Splash Fall 2015
Course Catalog

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Arts Humanities
Social Sciences Engineering
Math & Computer Sciences Physical & Biological Sciences
Lunch Miscellaneous


Miscellaneous

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?190: Bughouse Chess: Chess with a Twist
Difficulty: **
Teachers: John Hughes

Bughouse is a crazy, fun twist on chess for two teams of two where every piece you take can be used by your partner anywhere on their board! Learn from a pro and watch the pieces fly(literally!).


Prerequisites
Knowledge of how pieces move in regular chess.

?149: Introduction to Glowsticking
Difficulty: **
Teachers: James Gan

Learn how to spin poi and glowsticks! "Ooh shiney" is all you'll hear from your friends and family.

?188: Chess Strategy: Play Like a Pro
Difficulty: **
Teachers: John Hughes

Learn the fundamentals of chess strategy from one of the Nation's best chess players! We'll cover middle-game strategy, calculation and puzzles, and tips for continuing to improve (and have fun while you're doing it!)


Prerequisites
Knowledge of how all the pieces move.

?189: Make Your Own Language
Difficulty: ***

Glidis, O studans! When you pick up a fantasy or sci fi novel, do you flip to the back to look at the glossary for that alien language? Do you think the world would be a much better place if there were one, neutral, easy-to-learn language that we all could speak? Maybe you've made a code or cypher for you and your friends. Or maybe you think language is too imprecise and really wish there were some unambiguous way of communicating. If any of these statements describe you, congratulations! You might just have what it takes to be a conlanger, someone who makes languages, for fun (and for profit!). In this practicum, we'll create our own language, for fun (not for profit!), learning some interesting facts about conlangs and linguistics along the way.

?165: Origami 101 Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Dwijayini Hemanth

Have you ever wondered how to make a piece of paper into a flower, crane, or box? Well now you can! This class will be an introduction to the ancient art of origami. We will go over the basic folds and make origami that you can take home! No experience necessary!

?168: The Secrets of Memory Full!
Difficulty: **

1) I will present some results from memory research and the development of mnemonic systems; 2) I will briefly demonstrate mnemonics in practice; 3) by the time you leave, you should already be able to start using these techniques yourself. Handouts with all necessary information about how to use them will be distributed for you to take home. If you're interested, google Ben Pridmore to see how amazing these tricks of the trade can get.

?157: Confusion with Cards: Fundamentals of Card Magic and Manipulation
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Austin Liu

"It's often the things that are right in front of us that are the hardest to see" -Apollo Robbins

Magicians have been known to perform seemingly impossible tricks from an ordinary deck of cards, but what the public often doesn't know is that most tricks are based off of a small selection of "sleights" or techniques put together in new combinations. In order to confuse and fool, magicians practice these fundamental sleights for years, honing every motion. In this class, I hope to show you the sleights that eventually become tricks that blow away spectators. What you eventually do with this information is entirely up to you! Grab a deck of cards, and join me for an hour of craziness with cards!

*For those that attended Splash! during the fall session, the tricks that I am covering during this session will be different from those covered in the pilot program.


Arts

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A176: Video Game Music
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Matthew Milano

Do you like music? Do you like video games? Then this is the course for you! Join us as we explore the role of music in video games, and what makes good video game music. We'll reveal the secrets behind the most catchy tunes of such greats as The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario, and Halo through an interactive lecture format.


Prerequisites
Familiarity with Video Games is a must. Please play a few! Ability to read music notation would be helpful, but isn't required.


Engineering

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E148: Climate Change Engineering: Looking at the Ozone from the Ground
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Omar B. Alam

Earth’s layers of ozone gas in the stratosphere and mesosphere protect us from solar ultraviolet radiation, which can be very damaging to living organisms. A team of engineers from Cornell and MIT have modified satellite TV equipment to look at the ozone and study its changes in concentration, velocity, and temperature over time. In this class, we will look at what makes these devices work, and what new things they’ve told us about the ozone. We’ll explore what this means for climate change and how we can better engineer machines to study our planet’s atmosphere.

E192: Computers Don't Byte: An Introduction to Digital Logic
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Udit Gupta

Ever wondered how your computer works? This course will teach you the basics of how your computer uses simple electrical circuits to do math. You will get a chance to build your own hands-on circuit!

E180: Intro to Rocket Science & Orbital Mechanics with Kerbal Space Program
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Ian Briggs

Yes, ok, it is rocket science. But it's not as impossible as you might think. Kerbal Space Program is a game where players can manage their very own space program by building and launching spacecraft. It definitely won’t hold your hand, but there is a lot you can learn about the game through trial and error. Some things that you will learn how to do include building and launching a basic rocket, getting into orbit, rendezvousing with other vehicles, and perhaps some other more advanced concepts of the game. At the end of the day, it’s learning about rocket science while playing a video game. What’s not to like?


Prerequisites
Some basic knowledge of physics is recommended, but not required.

E156: Crash Course in Tissue Engineering and Artificial Organs
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jordan Harrod

Most of us know or have heard about people who need new organs, whether it be a heart, a kidney, or a skin graft, and through this, have learned about how difficult (and expensive) it is to attain them. However, doctors, scientists, and engineers are currently on the brink of developing the technology needed to eradicate this problem completely.

In this class, we will talk about current research on and applications of tissue engineering and artificial organs, and what the future of biomedical engineering looks like. We will also look briefly at the feasibility of related fictional technologies in the real world.


Prerequisites
High school biology will be helpful, but is not necessary.


Humanities

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H151: America's Next Top Playwright
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jessie Weber

What does it mean to write a play, or to act it out? Is it association to some core and common human experience? Or is it something else? Test yourself and find out exactly what it is to translate a thought from the brain, to the page, to the stage, and what it means to allow others to take part in the process. Please bring something to write with and on (computers are acceptable!).


Prerequisites
Have at least one memory:)

H178: Colonialism, Postcolonialism and Anticolonial Strategies
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Ivy Deng

People usually associate colonialism with European colonialism and imperialism in Asia, Africa and some parts of America. Meanwhile, postcolonialism is seen as this abstract concept within the ivory tower. However, are those preconceptions really true? Why do we care about colonialism, postcolonialism and anticolonial Strategies? How can they inform us about the world we currently live in?


Prerequisites
None

H177: Introduction to Japanese Language and Culture
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Chirag Bharadwaj

A quick introduction to the Japanese language. Covers the following:
+ Writing systems
+ IPA
+ Romaji, hiragana, katakana, furigana
+ Some vocabulary
+ General phrases

If time permits, we will discuss aspects of Japanese culture as well.


Prerequisites
None. Some familiarity with IPA may be helpful. However, students are expected to have no background with Japanese language. Students that are proficient or are learning Japanese should not take this course.

H154: The Fall of the Republic: How the Romans Lost Their Liberty
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Christopher Erdman

Throughout the 1st Century, B.C. the Roman world was rocked by social and political turmoil. By the end of the century the emperor Augustus had risen as the sole political power in Rome, ending the political freedom of the Republic.

How did the Romans, who prized freedom above all else, let their society completely fall apart? This course intends to lay out the key focal points in the socio-political struggle, and analyze the motives and desires of the people who drove this cataclysmic change in Roman society

Basic understanding of Roman political and social structure recommended but not advised. We'll be going over thing's like what the senate did and what the patricians and plebeians were, but the more basic familiarity the better, since it lets us get to the juicy stuff!

H155: The Fall of the Republic Part II: The Civil Wars
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Christopher Erdman

The collapse of Roman society in the 1st Century, B.C. coincided with the rise of powerful, politically-minded individuals. Seizing upon the disorder of the socio-political structure, men like Julius Caesar and Gnaeus Pompey fought for political control over the state, building up power through civil and military means. As rival politicians increasingly came into conflict the Roman world would be torn apart by nearly half a century of bloody civil war, from which only one man would emerge standing.

Continuing where H73 (The Fall of the Republic: How the Romans Lost Their Liberty) left off, this course will lay out the events leading to the Roman civil wars and will follow their course, leading to the ascension of the first emperor Augustus. Part I is advised for the fullest possible understanding of the content, but is not required

H191: The Amazing Human Language and The Brain
Difficulty: *

Hello, o, speakers! Yes, if you are reading this, chances are you are a speaker of (at least) a language! You use language everyday, for every activity you can think of, yet, have you ever thought of what you know about your language? Have you ever noticed that you did not have to go to school to learn to speak English (if that is your first language)? Did it ever occur to you that we can think about String Theory and Parallel Universes, but we are still trying to understand how do humans learn language, how does language work? The brain of a 3-year old human child, however, has already figured out most of this. This course will show you how amazing your brain is, how many things your brain has to know in order for you to speak a language. You will see that human Language is Science, it is Math, it is History, it is Geography, Information Theory, and much more! We will try to answer questions like: what do you know? Can computers speak? Can animals speak? How many languages are there? Can I create a new language? Can we think without language?


Prerequisites
No prerequisites

H160: John Laurens: The Revolutionary War Soldier with Revolutionary Ideas
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jaclyn Melvin

With the musical "Hamilton" taking Broadway by storm, the American Revolution and the life of Alexander Hamilton have been hot topics. Now that Hamilton has taken center stage, it’s time for him to share the spotlight with his closest companion during the war – John Laurens.

John Laurens served alongside Hamilton in the Revolutionary War as both a soldier and an aide to George Washington. The two fought together, engaged in duels, and helped secure the American victory at the Battle of Yorktown. But perhaps the most significant part of Laurens’s life was his efforts to abolish slavery. Despite being a member of the South Carolina elite and the son of a wealthy slave owner, Laurens openly condemned slavery. He tried to bring about the end of the practice by proposing a plan to lead a regiment of slaves and grant them freedom after their service.

In this lecture, I will present a biography of the life of John Laurens, with a focus on his years serving in the Revolutionary War and his anti-slavery efforts. Through this class, you can learn about who he was, what he did, and why he deserves to have his story told.

H167: Developing our Wings: Creative Writing and Imaginative Thinking
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Emma Korolik

Do you love to read and write? Do you think you could be the next J.K. Rowling, John Green or Suzanne Collins? Would you like to learn how to write a novel in 30 days (or less)? Come join us as we discuss how to take our stories to the next level through short writing prompts and fun discussion. Plus, learn how to join the global event that is National Novel Writing Month!


Lunch

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L187: 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 Sciences

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M179: Girls Who Code Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Mia Tootill

Do you enjoy using computers or playing video games? Are you intrigued by coding, but not sure where to start? Has anyone ever assumed that you wouldn't be interested in technology because you're a girl? Women are increasingly moving into the tech sphere, successfully contributing to this expansive field and pushing against limiting stereotypes. However, only 0.4% of high school girls select computer science as a major. Let's change that number! This course will follow the "hour of code" model, introducing students to computer science and hopefully nurturing or sparking an interest in technology. I want to encourage female students to sign up, as a way to promote women in tech and support one another's coding education. However, students of all genders will be welcome.

M184: Coloring Arguments and Invariants Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Victor Reis

If we remove opposite corners of a chessboard, we can't tile what's left with dominoes. If we color each of the points in a 2D plane with red, green or blue, we can always find two points of the same color at unit distance. If the vertices of a regular polygon all have integer coordinates, it must be a square. In this class, we'll see how to prove cool results like these using invariants - certain mathematical properties that are always the same, and monovariants, quantities that always increase or always decrease.


Prerequisites
Basic algebra

M159: Create Your Own Web Page
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Edward Tremel

Have you ever wanted to build your own website? It's easier than you might think. You don't have to be a programmer to create a functional, elegant website from scratch - you just need to know the markup languages HTML and CSS. This class will teach you the basics of using HTML and CSS to set up and format a website, with plenty of interactive examples. No prior experience is required.

M150: Computers, Minecraft, and Logic Gates
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Matthew Weidman

Without logic gates, computers as we know them would not exist. Logic gates are part of a blend of math and philosophy that lets engineers make computer processing units and other hardware. Although logic gates are usually associated with electronics, it is possible to make them out of nearly anything – water pipes, legos, billiard balls – even Japanese soldier crabs! In this class, we will make our own logic gates using redstone wiring in the popular video game Minecraft.

Class will begin by learning about the context of logic gates – why you would want to use them, why they are important in computers – before moving on to specific types of logic gates. Each logic gate discussed will be demonstrated in Minecraft. Although we will not have time to build our own computers in Minecraft, knowing these gates will give you the basic knowledge you can use to someday make Minecraft electronics.


Physical & Biological Sciences

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P170: New Frontiers in Astronomy - The Search for Gravitational Waves
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Jeff Ouellette

For generations, humans have been fascinated by the stars, and gazed further and further into the night sky. However, as we began to know more and more about the universe, we quickly began to lose our ability to see all of it. For example, how do you "see" a black hole - an inherently "invisible" object?

Gravitational wave astronomy is a breakthrough method to understand our universe, by looking at the miniscule imprints of large objects on the fabric of spacetime. In this class, we will discuss diverse aspects of physics, from wave concepts to theories of gravity, as well as the current race to find gravitational waves, and the many complications involved.


Prerequisites
While there are no formal prerequisites, a strong grasp of mathematical ideas will be extremely useful, especially algebra and vectors.

P185: What's with Weather?
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Melody Spencer

Weather and Climate have a huge impact on our everyday lives. Last year, Boston, MA had the most snow they have ever had in one winter- 12 feet in total! Throughout the Northeast we saw record-breaking cold and snowfall. Despite this, 2014 was officially named the hottest year in modern history, and 2015 is on course to take that title again. This year, we are on track to have a very warm fall and mild winter due to a massive El Niño event. What is happening to the weather!? Learn the fundamentals of weather and climate change, including current major weather events! Turn your mundane "how's the weather" conversation into a discussion on global climate phenomenon!

P153: The Bugs Within: Bacteria of Your Gut
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Colin Barber

It has been estimated that the number of bacteria in and around the human body outnumbers human cells by an order of magnitude. The majority of these bacteria live in the human gut, where they form a complex ecosystem with enormous ramifications for human health. In fact, a large portion of clinical microbiology research today is dedicated to finding out how this ecosystem within our bodies functions. In this course, we will explore the diversity of bacteria found in the human "microbiome", find out what they do, and discover how they impact human health.


Prerequisites
High school chemistry High school biology

P172: Fluorescence microscopy techniques used in biology
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Vivek Gupta

In this course we will cover some microscopy techniques used to study biology.


Prerequisites
A high school physics course would help but is not required.

P158: Overview of Immunology: An analogy to StarCraft I
Difficulty: **
Teachers: HeeJin Cheon

This course will cover a brief overview of mammalian immune system, with a focus on immunodeficiency and autoimmunity. Analogies to the video game StarCraft I will be made when possible to facilitate understanding. Goals of this class are: 1) Students gain an introductory understanding of how the body defends itself against pathogens and, 2) Students gain an introductory understanding of clinical symptoms that can manifest in the lack of a functioning immune system or in the presence of auto-reactive immune system.


Prerequisites
Knowledge of StarCraft I is NOT necessary to understand lecture. However, any related video-game experience might facilitate enjoyment of the material.

P152: The History, Biology and Politics of wild Tigers
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Karann Putrevu

A broad overview of the tiger (Panthera tigris), from evolution and life history to current status and future. Special attention will be given to more obscure areas such as specialized hunting techniques for different prey.


Prerequisites
None.

P171: Modern Physics Conceptualized
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Sumner Hearth

Physics has come a long way since $$F=ma$$, and this course is meant to give you a taste of what physicists are currently working on. We will explore physics of the 20th century without the more difficult mathematics which require college or graduate level backgrounds.
Topics will include Special and General Relativity, if possible Quantum Mechanics and beyond.


Prerequisites
High School Physics would be very helpful, though not *required*

P175: Train Your Brain: Neuroenhancement, Then and Now
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Elizabeth DuPre

People are always looking for shortcuts--ways to do homework faster, study for tests in less time, and learn things more easily. Luckily, technology, with a little help from neuroscience and psychology, is advancing towards ways that we can actually accomplish these goals. This course will go over some of the newest (and oldest!) ways to alter our brain. We'll go over the potential risks and benefits from such methods, and what the future might hold for such technologies.


Prerequisites
N/A


Social Sciences

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S174: The Millennium Development Goals
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jane Hinkle

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are a list of eight goals proposed by the UN in 2000 for creating a healthier, more developed, and more equal universal society by the year 2015. These goals included eradicating extreme poverty, promoting gender equality, and combating HIV/AIDS and malaria. Fifteen years later, here we are! In this class we'll discuss what the MDGs were, how they went, and where we move from here as individuals and as a global community.

S166: An Exploration of Neuropsychology with Case Studies
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Neha Ratna

This course will provide a basic foundation of neuropsychological concepts. We will focus on discussing medical case studies and analyzing relevant MRI data to learn more about the brain structurally and functionally!


Prerequisites
Some familiarity of the nervous system and/or brain anatomy.

S161: Psychology of Love
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Joanna Gao

There are so many definitions of love. But what are the psychological theories behind love? Can you make someone fall in love with you? How do you know if you found the one? Come find out as we explore love from a psychology lens.

S182: Modern Defense Policy: US and NATO
Difficulty: **

Learn all about the challenges the US and its allies face in the 21st century from both conventional and unconventional threats


Prerequisites
None

S181: The Evolution of Military Airpower During the Cold War
Difficulty: *

One of the consequences of the ideological standoff between the United States and the Soviet Union was a rapid development in the sophistication of military aircraft. This course will analyze the technological race between the two superpowers to develop the world's best air superiority fighter. Those with a passion for things that fly are encouraged to attend.


Prerequisites
None

S183: Know Your Rights in the Workplace: Employment Law and You
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Arthur Kulawik

The U.S. offers many important legal protections for workers. This class offers a practical navigation of what your rights on the job, as well as a brief survey of general labor and employment law in the U.S.

Learn what your supervisor or management can or cannot do, and what your recourse is if you are the victim of an unfair labor practice.

S193: Sociology of Infectious Disease
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Neil Chitrao

This course examines how infectious diseases have impacted the societies they afflict, and assesses the consequences pathogens have had for the course of human history. Among the diseases covered are bubonic plague and Ebola.