ESP Biography



SAL ELDER, Graduate student studying quantum information




Major: Applied Physics

College/Employer: Yale

Year of Graduation: G

Picture of Sal Elder

Brief Biographical Sketch:

Sal grew up just outside of Troy, NY, which is the birthplace of Uncle Sam. He recently graduated from Cornell University, where he majored in physics and wrote for the campus humor magazine. These days, he is but a lowly graduate student in the Yale Applied Physics department.



Past Classes

  (Look at the class archive for more.)


Quantum Computing in Splash Spring 19 (Apr. 06, 2019)
Quantum mechanics was developed about 100 years ago, and predicts strange or even "spooky" effects in physics. Later, it was discovered that quantum mechanics can be used, at least in theory, to build more powerful computers. In this course, we will answer the following questions: - What is quantum mechanics? - What are superposition and entanglement? - How could a quantum computer solve problems? - What do real quantum computing experiments look like?


How does Bitcoin work? in Sprout Spring 19 (Feb. 16 - Mar. 02, 2019)
Bitcoin is an electronic currency based on math. We will give a brief overview of its history and purpose, then discuss how the technology works. For example, we'll discuss: - the philosophy of money - hashing - digital signatures - Bitcoin mining


Famous physics experiments of the last 2,300 years in Sprout Fall 18 (Sep. 29 - Oct. 13, 2018)
People have always asked seemingly impossible questions, like: How big is the earth? How much does it weigh? Do atoms exist? Do electrons exist? In this course, we'll discuss the brilliant and surprisingly simple ways in which these questions were answered.


Unsolved math problems in Sprout Spring 18 (Feb. 17 - Mar. 03, 2018)
There are some problems in mathematics that sound simple, but have never been solved by anyone. In this elective, we'll explore what some of these problems are. (Maybe you can solve one!)


Proof by Induction in Sprout Fall 17 (Sep. 30 - Oct. 14, 2017)
Mathematical induction is a method of proving patterns. For example, you can use it to show that adding up the first $$n$$ odd numbers always equals $$n^2.$$ (Try it! The first five odd numbers are 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9. If you add them, you get 25, which is five squared. This pattern continues forever.) While it cannot be applied to every problem, it does have various applications throughout math. In this one-hour session, I'll explain what induction is and how it works. The rest of the time will be spent on a brief tour of examples, touching on algebra, geometry, and puzzles. If time permits, I'll introduce structural induction and context-free grammars.