ESP Biography



RICHARD CHEN, Junior in Human Development and Gerontology




Major: Human Development

College/Employer: Cornell

Year of Graduation: 2018

Picture of Richard Chen

Brief Biographical Sketch:

Richard Chen is a senior majoring in Human Development with minors in Gerontology, Psychology, and Nutritional Science at Cornell University. He is a research assistant for Professor Charles Brainerd’s Human Memory and Neuroscience Lab and is completing an honors thesis addressing the application of quantum probability to modelling cognitive impairment in older adults.



Past Classes

  (Look at the class archive for more.)


Introduction to Debate & Public Speaking in Splash Fall 17
We debate all the time with parents and friends. We can argue about anything as complex as philosophy and politics and as mundane as what to eat for dinner. Being a strong debater and communicator is essential for any career field. However, many students never get the benefit of public speaking because they are intimidated by audiences and the demands of impromptu speaking. This seminar will help build basic skills in argumentation and oral communication.


Persona: an Introduction to Memory Studies in Splash Fall 2016
“Our lives are the sum of our memories. How much are we willing to lose from our already short lives by … not paying attention?” - Josh Foer. The role of memory is changing in our society. We don't worry about forgetting our childhood memories because we can access them on iPhotos - all of human knowledge held by the Internet. So what of our own memories? How do these changes affect how we remember and forget, how our personal identities interact with the past? This course is an introductory seminar into the nascent field of memory studies, a powerfully interdisciplinary field composed of psychology, neuroscience, sociology, poetics, politics, philosophy, and medicine. Contemplating memory has something to offer for everyone, academically and in day to day life.


Introduction to Existentialism: How can we live better? in Splash Spring 2016
Existentialism is a philosophical social movement born in response to the growing absurdity and alien world of post-WWII Europe. Despite the typical image of Existentialists as clad all in black, drinking coffee, and smoking French cigars in Parisian cafes, existentialism's mission is to help average people handle everyday anxiety and sadness. Students will participate in a forum-style discussion, conversing about the problems of being. We will discuss the thinking of classic existentialists, such as Kierkegaard and Heidegger.