ESP Biography



JESSIE OEHRLEIN, Columbia grad student in applied math




Major: APAM

College/Employer: Columbia University

Year of Graduation: G

Picture of Jessie Oehrlein

Brief Biographical Sketch:

I'm an applied math/atmospheric science student and studied mechanical engineering as an undergrad.

Romeo and Juliet is one of my two favorite ballets, and I've seen ten versions of it performed in four countries.

Favorite modern dance styles: Horton and Limon.

193 distinct roller coasters and counting!



Past Classes

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

S814: A Brief Tour of the Stratosphere in Splash Fall 2019 (Oct. 27, 2019)
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.


M815: Disease Modeling in Splash Fall 2019 (Oct. 27, 2019)
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.


M732: Population Modeling in Splash Fall 2018 (Oct. 28, 2018)
Can trapping invasive crawfish save a newt population? How do regional or minority languages like Galician survive? When can two species with the same food sources coexist? In this class, we'll build mathematical models of populations to answer questions like these. In groups, you will mathematically describe different ways in which populations grow, decline, and interact. Each group's model will answer key questions about population behavior or control. We'll also discuss challenges and alternate methods for modeling.


Y743: History of Ballet: 1900-Present in Splash Fall 2018 (Oct. 28, 2018)
This class will discuss the past century of ballet, focusing on the westward spread of Russian-style classical ballet, the establishment of new major ballet traditions in England and the United States, and the rise of contemporary ballet. Along the way, we'll look at photos and video to see how different techniques and styles emerged in different parts of the world. We'll also talk about where ballet is headed now.


S757: A Brief Tour of the Stratosphere in Splash Fall 2018 (Oct. 28, 2018)
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.


S617: A Brief Tour of the Stratosphere in Splash Spring 18 (Mar. 31, 2018)
We live in the layer of the atmosphere called the troposphere, where nearly all weather happens. But the stratosphere, just above the troposphere, is also important for climate! We'll talk about the ozone layer, why the direction of the winds in the tropics switches every 28 months, and what a scientist actually observed when he noticed an "explosion-like warming" over the Arctic. (One of these warmings just happened in mid-February, and it's causing the cold spell in Europe!)


M623: How to (Mathematically) Guard an Art Gallery in Splash Spring 18 (Mar. 31, 2018)
Suppose you had a polygonal art gallery with $$n$$ sides that you wanted to guard with 360-degree cameras at some of the polygon's vertices. What is the least number of cameras you could use? This is the classic art gallery problem, and it uses a lot of basic concepts in the mathematical field of graph theory. We'll cover some basic graph theory concepts and then tackle the art gallery problem!


Y632: History of Ballet in Splash Spring 18 (Mar. 31, 2018)
This class will follow how ballet developed and spread around the world, starting in Renaissance Italy and moving forward to the present. Along the way, we'll look at paintings, photos, and video clips to see how different techniques and styles emerged in different parts of the world. If we have time, we'll talk about where ballet is headed now.


M540: Bridges, Maps, and Networks: An Introduction to Graph Theory in Splash Fall 2017 (Nov. 04, 2017)
Graph theory is a relatively young area of mathematics, focused on studying structures that show the relationships among people, places, or objects. We'll talk about two of the first key questions in graph theory, the Königsberg bridge problem and the Four Color Theorem. We'll also explore some applications of graph theory, such as modeling social networks or the spread of information or disease.


M541: Mathematical Modeling in Splash Fall 2017 (Nov. 04, 2017)
Math modeling is how we use mathematics to study open-ended questions about real-world phenomena. What's the best location for a food truck? How does an invasive species affect an ecosystem? How do we clean up space debris? These are all questions that we can start to answer with math modeling. The goal of this class is to introduce you to the modeling process. By the end, you'll have developed models to answer questions about a couple of different scenarios, and you'll know about some of the tools you can use to tackle more significant modeling problems.


S468: Understanding Weather Data in Splash Spring 2017 (Mar. 25, 2017)
Atmospheric sounding charts are generated from weather balloon data, and they help us understand and predict weather conditions. Come learn what temperature through the atmosphere looks like when there's freezing rain and how to predict whether there will be a thunderstorm soon!


H469: From Swans to Spartacus: Ballet in the Soviet Union in Splash Spring 2017 (Mar. 25, 2017)
We often associate classical ballet with Imperial Russia. However, ballet was also culturally important during the Soviet period, and balletic developments in the Soviet Union were really different from those elsewhere. We'll talk about the history of Soviet ballet, how it influenced and was influenced by ballet in the West, and why only a few Soviet ballets survived the fall of the Soviet Union.


H416: Introduction to Hungarian Through Song in Splash Fall 2016 (Nov. 05, 2016)
We'll cover basic Hungarian* by singing (mostly children's) songs! You'll learn very important vocabulary words like yellow, raspberry, icicle, and animal. *I do not guarantee that you'll be able to hold any kind of reasonable conversation.


M417: Mathematical Modeling in Splash Fall 2016 (Nov. 05, 2016)
Math modeling is how we use mathematics to study open-ended questions about real-world phenomena. What's the best location for a food truck? How does an invasive species affect an ecosystem? How do we clean up space debris? These are all questions that we can start to answer with math modeling. The goal of this class is to introduce you to the modeling process. By the end, you'll have developed models to answer questions about a couple of different scenarios, and you'll know about some of the tools you can use to tackle more significant modeling problems.