Splash Biography

ANDREW BENZ, ESP Teacher

Major: Mathematics

College/Employer: Yale

Not Available.

Past Classes

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

E4143: Origami: Folding for Fun and the Future in Sprout Spring 2020 (Feb. 15 - 29, 2020)
Ever wanted to impress your friends? Scare your enemies? Find the perfect way to confess your undying love for someone? Look no further than the truest art form: origami. In just one hour, we will unfold for you the basics of this masterful craft and teach you the ways in which a simple square of paper can become something you never thought possible.

M3771: The Pigeonhole Principle in Splash Spring 19 (Apr. 06, 2019)
Let's say you're trying to place pigeons into holes, but you have more pigeons than holes: at least two pigeons must go into the same hole. Obvious, right? Turns out this simple fact, known as the Pigeonhole Principle (or Dirichlet's Box Principle if you're boring), can be used to prove all kinds of surprising results. In this class we'll take a look at a handful of very neat problems that can be solved with this idea.

H3424: Language Decipherment and Linguistic Mysteries in Splash Fall 2018 (Oct. 27, 2018)
There are nearly 6000 languages spoken on the planet today, and throughout the course of human history countless languages have come and gone. If you want to try your hand at reaching into the past and trying to rebuild, reinvigorate, or rediscover lost languages, we'll be looking at modern mysteries of this sort through NACLO puzzles and other real-world linguistic examples. No knowledge in linguistics is required - anyone who loves working on logic problems or puzzles is welcome to join us!

M3005: How to Compute a Convex Hull in Splash Fall 17 (Nov. 11, 2017)
Suppose you have a flat board with some pegs sticking out of it. You take a rubber band, stretch it around the pegs and then release it, letting it contract to a shape that contains all of the pegs inside of it. It turns out this shape for the given configuration of pegs has a special name: the convex hull. What properties does the convex hull have? And more importantly, how can we find it given the set of pegs? In this class, we will look at some very clever algorithms that tackle exactly this problem. If time permits, we will also go over some applications of convex hull algorithms to different fields of computer science.