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Splash at Northwestern: May 25th, 2024!

Splash 2020 Fall (Online)
Course Catalog

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A497: Intro to Bollywood Dance
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Sonal Rangnekar

Bollywood dance is a style that draws from classical Indian dance, folk dance, hip hop, and Western dance. In this class, students will learn a short piece to a song from an Indian movie. The moves will be simple and fun to allow students from all types of backgrounds and abilities to participate. After the class, you'll get a video of your performance, which you can continue to perfect and perform for your family and friends!

Be ready to dance! Wear something comfortable and have a water bottle nearby!

A510: The Harp
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Amy Shlyak

Do you like music? Do you play an instrument? Want to learn about a new one? I have been playing music my whole life and have been playing harp for 4 years. I will teach you about how the harp works in general, harp basics, and how to potentially write music for the harp (e.g. techniques used when playing). I will do demos and answer any questions you have. Come learn about the harp with me!

Have a passion for music! If you are interested in music composition, even better!

A519: The Innate Puzzles of Music Theory: For musicians and non-musicians alike
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Steven Wilke

Have you ever wondered what the mysterious world of "music theory" is all about? Are you interested in learning what "Cdimb7#9" really means? Then join me as I take you through the different puzzles of music theory and explain how we got to where we are today! I will also leave plenty of time for any questions you may have about college, Northwestern, or music.

A533: Fiction Writing: How to Write Compelling Characters
Difficulty: **

Do you love writing? Do you want to write fiction but don't know where to start? This course is an introduction to fiction writing focusing on how to craft characters that push your story forward and that an audience will fall in love with! We will discuss character development, how character drives narrative, and what makes a good protagonist. There will be writing time and a prompt, in addition to a lesson.

A536: Introduction To Graphic Design
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Alexander Lai

Do you want to create better designs for t-shirts or logos? In this class, I will provide the first steps in your journey as a graphic designer and provide all the information you need to begin recognizing and developing good designs. Join me as I go through the fundamentals of design and go through a streamlined example of the design process - from drafting a logo all the way to creating it on the computer!

A541: Graphic Novels
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Sascha Deng

In this class, we will read and analyze short graphic novels, and create our own short graphic novels as a final project.

A549: Poetry Workshop
Difficulty: *

Join us for a poetry workshop with Helicon, Northwestern's literary and the arts publication. Students will bring their own work to be reviewed by peers. In this class we will also teach the important aspects of being a positive workshop participant and how to provide constructive feedback.
We will also go over key techniques of a poem (diction, meter, rhyme, metaphors/figurative language, alliteration, imagery).

A552: A Legal State of Mind: Law & Hip Hop
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Shannon Bartlett

In this session, we will explore the intersection of hip-hop music and the law. We anticipate lightly covering the topics of free speech, intellectual property, and criminal law. We look forward to exploring our love of music and the law with you on this fun detour into some of the more interesting litigants to find themselves in our state and federal courts.

A537: Music without the Octave: Wendy Carlos's Unique "Scales"
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Dianna Lauroesch

The octave may be the most fundamental relationship in (Western) music. Yet, what happens if we remove it?
Wendy Carlos, composer and electronic musician, wondered what would be the optimal spaces between notes if we valued the thirds and fifth rather than the octave. From this exploration she found 3 "scales" simply labeled as Alpha, Beta, and Gamma, which have far more in tune thirds and fifths than our system, yet no octave!
We'll take a brief stroll through music history to see how we got to this point, look at how these relationships are determined, then see what we may do when thrown into a musical system different from our own.

Need to at least know note names and how they appear on a keyboard. Some background in music theory will help to understand the more theoretical aspects however I will provide a pre-test that must be completed to let me know what topics to explain.


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E502: Taking Out the Trash: The Journey of Last Night's Dinner from Your Home to the Environment
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Olivia Barber

Where does all the trash go? It's probably a question you haven't thought about, but that is exactly why it is so amazing. We often don't see or even think about what happens to all the waste we make even though we each create huge amount every day. The journey of our trash (and recycling) from our home, to the disposal facility and onwards varies worldwide. With concerns about climate change rising, what role does waste disposal play in global climate and what options are there for more sustainable disposal?

The course will be a brief overview of the history of trash, differences between countries, how we transport trash from our house to disposal, different options for disposal (landfills v.s. incineration etc.), and what these mean for climate change.

E529: Bionic Limbs: How do they Work?
Difficulty: *

Have you ever wondered how prosthetic limbs, such as a bionic leg or arm, can be controlled to do what the user wants on command?

In this class you'll learn all about state-of-the-art bionic limbs and how we can use neural signals to control them.

Students of all grade levels are welcome. No prior knowledge is necessary to understand the material in this class.

E531: Idea Workshop: Getting Started With Arduino
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Petras Swissler

Want to make a robot? A pet food dispenser? A candy sorter?

The best way to learn a new skill is to apply it. This class will focus on introducing you to what you can do with an Arduino and how to get started.

Tentative learning plan: After learning some of the basics behind how to use an Arduino, we will learn about motors, servos, and sensors, then plan out a project and then share and discuss.


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H501: Word Evolution: How Biology and Linguistics are More Alike than You Might Think
Difficulty: **
Teachers: David Bushhouse

Organisms and languages both evolve over time, because they both have to survive, adapt to new environments, and reproduce. This course will introduce some of the basic principles of biological and linguistic evolution, with lots of fun examples. Guaranteed to make you the boring person telling word facts at parties.

H517: Introduction to Navigating the Courtroom: Hands on Learning For Future Pre-Law students
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Shreya Chimpiri

To get what you want, you got to be able to fight for it. Whether it be a multi-million dollar business deal, a decade long fight for custody, or a crucial decision about whether to lock someone up for the rest of their days, being a good debater is an invaluable skill to win the high risk, high reward cases that lawyers are presented with everyday.

Come be a part of TWO engaging courtroom simulations where you'll get the chance to work as part of a legal defense team and create an argument on your own about topics on the docket right now. Think you have what it takes to be the next big lawyer?

For the team exercise, there will be no prior preparation. All materials will be given to you during class time and arguments will be created on the spot. For the individual exercise, there are only 6 lawyer spots available with the rest of the class acting as jury members and dealing with decision deliberations. If you're interested in being one of the 6 and being assigned a topic that you'll have to create a very brief argument for beforehand, please email me at shreyachimpiri2022@u.northwestern.edu! I'll work with you through it, and I'd love to see you give actual lawyering a shot ;)

H521: Political Philosophy: Let's Start a Government!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Kenni Zellner

This class will teach you about perhaps the most important text in contemporary political philosophy: John Rawls’ A Theory of Justice. In the beginning of this book, Rawls sets up a special procedure that is supposed to guarantee that the folks who get together to start a government will design a society that everybody will find fair. Briefly, the procedure requires that the participants go behind a “Veil of Ignorance” for their deliberations. When you’re behind the Veil of Ignorance, you know nothing about yourself, your friends and family, or your preferences. Rawls believes that if the folks trying to set up a government are robbed of this information, then whatever society they set up will be fair for anybody who ends up in that society.
The goal of this class is to investigate Rawls’ theory—is the Veil of Ignorance a good way to achieve a just society?—but also to test it out! In this class, we will put ourselves behind the Veil of Ignorance and see what kind of government we think would be fair for a society to adopt. Then we will compare our results to Rawls’.
I recommend this course for anyone who has anything to say about politics!

H525: Philosophical Fiction
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Natalie Smith

Why do many of the most enduring works of fiction dedicate themselves to exploring life's most profound and challenging questions, and what do we gain from seeking to understand them? This course is an introduction to philosophical fiction, a category attributed to works who substantively explore some facet of the human condition. We will discuss why it is important to examine philosophy through the lens of fiction and why the influence of these stories had persisted across generations.

H544: The Euthyphro Dilemma: Learning to Read Plato and Why
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Ethan Lipka

Alfred North Whitehead once said, “The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.” The first time you hear this quote you scoff, and think, “he must be overstating the dude.” At least, I thought that before my first political theory course, but the more political theory you read, the more you’ll see just how extraordinarily influential he has been on our thinking, even today. While the translations of his work are excellent, to really understand him requires learning context about the ways in which he said what he said and why. In this class, we will go over the Euthyphro to understand one of the first known arguments against religious government, how to read Plato, see why he's important, and see how he can be problematic as well.

Please read sections 9b to 16a at the link below. In this text, take note of the argument Socrates is making about the relationship between holiness and the gods. http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0170%3Atext%3DEuthyph.%3Asection%3D9b Before starting, there are a few pieces of background information that will help you understand the material. Firstly, the premise is that Socrates is talking to Euthyphro, who is a prosecutor in the city of Athens. Euthyphro's father killed a slave through negligence who himself was being punished for killing another man. Socrates wants to know Euthyphro’s views on whether it is holy to punish his own father through contemplating the principles of holiness. One thing to keep in mind is that I am not expecting you to follow everything or understand it all but rather get a handle on what sort of text this is, and perhaps see the outlines of the basic argument Socrates is proposing. Definitely don't put more than 60 minutes into it unless you feel inclined.

H547: Howdy! Analyzing American Accents
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Eli Han

This class will focus on some of the diverse regional accents of American English. We will discuss what sets apart one accent from another and explore accents in popular media.

H550: How to Think Outside the Box
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Regina Hurley

In this course we will develop an ability to think outside the box; to broaden the horizon of possibilities that you consider when confronted with a difficult puzzle or question. We will learn to look for answers or solutions that are not typically anticipated.

H499: Borges and The Multiverse: Dark Energy in The Garden of Forking Paths
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Laurisa Sastoque

This course will look at Argentinian writer Borges' "The Garden of Forking Paths" and will create an interdisciplinary analysis of the Theory of the Multiverse in the narrative. Through explanation of both scientific and literary devices, we will come to understand how Borges identifies the relationship between dark energy and time.

Reading The Garden of Forking Paths before class would be useful, but not required.

H511: Backyard Shipwrecks
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Emily Schwalbe

This class will explore the shipwrecks of Lake Michigan using the approaches of an underwater archaeologist. Students will investigate the shipwrecks of Chicago’s lake, learn about waterborne travel, and utilize archaeological methods to “dive into” local history.

Math & Computer Science

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M500: How to Lose Money On The Internet: Political Statistics and Prediction Markets
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Tom Sheridan

In this course, we will go over the basics of probability and statistics and how they apply to polling and prediction markets. At the end, there will be a demonstration of how prediction markets work and a challenge to make the most money possible given a certain budget and risk.

Basic knowledge of probability

M509: Hilbert's Hotel and Comparing Infinities (plus some weird properties of large prime numbers)
Difficulty: **
Teachers: John B. Stroud

Did you know that some values of infinity are bigger than others? We will use David Hilbert's illustration of an infinitely large hotel to discuss how to think about unbounded numbers. Time permitting, we will then pivot to discussing very large prime numbers and some of their unusual properties.

M513: Using Data Science to win at Fantasy Football
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Alex Cates

Fantasy Football is an extremely popular data driven game. And while many players rely on knowledge of real world football, there are ways to supplement your knowledge and ability by using statistics and data science. In this course we will cover the basics of how to source and process data that can be useful when making your fantasy football decisions

basic familiarity with python a plus but not necessary

M539: Sports and Machine Learning: Predicting Big 10 Football
Difficulty: **

We will be introducing basic concepts in Machine Learning and how they apply to sports analytics. We will also go through an example of predicting Big 10 football outcomes.

M545: Towards Building Machines That Think and Learn like Humans
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Kathy Garcia

An introductory course and exploration on the facets of recreating human intelligence in artificial systems through guiding principles in neuroscience, cognitive science, and artificial intelligence.

Limitations, progress, and emerging methods will be discussed.


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S507: Evolutionary Oddities
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Nicolas Daffern

What connects whale feet, nylon munching bacteria, and our own broken sense of smell? The theory of evolution! It is a popular topic these days and lots of people have something to say about whether or not they think it makes sense. But life itself also has something to say about its past and what it has to say is very strange. In this course we look at many of the biological oddities that suggest that evolution explains the diversity, and weirdness, of life.

S512: Who's Really the Strongest Incredible? Superhero Physics (and Why it Matters)
Difficulty: **

Superhero stories, whether they are from comics, books, movies, or TV shows, are an awesome way to use our imagination. In this course, I am going to go through some ways of wrapping our heads around our favorite super people using physics. Our goal will be to show how the power of physics brings life to superpowers, and how the physics of superheroes might even be important for our daily lives. (inspiration from "The Physics of Superheros" by James Kakalios and "What If?" by Randall Munroe).

S516: Biomimicry
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Brian Vogt

Biomimicry is the study of nature to figure design and inspire new inventions from based on the nature around us. The course will start by introducing the topic to the students and providing real world examples of biomimicry. The students will then be presented with a challenge in which they will be asked to come up with a solution inspired by nature.


S518: Who Done It - An Introduction to Forensic Science
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Chloe Chow

How do forensic scientists figure out what happened at a crime scene from looking at the evidence? What are the ways that this interpretation fails?

We will be learning about the different modes of forensic analysis, from fingerprinting to weapons analysis to fiber analysis, and how they can be used to solve a crime. Through the examination of a mock crime scene, we will attempt to solve a "murder" by applying forensic skills to a problem. We will also learn about the failures of forensic analysis in how they are applied in the American justice system.

S520: At Home Chemistry: Studying Surfaces using Contact Angles
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Catherine Walker

How do physical chemists study surfaces? One technique for understanding the characteristics of liquids and surfaces is measuring how they interact. In this course, you'll learn how to measure the contact angles formed by droplets on surfaces and what this information can tell you. This is a technique used in chemistry research today, and you'll learn how to do it in your own kitchen!

S523: Mythbusters - Climate Change Edition: Fact or Fiction
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Colleen O'Brien

There is a lot of information about climate change out there, but not all of it is true.

In this class we will debunk some common myths about climate change and brainstorm solutions to address the impacts of climate change here in Chicago.

S526: Biohacking -- Optimizing your body using science
Difficulty: **

Fats, carbohydrates and proteins are integral components to proper functioning of the body. However, by altering our intake of these components, we can configure our bodies for greater performance, whether that's concentrating for longer periods of time, achieving a higher quality of sleep or enjoying greater overall physical wellbeing. In this course, we will cover the mechanics and effects of how nutrition, supplements, dieting, physical activity and sleep affect our bodies.

It would be helpful to have basic biology but not necessary

S527: Nature's Origami! An Introduction to Protein Folding
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Radhika Dalal

Proteins are molecules that are important for all kinds of processes in your body, from digesting the food you eat to repairing cuts on your skin. Scientists all around the world have been asking questions about proteins for years to understand how they function. An interesting topic we will talk about in this class is how different combinations of protein building blocks (called amino acids) can create different shapes of proteins through a process called protein folding. We will learn about protein folding and how the shape of a protein can affect its function.

S528: Introduction to Clinical Trials
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Kara Ferracuti

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, you’ve probably heard about clinical trials in the news lately. But clinical trials are nothing new; they’ve been conducted long before COVID-19 and are invaluable to the development of new treatments. This class will provide an introduction to clinical trials, with a focus on cancer. What does it take to get approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for an experimental drug? What are the “phases” of a trial? We will then delve into some interesting questions related to the conduct of clinical trials. Topics may include: How does research differ from clinical practice? How do patients consent to participate in a clinical trial? How are they protected? What kind of oversight and regulations are there? Who pays for the costs of a clinical trial? Finally, you will have the opportunity to learn and ask questions about what it’s like to work in this industry. What else can you do besides being a doctor? How do clinical research professionals in various roles work together to support medical advances?

S530: What does microbiome research look like in Anthropology?
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Tabor Whitney

Review both the lab and field work biological anthropologists do. What can our closest living relatives tell us about our physiology? How can the skin and gut microbiome provide insight into primates' overall health and well-being?

S534: What's that made of? A Tour of The Periodic Table
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Zach Ladwig

"Conquering matter is to understand it, and understanding matter is necessary to understanding the universe and ourselves: and that therefore Mendeleev's Periodic Table, which just during those weeks we were learning to unravel, was poetry." - Primo Levi

In this class we will go on a tour of the periodic table, identifying the classes of elements which exist and the specific ones which make up the things we use and see everyday.


S542: Do You Want It or Do You Like It? Intro to Reward and Motivation
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Gabriela Lopez

What is reward? What motivates us? Why can’t I stop taking cookies from the cookie jar? Take an introductory dive into how the brain encodes reward and motivation. Learn about how motivation impacts learning and behavior.

S543: The Physics of Rick and Morty
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Zhiheng Sheng

Have you seen the sci-fi animated series Rick and Morty? Have you thought about the science in the show? We are going to talk about some of the concepts proposed in the show and their validity: parallel universes, portals, spaceships, you name it. Is it possible that we'll one day develop the technology they have? Let's find out!

All students are welcome regardless of whether they have watched the show.

S546: Why do Some Neurons Die in the Brain
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Hande Ozdinler

We will discuss the idea of selective neuronal vulnerability. We will learn the cellular events that take place in neurons of our brain and why neurons become diseased in patients with Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, ALS, HSP/PLS and other neurodegenerative diseases


S548: The FUNdamentals of Organic Chemistry
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Haley Wellman

Organic chemistry is a very looming and intimidating subject that scares undergrads. This crash course will introduce you to basic concepts in organic chemistry, provide basic study tips, and show its everyday applications!

This class is great for anyone who wants to learn or solve problems. Many students do not know what organic chemistry even consists of. No need to have an extensive background in chemistry, or even a desire to pursue STEM.

The purpose of this fun course is to provide a general understanding of what organic chemistry is- and how it can be FUN!

General Chemistry (current enrollment or passed)

S553: How to be a Buzzkill at a Party — Pseudoscience v. Logic

Is mercury in retrograde? Will I find my true love just as Aunt Wu predicted? Can you blame it all on the fact that you’re a scorpio? Is Beyonce out to get you? Join us as we unravel the logical fallacies behind astrology and conspiracy theories. At the same time, we can learn how to increase our scientific literacy and improve our reasoning skills.

S503: The Standard Model of Particle Physics (without any complicated math)
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Michael McGinnis

The Standard Model is our current best theory on the universe at the smallest scale. In this class, I will present the particles and interactions of the Standard Model, including the Higgs Boson. I hope to present these topics in a way that is accessible to people with basic physics and chemistry experience and without any unapproachable math.

There are not any strict prerequisites, but some experience in physics and chemistry will be helpful.

S522: How to Breathe Underwater
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Nina Munoz

Open your eyes to another world right in your own backyard. This course is taught by a professional divemaster and is broken into four parts: (1) The amazing history of scuba diving; (2) The physiology of scuba diving; (3) talking to fish; and (4) saving the ocean. This class will change the way you look at the world, and hopefully will inspire you to do more learning of your own!


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X505: Intro to Positive Psychology with Journaling
Difficulty: *

In this class, you will learn about the science behind positive psychology and how you can use it in your daily life with extremely simple, quick, yet powerful tools such as journaling and reflection.

You will learn some fundamental tools to take control of your mindset and plan out your goals. Ultimately, this class aims to leave you with a set of ideas to understand yourself better so that you can uplift your mindset and take goals to the next level.

X532: Let's Get Glowing - Makeup 101
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Lucky Nanduri

This is a basic course on makeup! All are welcome. We will discuss topics such as:
- What is primer and why is it important?
- Ways to apply foundation
- How concealer/contour/bronzer work
- How to have fun and express yourself with makeup!

It will be similar to an art class where I will show you all how I do my makeup and talk through the whole routine and you all can decide your own interpretation on my look and recreate it!

X540: Basics of Okinawan Karate
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Christopher Mead

Students through this 50 min class will learn the first basic punch and kick of Isshinryu karate, a style of Okinawan karate. A brief presentation on the history of Isshinryu will be given to help students contextualize the techniques they will learn. This class will not require much free space, however please be sure you have enough room to throw a kick while standing in place.

X514: Cooking 101: French Toast!
Difficulty: *

In this class we will be making french toast! You will need:

8 slices of bread: you choice of bread (can be challah, brioche or white bread, etc.)
1/4 cup of milk
1/2 cup of maple syrup
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
2 tablespoons of sugar

Strawberries, or other fruit
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
Whipped cream

Mixing bowl
Measuring cups and spoons

X524: Fall Vegetarian Cooking
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Kate Christian

Feeling inspired by the changing leaves? Curious how to cook fall vegetables in a creative way? Want to learn vegetarian / plant based recipes? Welcome to class!

In this class we’ll make a delicious, flavorful autumn-inspired dish and learn some basic cooking skills and tips.

And don’t worry about specialty ingredients — everything we use can be found at grocery stores this time of year.