Welcome to Princeton Splash, a student-run organization at Princeton University

Splash Spring 14 Course Catalog

Jump to Categories
Arts Engineering
Humanities Math & Computer Science
Science Miscellaneous

Arts

A201: Computational Art
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Angela Zhou

We'll talk about the relationships between math and visualization, especially with regards to pretty fractal pictures! I'll also walk you through how to get started playing with your own computationally generated art with Processing.js.

A173: Survey of the Piano Repertoire
Difficulty: **

The piano is the most-written for instrument in history and its wide repertoire can be daunting to navigate. This course aims to give benchmarks of the seminal works for keyboard, shed light on under-appreciated works, and cover some basic music history in the process. There will also be content regarding recital programming and repertoire choice. The class will feature some brief performance samples by Princeton pianists as well as some guided listening.

Prerequisites
Minimal ability to read music. No experience with piano or music history is required, though!

A236: Celtic Knots
Difficulty: **

We will explore different methods of designing and weaving Celtic knots through hands-on activities. All materials included. No experience necessary.

A151: Learn to Draw, Part 1: basics of drawing
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Silken Jones

Learn basic drawing techniques in a friendly, any-level-of-experience environment. You can learn about shading techniques, tools for drawing people, perspective techniques, all sorts of tools and tricks.

Prerequisites
No requirements! Just show up with a pencil

A163: The Basics of Esperanto
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Avaneesh Narla

Esperanto, created by Dr. Zamenhof in 1887, is the most widely spoken constructed international auxiliary language. Created as an easy-to-learn, politically neutral language, now it has almost two million speakers. The course will explore the basics of the language, and expose students to Esperanto culture and history (including the original works of Dr. Zamenhof in Firestone!)

A182: Art of Filmmaking
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Pelin Asa

From the most conventional love story to the weirdest film you have ever seen many films have a lot things in common that you don't realize: filmmaking techniques that help you connect the story, the scenes to each other, make you love or hate a shot. Learn some filmmaking terms to make your next movie comment sound cooler!

A149: Improv Comedy 101 Full!
Difficulty: *

What can help improve listening skills, communication, teamwork, and relieve stress? Improv comedy! Come laugh and learn the basics with Princeton's Fuzzy Dice Improv Comedy troupe. We'll show you that being funny on the spot isn't scary at all, and the best part is, anyone can do it! No experience necessary. See you there!

Prerequisites
None

A192: Survey of Modern Art
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Ella Cheng

Ever stare at a puzzling work from great modern artists like Van Gogh and Andy Warhol and wish you could understand the thoughts, philosophy and history behind the paintings? Want to understand the colorful bands of Rothko or the meaning behind Duchamp's "Fountain"?

This course will survey the key modern art movements, from post-Impressionism through 20th century modern art. It will include a creative, hands-on art project in the middle. OPTIONAL: If you do not have a class right after, join Ella for a tour of the Princeton University Art Museum!

A223: Graphic Design Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jennifer Liu

In this course, we will explore Adobe Illustrator as a graphic design tool. This is a course for students who have little or no experience with Illustrator as we will start by learning the basic tools and techniques in Illustrator. After getting to know the program, we will create logos for ourselves in Illustrator using what we have learned!

Prerequisites
None!

A169: Intro to Slam Poetry with Ellipses Slam Team
Difficulty: **

Slam poetry, also known as spoken-word or performance poetry, is an art form that is both ancient and modern, traditional and fresh. We'll talk about the origins of slam and the implications of performing the written word and encounter a wide variety of examples. The majority of the class will consist of a writing and performance workshop allowing students to explore this unique art form with the help of members of Princeton's own Ellipses Slam Team.

A174: Bharatnatyam - Classical South Indian Dance Form
Difficulty: *

A fun experience to learn the basics of Bharatanatyam, a classical Indian dance form. This is a dance form that requires quite some skill and practice before becoming a pro, but, this is a class that is meant to serve as an opportunity to see what the dance form is like and to pick up the fundamentals.

Prerequisites
None

A154: Learn to Draw, Part 2: People, Poses, Figures, and Faces
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Silken Jones

Learn tips and tricks on drawing humans! Body proportions, posing/body language, facial structure, facial expressions and more will all be covered. All experience levels welcome.

Prerequisites
None! Just remember to bring a pencil

A222: Music and Lyrics
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Yifan Li

An introduction to songwriting for anyone from total newbies to hardened vets. The first half of the class will introduce the basics of writing lyrics and putting lyrics to music. The second half will involve students playing with songwriting in a collaborative environment.

Prerequisites
Some experience with music, be it formal musical training, years of busking on the street, or just having a love for singing in the shower.

A189: Beatboxing Basics
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Matthew Wang

Learn how to make sick beats with just your mouth! Essential sounds of modern vocal percussion, plus a few neat effects.

Prerequisites
Do you have a mouth? Musical experience helpful but not necessary

A216: Identifying and Creating Feminist Media
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Lily Gellman

Are you discouraged by a dearth of strong female representation in the TV shows you watch and the books you read? Are you tired of sexist microaggressions in popular culture? Do you lament the lack of movies that pass the Bechdel test?

Or maybe you aren't sure what I'm talking about, but either way, it's important to you to learn how to write complex female characters and establish rich creative universes in your work where women do not play second fiddle to men.

In this class, we will interrogate our understandings of what might constitute "feminist media," and use a variety of cultural materials to develop a broad definition that works for all of us. In the final 1/3 of class, you can choose to develop your own concept for a TV show, story, film, etc, and we can make our own media!

Prerequisites
Bring an interest in popular culture, a creative spirit, and an open mind! You do not need to self-identify as a feminist.

Engineering

E142: Getting Started in Electronics
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Glenn Fisher

Come and learn the fundamentals of electronics! We'll start with the basics--voltage, current, and resistance--and build up enough knowledge to design cool circuits. Most of our time will be spent getting hands-on and working in small groups to build our circuits on a breadboard.

We'll focus on building an intuition for basic electronics concepts and practical applications instead of their mathematical foundations.

No previous exposure to electronics is required or expected. This class will cover the pre-requisites for my class on Arduinos.

Prerequisites
None.

E143: Getting Started with Arduino
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Glenn Fisher

Have you ever wanted to build a self-balancing robot, RFID cat door, or homebrew quadcopter? Then you should get an Arduino! Arduino is an "open source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software." It's a lot of fun to use and enables an astounding number of interesting projects and applications.

In this course, we'll introduce you to the Arduino platform and walk you through some simple projects. We'll spend our time getting hands-on with Arduinos to design and build a few basic circuits, culminating in the design of an Arduino-based theremin instrument.

Join us for a fun hour of electronics prototyping, building, and hacking! You'll walk out of this course with the knowledge to begin tackling your very own electronics projects.

Prerequisites
Previous exposure to electronics fundamentals (i.e. voltage, current, resistance, and breadboards). These fundamentals will be covered in my other class on "Getting Started with Electronics." Previous exposure to basic programming is helpful, but not necessary.

E207: Chemical Engineering: Heat Transfer and Cooling Brownies
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Andreia Fenley

This course tackles one of the core courses in chemical engineering: transport phenomena. Transport phenomena covers mass, momentum, and heat transfer. Mass transfer governs the transdermal drug delivery of a nicotine patch and how fast it will take paint to dry. Momentum transfer involves fluid dynamics. Heat transfer analysis can reveal how long it will take a brownie to cool out of the oven. We will tackle one of these real world problems in depth while also using differential equations, dimensional analysis, calculus, and chemistry. This class will introduce high school students to an important subject in chemical engineering and we will have real brownies to celebrate the problem solving!!!

Prerequisites
Calculus

E148: Introduction to Computer Programming
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Shubhro Saha

Come learn how to program computers from the very basics! No experience is required. This class will show how to build web crawlers and other applications in Python. Guidance will be given on how to continue learning on Codeacademy after the Splash class.

E141: How to train your quadcopter
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Harvest Zhang

Multirotors, from tricopters to quadcopters, hexes, octos, and all sorts of weird variants like Y6's, are increasingly popular for all sorts of robotics, RC, filming, and other purposes.

What makes them work? Why have they become so popular now, but not before? What do you actually need to build one? What can you do with them?

We'll look at how multirotors fly, how they're controlled and programmed, how to make them autonomous, and how to build one. We'll also discuss various cool things you can do with them. Finally, we'll put theory into practice with live quadcopter demos!

Prerequisites
A little bit of basic physics, but most importantly interest and enthusiasm in building cool flying things.

Humanities

H215: From William Gaddis to David Foster Wallace: American Postmodern Literature
Difficulty: **
Teachers: David Ting

In the second half of the twentieth century, cultural revolutions swept through America. Waves of new forms of art each decade bore radically different tones from the last. And yet the novels that accompanied the dynamism of those years have seen a dropping readership. Novels of immense power that have predicted the cultural, existential crises of our times have somehow slipped under the radar. This class surveys the major postmodern works of the latter half of the twentieth century, as well as today's state of postmodern literature. By the end of this class, participants will be acquainted with the likes of Gaddis, Pynchon, Burroughs, and more. The discussion of favorite books in the postmodern tradition is highly encouraged.

H168: Flawed Genius: Sherlock Holmes as Aspergian Hero
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Isabella Bosetti

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s notorious character has recently been reimagined in two television shows and a film franchise: it seems that there is no time more welcoming to Sherlock Holmes than the 21st century. Yet, in this class, we will examine how a modern Sherlock faces more challenges than his Victorian-era predecessor.

Using Sherlock Holmes as a case study and jumping-off point, we will examine society’s attitudes towards technology and people who are technologically adept, the portrayal of characters with mental illness in modern media, and the association between autism and crime.

We will conclude with some serious (and one intentionally amusing) responses by both experts and autistic individuals to the occasionally condescending attitude “neurotypicals” have towards people with autism.

Prerequisites
Familiarity with Sherlock Holmes in at least one of his many incarnations is recommended. If not, don't fret: context will be provided in class.

H162: Basics of Essay Writing
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Cynthia Jackson

Over the course of an hour, students will learn the basics of essay writing through in class discussion, a powerpoint, and group practice.

Prerequisites
None

H231: American Sign Language 101
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Colin Lualdi

Ever wonder how the Deaf communicate with each other? Then take American Sign Language 101! Basic finger-spelling and signs will be taught, and there will be ample opportunity to practice with classmates through ASL-based games and activities. No previous ASL experience is needed.

Prerequisites
Dedicated and motivated work ethic

H190: Personal Creativity: An Exploration Through Fanfiction and Creative Writing
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Katie Lawrence

Love reading fanfic, but struggle when it comes to writing your own? Constantly hitting writer's block and waiting to be inspired? Come explore what you need to keep in mind when writing compelling fanfiction, and hopefully learn some new tips to help you on your quest to entertain fellow fans everywhere. We will also look into how to construct your own written universe(s), as well as how to populate it with well-thought-out characters.

H177: Egyptian Hieroglyphs
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jane Wang

Come and learn how to read and write hieroglyphs! We will discuss the basics of the Egyptian alphabet and sentence structure, examine some real Egyptian texts, and practice writing hieroglyphs.

H209: Why?
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Katrina Bushko

This class is meant to give an introduction to the big questions in philosophy. We'll go over big-name thinkers such as Plato, Descartes, and Nietzsche on topics such as life, death, and the universe. Come with an open mind and endless curiosity!

H176: Believe in yourself!
Difficulty: *

We're going over the science that explains why believing in yourself makes you a better student.

H185: Introduction to Basic Chinese
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Elyse Jackson

If you would like a basic introduction to the Chinese language, then you're in the right place! You will learn pronunciation (which includes the four tones), basic vocabulary and useful phrases. Come for a fun way to learn a very cool language!

H226: This Land is Your Land: Territorial Disputes Around The World
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Rahul Subramanian

From the Peloponnesian War to the current crisis in Crimea, land disputes have sown the seeds of conflict between great powers. In this course, we will examine the historical causes, current status, and proposed solutions to present-day territorial disputes.

Depending on student interest, some of the territories we may focus on include Crimea (Russia-Ukraine), Jammu and Kashmir (India-Pakistan-China), the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands (Japan-China), Dokdo/Takeshima (South Korea-Japan), Taiwan (Taiwan, China), Tibet (China, Tibet, India) and the West Bank/Gaza Strip (Israel-Palestinian Authority).

Prerequisites
Background knowledge of/interest in world history and international relations

Math & Computer Science

M232: Getting Started with iOS Programming
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Hansen Qian

Ever wanted to make the next Flappy Bird, Venmo, or Snapchat? While we won't make anything that complex, this course will give you a crash course on the basics of XCode, Objective-C, and everything else you need to know to build a simple app (I don't know what we'll build yet, but email me suggestions!). No iOS Experience Required.

Prerequisites
Object Oriented Programming (know what classes, methods are); familiarity with programming a plus; a Mac with OSX 10.9 Mavericks (and thus XCode) if you want to follow along.

M224: Algorithms
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Gaurav Singh

Have you wondered how a computer can solve a problem? What it means for an algorithm to be faster than another one? Then this class is for you! We will be looking at some algorithms, and analyzing how long they take to run, and giving a taste of what they can do.

M171: Proving Euler's Formula
Difficulty: **
Teachers: William Navarre

The aim of this class is to get everyone in the class to see that e^(ix)=cos x+ i*sin x and the special case that e^(pi*i)=-1.

I will concentrate on the power series proof (because the concepts used will be very helpful in your future BC Calculus class). Time permitting, I will go over another proof or two which leads to the same result.

Prerequisites
Rule of thumb: If you are in a fairly rigorous pre-calc course, or in AB Calculus, this course is for you. If you are in BC Calculus, it might be too easy. More formally, to take the class, you should: -Know what a derivative is. -Know what sin, cos are, in terms of the unit circle. - Know what e is and why it's special. -You do NOT need to know power series. -You do NOT need to remember all the nasty integrals!

M206: Counting Infinities - Introduction to Infinite Sets and Combinatorics
Difficulty: ***

What are different types of infinities? How can we compare infinite sets, and how big do these sets get?

We will explore these questions in some depth. We will also demystify some apparent paradoxes that arise from infinite sets by teaching Combinatorics and Set Theory to the students. Finally, we will end the class with some ground breaking and beautiful results on cardinal infinities that were discovered by Georg Cantor in the 1800s.

Prerequisites
Basic Algebra, preferably Calculus

M203: How to Keep Secrets: An introduction to secret codes and cryptography
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Joshua Kroll

We'll trace the development of secret code making and code breaking from the invention of secret codes in classical times to modern methods used to secure sensitive transactions, such as online banking. On the way, we'll learn some discrete mathematics and modular arithmetic.
Specifically, we'll cover:
-the Caesar cipher, along with enhancements like the Vigenère cipher
-Unconditionally secure encryption and the "one time pad"
-Diffie-Hellman Key Exchange
-Public key cryptography and the RSA algorithm

M152: Data Compression
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Jason Altschuler

Quick crash course in basic information theory. Will talk about fundamental limits of lossless data compression and cover a few basic techniques / algorithms.

Prerequisites
Basic knowledge of probability (conditional probability, expectation, etc.)

M191: Interesting Paradoxes in Math Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Elizabeth Yang

Learn about some interesting mind-bogglers in math and the explanations behind some of these paradoxes.

A bit of math history involved as well!

Prerequisites
Interest in math!

M212: The Value of Optionality and Choice
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Ryan Peng

In this class, we will briefly explore the mathematics behind optionality and try to understand why humans are willing to pay extra for freedom of choice. More specifically, we will talk about vanilla & exotic options (types of financial derivatives) and how to properly value them with a risk-adjusted investor view. Time-permitting, we will discuss elementary arbitrage strategies, which allows us to make "free money" in the stock market.

Prerequisites
Basic probability and statistics. Single variable calculus.

M204: Intro to programming in Haskell
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Omar Rizwan

Haskell is a programming language which feels very different from mainstream languages like Java, JavaScript, and even C++. To learn it, you'll have to think differently.

Writing Haskell code is not about plumbing and tedious debugging. You shouldn't have to play computer in your head. Instead of writing procedures, you'll write definitions which express your *ideas*, then fit them together like puzzle pieces. Hundreds of lines of Java can easily become a dozen lines of Haskell.

This is an interactive workshop. You will be writing code!

Prerequisites
Some programming knowledge (Intro to Java or AP Computer Science or prior experience in any other language)

M178: What is computational linguistics?
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Alan Chang

Here's an amusing use of linguistics: http://what-would-i-say.com/ It's a website written by Princeton students that generates random text based on your Facebok data. (I get things like "I must have looked silly walking off the plane in my life was the binder section!" and "For the kangaroos come over I'll let you should learn linear algebra To finish by November 1. Ahhhh!!!")

In this class, we'll take a look at what computational linguistics is useful for. (Google Translate and Siri come to mind.) We'll also discuss why it is so hard for computers to process natural human language.

Prerequisites
No prior experience with linguistics is necessary!

M186: The Mathematics of Magic Tricks
Difficulty: **

Wonder what goes on behind all those super cool card tricks? It's definitely not real magic. Take this class and find out for yourself the beauty of mathematics and how "magical" it can be!

Prerequisites
Basic high-school level math

M233: Introduction to Random Variables, Probability, and Data Science
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Hansen Qian

Interested in drawing conclusions from a data set or seeing how random occurrences can lead to something unexpected? This class will introduce you to the basics of data science: probabilities, random variables, expectations, and the like. We will learn the basics of what is covered in an introductory data science class (such as ORF 309).

Prerequisites
No experience is required, though knowledge of algebra/calculus is a plus.

M172: Recursion in Programming
Difficulty: **
Teachers: William Navarre

Our main goal will be to implement a recursive algorithm in Python to compute combinations and permutations.

We will prove that this is possible as well.

If we have time, we will discuss how recursion and mathematical induction are related.

Prerequisites
-Some programming language experience using functions. -Solid understanding of permutations, combinations, and factorial.

M208: Dynamical Systems: Rabbits and Foxes
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Andreia Fenley

In this class, we will explore dynamical systems. Dynamical systems are a means of describing how one state develops into another state over the course of time. Examples include the mathematical models that describe the swinging of a clock pendulum, the flow of water in a pipe, and the number of fish each springtime in a lake.
One common model that is a dynamical system is the predator-prey model. It tracks the population of rabbits and foxes as a function of time, given the differential equations that describe the rate of population growth as a function of the current population size. We will explore this classic example. We will also answer the questions: what would happen if a billion rabbits over the Earth's carrying capacity came from Mars and how different factors, like how many fish are eaten by sharks can be affected by the current size of the population.
This class will rely on calculus and will introduce students to the beginning of differential equations.

Prerequisites
Calculus

M179: Graph Algorithms
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Harry Stern

PageRank is the algorithm Google was founded on. It tells you, roughly, how important a webpage is by looking at what other pages link to it, and when you search for something on Google, its PageRank is part of what determines the order of your results.

Google accomplishes this by treating the web as a graph, a set of vertices and edges that connect them, and in this class you will learn about PageRank and a couple other neat graph algorithms.

Other topics we might cover if there's time: Max flow (railway traffic or water in a water distribution network) algorithms, shortest path algorithms, algorithms used in video games.

Prerequisites
It would be nice if you know what "a proof" is, or if you have programming experience, but neither are required. You should probably know what an algorithm is.

M183: Some Fun Puzzles
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Aaron Schild

Let’s say you have 100 people, each with a number between 1 and 100 inclusive written on their foreheads with some numbers (potentially) repeated. Any given person can see every number except for their own. Each player guesses their own number simultaneously with no communication between players beforehand. Can we ensure that at least one player guesses their number correctly?

If you want to play with cool puzzles like this one and learn some of the useful and interesting math behind them, come to this class!

Prerequisites
Some knowledge of basic probability

M205: Messing around with infinity
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Feng Zhu

Did you know that there are smaller and larger infinities? Or that there is a meaningful sense in which infinity plus one is not the same as infinity? We will explore some aspects of how infinity is treated in modern mathematics and how it leads to somewhat counter-intuitive consequences ... including the result that a ball can be cut up into finitely many pieces and reassembled into two balls of the same size.

Prerequisites
General interest in math, but no specific prerequisites.

M217: Introductory Logic
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Adam Millar

An introduction to the basics of Classical Logic, the methods of argumentation used in contemporary Mathematics.
Learn to analyze arguments in the abstract, construct proofs using Natural Deduction, and investigate logical propositions using truth tables.

Prerequisites
Basic familiarity with proofs.

M167: Introduction to Theoretical Computer Science
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Bianca Homberg

Computers are powerful, sure. But can they compute anything you want them to? Is there anything computers absolutely can’t figure out, no matter what? The answer here is yes—computers are not omnipotent.

In this class, we’ll prove mathematically that despite whatever clever algorithms people can come up with, there will always be problems that are impossible for a computer to solve. We’ll look at few examples, including the Halting Problem. Along the way, we’ll encounter and investigate a variety of theoretical constructs which compute: deterministic finite automata (DFA’s), pushdown automata, context free grammars, and Turing Machines. We'll also explore what kinds of problems these can solve--and prove which ones are more powerful.

M170: Making it Rain with 0's and 1's
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Walker Davis

We all keep reading about Bitcoin, and how it's supposed to change the world, but what exactly is it, and how does it work? I'll unravel the mystery of the inner workings of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Dogecoin, and show how to get started with Bitcoin.

M202: Number Theory Tricks: An Introduction to Modular Arithmetic
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Utsarga Sikder

What is the last digit of $3^2014$? Is 1234567890 divisible by 11? While these questions might seem impossible to answer without the help of a calculator, they can actually be solved in your head!

The key to answering these questions is modular arithmetic, the mathematics of remainders. This class will teach you how to do these number theory tricks and why they work.

Prerequisites
Understanding of division

M195: Shadows, Halos, and the Hyperreal
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Frederic Koehler

In the late 17th Century, Isaac Newton and Gottfried Liebniz independently developed a revolutionary new mathematics, calculus, based upon a radical new concept: infinitesimals, the infinitely small. Though intuitively elegant, infinitesimals were derided by philosophers for being nonrigorous and possibly nonsensical; mathematicians, unable to rigorously define the concept, chose instead to rebuild calculus without it.

It was not until the 1960s that a mathematician, Abraham Robinson, found a rigorous way to define the infinitesimals as part of a "hyperreal line", and thus gave birth to a mathematics of the infinitely small (and the infinitely big). Since then, Robinson's "non-standard" approach has found use both in introductory calculus courses and in the research of world-class mathematicians (e.g. Terrence Tao, Fields medalist).

Because the proof of their mathematical "existence" is slightly technical, I would instead like to briefly discuss their usage. In particular I would like students to leave with a basic intuitive understanding of the notions of shadows and halos and their relation to some basic calculus.

Prerequisites
Precalculus. Some exposure to calculus is a plus, but is not strictly required, since everything will be redefined.

Science

S184: Computational Biology
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Yan Wu, Michelle Wu

The use of computational tools has revolutionized the field of biology in the last few decades. In this course, you will learn about bioinformatic approaches for understanding problems from basic biology to disease models.

Prerequisites
Some biology background (understand the central dogma, basic biology concepts)

S175: How and When Our Eyes Fool Us
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Ryan Ly

How do you see and make sense of the visual world? Did you know your eyes could be totally wrong? We will go through how our visual system works and explore various illusions that reveal the shortcuts and assumptions that our brains make everyday.

S135: Crash Course in Neuroscience--Why Study the Brain? Full!
Difficulty: **

Why do we have a brain? And how can we even begin to think about studying it? Are the theories that have been established credible? In about an hour, we'll take a tour of the brain, discussing what we already know about its function, how we've gotten this far, and the work in the field that has yet to be completed.

S136: V is for Vaccine
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Wing Fei Wong

From birth to death, vaccines follow us with every doctor visit, every trip to the pharmacy, and every winter flu season. But what is a vaccine? How does it get made? Most importantly, is it safe? Learn about what goes on behind every prick of a needle and why it is that doctors/government/parents make you go through it in the first place.

Prerequisites
Be able to answer these two questions without looking it up on Wikipedia: What is an immune system? What is a protein? If you looked it up on Wikipedia, you know enough to take this class.

S194: The Science Behind the Low-Carb Diet
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Julia Hu

Fad dieting is a phenomenon of the First World, where all kinds of methods are employed to try to lose weight, from low-calorie to low-carb diets, magic pills to exotic fruits. In this class, we'll examine the low-carb diet from a molecular perspective, and why it may be the diet that actually works.

S144: Virology
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jenna Newman

Viruses, although discovered on the eve of the twentieth century, are ancient agents of disease (or sometimes, unnoticed residents) in the human body. In this class, we will learn how to categorize viruses and understand the answers to the following questions:
1) What do all viruses have in common? How do they contain such powerful information in small genomes and what are some tricks they use to optimize storage of this information? What techniques do viruses employ to vary their genomes to generate diverse genotypes, and consequently, phenotypes?
2) Why are viruses like Ebola or rabies so dangerous (note- they are highly fatal for very different reasons, both of which we will cover)?
3) Why do we have vaccines against some viral diseases, such as polio, while we have yet to develop a vaccine against HIV? Why is it that the vaccine for influenza changes each year?

We will also briefly cover other infectious agents such as prions and viroids.

Prerequisites
High School Biology

S227: In Space and Time, Everything is Relative
Difficulty: ***

From two assumptions, Albert Einstein derived the existence of all sorts of wacky phenomena: time dilation, length contraction, and of course the famous $$E = mc^2$$.

Through a series of gedankenexperiments (thought experiments) and apparent "paradoxes," we will take a crash course through the ideas and math behind special relativity.

Prerequisites
High School Newtonian mechanics. No advanced math required, but you should be comfortable working with vectors.

S137: Neurobiological Communication: How Your Everyday Behaviors All Boil Down to the Flow of Ions
Difficulty: **

Many behaviors can be linked to brain activity. But what is this "activity"? In this class, we'll be discussing what is known about neuronal communication, including a review of the action potential--how it's generated and its effects on neural systems. In addition to discussing the microscopic details of synaptic connections, we'll take a look at how neuroscientists build models to explain how the integration of millions of signals in the brain can explain human behaviors at the macroscopic level.

Prerequisites
It is recommended that students have taken some high school biology. It is also recommended, although definitely not required, that students have also taken the Crash Course in Neuroscience Class--either from this year's or last year's Splash!

S139: So You're a Cadaver. What Could Possibly Happen?
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Wing Fei Wong

Approximately 2.5 million Americans die per year. What happens to them? Organ transplant? Donation to science? Typical funeral? Being shot into space?
Learn about the many things that can happen to a corpse, from educating the next generation of doctors to being turned into diamonds.

Prerequisites
Basic biology is preferable.

S228: Cold atom trapping
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Pavel Shibayev

This class will discuss two interesting topics in solid state/condensed matter physics: the theory of superconductivity and cold atom trapping, both of which were awarded a Nobel Prize in physics within the last several decades. All those interested are encouraged to sign up; no prerequisite is required other than a desire to learn.

S218: Quantum Optics
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Sneha Rath

We will go over some of the groundbreaking experiments that are the corner stone of Quantum Physics as we know it today.

Prerequisites
None

S214: Body Battles!: Introduction to Immunology
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Rahul Subramanian

The human body’s immune system is the ultimate fighting machine! This course will provide an introduction into the fundamental principles of immunology and help students understand how the human body is able to defend itself from a variety of pathogens including viruses, bacteria, fungi, and worms.
The course will focus on basic organizational principles of the of the immune system (like adaptive vs. innate immunity ) and touch on concepts like host-parasite evolution, polymorphism, cross-reactivity and immunopathology. (If you don’t know what any of these terms mean-no worries, you will by the end of this course!). We will also discuss some ways in which the immune system combats the influenza virus on a molecular, cellular, and population level. This course can be taken in sequence with Virology and Vaccines, and will provide students with a foundation in immunology that could be useful for both courses.

Prerequisites
High school biology is recommended but not required.

S211: Fantastic Pharmaceuticals: What's behind those little pills?
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Chris Habermann

Have you ever wondered what goes into the creation of your medication? How much time, money, and effort goes into the production of one of those tablets? If so, this course is for you. We will cover a brief history of medicine, the current process of creating drugs, and a simple overview of how drugs affect the human body.

Prerequisites
None required, though some exposure to biology would help

S193: Technology of the Future
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Andrew Chan

Will the latest scientific discoveries bring us into the age of autonomous vehicles, personalized medicine, genetic engineering and artificial intelligence? How might technological advances possibly impact human lives in a futuristic society? This course will introduce a variety of emergent technologies, and explore the implications of these future technologies on human health and society.

S213: From the Big Bang to Black Holes
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Revant Nayar

Ever wanted to know the basics of modern cosmology in an accessible way? We provide you with a brief overview of the standard model of cosmology, including the Big Bang and large scale structure of the universe.

S188: How Chocolate is Made Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Gregory Owen

We're a student-run bean-to-bar chocolate factory on campus. We make chocolate every weekend, and we're going to show you how! In this course, you'll see firsthand how chocolate is made from the beans of the Theobroma cacao tree into the delicious dessert we all know. You will make chocolate hands-on, try chocolate at all the different stages of its manufacture, and learn about every step of the journey from bean to bar.

Prerequisites
Desire to consume chocolate

S158: This is your Brain on Drugs Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Teresa Rufin

What causes the vivid and bizarre visuals of an LSD trip? Why are "hard" drugs like heroine and meth are so damaging? Why is caffeine is so addictive? This class will explore a variety of different drugs, from prescriptions to street drugs, and the effect that each one has on the human brain & body, both in the short and long-term.

NOTE: I will not be advocating the usage of any drugs in this class- it is intended solely for educational purposes.

Prerequisites
Some very basic neuroscience and psychology will be covered

S180: A Secret Life of Plants: Carnivorous Diets
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Kevin Zhang

Plants aren't as innocent as you might think! While many will let you or other animals eat them, others have turned the table...horrifically devouring animals that cross their paths.

What are these plants? Why do they trap insects? Where do they live? Come learn about the luring, trapping, and digesting mechanisms of carnivorous plants, from the famous Venus Flytrap to lesser known beasts like the butterworts and dewy pine. Perhaps you'll even get to take a little carnivore home with you!

Miscellaneous

X200: Blindfolded Cubing
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Alexander Yu

Learn how to Cube blindfolded!

Prerequisites
none -- cubing experience would be helpful

X140: Beginner's Bridge
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Ante Qu

Learn to play contract bridge, an enjoyable card game that millions of people play worldwide in clubs, tournaments, and with friends at home! No experience required.

X234: Introduction to Lojban
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Paul Rapoport

coi rodo! Come learn Lojban, the culturally neutral, perfectly unambiguous language of logic.

X146: Why wait? Meditate!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jaan Altosaar

Thinking about nothing makes you smarter! Meditation has been shown to increase attention span, emotional awareness and control, and increase gray matter density in areas of the brain responsible for learning. It is especially useful for managing stress and increasing your attention span.

Drop in for short sessions of guided and unguided meditation, and a primer on mindfulness and meditation in general.

You will leave with a better understanding of what meditation is and how to practice it at home.

X165: Baking Basics
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Marni Morse

A hands on class to learn some basic baking techniques while actually making something you can eat and enjoy after class!

Prerequisites
A sweet tooth!

X229: Meditation Through Zumba
Difficulty: **

We will combine a Zumba class with meditation and stretching. Come ready to move and have some fun!

Prerequisites
None

X160: Talking to Strangers Full!
Difficulty: *

Find yourself freezing up in social situations? Consider yourself self-conscious or an introvert? We'll fix that! We'll start with some instruction, then practice our newfound skills. If the weather's nice, we'll have a large practical component.

X199: Theory of Competitive Pokemon
Difficulty: *

How to play competitive pokemon on PokemonShowdown.

Introduction to basic team builds, EVs, IVs, and so on.

Prerequisites
none

X196: Intro to Cockney Rhyming Slang
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Gina Triolo

Ever heard the phrase "put up your dukes" or "I can't Adam and Eve it"? These are examples of Cockney rhyming slang, a type of slang originating in the East End of London. We will discuss the history and of the slang and learn many common words and phrases. This is intended to be a fun, relaxed class with an emphasis on participation. No experience necessary!

X147: How to find almost anything online, for free (and know whether you can trust it) Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jaan Altosaar

We will discuss the basics of torrents and filesharing online, as well as the legality and copyright issues of downloading various media and which apps and technologies to use to evade government (and other) surveillance online.

We will review what is and isn't allowed under current US law, and how to stay safe and legal when downloading. Furthermore, we'll discuss how to know whether you can trust what you have downloaded.

Please bring your computer if you wish to follow along with the demonstration!

X197: Cryptic Crosswords
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jonathan Schneider

Do you like regular crosswords and want to try something new and more challenging? Or maybe you like word games, like Scrabble or Anagrams? Cryptic crosswords combine the best parts of regular crossword puzzles and other word games. We'll teach you how clues like "Change of heart for our planet" can solve to "EARTH" and some of the rules for how cryptic crosswords work, and then you can try solving some on your own!

X235: The Basics of Go
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Paul Rapoport

Come learn the basics of go/baduk/weiqi, the most beautiful strategy game.

X210: Computers: what could have been
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Omar Rizwan

"The real computer revolution hasn't happened yet." -- Alan Kay

What are our computers for?

Douglas Engelbart (the "inventor of the mouse"), Xerox PARC, the MIT Media Lab, the original Macintosh team, the One Laptop Per Child group, famous designer Bret Victor -- all these folks had a vision for computing. What was that vision?
They weren't just great scientists and engineers. They wanted computers to help humans think better, to empower people to make things, and to somehow elevate our civilization.

I'll talk about and show you examples of the computer interfaces they proposed, and how they wanted to use computers to create better people.

Prerequisites
A little programming experience will make some examples resonate more, but isn't necessary. You do have to have used a computer (or smartphone)!

X225: Speaking Up: Feminist Leadership in Every Day Life
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Rachel Schwartz

You don't need to be holding a megaphone and picket sign to be a feminist leader. A sexist remark can be an opportunity to point out subtle discrimination or to start discourse on feminist issues and communication is necessary for change. This class will give you some techniques for conversational intervention and hopefully help you gain the confidence to share your awesome ideas.

Prerequisites
None. Every age and every gender are welcome.

X220: Intro to Juggling
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Max Kaplan, Andrew Ward

Everyone is welcome! Come here to learn how to juggle or learn a more advanced trick or two if you already know how.

X155: Intro to Swing Dancing
Difficulty: **

Swing is one of the most social and laid-back partner dances. This course will teach you the (incredibly easy) basic step of swing, along with a variety of turns and other moves. No partner necessary!

X145: How the latest neuroscience, biochemistry, and psychology research can help you be happier and succeed at school and life
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jaan Altosaar

Did you know that how long you could wait for a marshmallow as a kid correlates better to your future success than your IQ? We will discuss recent advances in neuroscience and psychology and how they can help us understand ourselves and help with motivation. You will leave with insights into how to apply science of habit formation, creativity, and intelligence to your life, and (hopefully) a sense that yes, you can finally start that project you've been putting off!

X166: Intro to Becoming a Memory Champion
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Erik Massenzio

Many people think that memorizing is the most dull and brute-force mental activity available. Actually, memorizing done properly can be one of the quickest and most fun ways to boost creativity! We will be learning how to get started on memorizing names and faces, long lists of numbers, and poems in this class by using the ancient Method of Loci. This is the method used by Memory Champions and can be learned easily!

Prerequisites
Sleep the night before (actually)! We will need every bit of our brains!