ESP Biography



BENJAMIN HOROWITZ, Yale Senior : Splash President




Major: Math, Physics

College/Employer: Yale

Year of Graduation: 2014

Picture of benjamin horowitz

Brief Biographical Sketch:

Ben was a physics and math major at Yale, and currently is a physics graduate student at UC Berkeley. His research focuses on theoretical aspects of cosmology, the study of the content, history, and future of the universe. In particular, he works on projects related to the cosmic microwave background and its potential to constrain "exotic" interactions. He is also active in Splash Nationwide, working with Learning Unlimited to start new programs at schools across the country.

Besides research and helping to organize Splash, he spends his time rock climbing, hiking, and making pretty ceramic vessels!



Past Classes

  (Look at the class archive for more.)


Introduction to Cosmology in Splash Spring 19 (Apr. 06, 2019)
Why is the universe expanding? What is cosmological inflation? Where is Dark Matter located? Come to learn all about the history of the universe and some of the still open questions!


Physics of Gravitational Waves and Black Holes in Splash Spring 16 (Apr. 02, 2016)
On a basic level, gravitational waves are ripples in the fabric of space caused by movement of bodies with mass. In this class we will dive deeper into the math behind gravitational waves and the recent signal detected by LIGO of a black hole merger. Along the way, we will explore some of the physics of black holes themselves and discuss why they are of such interest to physicists. This course will be rather math heavy! Students who are more interested in a more conceptual course should take my "Gravitational Waves, LIGO, and the Future of Cosmology" course. There will be overlap between the courses so I don't recommend enrollment in both.


Gravitational Waves, LIGO, and the Future of Cosmology in Splash Spring 16 (Apr. 02, 2016)
The recent discovery of a gravitational wave signal from a binary black hole merger has the potential to revolutionize our understanding of the universe. In this course we will discuss the basics of General Relativity (the mathematics behind gravitational waves), the astrophysics behind their production, and a bit about the experimental design of their detection. This course will be primarily qualitative; students who are more interested in an advanced description should take "Physics of Gravitational Waves and Black Holes". There will be overlap between the courses so I don't recommend enrollment in both.


Cosmology in Splash Spring 16 (Apr. 02, 2016)
Why is the universe expanding? What is cosmological inflation? What creates the structure we see in the universe today? Come to learn all about the history of the universe and some of the still open questions!


Introduction to Logic Circuits in Splash Spring 14 (Mar. 29, 2014)
Logic circuits are a critical tool in computer science, electrical engineering, and mathematics. In this course, we will cover basic logic gates and how to use them to create complicated circuits to solve real-world problems.


Feeling Lucky? in Sprout Spring 14 (Feb. 15 - Mar. 01, 2014)
Prepare to be surprised with an assortment of random cool topics! Taught by an ensemble of admins. Potential topics include - but are NOT limited to - Calvin and Hobbes trivia, organic chemistry, modern Poetry, Pokemon, and knot theory.


Big Science in Sprout Spring 14 (Feb. 15 - Mar. 01, 2014)
What do the International Space Station, the Large Hadron Collider, the National Ignition Facility, the Human Genome and the Manhattan Project all have in common? They are all massive science projects, costing well in excess of one billion dollars. Come discuss the science and politics of big science and learn about some of the most exciting projects of the upcoming decade.


Physics of Black Holes in Resonance Fall 13 (Nov. 16, 2013)
In this class, we will discuss the mysterious world of black holes. Starting with basic physics, we will derive the Schwarzschild radius and discuss the different types of black holes. At the end of the class, we will talk about the importance of black holes in formation of structure (like galaxies) from the early universe to today.


Physics of Black Holes in Splash Fall 13 (Nov. 09, 2013)
In this class, we will discuss the mysterious world of black holes. Starting with basic physics, we will derive the Schwarzschild radius and discuss the different types of black holes. At the end of the class, we will talk about the importance of black holes in formation of structure (like galaxies) from the early universe to today.


Introduction to Cosmology in Splash Fall 13 (Nov. 09, 2013)
Why is the universe expanding? What is cosmological inflation? Where is Dark Matter located? Come to learn all about the history of the universe and some of the still open questions!


Themes of Modern Physics in Sprout Fall 13 (Oct. 05 - 19, 2013)
As physics continues to develop into the 21st century, the core push is to unify seemingly different ideas under one fundamental conceptual or quantitative framework. In this class we will discuss some of these overarching themes that arise in physical problems ranging from classical mechanics and plasma physics to general relativity and particle physics. The main topics we will explore include symmetry, topology, (in)stability, chaos and turbulence.


Introduction to Cosmology in Sprout Fall 13 (Oct. 05 - 19, 2013)
Why is the universe expanding? What is cosmological inflation? Where is Dark Matter located? Come to learn all about the history of the universe and some of the still open questions!


Introduction to Particle Physics in Splash Summer 13 (Jul. 06 - 27, 2013)
What is the universe made of at the smallest level? How do we know how subatomic particle interact? In this class, we will cover the basic period table of elementary particles, fundamental forces, talk about standard model, conservation laws and symmetries, the Higgs boson, and applications to cosmology.


Introduction to Particle Physics in Splash Spring 13 (Apr. 06, 2013)
What is the universe made of at the smallest level? How do we know how subatomic particle interact? In this class, we will cover the basic period table of elementary particles, fundamental forces, talk about Feynman diagrams, conservation laws and symmetries, the Higgs boson, particle detectors (like the LHC at CERN), and applications to cosmology. Time permitting we will also discuss some "Beyond the Standard Model Physics" including supersymmetry, loop quantum gravity, and string theory.


Physics of Black Holes in Splash Spring 13 (Apr. 06, 2013)
How does a black hole form? What is an event horizon? Can we use black holes to travel through time? In this course we will cover these questions and discuss methods of detecting and creating black holes.


Secrets of the North: Hockey, Maple Syrup, Igloos and the Truth About Canada in Splash Fall 12 (Oct. 20, 2012)
orth of the United States lies the second biggest country in the world, which most Americans unfortunately know little about. This course, taught by a Canadian, will introduce students to our neighbor to the north. It will take a look at culture, geography, politics, sports, education, health care and more in Canada. So come and learn something, eh?


Cosmology in Splash Spring 12 (Mar. 24, 2012)
Why is the universe expanding? What is cosmological inflation? What creates the structure we see in the universe today? Come to learn all about the history of the universe and some of the still open questions!


Introduction to Cosmology in Splash Fall 11 (Oct. 22, 2011)
Why is the universe expanding? What is cosmological inflation? Where is Dark Matter located? Come to learn all about the history of the universe and some of the still open questions!


Physics of Black Holes in Splash Fall 11 (Oct. 22, 2011)
How does a black hole form? What is an event horizon? What is the difference between a Kerr and Schwarzschild metric? In this course we will cover the concepts between all of this, and maybe get into some of the still open questions, like the Cosmic Censorship Hypothesis.