Spring Splash 2017
Course Catalog

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Arts Engineering
Humanities Math & Computer Science
Science Miscellaneous


Arts

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A225: Intro to Typography
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Chris Beiser

You can probably tell the difference between Arial and Wingdings, and you know what an Italic is. Or do you? This course will explore deeper qualities in typography, including the histories of notable type, an gloss on classification, and the printed page.

A214: Why Your Photos don't Look as Good as Their Photos
Difficulty: *

Ever go on Instagram and wonder why some other peoples' pictures look so much better than yours? They might have a better camera than you, but then there's those people who seem like they could get a photo into the MFA with an old iPhone. What gives?

Of course, there's more to taking pictures than just finding something pretty and tapping the shutter button. In this class, I'll discuss some basic elements of composition and then show you some free editing software available on the internet and how to use it (and yes, it's perfectly legal).


Prerequisites
Have and know how to use some kind of digital camera (a phone counts!), and know how to use a computer. That's it! In fact, if you know how a histogram works, or know how to color correct, you might find this class to be a bit boring. Bringing a phone/camera or some pictures of your own would be nice but is in no way necessary. Sample photos for editing will be provided.

A198: Beyond the Stick Figure: A Practical Drawing Class for the Artistically Challenged Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Catarina Smith

Embarrassed by your smiley faces? Haunted by your stick figures? Can a three-year-old draw a better picture than you?

In this class, you will learn the basics of cartooning, and how to draw in the styles of Disney characters, Calvin and Hobbes, Marvel, Manga, and many more. The class will cover basic cartoon proportions, physical character development, and comic strip development. By the end of this class, you will have created very own original character and comic strip!

No artistic experience needed!

A226: The Living Creature: Dewey's aesthetics Full!
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Chris Beiser

John Dewey, sometimes called the greatest American philosopher of the 20th century, is usually lauded for his works on education—but he also produced the greatest and most comprehensive theory of art in human history. Examining and comparing the experiences produced by works in different mediums, we'll explore what it means to be alive, and what art is.

A204: Salsa con Salsa
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Ben Moran

Spice up your dance moves! We'll be learning the basics of salsa, a social dance popular throughout the U.S. and Latin America. We'll start from the basic step, learn some cool moves, and then end the class with some social dancing to the music of Hector Lavoe and others. Chips and salsa included!


Prerequisites
No dance experience required


Engineering

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E203: Cookies and Engineering
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jessica Lewis

Ever wonder what making cookie treats has to do with an assembly line in a factory? Join this class and find out! You can also eat the treats you make!

E218: Beagle Bone and Coding
Difficulty: **

Learn what a Beagle Bone Black is.
Learn to blink a LED, mix color and play music using a Beagle Bone Black.


Prerequisites
Some basic programming knowledge in any programming language.

E216: Produce Powered Circuits Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Andreas Aghamianz

Did you know that you can turn a lemon into a battery? In this workshop, we'll teach you how to draw electrical current from a lemon to power a light emitting diode (LED) circuit. The lesson covers basic principles of battery operation and circuit theory through to building, powering, and testing electronic circuits on breadboards. Students may work individually or with a partner.

E228: Pushing materials to their limits Full!
Difficulty: **

In this class we'll get hands on and experiment different properties of materials and how they react in different scenarios. We'll show you how to poke a hole in a balloon without popping it!


Prerequisites
Desire to help run experiments

E205: Fermi Calculations: Using Estimation to Solve Ridiculous Problems Full!
Difficulty: **

On the 25th of August, 1957 a nuclear test was held in the deserts of Nevada. Although this was an underground test, there was an exhaust vent for the explosion to follow. On top of this hatch was a 900kg manhole cover. After the test took place, scientists were quick to discover that the manhole cover was gone. Upon reviewing footage, they were able to calculate that the cover had been blasted into space at a speed of 60km/s by the force of the explosion.

Although this situation is interesting, wouldn’t it be fun to calculate what would happen if another object were in place of the manhole cover? Say, perhaps, an indestructible potato. In this class we will delve into Fermi Problems, discover how they can be useful in real engineering scenarios, and perhaps touch on Einstein and relativity on the way.


Humanities

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H217: Unification of Japan at a Glance
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Michael Shen

Do ninjas, samurais, and large feudal wars interest you? Come explore the history of Japan as it moves from a land of feudal tribes to a unified country.
This class will briefly go over the history of Japan's mystical and mysterious past while focusing on important military figures.

H209: "Are You Living in a Computer Simulation?" Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Daniel Russotto

Technology these days is getting pretty sophisticated. It doesn't seem improbable that in a couple hundred years, maybe less, that we could simulate entire worlds where everyone and everything in the simulation is completely convinced that everything in the simulation is completely real. How certain are you that everything around you is real? How certain are you that you are real? If we are living in a computer simulation, does it matter? Should we care? These are the types of questions we will strive to answer, starting with the musings of Descartes, fast-forwarding to Bostrom's well-known paper "Are You Living in a Computer Simulation?," and taking a peek at pop culture pieces such as The Matrix.

H210: The Machines are Taking Over!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Daniel Russotto

We love it when machines do things for us, and more and more artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms make that possible. This class will examine what we should do and think about when these things make life very complicated. If a self-driving car kills some one, who is to blame? What do we if we accomplish true artificial consciousness? Do we have to fear the machines trying to take power from the humans? We will try to decide if artificial intelligence is just amazing, or actually our downfall.

H206: Criminal Justice
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Christa Cosenza

Basic overview of the criminal justice field.

H211: Love Poems in the Language of Love
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Margaret Downs

Fact: everything sounds prettier in Spanish. Even the sentence that means "Don't throw oil in the water" has meter and rhyme. So imagine what happens when we start talking about actual poetry. In this class, we'll explore love poems in Spanish from a variety of time periods and regions. You'll walk away being able to dazzle your friends with newfound knowledge of a beautiful language and you might even get a couple of pickup lines out of the deal.


Prerequisites
Some familiarity with Spanish. Fluency isn't necessary (the course will be conducted in English) but a year or two of high-school-level Spanish will be helpful.

H212: Creating a Killer: Criminal Psychology
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Alexa Lambros

Want to know what motivates a serial killer? Want to delve into the minds of known psychopaths to see what makes them tick? Think YOU might be one? If you answered yes to any of these questions, this is the class for you.

In Creating a Killer: Criminal Psychology, you will learn the basics of criminal psychology and practice “profiling” a number of known high-profile criminals as well projecting the potential futures – criminal or not – of several hypothetical personalities. While this class won’t be all you need to begin work in the FBI, it will be a fun look into some of society’s most complex and dangerous members.

NOTE: Graphic material (involving abuse, rape, and murder) covered may be disturbing to some individuals.


Math & Computer Science

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M229: How to Count to Infinity
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Zachary Winkeler

Everybody knows how to count, right?

$$ 1, 2, 3...$$.

It turns out that there are a lot of things you can count. Numbers, letters, points, words, sheep, etc... unless these sheep come in real numbers. Can you count $$\pi$$ sheep? We're going to try to prove that there are some things you can't count.


Prerequisites
You should know a little bit about functions, and having seen sets before will help a lot. We'll start from the basics though, so I encourage anybody who is interested to come! This course is meant to be an introduction to countable and uncountable sets, and the idea of cardinality in general, so if you already know what these things mean, this class might be too easy for you.

M230: How to Program with Circles and Arrows
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Zachary Winkeler

We're going to look at some of the most basic models of computation, and how we can use them to solve problems. Most of our computers will look like a bunch of squiggles.

Technical stuff: We'll learn about finite automata, pushdown automata, and Turing machines, as time allows. If you have experience with programming and know what regular expressions are, you'll learn why we use them.


Prerequisites
No prerequisites. Almost everything we talk about will probably be new to you, but if you're interested I definitely encourage you to come!


Science

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S220: By standers effect
Difficulty: *

If you witnessed an emergency happening right before your eyes, you would certainly take some sort of action to help the person in trouble, right? Come find out.

S227: Weird Animals
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Ben Moran

How do jellyfish glow? What's the real reason giraffes have such long necks? How do animals living at the bottom of the ocean survive without light or heat? This class talks about some of the strangest animals on Earth and in the oceans: how they got that way and how their weird characteristics help them thrive.


Prerequisites
Some knowledge of animal biology and/or evolution will be helpful but isn't required.

S231: NEURONS 1 Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Emma Nash

NEURONS, NEU Researchers of Neuroscience, is teaching students to think about how a complex organ like the brain can cause us to perform tasks big and small, and to learn about scientific methods used today that try to understand, manipulate, and recreate it.

Likely topics: How a Computer Can Make a Brain; How We Perceive the World; Today's Methods of "Mind Control"; Neurological Diseases; The Brain and Drugs

This class is recommended for those with some biology experience. Different material will be taught on the second date, both classes with different material than this past fall's.

S221: Genetic Engineering, The Future, and You Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Asa Budnick

A quick talk about the rapidly advancing fields of genetic engineering and synthetic biology focusing on recent advances and the near future. After the talk we'll actively explore the design process for gene circuits and look at some common web tools as well as cool projects people have done with relatively accessible tools.


Prerequisites
Students should have a basic understanding of biology. Knowing what genes and proteins are should be enough.

S199: Lacking: Neurological Case Studies of Deficits Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Kathryn Levitsky

This class will look at a number of case studies surrounding deficits of the brain. In other words, we will be exploring everything we tend to take for granted by looking at how people function when things go wrong.

S215: Infectious Diseases -- The Coming Plague Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Kristian Teichert

With the emergence of the Zika virus, and the Ebola epidemic of 2015, understanding infectious diseases is becoming increasingly important in our world today.

What does a pathogen? How does it cause disease?

How does a pathogen move between people?

What makes a pathogen more infectious than others? More dangerous? How do we report this?

Come to discuss these aspects of infectious diseases through the lens of diseases such as Zika, Ebola, the ubiquitous flu and others!


Prerequisites
An interest in diseases, viruses, bacteria and other cool, sometimes scary things.

S201: What Do Elephants and Your Morals Have in Common? Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Asama Lekbua

Moral psychology is at the intersection of philosophy and cognitive psychology. We'll discuss basic principles, explore classic dilemmas that will make you think twice about your decision, and draw from current events to put your moral righteousness to the test. Oh, and we'll talk about elephants, too. It is not to be missed!


Prerequisites
Curiosity and an open mind

S223: Caught Red-Handed
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Brittany Fung

A brief overview of genetics and blood-typing. Learn how to use these techniques to solve a series of mysteries!

S202: Science Experiments! Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Ana Paz

Join the NU Science Squad for an hour of BRAND NEW science experiments! We will take a closer look at everything from chemical reactions to physical phenomena to quick engineering! We'll show you the science behind a few quick, but intriguing experiments, no lab reports required! There will be some experiments inaccessible at home, as well as a few you can try with your friends! Come ready to experiment!

S213: Harmful or Fatal if Swallowed: Why Poison Kills
Difficulty: **

Ever wonder why you shouldn't eat cyanide, or should avoid breathing in large amounts of carbon monoxide? This class explores the reasons that all sorts of "nasty chemicals" really are nasty, and what this says about biology. Chemicals that will be discussed are cyanide, carbon monoxide, several kinds of neurotoxin and whatever else you're interested in (so long as I know something about it).


Prerequisites
Some basic knowledge of biology and chemistry. If you know what a protein is, and what an electron is, you should be fine. Knowledge of the proteins involved in cellular respiration is a plus, but not necessary.

S232: NEURONS 2 Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Emma Nash

NEURONS, NEU Researchers of Neuroscience, is teaching students to think about how a complex organ like the brain can cause us to perform tasks big and small, and to learn about scientific methods used today that try to understand, manipulate, and recreate it.

Likely topics: The Brain in Our Gut; Neurological Diseases; Methods of Visualizing Neurons; The Brain's Immune System; Animal Models

Recommended for those with more biology experience, possibly considering studying science at a higher level. Different material will be taught on the first date, both classes with different material than this past fall's.

S200: How to Build a Tree of Life Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Ben Moran

Biologists often group life in ways that defy our expectations: despite growing out of the ground, mushrooms are closer to humans than to plants, and two different kinds of "worms" can be farther apart than people and lobsters. How do they come up with this insanity? In this class, we'll overview the history and modern practice of the classification of life, or taxonomy. We'll discuss early attempts to make sense of our natural world, the insights brought by the theory of evolution, and how modern genetics has repeatedly turned our intuition on its head. Along the way, we'll build our own trees of life, and update them with two centuries' worth of knowledge.


Prerequisites
Should have some general familiarity with the following ideas: genus and species, genomes, genes, proteins, and probability as a math concept.


Miscellaneous

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X207: Surviving Survivor - An in depth look at the strategy required to win one million dollars
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Alec Cinque

This course will provide a detailed guide for how to play and win the game of Survivor. Based off the TV show of the same name, Survivor is a very complex game requiring physical, mental, and social abilities. This class will hopefully teach you more about how to make the game work in your favor and show you the path to winning a million dollar game.

X219: Zumba: There are no wrong moves.. only accidental solo!
Difficulty: *

Come join us to learn more about healthy living and ways to stress-bust through exercise. This session will be followed by a fun 30 min Zumba session. For those of you who don't know, Zumba is an aerobic fitness program where participants burn calories through dance, fun and laughter.

Zumba class rule: Don't know the move? Just shake it, till you make it!

X208: What It's Like To Be In College
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Ronnie Lo

Assist any student with college applications, take about what it is like to be a college student and how to do well in college

X222: Chocolate!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Asama Lekbua

If you're like me, the Course Title got you here. Will we be eating chocolate? Yes. Will we be making chocolate? Also yes. But we will also talk about how they get here (origin, fermentation, manufacturing, processing), and once they're in our bodies, what they do (neurochemical processes, nutritional values, etc). Come find out!


Prerequisites
Love for all things chocolate! Note: Please notify SPLASH organizers if you have any food allergies

X224: Why Some Things Suck (and others are good)
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Chris Beiser

Have you ever pushed on a pull door, or struggled to figure out how to turn on a shower? We’ll explore what makes things well designed by looking at things that aren’t. We’ll talk about physical objects, as well as other areas.


Prerequisites
None