Splash Spring 2021
Course Catalog


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Arts Engineering
Humanities Math & Computer Science
Science Miscellaneous


Arts

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A480: March Madness: Future and DJ Esco
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Nate Gillin

The history of this iconic song and how DJ Esco's 56 nights in an Abu Dhabi prison changed Future's career forever. After being detained in the Abu Dhabi airport, Esco was forced to spend nearly two months in a prison halfway across the world from his home. He had to learn arabic to communicate with his fellow prisoners and ended up befriending a wide range of interesting people from petty criminals to former taliban members. All the while Future continued to tour and headline shows, but faced constant worry about the hard drive of songs the Abu Dhabi authorities had seized, containing the only copies of years of his past unreleased material.

Learn about the production, release, and story behind the 56 Nights album through Future and Dj Esco's own words and music.


Class Style
Discussion

A485: GIMP: Edit Images for Free!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Lauren MacLachlan

GIMP is a free image editor you can download that is, in most respects, just as powerful as Photoshop! Join this class for a crash course on how to edit cool art for your walls, graphics like the ones you see online, stickers you can print, photos of your enemies jettisoned into space, grungy band photos, or anything you can imagine!

After this class, you'll have a few projects you can show off to your friends!


Class Style
Workshop

Prerequisites
Absolutely no experience required! Download GIMP at gimp.org, and I'll be providing you with a bunch of materials for our projects!


Engineering

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E486: It's a Gut Feeling: Engineering and Hacking the Bacteria in Your Body
Difficulty: **

The bacterial cells in our body outnumber the human cells by 10:1...we are quite literally more microbial than we are human.

Engineering the microbiome might help generate potential therapies against thousands of diseases. Is the cure for cancer nested in bacteria?

Come learn more about how biomedical engineers and scientists are manipulating these lil critters to produce therapeutic molecules. As a bonus, you will learn how YOU can hack your own gut microbiome!


Class Style
Presentation/Lecture

Prerequisites
Introductory Biology preferred but not required.

E479: Living on Mars
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Bruce Mackenzie

What would it be like to live in a Mars settlement. We will show pictures of proposed Mars permanent bases, settlements, villages, habitats (houses), workshops, and greenhouses. Some were designed in Mars Foundation projects.


Class Style
Presentation/Lecture

Prerequisites
Some prior knowledge of the course content is useful but not required

E467: Think like an Engineer
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Rebecca Reals

Engineering doesn't have to be intimidating! In this class you'll learn how engineers turn an abstract idea into a real life product. Explore the engineering design process, discuss engineering ethics, and uncover famous engineering failures. Finally, experience the excitement for yourself and put your newfound knowledge to the test as you develop a plan of your own to solve a difficult dilemma.


Class Style
Activity


Humanities

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H472: The Armchair General
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Felix Moisand

Military history is a great way to get engaged with history and practice your strategic thinking skills. In this class we'll take a look at a historical battlefield scenario and vote on the strategies we should employ to change history... or not. I'll do my best to present the scenario with accurate fog of war to limit the benefit of hindsight!


Class Style
Activity

Prerequisites
May assume a basic familiarity of major historical conflicts such as WW2 or the American Civil War.

H473: From Tiktoks to Newspaper Cartoons: The Evolution of Political Satire
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Kristin D'Angelo

Have your parents ever roasted you for being on your phone too much, for spending hours scrolling through social media? Have they ever spent hours reading the newspaper? Well, you should inform them that news has evolved, and that those little political cartoons they look at mocking current politics have transformed into witty and sometimes questionable video clips of kids on the Internet giving their hot take on current events. In this class we'll analyze some of the most infamous political cartoons from the past alongside some of the most iconic vines and tiktoks of our generation, and observe how political satire has changed with each generation.


Class Style
Discussion

H470: Poetry workshop: The Sestina
Difficulty: *
Teachers: sacha sergent

We will learn what a sestina is, go through a few examples, and you will have time to try and write your own!


Class Style
Workshop

Prerequisites
no poetry experience required. This class is all about recognizing patterns and creating fun rimes!


Math & Computer Science

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M468: The Limits of Infinity
Difficulty: **
Teachers: sacha sergent

Have you ever wondered or been freaked out by the idea of infinity? I have, ever since my seventh grade teacher told me the universe is infinitely expanding. How can something infinite become more infinite? Isn't that a paradox, and what does it even mean?

This isn't the only paradox caused by the mathematical notion of infinity. This class will look at a couple more mathematical paradoxes as well as one biological paradox all caused by the infinitely confusing limits of "infinity".


Class Style
Workshop

Prerequisites
Some understanding of functions (precalc) would be great but not required.


Science

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S484: This is Your Brain on Drugs: Neuopsychopharmacology
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Lauren MacLachlan

We're going to cover and discuss a variety of potential topics relating to drugs (illicit and prescription) - their effects on behavior, their action in the brain, and even many of the societal implications of these agents' use and abuse.

If there are any questions you might have in particular, feel free to ask! I keep about a third of the class open for questions.


Class Style
Presentation/Lecture

Prerequisites
Some biology, chemistry, or psychology might be helpful, since this class moves fairly quickly. The only thing I really ask is that you come into the class with an open mind and the ability to take the topics seriously - I keep most of the class lighthearted and funny, but you don't want to be the guy laughing because you think drugs are funny when we discuss opioid deaths :/

S478: What really is sleep?
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Brian Ma

Sleep is awesome, but kinda weird. So this class will adventure into the weird world of sleep, the brain, and why we even do it in the first place.


Class Style
Presentation/Lecture

S483: Psychiatric and Neurological Disorder
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Lauren MacLachlan

"Multiple personalities," hearing color, surviving a rod being blasted through your brain, and more - welcome to a whirlwind tour of neuroscience and abnormal psychology through the things that go wrong.


Class Style
Presentation/Lecture

Prerequisites
Everything will be nice and light-hearted for the most part, but a number of our topics are fairly serious.

S474: Science at Home Mashup II
Difficulty: **

Follow along in a series of experiments as we delve into science you can do at home. See quantum physics firsthand, make your own motor, and more!


Class Style
Experiment

S482: I'm Not a Morning Person: Chronobiology
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Lauren MacLachlan

Circadian rhythms - everyone has one, right? Turns out that some people have rhythms that make them woefully nocturnal (hi), while some people would be better suited for life on another planet. This class is for anyone who HATES waking up early, anyone who's ever felt like they got run over by a bus after hopping some time zones, or anyone who is interested in why exactly the number "24" isn't just a social construct but is woven into our DNA.

We'll definitely be getting into some neuroscience and genetics here, but we're also gonna talk about what it's like to live in a cave and whether that sleeping cure your Grandma tells you "works every time" is real or not.


Class Style
Presentation/Lecture

Prerequisites
A bit of genetics or biology would be helpful, but definitely won't get in the way!

S476: Epigenetics: Why everything you know about genetics is wrong Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Chloe Noll

"Genes are the blueprint of cell." You've probably heard that a million times at this point. But what if I told you that's a lie, and not only that, but that lie cost us billions of dollars! From famines to motherly love, we will explore the frontiers of how life experience alters our biology and how we pass on so much more than our DNA!


Class Style
Presentation/Lecture

S481: Antibiotics and Vaccines
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Samantha Bowman

Learn more about how antibiotics and vaccines work within the context of current events.


Class Style
Activity

S475: The Cat Conspiracy and Other Mind-Bending Parasites
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Chloe Noll

Do you have a morbid fascination with human parasites? Want to learn about microscopic organisms that will fuel your nightmares? Then this class is for you! From toxoplasma gondii to rabies to mad cow disease, we will learn learn how these parasites hack your neurology and examine the strange results that follow. In this class, we will focus specifically on parasites that change your brain and learn about new research revealing the shocking effects of a mind-altering parasite that has already infected at least 30% of humanity.


Class Style
Presentation/Lecture

S469: What your High School teachers never told you about Chemistry
Difficulty: **
Teachers: sacha sergent

Chemistry is not just protons, neutrons, and electrons. It's so much more than that. Chemistry is Biology, it's Math, it's Art, it's Engineering, it's even Social Sciences.
Chemistry is a way to describe everything around us yet we only talk about it as an abstract puzzle of letters and lines.

Come learn about the real implications and applications of chemistry from someone who was really bad at high school Chem because she just kept messing up plugging numbers into her calculator, but then loved chem once she realized that real Chemistry is so much more than that.


Class Style
Discussion

Prerequisites
Basic understanding of what molecules, atoms, and chemical reactions are.


Miscellaneous

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X471: Interactive Fiction
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Tulasi Holdridge

Interactive fiction is the world of video games, text adventure games, choose-your-own-adventure books, and much more! It brings together computer science and the creative arts in a unique way, and has some fun tools out there ready for total beginners to make their own stories.

In this class, I'll give a brief overview of the history of interactive fiction. Then, for the main part of the session, we'll try out cool ways to build and play IF games. We'll split into two groups--for those who have coding experience (or want a fast-paced challenge), you'll get a crash course in the Inform 7 programming language, and for those who want to do less coding and more writing, you'll be introduced to Twine!

Best of all, I have tons of IF game recommendations to share. Depending on the vibes people want, I can always adjust the lesson plan on the fly and make time for just geeking out about IF :)


Class Style
Workshop