Splash Spring 2018
Course Catalog


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Arts Engineering
Humanities Science
Miscellaneous


Arts

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A292: That perfect aesthetic
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Elisa Figueras

Been working on your insta aesthetic and falling a little short? Come learn how to get those perfect photos! We'll spend a bit of time learning about composition, and then get outside to take our own! Make sure to bring a camera (a phone is sufficient)

A285: Illustrator? I hardly even know her! Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Samantha Boggiano

aka Graphic Design 101: Intro to Vector Illustration in Adobe Illustrator. This class will provide a guided introduction to Adobe Illustrator and some of the popular techniques and functions of the program and how to use vectors to create works of art.

A297: 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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E291: Cookie assembly line
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jing Ning

Have you ever thought to yourself that there should be an easier way to do things? If so, this activity will be a great introduction to Lean Process Improvement, which helps make processes more efficient and less wasteful.


In this activity you will learn the basics of Lean Process in Industrial Engineering by altering a process for decorating a cookie. In this simple activity, you will be able to see how processes can be improved by examining each step in order to determine how work is divided up among employees. While decorating cookies is a very simple process when compared to the ones engineers deal with on a daily basis, it should give you an understanding about how lean process can be applied to your daily life.

E290: Intro to Game Artificial Intelligence Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Daniel Russotto

Computers are very good at games, way better than humans. It's been many years since a human has been able to beat a computer at Chess, for example. A human could never beat a computer at tic-tac-toe if the computer really wants to win. If you've ever wondered how programs that play games get built, come try this class!

E270: All About Arthritis (and other injuries!)
Difficulty: **

Do you have a relative with arthritis? Have you heard someone speak about their herniated discs? Wondering how long it'll take your favorite football player to recover from a torn ACL? In this class, you'll have the opportunity to learn about all these injuries and more. Investigate the causes of common cartilage injuries, compare them to normal anatomy, and see how they progress over time. Learn a wide range of treatments for each, and figure out why some are far more effective than others. Finally, experience the excitement of being a doctor for yourself and diagnose a variety of real-life injuries by making inferences from evidence such as symptoms as well as images like x-rays and MRI scans.


Humanities

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H282: 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 symbolic logic.

H277: How to Win an Argument Full!
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 lense. We will apply what we’ve learned through in-class speeches.

H278: Practical Philosophy
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jaiden Cruger

This course will discuss how YOU can apply philosophical theory for every day life. Life involves a ton of decisions, and philosophical frameworks help us make those decisions with better reasoning. Learn to navigate topics such as Being a Better Person, Ethics, Religion, and Sex. The class will focus on seminar-style discussion, giving you the chance to voice your opinions and engage with other class members.

H279: Black Mirror for Real?!?: Ethics in the Tech Industry Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jessica Imbro

In 2017, Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook spent a combined total of over $50 Billion lobbying in Washington, staving off business regulations. Ubers are so cheap that the company doesn't make any money off of its customers - they're only still alive because of billion-dollar investments. And Tesla CEO Elon Musk just sent a car into space, for some reason. The tech industry is growing too fast for standards in ethics to keep up, and some crazy things are happening for these massive, super-rich companies. Come prepared to learn how it got so weird, and what you can do about it.

H284: Logical Fallacies - The guide to figuring out things that don't make no sense. Full!
Difficulty: **

A logical fallacy on the surface seems like a perfectly crafted argument, but they are not. This class works towards identifying these fallacies and developing a way to refute them so that you can better your debate skills.

H265: 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.
TWs: Rape/assault, homicide, etc.


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.

H280: Powerful Women of History Full!
Difficulty: *

Some say history was written about men, by men... but what about the women? Let's take some time to talk about some seriously underrated but seriously powerful people of history - who happen to be women!


Science

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S268: 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 each went through the process of being developed and applied in research to contribute to incredible discoveries- that could not have been made without them!

S294: NEURONS
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; The Brain's Immune System; Animal Models; Neurological Diseases; The Brain and Drugs

This class is recommended for those with some biology experience. Different material will be taught than this past fall's.

Please note: There is only one level and one section of NEURONS this semester, and all levels of bio and psych are encouraged to register.

S266: Climate Change in the Era of Trump: Impending Doom?
Difficulty: *

Climate change: what's that all about anyway? With the current presidential administration, this ever-important issue has only become more contested. How is the Trump administration really affecting climate change? Who is reaping the adverse effects, and who is profiting from them? Come learn about the science, the social implications, and the political mess that we are in today in this discussion style course!

S287: Neuroethics: the Effects of Captivity on Neural Systems and Behavior
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Sara Gannon

Have you ever wondered how captivity can effect neurological and physiological processes in animals?
From humans to zoo animals to lab rats, this class will look at standard underlying neurological processes. In addition, we will take an evolutionary perspective to evaluate the potential consequences of keeping animals in captivity.

S276: How (not) to Die in a Chemistry Lab
Difficulty: **

Ah, yes, chemistry labs. The only place in the world where people hand you-- no, make you handle-- substances that you otherwise aren't supposed to touch with a ten-foot-long pole. Of course, high school chemistry labs are only mildly very dangerous, so for this class we're going to kick things up a notch, and give a brief, sometimes ridiculous introduction to some chemicals that ought to be kept in a fume hood behind several locked doors, and some other that you may come across if you study chemistry in the future-- even though they too probably ought to be locked up as well.


Prerequisites
A bit of high-school level chemistry. Knowing a bit about the reactivity of different periods on the periodic table would be really useful.

S267: 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!

S293: Protein Engineering
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Sebastian Hymson

Class will consist of an overview of protein engineering and how it is being used to treat medical ailments.


Prerequisites
Recommended: AP Biology AP Chemistry

S271: How to Clone a Mammoth Part 1
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Ben Moran

Could extinct species, like woolly mammoths and passenger pigeons, be brought back to life? The science says yes. Should they? The jury is out.
Come learn about the frontier of biology known as de-extinction, where scientists are using the latest developments in genetics to do what was previously thought impossible. Understand the science behind the process, meet the major players making it happen, and discuss the ethical problems that need to be addressed before it's a reality.


Prerequisites
High school biology will be helpful for background, but not required.

S289: Universe In Your Body
Difficulty: **

You've heard of all the terrible disease-causing bacteria in the world, but what about all the good bacteria at home? Without the billions of bacteria living inside of you, you wouldn't be alive! Come learn about the tiny yet enormous world of bacteria in the human microbiome.


Prerequisites
Basic knowledge on biology

S275: Psychiatric and Neurological Disorder
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Lauren MacLachlan

We're going to cover a variety of topics related to both psychiatric and neurological disorder.

Potential topics may include:
History of abnormal psychology (Hint: demons and drilling holes in heads)
What is schizophrenia and why does it happen?
Tasting sounds and hearing color
Why do amputees feel pain in limbs that aren't there?
Dissociative identity disorder: Having multiple personalities at once
Phineas Gage and HM (Or: How to survive a rod through the brain and how to remember when you forget everything)


Prerequisites
Some biology, chemistry, or psychology would definitely be helpful but this course will be pretty comprehensive. Like my "drugs" class, all I ask is you have an open mind and the ability to take things seriously. We'll keep some things lighthearted and funny, but don't be the guy laughing because you think mental illness is a joke.

S272: How to Clone a Mammoth Part 2
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Ben Moran

Could extinct species, like woolly mammoths and passenger pigeons, be brought back to life? The science says yes. Should they? The jury is out.
Having learned about the science behind de-extinction in Part 1, it’s your turn to decide what species can (and should) be brought back. Choose your own extinct species, receive a list of all the info relevant to its return, and make a plan for how it would be revived. A final vote by the class will decide whose species will be supported for de-extinction.


Prerequisites
High school biology will be helpful for background. Taking Part 1 of this course series is highly, highly recommended.

S295: Stem Cells Investigation
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Sebastian Hymson

Overview of stem cells and their importance in genetic engineering and gene therapy.


Prerequisites
Recommended: AP Biology AP Chemistry

S286: DNA Discovery
Difficulty: **

Ever wonder what DNA actually looks like? In DNA Discovery we will be extracting and purifying our own DNA and learning about how this simple molecule makes you so special.

S274: This is Your Brain on Drugs
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Lauren MacLachlan

AKA: Neuropsychopharmacology

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! I keep about a third of the class open for questions.


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 - most of the class is kept lighthearted and funny, but you don't want to be the guy laughing because you think drugs are funny when we talk about last year's 65,000 opioid deaths.


Miscellaneous

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X273: Financial Responsibility
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Matthew Goldberg

Learn how to not screw yourself financially the second you turn 18. Get basic Ideas on how to gain and grow wealth without letting the Man take advantage of you :)

X288: The Musk, The Myth, The Legend
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Logan Gross

This class will go through a short summary of Elon's early life, and respective entrepreneurial journeys. It will cover his ventures up until current times, and his future plans, and life mentality. The man behind Zip 2, PayPal, Solar City, Tesla, and Space X. Debatably the most influential man of our time. Elon Musk is at the forefront of both automobile technology, and rocket science. Most of the course material comes from "Elon Musk" by Ashlee Vance. The only official biography written about Elon musk.

X298: A World of Advice: How to Create Your Own Universe
Difficulty: *

Do you have a favorite universe? Harry Potter? Star Wars? Star Trek? Tolkien? Have you ever wanted to create your own fictional setting?

Come learn and discuss the principles of good world design. In this class we will cover what makes a fantasy universe believable from the characters, culture, language, and more!


Prerequisites
This class will be discussion based, so be prepared to participate! Enthusiasm will make for more interesting debate.

X283: Surviving Survivor - An analysis and strategy to winning a million dollar game.
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Alec Cinque

Survivor is a reality TV show airing on CBS that focuses on being able to Outwit, Outplay, and Outlast the competition. This class serves to help you understand the game and the strategies necessary to winning the game and one million dollars.

X281: 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.

X296: Creativity Rule #1: Break the Rules
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Ryan Birke

When you take a test, there is only one correct answer for each problem. If you don’t memorize the material and follow the rules of the test, you fail.
That’s not how life works.
In life there is no one correct answer to anything. There is no formula you can memorize, no set of rules you can follow to reach your goals. So how can you learn to adapt and succeed in the ever-changing world?
Join this class and find out why breaking the rules is the key.


Prerequisites
A brain.