Sign in or create an account above for account-specific details and links

For Splash Students

For Splash Teachers and Volunteers

  • Click the "Get Involved" tab for more information.

Splash! Spring 2009
Course Catalog

Jump to Categories
Mathematics Computer Science
Science Hobbies
Engineering Social Science
Performing Arts Liberal Arts

Computer Science

[ Return to Category List ]

What Computers Really Can't Do.
Teachers: Gregory Prisament

I will give a whirlwind tour of Theoretical Computer Science focusing on the bad news: problems that can't be solved by any computer, past, present, or future. Along the way we'll learn about Turing Machines, Big-O notation, decidability, reductions, and understand the biggest open question in computer science: does P=NP?
This class is based on the book "Computers LTD: What They Really Can't Do" by David Harel.
This class is aimed towards 11th and 12th graders, but I'm leaving it open to bright & interested 9th/10th graders.

Top Secret Web Programming
Teachers: Dan Simon

Web (in)security is all around you! When you log into your favorite social network, check your email, buy that cool new video game online, you are always protected….or are you? Learn about some of the most common threats you can face as a web programmer in this new age of spy vs. spy, and how you can protect yourself and the rest of the web.

Learn about:
* SQL Injection
* Social security (its not that stuff your grandparents get every month).
* Ajax and immerging threats
* Much more!

This course will be presented with PHP examples, but applies to all programming languages.

Interactive Digital Art Full!

Come learn about interactive digital art. We'll learn some of the theory behind computer animation and digital design, and put that theory into practice. Do you like games like Love the falling sand game? Enjoy those demos where they show simulated birds flying around? We'll talk about how to write stuff like that, and more!

You MUST know how to program to take this class. Really. You will otherwise find it really boring. You must know what variables and functions are, how a for-loop works, and you must have at least basic familiarity with Java.

Solving Problems with Probabilistic/Statistical Algorithms

Ever wondered how Amazon recommends you books, or how Netflix suggests movies, or how Google translates between 40+ different languages without any human intervention?

Behind all these systems are algorithms based on statistics and probability. In this class you will learn the fundamentals of probability theory and, most importantly, how it applies to modeling uncertainty in real-world problems.

After learning the basics, you will get a very close look at how simple probability concepts can be applied to solving a very complex task of Machine Translation (i.e. translating text from one language to another).

Briefly about your teachers: Ignacio and Anton have worked on Google’s Machine Translation project for almost 3 years. This technology is made public via and currently enables millions of users to read foreign content in their native language.

Computer networks from the inside.

Have some programming skills but at a loss when it comes to computer networks? This is the class for you!

Come get an insider's perspective on how the Internet works. We'll talk a bit about TCP, IP, HTTP, SMTP, POP...and lot of other acronyms that end with P; we'll talk a lot more about tools you can use to um..."explore" networks, and we'll see some of those tools in action.

Bring a laptop if you have one!

Contest Programming Strategies
Teachers: Russell Chou, Frank Li

Have you ever wanted to know how to find the shortest path to solve a maze? In this seminar, we will explore many common algorithms used to solve cool and interesting puzzles in programming competitions.

No previous competition experience is needed, although knowledge of a language such as Java is recommended.

Bringing a laptop is highly suggested.

In addition, there will be a Stanford Programming Contest on May 16, 2009, where you can try out everything you've learned!

Common Sense Reasoning for Artificial Intelligence
Teachers: Catherine Havasi

When people communicate with each other, their conversation relies on many basic, unspoken assumptions. We often learn the basis behind these assumptions long before they can write at all, making the difficult for computers to learn. These assumptions underlie all forms of human communication from teaching, to giving directions, to ordering dinner at a restaurant.

A user who interacts with a computer interface, however, can become frustrated because the computer does not understand their goals and motivations. For human-computer interaction to become as fluent as communication between humans, computers need to be able to understand the user’s basic, unspoken assumptions.

These assumptions form the body of knowledge known as “common sense” and we’ll be discussing how it is collected and used by the AI research community.

An Introduction to Modern Cryptography and RSA
Teachers: Gerald Teng

How do you share a secret so that no-one can eavesdrop and find out what it is? How do you sign a message so that whoever receives it can be sure it came from you? The modern solution to these problems was discovered 30 years ago by three mathematicians from MIT and relies on an amazingly elegant yet difficult math problem that is 2000 years old. The result of their work is the RSA algorithm which forms the basis for digital security in today's world, ensuring your online passwords remain secret while also protecting you from "phishing" scams.

We'll go through a brief history of cryptography to show the fundamental weaknesses of classical cryptographic systems. We then go through how the RSA algorithm works and how it is used for public key cryptography and digital signatures. A background in basic number theory (primes, modulo arithmetic) will be helpful but not essential.

Topics in Artificial Intelligence
Teachers: Peter Pham

Overview of the field of AI. Some basic algorithms and concepts such as searching, vision, and logical deduction.

Dynamically Generated Web Pages
Teachers: Rick Van Velden

This class will introduce students to the concepts of dynamically generated web pages.

Much of what we see on the Internet is made possible through a combination of the technologies that blend content (words, colors, shapes and images) with display elements (HTML and Cascading Style Sheets). The glue that binds these two components is a scripting language—a set of tools for taking instructions and rendering the result in a browser. This is the basis for dynamically generated web pages.

The scripting language we will use is PHP, a widely used tool that is ideally suited for the Internet and building applications delivered in a browser. PHP give us a efficient way of blending HTML, CSS with instructions for controlling the display web content.

Using simple, visual examples of PHP/HTML web pages students will gain an understanding and appreciation for the richness and flexibility of these tools. Students will be introduced to the essentials of PHP well enough to experiment with existing code in real time. They will take predesigned working pages, alter them and examine the results in their browser.

This class is not intended to make attendees PHP programmers or HTML/CSS experts. While one will learn about concepts such as variables, control structures, form elements, CSS class definitions and web services, students will be sheltered from much of the complexities of the language. We will be making use of pre-written working code and experimenting with display changes, rather than programming logic.


[ Return to Category List ]

C-P-YOU! (aka Computer Architecture) Full!
Teachers: Frank Lin

Everyone knows what CPU stands for. But do you know how one really works? Why do science books teach you that binary numbers are the key to modern computing and expect that you to leave it at that? Ones and zeros don't really do anything useful by themselves, you know.

By using the framework of the basic MIPS processor often studied in university-level digital design classes, we will turn the complex workings of a modern processor into a fun group activity. Beyond just learning how a computer works, you and your friends will actually BE the computer! Topics include how binary numbers work for computing, instruction set architectures, and forwarding.

Polarization of Light, and what it is good for
Teachers: Maria Makarova

You will learn about polarization of light, and how some simple things like corn syrup and plastic CD box can affect it. We will do some very colorful demonstrations! You will learn about some things where polarization of light is useful: why polarized sunglasses work better, how some 3D viewing glasses work, how you can see stress lines in plastic, how LCD screens work in calculators and laptops.

Fluids: Water You Waiting For?
Teachers: Joe Johnson

We'll learn about Bernoulli's Equation and apply this to everyday situations. WIth the help of MythBusters and water guns, you'll be able to blow your friend's minds with your knowledge surrounding fluid flow.

This is a good class for those thinking about mechanical / aeronautical / astronautical engineering and engineering in general

Mechanics for Robotics Full!
Teachers: Michael Price

You may be surprised at how much math goes into designing a robot. Any real device needs to be designed with its physical behavior in mind: for example, cars of different sizes and shapes need different chassis, engines and suspension characteristics. Robots are usually complicated structures with many degrees of freedom (they can move in many directions). In order make a robot walk, roll or fly in a controlled manner, the designers must first understand its mechanical behavior. This behavior is represented as a system of equations that can be derived using simple physics. In this class we will derive the kinematics and dynamics of simple structures that are employed in robots, and discuss the limitations that physical constraints place on our machines.

Prerequisite: Familiarity with mechanics (from a high school physics class) and trigonometric functions.

Sound Advice: Signal Processing from Audio to Radio

Signal processing is a very important area within engineering that is used in audio, analog radio communication and digital communications such as mobile phones and Wi-Fi.

But how and why does all of this work? First of all, what exactly is a "signal" and how are they "processed"? Why do you see CDs with a "sampling frequency" of 44.1kHz? What does that mean? How does your stereo know to play bass or treble from different speakers? How does your radio work? Why is digital TV replacing analog TV? How does high-speed Internet work?

All of this and more will be discussed in this class.

Recommended prerequisites: familiarity with sines/cosines and some trigonometric identities

Aircraft Performance and Design
Teachers: Andrew Ning

Want to know more about airplanes? In the first half of the class we’ll learn some basic aerodynamics. Next we’ll get into groups and estimate the performance of a few different types of aircraft (jumbo jets, very light jets, supersonic business jets, regional jets). Finally we’ll wrap up with a discussion of concepts for airplanes of the future.

Explosions, flames, jets and shockwaves - Aerospace Engineering
Teachers: Daniel Mitchell

Do you like to see things explode? Would you like to see some things explode and then learn a little about why they did? Are you not frightened by loud noises and bright flashes?

Then read on.

This class will cover the fundamental sciences of combustion and fluid mechanics, and how they combine to form the engineering fields of aerodynamics and propulsion. From rockets to scramjets, frisbees to supersonic aircraft, you will learn the basic science that drives all aerospace.

The class will include a series of live demonstrations, videos, as well as just a little bit of math ;)

Please bring basic construction materials (construction paper, tape, scissors, paperclips etc) for the paper-airplane competition.

From Theory to Implementation: Filter Design Breakdowns
Teachers: Yuhong Wang

Filtering is used everywhere in audio and video processing. Undoubtedly without it, very few applications would function correctly. Although signal processing and filtering are topics that involve great quantities of theoretical background, mainly the mathematical domain, in real world situations, some of this theory is invalid. We will talk about the uses of filtering and discuss the problems in directly using theory to make designs. Additionally, we will look into the partial resolution of these issues.

Control Systems
Teachers: Michael Price

Many practical inventions take simple, existing devices and change their behavior in subtle yet useful ways. A Segway scooter uses motors to balance a person on a seemingly unstable platform while propelling them at up to 20 mph. Sensors and audio equipment depend on highly nonlinear electronic devices such as transistors, but can amplify small signals with startling accuracy. Modern fighter planes are so sensitive to the movements of their control surfaces that they would be impossible to fly manually. All of these problems have been solved by the careful application of feedback. In this class we will investigate the effects of feedback and the mathematical theory that allows us to reliably design control systems.

Prerequisite: Linear Systems class, or understanding of what a transfer function (i.e. H(s) = (s + 1) / (s + 0.1)) is.

Robots In Space For Amateurs
Teachers: Nader Moussa

So, we all want to build giant robot lasers in space. But, it's really, really expensive. And hard!

In this class, we will do a brief survey of what it actually takes to get something "up there". A quick survey of the scientific background, then a followthrough of the logistics planning phase, engineering design tradeoffs, and a run-through of a spacecraft platform: Mechanical systems, electronic systems, communication, propulsion, and ground support.

Nano Electromechanical (NEM) Relays - the next big thing?
Teachers: Pete Stevenson

NEM relays are tiny switches that have a mechanical movement and offer a possible replacement for standard silicon transistors (under a certain set of optimistic assumptions and other constraints).

The operating principle of these tiny switches is quite easy to understand and this makes them a uniquely accessible inroad to understanding the fundamentals behind all of today's digital technology.

Engineering Humans: The Past, Present, and Future of BioE
Teachers: Vivien Tsao

In this course, we'll explore exactly what the field of bioengineering covers from prostheses to stem cells galore! Expect a whirlwind tour of the history of bioengineering, presence of bioengineering in our lives today, and examples of cool research conducted in a lab near you!

Modern-Day Inventors: Product Management at a Start-up
Teachers: Tyler Bengtson

Ever dream of being an inventor or of founding your own company? If you are an “ideas person” or have the creative spark, join this discussion to learn what no school really teaches: the practical reality of what it is to be a product manager in Silicon Valley. You will learn about User-Centric Design, Rapid-Prototyping, and building a vision for products and markets.

As a class we will use these and other techniques to innovate creative solutions to modern-day problems.

Audio Systems and Loudspeakers
Teachers: Michael Price

Everyone loves listening to music, but few understand the exciting technology that makes it all possible. I will explain the recording and playback process - from microphones to CD players, amplifiers, and speakers. We'll see what the frequency content of music looks like, and how the frequency response of loudspeakers affects the sound you hear. If you're interested in building your own equipment (perhaps speakers, a headphone amplifier, or a graphic equalizer), we can envision some projects to build at home. Please bring your favorite music for the demonstrations!

Burglar Stopping 101 (An Introduction to Circuits)
Teachers: Alex Ji, Tom McLaughlin

Someone breaking into your locker? Stop them by constructing your very burglar alarm, complete with flashing lights and loud noises. We'll learn about basic circuit construction, 555 timers, and sensors. Together, the class will build a complete burglar alarm, perfect for your home, school, or locker. No prior experience required.

Introduction to Civil Engineering
Teachers: Lucy Wu

In this class, we will explore major projects from ancient wonders to modern construction. We will talk about how construction materials like steel and concrete are used in buildings, bridges, and tunnels. If you ever wondered what goes into a major project like the Golden Gate Bridge, come and find out. This class is meant for people who have no background in civil engineering and construction.

Designing Our Future
Teachers: Nick Enge

Solar panels, electric cars, and organics, oh my! Come learn about the designs that will both save the Earth and make our lives so much more enjoyable. Very little in the world today is working as well as it could, but our generation has the ability to completely redesign it. This class will inspire you with the most innovative ideas in environmental design today.


[ Return to Category List ]

Introduction to Figure Drawing
Teachers: Donnell Van Noppen

A broad overview of the basics of figure drawing--drawing directly from a live model. We will first practice the silhouette, then line drawings, contours, and angles; all in an attempt to become more attuned to the human figure and how to represent it through charcoal. Will end with one 45-minute pose.

Intro to Crochet Full!
Teachers: Shauna Rakshe

In this class, you will learn the basics of crochet by making a cotton washcloth. You'll learn how to start and finish a project as well as some commonly used stitches: chain stitch, single crochet and double crochet. We'll also discuss fixing mistakes. By the end of your washcloth, you'll be ready to tackle just about any project you can imagine!

Introduction to Korean Professional Starcraft
Teachers: Andrew Spann

Did you know that South Korea has 12 teams of professional Starcraft players? This class will give a background of the Korean eSports scene and tell you where to go to watch Korean professional Starcraft. We'll discuss why Starcraft in particular has become such a big phenomenon and maybe even watch a few classic pro-gaming videos if time allows.

Pastel Drawing
Teachers: Lili Hsu, Mai Le

We'll cover some drawing and color theory basics, but most of the class will be spent experimenting with pastels and drawing from life. No drawing experience necessary!

Introduction to the Book of Mormon
Teachers: Paul Cuff

So you've heard of Mormons and even the Book of Mormon, but you don't know much about it. Here's a chance to find out a little bit from a first-hand Mormon.

This class will start by explaining how the Mormons view the Book of Mormon and its relationship to the Bible. We will discuss the historic context of Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon church, who produced the Book of Mormon. Also, we will consider some of the teachings found in the Book of Mormon.

Arts and Craft - make your own foam flower bouquet

Learn how to make colorful flowers out of foam that would last longer and cost less than real flowers. This is great for making a bouquet as a present for graduations, mother/father day, birthdays and more. All equipment would be provided!

Creative Re-purposing
Teachers: Shuai Chen

We will take normal everyday materials you find in your household and recreate them into art, jewelry, etc. Projects include purses from jeans, t-shirt grocery bags, flower vases from water bottles, etc.

Finger Knitting 101
Teachers: Shuai Chen

Ever wanted to learn how to knit? Don't want to carry around those annoyingly long needles? I'll teach you how to knit with your fingers-trust me, it's addictive! You can make anything from scarves and ponchos to purses and doilies and floormats. I'll bring the yarn, you bring the fingers.

Collaging and Poetry
Teachers: helen liu, lena tran

Express yourself with a Two in One deal, where you get to collage and end up with a piece of poetry. Collaging is an easy-going and creative way to piece together something they way you want it to be.

G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S: Makeup skills your mother didn't teach you!
Teachers: Pilar Wong

Ever wondered how Beyonce, Eva Longoria, and Scarlett Johansson manage to make their makeup look so good? Well, they HIRE people to make them look more beautiful! However, we're going to teach you how to do the same thing on your own! Learn makeup essentials including proper application, choosing the right colors for your skin tone and eye color, the do's and don'ts of eyeliner, the difference between expensive, and not so expensive brands, and of course the perfect out-on-the-town look! Come with your personal makeup, try out samples provided by us, and learn more about makeup than you ever imagined!

Circuit training for fitness

Circuit training is all about doing a series of weight and cardio exercises with very little rest in between. Circuit training is great for anyone who wants to improve sports performance, tone-up and increase stamina. We'll focus on basics of circuit training so the students will be able to design their own circuit training routine.

The Most Challenging Puzzles
Teachers: Daniel Zaharopol

Join us as we solve some of the deepest and most challenging puzzles around. These puzzles, seen in competitions such as the MIT Mystery Hunt, require careful analysis and deep logic, and they're often given without any instructions! We'll go through a sample of these puzzles and try to work through them together. Stretch your brain and grow your skills for finding deep patterns, examining open-ended questions, and pulling out solutions without nearly enough information.

How to plan a party and other events
Teachers: Elizabeth Burgon

Have you ever wanted to plan a party? Are your parents, siblings, or other family too busy to help you?

Sometimes, it is hard to know where to start. In this class, we will review the basics of event planning. From a simple birthday party to a formal graduation event, the steps will be discussed one by one.

At the end of this class, you should feel more comfortable with planning an event for yourself, a friend, or family member.

See you soon!

Figure Drawing
Teachers: Lili Hsu, Mai Le

Introduction to figure drawing concentrating on capturing the shape and proportion of the human body

Traveling Around China Full!

We will take you on a journey to China, one of the world's cultural treasure-houses and greatest travel destinations. We will explore the beauty and legend of the dramatic landscapes, and history and life of the popular cities together. Gifts from China will be provided.
Do you want to know what Inner Mongolia is like? I would like to show you my hometown. As a minority autonomous area, it has a unique culture (music, food, festivals, how people live, ranches and horses), history (Mongolian people), and I will show you some pictures and tell some stories.

Just My Cup of Tea

Tea parties aren't just for little girls and their stuffed animals. We'll try various types of tea as we "seep"
in the history and significance of tea and "sip" on its health benefits.With a pinch of sugar and a dash of milk, this tea party will have you ready to meet the Queen.

Solving the Cube - An Introduction to Speedcubing
Teachers: Lucas Garron

Ever wondered how those people in YouTube videos are able to solve a Rubik’s Cube in less than a minute? Do you want to impress your friends with a fun skill that few have mastered? Think it would fun to freak out your parents who grew up in the 80’s? Come to this workshop and learn how to do all that.

Although the instructor owns many cubes of his own, this is a BYOC class (as in, you have to "Bring Your Own Cube"). They are available in stores around the nation, as well as online at

Conquering the Fear of Public Speaking Full!

Why is it that 75% of all individuals fear public speaking more than death itself? Come and try to uncover some of the demons behind public speaking and learn how you can conquer your fears while becoming a more confident public speaker.

Type is Cool: Introduction to Font Design
Teachers: Luke Joyner

We'll warm up a bit by drawing some letters of all kinds. Then I'll provide a short history of letterforms, alphabets and orthographies, from ancient times to the invention of the printing press and up to the most modern digital type design technologies, and give a very short introduction to the practice of designing a font. After that, you'll get a chance to start designing a font of your own, using some of the techniques that you've learned.

How to Show Your Skillz of an Artist: Dragon Drawing 101
Teachers: Melody Lu

We’ll discuss designing and illustrating monsters from an evolutionary and ecological point of view. This class is for anyone interested in animals and art, whether you're already carrying six sketchbooks or just want an introduction to thinking about creature design.

Sew yourself some Boxer Shorts!
Teachers: Cathy Ye

Want to amaze your friends with your craftiness? Combine your creativity with new sewing skills to make a pair of boxer shorts. I will teach you simple pattern making, machine sewing, elastic threading, and how to hand-stitch a button. Bring your fabric and sewing questions, and I will answer them to the best of my ability!

If you would like to use your own fabric, I recommend bringing at least 1.5 yards, depending on the size you want to make.

Youth Empowerment Seminar
Teachers: Debanti Sengupta

The YES! workshop is a great way to learn how to destress and have fun,increase your leadership abilities, and meet lots of great people.

Click on the link below for testimonials:

learn Hindi
Teachers: richa agarwal

This class will provide basic knowledge & fun interactions words of Hindi Language.

Diamonds on my neck neck! Full!
Teachers: Mindy Phung

Ok so we won't really be working with diamonds, but in this class we'll have lots of fun making jewelry! We will practice the basics of using flat and round nosed pliers and practice making secure clasps with crimp beads. We'll be playing a lot with WIRE because it's a fun medium and in the second hour, we'll explore different possibilities with mixed media: beads, shrinky-dinks, buttons and anything else you can find at home! The class will have a basic tutorial session and time at the end to create your own piece!

Nutrition Label reading + Introduction to chi Quong exercise
Teachers: May To

Come and learn what you are eating!!
We will explore label reading on packaged foods - fresh, frozen, canned, as a meal, desserts, cereals and more.
There will be samples and hands on practise. At the end, let’s have some fun and strength a little. There will be a short but fun session on introduction to Chi Quong for health and everyday exercise. It is simple and easy to do.

Introduction to a Career in Fashion

CALLING ALL FASHIONISTAS - Have you ever dreamed about pursuing a career in fashion? If the answer is "yes", then you should consider attending this one hour session which will expose you to all different facets and opportunities within the fashion industry. You will also walk away learning some of the fundamental industry terminology.

Make your own mini stuffed toy!
Teachers: Lana Lau

Learn the basics of making your own mini plush toy! In this class, we will show you how to turn ordinary cloth & thread into stuffed objects such as teddy bears and pillows, or you can try to create any plush object you want from your own imagination (such as a plush tangerine!). Supplies will be provided, or you can also bring your own.

Intro to Stanford ESP's Student Rep Program
Teachers: Shuai Chen

This class is for students interested in joining our Student Rep program. Come learn all about how you can help us make Splash bigger and better! Tell us what you want to see in our next Splash! Meet some of the people who run Splash!

Origami for fun! Full!
Teachers: Lucy Wu

Come learn how to make fun stuff with paper! Things that we have done in the past are: boats, camera, piano, pacman, and more! This class is for beginners. If you've done any origami before, you might be get bored.

Getting the Most out of a College Experience

This course is designed to provide some basic tips and tricks to: optimize listening and note taking, increase studying efficiency, make the most of available resources and manage time so you can have fun and succeed academically in college. While this course will focus on certain aspects of college, these tips can be used right now to make the most of your high school experience too.

Origami Roses
Teachers: Russell Chou

Have you ever folded an origami flower? What about a rose? Here we will learn how to fold a Kawasaki Rose, a very pretty but somewhat complicated design.
Minor folding experience would be helpful.

Topics in Interactive Literature
Teachers: Frank Lin

Interactive Literature, or sometimes known as Live-Action Role-Playing (closely related to "Mystery Dinner"), is an engaging and fun activity that requires a lot of planning on behalf of the organizers.

How does one run a successful IL evening for friends? What is the best statistical combat system? How should we write the characters to best suit the players’ personalities? How does one get in character?

This class will cater to people of all backgrounds. No previous role-playing experience necessary. Just bring creativity and the willingness to be a little silly!

DIY Computer Building
Teachers: Scott Meyer

The day begins with packaged components and ends with a fully operational computer. We will discuss the planning process, tips for ensuring compatibility, assemble the beast, and compare/contrast with store bought computers. No knowledge of computers is required, and some knowledge won’t hurt. Students will have limited hands on interaction and are able to ask questions at any time.

Climbing the Branches of Your Family Tree: Intro to Genealogy
Teachers: Lynn Bartz

Have you ever wondered if you're related to someone famous--a celebrity, a war hero, an inventor? Are there other reasons you might want to learn about your ancestors and distant cousins? We will explore the basics of researching and documenting your family history, which the internet has made easier than ever. Learn how to get started, how to avoid common pitfalls and dead ends, how to organize and document your information, and what makes it all so interesting in the first place.

Comiket and the Japanese Doujin Phenomenon

Comiket, doujinshi, Touhou, Type-Moon, you might have heard some of these names if you've watching some anime before. Yet, they are not made by commercial companies like Sunrise (who made Gundam) or Studio Pierrot (who made Naruto). Doujinshi are all fan-make works produced by the fans, for the fans. However, they are the source of some of the most viral memes on the internet. We will explore the sources of this phenomenon in Japan, and how it has impacted Japanese popular culture and the internet, with a focus on the Touhou Project series of danmaku games.

Smart Money - Train your money to work for you!

Learn about personal finance for the next stages of your life- college and beyond! Students will learn college budgeting skills, insider tips for saving during college, and basic investing strategies for college kids. With hands on activities and advice from two Stanford financial engineers, students will leave with practical skills for future financial success!

Painting with Gouache Full!
Teachers: Cheryl Gurat

Learn a new way of painting, with a paint called Gouache. It invloves putting paint on your canvas and then taking it off to make your image.

The Art of Negotiation

Whether convincing your mom to let you stay up later, or getting a local business to hire you as an intern, this is the place to learn the skills you need to become successful negotiator. The class will feature fun negotiating activities where you can test your newfound negotiating skills. For those of you interested in business, political science, and many other fields, this class is not to be missed!

Modular Origami
Teachers: Eleanor Lin

We will start to take over the world by folding simple hyperbolic paraboloids (hypars). We will then assemble these pieces into more complex Platonic solids. Makes a great lampshade!

Introduction to Designing Beaded Jewelery Full!
Teachers: Catherine Havasi

An introduction to this fun art form. We'll go over tools, material and techniques and then you'll get a chance to try things yourself.

We'll be making a bracelet during this class for you to bring home with you.

Futbol A-Z
Teachers: Prabal Tiwaree

Do you love soccer?

Do you wonder why it creates so much passion amongst its followers everywhere?

In this course we will learn about everything soccer - history, players, transfer market, tactics, teams, historical matches etc. - and come to understand what it means to its fans who adoringly call it "the beautiful game".

Learn Your Favorite Beatles' Songs on the Ukulele
Teachers: Scott Meyer

This class is for the absolute beginner with string instruments. (It's fine if you play a different instrument and this is the first time you ever tried to learn a string instrument) You will be bored if you already know how to play.

Everyone will pick a few favorite Beatles' songs to learn and hopefully by the end of the class you will be a pro.

Liberal Arts

[ Return to Category List ]

Urban Legends
Teachers: Graham Anderson

>>I don't usually forward emails, but this one is FOR REAL! Microsoft is conducting research on emailing patterns, and if you forward this to 20 people, a window will pop up and you'll receive $200 from Bill Gates! I did it and it works!!!

Does anybody really believe these emails? Yes, they do! Otherwise, you wouldn't see them popping up in your inbox. Legends are alive and well today, and they go far beyond chain emails. Urban legends reinforce our hopes, reveal our fears, and exploit our ignorance. They are an indicator of common thought and sentiment, and sometimes they turn out to be true. We'll have a discussion about what makes a good urban legend, why we have them, and how they reflect the zeitgeist, using legends from as material.

Chinese Language: Just for fun
Teachers: Lucy Wu, Yalu Wu, lena tran

For beginners who may want to know a bit more about Chinese. A bit of history and introduction for you to get the feel of the language. Learn to say and/or write some simple phrases(dialects: Cantonese and Mandarin). Take questions. If we have time, we could listen to a selection of Chinese pop music? and translate the lyrics?

Writing and the Creative Process
Teachers: Leigh Lucas, Taylor Ray

Interested in writing? Or just want to express yourself?

There are thousands of ways to get your creative juices to flow. Engage in some fun activities that will help to unlock the creativity within you. We will explore both prose and poetry, and there will also be the opportunity to express yourself through visual/performance art if you like!

The "Complex" System of Admissions
Teachers: Joanna Leon, Dallas Teo

What do college admissions officers look for in applicants? How does one develop a college personal statement? How would it belike to work as an admissions officer?

Allof these questions and more will be answered as we put you face to face with the college admissions process! Have fun and learn at the same time!

Schooling: How Does It Ruin Lives and Minds?

Most schools reward conformity and mediocrity. Like television, school encourages escapism and focus on the mundane and trivial. You came to Splash! to experience something more. Let's share our personal stories and what we know about educational myths. Learn about alternatives to traditional schools and survival strategies to apply when you find yourself in a school or school-like-setting. Meet and share resources with others who have awakened from their stupors.

For more information and suggested background resources, [see associated web page](

Women and Old Testament Sources
Teachers: Kenneth Shafer

Focus on the Great Storyteller in the
Old Testament. Who was she? What
was her motivaton?

Understanding the Calendar

Why are there 7 days in a week and approximately 30 days in a month? Are these numbers random? Where do the names for the weekdays and months come from? (Hint: many of them have to do with Viking and Roman gods.) Why do we have leap years? What causes the seasons? You will leave this course being able to answer all these questions and much more.

Most of us could hardly function without a calendar, yet surprisingly few understand its rich and complicated history. It is one of the few remnants of the ancient and medieval worlds which is still in widespread use today. This course will cover some basic astronomy and the orbits of the planets and how, when combined with the rich history, language, and religion of the ancient and medieval civilizations, gave rise to our calendar.

Korean Language & Culture in Drama
Teachers: Jai Won Rhi

Love Korean dramas? There's a way to love them even more: learn the basics of Korean language and culture. In this 2-hour session, you will learn some basic Korean grammar and expressions, and discuss Korean culture reflected in various Korean dramas. No prior knowledge required.

Bonjour!: An Introduction to French Langage and Culture
Teachers: Ana Sanchez

This class is for anyone who is interested in a basic introduction to French language and culture. By the end of the class, the students will know how to introduce themselves in French. Basic vocabulary, like numbers and colors, will also be introduced. This small immersion will begin to acquaint students with the world of French language and culture.

Manifestoes and Modernism: A Creative Writing Workshop
Teachers: Miles Osgood

The early twentieth century was one of the richest and most diverse periods for the arts. Painting, sculpture, politics, and poetry fused in an attempt to re-shape the way we express ourselves and the way we express our perceptions of the world. Many of these expressions came in definable movements, and together they formed modernism.

This course will be interactive, discussion-based, hands-on. We'll look at avant-garde pieces of art, poetry, and manifestoes (stated ideologies) to understand the evolution of modernism in the context of artistic and political history (especially 1890's to 1920's).

The end product: in the second half of the class, the students will divide up according to interests in certain movements (cubism, fauvism, imagism, futurism, vorticism, etc.). Then they will go out on campus, look around, and write a poem or piece of prose inspired by the ideas we've analyzed.

Vampires in Film
Teachers: Brian Gingrich

This should be a chance to take a more in-depth look at what might be the most well-known character in movie history--the vampire. Why ARE there so many vampire films? Why are people attracted to them? What kind of affinity might exist between this medium and this character? We'll try to get to the bottom of some of these questions while exploring ways to look at movies both critically and carefully. This will, of course, require viewing a range of clips (both short and long, but unfortunately no full features) from films like Nosferatu: eine Symphonie des Grauens, Dracula (1931), Bram Stoker's Dracula, Interview with the Vampire, Shadow of the Vampire, and more!

Capitalism and Masturbation: On the elusiveness of Happiness
Teachers: manny fassihi

We confront a stark contradiction—so much unhappiness in a country that was founded on the principle of "the pursuit of happiness." True, this principle is deceptive since what it promises isn't happiness but just the chance to pursue it, and what most people get is endless pursuit and precious little joy. Still, the identification of American society with happiness played an enormous role in the political and ideological struggles of the twentieth century: in contrast to the grim repressiveness of Soviet society, America seemed a "free" country where individuals could live any way they wanted. And with the postwar boom and the rise of consumerism, happiness was on sale everywhere.

Never have the pleasures of the marketplace been more mesmerizing—the glitter of the shopping mall, the seductiveness of advertising, the magical aura that seems to surround every new commodity; companies like Nike don't sell mere products anymore, they sell embodiments of dreams. But for all the hype and flashiness, the basic message is as old as capitalism: possessions are what make you happy. Here we have the "common sense" of the marketplace in all its crudeness: everything (and everyone) is dealt with in terms of buying and selling, every relationship is reduced to what Marx once called a “cash nexus.” This idea is so commonplace under capitalism that we rarely notice how perverse it is, because what it really amounts to saying is that happiness derives not from people but from things. In other words, this is a kind of happiness that has been dehumanized.

The thesis of this lecture will be that the logic of capitalism gives rise to what I call a 'masturbatory mindset': that is, capitalism functions by sustaining a fantasy (e.g. the American dream) that we are always approaching but can never fully realize.

The Sentence and the Scalpel: Writing for Effect
Teachers: David Edwards

"Words - so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them." --Nathaniel Hawthorne.

How do some stories grab your attention by the throat, while others could treat insomnia? How can descriptions of the weather in one story bring tears to your eyes, while a tragic death scene in another brings only yawns?

In this course we'll tackle a number of strategies for fiction and nonfiction writers to help turn that chapter--that paragraph--that sentence--that word--into a burning, blazing masterpiece. We'll analyze the advice and techniques of other writers in an effort to find out own insights and style, our own approaches to filling every phrase in our writing with as much power and punch as we can.

And this isn't just for narrative writers! We'll look at tricks and tips for writing top-of-the-line effective essays, and even some poetry.

Organizing for Better Educational Experiences
Teachers: Michael Hirohama

Organize to improve educational experiences for yourselves and other students. Even in the most oppressive of settings, persons can work together to create better conditions. Begin exploring and practicing community transformation with the support of teacher(s). Cultivate your capacity and courage to lead.

Prerequisites: S296 or L329 or consent of instructor. May be taken more than once.

For more information and suggested background resources, [see associated web page](

Haiku: Harder Than It Looks
Teachers: Max Sosna-Spear

The class will begin with a very brief overview of the history and cultural elements of renga, the linked verse form from which haiku is adapted, and then we will compose our own linked verse poem!


[ Return to Category List ]

Mathematical Modeling and Simulation
Teachers: Andrew Spann

How do you solve problems when there are no known formulas or standard approaches? We will introduce open-ended applied math problems on unfamiliar topics and then talk about how to build a model and which simplifications lead to interesting and uninteresting problems. This course is inspired by the COMAP Mathematical Contest in Modeling, but no prior experience is needed to participate in the class. The style of the class will be similar to last year’s class, but the material will be different.

A minimum grade level of 9 is highly encouraged, but younger students who have a strong interest may join the class.

Constructing Numbers
Teachers: Daniel Zaharopol

What are numbers, really? I mean, what *are* they? As children, we were taught how to count, as if numbers had always been there and were obvious. When you got to fractions, well, those were supposed to be clear too. And then real numbers? $$\pi$$? It was always brushed under the rug... it's just some weird decimal that goes on forever, right?

Well, you can't prove anything about numbers if you don't know what they really are. How do we know that mathematical constructions actually work? What basis tells us that even something as simple as addition makes sense --- how do you even define it? What could it possibly mean to take something like $$\pi^{\sqrt{2}}$$? Well, the numbers can be built out of something much, much simpler. You can work your way right up from almost nothing to the full complexity of the real numbers. Come and find out how a mathematician thinks about a concept you might have thought was simple.

This will be a very challenging course, but not like the mathematics you see in school: it won't be about memorizing formulas or lots of calculations. This class is for people who like and are good at dealing with abstract concepts and logical deduction.

Optimization Applications
Teachers: Yalu Wu

Optimization is all about solving complex problems. For example, how many flavors of ice cream should your ice cream parlor carry in order to maximize profit? How would you cut a piece of yarn into four pieces to maximize the area of the quadrilateral formed? Where should you locate an emergency facility in order to minimize transportation costs?

We will show you how to model real-life problems and find optimal solutions of your own!

Familiarity with Algebra is a prereq, preferably Algebra II

Creative Thinking in Combinatorics
Teachers: Shui Hu

Why do people consider mathematicians smart? How do they prove seemingly impenetrable theorems? Is it just brute force or does solving math problems involve some clever thinking? By using techniques from combinatorics--a branch of discrete mathematics that is both fun and approachable without much background knowledge--we will explore how simple, intuitive ideas like the Pigeonhole Principle can lead to profound results. I will go over a number of common techniques and then we will use them to solve some interesting problems. Whether you are a seasoned "mathlete" or just someone curious about math, this class will hopefully leave you with a sense of the creativity that transcends mathematics. Prior experience with proofs would be helpful, though not required.

Probabilistic Paradoxes
Teachers: Yuhong Wang

On the surface, probability is simple, usually requiring little numerical computation and memorization of only a few rules. But the way it is applied to specific situations can give rise to some contradictory interpretations. How can you win by losing? Make a game that would be worth any price to play? Keep changing your choices but never reach the better one? Create the downfall of democratic voting? We will look at these problems (and more) and see if we can resolve the paradoxes.

The Game of Go
Teachers: Lucas Baker

Since its creation over three thousand years ago, the ancient Eastern board game of Go has fascinated monarchs, warriors, poets, mathematicians, and millions of other enthusiastic followers with its profound strategic depth and intellectual beauty. At first glance a simple game of few rules, a contest between Black and White based on surrounding one's opponent and capturing territory, Go in fact holds the potential for magnificently complex and fascinating variations - including vastly more possible games than the number of protons in the universe. Would you would like to find out how to play the world's oldest strategy game, far more widespread in the East than chess ever has been in the West? Would you like to discover for yourself the allure of Go as a pastime, a passion, a philosophy, a metaphor for life? Well, now you know where to begin.

Teachers: Alex Landau

Infinity is a big idea. It’s hard for us to find a way to reason about something so enormous and ambiguous — but that doesn’t stop us from trying. Come learn about how Georg Cantor applied ideas from set theory to develop tangible, yet surprising, insights into the infinite, like the existence of different kinds of infinity and a hypothesis that can be neither proven nor disproven. (No prior exposure to set theory is required.)

Linear Algebra
Teachers: Frank Wang

Want to learn a topic that has many applications in math and science? Then, linear algebra is the right class to take. I will lecture regarding important concepts in linear algebra. However, I will also do problems during the class to increase understanding. Some topics that will be covered are vectors, null spaces, column spaces, transformations, and eigenvalues. I will be going pretty in depth into some topics, so I highly recommend a strong math background. Pre/Corequisite: Precalculus or equivalent, but Calculus background preferred.

Calculus Unmasked
Teachers: David Edwards

The very word CALCULUS has inspired dread in the minds of students for ages. Join me in disarming this mathematical giant one fundamental concept at a time--we'll build the core concepts of calculus from the ground up. Instead of memorizing formulas and processes, we'll focus on developing an intuitive sense of what makes the major formulas and processes of calculus work in the first place.

The course will cater to students with a good background in algebra; experience with trigonometry will not be required, but it will give you a leg up on some problems we'll be working. Whether you're taking a calc course and want to better understand the gears that make the math tick, or you're just looking to explore and see if calculus might be something you'd pursue, this course has your name on it. If you've already decided to take calculus in the fall, this course will give you a solid head start on understanding some of the concepts that have traditionally perplexed students.

Ready to take one of high school math's more daunting topics by the horns? Dust off your matador cape, and prepare to see Calculus--Unmasked!

Linear Systems
Teachers: Michael Price

What's really happening when you adjust the equalizer settings on an MP3 player? Audio signals, like any other information stream, can be manipulated by circuits and computer programs in many different ways. The theory of signals and systems (which explains these manipulations) is pervasive in electronics, graphics and video, and even neuroscience. We will look specifically at linear systems - the simplest and most common type of signal processing - and experience how different systems can be used to alter sounds. Prerequisite: Algebra and trigonometry.

Performing Arts

[ Return to Category List ]

Introduction Hip Hop Music Neglecting the Rapper: A Sampler
Teachers: J Provine

In mass popular culture, hip hop and rap have become largely synonymous. This has frequently been pointed out in the context that rap music does not mention other elements of hip hop culture such as dance, graffiti, and DJing. This course is specifically interested in an introduction to hip hop music from the point of view of the DJ/producer. What defines the hip hop aesthetic? What is sampling and is it necessary? Various stages of hip hop music from the early 80s to today will be explored. The course looks to be equal parts lecture and discussion and will feature extensive use of musical, visual, and video examples.

Actors' Workshop Full!
Teachers: Catherine Havasi

1: Actors' Workshop Catherine Havasi, Daniel Zaharopol
Do you love acting, or want to get into it? Want to learn the basics and explore a few interesting parts? Or do you want to see how to make your roles more specific, how to add power and truth to the lines you utter? While we may not be able to answer every acting question, what we can do is create a supportive environment where we can all work on scenes and develop our skills with guidance from some experienced directors. We’ll talk about acting, the process that goes into it and how to improve. Together, we’ll work on some scenes: we’ll split up, each work on a role, and then present them to each other at the end. From this class, you’ll see some new perspectives on what goes into portraying a role convincingly, and you’ll also get to work on your acting skills in a focused but low-stress environment. If you’re new to acting, or if you’ve had years of experience, you are welcome here!

Everybody Dance Now!

This will be a fun 1 hour hip hop dance class for all experience levels! We'll start off with some warm-ups and a little across the floor, teach a fun routine, and then have a freestyling sesh! It'll be totally laid-back and casual so don't feel intimidated at all to sign up! This will be a comfortable place to practice your moves so you will be sure to look hot on the dance floor!

The History of Hip Hop
Teachers: Lexi Butler

Learn the history of hip hop as we take a journey through the early years of GrandMaster Flash and public Enemy to today with Lupe Fiasco through the dance. We will practice many dance popular dance moves that have helped popularize hip hop in the media as well as talk about the influences of this genre in our society.

Latin Dance
Teachers: ioulia k

Learn the basics of energetic dances like Salsa and Cha-Cha! These dances are danced with a partner, so we might try some partner dancing once we master the basic steps!

Classic Chinese music and musical instruments
Teachers: Ying Jiang

Ever wonder why Chinese music sounds the way it does (think Kungfu Panda)? Come explore and the origins of the sounds of the far east, learn of analogies between Western and Chinese musical instruments, and get a try at playing one.

Argentine Tango for Beginners

Everyone has heard the saying: it takes two to Tango. What does this really mean? Come to this exciting workshop to learn the secrets of this dance that has captivated the minds and bodies of many generations around the world.

No partner necessary. Please wear comfortable shoes with soles you can pivot in (leather or suede, not rubber). If you don't have any, just bring socks that you can put over your shoes.

Writing Your Own One-Act Script and Getting it Produced

A step-by-step presentation of how to conceive, develop and write the script for a one-act play. The teacher will provide concrete examples based on his script for "El Centro Basco," which is being produced for five performances by the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, starting on April 3. The teacher will provide each student with a complimentary copy of the copyrighted script (ISBN No. 0-615-26900-1). The teacher will also describe the process of having the script produced by a mainstream theater, including co-direction.

Drums for Beginners
Teachers: Timothy Tam

This class will cover the basics of drumming and even allow each student to rock it out on the drum kit. No prior music experience necessary. If you've been amazed by the awesome beats whipped up by Chad Smith of RHCP or Travis Barker, or just love to hit things, this is the class for you!

Teachers: Yalu Wu

Do you like music? Do you like plays or musicals? Are you interested in learning about Opera? Well you are in luck, because no previous experience is required here!!

In this class we will go over the basics of Western Opera. We will talk about and listen to some clips from famous Operas starting from the 1600s until the 1950s. We will learn about Operatic style and talk about what the terms libretto, aria, and recitative mean. We will cover the Operas of the works of Gluck, Mozart, Verdi, Wagner, Puccini, and more!


[ Return to Category List ]

Einstein's Special Relativity
Teachers: Edward Santos

Using only the pythagorean theorem and very simple algebra, we will derive and explore some exciting consequences of Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity, including length contraction, time dilation, and non-absolute simultaneity!

The Biology of Love
Teachers: Elizabeth Pollina

Have you ever wondered what's going on in your brain when you see that cute girl in chemistry class? Ever wondered about mate preferences of voles? (I bet you have!) Come learn about the current research being done to understand how organisms reproduce, choose their mates, and hard-wire the concept of "committed love" into their brains.

The Story of our Universe: From the Beginning to the ...End?
Teachers: Edward Santos

Ever wonder about how the universe began? Or what the fate of the universe holds? Is the universe expanding? How matter and galaxies form? In this class, I'll give an overview of modern cosmology (study of the universe) and introduce many topics that researchers today are attempting to tackle!

Physics of Vision
Teachers: Mary Elting

We'll talk about how your eyes (and brain!) take in light and turn it into an image in your mind of what's around you, including a little bit of basic optics. We'll also look at some cool optical illusions and see if we can explain why they work.

Social Science

[ Return to Category List ]

A Brief Glance at the Chinese Historical Relics
Teachers: Wenjun Xie

Introduce a few Chinese historical relics, how they were discovered, the value and mysteries behind them, and how people today relate themselves with their ancestors through these discoveries.


[ Return to Category List ]

Why your room gets messy: the laws of thermodynamics
Teachers: Abrahim El Gamal

An introduction to the laws of themodynamics through three simple demonstrations and a story.


1) Entropy: A drop of dye in a cup
2) Supercooling of a liquid: place a soda in a clear glass bottle in a freezer three hours prior. When it's removed it's not yet froze, but bang on a table and it freeses! Illustrates the concept of "activation" energy of phase transitions. It takes a small amount of energy to drive a phase transition.
3) What is temperature (Gas laws): What happens when you heat a ballon, what happens when you put it in the regrigerator??? Student will inflate balloons at the beginning of class and measure the circumference with a string before and after refrigeration at the end of the class.
4) Zeroth Law of thermo: what happens when when we mix a hot and cold liquid? take initial temperatures of both hot and cold water before and after mixing at different time points.

Explosive Chemistry
Teachers: Modi Wetzler

Ever wonder what makes something explode instead of burn? Why a glass will break when you drop it on the floor but sometimes bombs fall from airplanes and don’t explode? What’s the difference between rocket fuel and the gas in your car? Want to learn some non-boring chemistry?

Note: this is *not* a how-to class, and nothing will be blown-up in the class. Some chemistry background is helpful, but not necessary.

The Neurobiology of Learning and Memory Full!
Teachers: James Fitzgerald

Considering that you registering for Splash, your ability to learn is probably important to you. But have you ever wondered what learning and memory means scientifically? In this course, I will discuss the science of how people, and other animals, learn.

Social Science

[ Return to Category List ]

Learning to know and use Your Brain
Teachers: Nicole Boulanger

Learn and practice a few of the basic teachings of Neuro Linguistic Programming. (NLP)
NLP is a technology for gathering and organizing information. (I mean how we store information in our brain) I use it during all my coaching sessions. It studies how we perceive life through our senses and how we can rearrange our 'reactions' to serve us better.
We'll experiment with spacial, visual and auditory anchors, modalities and submodalities and how they define our emotions.
Come and join us, if you have a habit you would like to change, this is your time to experiment... You'll notice how change can happen very quickly.


[ Return to Category List ]

Colonization and Terraformation of Mars
Teachers: Robert Blount

In this section I will be teaching about the 4 steps that will take place as humans move to Mars: exploration, base building, settlement and terraforming. I will focus on terraforming, which is the process by which a planet is changed so that it is more Earth-like.

Social Science

[ Return to Category List ]

Exploring Women's Health
Teachers: Tara Gu

Why are women especially vulnerable to HIV/AIDS? Why are there more cases of depression among girls and women than boys and men? Do differences like these exist because of biological differences between the sexes, or is there something else going on? In this class, we will discuss some of the many current issues in women's health, including: HIV/AIDS, reproductive health, and mental health. We will explore the possible biological, sociocultural, and economic reasons why women and men experience health challenges differently. Then, together we'll brainstorm how we can improve women's health around the world.


[ Return to Category List ]

Series in physics 1of 5 Classical mechanics and electromagnetism
Teachers: Jonathan Maltz

This is the first of five classes I will teach in physics. Balls, hills, roller coasters, race cars, even space craft and even basic electronics. The physics of the every day world is disscussed in this class. Here we disscuss why its easier to balance a bike when it is moving, why a pot boils faster and cooler at a higher altitude, why your cell phone doesn't work in a metal room or subway train, and why the sky is blue.

Allergies: Food for thought
Teachers: Janet Kalesnikoff

This class will examine current theories and controversies in the world of allergies. Why is the incidence of allergy on the rise? Is it really good to eat dirt? Why are so many people allergic to peanuts?

Molecular Evolution
Teachers: Helen Wiersma

Come explore the beginnings of life. The class will survey four topics: 1) Current theories on how the building blocks of life, nucleic acids and proteins, evolved from simple molecules, 2) the "RNA world" hypothesis, 3) the process of evolving one protein into another, and 4) how mutant forms of proteins provide a selective advantage for organisms to evolve.
The class will be primarily case studies taken from recent scientific literature. (This stuff is too cool for textbooks!)

Drugs and Poisons
Teachers: Simon Ye

How does methadone counteract the effects of heroin withdrawal without causing a 'high'? Why are dimethylmercury and polonium-210 so deadly while mercury and uranium-235 are relatively harmless? Why are penicillin and nitroglycerin such important drugs for human health today? This intensive class will survey the intriguing mechanisms of action of a variety of drugs and poisons used from antiquity to present day. Furthermore, this class will go over methods of drug discovery and production in history and modern methods used by pharmaceutical companies to discover the latest in blockbuster drugs.

Social Science

[ Return to Category List ]

Changing the World With $27
Teachers: Kelsey Walker

-Why $27?
-What is Micro-finance?
-What are other social entrepreneurs doing to change the world?
-How are young adults like me generating large-scale social change?

Break up into groups based on interests in Education, Poverty, Environment, & Health. Practice identifying local, national, and international social problems and crafting REAL solutions.

Now what? How do I get others interested in my change making project? Where do I go to learn more about Social Entrepreneurship? Where and how do I get funding for my ideas?


[ Return to Category List ]

On Black Holes, Singularities, and the Event Horizon: A Journey
Teachers: Michael Shaw

We're going to dive right in to the most massive objects in our universe--billions of times the mass of the sun. When small stars die, they peter out. When massive stars die, they explode in supernovas, outshining an entire galaxy, and whats left is a black hole, a singularity of mass so dense that even light is trapped behind. We'll tour around a few black holes, and study their effect on our daily lives. I'll venture into wormholes, white holes, and other exotics, and we'll even bring in a sporting interest and talk about how Stephen Hawking once lost a bet on black holes, and how it was related to the ultimate demise and even death of these most mysterious of objects. (Food for thought: how does a black hole die, anyway?) While I don't list any pre-requisites, we hope to go through the material with deliberate haste--come prepared to think deeply on the subject.

Social Science

[ Return to Category List ]

Incentives and other Microeconomic Topics for Policy Analysis
Teachers: Minh Dan Vuong

Get to know the tools of an economist to analyze some public policy issues such as price controls, toll roads, farm subsidies, trade barriers and trade agreements.

Introduction into some topics from Microeconomics, such as competitive equilibrium, externalities, private/public goods, and international trade.

Prerequisite: Algebra, no prior Economics experience required. If you took AP Microeconomics, you might be bored. (Same as S157 from fall 2008 Splash!)


[ Return to Category List ]

Internal Biowars 1 -- How Your Immune System Works Full!
Teachers: Anna Poukchanski

First of a series of two classes about the war between pathogens (disease causing organisms) and immune system.

There is a war out there. And your immune system is at its front lines, fighting off bacteria, viruses, and anything else that wants to invade your body. It is extremely efficient (usually).

Find out what cells make up your immune system, how they function, how they protect you from viruses, bacteria, amoeba and other evil pathogens.

Organic Chemistry: The Chemistry of Life
Teachers: Brian Mendoza

Can't get enough chemistry? Well if you find yourself in this category, then this class is the one for you. We will cover the basic concepts of organic chemistry with specific applications to biology and medicine. A strong background in chemistry is required, Current or previous enrollment in AP Chemistry or equivalent is strongly recommended.

How Your Brain Works

Ever wonder how your brain works? Well of course, but have you thought about how you sense the world around you, make decisions based on your environment, and act upon those decisions? What makes human brains so special? What are the differences between a normal and a diseased brain? Come and find out the answers to these and many more exciting questions from actual neuroscience researchers!

Gene Therapy: From Bench to Bedside
Teachers: Ashley Lau

This class will introduce you to the field of gene therapy. We will cover groundbreaking discoveries in the field of gene therapy, as well as currently ongoing clinical trials. In addition, we will discuss potential ethical implications. Previous background in biology helpful, but not required.

Social Science

[ Return to Category List ]

Happiness & Success: Positive Psychology 101
Teachers: Coriander Stasi

Drawing from the latest research in the growing field of positive psychology, we will explore the science of happiness and the art of goal achievement in this interactive and fun workshop. After debunking the top 5 myths that hold others back from achieving their full potential, we will dive in to how you can utilize the power of your mind to create a life that inspires and fulfills you.


[ Return to Category List ]

What is global warming and how do we solve it
Teachers: andrew chang

Interactive discussion on what is global warming, how we can get involved in solving it.

Learn about solutions such as renewable energy, clean cars, and transmission.

Series in Physics 2 of 5 Statistical and Quantum Mechanics
Teachers: Jonathan Maltz

Welcome to the fun house.

We apply the basic knowledge of classical physics to atoms and systems of many particles to find out how your fridge works, why ice floats and how heat works. We then turn the whole world upside down when we find out the intuition that we learned since birth really doesn't apply to nature.

Wave functions, probablities, particles that don't know where they are until we look at them and atoms in two places at once all in the world of quantum mechanics.

Cloning and Genetic Engineering
Teachers: tiffany hung

Have you ever considered cloning yourself (or your dog)? Do you want to double the potency of your "smart" gene? In this class, we will learn about the latest developments in cloning and genetic engineering, and the ethical implications of these techniques.

Internal Biowars 2 -- How The Pathogens Work Full!
Teachers: Anna Poukchanski

The second class in a series of two about the war between pathogens (disease causing organisms) and immune system.

So your immune system can fight off some pathogens. It is a highly efficient mechanism, as you will discover in Part 1.

Now find out how pathogens have evolved to fight back. We’ll discuss a variety of viruses and bacteria, including HIV, HSV, Black Death, Turberculosis, Ebola, and others.

Come learn about the Dark Side!

Social Science

[ Return to Category List ]

Imagining the City: A Short Introduction to Urban Design
Teachers: Luke Joyner

Do you live in a city? How often have you wanted to change the way your city looks or feels? What would you do if you could draw yourself a brand new neighborhood to live in? How would you design it? In this class, you’ll get a chance to think about this question, and all sorts of other questions related to the ways cities are designed. The focus will be on the visual, and where the visual meets the practical: urban design and architecture, as opposed to the politics and economics of city planning. The class will be a mix of some history, some ideas, and a whole lot of drawing and participation… so come ready to think, and ready to visualize your ideas with pen and paper. It’s perfectly fine if you’re not very experienced with drawing… but you need to be willing to try, because we’ll do a lot of it, and it’ll be an important way for you to think about your ideas and communicate them to others. We’ll build up to a final project in which you’ll choose a part of a city you know that you want to redesign and start to think about how you’d redesign it.

Public Finance in America
Teachers: Yalu Wu

Ever wonder where your (or your parent's) tax dollars go and how they end up helping you? What the role of the government should be in crucial issues such as health care and social security?

Wikipedia defines the field of Public Finance as the "field of economics concerned with paying for collective or governmental activities, and with the administration and design of those activities." In the first half of the class, we will first discuss recent trends/problems with the American economy in a social aspect (such as income inequality and crime). In the second half, we will talk about the allocation of government resources (taxes, education, infrastructure, medical care, for example).

The second half of the class will contain some basic economic principles and understanding, so familiarity with math is assumed but no prior knowledge of econ is required.

Unnatural Causes: Discussions about Health, Equality, & Society
Teachers: Thuy-Tien Le

Why are people in low-income neighborhoods more likely to be overweight or obese? Why is the average black man's life expectancy lower than that of the average white woman's? Why is our health care system broken? What does equality mean, and can we ever really achieve it? What can we do, and why do we care?

Economic Failure
Teachers: David Meyer

The United States is facing complete economic failure.

As recently as 1 year ago, almost all TV personalities, politicians, and government economists were saying the crisis was "contained", and that a recovery would begin by late 2008, early 2009.

Now that the recession has been getting worse for 15 months, and jobs are disappearing at depression levels, the talking heads are claiming a recovery is just around the corner, end of 2009, 2010.

But the truth is, the economic crisis is just getting started, and there is nothing that the Federal Reserve, Treasury, and President can do to stop it. The risk is that they may make the problem far worse, by continuing the policies that got us in this mess in the first place.

We'll talk about the crisis from the viewpoint of the economists who saw it coming years ago: Nouriel Roubini, Marc Faber, Peter Schiff, Robert Schiller, Meredith Whitney, and why they believe the crisis is not going to be over any time soon.


[ Return to Category List ]

Allergies: Food for thought
Teachers: Janet Kalesnikoff

This class will examine current theories and controversies in the world of allergies. Why is the incidence of allergy on the rise? Is it really good to eat dirt? Why are so many people allergic to peanuts?

Social Science

[ Return to Category List ]

A Better World Through Curious Activism

Learn how to be effective in helping create a better world by using curious activism, which Robin Good defines as, "The compelling desire not to sit for any major worldview floating around you, but to learn and master how to become your own reality producer."

*Introduction*. The sociocultural-political-economic world is a matrix of control. Just how ineffective is traditional activism and community organizing at affecting this matrix? What would be needed to create a "better world"? Imagination is freedom.

*Inner work*. Awareness of the situation. Acceptance of the possibility for change. Creative activities connect us to our passion and power.

*Engagement*. Shifting our attitudes and ways we behave. Learning about the matrix of control. Observing the matrix and our local communities.

*Creating emancipation*. Disentangling from the matrix of control. Transforming our local communities. Choosing ways to intervene that stop harm to others.

For more information and suggested background resources, [see associated web page](

Chinese festival and calendar
Teachers: Koupin Lv

The myths and stories about Chinese traditional festival, such as Spring Festvial, Mid-Autumn Day and Lantern Day; the special foods and activites relevant to the festival celebration


[ Return to Category List ]

Series in Physics 3 of 5 Special and General Relativity
Teachers: Jonathan Maltz

How fast is fast?

What happens when we find out that time and space are not set in stone but plastic and dynamical objects. Weclome to the world where people can't agree whether or not something happened at the same time and where time will slow down if you go fast enough.

In short, welcome to Einstein's universe.

Here we see the universe on the grandest scales, find out that gravity isn't a force in the same way that electromagnetism and nuclear forces are and find out about some of the strangest objects in the universe some of which, even light can't escape.

Fusion: our friend the nucleus
Teachers: David Strozzi

This course explores nuclear fusion, which powers the stars and is actively being pursued as a human energy source. It also serves as a good topic to connect with basic physics ideas and human energy use.

Teachers: Brant Carlson

Did you know there are over 100 lightning strikes on Earth every second? That the most powerful lightning in the world is in Kansas? How does a big clouds of water vapor do that?... What actually happens in lightning is very intricate and ranges from the very small sparks that start everything off to the tree-branch structures we see in the sky to the hot channels (hotter than the sun!) that make thunder. This course will talk about Lightning, how, why, and when it happens, and what it can do. We'll even do some experiments that may shock you - that is, if you want to be shocked.

Social Science

[ Return to Category List ]

Chinese Education
Teachers: Lin Wang

Chinese education system and style

Unleashing the Leader Within
Teachers: Maria Bonilla

In this workshop you will learn to implement specific tools to empower you with clarity and realize what do you really want to accomplish and what gets in your way. You will learn how to thrive no matter the circumstances. We will engage in profound and powerful techniques that will allow you to explore the path to become a leader of yourself and therefore, a leader in society. We all have a leader within; we just need to learn how lo unleash it!

Don't Have A Cow (Literally)

Do you know the story behind the meat on your plate? Do you know it has a role in global warming? Join us for a relaxed presentation and discussion about the environmental impact and politics of the meat we eat. Learn how reducing your meat consumption is better than buying a Prius. Topics include deforestation, greenhouse gases and agricultural policies, among other things that will surely be food for thought.


[ Return to Category List ]

Series in physics 4 of 5 particle physics and cosmology
Teachers: Jonathan Maltz

Employing the worlds of the very small and very large (Quantum Mechanics and General relativity), we disscuss the most accurate theory of science known to man (the standard model of particle physics) a theory the explains why chemsitry works, how nuclear forces hold nuclei together and basically how the world as we know it works. then we discuss how stars and galaxies form and even the big bang itself.

Social Science

[ Return to Category List ]

Crash Course on Contemporary Philosophy
Teachers: Frank Wang

Interested in politics or random thoughts? This course is designed to introduce you to some basic philosophy and then compare it to more modern or recently developed schools of thought. Ever wondered deep questions about choice, rights law, etc.? This is the class for you. We will critically analyze and discuss many modern and postmodern political and social theories relating them to more classic theories.


[ Return to Category List ]

Sweaty Palms? The Science of Nervousness
Teachers: Pamela Levine

Why do we get nervous, why does our body react the way it does, and what can we do about it?

Social Science

[ Return to Category List ]

A Glimpse into Indian History
Teachers: Aakash Basu

I will try to compress into 1 hour, the story of India: a saga that began with the birth of an ancient civilization, and then for 4000 years was rocked by waves of war and peace and more war and more peace. I will discuss the varied influences - ancient and recent - that have shaped the diverse culture of India.


[ Return to Category List ]

Organic Chemistry: The Chemistry of Life 2
Teachers: Brian Mendoza

Still can't get enough of chemistry? Well, this class will cover the same concepts as in Organic Chemistry: The Chemistry of Life, but in more detail and rigor along with more emphasis on reactions of complex molecules. We will look at the role of chemistry in mediating biological processes. A strong background in chemistry is required, as is a familiarity with the basic concepts of organic chemistry. Past enrollment in IB Chemistry is sufficient.

Sex Ed 101: Beyond the Birds and the Bees

Remember all the sex-ed you got in high school?

No? That could be because you never got any!

Many of us are still a little fuzzy on some of the basic sex-ed stuff. Maybe your high school only offered the abstinence-only education. Maybe you slept through some important things--eh, it happens. But when it comes to sex, there are some things ALL of us should know...

Come fill in your knowledge gaps and learn about on-campus resources from trained sexual health counselors. Learn what they SHOULD have taught you in high school about sex!

Note: Students from all backgrounds regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation are welcome.

Social Science

[ Return to Category List ]

A Comparison of the U.S. and China’s economies
Teachers: Rebecca Yan

Have you wondered how Chinese people are being affected by the global financial crisis? Have you heard that wealthy Chinese investors fly in to buy bargain homes in the U.S.? Do you know that China is the United States’ biggest debt holder? This is your chance to learn more about China’s role in the global economic downturn and the recovery of the U.S. economy. In this basic, introductory course, we will compare the performance of the Chinese and the U.S. stock markets. We will also discuss the Chinese economic stimulus package and its projected impact on China and the U.S.. You will take away with you valuable insights and resources for future analysis from a Chinese native's point of view.


[ Return to Category List ]

Series in physics 5 of 5 Advanced topics
Teachers: Jonathan Maltz

We find out about the current topics in physics.

String theory, Supersymmetry, inflation, Computational physics, quantum computing, just to name a few. Why 96 percent of the universe is dark, why we are building 4 mile long gravity wave detectors, satelites that can see the most energetic light we know about, the worlds largest super computers, and 27 km circumference particle accelerator in europe to replicate energies and forces not seen since just after the big bang.

Social Science

[ Return to Category List ]

Introduction to Basic Finance and Financial Accounting
Teachers: Yu Dilys Sun

Think you might be interested in finance? Want to know where to kick start your career in finance, applied economics and general business? In this basic, introductory course, I will give you an overview of tools and resources that you may use to evaluate your future finance-related career track and show you how to prepare for what is to come. I will also teach you how to read and analyze information from publications such as The Wall Street Journal and Yahoo! Finance.

(If enough students bring their laptops with Microsoft Excel to class, I will teach them basic excel commands, and design group projects that give them hands-on experiences.)

This is a very basic course, students with low or no finance background are preferred. Students with economics background are welcome

An exploration of morality and spirituality
Teachers: Jenna Nicholas

Ever wondered about how we could unite the world?
Interested in spirituality?
Believe in universal values?

Recognize: the equality of men and women, the harmony of science and religion, the need for the abolition of the extremes of wealth and poverty, the need for universal education, the need to find the truth for ourselves?

Well, come along to discuss these issues and find out about The Bahai Faith: a global religion that believes in the unity of all people and tries to implement all of the above principles!


[ Return to Category List ]

Exploring Saturn and its moons with the Cassini Spacecraft Full!
Teachers: Lauren Wye

The Cassini spacecraft has been in orbit around Saturn since 2004, and we will take a tour through some of its amazing discoveries in this course. For instance, Saturn's largest moon Titan was discovered 450 years ago and was known to have a thick smoggy atmosphere. But only in the last five years, with Cassini, have we finally learned what lies beneath that atmosphere; shockingly, it is a world very similar to Earth! There are liquid lakes made out of methane, rain falls out of the sky to form channels and erode the surface, there are mountain chains and volcanoes, and even sand dunes shaped by the wind! In addition to Titan, we will also follow Cassini to some of Saturn's other moons, as well as Saturn itself.

Social Science

[ Return to Category List ]

From Field to Plate: The Making of a Local and Homemade Meal
Teachers: Shila Soni

Whether it's a sit-down meal or a snack grabbed on the go, a fast food burger or an organic salad, eating food is a important part of our everyday lives. But where did the food on your plate come from? This class will look at how food in America is produced, comparing the industrial production system to emerging alternative methods, such as sustainable, organic, and local farming. After a short lecture, we'll visit one of Stanford's community farms. We'll finish the class by eating our very own home-cooked meal, made from fresh-picked fruits and veggies!


[ Return to Category List ]

Enzymes: tiny proteins that do huge things Full!
Teachers: Lauren Higdon

Learn about the fascinating and exciting world of enzyme kinetics. We'll explore the workings of enzymes such as polymerase that help scientists clone genes and lactase, which your lactose intolerant friend is missing. Pre/co-requisite: introductory biology and/or chemistry.

Social Science

[ Return to Category List ]

The Psychology of Personal Change
Teachers: Jason Shen

Have you ever struggled to beat procrastination, stick to an exercise plan or diet or kick some bad habits? After this class, you'll never have that problem again.

The goal of this course is to really understand how people can effectively eliminate bad habits and/or develops good ones. We’ll discuss the results of insightful psychology research on topics of behavior change and identify what really works.

During the class, each student will take the strategies and concepts studied to design, implement and present on their own program of self-change. No prerequisites – except a serious desire to understand human behavior and ACT on that knowledge to achieve personal change.

How to Save the Planet

There is much talk today of global warming, being green, organic food, saving the rain forests, and sustainable development. What does it all mean? What exactly is happening to our planet that is so dire? And how can you make a difference? This class will demonstrate some ways in which, as the world's population booms and our technology progresses, we've placed immense strain on our environment, often without even realizing it. You will see how deeply-rooted the problems are in the West's economic system and culture. But more importantly, not only will we discuss what has happened and what is currently happening to our planet, we will discuss possible solutions, especially those you can create as an individual. There are many, many solutions, and most of them do not require advanced technology but rather simple willpower. The goal of this class is to raise awareness and to invite discussion and questions.

Thinness: A Cultural Analysis
Teachers: Meredith Walker

This course is an introduction to cultural studies. The body will be our artifact, as we ask, “How are bodies made and not born? That is, how are cultural values embodied? Moreover, can we identify the social forces that shape our bodies—and is it possible to resist these forces?”

In particular, we’ll analyze (and critique) theories about thinness as a cultural obsession. Moving beyond superficial finger-pointing at catwalks or the “media,” we’ll read passages reflecting an array of perspectives. Finally, we’ll consider subcultures that resist the devastating aesthetic of anorexic thinness.

Immigration and the Border
Teachers: Minh Dan Vuong

About 12 million undocumented immigrants are in the US, recent reform proposals have failed in Congress, a militarized border now divides San Diego from Mexico, and more resources are put into the Border Patrol and immigration enforcement. At the same time undocumented immigrants die crossing the deserts and businesses resist stricter workplace enforcement. No matter your position on immigration, in this nation of immigrants, immigration issues can no longer be ignored.

We will look at a brief history of immigration, more recent trends in immigration, issues immigrants (legal and illegal) face in the job market, with health care, and when entering the US. We will also look at the current state of immigration policy and potential reform avenues.

This class aims to introduce you to some aspects of current Latino immigration that you might not have heard or seen on the news yet; the class will consist of some videos, readings, group discussions, and roleplay games and I will point out some resources for further interests. I will also make every effort to get your questions answered.


[ Return to Category List ]

Neurobiology in a Nutshell Full!

Want to know how "lightbulb moments" work? Want to know what John Nash and Muhammed Ali have in common? Join us to learn the answers, and much more. We will teach you the basics from action potential firing to the molecular bases of learning. By the end of class, you'll know cool neurobiology jargon like Long-Term Potentiation and acronyms like AMPA, NMDA and GABA - not to mention, all about how neuropharmacology works.

Human Genetic Variation and Human Migration

How different are humans from each other genetically ? How do scientists use these differences to trace historical human migrations?

You will learn how to design an assay to detect DNA differences. Working in small teams, you will analyze some "mock" but realistic DNA samples from various regions. Together we will discuss what they tell us about human migration.

We will present to you data gathered by scientists about human variation and migration. We will explain some concepts about how variations arise and are maintained and illustrate with examples of human traits: sickle cell anemia, malaria resistance, lactose intolerance, skin color. We will touch upon ethical issues regarding collecting DNA samples and the availability of genetic information.

Introductory Anatomy and Physiology of the Heart

In this introductory course, we will introduce students to the basic anatomy and physiology of the heart and circulatory system. Basic clinical correlates to medicine will be covered as well. No prior knowledge is necessary!

Build Your Own Voltaic Pile: The Electrochemistry of Batteries

Have you ever wondered how batteries work? Are you enthralled by tales of Alessandro Volta's demonstrations of the first battery, the voltaic pile? Would you like to build a voltaic pile of your very own?

In this class, we will discuss the basic chemistry behind batteries. We will focus on the advancements made in the 1800's by Volta, Galvani, and Faraday. Using this knowledge, we will build a voltaic pile out of common materials. Students will make and test their own batteries.

Social Science

[ Return to Category List ]

On the Foundations of Long Term Growth
Teachers: Michael Shaw

The recent financial meltdown has shocked our confidence in market-based long term growth. The need for maximizing quarterly growth figures does not, necessarily, lead to long term growth for the whole economy.

In his recent address to Congress, the President has suggested that long-term challenges are best addressed by a concerted effort--led by the government.

We will discuss the relationship between short term (ie: ~annual) profit and long term growth; the role of sustainable development, of infrastructure, and of science, and how our nation, and the world, can best ensure that the next generation inherits a better world than that which we live in today.

I expect active participation of each and every student. Come prepared to think, to learn, to open your mind, and to help open mine.


[ Return to Category List ]

Brief Introduction to Some Interesting Physics
Teachers: Anika Huhn

This will be a class that will involve hanging out and talking about a few interesting things in many fields of physics. My goal is to introduce you to a lot so that you learn how much you might find if you go out and read and study further. The first hour will be a lecture, and the second hour will be time for you to talk to the people around you about the physics that was just introduced. There will be questions to think about and toys to play with (an old electronics to take apart and some lenses, polarizers, and other physics toys). :)

I will not assume that you have any specific knowledge, but the discussion will be more interesting if you have had an introductory physics course already or know your way around electronics.

Social Science

[ Return to Category List ]

Imaginary Cities Full!
Teachers: Luke Joyner

Have you ever caught yourself thinking about what the perfect city would look like? Drawing it, maybe? This class will begin by looking at the history of imaginary cities, both utopian (meant to be perfect),
dystopian (meant to show the downsides of utopian cities gone wrong) and in between. Some will look a lot like real cities; others will look absurd. Then, with the historical ideas fresh in our minds, we'll try
our hands at our very own imaginary cities, and talk briefly at the end about some of the reasons real cities don't always look like utopian ideas.


[ Return to Category List ]

Making Ice Cream Full!
Teachers: Benjamin Shank

We will briefly discuss different kinds of ice cream and the apparatus needed to make them. Most of the hour will be spent gaining hands-on experience with a simple recipe as well as the related activity of eating ice cream. Due to time constraints, liquid nitrogen will be favored over the more traditional salt churn.

Social Science

[ Return to Category List ]

Application & Theretical Framework of Game Theory
Teachers: Jia Guo

Ever seen the movie A Beautiful Mind? For nerds like me, Nash is an idol. Game theory, developed largely by John von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstein, has wide applications in economics, political science, artificial intelligence and a whole range of other areas. It is truly a theory to precisely understand the strategic behavior of individuals and organizations. In this class, I will give a basic frame work of Game Theory, provide examples of its application and attempt to outline a proof of the existence of Nash equilibrium.
Note: mathematics intuition is required. although I will try not to be "mathy" as much as possible.

An exploration of spirituality and morality
Teachers: Jenna Nicholas

Ever wondered about how we could unite the world?
Interested in spirituality?
Believe in universal values?

Recognize: the equality of men and women, the harmony of science and religion, the need for the abolition of the extremes of wealth and poverty, the need for universal education, the need to find the truth for ourselves?

Well, come along to discuss these issues and find out about The Bahai Faith: a global religion that believes in the unity of all people and tries to implement all of the above principles!

The US Banking System and the Financial Crises
Teachers: blah blah

Want to find out just how does mortgage securitization work? Can banks make money out of thin air? Learn about the US Federal Reserve System and the ways the Fed can affect the economy. Then apply concepts to find out what went wrong / is going wrong in our current crises. No finance, economics or business experience required!

Teachers: Aaron Kalb


Why what?
Why learn logic?
Because it's awesome! And that argument is valid, though it might be unsound. Why?
You'll find out when you take this course, over the course of which (no pun intended) you will:

- Embark on a whirlwind tour of Formal Logic and its myriad applications
- Dance (metaphorically) at the intersection of the humanities and sciences, exploring issues that form of the basis of philosophy, computer science, linguistics, mathematics, and (perhaps) all human thought. (This last point depends on findings from psychology, which we'll also cover).
- Read and discuss op-eds and political speeches, identify their underlying (il)logical structures, and then rip them to shreds
Stretch your brain by solving cool puzzles and tackling deep questions
Have engaging, possibly heated debates
- Learn all about:
> The reasons for reason: the issues that arise with natural language and untutored human problem solving, and how formal logic can help remedy them.
> Bullshit: how to spot it and refute it, how to use it and get away with it, and--best of all--how to argue without needing it
> Propositional, Modal, and First-Order Logics, their notations, histories, strengths, weaknesses, and uses.
> The Limits of Logic: why if you are obligated to be gentle rather than cruel, then you are obligated to kill your mother (and why that may or may not be a problem)
> What this means:
$$ \forall x \Box ShouldTakeThisClass x $$
...and why it's true.

By the end of the course you will:
- Become a more discerning reader, consumer, and thinker, immune to the ploys of demagogues and advertisers,
- Be able to win any argument... (with a computer at least, humans tend to rely on emotions--something else we'll discuss),
- Be 3.7 times smarter than you were before,
- Know whether this course description is mere rhetorical flourish or a sound and valid argument for taking this course, and most importantly
- Be able to answer that most profound of all human queries and most detested of all follow-up questions: Why?


[ Return to Category List ]

The Eighth Day of Creation--Synthetic Biology Full!
Teachers: Graham Anderson

So you're taking AP Biology, and you're thinking, "Holy helicase, cells are chock full of cool proteins and enzymes, but what can I do with it all besides put it on my mantle and gaze in awe or become a research scientist and discover more?" I'm going to show you how you can hack it. Want to build a photographic plate out of bacteria? Want to make a cell blink with fluorescent proteins like a Christmas tree? Want to find out which company in the Bay Area is hacking yeast to make them produce anti-malaria drugs and biofuels? OF COURSE you do! Come take my class. AP or IB Biology pre/corequisite.

Curing Cancer in an Hour Full!
Teachers: Modi Wetzler

Okay, so you won’t be curing cancer in an hour, but you’ll hear about two cured cancers, and hopefully take away some ideas, inspiration, and hope. Why do people get cancer? How does cancer develop? How have two cancers been cured? How are some other cancers being cured right now, what does the future hold, and what can you do?

Micro-Machines: Motoring through the cell

When you are so small you can only be seen with a microscope it takes sophisticated molecular machines to do basic tasks like move through liquid, transport nutrients and construct cell walls. This class will explore how molecular motors act like an army of tiny robots helping cells carry out a variety of tasks to ensure their survival.

Social Science

[ Return to Category List ]

The Psychology of Love
Teachers: Lauren Shapiro

In this course we will survey several seminal psychological theories regarding the nature, development, and maintenance of love and romantic relationships.


[ Return to Category List ]

Exploring Astronomy: The Night Sky and Beyond
Teachers: Lance Simms

Ever wanted to know how to find the North Star? Did you know that you can use the moon and the stars as a clock? Come learn all about our Night Sky and the treasures it holds. We’ll learn about cool tricks like how to figure out your latitude by finding the North Star and how to navigate with the stars. We’ll also explore the veritable zoo of astronomical objects: from stars to massive galaxies. And if the weather cooperates, we’ll have a chance to look at the sun through a telescope with a solar filter.

Exploring Whales and Dolphins
Teachers: Brian Mendoza

This class will look into the social aspects of whale and dolphin life. We will also learn about the basic biology of the whale and dolphin, and explore the field of cetology, learning how to identify whales by their calls and physical traits. Pictures, videos, and recordings will be used to enhance the learning experience.

Exploring Astronomy: The Night Sky and Beyond Full!
Teachers: Lance Simms

Ever wanted to know how to find the North Star? Did you know that you can use the moon and the stars as a clock? Come learn all about our Night Sky and the treasures it holds. We'll learn about cool tricks like how to figure out your latitude by finding the North Star and how to navigate with the stars. We'll also explore the veritable zoo of astronomical objects: from stars to massive galaxies. And if the weather cooperates, we'll have a chance to look at the sun through a telescope with a solar filter.