SAVE THE DATE:
Splash Spring 2018 is in April, 2018

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 2015
Course Catalog


Filter Catalog by Grade:

Jump to Categories
Mathematics and Computer Science Physical Science
Biological and Medical Science Life Skills
Writing, Literature, and Language Social Science
Engineering Walk-in Activity
Lunch Hobbies
Visual and Performing Arts


Biological and Medical Science

[ Return to Category List ]

B4091: How to Distinguish Medical Knowledge from Hoaxes?
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Kun-Hsing Yu

There are lots of newspaper articles talking about the "recent advances in health sciences". Some suggest "beer helps to prevent cancer", others assert "beer increased risks of getting cancer". Which one should we believe?
How do doctors decide what to do when coming across contrary scientific evidences? And what doctors don't know about the surgery they perform or the drugs they prescribe?
We will do some hands-on experiments on drawing conclusions in the world of uncertainty, and take a quick survey of current methodologies in medical sciences.


Prerequisites
Have flipped coins, or played any other games involving probability or uncertainty.

B4084: Food, Health, and the Rhetoric of Nutrition Facts
Difficulty: *

KFC's chicken pot pie is made from more than 100 ingredients, including Tricalcium Phosphate, sodium chloride, and something called "dough conditioner." The average American meal travels 1500 miles from farm to table. Starbuck's mocha cookie crumble frappucino contains 105 grams of sugar. Experts now worry that bananas are going extinct. The Federal Food and Drug Administration regulates the labeling of "organic" food -- but similar terms such as "natural" and "healthy" are vague and can be misleading.

What's going on with American food? Where does it come from and what is it made of? And, if we don't know, how can we find out?

This short class will introduce students to the fiction of nutrition. We will learn how to decode an ingredient list for common household foods and read labels carefully. We will take a rhetorical approach to food, food labels, and packaging. We will also look closely at our own food stories by investigating the blurry lines between science and story in modern American food.

B4164: Epigenetics: it's not just about DNA
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Fiorella Grandi

Is all about DNA, right? But, if that's true, why are identical twins not exactly the same? Why are calico cats different colors? Learn about epigenetics, the science of what's modifying your genes! We will explore how cells use epigenetic mechanisms to make decisions about becoming a neuron or a liver cell even though both types have the same DNA. We'll also look at the role epigenetics can play in diseases such as cancer.


Prerequisites
Basic understanding of biology (should know what DNA is).

B4167: Hepatitis B
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Benjamin Yeh

Learn about the Hepatitis B! Come hear about what the virus is, what the signs and symptoms are, and what YOU can do to protect your community from Hepatitis B.

B4280: Introduction to Animal Behavior
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jesus Madrid

Why do beavers build dams? Do emperor penguins fall in love? Why do male deer fight? Do elephants mourn the death of pack members? Why do bees form hives?
If you are fascinated by animal behavior join us! We will learn the basic principles that will help us think like an ethologist.

B4285: The Great Plagues: The History and Biology of Epidemics
Difficulty: **

This course will review the history and science of major epidemics from the middle ages to the modern era. We will also explore the medical technologies that allowed for the eradication of some of history's deadliest illnesses and discuss the importance of vaccines for preventing future outbreak of disease.


Prerequisites
Background in introductory biology is recommended.

B4437: Bioethics Basics
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Johnathan Bowes

The study of ethics seeks to answer what is right and wrong, whether in a given scenario or in life in general. When that study focuses on biology, medicine, and the intersections of the two, it's called bioethics.

This course will talk about some of the basic principles that guide bioethics as it's practised today as well as let you take on the role of ethicists tackling some of the most famous cases in the field.


Prerequisites
None!

B4425: From Fibroblasts to Retinal Neurons: Can Stem Cells Treat Blindness?
Difficulty: **

Learn how stem cells can be developed into photoreceptors- the main light sensing cells of the eye- to potentially restore vision. This class will include an introduction to stem cell biology, then dive into applications to blindness-related diseases such as macular degeneration. This class is designed for students with very little or no knowledge of stem cell biology.


Prerequisites
All levels welcome, class will be at a very introductory level. No biology or stem cell background necessary!

B4100: Hijacked! Why it is so hard for our immune system to fight cancer
Difficulty: **

Where is our immune system when we need it? Why is it so hard for our immune system to fight cancer? Come and learn in this interactive session about how our immune system distinguishes our own cells from foreign cells, how cancer hijacks and manipulates the immune system to its advantage, and the new discoveries and therapies that are allowing the immune system to regain control and eradicate cancer.

B4227: Schizophrenia: There's More Than One Side to the Story
Difficulty: **

What really is schizophrenia? To many people who don’t know very much about the specifics of mental illness, schizophrenia is the disease whose symptoms are most predominantly stereotyped as characteristics of “crazy” or “insane” people.

People often confuse schizophrenia with Multiple Personality Disorder. However, schizophrenia actually involves a disconnect between thought, emotion, and behavior. 50% of people diagnosed with schizophrenia have not received treatment. Schizophrenia can affect anyone, no matter their age, talent, and social status. In this class, we will learn about the subtypes and symptoms of schizophrenia and focus on understanding what it means to live with schizophrenia.


Prerequisites
No prerequisites - just eagerness to learn :) TRIGGER WARNING: We greatly appreciate your willingness to share your personal experiences with us and/or the class if you wish. However, we fully understand that not everyone is comfortable doing so, and we would further like to note that some of the content we will be discussing in class may be triggering for some individuals. Please let us know if this is the case for you, and we would be happy to accommodate your needs.

B4287: The Science of Willpower
Difficulty: **
Teachers: David Carreon

The Science of Willpower
From ancient sages to modern science, we'll talk about this most central of human virtues.

Why don't we do what we want? Why do we procrastinate? Check FB? Eat more than we wanted?

We'll talk about the neuroscience of it, the biochemistry of it, and the practice of it. We've been at this a long time, so you'll hear from the Greeks, Eastern sages, from modern scientists, and willpower Olympians.

-Why your willpower is powered by sugar
-The top exercises proven to increase your willpower
-The crazy scientist who showed that willpower was like a muscle
-People whose willpower puts us all to shame

Whatever it is you want to accomplish, willpower will help you do it. And this class will help you build willpower.

B4099: Funky Fungi of the Amazon
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Giovanni Forcina

Explore the microscopic world by examining some of the most varied and awesome creatures: fungi. In particular, we will look at fungi that live within plants that can also produce medically relevant natural products.


Prerequisites
Some knowledge of biology and/or chemistry would be helpful, but not necessary.

B4122: Snails, Seastars, and Slime: Adaptation and Behavioral Ecology in the Ocean
Difficulty: **

Learn about life in the ocean through interactive, hands on activities! The first section of the class will cover adaptation and natural selection, allowing students to participate in a creative activity based on the organisms in our touch tank. The second section of the class will involve an experiment on animal behavior, allowing students to once again utilize the touch tank animals.

B4143: Molecular Imaging
Difficulty: **

Molecular Imaging emerged in the early twenty-first century as a discipline at the intersection of molecular biology and in vivo imaging. It enables the visualization of the cellular function and the follow-up of the molecular process in living organisms without perturbing them. Positron emission tomography (PET) is a nuclear medicine imaging, an important molecular imaging technique which produces a three-dimensional image or picture of functional processes in the body. The theory behind PET is simple enough. Briefly, tracking molecule need to tagged with a positron emitting isotope and followed by scan the body with PET-CT. PET imaging have many advantages. The most important is its sensitivity: a typical PET scanner can detect between 10−11 mol/L to 10−12 mol/L concentrations. Dr. Arutselvan Natarajan, Stanford staff scientist will give an overview of PET which is key imaging modality for cancer staging and therapy.


Prerequisites
None

B4147: The (Personalized) Genomic Revolution
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jesse Marshall

DNA and RNA are the molecules that code for all life. Much of our appearance, feelings and behavior is hard wired into our genetics, making understanding of the genome an important goal for biologists and doctors around the world. The Human Genome Project first sequenced the human genome fifteen years ago, at a cost of $3,000,000,000 dollars. Since then, the cost has now dropped to ~$1000! This has created an enormous possibility for doctors and scientists to understand the genetic nature of disease and tailor treatments to those with specific genetic mutations -- a revolution that is sure to last for decades to come.


Prerequisites
Biology

B4175: Clinical Theory: What You Learn as a Medical Student
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jonathan Lee

Interested in medicine? Or just curious why your doctor ask you certain questions/perform certain maneuvers? In this session, you will learn how doctors approach the patient interview, just as one would in medical school!

B4308: Lies Our Brains Tell Us: Neuroscience and Sensory Perception
Difficulty: **

The world we experience is constructed by our brains using the information that our senses provide and perceive. How does this influence our behavior? What happens when some senses overpower others, or when some senses are missing? We will explore interesting situations showcasing how much we rely on sensory perception in our everyday lives, and how our brains can sometimes play tricks on us.

B4322: Addiction to Schizophrenia: An Overview of Abnormal Psychology
Difficulty: **
Teachers: David Altman

We will cover the basics of a few key psychological disorders, including their etiology (biological and cognitive basis), symptoms, and treatment. The subject matter of this class may be sensitive for some people, and it is recommended that students be comfortable with learning about serious and sometimes upsetting psychological conditions.

B4326: Adult Neurogensis and Aging
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Chandresh Gajera

This class will explore how aging, specifically brain aging, is affected by an imbalance in homeostasis. Immortal youth may be science fiction but current science is attempting systematic approach to extend youthful years. Modern biology are tackling major questions at the molecular, cellular, systemic, and organismal levels. The idea is to add life to years rather than years to life. This class will give a quick overview of aging, particularly brain aging, and will then concentrate on the latest research.

B4396: Introduction to the biology of cancer
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Delaney Sullivan

In this class, we will explore the molecular biology of cancer. What types of genes are implicated in carcinogenesis? What exactly causes a cell to become cancerous?


Prerequisites
A basic understanding of biology

B4415: Fungal Interactions: Friendly or Deadly?
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Matthew Nelsen

Explore a variety of fungal interactions with other organisms, ranging from beneficial to deadly.

B4168: Neuroscience and Epigenetics
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Fiorella Grandi

This class will focus on epigenetics, the science of how environment influences the genetic code, in the context of neurons and neuroscience. We'll explore how neurons are shaped by chemical changes to DNA, how epigenetics and memory formation may be linked and what role epigenetics plays in neurological and psychological diseases.


Prerequisites
Basic understanding of biology.

B4098: Evolution through Pokemon
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Giovanni Forcina

This course will provide a brief introduction to the concept of evolution and how it acts as a force to shape all life. All explanations and examples will be taught using Pokemon.


Prerequisites
Some knowledge of Pokemon may be necessary.

B4251: Biotic Video Games
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Honesty Kim

Learn about biology as you play! In this class, you will learn basic microscopy and about the organism Euglena gracilis by exploring how they respond to light through an interactive video game. Real, living Euglena are part of the gameplay mechanics!

B4387: Designing for Mindfulness
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Sarah McDevitt

Have you heard of mindfulness or mindfulness-based stress reduction? What is it and why is it useful?
Learn the basics of what your brain and body do when responding to stress and practice what you can do to be in control. Then, design a physical object that you'd want to use during a mindfulness exercise!

B4171: Modern Techniques in Biology
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Michael Dubreuil

This is an informal class that will go over a few techniques that are used in biology laboratories from Stanford to Beijing, from small academic labs to biotechnology giants like Genentech. Examples include PCR, sequencing, and antibody-based procedures


Prerequisites
Basic Biology class, basic knowledge about DNA

B4217: Ethics of Scientific and Medical Research
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Paul Nuyujukian

Learn about the core ethical ideas that govern all scientific and medical research. Discover the criteria that must be met for medical research and clinical trials. Explore the level of adherence of various forms of scientific research to these core principles and the means of oversight setup to ensure research is conducted in an ethical manner. We will also explore specific topics, examples, and cases; where the ethics of research are non-trivial to evaluate and often accompanied with social controversy. We will apply the core principles learned to actively debated areas of scientific and medical research.

B4270: Neuroscience and Religion
Difficulty: **
Teachers: David Carreon

What is meditation? Why do people believe in God? What’s it like to have an ecstatic experience?

This course will talk about the latest science of religion, pulling in anthropological, psychological, and neurological perspectives. We’ll talk about why belief in something like God has been so darned persistent throughout human evolution. We’ll discuss what it’s like for a “believer,” and also take a look at religious brains in action. We’ll discuss both Western and Eastern experiences including prayer, ecstatic experience, meditation and ritual.
We’ll also talk about practical take-home lessons we can learn from these extreme brain states.
You’ll learn:
-Why babies are religious.
-What it's like to die.
-What the “God spot” is in the brain and whether or not magnetic stimulation can cause religious experience.
-The difference between mindfulness, meditation and prayer and why it’s important.
-And more!

[Warning: Close-minded people should not take this class. It will involve objectively evaluating the claims of various religious people]

B4329: How Eye See: The Biology of Vision and Perception
Difficulty: **

All day long, our retinas are bombarded with endless streams of photons. How does the eye and the brain translate these signals into meaningful, recognizable objects and scenes, allowing us to recognize a four-legged blob as a dog despite innumerable variations in shape, viewpoint, and lighting? We will paint a broad picture of the mechanisms that allow humans to see, and more importantly, understand what we see. First, we will explore how the eyes and the brain learn to talk to each other during the first year of a child’s life. Second, we will discuss how the brain integrates information from individual neurons to represent objects, and we’ll see how functional imaging can reveal how the brain encodes what someone’s seeing. Throughout, we will emphasize how scientists designed the critical experiments to make these discoveries, and we’ll try our hand at brainstorming experiments ourselves!

B4426: Microorganisms – Friend or foe
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Rajiv Gaur

Basic biological class about microorganisms and their relationship with human.


Prerequisites
Basic knowledge of biology.

B4077: Crash Course to Food Science
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Brian Chau

Let us openly discuss food science in all its forms and functions from food chemistry to food safety, food technology to sensory science and from school to jobs/more schooling.

We will discuss some current trends in food science and technology, especially, with the growing news of Big Food and food entrepreneurs from the tech world. We will use C-mapping tools to develop a concept map in cataloging ideas and for you to take home.

Most importantly, we will have a better understanding of what is food science and what it can be.

Join me on this adventure because it might be a crazy ride. Bring a helmet, if you think this food science talk is risky!


Prerequisites
Active participation. Curiosity. Interest in food.

B4196: Microfluidics - Play with very small water and oil droplets.
Difficulty: *

You will build your own microfluidic device from scratch to mix colored fluids, make colorful bubbles, and learn about fluids, mixing behavior, and why mayonnaise is white.


Prerequisites
None.

B4202: Mushroom Mania!
Difficulty: **

What do cheese, zombie ants and the biggest, oldest living thing have in common? Fungi! Mushrooms are the part of the a fungus that we see, but they're just the tip of the iceberg. Most of the action takes place out of sight.

Come learn about the hidden world of fungi in this interactive course. You will learn about the ecology, evolution, and human uses of fungi, and will get hands-on practice identifying mushrooms on your own!

B4286: Mind and Body: How Your Mind Makes It Real (Extended!)
Difficulty: **
Teachers: David Carreon

Can a sugar-pill cause morphine release? Can hypnosis cure blindness? Can looks kill (literally)? Can getting shot not hurt?

We'll talk about old history and new science developing around "mind-body" medicine, how your mind and brain affect your body in really interesting ways. We'll meet people with paralysis who can regain their movement, and blind people can regain their sight by the power of words. We'll see how the brain can produce pain completely independently of any "physical" cause.

We'll discuss theories of how the brain might be involved in diseases like fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome.

If that's not enough, you'll learn about ritual executions that rely on the victim's expectation, and soldiers in WWII who get shot but don't seem to mind.

In short, we'll explore the strange and perplexing frontier where Mind meets Body.

[For those who took this already, I am adding a number of slides on the science of placebo, too!]

B4293: What is Biophysics?

Biologists study living systems that function through a vast variety of complex mechanisms. Physicists search for fundamental, mathematical laws of nature that drive physical phenomena. Learn how Stanford biophysicists are using physical tools to understand the complexity of life. Topics ranging from the atomic-level description of biological molecules to the surprisingly clever behavior of cells will be discussed. Selected topics in biophysics will be presented by Stanford graduate students.


Prerequisites
Some background in biology, chemistry, and/or physics is helpful, but not required.

B4294: How to build an organ. An introduction on tissue stem cells.
Difficulty: **

Have you ever wondered how our organs are built? Do you know how many different types of tissue stem cells are needed to maintain and repair an organ? Amazingly, it takes only about a week to regenerate our intestines but months to replace our lungs! In this class we will cover the different types of tissue stem cells and you will learn where they reside by observing their location under the microscope.


Prerequisites
It is recommended that students have taken high-school biology.

B4336: DNA and Chromatin
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Delaney Sullivan

In this class, we will explore the structure of DNA and how DNA is packaged into chromatin. We will also discuss the basics of epigenetic control of gene expression.


Prerequisites
A basic understanding of biology

B4284: What your body looks like on the inside

Students will learn about human anatomy using cadavers and 3-D visual tools. Various anatomical regions will be covered including the abdomen, upper limb, lower limb, back, and heart/lung.

Caution: Real human cadavers are used in the teaching of this course.

B4129: Extreme Life of the Sea
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jake Gold

Ever see a shrimp break solid glass? Fish that can't close their mouths because their teeth are so large? The marine biosphere contains some of the most diverse and interesting organisms on the planet. Come travel through the water column as we explore the strangest and most fascinating creatures that have evolved under the sea.


Prerequisites
Biology background (some).

B4257: Chocolate Food of the Gods
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Howard Peters

A fun look at the history, biology, biochemistry, health benefits and trivia of chocolate.
Some samples and a raffle for free chocolate items.

B4276: Practical Neuroscience
Difficulty: **
Teachers: David Carreon

What is the brain? How does it work? How can I make it stronger?

You’ll learn about awesome experiments that show that the brain can be rewired, remolded and strengthened. You’ll meet someone operating with half a brain (literally), people who built physical strength just by thinking about it, and people who rewired their brains and cured mental illnesses with the power of thought. We’ll cover what you need to know about the brain.

If you’ve got a brain, you should take this course! :)

B4316: From Bench to Bedside: Translational Research for Medical Therapeutics
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Bruce Tiu

How do current drugs and treatments develop? What are the steps leading from a scientific finding to a valid and useful therapy? What are some current issues and challenges in the development of new medical treatments? How do scientific research and business finance interplay to impact and influence the whole process?

In this class, we’ll talk about how the drugs that make up a critical component of our healthcare come into existence. By analyzing the paths of both common and specialty therapies, for the common malady to novel treatments for cancer, such as cellular therapy, we will discuss the many different elements and factors in discovering a potential solution and bringing it to a patient. We’ll talk about difficulties stemming from the institutional design of the medical system such as clinical trials as well as different nonmedical issues that impact our potential to deliver the best treatments possible. Afterwards, we will debate topics of interest and issues such as policy, patents, and ethics.


Prerequisites
Some general biology knowledge would be helpful, but is not required.

B4328: A shot in the dark, the history of vaccines
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Michal Tal

From the first Smallpox vaccine to current efforts to design vaccines against HIV and Ebola, we will discuss how vaccines work and the current controversy surrounding them.

B4102: Flavor Flav Got Nothin' on Flavor Chemistry.
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Brian Chau

We will go through chemical reactions that create flavors like good ol' Maillard-Browning.

We will talk about aromatics, interaction with our senses, namely aroma and taste.

We will go into details about the analytical equipment and theories behind taste and flavors. We will definitely disprove the idea that tastebuds are segmented into parts of the tongue.

Flavor compounds and their groupings followed with tastings of our own and little experiments with some food in our mouths, we definitely can enjoy flavors.


Prerequisites
Basic understanding of chemistry.

B4104: Would you want to know? Exploring genetic testing and Huntington's disease
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Kristen Powers

If you could find out whether you will develop a disease with no known cure, would you want to know?

This course will provide an introduction to the science behind Huntington’s Disease, which is a genetically inherited disease that affects both the mind and the body. After an overview of cool topics like DNA and genetics, we will talk about genetic testing – what that is, and how it applies to parents or children who may have Huntington’s Disease. You will then use this knowledge to debate the ethical concerns that arise when screening for inherited diseases.

If your parents have Huntington’s Disease, would you get tested? If you were going to have children but did not know if you had the disease, would you get tested? Would you have kids if you tested positive?


Prerequisites
Basic biology knowledge is helpful, but we'll provide a quick intro at the beginning of the course for context!

B4271: DNA Origami: Exploring the Past and the Future of Genetic Research
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Songhee Han, Emma Pair

Make your own DNA origami while learning about the history and science behind the most fundamental building block of life! The questions we'll explore are:
Who discovered the DNA?
How was the DNA discovered?
Why is the DNA shaped like a helix?
...and last, but not least....
Is it possible for DNA to have more than two strands????

B4333: Food, food everywhere, but is it safe to eat?

Come to this session where you can learn more about some of the primary causes of produce contamination that occur as your food goes from "farm to table." We'll also discuss some of the many stakeholders responsible for keeping our food safe and methods for preventing/reducing food contamination. All of these ideas will be further explored through a full-group role-playing game.

B4072: The Power of Memory: Beyond the Brain Bee
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Lucy Li

What did you have for dinner exactly one year ago from today? What was the weather like? What day of the week was it? Chances are, unless you have hyperthymesia, you can't remember the answers to any of these questions.

After a brief overview of how memory works, we'll explore the feats human memory can accomplish and even take a stroll through your own memory palace. You'll meet people like Louise Owen, who remembers details from every day of her life, Stephen Wiltshire, who can draw entire cities after a single helicopter ride, and Joshua Foer, who trained his memory for one year and accidentally won the USA Memory Championship.

B4290: The Neuroscience of Happiness: The Art and Science of a Great Life
Difficulty: **
Teachers: David Carreon

What makes humans happy? Don't we all do whatever we think makes us happy? Yes, and we're often wrong. So then how do we get this most important of questions right?

We will explore the big ideas on how to be awesome at life, from ancient Greece to the latest neuroscience. Hear about the best things thought and said about how to flourish as a person and live the Happy life.


Prerequisites
This class draws from many of my other lectures. You will have a better foundation if you've taken them, but can still attend if you haven't.

B4325: New Neuron in Old Brain
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Chandresh Gajera

Brains were thought to be fixed! (that is no new neurons born after birth). Research in the last few decades redefined this fixed view to be rather plastic, that is new neurons are born and integrate into old brains in two regions of brain. But this may be just be the tip of iceberg. Lots of fundamental discovery is yet to be made that will lay the foundation for cure/treatment of devastating brain diseases in young and aging populations. This class will include an introduction to adult neurogenesis and historical background to the latest findings.

B4366: Biology (or Lack Thereof) in Hollywood
Difficulty: **

What would life really be like if you were shrunk down to the size of an ant or even smaller? Did dinosaurs really look and behave as they are portrayed in Jurassic Park? Would King Kong really have been able to stand up, let alone climb the Empire State Building? These questions and more will be answered.


Prerequisites
Some interest in biology. Some interest in movies.

B4375: Symbiosis: a love story between corals and dinoflagellates
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Lorraine Ling

Around the world, coral reefs are experiencing severe environmental stress and turning white, a.k.a "bleaching." What's going on during bleaching? What role do dinoflagellates (microscopic algae) play? And how can we test it?

Students will explore the science of symbiosis and current research through hands-on demonstrations with sea anemones.


Prerequisites
none, just be curious and willing to get salty. Please wear closed-toe shoes (i.e. no flip-flops)

B4399: Quantifying Biology
Difficulty: *

This class will teach students how to estimate the quantities of life. Example questions include How many leaves are on a tree? How many cells are there in a human body? How much does the total DNA weigh for a human being?


Prerequisites
None

B4071: Advanced Topics in Neuroscience: Beyond the Brain Bee
Difficulty: ***

So you’ve taken an intro neuro/psych class and know the basics of how your brain works. What’s left to learn? A lot, actually. Heard that information flows from dendrites to the cell body and down the axon to the postsynaptic cell, and not the other way around? Fetuses would die before birth and marijuana wouldn’t be so popular if that were actually true. Each half of the brain controls the opposite side of the body? Nope. Neurons all have axons and dendrites? Lies.
Join us to learn about what was too hard, too mysterious, or too recently discovered to be included your previous neuro classes! In this discussion-based session, students will learn about advanced topics in neuroscience as they are asked to solve some of the most thought-provoking questions of the field. How can memories last a lifetime when the molecules that constitute them are being recycled on a daily basis? Can you design a viable method of mind control (yes, the technology already exists)? How could you deliberately create a false memory, or manipulate existing ones? And finally, the big question: What is consciousness?


Prerequisites
For advanced high school students with prior exposure to neuroscience, either through coursework, self-studying, or enrichment programs (e.g., other Splash! courses). They should understand the basics of neurons, action potentials, neurotransmitters, sensorimotor systems, and neural development. They should also be comfortable with cell biology, genetics, protein synthesis, evolutionary biology, and viral life cycles.

B4137: What is a mass extinction?
Difficulty: *
Teachers: William Gearty

Ever wonder what really happened to the all of the dinosaurs? What caused them to go extinct? What happened afterwards?

Mass extinctions have occurred numerous times in Earth's history. We will learn about the "Big Five" extinctions, exploring their causes, effects, and repercussions. To wrap up, we will apply what we have learned about past extinctions to the modern day and determine if we are now in the sixth mass extinction. Are WE the cause? What will be the effects and repercussions? Will we survive to find out?

B4301: Molecular Biophysics: How Life Works at the Smallest Scale Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Andrew Savinov

At the smallest scale, life is made possible by very special molecules, including DNA, RNA, and proteins. Yet though they are special, these molecules follow the same physical rules as the rest of the universe. Molecular biophysics is the study of how these molecules of life physically work. In this class we will explore selected topics in molecular biophysics, looking at different examples of how biological molecules function and what experiments we can do to uncover these molecules’ mysteries.


Prerequisites
Some background in biology, chemistry, and/or physics is helpful, but not required.

B4423: Who likes lichens?
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Matthew Nelsen

What are those splashes of color on the rocks and tree branches? They're lichens! Learn more about this symbiotic association between fungi and algae, and why you should like them!

B4078: Culinary Science & Product Development
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Brian Chau

You walk down the aisle of a supermarket and you stumble upon these weirdly flavored chips. Ever wonder how someone's crazy idea is put from concept to product?

Culinary arts + food science = AWESOME PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT. You take science and add it to cooking and bam, that delicious or sometimes bizarre flavored chip comes to a store near you.


Prerequisites

B4192: A Brief Introduction to Population Genetics
Difficulty: **

The human genome is comprised of three billion base pairs, of which, 99% are identical across the entire human population. Only a very small fraction of the genome harbors any variation. It is this small, variable fraction that plays an important role in natural selection and can inform us about events such as demography.

With genomic sequencing technology becoming increasingly cheap and accessible to the public, we are now entering an exciting era of personalized genomics and medicine. In this course, we will learn about the signatures of genetic variation that can help us understand our susceptibility to diseases and our human demographic history.

B4213: Explore the Heart: Dissection & Lecture
Difficulty: **

Anatomy & Physiology


Prerequisites
We all know what the heart is, what it does, and why it’s important. But why does it perform the tasks in the way that it does? Why does it have multiple chambers? Why not just one? Or none? Why does the blood flow up, down, around and through it again? Why not straight through? Learn the answers to all of these questions and learn about the new technologies that are available! After taking a look at technology in cardiology, we'll dissect and take a peak at cow hearts and follow their blood flows and learn the similarities and differences between cow and human hearts. [Note: We will be handling fresh organs of animals, please keep this in mind before coming to class.]

B4228: Minding Your Health: Rising Above the Stigma of Mental Illness
Difficulty: *

Did you know that mental health issues affect one in every five American families?

Mental health is often a difficult subject to speak openly about. This may be for several reasons, including the unwillingness and fear of individuals to see themselves or others close to them as “diseased”, the lack of a culturally sensitive, mainstream vocabulary for the discussion of mental health issues, and the stigma of seeking aid or treatment for psychiatric disorders. Unfortunately, by not speaking openly and competently about these issues, we as a society risk leaving many individuals untreated, endangering their lives and damaging their communities and families, and holding back on potential advancements in care.

The aim of this class is to promote more open and informed conversations about mental health issues and their impacts with your friends, families, schools, and the larger community. We hope to shed some light on different types of mental health disorders, their current care and treatment methods, and perhaps most importantly, how we as students can serve as allies to those who seek to make mental health a priority in their lives and to those who are struggling with mental health issues.


Prerequisites
No prerequisites - just eagerness to learn :) TRIGGER WARNING: We greatly appreciate your willingness to share your personal experiences with us and/or the class if you wish. However, we fully understand that not everyone is comfortable doing so, and we would further like to note that some of the content we will be discussing in class may be triggering for some individuals. Please let us know if this is the case for you, and we would be happy to accommodate your needs.

B4273: Addiction and Neuroscience
Difficulty: **
Teachers: David Carreon

Why do we do what we don't want to? Or not do what we want to?

This class will explore the strange, universal human experience of being out of control of our actions. We'll look at big ways this happens with alcohol or drugs, but we'll also look at "behavioral addictions" like Facebook, nail-biting, pornography, gambling and cutting.

We'll look at the basic science, as well as some of the ways people treat addictions, big and small.

B4339: It Looks Human: Exploring Bad Biology in Movies and Television
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Mike Brown

A lot of the science fiction you watch has, well, less science than fiction. In this course, we'll:
-discuss how bad science in movies and TV can have a negative effect on our culture
-see some specific examples of bad biology in popular media
-talk about the real science behind these misrepresentations
-show how it would be possible to fix these problems without affecting artistic integrity
-learn how to identify good and bad science on your own

B4178: Welcome to your brain
Difficulty: **

Ever wonder how your brain helps make you who you are? How does your brain help you see and move? Can we come up with a cure for brain diseases? This class is a hands-on introduction to the brain and its various functions. You'll get to see and touch real human brains and ask your burning questions to Ph.D. students who are becoming brain experts!

B4394: Sustainable Food - What it is, and what it should be
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Hannah Naughton

Ever wonder what those little frog, bird and leaf symbols on your coffee bag or chocolate bar mean? If so, come join this overview, critique and discussion about environmentally and socially acceptable food production.


Engineering

[ Return to Category List ]

E4073: What the heck is Engineering?
Difficulty: *

"You're good at math and science - you should be an engineer!" That was about the extent of my career counseling when I was in high school. If you're in a similar position, then this class is for you!

This will be a short, broad lecture on what engineers actually do, drawing on case studies from mechanical, electrical, and product design viewpoints.


Prerequisites
A slight-to-severe confusion about what engineering is, and a desire to disabuse oneself of that notion

E4182: PROBABILITY DISTRIBUTIONS APPLIED IN SPORTS
Difficulty: **
Teachers: FRANCISCO ZARAGOZA

We try to give an interesting and exciting class where the students can be watching the opportunity to make implementation inside sports using important tools like probability and statistical with the idea to take important decisions for we try to make forecastings.


Prerequisites
KNOWLEDGE OF ALGEBRA, LINEAR EQUATIONS, BASIC PROBABILITY, DIFFERENTIAL CALCULUS

E4278: California Water Resources
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jessica Watkins

Where does our drinking water come from and how does it get here? Why does the drought matter and who is it impacting? Why is there enough water to keep lawns green, pools full, and golf courses open, yet some farms are left unwatered? The short answer – it’s complicated! Come explore the politics, history, and engineering behind California's water infrastructure.


Prerequisites
None.

E4405: Motorcycles and Mechanisms Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Joe Johnson

We’ll be taking apart my 1964 Honda Dream motorcycle and exploring how it works.

Students will get hands on experience taking things apart and putting them back together.

Here’s a picture of a motorcycle similar to mine: http://www.rcycle.com/Ken_Fisher_Honda_305_Dream_068_cropped_op_800x512.jpg


Prerequisites
Be Hands-On

E4180: Sailboat Physics: Lecture and Workshop
Difficulty: **

How do sailboats use geometry and physics to turn wind into usable energy? In the first part of this three hour class, students will be introduced to some of the basic physics of fluids and statics as they apply to sailing. We'll learn about buoyancy, Bernoulli's principle, center of mass, and moment of inertia. We'll also talk about the role of an engineer in balancing design constraints within a project.

In the second part of the class, students will use what they've learned to build balsa-wood model sailboats and test them in a simulated wind environment. Students will work in teams to make engineering decisions in the process of designing, constructing, and testing their boats.


Prerequisites
An understanding of basic calculus (derivatives and integrals) is recommended, but not required.

E4378: Paper Airplane Showdown: What makes airplanes work?
Difficulty: **

Learn the basics behind airplane stability and efficiency, then put that knowledge to the test by trying to build a paper which flies furthest, fastest, or "best" by your own criteria. Covers the basics of why airplanes fly, how a paper glider can fly without control, and why airplanes for different missions look the way they do. After some illustrations of these concepts, students will be invited to build their own airplanes and experiment with designs to try to design the "ultimate" paper airplane.


Prerequisites
Some sort of kinematics based physics, understanding of force and pressure.

E4145: Using Marshmallows to Build Understanding of Materials Science
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Enze Chen

An introduction to the interdisciplinary field of materials science. You will use marshmallows and toothpicks to construct crystal models and explore its physical and chemical properties.


Prerequisites
All are welcome! Some chemistry background is helpful, but not essential.

E4195: Cool Polymer Science

Come and learn about some of the wonderful applications of polymers, from elastic materials to electronic devices to strange fluids. Concepts will be illustrated through hands-on activities.


Prerequisites
None. General knowledge in science might be useful

E4108: Introduction to Spaceflight
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Jan Kolmas

Overview of rocket propulsion, introduction to the coutner-intuitive world of orbital mechanics and discussion of other concepts, such as staging, aerobraking and reentry.


Prerequisites
High school physics (Newton's laws, conservation of momentum)

E4291: Making a computer out of really simple parts Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Omar Rizwan

Maybe you've heard about how computers are just giant calculators at heart. Actually, you can build one out of tiny, simple parts.

We'll download a simulator that lets you make pieces of a computer by dragging and dropping and wiring stuff together. Then you'll build little machines that can add numbers together, and finally see how we can work our way up to a computer.

You'll come out understanding why binary is such a big deal, how computers work at the most fundamental level, and that this stuff isn't as complicated as you think!


Prerequisites
Basic computer skills. (No programming experience necessary!)

E4181: From Transistors to iPhone: The Amazing Journey of Clueless Teenage Electrons
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Benjamin Ting

From the discovery of electron in 1897, to the invention of transistor in 1947, followed by the birth of Silicon Valley in the 1970's, and the arrival iPhone in 2007. 110 years in the making, the teenage electrons have finally arrived in your friendly neighborhood. Come and find out how these teenagers are shaping everything you do in your life, and what lies ahead when these electrons grow up to become adults!


Prerequisites
Ability to stay awake during the class

E4205: Electricity for All
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Kristen Pownell

Ever wondered what really makes your computer turn on? What makes your car radio turn off when you're driving through the mountains? How do iPhone touchscreens work? The answer to all these questions and more can be found in electrical engineering! During this class, you'll learn a brief overview of electricity and gain understanding of what it means to be an electrical engineer. You'll build a lamp to test the concepts we discuss in class.

E4331: Water for the World
Difficulty: **

Water is essential to life. But over 700 million people do not have access to clean water that is safe to drink. Most are living in low-income countries. Come learn about technologies for treating water, and engage in a hands-on activity to design, build and test your own water treatment technology.

E4440: Materials Gone Wrong!
Difficulty: **

It's a bad day if your phone screen cracks, but it's something else entirely if your airplane falls out of the sky. Learn about the science and engineering behind materials failures in history through demonstrations and hands-on experiments. We'll explore the enormous demands we place on materials in applications like space exploration, as well as how they work. We'll also show how many materials can change dramatically with changes in temperature and other conditions. You'll walk away from this class with greater knowledge of the atomic structure of materials and a deeper appreciation for the diverse properties of the materials that surround our everyday life.

E4204: Engineering Stories
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Kristen Pownell

How would you describe a transistor to your five-year-old cousin? What about the inner workings of a CD player? Analogies have enormous power for bridging the gap between engineers and non-engineers, yet we rarely practice creating them. In this class, you'll learn how to explain scientific concepts to anyone on the street. You'll build your own invention out of Legos, then use an analogy to describe how it works and what it's used for. Sign up if you want to gain invaluable communication skills, and play with Legos at the same time!

E4176: 3D Printing: Hands on and More
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Dave Lewis

Participants will get the chance to use a 3D printer to turn a virtual (CAD) item into a physical object.

The session will cover:

- Work flow
- Design
- Processing the Design
- Working with the Printer

Each participant will leave with a custom 3D printed item.


Prerequisites
None

E4210: Introduction to Earthquake Engineering
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Cristian Acevedo

Earthquakes are one of Earth's most devastating phenomena. Come learn about earthquake mechanisms and design of structures in earthquake prone areas (like California) and experience shaking first hand! The class will cover the basic physics behind structural earthquake engineering design; the focus will be on explaining concepts through demonstrations.

E4438: Space Communications
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Sawson Taheri

This class will cover the basics of radio communication, with an emphasis on space based radio communication. Learn about:

-Radio theory
-Antennas
-Time domain vs Frequency Domain
-Digital communication
-How to track and communicate with satellites


Students will get a chance to make their own amateur radio satellite contact!


Prerequisites
-Completion of beginning Algebra -Motivation to learn

E4248: Build Your Own Speaker
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Anjali Datta

Each student will build a simple styrofoam cup speaker. We will learn about sound, how speakers work, and basic circuits.


Prerequisites
Please bring a portable music player such as an MP3 player or smartphone if you have one. A few extras will be available to use if you do not have one.


Hobbies

[ Return to Category List ]

H4154: Crocheting for Beginners
Difficulty: **

Ever wanted to embrace your inner grandma, but simply couldn't pull off the cane and sweater set look? Well, this class is for you! Sign up to experience the joys and wonders of crocheting, from learning to cast on to making a simple project or two.


Prerequisites
No experience necessary! The class will be taught assuming no skills.

H4161: Math-y Beading
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Vivian Wang

Beads are pretty, but polyhedra are prettier. We'll learn to make buckyballs (a.k.a. truncated icosahedra for math folks or C60 for chem folks) out of beads and string. By the end of the class, you'll have your own shiny geometric trinket to keep! Depending on time and interest, we might learn to make other geometric things...A fractal dodecahedron? Polyhedral carbon nanotori? The possibilities are (almost) endless.

For an idea of what we'll be making, see here: https://db.tt/NPha2NOi.


Prerequisites
We'll be working with seed beads (which are pretty small), so a little finger dexterity and a lot of patience will go a long way!

H4191: Introduction to Sabermetrics
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Rohan Mehta

An introduction to the statistical analysis of baseball. Learn how we evaluate players, project outcomes, and calculate statistics like BABIP, FIP, and WAR.


Prerequisites
Some basic (very basic) probability and statistics useful. Familiarity with standard baseball terminology necessary.

H4201: Introduction to Bridge (by a World Champion!)
Difficulty: **

Question: What do Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have in common?

Answer: They're both billionaires and they both love the card game bridge.

If you too aspire to become a bridge-playing billionaire, then the first step is to learn how to play bridge! (Sadly, the second step is not covered in this class.)

Bridge is a fun and brainy card game somewhat like hearts and spades. It's played 2 vs 2, so good communication and teamwork are key to victory. (Another benefit of bridge being played 2 vs 2 is that if you ever lose - hypothetically, of course - you've got someone other than yourself to blame!)

This class is for anyone and everyone who wants to learn bridge. No experience necessary!

***SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT***

A WORLD CHAMPION and team of bridge-loving Stanford students will be teaching this year! Come rub shoulders with greatness and hope that greatness rubs off on you!

H4402: Ice Cream! Full!
Difficulty: *

We will be exploring the different techniques used to make ice cream throughout history. Making and tasting of ice cream required.
Food allergy warning: Please do not consume ice cream if you have any dairy or vanilla allergies.


Prerequisites
Must like ice cream

H4190: Astrology and the Signs of the Zodiac
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Derry Akin

So what exactly is Astrology, after all? What's a sun sign, and a moon sign? What's my zodiac sign and how is it different from the others?

Come to our class and learn the answers to these questions, as well as much more about astrology and the signs of the zodiac!

H4312: Science of Star Wars
Difficulty: **

Like science? Like Star Wars? Come explore the two worlds together over fun times and good cookies.

H4324: Henna Art
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Marcella Anthony

Learn a brief history of Mehandi, popularly known as Henna - a traditional body art. Explore traditional and modern uses and designs, the science of henna, then practice designing your own henna tattoo and apply to your hand!


Prerequisites
No prerequisites. Dress in clothes you don't mind staining. Do not sign up for this workshop if you are attending a cooking class.

H4345: Martial Arts 101
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Christine Jarjour

Learn some karate basics! In under 2 hours we'll go over basic throws and self defense techniques, teach you how to throw a killer roundhouse kick and even how to break a board like a pro. No experience needed! Dress comfortably.

H4413: Understanding Diplomacy Through Wargaming
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Daniel Whalen

Much of historical European politics would have made more sense if you were there at the time. This class will give you a chance to recreate those politics. Take command of countries in a simple war game and learn about the balance of power by seeing it play out in action.

H4173: Yoga for All Bodies
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Paige Nethercutt

We will cover a brief background on the history and purpose of the practice of yoga. Then I will lead students in stretching, breathing exercises, and an introductory sequence of yoga poses. If you think you're not flexible, think again!


Prerequisites
Come ready to fully engage, have fun, and embrace our bodies!

H4249: Intro to SCUBA Diving: SCUBA In a Bucket
Difficulty: *
Teachers: David Fairburn

Have you ever wanted to breathe underwater, swim with the fish, or be an exciting other-world explorer? Come to SCUBA in a bucket where you can learn the basics of SCUBA diving, what gear divers use, and even try to breathe underwater in a small bucket


Prerequisites
-A Sense of adventure

H4382: How to be the Ultimate Tennis Fan: From Stanford Tennis to Serving it with Serena Williams
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Oscar Wong

Do you still wonder how scoring in tennis works? Do you think tennis is the best sport in the world? What is life like as a Stanford student and as the (self-proclaimed) biggest tennis fan of Serena Williams? If you're up to learning more about tennis and how it has taken me all over the world, join me!


Prerequisites
Interest in tennis a big plus!

H4424: Puzzle Hunts 101
Difficulty: **

Enter a weird world where a puzzle can be a list of pictures, a gibberish sound file, or just six words. What are the rules? Figure them out!


Prerequisites
None. This class is not meant for anyone who has participated in a puzzle hunt already (e.g. DASH, Shinteki Decathlon, MIT Mystery Hunt).

H4174: Quidditch for Muggles

We'll go over the basics of quidditch as it is played by high schools, colleges, and community teams throughout the world, and play some scrimmages. We'll provide the brooms!

Wear shoes you can run in (e.g. sneakers).
Bring a water bottle so you can keep hydrated.
Sunscreen is recommended.

H4430: Boba Tea: Analyzing the Tapioca Trend Through Taste-Testing
Difficulty: *

Bubble tea, pearl milk tea, boba: it's quite the rising fad! Come learn a bit about the history and background of this drink over a boba tea party!


Prerequisites
All are welcome!

H4436: Cup Stacking
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Nick Troccoli

What is cup stacking? Watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNPAF4sSAH0&list=UU_I1OD_vuDDIU0dStjTRV2A&feature=share&index=2 That's the current world-record holder for the "cycle" routine in cup stacking, a sport where you race to finish "upstacking" and "downstacking" certain pyramids of cups as fast as you can. (And no, that video isn't fast-forwarded). The best part is, cup stacking is super easy to learn (but hard to master!). In this class, you'll learn how to cup stack - the basic rules, routines, and tips and tricks on how to improve. Everyone will be given their own set of cups for the duration of the class so that you can practice individually. We'll also learn a few fun cup stacking relays to see how you can cup stack with other people.

H4383: 6 Continents and Counting: How to Check Traveling off the Bucket List
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Oscar Wong

Have you ever traveled outside your home state, country, or continent? What is life like as a full-time Stanford student studying abroad? Whether you're a seasoned traveler or someone flicking through the Travel Channel, come learn (or share) some handy travel tips and tricks. From Africa to Australia to South America (and many fascinating places in between), we'll cover most of the globe - just back in time for your next session!


Prerequisites
No traveling experience needed!

H4141: Board Game Design
Difficulty: **

Do you enjoy playing board games? Have you ever considered making your own?

In the first half of class, we will discuss how to design, playtest and publish your own board games. In the second half, we will break into teams to play and then redesign different board games.

H4230: Taste of Thai
Difficulty: *

Did you know that Thai food is ranked by CNN go to be the world's best food? How about electronic tongue that judges authenticity of Thai food as appeared in New York Times? Let's explore the taste of Thai beyond Pad Thai or anything with peanut sauce. We will learn what makes Thai food tastes delicious, mysterious or even crazy! We will also learn tips and tricks to buy Thai grocery and order Thai food. Finally, let's actually cook simple Thai snack/dessert.

Allergen Note: the ingredients may contain the following: fish, shellish, gluten, and peanuts


Prerequisites
Interest in Thai culture especially Thai cuisine and cooking. Food provided in class contains peanuts, dried seafood and Thai chili.

H4117: Radio 4 Sports
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Kenneth Huo

ra·di·o :ˈrādēˌō - verb : communicate or send a message by radio.




Do You Want to Be a Sports Radio Personality?
A sports radio personality will provide commentary during games or talk sports on a radio show.

Some of these professionals are former athletes who have several years of playing experience. On the other hand, those who are not former players or coaches will need to have a strong knowledge of sports and broadcasting experience.

Those who have their own shows will interview athletes and coaches and give their opinions about player performance and personnel moves. Some live shows take place early in the morning or late at night. Looming deadlines can make this occupation stressful at times.

While these announcers will have a vast knowledge about sports in general, they may also focus their attention on a specific sport, such as baseball, basketball or football.


Prerequisites
ra·di·o :ˈrādēˌō - verb : communicate or send a message by radio. Do You Want to Be a Sports Radio Personality? A sports radio personality will provide commentary during games or talk sports on a radio show. Some of these professionals are former athletes who have several years of playing experience. On the other hand, those who are not former players or coaches will need to have a strong knowledge of sports and broadcasting experience. Those who have their own shows will interview athletes and coaches and give their opinions about player performance and personnel moves. Some live shows take place early in the morning or late at night. Looming deadlines can make this occupation stressful at times. While these announcers will have a vast knowledge about sports in general, they may also focus their attention on a specific sport, such as baseball, basketball or football.

H4353: Chess Puzzles: Proof Games
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Theodore Hwa

Given a chess position, can you find a game that leads to it? Can you find the shortest possible game?

If you enjoy logic puzzles, and know the rules of chess, you should find this class fun! No particular skill level in chess is needed because we consider all possible games, not just "well-played" games. Many beautiful ideas and tricks will arise when we find a short (or shortest) game leading to a position.


Prerequisites
Knowledge of the rules of chess, but no particular skill level is required.

H4232: Introduction to Monopoly Strategy
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Bradley Emi

The classic board game Monopoly has a rich history, dating back to 1903, when Elizabeth Magie self-published a property trading game called The Landlord's Game. It was further refined by Charles Darrow and published by Parker Brothers to become one of the world's most popular games, with over 200,000,000 games sold, and the phrases "Go directly to jail" and "Do not pass Go" have become embedded in American culture. But Monopoly is also a deeply strategic game, requiring complex valuations of property and skilled negotiation. In this class, for the first hour, we will examine the basic strategies of Monopoly: most importantly, how to evaluate property and trades effectively, and how to protect value for the long-term. While we won't have time to complete full games of Monopoly in class, during the second hour, you will have an opportunity to test out your new skills by playing out an unfinished game of Monopoly, and at the end of class, we will compare the various strategies your classmates use, and their overall effectiveness.

H4263: This. Is. Jeopardy!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Cameron Kim

Are you a trivia genius? Do you have random useless facts stuck in your head that you need to get out? Has it been a dream of yours to make it a "true daily double"? Why not try your luck on America's Favorite Game Show, Jeopardy! Created by Merv Griffin after a suggestion from his wife, Jeopardy! has become an American cultural icon, spurring celebrities like Ken Jennings, Julia Collins, and parodies on Saturday Night Live. Come learn about the rich history of this game show, how to play it, how to get on the real thing, and play a real game of Jeopardy! from a former Jeopardy! contestant.


Prerequisites
Just a passion for trivia! We'll be using previous Teen Tournament questions for these games.

H4370: Intro to Photography
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Noah Zallen

New to photography, and want to get started? Like taking photos, but wish you were better at it? Experienced photographer, but want to improve your skills? Whatever your skill level this class is for you!

Each student will learn to harness their own creative photographic potential through a hands on class where students will practice everything their taught. The beginning of class will be inside, after which students will partner up and head outside for the rest of the session. It's strongly recommended that each student brings a camera (any kind will do, but something other than a phone camera is preferable). If you don't have a camera, don't worry! The instructor will bring his own camera for you to share.

Topics covered will include camera basics (such as depth of field, shutter speed, aperture, iso, and exposure compensation), as well as photography essentials (such as lighting, perspective, framing, portraits, nature, action shots, and much more!).

By end of class you'll be ready to show off your new skills to all your friends!


Life Skills

[ Return to Category List ]

L4441: Do Anything
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Bryan Quintanilla

Come discover the what you can do with the most incredible and most ordinary items! Participants will explore the significance and power of the ordinary objects all around them.

L4105: Memory Techniques
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Gail Wilson

Learn memory and study techniques that will give you the important edge you will need to help find success in all aspects of your life.

Find out about simple ways to memorize any amount of information without repetition. Remember names; remember important facts. Learn how to memorize hundreds of definitions in time to ace the next exam.

Create a powerful brain.
Create a powerful life!


Prerequisites
A sincere desire to improve your memory!

L4242: Let’s Design a Satisfying Sustainable Life
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Tom Kabat

Let’s brainstorm to design a satisfying and sustainable life. We'll have group discussion of values, choices and results. We'll explore the intersection of satisfaction, sustainability, consumption and community. Let's explore the balance of many possible roles in our lives and how they can sustainability add satisfaction

L4299: Study Skills for Life: Learning How You Learn
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Derry Akin

Which style(s) of learning suit you best? How exactly do people learn, anyway? What other study techniques are out there that I don't already know of?

In our class, we'll go over the basics of the learning process (theories, mechanisms, related brain areas, etc.), the different styles of learning and learning techniques, and discuss and share with each other which study techniques work best for each of us!

L4107: Leadership/Managerial Skills
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Melisa Rillera

Discuss different leadership and managerial skills you will need not only in your professional career but in many aspects of your life. Talk about how to bring these aspects out of you. We'll go over the difference between leadership and management, discuss these skills, what it will take to develop and refine them, and how to apply them to your daily life.


Lunch

[ Return to Category List ]

L4444: Lunch Period
Difficulty: None
Teachers:

Enjoy a break for lunch with your friends! Please register for at least one lunch period on each day of the program.


Life Skills

[ Return to Category List ]

L4133: How To Be A Better Listener
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Elizabeth Softky

Learn how good listening skills can improve your relationships at home or school, and even make you a better problem solver.

We'll uncover some myths about listening, and discover what people with good listening skills do in this fun,interactive workshop.

L4140: The Practice of Everyday Happiness
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Carter Osborne

This class explores one simple question: how do we become more happy?

We will use fun activities and interactive practices to learn about the many components of happiness: compassion, gratitude, relaxation, and more.

How can we better express gratitude for others? What is "self-compassion," and how can we use it to enrich our lives? Does being happy actually produce benefits in all the aspects of our daily lives: social, personal, academic, etc? (hint: it does)

Students will leave the class with a number of skills and practices to more effectively manage stress, stay resilient during challenging times, and (most importantly) enrich everyday happiness.


Prerequisites
Positive energy and an open mind!

L4288: Justice - What’s the Right Thing to Do?
Difficulty: **
Teachers: David Carreon

Bank bailouts. Stealing to feed your hungry kid. Lying to save Jews in your basement. Waterboarding. What’s right and what’s wrong? And how do we know?

This will be a crash course in Ethics, the rigorous discipline of determining what’s right. This lost science will be critical for anyone who will have to make decisions in their life.

I’m modeling this course after the enormously popular class and book taught by Michael Sandel at Harvard (Google my course title).

L4302: Inside the World of Harry Potter
Difficulty: *

We will explore critical life skills through the eyes of the Wizarding World. We will learn about banking and personal finance at Gringotts, probability and statistics with the Triwizard Cup, ethics, rhetoric, and much more!


Prerequisites
Interest and familiarity with Harry Potter.

L4106: Why and How to Volunteer Locally and Abroad?
Difficulty: *

Why should you volunteer local or abroad? How and Where? During this class we will answer these questions and also touch on how to use volunteer experience on college applications and job resumes. We'll provide personal examples of volunteering as co-organizers of our own volunteer group and unique experiences such as volunteering in prisons and various countries abroad.

L4069: Intro to Personal Finance
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Melissa Ko

The average American household is thousands of dollars in debt. Learning early on about personal finance can help you avoid money problems down the road!

In this class, we will discuss what you will want to know about finances to make smart decisions with your money.

Come find out little steps that you can take now to practice and build better money habits. Please bring any questions you would like to discuss about personal finance. Note that this is NOT purely an investing class, though we will talk a little about how investing may fit into your saving strategy.


Prerequisites
This class is geared towards complete beginners. If you don’t know or understand credit scores, budgeting, or interest rates, then this is the class for you.

L4220: Peaceful Communication
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Mango Martin

You will learn to use mindfulness and empathy to communicate honestly and non-violently.

L4235: Life as a Stanford Student
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Amy S.

Stanford students will discuss their first year experiences and answer any questions about Stanford and college life.

L4082: Interview Skills for Internship, College, and Job Applications
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Oriana Li Halevy

Are you anxious about internship, college, or job interviews? Come to this interactive course to receive solid tips from a Class of 1992 Harvard College pre-med turned United Nations intern turned US Department of State diplomatic interpreter turned multinational law firm corporate attorney turned venture investor, cross-border business consultant and strategist, and bilingual communications specialist and published translator/editor who has been on both sides of these interviews since high school. This course is for anyone wishing to develop and fine-tune interviewing skills that can be applied in a variety of settings. Topics will include: Preparation Presentation Common interview questions Common pitfalls Closing the interview Thank you notes.

L4348: Decision Adventure Plus
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Chris Spetzler

Students participate in a group project where they are students trekking in Nepal and face a difficult decision. They learn a decision framework to handle the situation and future decisions they face in life. Compared with the shorter version of this course (45 minutes), students will have an additional fun activity that expands their understanding of decision making.

L4090: Public Speaking
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Michael Phillips

A fun public speaking workshop focused on improving speaker delivery. Everyone will be giving and listening to speeches. Students should expect active participation and should posses a desire to improve as a public speaker.


Prerequisites
None

L4342: Social Styles and Communication Strategy
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Christine Jarjour

Almost without exception, today's business professionals attribute their success largely to their ability to write well, to speak dynamically, and to cultivate business relationships. In this class you will learn basic theories on communicating strategically. You will learn how to plan a persuasive message and analyze your audience, while also learning about your own behavioral style and how you interact with others to solve problems.

L4365: Brownies to the Future!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Yan Yan

Many students entering high school harbor anxieties about fitting in, relationships, academics, extracurriculars, and college.

This class is for any student struggling with the stresses of life, who just want to relax, have fun, feel good, and be open to some positive guidance.

This class is a unique fusion of cooking, nutrition, improvisation, psychology, mindfulness and a little bit of simple optimism. The goal is for you to leave this class feelin' good!


Prerequisites
Must have an open-mind and be comfortable sharing and participate in discussion. Should be interested in improving one's mindset and eating brownies. Preference: 8th and 9th grade

L4395: PARTY WITH TREES
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jessica Chow

Wanna learn about trees? Potentially increase your Hunger Games survival rate by knowing some edible fruit trees? Impress people with your tree identification skills? Be able to casually point out “oh, that’s a Coast Live Oak, that’s a redwood”? Potentially increase your Hunger Games survival rate by knowing some edible fruit trees? Or just want to stare at trees, walk around the beautiful Stanford campus and forget about life for a while? This course will draw on the current Stanford Introductory Seminar “Party With Trees” for Stanford students and translate the main objectives and ideas of the course into a middle school and high school student friendly course that consists of walking around Stanford's campus, looking at trees, learning some basic identification, potentially snacking on some fruit, and having a good time. Another goal of the course is to foster a greater understanding and appreciation for the environment around us and add to students' knowledge of trees in the Stanford, Palo Alto, and general California area.


Prerequisites
An interest in learning about trees, interesting trivia, or discovery of a new field!

L4231: A Crash Course in Alternative Education
Difficulty: **

"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." -Mark Twain

This class is meant for students who do not feel challenged or engaged by traditional education. Traditional education is the paradigm that is entirely shaped by going to class, doing required homework, taking tests, and doing extracurricular activities. While this works for many students, several feel trapped and constrained by the norms and values school imposes upon people.

In this class, we will discuss several strategies for breaking out of the passive-mindset approach to education, which is common for many students who feel trapped by school. We will focus instead on an active-mindset approach to learning, teaching ways for the high school student to work within their current educational constraints imposed by school to take control of their own learning and academic growth. Topics we will cover include: how to use online resources to supplement learning, how to seek inexpensive or free opportunities to allow for intellectual growth, how to take on meaningful educational projects, and deciding how to pursue further education beyond high school.


Prerequisites
Interest in becoming an independent self-learner. Interest in pursuing self-education outside of high school.

L4321: The Worst Case Scenario: what would you do?
Difficulty: *

Danger! It lurks around every corner. Earthquakes. Plane Crashes. Snakes. Car Accidents. You're in a plummeting elevator with seconds to act. What do you do? This class is here to help: jam-packed with step-by-step, hands-on activities and simulations, we're here to show you what to do when life takes a sudden turn for the worse. An essential class for a perilous age because you never know...

L4408: The P in Poker
Difficulty: **

Poker is often seen in bad light because of gambling addiction. However when viewed as a game, it is a great past time and a learning experience.

To play good poker you need to know probability and psychology. All good poker players know their odds and that's what we'll learn in this class. Psychology is a life skill which can only be learnt by experience. Of course we will cover the rules of poker as well.


Prerequisites
Knowledge of the deck of cards


Lunch

[ Return to Category List ]

L4443: Lunch Period
Difficulty: None
Teachers:

Enjoy a break for lunch with your friends! Please register for at least one lunch period on each day of the program.


Life Skills

[ Return to Category List ]

L4097: Let Your Creativity Flow!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jaclyn Chiew

And flow it must when you and your teammates are tasked with confronting challenging, time-sensitive, trials that test the boundaries of your imaginative capabilities. How would you build a bridge of straws? or create a load-bearing container made of newspaper? or develop a non-verbal communication code? The mission will be revealed. And then, if you tap abilities you never thought you had and appreciate the fact that a team is greater than its parts, you will discover that creativity just doesn’t flow, it gushes.

L4243: Bicycle Maintenance
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Tom Kabat

Let's adjust gears, brakes, and the way a bike fits so your ride improves. We even patch tires, and fix klunky, squeaky things. Bring your bike to class if you can.

L4296: College and you: how to be a spectacular success
Difficulty: *

Getting into a good college is widely hailed as critical for success later in life... but why? Is it really true? And what exactly are you supposed to be doing once you get into college anyway?

It turns out that there are numerous career paths and student resources available to you regardless of which university you attend. Your success will depend primarily on your ability to navigate these resources and discover what career path suits your passions.

Come fill in the details you WON'T hear in high school!

L4379: How to BS Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Benjamin Yang

Facts. They are useful. But unfortunately, not always available. Luckily for you, this class is all about how to break your crippling dependency on facts.

Come learn all about creating information without worrying about inconsequential things such as "reality", or "truth". Become an expert at being an expert. I know what I'm talking about, and so can you!

L4080: How to Talk Your Way into a Job.
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Brian Chau

We need to talk. Those are words you generally don't want to hear. Seriously, we need to talk about talking...or should I say, networking? So, let us practice networking and pick up a few tips on business etiquette, the interview process and the elevator pitch. If time permits, we can discuss about LinkedIn etiquette along with e-mails, thank you notes and other business etiquette.


Prerequisites
If you are considered to be an introvert, do not fret! You, too, can be skilled in networking.

L4233: Miss CEO: Becoming An Effective Leader
Difficulty: **

The world needs great leaders to tackle its biggest problems… and that starts with YOU! Although women are underrepresented in today's leadership ranks, this class will inspire and teach you how to position yourself as a leader in high school, college, and beyond. Come learn about relevant leadership skills such as effective negotiation and clear communication that will help you excel in a variety of academic, personal, and professional situations. More importantly you will also learn how to put these skills into practice starting today --including securing dream mentors, finding internships, navigating the college application process, and getting on the right trajectory for career achievement early on. The instructors for this class feature women from the Stanford community who have extensive experience leading and making innovative contributions to their fields. They also have a passion for helping students achieve their leadership potential, which you can learn more about at www.missceo.org.

L4403: The Chemistry of Baking
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Gabriele Fuchs

In this class we will learn what ingredients are used for baking cakes and cookies, and why we use those ingredients. We will learn about different measurement systems frequently found in recipes, and how to convert them.

Together we will prepare a cake batter and make cookies. Each student will have a chance to participate in the class, and decorate their own cookies.


Prerequisites
None Allergy information: The recipe I will be using to make cookies will require eggs, flour (gluten) and milk. No nuts of any kind will be used!

L4119: TED 4 TEENS
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Kenneth Huo

TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design): Ideas worth spreading

teens: tēnz/noun : the years of a person's age from 13 to 19.
**

TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is an invitation-only event where the world's leading thinkers and doers gather to find inspiration.

Is there Unbreakable Laws of Communication?

Depending on your perspective, 2006 was either a really bad year for public speaking or the start of a world-changing transformation.

In that year the famous TED conference began streaming 18-minute presentations from the world’s top minds for free. Today TED talks are viewed more than two million times a day and, they have become the gold standard in public speaking and presentation skills.

It also means that, like it or your not, your next presentation will be compared to a TED talk.


Prerequisites
TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design): Ideas worth spreading teens: tēnz/noun : the years of a person's age from 13 to 19. ** TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is an invitation-only event where the world's leading thinkers and doers gather to find inspiration. Is there Unbreakable Laws of Communication? Depending on your perspective, 2006 was either a really bad year for public speaking or the start of a world-changing transformation. In that year the famous TED conference began streaming 18-minute presentations from the world’s top minds for free. Today TED talks are viewed more than two million times a day and, they have become the gold standard in public speaking and presentation skills. It also means that, like it or your not, your next presentation will be compared to a TED talk.

L4187: Nutrition Label reading + Introduction to Chi Quong exercise
Difficulty: *
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 practice. 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.

L4349: Decision Adventure
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Chris Spetzler

Take part in Decision Simulation where students trek in Nepal and face a challenging decision situation. Learn a framework for decision making that helps you get more of what you want in life.


Prerequisites
none

L4212: Military Education 101

Military Personnel make up less than 1% of the entire US population. Perhaps 1 of every 3 of you know an immediate family member in the military. Point is you're learning about the military mostly via video games and other media, which might not be the best interpretation. Curious about what the military does and how it's soldiers are trained? Come with questions and an open mind to see what else the military does besides infantry operations, and how we train up for those operations.


Prerequisites
None

L4406: Green thumb farming
Difficulty: *

Come check out the *new* Stanford Farm! Start your own seeds, get your hands dirty, learn about growing your own food, roll in the mud if you like. Bring home a succulent garden of your very own design.


Mathematics and Computer Science

[ Return to Category List ]

M4074: To Infinity and Beyond!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jonathan Kang

Ever wondered what is the biggest number? That's easy! There's no biggest number! But the notion of infinity is more than meets the eye.

In this course, we will attempt to answer questions such as: What do we really mean when we say there are infinitely many natural numbers? How did we arrive at our present understanding of infinity? Are there different kinds of infinities?

The infinite has preoccupied mathematicians and philosophers of centuries past. Come learn more about this fascinating topic!


Prerequisites
Familiarity with algebra, comfort with basic mathematical proofs.

M4225: Conjecture and Proof
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Jeremy Booher

The number 41 is a sum of two squares (25+16). Can you write 37 as a sum of two squares? How about 43 or 47? To a mathematician, the next obvious step is to find the pattern and make a conjecture. Only once we know what is true is it possible to prove it. We will illustrate how mathematical research is done by finding an answer to the question of which numbers are a sum of two squares and then proving it using techniques called the geometry of numbers.

This question has a pretty answer which leads to many fruitful generalizations, but the goal of this class is to illustrate the process of mathematics.


Prerequisites
A desire to search for patterns is enough to get a feel for the process of learning and doing mathematics. Optionally, experience with mathematical proofs will help understand this particular problem.

M4267: How To Make a Video Game
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Gregory Bentsen

Back by popular demand!

Ever wanted to design and build your own video game? Do you want to learn how to code? Do you dream of mapping out your own loot-filled, monster-infested dungeon? Then this is the class for you.

In this course you will build your own 2D video game. Along the way, you will learn to program in Javascript, how to design levels, and basics of good game design.


Prerequisites
A love for great video games. Design elements of classic video games will guide our discussion. In order to facilitate critical discussion of game design, students should be familiar with some of the most famous and highly-regarded games. If they haven't already, students should play through some of these (The Legend of Zelda, Half Life, and Super Mario 64 are great examples)

M4359: How to break the Internet
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Lavanya Jose

Come learn about ideas that keep the Internet working and then have a wild discussion about ways to break the internet. We'll first learn about packet switching, end-to-end communication, DNS, routing. Then we'll talk about recent incidents/ situations where large parts of the Internet were disrupted e.g., in 2008 all the world's YouTube traffic was accidentally routed to Pakistan (and YouTube was down for a full two hours!)

M4332: The Art of Summation
Difficulty: **

Summing the numbers from 1 to 5 can be done quickly. Summing the numbers from 1 up to 100 would take a lot more time. Or is there a quick way to do it? How about the general problem of summing the first N numbers? Drawing inspiration from Pythagoras and his followers, and a precocious elementary school kid who grew up to become the "Prince of Mathematicians", we will discover a number of different approaches to the problem. We will generalize those approaches to compute the sum of an arithmetic series and geometric series. We will also play with other summations: summing the first N squares, or the first N cubes, and try to discover connections between these different series.

We will follow bacteria as they grow and divide, and ask why they don't conquer the world. We will trace back a children's nursery rhyme in English all the way back to a mathematical papyrus roll from ancient Egypt. We will compute the number of squares and rectangles on a chessboard, and we will learn the legend of a wise man who used a chessboard and the power of geometric growth to fool a king into promising something that was impossible for any earthly king to fulfill. And in the process, we will learn the art of summation.


Prerequisites
Algebra

M4341: Weird Spaces
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Ying Hong Tham

We will go through a basic introduction to topological spaces, and take a look at some weird, hence interesting, spaces, e.g. the Klien bottle, the Long Line, Alexander Horned Sphere etc. These counter-intuitive examples of spaces are not only fun to analyse, but also deepens our understanding of topology, making us reevaluate assumptions that we may take to be obvious.


Prerequisites
Strong visualization and imagination, can 'manipulate' objects in your mind (ability to visualize in 4 dimensions not necessary) Not afraid of the word 'infinity'

M4330: The Pigeonhole Principle & Its Applications
Difficulty: **
Teachers: David Hyde

The pigeonhole principle, in its namesake form, states that if you have $n$ pigeons trying to fit into $m < n$ holes, then at least two pigeons must be put into the same hole. While this is a simple idea, the pigeonhole principle is actually a very powerful mathematical tool that we can use to find surprisingly simple solutions to seemingly complex problems. We will go over a few examples of the pigeonhole principle together, and then we will spend the rest of the time in groups working on progressively harder problems. This class should be fun as long as you are interested in math, puzzles, and logic. This class is a must for those interested in math contests!


Prerequisites
While we won't be relying on a lot of standard school math, having good problem solving / critical thinking skills will make this class more enjoyable. As long as you are curious, though, most of this class should be accessible to you.

M4350: Introduction to Cloud Computing
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Vaishali Deshpande

1. Evolution of Computer Industry
2. Different technologies involved in Cloud Computing
3. What is Cloud Computing?
4. Different types of Cloud Computing
5. Cloud service models
6. Benefits of Cloud Computing
7. Challenges in the Cloud
8. Future of Cloud


Prerequisites
Basic computer industry knowledge

M4420: Website Development in 45 Minutes
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Chaitanya Asawa

Ever wanted to build your own website? Ever wanted to easily advertise for something? Ever wanted to create a business? Ever wanted to show off? You're going to need to build a website to do all that!

You'll learn how to create a static webpage very quickly and the basics of web development -- and, most importantly, how it's not too bad. We'll make a fun, little homepage for someone/something to demonstrate that!

M4157: Making realtime websites with Nodejs
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Alvin Sng

In this course, we learn to make interactive & realtime websites with Node.js, we will build a working chat website so if you have a laptop handy it can be used in demos. I will also show how you can easily upload your web app using Heroku.


Prerequisites
None!

M4200: Mad Hatter Mathematics
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Zandra Vinegar

There is math. Like no math in school. And proofs full of wonder, mystery, and danger! Some say to survive them, you need to be as mad as a hatter!

M4340: Drinking Donuts and Eating Coffee Mugs
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Ying Hong Tham

A classic math joke goes as follows:"A topologist is someone who can't tell a donut from a coffee mug." Ever wonder what that means? How can a rigid coffee mug be mistaken for a tasty donut?

In this class we will explore the natural concept of a 'homotopy': deforming one object into another. Using this concept, one can say that two objects are 'similar' when the first object can be deformed into the second. For example, you might consider all pants to be similar because they all have a similar shape: two openings for feet and a bigger opening for the waist. However, homotopy goes even further: pipes of any length are considered 'similar' because they all have exactly two openings (one at each end), and can be stretched or shrunk to resemble each other. Essentially, homotopy completely forgets about lengths and distances, and only cares about the 'intrinsic' qualities of the object.

You'll be using playdough to perform these deforming operations, so get ready to get your hands dirty! I will keep mathematical formalism to a minimum, and only give 'hand-waving' proofs of important results.

All you really need is imagination and willingness to stretch your mind!

M4158: Hour of code!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Alvin Sng

Have you ever wanted to learn how to code? If so then this is the perfect class for you. Coding can be fun and easy to learn. This class is designed for those who have never coded before. We will use the course material from code.org


Prerequisites
None

M4199: How to win ALL the time (and not by cheating)
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Zandra Vinegar

Do you like playing games? Winning games? ALL the games? Come learn how to play some common paper-and-pencil games (Dots and Boxes, Say 16, and Nim included) so well that no one will ever beat you again. And the game strategies I'll cover can be applied to everything from chess to the stock exchange.

M4209: Mining your online data
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Michael Wei

If you search on Google, shop on Amazon, or post on Facebook, these companies likely know more about you than you expect. Such as how likely you are to pay your bills on time, who you'll vote for in the next presidential election, or how likely you are to buy tickets to the next Selena Gomez concert.

We'll take a look at how technology companies are applying data science to personalize their products, solve interesting challenges, and make money.

M4306: The Latest Craze in Image Recognition
Difficulty: ***

In the past few years, there have been dramatic improvements in our ability to learn from data off Facebook, Twitter, and other media. Today, we can do truly amazing things, such as understanding language and detecting objects from images.

We'd like to teach you how to do this.

Come learn what makes our algorithms "intelligent", or why Silicon Valley is euphoric about a simple but powerful idea that is leading to state-of-the-art performances.

We will teach you this from the very beginning, without assuming any prior understanding of how we can make sense of images, but prepare to be challenged!

M4368: How the heck does e^(pi*i) make any sense?
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Grant Sanderson

You may have heard that e^(pi*i) = -1. What?!?! I made a video giving a non-calculus intuition for why this is true here: http://youtu.be/F_0yfvm0UoU, and in this class I will go into more detail and discuss the intuition outlined there.


Prerequisites
Surprisingly, not calculus.

M4088: Voting Theory
Difficulty: *

In the standard Plurality voting system, whoever gets the most votes wins. When there are many candidates this can get silly - a candidate that the vast majority of voters _hate_ could win with just 10% of the vote as long as ten other generally agreeable candidates split the other 90%. If voters supply not just their top choice but a ranking of all the candidates, a whole world of other voting systems become possible. In this class we will come up with those other systems and discuss their pros and cons.


Prerequisites
None. This class may have little to offer if you are already familiar with the common systems and criteria in this table: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voting_system#Compliance_of_selected_systems_.28table.29

M4096: Methods of Mathematical Proofs
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Nicholas Dwork

This class will introduce the students to the logic that is used to prove mathematical statements. Examples will include direct proof, proof by contradiction, and proof by induction. The student will be exposed to pure mathematics, and gain an understanding of the difference between pure and applied mathematics.


Prerequisites
The student should have taken algebra, and be familiar with functions.

M4160: Hacking the Internet
Difficulty: **

Learn more about the wizardry of the Internet! In this course, we will apply basic programming concepts to improve our lives in many contexts. We will write a script to prank your friends, modify an online game to win faster, and launch a website!


Prerequisites
Hard prerequisites: Students should be able to open a browser and type words into Google. Soft prerequisites: Directed to students with basic programming experience (i.e. variables, types, loops, conditionals). Mostly accessible to students with no coding experience.

M4183: When a Line Isn't a Line
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Kenny Chang, Vinson Luo

The shortest path between two points is a line… or is it? In this course, we will question the assumptions underlying our everyday notions of distance – but not just the distance you're used to. We'll measure distances between people, places, and things, whether in the context of aviation, social media, cosmology, or cartography. Finally, we'll take a look at alternate formulations of geometry, as well as the mathematical concept of a metric space.


Prerequisites
Basics of geometry

M4380: Intro to Password Security
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Benjamin Yang

Passwords. We use them a lot. We also hear about them getting stolen a lot. There's even several xkcd comics about them (538,792,936,1286).

Come learn a bit about best practices for safely handling passwords, both from the user and service sides.

M4109: Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Amy Liu

Have you ever wondered how to cut a strip of paper in half into a single piece? Do you spend your evenings pondering how to add up an infinite number of things and arrive at a finite number? Do you aspire to build a bicycle that rolls on square wheels? Behold, the Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities! In this class, we will take a brief stroll through recreational mathematics, exploring fractals and infinity, "proofs" that 1=0 and other paradoxes, clever new ways of adding and multiplying numbers, and more!


Prerequisites
Willingness to engage in mathematical play! Some knowledge of basic high school math (algebra, geometry, etc.) is helpful, but not necessary.

M4334: The Story of e
Difficulty: **

Starting from the evolution of interest rates in the Greek, Roman and Christian worlds, students will learn how Euler’s number e emerged in the context of calculating compound interest. The relationship between natural logarithms and e will also be looked at.

M4369: A Zeroth Introduction to Groups, From Dummy to Dummies
Difficulty: **

Group theory is nothing but the study of symmetry. Groups are ubiquitous. A double-sided square flips along the diagonals and the vertical lines that bisects itself, rotates four-fold, to come back to its original position. Rotation composed with reflection gives reflection, reflection composed with rotation gives rotation. What about other compositions? What about the operations on a cube instead? On a rubiks cube? On an infinite lattice? What are the common traits they share? What is the theory that unifies these sets of operations? The most fundamental answer is group theory.

This class does not intend to indoctrinate you with theorems; it is more like a discussion session.

This class will hopefully be conducted outdoor, when we think while enjoying fresh air.


Prerequisites
This class does not intend to introduce pedantic mathematical equations. Thus, no formalism prerequisite is required. If you have the image of a square/cube in mind, and knows addition and subtraction, you are all good. In fact, the less you think you know, the more you reap in the journey of mathematical exploration.

M4411: Fractals!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Vineet Gupta

Fractals are these crazy objects which stretch our understanding of shape and space, moving into the weird world of infinity. We will look at examples of fractals such as the Koch snowflake and the Sierpinski's triangle. We will talk about making fractals, and think about the various dimensions of a fractal. Does it make sense to talk about its dimensions? Can we call it a 2-dimensional or a 3-dimensional object? Look forward to stretching your imagination and playing with mathematics!

M4428: Become an Imagineer!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Dan Yu

Learn the basics of modeling and mapping in an animated environment. This course gets you started with using Blender, one of the industry's premier applications for 3D-rendering. If you've ever loved or still love Disney or Pixar movies, then take this class!

M4236: Mathemagic
Difficulty: **

We'll be doing fun hands-on mathemagic tricks. Learn how to: fit your entire body through an index card; magically cut a paper loop in half, just to get another paper loop; win money from your friends; and more!

M4416: Statistics 101
Difficulty: **

When you do an experiment, you're taught to control as many variables as possible. For example, if you want to know whether playing music helps plants grow (please don't actually try this), then the presence or absence of music should be the only thing you change - you should grow everything in the same amount of sun, the same amount of water, etc. But what you aren't always taught is that it's a losing battle - no matter how perfectly you try to grow two plants the same way, they won't grow to exactly the same height! So when your results come in and the musical plants grew a tenth of a centimeter taller, have you discovered a new phenomenon, or did it just happen by chance?

There is a powerful tool that we can use to answer this question - the statistical significance test. There are a bunch of such tests, actually, and computers are quite good at doing them for you, so we won't delve into the details of any single one but instead we'll focus on the intuition behind all of them. Taking this class should help you use and interpret any significance test and be a more discerning consumer of statistical information (and do much better in science fairs, if you're planning to do one of those)*.

*according to purely anecdotal evidence


Prerequisites
None. If you are familiar with significance tests then this class probably (p < .05) does not have much to teach you.

M4087: Unrelated Math I
Difficulty: **

For too long have we submitted to the tyranny of unifying themes. How many bears can you run away from forever? How can electrons prove inequalities for us? Why is traffic so bad on your favorite roads? Are there theorems that are true but can't be proven? How can physics prove the Pythagorean Theorem? And most importantly, how many of these kinds of things can I answer in under an hour?

M4115: Comparison Logic Puzzles
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Dima Kamalov

We'll spend the class solving the following logic puzzle:

You have a balance with two sides; it can determine which of the two sides is heavier.

You also have some coins, and one of them is slightly lighter or heavier than the rest.

How many times do you need to use the balance to find the defective coin?


Prerequisites
You like solving logic puzzles

M4170: Using Recursion Using Recursion
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Travis Chen

This class will introduce fundamental concepts in recursion and how to apply them to solve problems in math and computer science. It will include both discussion and hands-on problems-solving sections.


Prerequisites
None except interest in math/CS and algorithms! If you already know how to recursion past the AP CS/AIME math level, this class will be a review

M4295: Measuring Distance
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Anna Thomas

How can we measure the similarity between two images? Users in a social network? Cell populations? Books? Colors? Translations? Formalizing a distance metric between objects is critical for many applications in science and engineering, ranging from image search to recommendation engines. You will learn about different methods of computing distance, how to automatically learn a distance metric based on user input, and applications to machine learning.

M4417: Practical Programming with Python
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Rohit Talreja

Python is one of the easiest programming languages to learn! This class will not teach you Python from the ground up, but it will show you some of the awesome things you can do with a rudimentary knowledge of the language.
You'll learn how to make a very simple website, send emails and write a simple interactive program.


Prerequisites
Basic knowledge of the Python programming language (or Java, C, or C++) will be very helpful, but is not required.

M4206: Cryptography Role Play
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Josh Alman, Timothy Chu

Crypto isn't just for computers! In this class, we'll try to tell each other secrets while our classmate (and nemesis) Eve listens in.

M4211: Introduction to Python!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Sam Redmond

Have you ever wanted to control a computer? How about augmenting your brain with near-infinite memory and lightning-fast speed?

Python is a general-purpose programming language rapidly growing in popularity that focuses on ease-of-use over execution speed.

In this interactive class, you'll learn the basics of this language, why everyone loves it so much, and you'll even get the chance to make your own programs!

An emphasis will be placed on learning Pythonic techniques by tackling hard tasks that Python makes very easy.


Prerequisites
Interest in computers and/or programming. Prior experience with computer science is helpful but not required.

M4269: Mathemagics:
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Otto Zhen

Are you interested in magic? Do you want to learn shortcuts so that you can multiply large number without a calculator? Are you a human being? Do you like having fun?

If the answer to any of those questions is yes, you will enjoy this class which focuses on exploring the relationship between mathematics and magic in a fun and interactive way.

The first half of the class will focus on various impressive magic tricks which have a foundation in mathematical principles. Such tricks will include work on magic squares, combinations and permutations, and sequences and series. That last sentence was deliberately general to not reveal the actual tricks. At the end of this section, you will understand the basic math behind these magic tricks and also have three cool tricks that you can perform for your friends and family.

The second half of this class focuses on mathematical tips and tricks that will make you a human calculator. Imagine multiply five digit numbers in your head. Basically picture yourself as a version of Will from Good Will Hunting! Many different methods of multiplication and division will be explored!


Prerequisites
Basic understanding of multiplication and division

M4412: Unrelated Math II
Difficulty: ***

Same idea as Unrelated Math I (M4087) except the topics will be - you guessed it - totally unrelated! So sign up for either or both of these; there will be no overlap between the two.

M4239: If Google had a brain
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Liam McCarty

Want free food? How about a free book? This class offers both.

Google has a TON of information, but information isn't knowledge, knowledge isn't understanding, and understanding isn't wisdom. Computers are dumb, at least for now. All they have is raw data. But what if they had more? What if Google had a brain?

Silicon Valley has largely been so successful because it goes against the tide--it does what no other place on Earth is doing. I want you to do the same. Be a contrarian. Don't accept Silicon Valley at face value. Think harder about the social implications of technological innovation and startup culture.

In this class, we will explore how big data, artificial intelligence, and the NSA fit into modern America. We will go against the tide and look at Silicon Valley from an unconventional perspective. We won't just debate privacy and big data--we'll look at the future of our country.


Prerequisites
A brain | Note: this class does not involve swimming, though it does involve a Splash

M4256: Beautiful Evidence - Intro to Data & Information Visualization
Difficulty: **

The amount of data in our world is continually increasing. Good visualization of complex data aids understanding and comprehension. This class will be a fun introduction to creating beautiful and informative data visualization. We will learn how humans process and perceive visual information/images. We will also explore design principles, good design practices for visualizations, and various visualization tools used in various fields, and we will put them into practice for our own mini projects. A small studio-based, interactive session that combines programming, data science and graphic design, the class will be a fun and educational experience for those who want to learn more about visualization in the age of Big Data!


Prerequisites
Basic programming experience

M4277: Vectors with Video Games
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Will Monroe

Video games are probably the most fun and creative projects in the world of computer programming. It is not hard to get into computer programming with very little math background--lots of people pick up programming as a hobby before taking high school math--and some very popular games (Tetris, chess, even Mario or Pokémon) can be programmed with only basic math skills.

Many of the most successful games, however, take place in three-dimensional worlds. If you want to make a game like Minecraft, Skyrim, or Call of Duty (to name a few), there's one bit of math that can incredibly useful to know: vectors. This is a topic that is frequently glossed over in high school math but shows up in a suprising variety of subjects. This class will cover some of the intuitions and applications of vectors that are needed to build video games, while along the way discussing the video game industry and computer science in general.

This will be a lecture-style class; due to equipment and time constraints, we won't be able to do individual, "hands-on" programming, but the class will include bits of realistic code and some cool demos. I'll put any code I write online so students can look at it after the class is over.


Prerequisites
First-year algebra and geometry. Some exposure to computer programming is recommended.

M4427: Building iPhone Apps
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Nick Troccoli

Ever wondered how the apps on an iPhone work? Ever wanted to go behind the scenes and make your own? We’ll take a look at how an iPhone app is created, from designing the interface to writing the code. Get a taste of what real developers do on a daily basis, and how you can make your own apps!


Prerequisites
Core programming knowledge, including functions and variables (knowledge of object-oriented programming, including classes and methods, recommended).

M4092: Experience Virtual Reality
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Ruth Bram

Have you ever wanted to experience Virtual Reality? We will be looking at how education is represented in VR and talk about virtual reality platforms that are making a difference today in education, military, health, and gaming.


Prerequisites
No prerequisites.

M4208: Extreme Math
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Josh Alman, Timothy Chu

This class is mostly an excuse for us (the teachers) to watch you (the students) flail while you try to solve tricky math problems on the spot. This is how it will work. We will give you a math problem, and you’ll have to immediately present a solution on the black-board. You’ll have up to eight minutes to present your proof, but you need to continuously be presenting. Then our panel of judges will award you a score based on how correct, confusing, and amusing your solution was. There may or may not be teams, depending on how many students we get.


Prerequisites
Some familiarity with contest math. Ideally you can solve some AIME problems.

M4338: The story of pi
Difficulty: **

How was the ratio of the circumference and diameter of a circle understood in Egypt, Mesopotamia, India and China? Students will learn about the approximation of pi derived by Archimedes. Modern developments will include the examination of the infinite series of Leibnitz, Gregory and Madhava.

M4390: Introduction to Modern Geometry
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Kyler Siegel

We will explore the vast jungle in mathematics known as "geometry", explaining some of the key conceptual breakthroughs in the last century, leading up to major unsolved problems that geometers are currently hard at work trying to solve. We will encounter exotic structures, multi-dimensional spaces, and a whole zoo of beautiful yet unfamiliar objects. We will also take a peak at some of the high-tech abstract machinery that modern mathematicians have at their disposal.

M4393: Introduction to Machine Learning with Chocolate
Difficulty: **

The field of Machine Learning is getting a lot of attention, and indeed, it's pretty cool. It's a field in which computers can actually teach themselves to do things that not even their programmers are capable of. This is your opportunity to learn about what Machine Learning is, where it came from, and form an introductory understanding of how it works. We'll go through several examples, run some demos using chocolate bars, and, for those interested in programming, we'll discuss implementation in code.

M4414: Enhancing technological access for people with disabilities
Difficulty: **

This class explores the social, ethical, and technical challenges surrounding the design, development, and use of technologies that improve the lives of people with disabilities and older adults. This will not only introduce state-of-the-art research and innovation in this area, but will also provide the students with hands-on experience with accessible coding practices.


Prerequisites
None (some experience with HTML/CSS/JavaScript might help)

M4422: Computability and Complexity 101
Difficulty: **

What questions can computers solve quickly? In fact, what questions can computers solve at all? We will cover models of computation (what's a computer anyway?), examples of undecidable problems, and what's up with the famous open "P vs NP" problem.

M4250: Mobile Apps, Marketing for Good Causes
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Kenneth Fax

In this class, we plan to sit, listen and discuss what students care about when it comes to using mobile apps, consumers and business that like to help others for good causes as well.


Prerequisites
A desire to learn, give ideas, share and learn.


Physical Science

[ Return to Category List ]

P4283: Dreaming in Color: The Science of Light and Matter
Difficulty: **

Why is the sky blue? Why do leaves change colors in the fall? How can you tell the color of dinosaurs just from their fossils? How can the metal gold become green, blue, or red?

In this interactive class, you’ll discover the answers to questions like these with demonstrations and hands-on activities. You’ll also find out how the answers to these questions are helping scientists and engineers discover more about outer space, create more efficient solar cells, and treat cancer.


Prerequisites
Some basic knowledge of physics would be helpful but not necessary. If you know that light can be described as a wave, then you should be fine.

P4120: Exploring the scale of the universe
Difficulty: **

Can you imagine how big an astronomical unit is? What about the size of the Sun? Making sense of the size of the universe is tough. This lesson will use hands-on activities to help put the grand scale of the universe into some perspective.

P4124: Gravitational Lensing
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Alfred Zong

You probably know that light usually travels in a straight line, unless a magnifying glass (i.e. a convex lens) bends it. But why do physicists claim that our Sun can also act like a lens? In this class, you will be introduced to Einstein's famous general theory of relativity and you will learn the reason for this magic lensing effect!


Prerequisites
No advanced math or physics knowledge required. If you know F = ma and you're ready to embrace some really weird (but true) phenomenon, this class is for you!

P4198: Maxwell's Equations
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Zandra Vinegar

\begin{equation} \varepsilon \varoiint \mathbf E \cdot ds = \iiint \mathbf q_\mathbf v dv \end{equation}
\begin{equation} \oint \mathbf B \cdot dl = \mathbf I + \varepsilon \frac{d}{dt} \iint \mathbf E \cdot ds \end{equation}
\begin{equation} \oint \mathbf E \cdot dl = - \mu \frac{d}{dt} \iint \mathbf B \cdot ds \end{equation}
\begin{equation} \mu \varoiint \mathbf B \cdot ds = 0 \end{equation}

These four equations describe one of the most universal and elegant relations in physics. They are Maxwell’s equations, unifying all observations of relativity, electricity, and magnetism. Don’t let the notation scare you off – this class has no prerequisites (as in, just be able to graph a function), but we will rigorously derive Maxwell’s explanation of electromagnetic phenomena (including light, electricity, magnets, …). “Derive” with the catch that, as I don’t believe in writing long equations on the board, everything in this class will be presented as a series of intuitive /and/ rigorous deductions, preserving concepts rather than constants. We will begin with only two observations. First, the relativistic nature of light: you can’t catch up to a light beam – it will always move away from you at speed c. Second, our observations of the force between two charges. From these two observations, we will DERIVE the explanation of everything else. Aka, the world will unfold before you and it will be beautiful.


Prerequisites
All this said, and there being no “hidden prerequisites,” the world will need to unfold before you /very/ quickly. I basically just claimed that I would introduce all of single-variable calculus and about half of multivariable calculus in the first hour of class – which I believe is an attainable goal – but this class will be rigorous, will be extremely intense, and will require the full two blocks.

P4356: Topics in Modern Physics
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Amara McCune

Have you ever wondered why general relativity and quantum mechanics are incompatible? What string theory is? Why nothing can travel faster than the speed of light? If so, then this class is for you! We will be exploring the foundations of modern experimental and theoretical physics, focusing on topics including the standard model of particle physics, fundamental forces, special and general relativity, quantum mechanics, and introducing string theory.


Prerequisites
High school algebra, basic understanding of physics concepts, and curiosity.

P4125: How do we “see” atoms?
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Alfred Zong

Even though atoms are too small to be observed by naked eyes, scientists can still “see” the microscopic structure using a variety of techniques. In this class, I will introduce many cutting-edge technologies such as scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES), and resonant X-ray scattering (RXS), which are employed to investigate many fascinating properties of matter.


Prerequisites
Don’t be scared by the jargons, and no advanced math or physics knowledge required. However, I’ll assume you have heard of terms such as “atom”, “electron”, and “photon” but you don’t have to know what they mean.

P4149: Fun with Chemistry!

Chemistry is exciting and it happens all around us every day. In this class we will talk about the states of matter, a little about polymers (like plastics), and really anything else that gives us a chance to do cool demos for you all! You may get a chance to make a souvenir to take home, too. You'll just have to come and find out!

P4310: Climate Change 101-Identifying the link between temperature & carbon dioxide
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jagruti Vedamati

A climate change 101 course that focuses to provide students with a first-hand experience in analyzing the link between atmospheric temperatures and carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations by looking at ice core data spanning hundreds of thousands of years.

P4344: The Chemistry of Candy Making
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Christine Jarjour

Come learn about one of the most delicious applications of chemistry: candy making! We'll talk about why and how sugar crystallizes (or doesn't) and how various kinds of candy are made by heating and cooling sugar in different ways. Then, we'll use our newfound knowledge to discuss why making fudge is so tricky and come up with strategies to make the best fudge possible -- using observations and scrupulous taste-testing to enhance the discussion.


Prerequisites
A year of chemistry is recommended. You should know the basic intermolecular forces and basic thermodynamics.

P4114: Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jeremy Lai

The chemistry behind liquid nitrogen ice cream. We'll be applying the scientific method to cooking. Experimental design: hypothesis, testing, and discussion of results.

There will be a quiz. Yes, it's ice cream.


Prerequisites
Optional: On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee http://www.amazon.com/On-Food-Cooking-Science-Kitchen/dp/0684800012

P4126: An Introduction to Superconductivity
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Alfred Zong

As we cool down certain materials to extremely low temperature, its electric resistivity can abruptly drop to zero, a phenomenon called superconductivity. It’s no small feat! For example, zero resistance means an electric current can flow in a superconducting wire for many many years. In this class, you’ll be introduced to more fascinating properties of superconductors, and we’ll try to answer the question: what causes superconductivity?


Prerequisites
No advanced math or physics knowledge required, but I’ll assume you have heard of terms such as “voltage”, “current”, “resistivity”, and even better “magnetic field”.