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Splash Spring 2019 is May 4-5, 2019!

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ESP Biography



ANDREW SPANN, Currently asleep




Major: ICME

College/Employer: Stanford

Year of Graduation: G

Picture of Andrew Spann

Brief Biographical Sketch:

"Spann is a lover of math, integers, derivatives, integrals, power series, primes, unique factorization, quadratic reciprocity, proofs by contradiction, counting things two different ways, and proofs by induction. Spann loves math."

--MegaHAL, as spoken by 'sylow2subgroup' and MIT's Random Hall



Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

M2550: Grid Based Logic Puzzles in Splash! Fall 2012 (Nov. 03 - 04, 2012)
Do you like Sudoku? How about minesweeper? If you do, you might like some of these puzzles too. We will be going over the rules and some solving techniques for several grid based logic puzzles, including light-up, slitherlink, and nurikabe. These puzzles can be solved using a pencil and paper, and are an excellent way to excercise your mind.


M1858: COMAP Mathematical Contest in Modeling Training Session in Splash! Fall 2011 (Oct. 29 - 30, 2011)
The COMAP High School Mathematical Contest in Modeling challenges a team of four students to write an applied mathematics paper in just 36 hours. In this class we’ll learn how to use our knowledge of mathematics to tackle open-ended problems that have no textbook solution. The class will be divided into two parts: in the first hour we’ll quickly explain what the contest is and how to enter it for those who haven’t participated before and we’ll let the students who have done the contest discuss their experiences. In the second hour of the class we’ll look at specific examples of former problems to get a feel for how to turn these multifaceted questions into something we can approach in a systematic manner. We'll be using a different old problem case study than last spring's Splash class, so there will be new material even if you were here last Splash. Even if you don't take this class, you should find some friends and register for the contest, which is a couple weeks after Splash.


M1557: COMAP Mathematical Contest in Modeling Training Session in Splash! Spring 2011 (Apr. 16 - 17, 2011)
The COMAP High School Mathematical Contest in Modeling challenges a team of four students to write an applied mathematics paper in just 36 hours. In this class we'll learn how to use our knowledge of mathematics to tackle open-ended problems that have no textbook solution. The class will be divided into two parts: in the first hour we'll quickly explain what the contest is and how to enter it for those who haven't participated before and we'll let the students who have done the contest discuss their experiences. In the second hour of the class we'll look at specific examples of former problems to get a feel for how to turn these multifaceted questions into something we can approach in a systematic manner. If you're a senior then you won't be able to participate in next year's contest but there's a college version awaiting you and we'll talk about that too.


H1560: Starcraft Fan Meetup in Splash! Spring 2011 (Apr. 16 - 17, 2011)
Make friends with students from other schools who love Starcraft and Starcraft II. We'll introduce each other then split up into discussion groups for those who want to discuss specific matchup strategies, their favorite professional gamers, or see videos of hilarious famous games. We won't have the time or computers to get a LAN setup, but you'll meet new people you can play with on Battle.net after Splash.


M1027: Subdivision Surfaces: Using Mathematics to Make Up for the Fact that You Can't Draw in Splash! Fall 2010 (Nov. 13 - 14, 2010)
3D computer models in Pixar movies and video games have thousands of polygons for even a simple small object. This class will talk about subdivision surfaces, a technique for taking a coarse mesh of a few points and refining it into a smooth 3D surface. We'll learn about both the Catmull-Clark and Loop subdivision methods. We will also talk about how the topology of the surface affects the smoothness of the final mesh, but you don't need to know any topology beforehand to enjoy this class.


M610: Game Theory: Mathematical Games in Splash! Fall 2009 (Oct. 10 - 11, 2009)
Did you know that Connect Four is a win for Player 1 and the players of Checkers can always force a tie? We will talk about mathematical techniques used to prove when a game is winnable by one player or the other. We will talk about the difference between strong and weak solutions (knowing when a game can be won from any position or just the initial position). We'll use the concepts of invariants to tell us why FreeCell can have unwinnable hands and look at how computers use backwards induction to analyze complicated games such as Chess.


M612: Game Theory: Economic Games in Splash! Fall 2009 (Oct. 10 - 11, 2009)
We'll look at games involving strategic decision making and guessing how other players will behave. We'll talk about decision trees, rational behavior, and Nash equilibrium. We'll play some short games demonstrating these concepts.


M348: Mathematical Modeling and Simulation in Splash! Spring 2009 (Apr. 04 - 05, 2009)
How do you solve problems when there are no known formulas or standard approaches? We will introduce open-ended applied math problems on unfamiliar topics and then talk about how to build a model and which simplifications lead to interesting and uninteresting problems. This course is inspired by the COMAP Mathematical Contest in Modeling, but no prior experience is needed to participate in the class. The style of the class will be similar to last year’s class, but the material will be different. A minimum grade level of 9 is highly encouraged, but younger students who have a strong interest may join the class.


H350: Introduction to Korean Professional Starcraft in Splash! Spring 2009 (Apr. 04 - 05, 2009)
Did you know that South Korea has 12 teams of professional Starcraft players? This class will give a background of the Korean eSports scene and tell you where to go to watch Korean professional Starcraft. We'll discuss why Starcraft in particular has become such a big phenomenon and maybe even watch a few classic pro-gaming videos if time allows.


H128: Nico Nico Douga, the Japanese Rival to Youtube in Splash! Fall 2008 (Oct. 18, 2008)
Nico Nico Douga is a video sharing site with an emphasis on video games, anime, and remixed music. You've probably never used it because the site is entirely in Japanese. We'll teach you how to register and navigate this website as well as show you a sample of popular Japanese Internet memes.


M129: Mathematical Modeling and Simulation in Splash! Fall 2008 (Oct. 18, 2008)
We will discuss techniques for applying mathematics to real-world problems where there are no direct formulas. We will use examples from the COMAP High School Mathematical Contest in Modeling, but no knowledge of the contest is required to get the full benefit of this class. The style of the class will be similar to last year's class, but the material will be different. A minimum grade level of 9 is strongly encouraged, but younger students who have a strong interest may join the class.


Mathematical Modeling and Simulation in SPLASH (2008)
How do you solve problems when there are no known formulas or standard approaches? We will introduce open-ended applied math ...


Starcraft: Inventing Build Orders for Real-Time Strategy Games in SPLASH (2008)
We discuss the guiding principles behind the development of strategies for the game Starcraft. How do you invent your own ...