and storytelling (and playing lots of fun writing games!). Also, there will be snacks.


Prerequisites
A love for reading and writing, a grasp of the basic mechanics of English and plotting a story, and a desire to play fun writing games!


Lunch

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L892: Lunch Period
Difficulty: None
Teachers:

Enjoy a break for lunch with your friends! Please register for at least one lunch period on each day of the program.


Math & Computer Science

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M860: Introduction to Handwaving
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Benjamin Church

Have you ever thought that mathematics is done with too many damn symbols? If yes, then this is the class for you. We will dive into some of the most important and abstract results in higher mathematics using only silly informal language. This class will give you insight into some of the deepest results in mathematics but with their statements and proofs handwaved off to infinity.


Prerequisites
Ummmmmm?

M873: Set Theory and Infinities Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Max Kaliner

In this class, we will develop an understanding of some fundamental concepts of set theory, foundational logic for most all of mathematics. Specifically, we will foray into defining infinite cardinality and then digress into discussion of developing higher and higher infinities, intuition for ordinals, and some resulting paradoxes.


Prerequisites
An interest in pure mathematics and some basic intuition for proof logic.

M888: Follow the River and You Will Find the C (intro to C programming)
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Jonathan Barrios

This class will serve as an introduction to C programming in Linux


Prerequisites
Some programming experience would be helpful.

M864: Numerical Methods
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Henrique Monteiro

A coding class in Python to teach you key computational techniques to (easily) solve a variety of hard problems in the Mathematics, Sciences and Engineering in a few minutes. Numerical Methods are a huge thing today, and they are used everywhere!

We will be programming a computer to (1) estimate as many digits of pi as we want, (2) solve very complicated equations or systems of equations (including differential equations), (3) provide precise solutions for problems that demand advanced Math without actually using anything advanced

I will try to make things as visual as possible so that everybody can develop an intuitive understanding of it. It will be a lot of fun!


Prerequisites
Background in Computer Science is helpful but by no means necessary. Everything will be explained without assuming prior knowledge.

M815: Disease Modeling
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Jessie Oehrlein

When studying infectious diseases like the flu, we can use math to describe how the illness spreads. Those descriptions or sets of equations are called a mathematical model of the disease. We'll play a game to simulate how a disease spreads, and then we'll talk about how to turn the rules of that game into a common model for infectious disease. We'll look at our game and model results to discuss how realistic they are, and we'll also come up with some possible variations on that game and model.


Prerequisites
Comfort with algebra, particularly using variables and reading graphs.

M877: A Grand Tour of Rotations, Quaternions, The Hopf Fibration and Spin with a side of Lie Groups
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Benjamin Church

We will begin a fantastical journey into some of the most beautiful and useful geometric objects in modern mathematics, Lie groups, by asking the simple question: how do we represent rotations in 3D space. This question will lead us to define a strange algebraic object, the quaternions, investigate the mysterious topology of spheres living in four (and more) dimensions, marvel at a beautiful image of a sphere in dimension four decomposed by the Hopf fibration, and finally discuss how these fantastical higher-dimensional geometric objects are, in fact, realized in the strange world of quantum mechanics as spin.


Prerequisites
Familiarity with complex numbers and matrices is a must. Knowing what a derivative is would also be helpful but is not required.

M878: All of AP Calculus BC in 2 hours
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Henry Williams

Watch me do in 120 minutes what took Newton his entire lifetime. I'm not joking, we will (attempt to) cover the entirety of this high school course in the period of two hours. AP Calculus is a lot of dumb formulas and bad presentations of really interesting and simple concepts. I hope that in this session you gain enough to excel if and when you are forced to take it. In addition, I hope you leave with an appreciation of what is ACTUALLY interesting about this really terribly designed course that many of us have suffered through.


Prerequisites
You should know most of the topics in a typical Algebra II course with a few extras from Precalc (trig functions, polynomials, VERY comfortable with basic algebra, limits, difference quotients, logarithms). However, this course is absolutely open to those who have not taken a Precalculus course.

M816: Introduction to Computer Science
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Lester Kim

This course will introduce different topics in computer science. We define what a computer is and describe its architecture. Then, we will explore how computers represent data. Eventually, we will discuss algorithms and conclude with a topic of the students' choice (e.g. artificial intelligence, quantum computing, cryptography, the Internet, the future of computing, virtual reality).


Prerequisites
High school algebra


Science

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S883: Protein Biochemistry
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Allison Hung

Organisms use proteins to accomplish nearly everything. This course will first go
over protein structure and function. This will include protein related disorders and their subsequent treatments. Finally, we will learn traditional and modern techniques in protein research.


Prerequisites
High school level biology

S857: Feynman's Lost Lecture: Planetary Motion Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: JIEYAN ZHU

You probably have heard about the Feynman's Lectures on Physics during his years at Caltech. In fact, there was one lecture missing in the three volumes. We will go over the materials covered in this "lost lecture" by Feynman and try to understand the laws of planetary motion in a geometric way.


Prerequisites
High school geometry.

S875: The Origin of Life on Earth
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Ben Zhang

How did something as complex as life originate on planet Earth? Nobody knows for sure, but we'll discuss several theories and experiments in this class, including panspermia, the RNA World, and the primordial soup hypothesis.


Prerequisites
Some biology and chemistry background (do you know what an amino acid is? What is DNA made of?)

S817: Chemophobia: What's a Chemical?
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Benjamin Rudshteyn

This class gives an overview of the phenomenon of chemophobia, the fear of chemicals (not of organic chemistry as a class!). It will define the terminology of chemicals, including the difference between natural and artificial chemicals and how one is not necessarily better than the other.


Prerequisites
High school level chemistry

S814: A Brief Tour of the Stratosphere
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Jessie Oehrlein

What is the ozone hole, and when will it recover? What did a scientist actually observe when he noticed an "explosion-like warming" over the Arctic? Why did 1883 and 1908 data show tropical winds going in opposite directions? All of these questions are about phenomena that happen in the stratosphere, the layer of the atmosphere about 10-50 km above us. In groups, you'll explore questions like these, the related stratospheric phenomena, and their impacts on us. We'll put them all together to create a coherent picture of the stratosphere.

S884: Microbiology: Crazy Things Cells Do Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Allison Hung

Microbes are organisms that live on a microscopic level.
This class will review the fundamental concepts of microbiology and look at how cells do the crazy things they do to thrive. Then, we will learn about how we use microbes as tools for medicine and for insights into general cellular mechanisms.


Prerequisites
High school biology

S887: Hybridization and Molecular Orbital Theory
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Julia Parsley

Why are molecules shaped the way they are? Why do reactions happen the way they happen? How do chemists predict the products of a reaction? And can you?

With this course, you can and will. Molecular Orbital Theory is a major premise of organic chemistry, and can be used to explain and predict the products of numerous organic reactions.

Take this course and dive into the beauty and incredibility that is the chemical bond.


Prerequisites
Some chemistry background

S818: Introduction to Solar Fuels
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Benjamin Rudshteyn

Introduction to the use of solar fuels to solve pressing climate change problems. Topics of interest include climate change, solar cells, conversion of water to hydrogen, conversion of carbon dioxide to fuels, conversion of nitrogen to ammonia,, and how chemistry, particularly computational chemistry, are used to solve these challenge


Prerequisites
High school level chemistry

S895: Intro to Space Exploration

Have you wondered about what is beyond Earth? In Intro to Space Exploration, you will learn the about outer space, the history of space exploration, the space industry, and the basics of orbital mechanics and propulsion. This class will be led by the Columbia Space Initiative, a student group that competes in various aerospace competitions and has done work for NASA!

S819: Everything you wanted to know about being a scientist, but were too afraid to ask
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Benjamin Rudshteyn

This course will walk students through what it is like to be a scientist and the necessary training (undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral) and the various career options available.


Walk-in Seminar

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W870: 2020 Presidential Forum
Difficulty: **

Interested in politics and/or debate? On the edge of your seat watching each passing presidential debate? Or are you just interested in talking about policy and how the country is run? Enroll to participate in a seminar on the important issues for this presidential race, focusing primarily on fact-based policy.


Miscellaneous

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X876: Careers in Medicine and Health Sciences
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Ben Zhang

"Nobody knew healthcare could be so complicated" - 45th President of the United States

But it does't have to be that way! In this class, we'll go over the various careers and jobs available in healthcare, ranging from phlebotomy to nursing to surgery. For each position, we'll talk about things like basic job responsibilities, the education and training required, and average incomes. Additionally, we'll talk about what you can do right now to prepare to enter this growing and high-demand field!


Prerequisites
None

X865: Wushu: An underappreciated Martial Art
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Federick Gonzalez

Wushu is a form of martial arts that was developed by the Chinese Government, as a sort of consolidation of the vast majority of Kung fu styles. Though it can be used in combat, Wushu is more focused on a performance-based application of Martial arts, as can be seen on stage or in various shows and films. In this class you will learn basic stances, and potentially begin learning the Beginner Longfist form. Make sure to bring athletic clothing if you wish to participate, I can speak from experience that Wushu is difficult to do in jeans!


Prerequisites
At least a little bit of energy.

X889: Weird Laws and Cases Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Elizabeth Parizh

In Newark, it's illegal to sell ice cream after 6pm without a doctor's note.
Silly string is illegal in Marlborough.
Arkansas man head-butted his mother. Twice.

In this class, you can learn all about weird laws like this, which exist in cities everywhere in the country. And then we might talk about some criminals that have gotten into some... unlucky situations. People are fascinating creatures, after all.


History

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Y882: From Tirpitz to the Washington Conference: the Global Naval Arms Race,1897-1938
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Sami Raza

From Wilhelmine Germany’s decision to build a navy to challenge Britain in 1897, up to the First World War, and again from its end up to the Washington Naval Conference in 1922, Europe’s Great Powers, as well as secondary powers across the world, engaged in an intense naval arms race, generally considered the first serious modern arms race, which eventually ended in the first international arms control conference, the Washington Conference, successfully limiting the navies of the world for over a decade before breaking down in the 1930s. This course will examine the technological, political, and cultural developments surrounding the first, and arguably most widespread, arms race of the 20th century, reflecting on study of disarmament in general and current challenges to American naval dominance. I will mostly focus on the Anglo-German Dreadnought race and the Washington Treaties, but I will touch on the various smaller naval races in the period, especially the South American Dreadnought Race.


Prerequisites
None required, but some knowledge of early 20th century European History, especially the events surrounding the beginning and end of World War 1, is recommended.

Y869: India and Indians in the First World War
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Sami Raza

Over a million men from the Indian subcontinent served all over the world during the First World War, but their contribution has been mostly forgotten, even in the subcontinent itself. This course will be a brief introduction to both the military and social history of India during the period focusing mainly on the Indian Army and Independence Movement. It will use the Indian experience of the war as a lens into British India.


Prerequisites
Some knowledge of World War One and basic knowledge of Indian history will help, but is not essential.

Y858: LGBT+ Historical Figures: Prominent & Erased
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Cody Baynori

From the bisexual woman that changed what it meant to be the “first-lady” to the gay man that ended World War II, this class gives insight on some of the most important LGBT+ people in our world’s history.

Y859: Short History of the US
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Linus Glenhaber

There's 224 years between 1776 and 2000. The class is 1 hr, 50 minutes, and assuming we start five minutes late, we'll have 105 minutes for this class. 105 minutes divided by 224 years means there's 28.1 seconds per year. Let's run through American history!

Y868: The History of Computing - From Babbage to Big Data
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Nathan Kiesman

Most people don't associate computers with history, but computers have been used for over 2000 years! From early designs by Babbage and Lovelace, to code breaking computers in World War 2, to the microcomputer revolution of the 1970s and 1980s, to the rise of the internet, to pocket and cloud computing today, computing history is a rich and deep field.

Take this class if you're interested in computers, contemporary history, or just curious about the influences of modern computers.