Splash Spring 2018
Course Catalog


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Arts Engineering
Humanities Math & Computer Science
Science Miscellaneous


Arts

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A123: The Music of Shostakovich
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Julia Costacurta

In this course, we will examine the musical motifs and motivations of Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich, paying special attention to his 8th String Quartet. We will take a look at how Shostakovich's life experiences shaped his work, and discuss how his music functions to convey his attitude about the politics of his time.


Engineering

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E121: Beyond Big Pharma: The Transformation of Healthcare with Biomaterials
Difficulty: **
Teachers: A Bizub

A lot of focus is put on Pharmaceuticals these days, but if you want to know how we're going to cure cancer in the future, you'll want to understand biomaterials. This course will expose students to the basics of biomaterials and their applications in healthcare. A brief overview of what biomaterials are and their importance will be given, then applications with regards to everything from tissue engineering to vascular embolization to biosensing and beyond will be covered. Then we will perform a fun experiment wherein you will create your own polymer!


Prerequisites
Rudimentary understanding of chemistry (middle school, so everyone should be able to take it)


Humanities

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H132: Treachery, Treason, and the Tudors
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Falyn Weiss

This class will provide a brief overview of the War of the Roses, a conflict between noble houses in Britain that lead to an upheaval of the British throne. We will examine the various claims on the British throne, Yorkist rebellion, and other important events and concepts.

H135: Peasants to Rulers: Great Underdogs of China
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jenny Wu

How do commoners come to rule an empire as vast as China? This course will explore the tumultuous history of China, the rise and fall of great dynasties, and the extraordinary circumstances in which "ordinary" people rose to unparalleled power. Learn about what it takes to rule a military state (the ruthlessness and manipulation required is Game of Thrones-level).

H131: Too Dangerous for Disney
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Falyn Weiss

Quiet, dainty, well-behaved - what could be more boring than Cinderella? Many rulers have been inspiring, powerful - even ruthless. This course will explore some of the famous queens and princesses throughout history who don't quite resemble our 'traditional' Disney-esque princesses.

H110: An Examination of Humor(s)
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Hannah Garcia

In this course we will be going through the four humors of historical medicine. We will be exploring the function of each humor, what happens when they are in excess, and how medical professionals tried to re-balance the humors after a disruption.

H133: Writing in and About Baltimore
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Morgan Ome

Baltimore has been home to many great American poets, journalists, and novelists over the years. In this class, we will examine works by influential Baltimore writers including Ta-Nehisi Coates, Frederick Douglass, and Edgar Allan Poe. Students will also have the opportunity to write about their own experiences in Baltimore.


Math & Computer Science

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M114: Alan Turing, World War II, and the Theory of Computation
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Ross Dempsey

The recent movie "The Imitation Game" brought attention to Alan Turing, a British mathematician who played a key role in the Allied codebreaking effort during World War II. In this class, we'll explore the fascinating story of how the Enigma machine used by the Germans was compromised, and look at some of the mathematics involved. We'll also talk about Turing's broader impact on computer science, and how the "Turing machine" is still a crucial aspect of theoretical computer science. We'll finish by discussing the most important outstanding problem in this field, the P=NP question, and how it relates to everyday computational problems.


Prerequisites
High school algebra

M115: Georg Cantor, Kurt Godel, and the Incompleteness of Mathematics
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Ross Dempsey

In a speech to the International Congress of Mathematicians in 1900, the eminent mathematician David Hilbert made a bold claim: "In mathematics there is no ignorabimus," that is, nothing we cannot know. In 1930 he redoubled on this belief, stating that there is no question in mathematics that cannot eventually be answered, and famously claiming "We must know, we will know." In 1931, the young logician Kurt Godel proved him to be incorrect, through two theorems which resoundingly demonstrate the formal incompleteness of mathematics.

In this class, we'll start by exploring Georg Cantor's contributions to set theory and the understanding of infinity and the transfinite. We'll then explore the exact meaning of Godel's incompleteness theorems, and see how a seemingly benign problem which interested Cantor is actually unsolvable. We'll also discuss the lives of both men; after enlightening the world on the foundations of mathematics, each of them eventually went insane.


Prerequisites
High school algebra

M117: From Pierre Fermat to Andrew Wiles: the Last Theorem
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Ross Dempsey

In his copy of Diophantus' Arithmetica, the amateur French mathematician Pierre de Fermat claimed he had proved a theorem, but did not give the proof. This was typical of Fermat, and other mathematicians found proofs for his other results. The theorem in question was the last one standing, and this became its name: Fermat's Last Theorem.

It took over 350 years before Andrew Wiles found a proof of this theorem. In this class, we'll look at some of the fascinating history of the theorem and failed attempts to prove it in the intervening centuries. The general areas of mathematics that eventually proved successful, elliptic curves and modular forms, will be introduced.


Prerequisites
High school algebra

M122: Solving Equations with Origami
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Julia Costacurta

Did you know that paper-folding can be used to solve equations? In 1936, Margharita Beloch proved that origami folds can be used to solve cubic polynomials by employing Eduard Lill's geometric method for solving polynomials. We will take a look at her proof and try out her method for ourselves!


Prerequisites
High school algebra, trigonometry

M118: Leonhard Euler: Master of us All
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Ross Dempsey

Pierre-Simon de Laplace, a great mathematician in his own right, is believed to have said "Read Euler, read Euler, he is the master of us all." Such a claim would be no surprise. Euler was one of the most productive mathematicians in history; he left about 30,000 pages of work in mathematics, physics, engineering, astronomy, and even music theory.

In this class, we'll look at a few of Euler's interesting and approachable breakthroughs. What is the sum 1+1/4+1/9+...? Can you walk each road in a town just once? How many regular solids are there (having all faces the same, like a cube)? How many pentagons are on a soccer ball? Euler introduced mathematics capable of answering each of these questions, and we will see how.


Prerequisites
High school algebra

M107: Calculus Separable Equations
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Smitha Mahesh

Introduction to Differential Equations
Students will learn to how differentiate separable equations and apply the knowledge to real-world applications.


Prerequisites
Calculus I

M138: Prisoners, Goats, and How to win at Rock Paper Scissors
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Ronan Perry

What do these three have in common? What problem did one magazine columnist get right but fooled thousands of mathematicians? Come learn about Game Theory and find out. We'll discuss classic problems, learn some of their cool history, and most importantly play some games too. As a bonus, winners get candy!


Prerequisites
High School Algebra helpful but not required.

M120: Evariste Galois and the Solvability of Equations
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Ross Dempsey

Evariste Galois was a precocious young mathematician who was never recognized in his lifetime. As a teenager, he answered a question which had gone unanswered for hundreds of years: when can an algebraic equation be solved? Before dying at the age of 20 in a duel, he laid down foundations for areas now known as group theory and Galois theory, and his papers were posthumously discovered by mathematicians who could recognize the genius.

In this class, we'll look at Galois's interesting but brief life, and then explore the basics of the theory he laid out. You'll learn the basics of what mathematicians call algebra - completely different from what high schools call algebra - and how it can be used in some familiar problems. We'll then see how these methods can be applied to the question of the solvability of equations, and give a rough idea of why some equations simply can't be solved. We'll also see how this relates to an ancient question: using compass and straightedge, can you trisect an angle? (The answer is no, and we'll see a simple reason why.)


Prerequisites
High school algebra


Science

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S109: Apoptosis: Destruction that Saves
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Hannah Garcia

In this course we will be discussing Apoptosis which is the process of programmed cell death present in multi cellular organisms.
Topics Covered:
- Overview of apoptosis as a whole
- How apoptosis makes us, us!
- Why it is a necessary process
- What happens when there are complications with this process

S136: Beautiful Biology: A Look Inside Yourself
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Kristen Nixon

Have you ever wondered how your body works at the molecular level? Join me in viewing and learning about the biology behind jaw-dropping pictures and animations of biological processes. You will get to watch how your DNA replicates itself, how your food gets converted into cellular energy, and what happiness may look like in your brain. You will leave this class with a deep fascination of how tiny, incredibly complex molecules in your body work together to keep you alive and healthy!

S105: The Biology of HIV
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Carrie Hetzel

Interested in science or medicine? Ever wanted to know how HIV works? This class explores basic biology topics such as DNA, enzymes, and viruses. We will relate this to the study of Human Immunodeficiency Virus and learn about the current barriers to curing HIV.

S111: Thinking Spatially
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Kiley McKee

Should schools have mandatory Tetris time? Can playing with legos help you with quantum physics? This class explores spatial thinking - the ability to mentally represent and analyze 3D objects and spatial relations. We will define what spatial thinking is, how it is tested, how it can be improved, and the educational applications.

S128: Sculpted by Speech: How language affects thought
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Alan Poe

Speech and language are things that we take for granted everyday. Yet, people rarely spend time to think about how the language you speak affects how you think and the limits or expands the way your ideas can be expressed. In this class, you will learn about the psychology behind languages and what it does to both your brain and you as a person.

S119: Richard Feynman, the Path Integral, and Least Action Principles
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Ross Dempsey

Richard Feynman was a physicist of great importance in the 20th century. He had an amusing character, which famously led him to take up safecracking as a hobby while working at the highly secretive Manhattan Project to develop an atomic bomb. In this class, we'll look at one of Feynman's most important contributions to physics, the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics. This work was crucial because it connects quantum theory to the most important idea in classical physics, the least action principle. This class will enable you to understand these foundational and not-often-discussed ideas in theoretical physics, and will also be punctuated by more light-hearted anecdotes from Feynman's life.


Prerequisites
Precalculus

S116: Albert Einstein, Black Holes, and Gravitational Waves
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Ross Dempsey

In response to an experiment (eventually shown to be faulty) which seemed at the time to contest the evidence for special relativity, Einstein famously quipped: "Subtle is the Lord, but malicious he is not." A century after the discovery of general relativity, physicists have detected the most subtle signal of all, gravitational waves. In this class, we'll explore the basic aspects of general relativity theory, and see how it leads naturally to the possibility of black holes. We'll then review the current state of knowledge on black holes, including their formation and the existence of supermassive black holes. After this we'll look at the gravitational wave solution to Einstein's equations, and see how the LIGO collaboration manages to detect the extremely faint signals they produce on Earth.


Prerequisites
High school algebra


Miscellaneous

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X112: Learning Jewish Holidays Through the Food They Eat
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Joshua Krachman

Ever wanted to explore the different Jewish holidays in a way that appeals to the taste buds? The Jewish people as a culture really enjoy their cultural food, specifically on the holidays. The purpose of this class is to not only taste the foods associated with both the Ashkenazic (Eastern European) and Sephardic (Spanish/Middle Eastern) traditions and flavors but also learn the reasoning as to why we eat the food we do.


Prerequisites
Welcoming to all who enjoy eating food and learning about the culture behind it.

X137: How to Make Your Story Work for You
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Kristen Nixon

It's easy to go through life feeling imprisoned by your own story. If you think you are too young to have a story, think again. Every experience you've ever had, from your pains to your triumphs, weave together in your mind to create the story you tell yourself about your life. In this class, we will observe how our mind currently tells our story and learn to spin that narrative in a way that gives our lives meaning and hope. Be ready for a journey of self-discovery through learning and journaling!

X126: How to Become a Great Leader
Difficulty: *

Leadership is not something esoteric or elusive that only the very best of us can achieve. Rather, each and every single one of us can be a leader by living by our values and empowering others to do the same.

Drawing on examples of great leaders of the past, this class will explore what it means to be a leader, and will offer ways for each individual to realize that potential within themselves.

X140: Tour Hopkins! Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Admissions at JHU

Come join Hopkins's official student tour guides for a tour around campus!

X113: The Psychology of You: Crash Course in Personality Typology
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Shaina Munin

Ever wonder why you think and act the way you do? In this course, we will break down the theory of two main personality typing systems, Myers-Briggs and Enneagram, and learn how to apply them to our own individual behavior. We will explore ways to use these systems to better understand ourselves: our strengths, weaknesses, comfort zones, and opportunities for growth. Please bring a laptop or smartphone to class, as we will be taking some online personality tests too!

X108: Kitten 101
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Hannah Garcia

Kitten season - the time when most adult cats give birth to their kittens - runs from April-October and local shelters are going to need your help! If you want to learn how to save tiny lives, this is the class for you. In this class we will go over why these little ones need our help and, also, how to take care of kittens from the time when they are newborns up to the age of eight weeks.

X139: Trolleys, Memes, and Self Driving Cars
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Ronan Perry

There's a runaway trolley (train), people tied to the tracks, and you have a decision to make. But what is the correct decision and why? And more importantly, how are memes involved. We'll take a look at this iconic thought experiment, some of the philosophies behind it, and discuss why it actually matters today. Turns out, artificial intelligence has some tough decisions to make.