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

Splash Spring 2017
Course Catalog

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Arts Engineering
Humanities Math & Computer Science
Science Miscellaneous


Arts

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A469: Beatbox 101
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jason Shi

Did you ever want to know how to drop sick beats with your mouth? Blow your friends away with snares, bongos, trumpets, and siren noises that all come from mouth! Beatbox is one of the most accessible art forms, and anyone can learn how to do it! This will be a workshop on the fundamentals of beatboxing, and more advanced sounds/techniques if time permits.

A463: Stop, Drop, Roll - A Movement Party
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Alex Quetell

We'll wiggle, choreograph, and experience new ways to move in space. The class is flexible, so both seasoned dancers and people new to dance are encouraged to join! The class will take place in the set of a senior thesis production, and we'll get to play with props and make our own mini set designs. There will be a short performance at the end from the cast members of the thesis show.


Prerequisites
All movement background is encouraged (athletes, dancers, party-goers)

A467: Intro to American Sign Language Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Daniel Gift

This course is an introduction to American Sign Language and the intimately related concept of Deaf culture. Students will gain a basic mastery of the manual alphabet, learn some conversational signs, and will be exposed to what Deaf culture is and means.


Prerequisites
None; this course assumes that the students has absolutely no prior ASL knowledge.

A479: Lighting in Theater
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Hannah Yang

Exploring the power of lights in theater. We will look into what happens when we vary the direction, color, angle and form of a light. By the end of the class, you should understand the basics of how lighting can tell a story.

A481: "All the World's a Stage": The Basics of Playwriting (2 hour version)
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jonathan Alicea

What's the first image that comes to your mind when you see the word "theatre"? Maybe red curtains. Or dolled-up actors performing at their highest energy levels. Or perhaps a cheerful audience giving a standing ovation. Do you picture a playwright typing away furiously on his computer as he sips his coffee and laughs at his own clever jokes? After all, without the playwright, there would be no story and jokes to tell on the stage.

In this course, you will learn the basics of writing a play while we try to answer the fundamental question: "Why write a play in the first place?" We will talk about genre, plot structure, character creation and development, and the challenges (and benefits) of writing for the stage. In the second half of class, you will have the opportunity to collaborate with others in writing a short play or a single scene of a longer play. Then we will read through the scripts and discuss them as a class. My ultimate goal is for you to leave with a better understanding of how to go about tackling the play as a unique narrative form.


Prerequisites
Come with enthusiasm and a willingness to contribute original ideas! If you have a laptop, please bring it! It would be much more convenient to type up/share scripts with it.

A390: Learn to Knit Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Meredith Hooper

Learn all the basic stitches necessary to make your own fiber creation (scarf, hat, etc.)! All skill levels are welcomed.

A410: Taiko 101: Introduction to Traditional Japanese Drumming
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Matt Smith

Interested in drumming? Want to learn a new instrument? Come try out taiko, or traditional Japanese drumming, with Princeton Tora Taiko. We'll teach you all the basics and you'll be able to play a new piece by the time you leave! No experience necessary.


Prerequisites
N/A

A419: "All the World's a Stage": The Basics of Playwriting (3 hour version)
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jonathan Alicea

What's the first image that comes to your mind when you see the word "theatre"? Maybe red curtains. Or dolled-up actors performing at their highest energy levels. Or perhaps a cheerful audience giving a standing ovation. Do you picture a playwright typing away furiously on his computer as he sips his coffee and laughs at his own clever jokes? After all, without the playwright, there would be no story and jokes to tell on the stage.

In this course, you will learn the basics of writing a play while we try to answer the fundamental question: "Why write a play in the first place?" We will talk about genre, plot structure, character creation and development, and the challenges (and benefits) of writing for the stage. In the second half of class, you will have the opportunity to collaborate with others in writing a short play or a single scene of a longer play. Then we will read through the scripts and discuss them as a class. My ultimate goal is for you to leave with a better understanding of how to go about tackling the play as a unique narrative form.


Prerequisites
Come with enthusiasm and a willingness to contribute original ideas! If you have a laptop, please bring it! It would be much more convenient to type up/share scripts with it.

A457: BodyHype Dance Workshop
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Stevie Yang

Join BodyHype Dance Company, Princeton's premiere co-ed dance group on campus, in an exciting hip hop workshop! We'll start with a fun warmup, followed by a cool combination that we'll break down step-by-step. All levels of dance experience are welcome and encouraged! Body Body!

A407: Improv 101 Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jessica Quinter

Learn the basics of improv with Princeton's self-proclaimed most attractive improv comedy group, Fuzzy Dice! This course will include the basics of scenes, characters and YES, AND!


Engineering

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E464: The Future of Sustainable Energy Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Fred Zheng

Ever wonder about the current state of sustainable energy and what direction it is going in? Learn about the ongoing research, both at Princeton and the rest of the world, for sustainable energy and the get a glimpse of the future of energy!

E389: Hands-On Electrical Engineering:Components and Tools Full!
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Ethan Gordon

Try this light-on-math introduction to working in an Electrical Engineering Lab! Students will be introduced to the concepts of potential, current, resistance, capacitance, and transistors as switches. We will then take advantage of Princeton's Electrical Engineering Lab to learn how to use breadboards, power supplies, multimeters, oscilloscopes, and the soldering iron. Walk out of the room with your very own working circuit!


Prerequisites
Comfortable with algebra. Must be comfortable handling a hot object.

E393: Security and Privacy in the Digital Age Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Hans Hanley

Have you ever wondered how Facebook is able to tailor an advertisement based on the last Google search that you made or the last Amazon product you bought? Privacy is a significant concern in the technological age. With many different online trackers like DoubleClick, Disqus, keeping records of the websites that we visit and our browsing habits, it can seem impossible to protect one’s privacy.

This course is intended to introduce students to improve their own personal privacy protections and give students an understanding of how companies track users online. We will mostly concern with decreasing our digital footprint online. Topics will include online cookies, encryption, and various methods of circumventing tracking methods used by various companies including Tor and CyberGhost.


Prerequisites
None, but a basic computer science background is recommended

E455: Intro to Android Application Development
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Roland Fong

Learn the basics of Android Application development with Android Studio!

This is a pretty hands on class and ideally would require you to bring a laptop on which you can install software.

We'll learn how resources in Android applications are used, the "Model-View-Controller" paradigm, and you'll get to make your very own app!


Prerequisites
Some experience in object-oriented programming (preferably Java). Bring a laptop.


Humanities

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H456: American Sign Language Literature and Poetry
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Colin Lualdi

Did you know that American Sign Language has a rich literary heritage spanning hundreds of years? This class is your opportunity to discover ASL literature in the form of storytelling, folktales, and poetry. Literature examples will be presented for discussion. Class participants will learn the key elements of ASL literature, and have the opportunity to develop their own ASL handshape poems under the guidance of a Deaf instructor fluent in ASL. No prior ASL knowledge required!


Prerequisites
None

H418: Counting Calories: How Food Labels Contribute to Social Inequality
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jazmyn Blackburn

Think food is a basic human right? Think again. Access to nutritional literacy in the United States is highly segregated by race, class, and other sociological factors. And "big box" retailers can -- and do -- profit off of trends in the public's wellness deficits.

Learn how to analyze and compare food labels to uncover some of the socio-political underpinnings that may be at play at your local grocery store.

H399: Emergency & Humanitarian Response-- Observations from the Front Line Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Steven Petric

Want to learn what else goes on in Iraq and Afghanistan? What is an emergency and humanitarian response? Why should you care about refugees? This -- and more -- will be discussed through a high-level overview of my time in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

H417: Why do they hate us? Understanding the motivations behind the September 11th Attacks Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Niranjan Shankar

In this course, I will discuss the various motivations, ideologies, and events that lead up to 9/11. This will include a discussion of the Wahhabi movement in the 18th century, creation of Israel, jihadist organizations like Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, revolutionaries like Sayyid Qutb and Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Soviet-Afghan war, and so on.

H411: Speedreading Hard Things Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: David Ting

Big reading assignment the night before a class discussion? Rushing to hand in a paper hot off the press? To work fast, you need to learn fast. To read fast, you need to read faster - and sharper! This class gives you a toolbox of tactics for taking on challenging texts and comprehending them in a short amount of time. In less than two hours, we'll consume - and understand - an entire week's worth of difficult reading. We'll be practicing with texts from a graduate course on "Religion and Morality," taught by Cornel West and Jeffrey Stout.

H471: Empires Under Siege: Imperial China and Nomadic Conquests
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Bill Huang

Although it may seem homogenous at first glance, Chinese history has been continuously shaped by constant invasions and conquests by "foreign" (particularly nomadic) peoples. We shall examine two of the most significant examples of such conflicts. The first is the case of the Song Dynasty (960–1279), which was effectively under constant threat from its northern neighbors, the Khitans and the Jurchens, throughout its entire existence before its final demise under the Mongols. The second is the case of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), which started off by restoring China to Chinese rule from the Mongols but ultimately fell to the Jurchen/Manchu invaders of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912). In both time periods we shall also examine the effects of warfare on the contemporary culture, technology, science, literature, and society.


Prerequisites
Some familiarity with imperial Chinese history recommended.

H403: Palestine and the First World War Full!
Difficulty: ***

In this course we will discuss British, Ottoman and French imperialism, as well as Zionism and Arab Nationalism, and specifically how these political forces came to shape the history of Palestine and the Middle East.

We will start with a brief discussion on the Bombardment of Alexandria and the Dreyfus Affair. Then we will dive into the history of the First World War in the Near East, including a discussion of the Balfour Declaration and the aftermath of the war.


Prerequisites
No prerequisites, but acquaintance with the general outline of the First World War and/or Near Eastern history would help you.

H398: Egyptian Mythology 101
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Aidan Gray

Egyptian mythology contains some of the oldest and most fascinating stories in the entire history of civilization. Come learn the answers to vital questions such as: What is the Set beast? Who's holding up the sky? Will Ammit the devourer eat my heart? What exactly is written in the "Book of the Heavenly Cow"? Find out the answers to all this and more in Egyptian Mythology 101!

H478: Introduction to Russian Language Full!
Difficulty: *

Crash course in Russian language. Come learn some basic conversational phrases!


Prerequisites
None


Math & Computer Science

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M394: Intro to Math Logic Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Francesca Falzon

Did you ever want to get a taste of what proof-based college math classes are like? Are you interested in understanding and constructing proofs? Then this course might be for you!

We will:
- Introduce basic logic notation
- Construct truth tables
- Solve riddles
- Learn why at any party, there must be at least 2 people with the same number of friends
- And more...


Prerequisites
Previous exposure to proofs (ex. standard geometry course) is strongly recommended.

M452: Quantum Cryptography Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: George Chernov

In this course, you will learn about a powerful method that will be protecting your (and everybody else's) privacy just a few years later. Quantum cryptography has a crucial advantage over all cryptographic protocols that are used in practice today: it is provably secure. Why? Come and learn!

We will start from scratch and talk about the most important facts from quantum physics that make quantum cryptography possible (lots of examples will be provided).Then we will prove the beautiful No-Cloning Theorem that will show you just how secure quantum crypto is. And, finally, we will get to one of the best and simplest quantum protocols, the Bennett-Brassard Protocol!


Prerequisites
NO background in quantum physics is necessary. Also, no special math background is required. Just be sure to know what vectors and their linear combinations are.

M480: Visual Programming 101 (2 hour version)
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Akash Levy

Have you ever played a computer game and wondered, "How does that work? Could I make beautiful graphics like that?"

Well it turns out the answer is yes! In this course, we will use Processing, a programming language based on Java, to develop graphics and understand what it takes to make a video game using these ideas.

No prior experience is required! If you have prior experience, you are still welcome to join the class--you will work on a more advanced project!

We will start with the basics of how a programming language works: variables, syntax, functions. After this, we will learn about Processing and how you can use it to make graphics appear on your screen. Then we will talk about how to make these graphics work in such a way that they can do whatever you want them to (in this case, become a video game).

We will move quickly through all the concepts required to do programming. The class will be fun and interactive. We will begin with a presentation, and then we will work in groups of two to build our very own games!


Prerequisites
None! (We may go a bit fast, but it should be doable)

M391: Law of Large Numbers and the Central Limit Theorem
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Christopher Zhang

We cover basic probability and then the two most important topics in probability and statistics.


Prerequisites
The more math you have taken the better. Calculus is recommended but not required.

M396: Theory of Compass Constructions
Difficulty: ****
Teachers: Bill Huang

We will go through the major equivalence theorems and impossibility theorems, including the Mohr-Mascheroni theorem, the Poncelet-Steiner theorem, and the Gauss-Wantzel theorem. There will be hands-on construction (and some friendly competition, with prizes of course), so bring your own compass and straightedge!


Prerequisites
A compass, a straightedge, and a solid foundation in geometry and algebra. Some familiarity with projective geometry and abstract algebra recommended.

M392: A Handwaving Introduction to Algebraic Topology
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Christopher Zhang

Rigorous math is good, but it takes a lot of time. Non-rigorous math is also good. Without rigor, we can learn a lot of cool math without being bogged down by the technicalities. We'll talk about stuff like coffee cups and donuts, Klein bottles, fundamental groups, and projective space.


Prerequisites
You should like math a lot.

M461: Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem (or: Is Math Doomed to Fail?)
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Ben Edelman

100 years ago, the mathematical community was engaged in a grand quest to show that all of mathematics can be reduced to a small set of axioms. Then, Kurt Gödel shocked the world with his Incompleteness Theorem, which states that starting from any set of axioms, there are true mathematical statements that cannot be derived. We will look at why Gödel's incompleteness Theorem is so important, and then we will prove it using, surprisingly, ideas from computer science invented by Alan Turing!


Prerequisites
some familiarity with logic and sets

M386: Symmetries, Reflection Groups and Dynkin Diagrams
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Roger Van Peski

We'll learn group theory in the context of reflections in Euclidean space (and, more generally, Coxeter groups). There are many beautiful connections between our algebraic and geometric understanding of these groups; in particular, we'll talk about how symmetries of Platonic solids connect to Dynkin diagrams, strange-seeming diagrams that mysteriously play a fundamental role across many different fields of mathematics.


Prerequisites
I will explain everything needed for students with no more than a precalculus background.

M388: Visual Programming 101 (3 hour version) Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Akash Levy

Have you ever played a computer game and wondered, "How does that work? Could I make beautiful graphics like that?"

Well it turns out the answer is yes! In this course, we will use Processing, a programming language based on Java, to develop graphics and understand what it takes to make a video game using these ideas.

No prior experience is required! If you have prior experience, you are still welcome to join the class--you will work on a more advanced project!

We will start with the basics of how a programming language works: variables, syntax, functions. After this, we will learn about Processing and how you can use it to make graphics appear on your screen. Then we will talk about how to make these graphics work in such a way that they can do whatever you want them to (in this case, become a video game).

We will move quickly through all the concepts required to do programming. The class will be fun and interactive. We will begin with a presentation, and then we will work in groups of two to build our very own games!


Prerequisites
None! (We may go a bit fast, but it should be doable)

M387: Cardinality, Measure, and the Cantor Set
Difficulty: **
Teachers: William Simon

This course will use bijective maps between sets to define an infinite set and introduce the concept of cardinality based on bijection with a subset of the natural numbers or lack thereof. We will discuss countable and uncountable sets, and show that a countable collection of countable sets is countable. We will introduce measure theory and show that any countable subset of the real line is of measure 0. We will then use these results to prove that the Cantor set is uncountable yet of measure 0.


Prerequisites
Understanding what functions and sets are is the only prerequisite. Some knowledge of different number systems like real and rational numbers and of infinite series is also good, but not required.

M414: Introduction to Machine Learning
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Manbir Gulati

Machine Learning has become a buzzword that appears in almost any project or startup.

But what is it?

In this course we'll briefly cover what machine learning is, the math behind some of the most popular algorithms, and code a basic model.


Prerequisites
Knowledge of calculus will be helpful for the math explanations. Knowledge of python will be helpful to code the model.

M416: Introduction to Algorithms on Graphs
Difficulty: **
Teachers: George Chernov

This course will teach you some very important graph algorithms that are also easy to understand: breadth- and depth-first search, finding the shortest paths in a graph, and (optionally) minimum spanning trees. Connections between different algorithms will be emphasized.

We will immediately use each algorithm we've discussed to solve a fun problem!


Prerequisites
You DON'T need to know any programming languages - we will use pseudocode!

M468: Freaky Fractals Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Max Jerdee

Fractals are a weird and wonderful intersection of mathematics and art.
Conventionally, we think of the shapes of things as being well-defined, neatly behaved squares, circles, or triangles. But that's boring, and nature doesn't even behave like that. When was the last time you saw a triangular tree or perfectly circular island? There's much more to fractals than those weird colorful images you might see as a screensaver.
In this course, we'll look into some of the interesting and surprisingly simple math behind fractals and create some of our own. In particular, we'll use a paper copier to turn a triangle into a fern, create the famed Mandelbrot set, and go over some of the applications this fun branch of math has to offer.


Prerequisites
Understanding of complex numbers

M453: Introduction to Theoretical Computer Science
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jesse Goodman

Are there any problems that no computer can solve? Are you as smart as the janitor in Good Will Hunting?

We will answer these questions (and more!) through basic introductions to computational complexity and graph theory.


Prerequisites
Some exposure to proofs will be useful, but is not necessary.

M400: Machine Learning & Art: How AI is changing how we create & interact with art Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Ji-Sung Kim

Can machines dream? Can they compose symphonies? In this class, we will discuss specific projects which tackle these questions -- no prior technical knowledge necessary.

The first part of this class will be to provide an overview of current machine learning (low-level artificial intelligence) technologies. During the the latter half, we will discuss interesting applications of these machine learning technologies to art generation and interpretation.


Prerequisites
None.


Science

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S458: Orchid Sex
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Sarah Santucci

Let's talk about the birds and the bees—and the moths and the flies and sometimes, the humans. Whether through attractive scents, the lure of sweet nectar, or flat-out deception, orchids bamboozle or bewitch their pollinators into becoming their sexual accomplices. Learn the ins and outs of orchid reproduction: from the pollination and production of vanilla to the oddities of the orchid that fascinated Charles Darwin until his death. We'll wrap up the class with the chance for you to become an accomplice in orchid reproduction yourself by planting your own orchid seeds to take home! Millions of $$\textit{Bletilla striata}$$ seeds as well as everything you need to sprout them will be provided. No experience necessary (or expected)!

S408: Theoretical Neuroscience Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Thiago Varella

Is it possible to use mathematics to study biology? Yes, and it has been very important! In this course, we will discuss the basis of Theoretical Neuroscience, going through a little bit of the neurobiology of the brain and the different ways that mathematical modelling could develop our knowledge on Neuroscience.

After attending the class, I expect you to be somewhat familiar with the following concepts:

- Neurons and Action Potentials.
- Descriptive, Mechanistic and Interpretive Models.

and if possible:

- Neural Networks.
- Important models such as the Hodgkin-Huxley Model, Hopfield Networks and Hebbian Learning.


Prerequisites
Familiarity with biology and physics. Some knowledge on calculus and computer programming might be helpful.

S395: Learning Learning-Theory Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Sarah Hutter

Can you spend less time studying and still learn the same amount? Scientists have discovered a number of ways to speed learning and boost memory. In this class, you will learn how to improve your own class performance using techniques backed by science. We will investigate a few learning tools and the pioneering experiments that lead to their discovery.

Sample topics: recall practice effects, spacing effects, the generation effect, transfer of learning


Prerequisites
Familiarity with the scientific method will be useful but is not necessary

S401: Inside Black Holes: Formation, Physics, and Philosophy
Difficulty: **

Did you know that our best astrophysicists radically disagree about what black holes are? Join us to engage in the cutting edge scientific interpretations of what is inside a black hole, and develop the tools to decide which theory is most sound. You will also consider the philosophical implications and paradoxes surrounding black holes. No previous knowledge required.

S475: A Very Special Theory: An Introduction to Special Relativity
Difficulty: ***

When Einstein's special theory of relativity was first revealed to the world in 1905, the implications were profound. With it, we have been able to answer questions such as: What is spacetime? Why can't we travel faster than the speed of light? If my twin were to stay behind on Earth while I go on a spaceship traveling close to the speed of light, will we still be the same age when I come back? How is energy released in nuclear fission? Where does magnetism come from? In this course, we shall answer these very questions and more. But first, we will need to turn nearly three centuries of physics on its head. All it takes is two simple principles: first, that the laws of physics should remain the same no matter how fast you are moving, and second, that the above applies to the speed of light $$c$$ as well.


Prerequisites
A strong background in Newtonian mechanics and electromagnetism is highly recommended.

S460: Protein Folding Full!
Difficulty: **

How do proteins fold? Why does it matter? In one hour, we’ll discuss the four levels of protein folding and some of the diseases---like Alzheimer’s, BSE (Mad Cow diseases), and cystic fibrosis---that result when protein folding goes wrong. We’ll end with how you can get involved in determining how proteins fold from the comfort of your own home.


Prerequisites
High school biology recommended but not required.

S406: Chemistry of Energy and the Environment
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Abhiram Karuppur

This class will focus on understanding the chemistry behind energy sources, upcoming energy technologies, and chemistry of environmental processes. We will use both organic and inorganic chemistry, and also use demonstrations to explain how certain processes work and where research in this field is headed.


Prerequisites
High School chemistry

S474: Re-thinking HIV
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jessica Li

Did you know that existing antiretroviral drugs against HIV can effectively render the virus undetectable in a person's body and extend a person's lifespan beyond that of a HIV-negative individual? Does the word HIV still trigger a sense of fear in you? This class examines the successes and setbacks in public health efforts in the wake of AIDS epidemic. We will learn how science, politics, culture, and the influence of media shaped the campaign to end (or to not end) AIDS.


Prerequisites
Should have basic understanding of how HIV is transmitted.

S459: Protein Folding Full!
Difficulty: **

How do proteins fold? Why does it matter? In one hour, we’ll discuss the four levels of protein folding and some of the diseases---like Alzheimer’s, BSE (Mad Cow diseases), and cystic fibrosis---that result when protein folding goes wrong. We’ll end with how you can get involved in determining how proteins fold from the comfort of your own home.


Prerequisites
High school biology is recommended but not required.


Miscellaneous

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X405: Put a Tax on Carbon, Fight Climate Change
Difficulty: *

Feel hopeless about climate change? We want to talk with you about a policy that could actually get something done: a revenue-neutral carbon tax. Not only would such a policy reduce emissions, but it could also improve the economy, and appeal to members of both sides of the political spectrum. Come and ask us other questions about climate change, its various effects, attempts to address it in US politics, and what you can do.

X415: Design Thinking Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Kushal Dalal

Design Thinking re-imagines how we engage with each other and the world with a creative, analytical, process that leverages both empathy and rationality. You'll be learning a whole new way to solve problems in this personal learning experience. Engage your mental faculties in an innovative challenge!

X470: Effective Altruism: How many lives can YOU save?
Difficulty: *

Want to save a life? Almost everybody donates to charity. But how do we know we've made a difference with our donation? How can we make the
$$\textbf{most}$$ impact with our donations?

For example, with $40,000 you could provide a guide dog for one blind American... or you could cure 2,000 people of blindness in Africa!

Come to learn about how you can most effectively change lives (and save the world) with your words, money, and actions.

X466: Massage and Shoulder Rub Basics Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Debopriyo Biswas

Do you want to learn how to give your loved ones a relaxing shoulder rub? Want to learn the basics of giving a back massage that feels great and is therapeutic as well?
In this class, we'll go over the basics of massage, and practice in pairs and work with feedback.

X402: Travel the USA
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Lori Trojak

From seeing whales and the Aurora Borealis, to getting caught in a canyon thunder storm, visiting a Dude Ranch, swimming with 150 year old turtles, black and green sand beaches, astronomical sights and many other wonders this country's landscape (water and sky) hold. This class will be part slide show. I've traveled the country in RV, plane, train, and other ways and spent over a year and half in free travel. Bring your questions.


Prerequisites
A sense of adventure:)

X462: What do you Meme?
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Michael Prablek

This class will teach you what memes are, how to make them, and most importantly, what the significance of memes are in today's changing world.


Prerequisites
In order to fully enjoy this course, I would recommend having a photo-editing software installed. Photoshop, Pixeluvo, or other paid software is NOT required, and gimp is free.

X412: Democracy, Backwards
Difficulty: *
Teachers: David Mazumder

Why are our elected representatives so bad at working together? Gerrymandering, where politicians redraw voting districts to pick their voters rather than the other way around, is a major force for polarization in Congress. How does gerrymandering affect the political process? How is it done? What counts as a gerrymandered district? What can we do about it? Join our discussion about some of the structural barriers to effective policy-making.


Prerequisites
Come with an attitude to be an engaged citizen!

X404: "Come on, Ref!" The Fine Art of Officiating Soccer
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Gabriel Lipkowitz

Like it or not, referees are an integral part of the game of soccer. In subtle, and in not so subtle ways, they shape the outcomes of each and every match. As such, anyone who plays soccer, likes to watch soccer, or is just curious about those mysterious men in black that run around with players (and sometimes away from them, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6typcP4z3uk), would gain from learning a little bit about the fine art of refereeing. This course will be a rigorous, but entertaining, introduction to the basic principles of refereeing, drawing on the personal anecdotes of a USSF Grade 7 certified ref with five years of experience (and who loves the job).


Prerequisites
None

X454: How to Build Meaningful Relationships Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Lukas Novak

We are surrounded by people, yet many of us feel lonely and misunderstood. Most of us cling to a few meaningful relationships to meet our interpersonal needs. Is it possible to build more meaningful relationships with others?

Yes, but doing so requires some skills and knowledge. In this class we'll practice those skills and search for that knowledge.

This is a class to empower you. I want you to leave with concrete techniques to use in your life, to feel less lonely and more connected.

We will practice in real-time, with the other students in the class. This is not a class where you can't speak unless you raise your hand, nor is this a class to pad your resume. This is a class where you should come as the full person you are, in order to grow.


Prerequisites
An Open Heart

X482: Perception and Misperception of Japan
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Kouta Ohyama

This course explores several ways Japan has been portrayed in cultures outside of Japan and the extent these perceptions are accurate in contemporary Japanese society. This course intends to cover a wide range of disciplines, spanning from politics/history to contemporary (film) art.


Prerequisites
Interest in Japan!

X409: Rubik's Cube For Beginners
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Johann Frias

Have you ever wondered how to solve a Rubik's cube (besides peeling the stickers off)? We will teach you the basics of cube solving and give an introduction to the cubing world, including other speedsolving events, competitions, records, etc.

Also, we'll have free cubes for you to use and keep!


Prerequisites
You should *NOT* already know how to solve the cube.

X413: The Art of Effective Communication: A Primer on Telling a Good Story
Difficulty: *

Do you like telling stories? Do you wish you were better at expressing your thoughts and ideas in front of an audience? Whether you're talking to a group of 2 or 200, whether you're a scientist, an engineer, or a politician, getting your audience to quickly understand your ideas and be convinced by your arguments is a very useful superpower to have.

We'll cover a broad range of tips and tricks, from how to engage and hold your audience's attention, to how to organize your thoughts and express your ideas clearly.

Our class philosophy is: this is a safe environment, with no grades or judgment. We are here to practice and learn something. So, whether you've never spoken in public before or you're looking to hone your skills, come by and let's talk.