Splash Spring 2019
Course Catalog

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


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?611: US Healthcare 101
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Lydia Zamidar

This class will teach you about the basics of the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) and highlight the uniqueness and factors of the US healthcare system.



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A605: Unconventional Poetry
Difficulty: *
Teachers: La'Treil Allen

Haikus; sonnets; acrostic; been there done that. Come try your hand at new unconventional styles of poetry. Engage in new methods including concrete, bop, and found poetry. Have no experience in creative writing? No problem just come TRY some poeTRY.

A613: Dance, Performance & Feminism
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Erin Grohe

An introduction to gender in performance art. In this course, we'll see how living in gendered bodies affects not only the way we are perceived on stage, but in our daily lives as well.

No prerequisites required, just open-mindedness and a desire to learn!

A618: Introduction to Greek Theater
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Arin Sheehan

Honestly, it is all Greek to me... which is why we love it! This class will include an introduction to the most famous of the Greek playwrights, followed by cold-reads of some of the best ancient texts. We will see how some have modernized these pieces, but also how Greek plays stand the test of time as masterpieces of the theatrical arts!

A600: Arthur Miller's "The Crucible"
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Melissa Louie

Come act out a scene from Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" with us as we talk about its relevance throughout history, particularly in the context of the Salem Witch Trials and the Red Scare. History lovers, theater enthusiasts, and all are welcome!


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E609: What is Chemical Engineering Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Swetha Thiagarajan

Expose students in high school to chemical engineering through interactive activities.

High school students

E621: Master the Scientific Article (With a Biomedical Engineering Focus)
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Ai Mochida

Have you ever tried to read a scientific or technical article but got bogged down by the jargon? In this class, you'll learn how to quickly understand a scientific article. We will go over tips on how to extract information without reading every word. In groups, students will skim through select articles with a biomedical engineering focus and discuss the purpose, methods, conclusion, strengths, and weakness of the article.

E603: Engineering the Human Heart Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Cassidy Mileti

Interested in biology? Interested in engineering? Better yet - interested in both? Learn about the field of biomedical engineering and what a biomedical engineer does then try your hand at developing a replacement heart valve on a cardboard model of the human heart. Learn about the design process: test out your ideas and figuring out how to improve upon them until you've made a product that works!

Basic knowledge of biology

E630: Spacecraft Design
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Dean Keithly

This course will explore the fundamental subsystems of any spacecraft.
Specifically, we will explore challenges in pointing a spacecraft at a location, stabilizing a spacecraft, and making a spacecraft successfully land enter into the atmosphere of a planet and land where we want.
We will also show how geometry can be used to represent the orbit of a spacecraft.


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H619: Revolution of the Heart
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Sakshi Vasiu

We can list the problems in our lives and in society. But how do we overcome them? This course looks at the historic revolutions led by inspired leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. and analyzes how they created change through non-violence and appealed to the hearts of people. Given current scenarios, students will approach to overcome apathy and trigger change. This course will also bring forth some new ideas of Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, which address solutions to the deeper problems in modern times.

H629: Transitioning from Fanfiction to Seasoned Writing
Difficulty: *

In this interactive creative writing workshop, you'll learn how to develop an engaging and powerful writing style by conquering the basic elements of good storytelling and avoiding the most common writing pitfalls. (Featuring Fifty Shades of Gray and other poor techniques that all of us have used at one point or another.)

H615: Location Complication: Geography and Mapmaking
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Lilia Fromm

Your classrooms are filled with maps and globes, but have you ever thought about the process that goes into illustrating our world? Geography is so much more than just countries, borders, and cities, it’s about knowing what’s out there and why it matters. Without geography you’re nowhere!

In this session, we will explore what makes an effective map, how mapmaking is inherently imperfect, and how maps influence the way we perceive the world and ourselves. We’ll even try our hand at creating projections from a globe!

By the end of this session, you’ll see that cartography is really cooltography!

H604: How to Write An Essay & Research Paper!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Kelly Stone

Are you about to start writing your college application essays? Want to write the best paper analyzing "The Great Gatsby" for your English class? Need some tips on how to craft a thesis statement for your research paper? This class will help clarify the basics for all kinds of essay- and paper-writing, in both the humanities and social sciences. Feel free to come prepared with some topic ideas that you would like to write about!

H595: The Language of Caffeine: Coffee and Culture in the Arab World
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Dana Slayton

From the small town to the booming metropolis, the Arab world runs on caffeine. The variety, diversity, and tradition that surrounds coffee and tea consumption in the modern Middle East traces a long and storied history through the region and the world -- and in this class, you will have the chance to study and sample the tasty traditions of caffeinated culture from Morocco to Iraq. From reading your fortune into coffee grounds to describing the process of making sweet mint tea, this course is a tour of the Arabic language and the diverse cultures of the Middle East through the lens coffee and tea.

H598: Introduction to Art History
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Kimberly Chen

This course will feature a deep dive into one area of art history--related to something on display at Cornell's own Herbert F. Johnson Museum--and then we will do an activity that involves making art!

H596: Moroccan Arabic
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Dana Slayton

This course will introduce students to basic phrases and self-introduction skills in Moroccan Arabic through interactive games and a cultural simulation.

H607: Philosophy
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Ishini Gammanpila

Is cheating on your partner justifiable? When is it okay to snitch on someone? These are the types of questions that you will be able to discuss from a philosophical perspective.

Just like that, you will also argue about interesting paradoxical thought experiments. For instance, let's say the night before Tom is to set off into the desert where a bottle of water will be his only available drink, Dick puts a fatal poison into Tom’s bottle. Early the next morning, Harry maliciously empties the bottle, in complete ignorance of what Dick had done the night before. Tom then sets off into the desert, in all innocence, and dies of thirst. Who caused his death?

Trying to answer questions like this is only a part of what philosophy is about. You will learn to not simply accept things you've been told and back up views by building a solid argument.
Be prepared to question everything you have come to know in your life.

H622: Grocery Store's Hidden Stories Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jinjoo Park

Although grocery stores may seem like innocuous institutions that simply fulfill the purpose of providing food for us, upon close examination we can see that they, in fact, play a significant role in perpetuating poverty and furthering food insecurity. The organization of the stores is typically very telling of the general socio-economic status of the community and these big food's attitude towards these varying communities. We will examine why these differences exist and how they contribute to the food insecurity problem we face. While shedding a light on the underbelly of grocery stores, we will also explore how grocery stores function as cultural havens for minority/ethnic communities.


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L628: Lunch Period
Difficulty: None

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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M597: Introduction to Web Development! Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jenny Wen

You've heard of choose your own adventure books.. but what about choose your own adventure websites? In this session, you will learn how to build one from scratch. By the end, you will have your own functioning website that you can show off to your friends, teachers, parents, neighbors, Uber driver's aunt's friend's co-worker's nephew’s dog... and you’ll leave the workshop with all the skills and resources you need to build any website of your design!

M626: Exploring Hip-Hop through Data
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Derek Lim

We will discuss and analyze hip-hop, America's most popular genre of music as of last year in terms of amount consumed, through data. There are many hip-hop related datasets available, including one collected by the teacher of this class! Exciting data science techniques are being applied to understand interesting properties of hip-hop through this data. For instance, in a very recent study done at Cornell, novel network-analysis techniques were applied to hip-hop collaboration data that aided in predicting future collaborations between hip-hop artists. Data science is one of the hottest fields right now, and we will be discussing fundamental techniques in data science while looking at interesting data!

M610: Math for People Who Hate Math
Difficulty: **

Do you dread taking math class? Do you constantly wonder what the point of finding $$x$$ is? This course is a calculation-light introduction into the philosophical aspects of math more in line with what practicing mathematicians study.

Questions that may or may not be answered in this course include:
-Why can't $$2 + 2 = 5$$?
-How is every drawing the same?
-Why would Shakespeare love imaginary numbers?
-What is the study of half-truths?

If you want, come prepared with an idea/question about math and we'll discuss it!

The only course prerequisite is an open mind.

M620: An Introduction to Knot Theory
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Kabir Kapoor

Take a piece of string, twist and tangle it to your heart's content, and tie the ends together. Now you've got yourself a knot. Can you rearrange your knot to be an unknotted circle? What kinds of knots are out there? How do you distinguish between different knots? How do enzymes in your cells unknot DNA? We will discuss these sorts of questions in the class, and have fun making and playing with string knots. Punning will knot be allowed.

Physical & Biological Sciences

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P601: Introduction to Earth and Space Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Samantha Moruzzi

One of our most innate traits is to explore the world around us. In this class we will explore the Earth and planets through the lens of geology and environmental impact. How does an erupting volcano affect glaciers in the Arctic? How does flowing water carve rivers and why are some steeper than others? How can the surface of Mars or a comet help us better understand our home planet? We will discuss these questions and more at an introductory/beginner level.

P616: Hot Topics in Modern Genetics
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jeffrey Yen

A survey of topics relating to modern genetics and genomics. What is CRISPR and how is it changing the frontier of genetic research? Should and can we wipe out mosquito species to eliminate malaria? What is the logic behind GMOs and do we know what we’re doing? Are there genes that make people good athletes? What about intelligence or behavior? What do genetic testing kits like 23andMe tell us about ourselves? Should we trust the results? Topics include CRISPR gene editing, genetic drives, genetically modified organisms (GMO), complex trait inheritance, and personalized medicine. This class will also include ethical discussions about issues that arise from genetic technological advances.

Some familiarity of basic genetic concepts including DNA/RNA, protein, mutations, Punnett squares, genotype/phenotype. Having taken an introductory biology course will suffice. People with less genetic background are also encouraged to enroll. Most topics will be provided in a conceptual framework with some challenging ideas for more advanced students.

P602: Diet vs Disease
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Amber Krisch

Did you know that cancer growth and eating animal protein are directly related? That's right. What we eat can drastically affect our likelihood of disease. Based on the book, "The China Study" by T. Colin Campbell, this class will specifically explore how switching to a whole food, plant-based diet can reduce high blood pressure, diabetes, and even cancer. We all know about veganism...but aside from animal rights and saving the environment, how can eliminating meat, dairy, and eggs affect your body AND your lifespan?

P612: Building Genetically Engineered Machines Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Gloria Zhou

Synthetic biology is awesome, and no, it doesn’t just have to do with genetically modified organisms. Come learn about biobricks, DNA cloning, retroviruses, CRISPR, bioethics, synbio applications, and more! Not only will you be able to come up with the ideas for your very own DNA plasmid, but also you will be able to extract strawberry DNA. The class will be taught in hands-on stations by members of the award-winning Cornell iGEM (Genetically Engineered Machines) team. From space travel to smart cells to hydroponics – if there’s a problem out there, synthetic biology has a solution!

P617: Domestication – The Good, Bad, and Ugly
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jeffrey Yen

Humans have domesticated plants and animals since the dawn of agriculture and it is the foundation of modern society. This class will examine the mechanistic process of domestication through the lenses of genetics and its implications on daily life. By the end of this course you should be able to answer questions such as: Why is my dog breed so susceptible to certain diseases? What does the ancestor of corn look like? What’s wrong with modern vegetables and fruits and why are people still trying to improve it? Why is it hard to tame a wolf? Join us to explore the wonders of domestication in terms of its good, bad, and ugly!

No specific prerequisites. Having some knowledge of genetics would be helpful but this class will teach from the ground up!

P623: Introduction to the Microscopic World!
Difficulty: **

Most of you have probably heard about Bacteria, but do you know about Archaea (our closest microbial relatives) or Protists (the most diverse life-forms on Earth)?

We'll start with an overview of the three domains of life and the role they play in Earth's ecosystem and modern society. The focus will be on disease, your body's microbiome, and food production using bacteria, but some ecology will be covered as well! Did you know that you have 10x more bacterial cells inside of you than you have human cells?

Then, we'll use some cool cardboard microscopes to see some protists up close!

High School biology recommended, but not necessary

Social Sciences

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S608: Introduction to Personality Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Leonela Tutasig

We will be exploring the various pieces that make up personality. Come learn a little more of yourself and how your personality impacts your life, and the people around you!


S625: The Psychology of Empathy
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Preethi Ravi

Let's say your friend is in a predicament. What's the difference between telling them that their situation sucks and that you understand what they are going through? Empathy, of course! Empathy is the experience of putting yourself in a specific mindset such that you are able to understand what someone else is going through from their perspective. It is an integral part of strengthening relationships, and is important to prosocial behavior in humans. In this class, we will discuss empathy and how it manifests across different cultures, in addition to exploring research related to its biological basis and its varied psychological and sociological implications. Hopefully we can understand how truly important it is to be empathetic to those around you along the way!

S606: Humans vs. Robots: A Psychological Perspective
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Danny Vieira

A world dominated by artificial intelligence is quickly approaching. While many are optimistic and excited about the AI future, many seem to be—quite frankly—terrified. Elon Musk warned at MIT's AeroAstro Centennial Symposium that by advancing AI we may very well be "summoning the demon." Stephen Hawking told BBC that because humans are limited by slow biological evolution, full AI will likely supersede us, and such an event "could spell the end of the human race." This class explores the psychological implications, both good and bad, associated with such a future.

S594: Supreme Court Ideologies and Impact on the Law
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Gabriel Vergara

This course is going to examine the various judicial philosophies employed by Justices on the Supreme Court. We will look at and compare these different interpretations. The course has no prerequisites and is open to all hoping to learn about the Supreme Court and the law.