Splash Biography

EITAN MINSKY-FENICK, Yale sophomore studying Physics

Major: Physics

College/Employer: Yale

Year of Graduation: 2022

Picture of Eitan Minsky-Fenick

Brief Biographical Sketch:


I’m a senior physics major. I actually have teaching experience, but its usefulness remains to be seen. I like pretty things, like proofs and the sliding block problem. Bonus points if you ask about the sliding block problem.
Yes I know you don’t get a grade.
I’m honestly a fun person to hear lecture, or at least I am in my imagination. You are important to me, and if you want to stay after and talk to me about anything, literally, I will be glad to have that discussion with you. Or shoot me an email with questions, at eitan.minsky-fenick@yale.edu.

Past Classes

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

S4477: The Scale of Everything in Splash Fall 2021 (Nov. 13, 2021)
The entire universe exists within sixty-two orders of magnitude difference in size. Splash classes last sixty minutes. I figure I'll have to skip a couple of the less interesting zoom levels to make the universe fit in one class. In this class we will be looking through all the orders of magnitude of the universe, scrolling from Planck length to the observable bubble, and you will have questions all along the way– questions I will do my best to answer, be they about galaxies, Ganymede, glucose, or gluons. I won't know everything, but that's half the fun! Join me on a scroll-bar driven guided tour of all things large and small.

S4380: Binding Energy: E=mc^2, and Why in Splash Spring 2021 (Apr. 24, 2021)
I'm sure you've all heard of Einstein's famous $$E=mc^2$$. What you might not know is why it's true, what it applies to, and the many ways we can use it. In this class we'll talk about nuclear fission as well as chemistry and planetary orbits, all through the concept that motion leads to tiny discrepancies in mass. We can even calculate the energy we'd need to make gold from lead. Welcome, for this is the alchemy of the modern world!

M4325: Being Careful About Chance in Splash Fall 2020 (Nov. 14, 2020)
Gosh, aren't you SO EXCITED to take a class about being careful and methodical? Such a gripping and germane topic, I hear you think. Well, it's important to know what you're doing when you think about probability. Did you know lots of people have trouble telling the difference between someone having a ninety percent chance of winning an election and them having ninety percent of the vote? Did you know how the chance that you will take this class given that you finish reading this sentence is related to the probability that you finish reading this sentence given that you will take this class? Did you know that 87% of all statistics are made up right there on the spot? How about that despite the chance of someone not having heard that joke before being zero, it's still not impossible that you found that funny? If you take this class, you will learn all of this and more. No longer will you be forced to think in vague terms about chances, no longer will you be taken in by the prosecutor's lies, no longer will you be predictable in your randomness. You will be glorious in your understanding of statistics, and slightly more knowledgeable about common tricks used to take advantage of your statistically uninitiated brethren. Welcome, and be entertained!

M4209: Game Theory in Splash Spring 2020 (Apr. 11, 2020)
Want to learn why animals behave how they do? Why retribution is such a primal desire? Why we stop trusting people when they betray us? Want to learn why it's hard to decide whether you should take an umbrella? Want to learn why we sit precariously on the precipice of nuclear apocalypse, and yet somehow have never fallen? Learn all this and more, using rectangles, numbers, and not-quite-math but definitely not any other discipline.

C4150: Special Relativity and How It's Actually Fairly Reasonable in Sprout Spring 2020 (Feb. 15 - 29, 2020)
This course is an attempt to teach special relativity. I will be attempting to use as little math as possible, but there will still be at least 4 derivatives and several matrices and vectors. I'll be trying to convince you all of the fact that relativity is actually very sensible and hardly sucks at all.

S3885: Harmonic Oscillators in Splash Fall 2019 (Nov. 16, 2019)
I taught this at Sprout, and I'm teaching it again here. Probably don't take it twice? This course studies about half the things that exist. Half of nature approximately follows the rule that $$\ddot{x}\approx -kx$$ and the other half that $$\ddot{x}\approx kx$$, for positive $$k$$. This course is about the first one. We will also study driving, which is how you get home from the pool, and damping, which is what happens to the car seat when you do so. (I wish I didn't have to add this, but that's a joke. Damping and driving are interesting force situations.)

C3806: Harmonic Oscillators in Sprout Fall 2019 (Sep. 28 - Oct. 12, 2019)
This is a course about all things which have the property that $$\ddot{x}\approx -kx$$. That turns out to be about half of all things. This is a course about a lot of things. All of them are physics. Last year I taught a super general mathematics course, and it turned out to be too general, so I am being specific now.

M3578: Building Mathematics And Fun, Hard Problems in Splash Spring 19 (Apr. 06, 2019)
Modeled after MATH230, this course starts from the premise that you know how to count with positive whole numbers, and goes from there. From that, we should end up moving through functions into linear algebra, stopping by $$\sqrt{2}$$ and calling it irrational, and finally wind up at a bit of calculus and multivariable calculus. Or, you know, we might get sidetracked if one of you had a beautiful problem I’ve never seen before. And if you (collectively via democratic process) all want to learn something different, like probability, basic science, or physics, I might teach that instead. Also some of my favorite problems will be discussed.