Sprout Spring 15
Course Catalog


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Core Class Elective

Note for all students: Core Classes will take place each weekend for all three weeks of the program, while Electives will happen just once.

Each day of the program has two Core sessions and two Elective sessions!



Core Class

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C1377: The History of Sexuality through Media
Difficulty: **

We will explore how both heterosexual and homosexual portrayals in media have evolved and changed throughout time. We'll start with photographs of different couples in the late 1800s to 1920s, dive into the film industry in the 1930s and post-World War II era, and discuss the ever-changing landscape of reality television and the programming we see today. We will explore the differences between straight and non-straight couples, as well as the differences between gay and lesbian portrayal. Please note that if you are not willing to openly discuss sexuality in depth, this may not be the class for you.


Prerequisites
All we ask is that you are willing to discuss these topics at length. We promise that you, and the rest of the class will have a better time if you are wiling to participate!

C1380: Topology
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Timothy Leake

Topology studies properties of objects preserved by "stretching" without tearing; hence, the famous joke that topologists cannot tell the difference between their coffee cups and doughnuts. This course will introduce the fundamental concepts of topology including open and closed sets, topological spaces, and continuous maps. A purely topological proof of the infinitude of primes will also be presented.


Prerequisites
2 years of high school algebra and 1 year of high school geometry. An interest in pure mathematics would be helpful.

C1397: Struggling Governments in Africa
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Joseph Tomchak

An overview of the causes of difficulties faced by many African nations to develop their governments and economies since independence with a focus on how colonialism and other outside influence has affected those countries. Course may be difficult to follow if all three weeks cannot be attended because the last week will primarily be an interactive activity based upon the previous two classes.

C1373: Lightbulbs to Youtube: Electricity and Electronics
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Bear Flintgruber

Most people know bits and pieces of how electronics work, but it's hard to connect the dots between simple circuits and the frankly amazing technology we have now. This class goes over the history of electricity and electronics and connects those dots: batteries, power transmission, binary codes, transistors, integrated circuits, levels of code, electronic communication, Internet infrastructure. No previous knowledge of any of those topics is required.

C1405: Writing Games Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Zachary Fishman

Bring only a pen and paper. In this class students build off each other's ideas in a series of writing based games meant to stimulate the imagination and improve writing skills in a fun, enjoyable way.

C1424: Jargon to Journalism: Yale Scientific Magazine Explores Topics in Science Writing and Reporting

Hosted by the Yale Scientific Magazine (YSM), the nation’s oldest college science publication, and Synapse (YSM’s Outreach Division), Jargon to Journalism offers students the chance to explore in depth the field of scientific journalism through classes with current Yale Scientific Magazine writers, editors, and staffers. Each class will build upon students’ ability to conduct science reporting and writing, as well as providing perspectives and lessons in a wide variety of topics related to science journalism, including landmark experiments in the media, historical impact of science journalism, how to conduct interviews, and media issues approaches and representation of genetic engineering, aerospace, entrepreneurism, and cutting-edge physics, among other topics. Teachers will also speak about their experiences getting involved with and writing for the Yale Scientific Magazine, and how they continue to explore their interests in the field through involvement as varying as classes to interning at the Smithsonian itself. Current teachers include Lionel Jin, Payal Marathe, Julia Rothchild, and Rebecca Su.

C1410: Creative Writing
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Taylor Rodriguez

Want to write the next bestseller? Interested in becoming the next Dr. Seuss? Want to take a shot at writing for the big screen? Whatever your writing interest, come prepared to learn about the limits and freedoms of various forms of writing - from songs to novels to screenplays - and to share your work with others.

C1376: Calculus and Physics
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Emil Ohman

In this class we see how calculus arises naturally from thinking carefully about the real world. Through concrete examples in physics we introduce the Limit, Derivative, Integral and Fundamental Theorem of Calculus. Our primary goal is to gain a vivid intuition for calculus.

C1388: Thinking Like a Physicist
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Arsalan Sufi

Many students finish their first physics course associating the field with formulas and plugging-and-chugging. This isn't true! Physics is a creative process. It's all about using the laws that govern the universe in innovative ways to solve problems. This course will guide you through the process of solving problems in kinematics, focusing on the fact that problems can be solved in multiple ways. Each class, students will get to solve challenging problems together in groups on whiteboards. In addition to creativity, physics is all about collaboration!


Prerequisites
algebra and trigonometry

C1421: Exploring Einstein's Theories of Relativity
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Hari Anbarasu

This class will take everything you know about physics and turn it on its head! You'll be introduced to ideas of special and general relativity and learn about some of the paradoxes associated with them, including how the laws of conservation of mass and energy are actually lies and how time travel is actually possible!


Prerequisites
Algebra, Pythagorean Theorem, Basic physics recommended, but not needed (F=ma, Kinetic energy formula, etc.)

C1419: The Art and Science of Animals Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Ethan Young

Nature is filled with extraordinary things. Come along as we seek to understand and appreciate three incredible branches of zoology: teuthology (the study of cephalopods), ornithology (the study of birds), and herpetology (the study of amphibians). More than a mere scientific overview, this class will incorporate literature and film, as well. You will have a chance to dissect animals, explicate great poetry, and enjoy classic movies.


Prerequisites
No experience in any of these fields is required. You will need an inquisitive mind and a willingness to explore both art AND science.

C1370: To Infinity and Beyond!
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Daniel Hwang

When we are little, we have a pretty basic understanding of infinity, how we can count and count and never end. But when we do more complicated work with infinity, it suddenly isn't so intuitive. How do we deal with that concept when it is applied to different theoretical scenarios? What can we learn from using infinitude in fractals?


Prerequisites
Basic algebra (understand addition, multiplication, exponents)

C1457: Nonviolent Conflict Resolution
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Miles Calabresi

An examination of conflict and resolution. What is violence? How does it play into conflict? Can and should it be used to stop conflict? We'll do some experiential learning and activity-based discussion as well as look at theories. We'll compare ideas from some big thinkers in nonviolence as well as world leaders.

C1443: Arts of the Yale University Art Gallery Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Helder Toste

This class will be hosted at the Yale University Art Gallery where I will guide the class on a tour of the many art works and pieces on display at the YUAG. Through three lessons we will attempt to engage three distinct time periods, eras, and subjects. In the first week the emphasis will be primarily on the art found on the first floor of the YUAG: Roman, Greek, Byzantine, Islamic, and Pre-Columbian. The second week will take us up to the third floor where a collection of Asian and European Art is found. The third and final week will continue with what I left of European art and take us to the upper floor where pop art, modernist works, and abstraction explode onto the enormous white walls of the upper stories. The goal of the class is to familiarize you with some of the works at the YUAG and give you enough information to get a well-rounded understanding of what Yale and one of the most extensive art history departments in the United States has to offer.


Prerequisites
None.

C1379: Particle Physics
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Vijay Narayan

This course is a historical overview of the field of particle physics, the fundamental laws and constituents of nature, and a look ahead to its puzzling yet profound open questions.


Prerequisites
Some basic chemistry would be useful

C1433: The Solution to the Problem of Death: Love, Religion, and Art
Difficulty: *

Buying a card for a special someone this Valentine's Day? Ever feel the urge to make art? Or perhaps subscribe to a religion? Wanna know the reason some believe we do any or all of the above?

We will explore the social constructs that ease anxiety and fear surrounding the ideas and reality of a biological death: the religious, artistic, and romantic solution to the problem of death.


Elective

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E1386: Contemporary Music Videos: Art & Society
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Josh Feng

In this course, we will examine music videos and the many intersections that this medium inhabits: as an art form, advertising strategy, and medium for cultural/social critique. We will watch several films as a class and have short discussions after each one, comparing our ideas with what others have written online. Works from musicians such as Flying Lotus, Sigur Rós, Perfume Genius, Arcade Fire, Beyoncé and FKA Twigs may be included. We will vote as a class on which videos to watch at our meeting.


Prerequisites
Just come in with an open mind and be down to watch some cool (and often weird) music videos.

E1381: Introduction to Lagrangian and Hamiltonian Mechanics
Difficulty: ****
Teachers: Jason Parisi

Hamiltonian and Lagrangian formulations of mechanics underlie a broad range of modern physics, from particle physics to quantum field theory. These formulations can vastly simplify very complicated calculations, and provide important insights into physical systems. Have you ever wondered why momentum is always conserved, or how to write down the equations of motion for elementary particles? This is your chance!


Prerequisites
Calculus, Physics (Classical Mechanics), tenacity.

E1378: What's the Buzz: The History and Biochemistry of Coffee
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Zachary Gardner

Hugh Jackman once said, "To me, the smell of fresh-made coffee is one of the greatest inventions." When he's not fighting crime with the X-Men (X-People), Hugh sits back and enjoys a cup of Joe. In this class we'll discuss the history of coffee in America, the proper preparation of several coffee drinks, and the biochemical effects coffee has on us.


Prerequisites
Some chemistry preferred but not required.

E1436: Gender and Sexuality in Music Videos Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Ivonne Gonzalez

From Beyonce to Katy Perry and pretty much every modern-day rapper, artists explicitly express ideas about sexuality in their music videos. In this seminar discussion, we will be exploring how men and women are represented differently in music videos, and the implications of these representations in our society. Is being sexy and *flawless* an act of feminism? Are women treated fairly in music videos? We will be watching select music videos and tackling some of these questions.


Prerequisites
Must be comfortable discussing sexuality.

E1423: The Evolution of the Disney Princess Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Brooke Luokkala

From Snow White to Princess Anna, this course analyzes our favorite Disney princesses in the movies that made them famous, while taking a look at the overall evolution of the Disney heroine.

E1402: Women in Power
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Splash at Yale

In many (but not all) societies, women have traditionally been marginalized. In the light of this, how have women risen to positions of power? How have they exercised their influence and authority? This class will take a transhistorical, cross-cultural, and quasi-biographical approach to these questions. Some consideration of theoretical issues involved.

E1417: Ciphers and Secrets: Exploring Cryptography Full!
Difficulty: **

Learn about top-secret codes and their influence on communication, war, and technology. Afterwards, you’ll even get to build your own cipher machine to take home.

E1450: Why Food Matters Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Tali Perelman

How does the food you eat everyday get to the table? Learn the secret story of food in this class! We'll talk about everything from farm workers to food commercials, and you’ll never look at that bowl of cornflakes or can of Coca-Cola the same way again.


Prerequisites
None

E1394: Hip Hop and Trap in the Music Industry
Difficulty: **

In this class, we will analyze how the literary devices used in various hip hop and trap songs convey meaning through lyrics or beats. Additionally, we will discuss how sampling has transformed both of these genres within the context of the modern music industry and draw parallels between an artist's influences and the music they make today.

E1434: Narratives of Class and Gender in Hip-Hop and Rap Music
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Ivonne Gonzalez

Most people do not view rap and hip-hop music as worthy of study. In this class, however, we will discuss the ways in which we can read hip-hop & rap lyrics as cultural texts that are worthy of closer analysis. What ideas about gender, social class, and race are being can we discern from the lyrics of artists such as Kanye West, Drake, and Nicki Minaj? We will be watching video clips and incorporating close readings as we discuss select hip-hop and rap lyrics.

E1401: The Common Core
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Joseph Tomchak

This course looks at new Common Core standards and their implications. What does it mean for students, teachers, and administrators? How does politics change its implications? What are its goals and will it succeed? This class will examine these questions in exploring the most recent national push for reform in public education.

E1382: Ready. SET. Go. Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Emmy Yang

Learn how to play one of the most popular card games of visual perception, SET. Take a break from lecture classes and challenge your mind to find new patterns. SET can be played alone or with as many people as you’d like! Once you take this class, you won’t have to be bored again.

E1392: Top Secret: Unethical Human Experiments of the 20th Century
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Sarah Abdallah

From illegal drug testing, to secret chemical weapons development, to psychological torture, scientific research has long been marred by unethical practices. This course will cover the details of several infamous experiments on human subjects, what made them unethical, and how that unethicality was concealed from the general public.

Note: Contains some mildly graphic content.

E1435: U.S. LGBT/Queer History
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Ivonne Gonzalez

Individuals who have different sexual and emotional desires from those considered "normal" have been written out of history for a long time, yet their stories are important to understanding our society and culture. How did the terms gay, lesbian, and transgender develop and evolve throughout the history of the United States? Who are some of the most important and prominent figures in gay history? How have queer people grappled with their identities, and what movements have they created to overcome discrimination and hardship? Feel free to come with any questions and be ready to discuss LGBT history/issues in a safe, welcoming space.

E1454: The Well Played Game
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Cameron Yick

What did "gaming" entail before the era of video games? And why are educators and doctors starting to take play seriously? Come explore the principles of game design from before the era of computers, and learn why play is of paramount importance for the physical and mental wellness of people of all ages. Based on the work of game designer Bernie DeKoven and play leader Dr. Kwame Brown. The class will include a presentation and discussion, with demos if time permits!

E1448: The Art of Persuasion; Social Engineering & Oratory for the Masses Full!
Difficulty: ****
Teachers: Magd Lhroob

A crash course in the praxis of elocution and oration for purposes of negotiation. Students will look at case studies of some of the best orators in history, and will then have the opportunity to practice oration with their peers.


Prerequisites
Students should come prepared with an example of a favorite orator.

E1418: Formidable Fortresses
Difficulty: **

We’ll cover fortresses through the ages, from ancient defenses like the Great Wall to the floating fortresses of the US Navy and Cold War super-bunkers that can withstand nuclear explosions. How were they designed, and just how invulnerable did they end up being? We’ll end by discussing some of the most sophisticated modern security systems in use today and emerging technologies for fortresses of the future.

E1389: Stress Management: An Introduction to Mindfulness and Meditation Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Aneesha Ahluwalia

Ever feel stressed out? Curious about what mindfulness is? Learn to use your mind to control itself and to manage your stress. This class will introduce you to mindfulness and teach you several simple and easy mindfulness-based techniques for stress reduction.

E1375: Rescuing the American Food System
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jason Young

Estimate show that over 30% of adults in the US are obese and over 60% are overweight. Unfortunately, these figures are only rising. What is it about the US that is so "unhealthy"? More importantly, what can we do about it? This course will provide a brief introduction to some of the major problems which plague in the American food system and discuss ways we can help rescue our nation's food landscape.


Prerequisites
None!

E1416: Power and Poverty
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Grant Kopplin

We will discuss global poverty, its humanitarian consequences, and its connection to the imbalance and misuse of power in society. We will also discuss possible solutions, and the potential role of the public in creating change.

E1429: All Things Chocolate Full!
Difficulty: *

Learn about all things chocolate from the harvesting of cacao beans to the refinement and marketing of everyone's favorite treat. Through a multi-sensory exploration of the chocolate process (yes, you'll get to try various types of chocolate in a taste test!), we'll investigate chocolate's rich history and role in the world today while also discussing its endorphin-releasing chemistry. Discover your inner chocolate connoisseur!

E1403: The Ghost Particle
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Danielle Norcini

Neutrinos are one of the most difficult particles for scientists to find. They don't like to play with other particles and they are very small. As a result, neutrinos can travel many, many miles without ever bumping into anything else!

In this seminar, we will learn about neutrinos and how physcists finally discovered that they were real. We will also do an activity that shows how hard it is to guess what something is, if you can't see it. This activity will allow us to use the same skills that particle physicsts needed to find neutrinos.

E1444: Playing with Language Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Aidan Kaplan

An introduction to the patterns and properties of human language: In what ways are languages similar? In what ways are they different? How do we get computers to use and understand language? And what makes MadLibs funny?

This class doesn't require you to know any linguistics--only to be interested in languages and problem-solving.

E1391: Don't Forget: Experiments with Memory
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Elisabeth Emery

We rely on memory for a lot more than just reliving good times from the past! By conducting a series of in-class experiments, learn how memory plays an important role in everything we do and find ways to improve your memory in real-life situations.


Prerequisites
A background in psychology is useful but not necessary!

E1415: Speed Stacking for Beginners
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Danielle Currin

A fun, interactive introduction to the methods behind the art of cup stacking. Never heard of cup stacking before? Check out this video -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sa9cXHGZHc -- for a preview of what we'll be practicing in class. All levels of expertise are welcome, but this class will be geared towards those with minimal experience.

E1398: The Politics of Natural Resources
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Joseph Tomchak

How natural resources affect developing economies, public policy, and international interest in regions. A focus on authoritarian governments in Africa and the Middle East. This class takes a more detailed look at an issue that arises in Struggling Governments in Africa (a core class). A student looking to take both may find the overlap to be redundant if the issues are not of particular interest to them.

E1430: Social Engineering: The Art of Lying
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Ale Estrada

Social engineering can be defined as “any act that influences a person to take an action that may or may not be in their best interest.” The subject is a mix of psychology, technology, and art.
This class will cover a brief introduction to social engineering and the many tactics these engineers employ to gain information as well as several of the common methods and techniques of persuasion.


Prerequisites
No real requisites, but a basic knowledge of psychology would be helpful.

E1395: The Value of Nature
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jonathan Rutter

Our Earth is possibly in the middle of a 6th mass extinction as humans take over the planet. Biodiversity is slowly being lost as human civilization is reaching all-time highs. Is it worth caring about a small toad in Central America going extinct, or a single male rhino in Vietnam not being able to mate, when humans are profiting so much from taking over nature? This class seeks to answer the question of whether or not it is worth saving wildlife from economic, ecological, moral, and even religious points of view.


Prerequisites
Basic understanding of biology.

E1404: Gyroscopes and Precession
Difficulty: **
Teachers: James Ma

Did you know that in about 25,000 years, Polaris will no longer be our North Star? The phenomenon responsible for this is called precession. This course will teach you about how precession works, along with examples of precession using gyroscopes, and information about what role gyroscopes play in every day life.

E1439: Mathematical Games
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Eliot Levmore

Ever played Sprout? Nim? Hackenbush? Chomp? We'll play a few games and go over, without proof, number addition and strategies for impartial games.

E1408: How to Build a Planet
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Aida Behmard

What if you wanted to build your own planet? What kinds of materials would you need? What type of conditions would be best? And, if you wanted to live on it, how could you make it habitable? In this class, we'll explore these questions, and design planets of our own!

E1453: Practical Ethics: What's the Right Thing to Do in a Complicated World?
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Scott Remer

We'll go through a quick theoretical overview of the main philosophies in the field of ethics (the study of the good life and proper conduct), but we'll mostly be discussing and debating real-life cases. What's the right thing to do, and how can you tell? We might not come to definite conclusions - we might not even agree about the answers - but hopefully this class will help you think through how to make more conscious ethical choices in your daily life.

E1447: Mormon Misconceptions: From South Park to Broadway
Difficulty: *

A discussion based class that will allow students to explore whether the oft quoted references to Mormons and Mormonism in pop culture and the media are true. Previously untethered references in the popular consciousness will be contextualized with actual Mormon scripture and doctrine. No background in Mormonism necessary.

E1437: What is Nanotechnology?
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Deepa Subramanian

This course will introduce students to the subject of nanotechnology, with examples taken from self-assembly of molecules.


Prerequisites
General knowledge of atoms and molecules.

E1422: Fractals, Demystified
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Rachel Lawrence

Fractals…you know what they look like, but do you have any idea what they really are? We'll break fractals down into their simplest (self-similar) parts in order to understand how a coastline could be of infinite length, why it makes sense for a shape to be log(3) dimensional, what any of this has to do with snowflakes.
And then we'll build our own!


Prerequisites
A little bit of algebra (exponents and logarithms).

E1407: Life in The Universe
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Aida Behmard

What is the probability that life exists elsewhere in the universe? What evidence do we currently have, and why should we care? In this class, we will explore recent findings that point to a high prevalence of exoplanet Earth analogs, and the implications for the scientific community and general population.

E1406: Techniques in Biochemistry
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Frank Chen

Topics include flow cytometry, DNA microarrays, two-hybrid assays, PCR, DNA sequencing, NMR, and Cryo Electron Microscopy.

E1387: Eye Openers: the Neuroscience of Optical Illusions
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Tyler Smith

In this course we will cover the basics of vision in the eyes as well as how the brain interprets information. We will be using optical illusions and various demos to illustrate the fascinating way the brain forms an image.

E1413: Becoming Conscious of the Unconscious: The psychology of your unaware thoughts
Difficulty: **
Teachers: John Baxter

What is the unconscious mind? Is there even an unconscious mind? Who was Freud and what exactly is he famous for? This course will discuss the many influences of our environment upon our everyday behaviors and actions. Come learn about yourself!

E1451: The End of Art: Money, Religion, and Politics in the Art World
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Tyler Gathro

This is a course where we will look at lots of images, discuss briefly a western history of art, and then talk about how politics and money in the art world have driven out the spiritual and religious, thus bringing about an end to true art.


Prerequisites
None. However a basic understanding of art history and religious cultures would be great!

E1428: Gender and Sexuality
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Alyssa Patterson

A brief introduction of gender and sexuality with a focus on vocabulary and a discussion about issues arsing from the recent acceptance of various forms of sexuality and gender identity.

E1432: What is Cuba Today?
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Alejandra Mena

What role does a small island off the coast of Florida play on the world stage? From the Cold War to today, Cuba has influenced international affairs and diplomacy. In this course, we will focus on Cuba's current state, impact, and potential, with a focus on the recent announcement of the U.S. to normalize relations with the island.

E1425: Ideas Behind Impressionism--A Quick Survey of the 19th Century Art Movement
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Monica Wang

This elective will introduce you to the concept of Impressionism through examining beautiful art works by Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, and their companions. How did Impressionism as an art movement influence French society and bring about a change in the public's understanding of beauty and art? No prior experience in art history is necessary--simply bring your willingness to appreciate and learn about art!

E1431: Let's Jump: Double Dutch Workshop
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Anna Rose Canzano

This class will teach the basics of double dutch jump roping. We will cover the three categories of speed, power, and freestyle double dutch, and you'll learn some fun tricks along the way. Wear your gym shoes!

E1427: Snakes of the World Full!
Difficulty: *

Did you know there are over 3,000 species of snakes in the world? In this course, you'll learn interesting facts about snake biology such as how snakes feed, reproduce, and survive in extreme habitats. You'll also discover which snakes are the biggest, fastest, and most venomous in the world.

E1442: Decoding Language
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Tom McCoy

There are over 6,000 languages in the world. How do these languages communicate the same information in wildly different ways? What patterns exist across all languages? Learn the answers to these questions and more by solving fun language puzzles. In the process, discover surprising truths about unfamiliar languages and even about English itself.

No previous experience with linguistics is required!

E1385: The Mythology behind the Magic of Harry Potter Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Amelia Trant

J.K. Rowling, one of the most successful authors of all time, did not study English at University. She majored in French and Classics. It was her love of Greco-Roman mythology that inspired so many of the names, spells, fantastical creatures in her books. So we will explore some of the classical allusions in the Wizarding World. After learning about the history of her spells , we might just finish with a duel.


Prerequisites
None!

E1390: Psychoacoustics: the Science of Sound
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Elisabeth Emery

"If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" From wave propagation in the air to complex sound processing in the brain, the noises we hear on a daily basis embark on a remarkable journey of energy transduction before we hear them. Learn about sound waves, ear anatomy, and neuroscience in the context of our sense of hearing.


Prerequisites
None

E1393: Fermi's Pardox: In Search of the Extraterrestial
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Saran Morgan

If there are 500 quintillion stars (plenty of them older than our sun) and a quarter of those are surrounded by planets that could harbor life then WHERE IS EVERYBODY!? This is Fermi's paradox. Come learn about the possible answers to Fermi's question and how long it would take to seek out alien life ourselves.


Prerequisites
Unafraid of having your mind blown by the possibilities and able to handle reflecting on your very existence.

E1396: What are we watching? Race in Media
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Cathleen Calderón

Let's watch some YouTube videos - commercials, ads, music videos, etc. - and deconstruct them in order to understand what messages are being relayed to us, the audience, and why particular images and portrayals of race (and class & gender) are created. Who is represented? Who does the labor of this reproduction of identities? What work does a video do? How do we consume these identities whether or not we identify as any of them?

E1399: Political Messaging
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Joseph Tomchak

The class will consist of watching political advertisements and discussing what makes them effective or ineffective. In addition, elements of political psychology and its use will be discussed in the class (no prior knowledge of these strategies is expected).

E1400: Carnivorous Plants
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Annelisa Leinbach

It's hard to believe they're even real, but there really are plants out there that eat live bugs and more! Learn all about the different carnivorous plants in the world, and hear amazing stories about how they work!

E1409: Constitutional Law
Difficulty: **

Do you know your rights? If so, do you know HOW we got those rights? Know that too? What about WHY we got those rights? The U.S. Constitution is one of the most remarkable and important documents in our nation's history. It tells us the rights we have as basic citizens and the rights that we have compared to the federal government. But, HOW do we know what rights apply to what situations? HOW do we know whether our rights are being violated? In this class, we'll analyze all of the questions above and work through cases, analyzing the (VERY deliberate) wording of court opinions and how they work in conjunction with the constitution to change and establish the laws of our society!

E1412: Positivity: The Power of Optimism
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Caitlin Dermody

Learn how to approach everyday life through positivity and an optimistic attitude through fun examples and activities!


Prerequisites
N/A

E1414: How the Internet works
Difficulty: **
Teachers: james batchelder

You use the internet every day, come learn how it works! We will go through a simple overview of how a website is rendered on your computer, trace packets as they go through the network, and discuss privacy and security issues related to the internet, and some related current events. Topics include routing, rendering, encryption, IP addresses, and domains.

repeat of class from fall

E1420: Etymology: the winding history of English and its words
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Eli Feldman

Does "bae" really stand for "before all else?" Is the English language sexist? How do you really pronounce the word "pho?" What does a taser have to do with children's books? And is it offensive to call someone "retarded?"

If you are interested in any of these questions, then come learn about etymology!


Prerequisites
Fluent speaker of English.

E1426: Intro to Japanese
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Nisha Poruthoor

Watching anime subbed is always better than dubbed, but what if you didn't need either? From introductions to funny phrases, come and explore the amazing language of Japanese!

E1441: Intro to Linguistics
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Alexa Little

What qualifies as a "language"? Where do "accents" come from? And if babies can learn a language, why is it so difficult for us? Learn the answers to these questions and more in this introductory course on the science of linguistics.

E1445: Queer Southern Culture Through the Lens of Fried Green Tomatoes
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Hannah McCormick

We'll be watching different clips from the 1991 film "Fried Green Tomatoes" and talking about the ways that sexuality and gender is viewed in the south, as well as outlining the way that media can express common regional views on gender and sexual stereotypes. The film is set both in the late 80's and between WWI and WWII. We will decipher views of southern sexuality in the years 1918-39 and in the present. Be ready to talk about sexuality and gender for the entirety of the class. If you feel uncomfortable deeply discussing LGBTQ issues, then this class may not be the one for you.

E1449: There's No Planet B
Difficulty: *

Global warming? Isn't it freezing outside? Aren't we experiencing massive blizzards and unbearable cold in Connecticut and New York? You may be asking yourself these questions this chilly winter but even though you're not feeling any warmer, climate change is affecting people all over the globe in catastrophic and unpredictable ways. November 2014: to combat climate change, in a historic joint announcement with China, President Obama laid out an ambitious but achievable target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the United States in the range of 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, while China announced its intent to peak carbon emissions around 2030 and to double its share of zero-carbon energy to 20 percent. Why was this announcement such a historic step for climate change action? We will delve into the science behind climate change and find out how carbon in the air results in the warming of our earth. We'll find out why climate change is becoming a big concern for human health not only in the United States, but globally.

E1452: Around the World in 50 minutes Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Sarah Naco

An interactive introductory class to different cultures, and how travel opens your eyes to the diversity and beauty of human life.


Prerequisites
none

E1455: Codes and Ciphers: The Secret Language of Spies
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Cody Pomeranz

Do you want to know how to write in secret? Do you want to work for the CIA or the NSA? Do you want to explore how famous figures such as Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson communicated without revealing their secrets? What do you think of today's spies? Codes and ciphers have been around for thousands of years, throughout nearly every language and culture. These vital tools of secrecy helped America win independence from Britain and the Allies win WWII. American spies used ciphers during the Cold War; criminals like the Zodiac used them to taunt the police and newspapers. In fact, one 19th century man named Thomas J. Beale wrote a cipher that gives coordinates to a $63 million treasure he buried in Virginia (to this day, no one has been able to solve the cipher and find the treasure!). These are just a few examples of how codes and ciphers have affected the course of human history. We will learn the basics of how to write and decode secret messages and discuss the role of spying in our society. By the end of the class, you'll be able to encode your writing and keep your secrets safe, just like the most well-trained spies!


Prerequisites
None

E1456: Structure of the Internet
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Alex Reinking

When you visit a website, what is actually happening? Learn about how websites are created, what goes on in the background, and how they ultimately end up on your computer.


Prerequisites
Must have used a web browser.