Splash Waterfall 2017
Course Catalog

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Arts Engineering
Humanities Math & Computer Science
Science Miscellaneous


Arts

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A235: Why Your Photos don't Look as Good as Their Photos
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Salvatore LaRussa

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 adjust white balance, 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.


Engineering

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E244: Diapers and Hydrogels
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Zoe Horton

Sodium Polyacrylate is a hydrophilic polymer that is sometimes referred to as the super absorbent polymer. This polymer is used in diapers because of its ability to absorb 200 to 300 times it weight in tap water and hold it in a gooey gel.

E258: All About Rockets!
Difficulty: *

Northeastern's chapter of AIAA (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics) will introduce you to the wondrous world of aeronautics! We will bring you through some of the awesome projects we are working on: from the NASA Student Launch competition to a rocket that is trying to be the first university rocket that reaches space!! In addition we will run a hands on activity to get your creative juices flowing and have some fun!

E240: Designing, Simulating, and Optimizing Rockets!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Brian Januzzi

This course will go over the basics of rocketry and how to properly use OpenRocket, an open source (free) program that allows users to easily design, simulate, and optimize rockets.


Humanities

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H255: Listening to Music Over the Years
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Daniel Russotto

We started out listening to records, and now we have streaming services. This class will look at the history of how we listen to music (and things, in general)

H250: How to Win an Argument
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jaiden Cruger

Do you want to convince your parents to let you go to that party on Friday? Bring your friend over to the other side of a political issue? Or just get a better grade on an upcoming class presentation? In this class, we will study both the construction and delivery of arguments, through both a classical and contemporary lens. By the end of the class you'll be an expert in logical fallacies, the structure of arguments, and the psychology behind changing people's minds. We will apply what we’ve learned through in-class speeches and activities.

H239: 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 infamous 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.


Prerequisites
Due to the nature of the subject, adult content (violent/sexual) will be covered. Comfort with such content and a mature attitude is required.

H253: Be logical! Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Daniel Russotto

Learn to construct arguments that cannot be refuted and how to tell the difference between a good argument and a bad one. We will see what it means for an argument to be valid, sound, and the basics of of symbolic logic.


Math & Computer Science

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M246: Big Number Competition
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jameson O'Reilly

Think you can name a bigger number than your friends? We'll discuss some strategies that are a bit more sophisticated than "what you said plus one."

M260: Ins and outs of Game Design
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Michael Shen

Love winning and hate losing? Come learn about what makes a good game, well, good. This class will offer a brief overview of video games and explore why some games are so successful while others simply crash and fail.

M254: Demystifying Big Data Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Daniel Russotto

How big is big data? We will look into what people working in this field are doing, how big data can be used, and take a shot at some basic big data skills ourselves.

M251: Are You Smarter Than an MIT Professor?
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jenny Li

A class for students who are pretty sure they're already smarter than a fifth grader. Also a class for students interested in seeing a different side of mathematics. Beginning with the philosophy of math and ending with the grand mathematics problem presented in the film Good Will Hunting (which supposedly took MIT professors years to prove), hopefully this course will better acquaint you with everyone's greatest enemy: math.

M245: Monte Carlo Simulations
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jameson O'Reilly

Ever wanted to calculate the value of $$\pi$$ by throwing things on the ground? In this class, we can do that in two different ways! The Monte Carlo method uses probability to easily do otherwise complex calculations. It was invented during the Manhattan project and today has applications in everything from physics to finance.


Prerequisites
No programming experience is needed for this class, but it will help with implementing the algorithms on your own time

M252: What happens on the Internet...
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Daniel Russotto

What happens when you navigate to a website on your computer? Is it magic, or something much more explainable? Find out here.


Science

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S238: From Observation to Application: Discoveries in Biotechnology!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Cori Posner

Some of the most powerful research tools in biotechnology and molecular biology started with one initial observation. From PCR to CRISPR to Fluorescent Proteins, learn about the history and science behind a few popular discoveries, and how they went through the process of being developed and applied in research to contribute to incredible discoveries that couldn't have been made without them!

S234: 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 we 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.

S256: Why Am I So Tired?
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Cori Posner

Don't want to admit to staying awake until 1 a.m. watching TV? Learn a biological explanation that you can give the next time somebody asks you why you're so tired!

Hint - it has to do with the genes and proteins that control your biological clock!

S242: Time To Unzip Those Genes
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Brendan Yang

** DISCLAIMER ** There will be no unzipping of genes/jeans in this class.

If you've ever wondered about the latest and greatest in gene therapy, this is probably the class for you. In this class we will cover the fundamental science behind CRISPR technology and how it was discovered. If time permits, we will also discuss the ethical quandaries that CRISPR poses and current developments in the field.


Prerequisites
An understanding of DNA and enzymes is necessary. We will cover pathways such as the DNA damage response, so being familiar with DNA-protein interactions will be greatly beneficial.

S241: CPR: The Abridged Series Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Benjamin Hoenig

This class is NOT a CPR certification class, but you will learn some very useful information!

Most cardiac arrests occur outside the hospital, and those who survive often do so because an educated bystander took swift action. Do you want to be that bystander?

In this class, students will learn how to assess and take proper intervention in the situation of cardiac arrest. By the end of this course students will be able to perform hands-only CPR, and operate a defibrillator.


Prerequisites
None, but an interest in anatomy/physiology would be helpful.

S262: NEURONS 1
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 the scientific methods used today that try to understand, manipulate, and recreate it.

Likely topics: How We Perceive the World; The Sleeping and Dreaming Brain; Neurological Diseases; How a Computer Can Make a Brain

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 spring's.

S236: Why Birdwatching Isn't Just For Old People
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Sara Gannon

Have you ever tried to pet a wild bird (and failed)? Then this class is for you!
We'll discuss and answer many questions, such as:
Did chickens really evolve from dinosaurs? How come there are so many pigeons in Boston? And why are penguins so freakin' cute?

From ecology to evolution to ethology, this class will touch on the most interesting of all the Bird Facts.

S247: Science Experiments!!
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!

S237: Neuroethics: Memory Modification
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Sara Gannon

Have you ever wished that you could erase those embarrassing middle school memories? Well, you might be able to.

This class will cover current (and upcoming) techniques of memory enhancement and impairment. In addition, we will be discussing the moral implications associated with such techniques.

S257: Caught Red-Handed
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Brittany Fung

Learn about genetics and blood-typing and then apply this knowledge to solve a series of mysteries!

S249: This is Your Brain on Drugs
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Lauren MacLachlan

AKA: Psychopharmacology

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 societal implications agents can have.

If there are any questions you might have in particular, feel free to write them down on a 3x5 card and bring it with you!


Prerequisites
Some biology, chemistry, or psychology might be helpful. 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.

S263: NEURONS 2
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 the scientific methods used today that try to understand, manipulate, and recreate it.

Likely topics: Hormones and the Brain; The Brain in Our Gut; Neurological Diseases; Brain Structure and Function Between Species; 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 spring's.


Miscellaneous

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X243: Black To The Fuchsia: An Investigation in Color
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Brendan Yang

Have you ever been told not to wear dark colors when it's sunny out? Or stared at a computer screen while wearing polarized sunglasses?
In this class you will learn about how we perceive color, and how color influences everything from computer screens to sunburns.


Prerequisites
An understanding of the electromagnetic spectrum will complement this course, but is not required.

X248: Surviving Survivor - Paving the way to winning a million dollar game.
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Alec Cinque

Survivor has been a million dollar reality tv show on CBS for the last 16 years and with it have come countless strategies to winning. This course shows how you can take this game into your hands and walk away with one million dollars.

X261: 2+2=5, Understanding and Disproving Logical Fallacies
Difficulty: *

This course is dedicated towards understanding what a Logical Fallacy is, how to identify them in conversation, and how to counter them effectively.

X264: THAT'S BAD DESIGN.
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Aitch Hsu

Bad design is all around you. It can cause problems ranging from mild annoyance to deadly mistakes. Let's talk about how a ton of the things we encounter every day are results of bad design. Then, let's try to make them better.

X259: Climate Change And You: Surviving the Slow Apocalypse
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jack Edelman

In all likelihood, climate change will cause the collapse of industrial civilization within our lifetimes. Wouldn't it be better to be prepared? (Yes, yes it would.) Come get that way! The apocalypse is full of possibilities, but the only way to take the fullest advantage of them is to be as ready as you can!


Prerequisites
None. Reading NY Mag's "The Uninhabitable Earth" is worth your time.