Splash 2012
Course Catalog


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Arts Engineering
Humanities Math & Computer Science
Science Miscellaneous

Important: you will need to bring two things with you on the day of the program:

  • A liability form signed by your parent/guardian. Download this year's liability form here. Please note that you will need to bring this form with you even if you attended NU Splash last year.

  • $10 program fee* in cash or (preferably) a check made out to Northwestern University with SPLASH in the memo line.

*If this fee would pose a financial hardship to you, please let us know and we will gladly waive it. No student should hesitate to attend our program for financial reasons!



Arts

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A146: Rabbits, Wolves, and Cats, Oh My! Exploring Soviet Cartoons
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Olga Korobova

We will be watching episodes from two of the most famous childrens' cartoons of the Soviet Union: Nu Pogodi and Kot Leopold. After viewing the episodes, we will discuss the relevance of these cartoons to the American public, the purpose of the Soviet government in filming these cartoons, and the reason for the enormous popularity of these cartoons among both Soviet children and adults.
Come join us for a fun-filled hour of cartoon animal chases, laughter, and discussion. Russian candy/snacks will be provided!


Prerequisites
None, everyone is welcome, but any sort of interest in Russia or the Soviet Union is a plus!

A195: Bellydance for beginners Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Chya Yan Liaw

Belly dance is a very unique type of dance which combines body-friendly movement with yoga, meditation, and modern dance. It is an ancient but graceful dance form which not only allows you to practice your muscle but also needs you to work your mind.

A brief introduction of bellydance history and props will be given. Followed by practicing several basic moves. Each student will be provided a hip scarf while practicing the techniques. And the moves will be put into a sequence dance to a short piece of music.

So don't hesitate! Come join this fun class to get fit, improve muscle coordination and posture!.


Prerequisites
No previous dance experience is needed. Please wear casual exercise clothing. It is better not to wear tight clothes and jeans.

A144: Intro to Writing a Short Script
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Fasika Ketema

Students will learn the basic structure and language of screenwriting and apply that to create their own short films.

A194: Color, Contrast, and Composition Full!
Difficulty: **

Ever look at an abstract painting and say "I could do that!" Turns out there's (usually) a bit more to it than random application of paint to the canvas. We'll start by looking at some successful examples of 20th century abstract art, and then try to use some of what we learn to create some paintings of our own! Not much art background? No fear! We'll be covering some basic concepts such as brush technique, color choice, and developing a good composition.


Prerequisites
Interest in art, painting.

A147: Two Roads Diverged in a Wood: American vs. British Poetry
Difficulty: **

American poetry and British poetry share a common language but they have developed into two distinct styles of poetry. How can this be? This class will look at the similarities and differences between these two styles by reading some of America's and Britain's most famous poetic works and discussing their unique features.

A168: Entertaining Origami
Difficulty: **

Learn to make simple designs that can entertain your friends.

A130: Intro to Music Theory
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Alex Lower

A very basic introduction to music theory, covering scales, different keys, major and minor chords, chord sequences, and how to write music. I will use my ukulele to musically illustrate important concepts. The course is perfect for anyone wishing to better understand or play music.

A140: Scrapbooking 101
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Sarah Miller

Do you love looking at photo albums and yearbooks? Do you often collect ticket stubs or programs as memorabilia? Or is there a special day or event you want to remember forever? Perhaps you want a picture to be worth more than a thousand words. Enter the art of scrapbooking, where you create beautiful pages that show off the best days of your life!

This class will give you the opportunity to create a personalized scrapbook page or wall hanging to describe an event, a person or an animal, or a specific time in your life (i.e., a birthday, wedding, birth, etc.). You will learn about a few of the common techniques used at the beginning of the class and the rest of the time will be spent making your scrapbook page. The page will come to life as you use borders, backgrounds, stickers, sayings or memorabilia to enhance your pictures. Examples, idea books, guidance or suggestions, and help with techniques will be available from the teacher. All crafting supplies will be provided, except for scrapbooks or wall hanging frames. All you will need is your pre-printed pictures, any memorabilia you might want to include, and your imagination!


Prerequisites
No experience necessary. However, please bring your own pre-printed pictures to create a personalized page. Pictures available in class will be limited to generic events (which is not as much fun, trust me!). Each page can hold between 3 and 5 pictures, depending on size. Scrapbooks and wall hanging frames will not be provided. For page ideas, go to: http://www.michaels.com/Page-Layouts/projects-scrapbooking-pagelayouts,default,sc.html

A134: Following Your Favourite Artists: It's More Than Just Twitter
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Chi Chi Onuigbo

This class will inform the students the methods one goes through in order to know everything about his or her favourite artists, so that they can find a completely new comprehensive appreciation for their favourite artists and the music that those artists produce!


Prerequisites
You have to have a list of either your top 5 or top 10 favourite artists of all time and, preferably, also your number 1 favourite artist of all time or current favourite artist.


Engineering

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E145: Basic Introduction to Materials Science and Engineering
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Chloe Funkhouser

Why does rubber stretch but glass shatter? Why can some plastics be recycled while others cannot? Why do engineers use steel to build buildings, aluminum to build airplanes, and titanium to make hip replacements? What is fiberglass really made of anyway? Find the answers to these questions and more in this introduction to the science of materials, where we will explore what the materials around us are really made of and how this relates to their practical uses.

E188: What can a robot do? What can't a robot do (yet)?
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Lucie Huet

This course is a brief introduction to robotics. The class will discuss the definition of a robot and different examples of robots. From there the class will offer more examples from different areas of robotics (lots of videos). The examples will motivate discussion on what robots might do in the future and what sorts of things students can do to make robots do the impossible.

E141: Sensational Failures in Engineering
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Liza Plotnikov

Exploding space shuttles, collapsing bridges, exploding naval guns… sometimes designs fail, and sometimes they fail catastrophically. These failures can be dramatic, deadly, or sometimes just plain silly, but they have one thing in common: they are all preventable. In this class we’ll cover the technical missteps behind some famous engineering disasters (and some you may never have heard of). We’ll talk about how smart people can make bad designs, the importance of communication, and especially the value of common sense.

E132: This is concrete!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Shiho Kawashima

Concrete is the most commonly used infrastructural material in the world. You encounter it everyday. And yet... how much do you really know about it? What is it made out of? How do you process it? What is the difference between cement and concrete? There is no better way to familiarize yourself with this amazingly versatile and complex material than by mixing a batch of your own! In this hands-on class, we'll tinker with different mineral and chemical admixtures in a real concrete lab and see how dramatically the properties of the mix can be manipulated! And as we're mixing and getting dirty, you'll be given a brief history of the material, then fast-forward to the most recent innovations, including nano-modification and ultra-high performance concrete. If you think you may be interested in civil engineering and/or material science, this is definitely the class for you!

E173: It's not Rocket Science...oh wait.
Difficulty: **

An introduction to rocketry and a hands on demonstration using REAL rockets you can build and launch at home.


Humanities

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H155: What Makes a Community?
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Joshua Fox

There must be something which unites the members of a community, something which ties them together. In this class, we'll attempt to figure out what this unifying element is, asking ourselves how a group of disconnected individuals can be transformed into a community. In order to approach this question, we'll discuss the surprising similarities and important differences between the accounts of the creation of the community suggested by two of mankind's greatest thinkers: the ancient philosopher, Plato, and the modern civil rights leader, Martin Luther King.

H143: The Value of Life and Ethics of Death
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Justin Esau

This class will provoke a thoughtful conversation about the value judgments we make about life and death, as well as give a brief introduction to the field of ethics. Is it better to kill one to save many? How do you judge the value of a life? Is there any way to answer these questions?

H175: Lost in Translation: Poetry, Language, and Meaning
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Amy Woodruff

Ever watch a subtitled movie or read a translated story and wonder how much you're missing out on? This class will explore the many levels of meaning in a Pablo Neruda poem (written in spanish) and two different translations. What's lost in the varying interpretations of Neruda's writing? What's gained?


Prerequisites
Experience with spanish is recommended but not required

H148: The Philosophy of Death: Why is Death Bad? (Or is it?)
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Christopher Natoli

It almost goes without saying that death is bad. After all, homocide, genocide, infanticide, and suicide are considered some of the worst actions one can commit. But is the assumption that death is bad really justified? In this class, we will discuss and challenge this intuition. We will scrutinize in particular the deprivation account---the argument that death is bad because it deprives us of things that are good---among other reasons for believing that death is bad. We will also touch on related topics in the philosophy of death as they arise, such as immortality, fearing death, the nature of personal identity, and the morality of suicide.

(Note that we will be assuming for most of this class an atheist perspective on death, i.e., there is no afterlife and no reincarnation, although these topics may be discussed if they arise.)


Prerequisites
Curiosity and an open mind :)

H184: Light from the Sky, Shadow from Earth: The Hidden 'Gods' of Human History
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Seong-Ah Cho

The overwhelming power of 'The Absolute' has guided and plagued mankind in all its ages. The Crusades slaughtered the Infidel with the absolute approval of God; the Soviet Union razed the face of Russia with the sanction of a greater vision of society; Hitler Germany justified its reign in a pseudo-scientific conclusion that a dictatorship was the only possible salvation for a demoralized country in a demoralized modern age.

In this class we will examine the theme common to the most dazzling and most horrifying endeavors of mankind--the power of the more-than-human, the myth, the unquestionable, all that which "comes from the sky." By looking at a mixture of psychology, political science, theology, and our own motivations, we will sketch a clearer picture of the shadow the light from the sky has cast--and today still casts--on earth.

H125: Advocating Against Genocide
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Noeli Serna

This course will examine the history of the term genocide and the modern anti-genocide movement. Students will learn about the origin of the term genocide and explore various case studies of modern genocides. The class will critically analyze the ways in which activists have campaigned against genocide, examining the implications of advocacy and the successes and shortcomings of the anti-genocide movement.

H182: Luxo Jr. and the story of PIxar
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Peter Bocchini

Do you like watching computer animated movies? Would you like to know more the founding of CGI as a medium for cinema? This course will discuss the founding and management of Pixar and how a company once near bankruptcy became the industry standard for animation.

H137: How the World Writes: A Whirlwind Tour Through Characters, Alphabets, Syllabaries and Abjads
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Chelsea Kendall

Have you ever wondered why and how different languages are written in completely different ways? Then come learn the hidden components of Chinese characters, why Japanese has three different sets of characters, the origins of our alphabet, why Russian use Cyrillic instead of our Latin alphabet, and how different languages are better suited for different types writing systems. Although it is possible to more or less represent the words in any language with any other writing system, the way a language is represented on paper can have deep political motivations and be deeply tied up in a region's cultural identity.

H176: Theories of Revolution
Difficulty: **

How do societies change? Why do revolutions happen? Why do revolutions happen where they do? These questions have been posed by economists, historians, sociologists, and political scientists. In this class we will explore various understandings of why revolutions come about in an interactive seminar, drawing on famous examples like the French Revolution and the Arab Spring.

H187: How to Fake French
Difficulty: *

Love Paris? Haven't taken French? Do you know French but you're scared that you'll forget everything you know the minute you leave the country? Well, here's a solution. This class teaches 10 easy ways to get away with not knowing french, but fooling those around you into believing you. Be sure to sign up- there will be bread!


Math & Computer Science

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M164: Predicting Pokemon
Difficulty: **

In this course the students will learn intermediate pokemon engineering. Emphasis will be placed on the mathematical models that govern the Pokemon world. Topics will include catch rate, effort values, individual values, natures, etc.

The end of the course will give a brief introduction to the competitive Pokemon scene, including strategies and player prediction.


Prerequisites
Must have beaten Elite Four in a pokemon game.

M177: The Curiously Colorful Complex Plane
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Andrew Geng

The complex plane has a real axis and an imaginary axis. So graphing complex functions $$w = f(z)$$ is easy! Start by drawing an axis for the real part of $$z$$, a second axis for the imaginary part of $$z$$, a third axis for the real part of $$w$$, and a fourth--wait, what do you mean we only have room for three axes?

Fortunately, we're still okay. Mathematicians have come up with ways to visualize these graphs by using colors. You might be surprised by what we can say about the shapes of these graphs, based just on these two-dimensional color pictures!


Prerequisites
Algebra II, or at least knowledge of how to multiply complex numbers. Polynomials involving complex numbers will feature prominently.

M193: Open Source and You!
Difficulty: *

Heard of Android? Firefox? Ubuntu? Arduino?
Ever felt that software should be free?
Was there a time that you wanted to adapt something and make it better?
Want to find out about the growing community that is open source?

Learn about the open source movement, current open source projects, and the trends as two computer science students see it!


Prerequisites
General working knowledge of computers. Do you use a computer? If so, you're probably qualified! No computer science background required.

M150: How to Count to Infinity
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Sachi Hashimoto

So you think that you know how to count. But do you know how to count to infinity?

Maybe your elementary school teacher told you that infinity was not a number. In this class, we're going to talk about why your elementary school teacher was wrong. By the end you'll know how to count to infinity and beyond.

M158: Statistical Decision Making with Candy
Difficulty: **

While eating a bag of M&Ms or Skittles, have you ever thought to yourself “Hey, they didn’t give me enough of my favorite color or flavor.” You may have even thought that they didn’t give you the correct amount of candy.

In this course, we will introduce the general framework of probability and statistical decision making. Then we will put the framework into action by conducting an experiment with M&Ms or Skittles. Our goal is to give you a glimpse into various applications of statistics and why statistics is an important part of all our futures.

Students should bring a writing utensil and a calculator, although calculations could be done by hand.


Prerequisites
Be prepared to interact and share information with instructors and fellow students while conducting an experiment.

M149: Random Awesome Maths
Difficulty: **

Are you random? What about awesome?

Come learn about random awesome maths! We might talk about about infinity, how to win games, weird shapes that are "between dimensions" and more! Bring your own questions or just come with an open mind.

M151: Chessmaster - How to think in Chess
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Roger Almendarez

In this class I will go over basic openings, as well as talk about how to use Chess in your everyday life. I plan on helping students develop an understanding of how to get better at chess, as well as how to understand what playing "good" chess is. Please bring a chess board if you have one!


Prerequisites
A basic understanding of how to play chess, though I am open to helping students interested in learning how to play as well.

M172: How many anacondas does it take to reach the moon? An Introduction to Length Scales and the Metric System
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Liza Plotnikov

You probably have a good idea how far your house is from your school, how many songs fit on your iPod, and how much your cat weighs. But how to we get an intuitive feeling for really big or really small things? How many Willis Towers would you have to stack to reach the bottom of the Pacific Ocean? How many germs can fit onto one key on your keyboard? How much does a blue whale's tongue weigh in baby elephants? How many buckets of paint does it take to cover the Golden Gate Bridge? In this interactive class, we'll learn how to think about really big and really small distances, weights, and volumes in terms of things we already know. By the end of the class, you'll develop an intuitive understanding of what abstract numbers and units mean.

M153: See the Fourth Dimension!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Benjamin Boyajian

You know what a 3-dimensional cube look like. Now what would a 4-dimensional cube look like? What properties would the 4-dimensional cube have? In this class, we will construct a 4-dimensional cube, try to count its number of faces (3-dimensional and 2-dimensional), and look at other properties of the 4-cube. We will also watch a crazy video with animations that rotate the 4-cube, take 3-dimensional cross-sections If we have time, we will also generalize other solids such as the tetrahedron and octahedron to higher dimensions, or discuss other multi-dimensional topics of your choice.


Science

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S128: The Science of Persuasive Messages
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Sara Kashani

Every day you encounter persuasive messages that try to change your views about something. Unconvinced that you're facing these messages constantly? Then consider the following:

How do advertisers convince you to buy their products?

How do politicians convince you to vote for them?

How does the government convince citizens to obey the law?

How do physicians convince patients to comply with their advice to be healthy?

How can your parents better convince you to clean your room?

We'll consider these questions using empirical findings from social psychology, cognitive psychology, and behavioral economics. An overview of social influence and persuasion will be given, and we'll conclude with some basic techniques--both to be persuasive and to resist persuasion.


Prerequisites
Some knowledge of psychology, communications, or marketing will be useful but not necessary. Students are encouraged to bring in their own examples of successful or unsuccessful persuasive messages (or just ones that you find interesting).

S152: Basics of Device Physics
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jessie Ku

Interested in the building blocks of your daily electronics, the operations of shiny solar panels that you see on roofs, or even how traffic lights shine? Maybe not, but devices are interesting, and the physics that make them operate are even more so. In this class, you will learn about the basics of device physics from p-n junctions in semiconducting materials and their applications to novel materials and device architectures that are researched today.


Prerequisites
Taking or have taken an introductory physics or chemistry course.

S197: Visual Illusions Explained: The thinking eye, the seeing brain Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Aleksandra Sherman

We will explain how the visual system creates our experience of reality even when the physical world does not match our perceptions. It may surprise you to realize how much of our subjective experiences are created on a moment to moment basis!

S181: Through the looking glass: The Evolution of the Telescope
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Alexander Smith

From the first heavenward observations of Galileo to the soon-to-be-launched James Webb Space Telescope, the telescope has a remarkable 400 year history. We'll explore the telescope's influence on the field of astronomy and discuss the amazing science that could be done with the next generation of telescopes.

S135: A Brief History of Physics
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Enoch Chan, Bob Chen

From Aristotle to Einstein to CERN, a look into the minds of great thinkers.
We will take you through a breathtaking journey of hundreds of years, trying to find the answer of the question "What is matter and how does it move?” in real time!
Every minute of the class will be a different decade, and every few decades a revolution in thinking. Welcome to the world of physics.

S136: The Science of Natural Disasters
Difficulty: **

Hurricanes! Giant sinkholes! Earthquakes! Have you ever been curious about why these disasters actually happen? What are some of the weirdest natural disasters that have occurred? Find out the answers to these questions and more during this class!

S170: Contemporary Medical Issues: The Story of AIDS in America
Difficulty: **

In this class, we will take a brief but illuminating look at the AIDS epidemic. We will examine what makes the HIV virus so deadly and hard to fight, how it first spread from a population of hundreds to millions, and the costly toll it has had on society. Finally, we will discuss why it spread so quickly in the homosexual community of San Francisco.

This class will also include discussions that will enable students to share their views on the epidemic.


Prerequisites
A strong desire to learn and achieve! YEAH!

S174: Forensic Chemistry: The Science Behind Crime Scene Investigations Full!
Difficulty: **

Interested in what goes on behind the scenes in your favorite crime scene investigation TV shows? Join us to explore how chemistry is used to determine things like establishing a time of death, analyzing the composition of unknown samples, finding trace blood evidence, and more. We’ll also have cool hands-on lab activities to demonstrate the power of chemistry in forensics!

S167: How Planes Can Fly?
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jiangtao Gou

How Planes Can Fly? Let's find it out in a simple way! You will have (1) A Brief Introduction to History of Planes (December 17, 1903 was a red-letter day for airplanes!),(2) A Vivid Demonstration of How Aerodynamics Works (Bernoulli's principle can explain a lot of things!), (3) A Session to Build a Professional Paper Plane (Do it and Fly it!).

S166: Microbiological Murdery Mystery
Difficulty: **

Ever wonder about all the microbes in the world and how they're out to get you? Well, it might have been too late for Mr. Body, but we have to figure out what killed him before the microbe takes down more innocent people.


Prerequisites
basic biology would be helpful, but not required

S133: Materials Science Demonstrations
Difficulty: **

We will show you superconductors that can levitate magnets in midair, fire that isn't orange, ferrofluids (liquids attracted to magnets), materials cooled to 321°F below zero with liquid nitrogen, and more!

We will also discuss the physics and chemistry that make these amazing things possible and why materials science is important to our day to day lives.

S183: God DOES Play Dice: Some Philosophical Consquences of Quantum Mechanics
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Christopher Natoli

Can a cat be simultaneously dead AND alive? Can particles communicate faster than the speed of light? Is there reason to believe in parallel universes? Quantum mechanics has raised these questions and more, suggesting that nature is more bizarre and unintuitive than we ever imagined. After a quick, layman introduction to some ideas in quantum mechanics and a discussion of the famous EPR paradox, this class will explore some of the many strange and wondrous implications of quantum mechanics that may at first seem more science fiction than fact!

(Note that although I will try to be as precise as possible in my explanations, this class will be very non-technical and non-mathy.)


Prerequisites
Familiarity with basic probability

S171: Planning a Trip to Mars
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Katie Jaycox

Ever thought about being an astronaut? How about a rocket scientist? What exactly goes into getting someone to the moon or mars? Why don't we have space hotels right now? This course will look to answer these questions and more as students delve into what environments are present in space and brainstorm what can be done to solve these problems.

S165: Fact or Fiction? Scientific Misconceptions
Difficulty: *

Ever wondered if the food you eat will change your DNA? Do neutrinos move faster than light? Can earthworms regenerate? And how long does it actually take to digest chewing gum?

Come learn amazing facts and debunk common beliefs about science!


Prerequisites
basic biology could be helpful

S196: Genetics and Genetic Modification
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Andrew Scarpelli

We've all heard of DNA, but what exactly is DNA and how is it decoded by the cell? This is a basic course about what DNA encodes and how we as scientists can take that code and make exciting and new things.


Prerequisites
Basic biology would be nice but not required.

S127: Crash Course in Psychology: Learning What You Already Know
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Amy Estersohn

Why do the people at the makeup counter in a department store offer to do your makeup for free?

Does money always equal happiness?

What's the best way to teach a child not to do something?

How can you encourage people to donate to charity?

This class will cover these questions-- and possibly more!


Prerequisites
Course topics are similar to my psychology class offered at UChicago Cascade. If you've already taken that class, this one will be boring for you!


Miscellaneous

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X190: Going the distance
Difficulty: **

Want to travel abroad but not sure where to start? By the end of this class you'll have an idea about what your options are and how to choose among them! We've traveled a bit ourselves, and we're here to share our experiences and tell you about the things that you don't find in the brochures. We'll also have a trivia game on other cultures with prizes at the end, so be ready to show off what you know!


Prerequisites
interest in travelling & getting to know other cultures

X157: The History of Bubble Tea (Boba)
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Katie Chen

Bubble tea originated in teashops in Taichung, Taiwan as a new kind of drink. Now, this beverage sensation has taken many new forms and gone international. Take this class to find out more about the history of boba and how food is an insight to Taiwanese culture. You'll get to try the different kinds of boba pearls that have been created through the years!

X163: FLASH MOB
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Michelle Guo

You will learn how to start a dance flash mob effectively and learn one of the dances I have choreographed in the past.

X178: College Admissions: Advice from former Admissions Counselors
Difficulty: *

Whether you've already written the perfect college essay, or don't yet know what a "Common App" is, we invite you to learn more about the college admissions process from three former admissions counselors. Bring your questions! You might also bring work you've begun (drafts of essays or a personal statement) or plans for the college search (college lists, senior course options, etc).

X189: Rubik's Cube 101
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Lucie Huet

Ever wanted to learn how to solve a Rubik’s cube? Want an amazing skill to show off to your friends? This class will give you all the tools you need to be able to solve a Rubik’s cube! No prior cubing experience is necessary. We will start just by familiarizing ourselves with the cube and then work through the layer method to solve it. We will also touch on some more advanced techniques and discuss some of the extreme cubing activities that exist (ever heard of blindfolded Rubik’s cubing?). By the end of the course, you should have a good understanding of the cube as well as all the knowledge you’ll need to solve it!

X160: Advertisement 101
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Shinya Watanabe

Have you thought about what goes into producing advertisements? Do you have opinions about advertisements?

Come learn a little more and I'll teach you how to think about 'um all.

X191: Video Games: Art or Entertainment (or both)?
Difficulty: *
Teachers: John Thompson

Today, the video game industry is one of the fastest growing industries, bringing in over $21 billion in revenue in 2008. It is also one of the more influential, with games like Grand Theft Auto routinely creating controversy not only among parents, but even within Congress.

As new technologies came about, developers have pushed the limits of the medium in terms of graphics, interactivity and storytelling to compelling heights, becoming more than just pure entertainment. Big title games like Bioshock have managed to present lofty philosophical ideals while still delivering amazing gameplay. Indie games such as the mind-bending puzzle game Braid or the beautiful Flower strive to be more than just simple games. But can video games ever be considered art?

In this class, we will explore this often debated question. After a brief discussion of what is considered art, we will look at some examples of games that truly blur the line between entertainment and art and talk about whether video games will ever be considered anything more than a lucrative from of entertainment.


Prerequisites
No prior experience with video games required. Class discussion is strongly encouraged.

X180: Card Magic
Difficulty: *
Teachers: David Zhou

Have you ever wondered how card tricks work? Or how you can learn some yourself? Well, then this is the perfect class for you. In Card Magic, we will explore the world of card tricks and teach you some tricks you can impress your friends with.

X142: Personal Philosophy
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Samuel Wheeler

In this course we will be examining the basics of personal philosophy. The most important person in this discipline is you! We will explore your thoughts about what motivates us to laugh, cry, sing, dance, read, write, create, etc. Join us for a 2 hour course on life and maybe we can figure out just the way it ought to be. Oh yeah and you might even get some food for participating :)


Prerequisites
There are several Pre Prerequisites: 1. You must be human 2. You must like to laugh 3. You must try your best to have an open mind.

X192: Introduction to Cryptography
Difficulty: **

Have you ever wondered how computers keep your information safe on the internet? Or how the Greeks and Romans kept their secret information out of the hands of the barbarians? Do you ever wonder how the Enigma machine really worked? If you said yes to any of these, this class is for you! We will look at the history of cryptography from ancient times to the modern day. Who knows, you might even learn how to break codes yourself.

X154: Board Games!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Benjamin Boyajian

What's more fun than playing games? This class will be a chance for you to compete with your fellow students and play your favorite board games. I'll go over the rules and strategy a bit, but for the most part, you'll be on your own. Some of the games that will be included are chess, checkers, Reversi, Scrabble, Risk, Settlers of Catan, and others (email me if you have any suggestions). Don't know how to play these games? Don't worry, I (or other students in the class) can teach you!

X199: Hunger Games
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Theresa Murray

What is the hardest part of college? Surviving the classes? Getting along with the roommate? Paying tuition? No! The hardest part is deciding what to eat!

Come spend an hour learning about simple meal planning and nutrition in the scary world of the college cafeteria! It'll surely be a delicious discussion!

X186: Korean Cooking 101 Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Catherine Tupper

Have you had Korean cooking before, or are curious what it is? Korean meals are pretty different from a typical American dinner. In this class you will learn about what makes up a meal, cook some dishes yourself, and enjoy some good Korean food!

X185: American Sign Language - Learn the Alphabet and "Last Friday Night"
Difficulty: **

We will learn the American Sign Language (ASL) alphabet, along with how to tell someone what your name is. The majority of the class time, however, will be spent learning how to sign Katy Perry's song "Last Friday Night" in ASL.

X198: Lucid Dreaming
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jeremy Lipsitz

Do you want to explore exotic destinations, meet anybody living or dead, or fly? Do you wish that you could have more time during the day, improve your creativity, or control the physical realities of the universe? If you've ever wanted to do something so absurd that it could only be possible in your wildest dreams, then lucid dreaming is for you!

A lucid dream is when you are fully aware that you are dreaming. Similarly to the movie Inception, you can control your dream if you are conscious of it. This class will teach you how to train yourself to have lucid dreams and the amazing things that can be done once you're in one.

X126: What is it like to be a Research Scientist or Engineer?
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Adam Jakus

Ever wonder what it's really like to work as a researcher in lab? In this class, we will look beyond what kind of cool experiments are done in science and engineering labs and focus on how one becomes a researcher, explanation of the research environment and culture, and things you can do now if you'd think you want to take this path. We will discuss what it's like to be an undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral, and professor doing research in academia with some attention given to industry.


Prerequisites
None

X159: Introduction to Super Smash Bros. Theory
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Connor Tatooles

Tired of losing those games of super smash bros? Want to learn how to beat your friends? This class teaches basic and intermediate super smash bros theory, as well as introduces some higher level techniques. Techniques rely on predicting opponent's behavior and spatial reasoning.

This class covers 64-brawl. Some time will be devoted at the beginning to differentiate between them, but for the most part techniques learned in this class will cover all 3 games.