Welcome to Claremont Splash

Splash Spring 2014
Course Catalog

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Arts Engineering
Humanities Math & Computer Science
Social Sciences Science


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A13: Let's write a play!
Difficulty: *

No matter what you find interesting in life, you can write a successful play. Everyone has a creative side to them and this course will help you unleash it! In this course we will begin with an activity where people will think of a conflict and write a monologue that comes to their head, and we will use this monologue to develop a character that can then be the main character in your play, with the story of this character turning into the underlying plot of the play. You can let your imagination take you anywhere you wish with your writing--into wars, deserted islands, or even made-up lands--and we will see together, where the story ends up--because the truth is, your imagination can take you places you never dreamed you could explore.

A26: Artist Trading Cards
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Sarah Nichols

Artist Trading Cards are miniature works of art (each one the size of a baseball card) that artists make and trade with each other. I will teach a short lesson on perspective, foreground, and background, show some examples of artist trading cards, and then give the students time to make their own. At the end of class the students will have a chance to trade their cards with each other and with me.

A29: Intro to Video Production
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Peter Chen

Want to be a filmmaker? A broadcast journalist? Learn to make a cool video from start to finish! This class will go over some of the basic principles and techniques of pre-production, production and post-production.

A35: Storytelling Through Poetry
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Madeline Cowen

Through a series of writing games and poetry exercises, learn to identify emotion, convey your thoughts, and tell a story--YOUR story. A willingness to write and openness to hearing others' work are all that are required.

A40: Early Music
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Emily TenCate

What did rock sound like in the Stone Age? Ever wondered whether monks really sounded like those guys in Monty Python and the Holy Grail? In this class, we'll listen to (and try to sing!) a bunch of the earliest recorded music -- how it might have sounded, how it was written down, and even the sorts of instruments it was played on. (You don't have to be good at singing to take this class.)

Ability to read musical notation NOT REQUIRED but is probably a plus.

A49: Principles of Improv
Difficulty: **
Teachers: David Tenorio

So what would happen if we put a bunch of actors of a stage...without a script?
Let's play some games and have some fun. All experience levels welcome. Come with an open mind and a willingness to take risks! E-mail us at or if you have any questions!


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E6: Tinkering – Take Things Apart
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Gail Gallaher

Have you ever just wanted to take something apart? Whether you’ve never touched a screwdriver or are an expert fixer, I welcome you to join me to work with tools, explore how something works, and have a lot of fun! This will be a relatively unstructured class where you’ll have the freedom to tinker with and take apart a machine we provide or something you bring (with permission) from home. Come ready to play, be persistent, and enjoy challenges.

E45: Websites 101 Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Ruth Byers

Want to learn how to build a website? It may be easier than you think. We'll learn how to write basic HTML (website content) and CSS (appearance) and a tiny bit of javascript (making your pages move and interact). We'll also talk about how to set up a public website.

Note that if you already have experience making a website, this class may be too easy for you!


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H19: Living Philosophy!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Conner Roberts

The worst trait of the subject of Philosophy is that it is often removed from "real life" and the way we experience it. This is a class to help us remember that Philosophy should be based out of our own lives in a dynamic and ever changing way. We will explore "the art of living" from eastern and western perspectives, poetry and poets, rappers and comic books, as well as what it means to "have an experience".

Math & Computer Science

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M9: Making Decisions under Uncertainty and The St. Petersburg Paradox
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Sam Gutekunst

How can we use mathematics to make difficult decisions about the future? What if we have to make a bet? We need to consider both the probability of winning and the value of the win, and the concept that takes both into account is called "expectation." It's used in cost-benefit analysis in economics and engineering, its how casinos pick which games to offer, and it underlies many of the choices people need to make, whether or not the people know mathematics. Yet this simple idea -- multiply the probability of the outcome by the value of the outcome -- turns out to be not so simple. Indeed, just after it was first invented, it produced a paradox that radically challenged the definition of expectation. In the years after the paradox was described, the most brilliant mathematicians of the 18th century argued over how to resolve it. Today, many of these resolutions would seem archaic (for example, distinguishing between moral probability and mathematical probability). But the questions remain. Is the notion of expectation mathematically challenged by the paradox? Is it in fact a paradox? What does this tell us about the basic ideas in probability theory? And, for all of us who want to do mathematical research, what does this tell us about how mathematics actually develops?

We'll start with a brief introduction and review of two basic concepts of probability and expectation. Then we'll move briskly into discussing the paradox and the various resolutions that have been proposed. We'll put the paradox into a historical context to see how a field of mathematics can actually be created, and conclude by discussing how and when we can actually use mathematics to make decisions. Here's a couple of questions to get you started: If you had a choice between being given 90 cents or having a 50% chance to win $2, which would you choose? What if it was between being given $9,000,000 or having a 50% chance to win $20,000,000. Are these different scenarios?

High school algebra 2

M17: Learn Electronics! Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: J.D. Zamfirescu

Get started with electronics on the Arduino platform!

In this class, we'll take a quick tour of basic electronic components, the Arduino microcontroller, and take a look at what kinds of projects you can build with just a few simple parts.

M21: The Mathematics of Origami
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Elizabeth Kelley

In this class, we will explore the beauty and surprising mathematical power of origami, both as a mathematical object in its own right and as a tool for understanding other mathematics. Topics include: the origami axioms, geometric constructions with origami (i.e. cube doubling, angle trisection, etc), origami numbers, real world applications, and connections to abstract algebra, topology, graph theory, geometry, and other mathematical subfields.

Familiarity with high school geometry and algebra. Familiarity with pre-calculus would be useful, but is not absolutely required.

M27: Bro, Do You Even Count?
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Dina Sinclair

Combinatorics - the art of counting things - is an incredibly beautiful, intuitive branch of mathematics, If you've ever wondered how to move beyond enumerating, how to count sets, orderings, llamas (because who wouldn't want to count llamas?) and maybe even different kinds of infinity (wait, that's even possible? Yes, some infinities are more infinite than others...) then this class is for you!

M32: Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Arianna Perkins

What is artificial intelligence? How do we build a rational agent? What are some applications of artificial intelligence? In this course, we will begin with an overview of the goals and current status of AI (artificial intelligence). From there, we will explore the many algorithms behind adversarial games, sudokus, the map-coloring problem, search and heuristics, machine learning (a BIG field), and more. We will conclude with a discussion of the ethics of AI, applications of AI in industry and everyday life, and future hopes and potential paths for computer science in the field of artificial intelligence.

Some exposure to computer science or algorithms might be useful, but is not required.

M38: Real-World Programming: Building a Web App Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Matt Dahl

You've learned about scripting and built command-line programs, but how can you translate that into making something cool that you can put on the Internet for *anyone* to use?

In this class, we'll talk about the basics of how the web works, and how things get interesting when more computers than just your own are involved. Then we'll jump into building a non-trivial modern web app using the popular MeteorJS framework. This technology is at the bleeding-edge of web development today - the concepts in this class are crucial for any budding software engineer!

Experience with basic HTML and CSS is preferred but not necessary - the real fun will be taking place entirely in JavaScript. Prior knowledge of object-oriented and functional styles of programming will help you get the most out of this class. Experience with noSQL databases like MongoDB is a real plus!

Prior exposure to object-oriented programming. Experience with the DOM preferred.

M39: Learn to Code in 2 Hours Flat! Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Dylan Baker, Max Howard

Learn to code in just 2 hours! Using the fun, flexible, intuitive language Python, we'll hit the ground running with fun programming puzzles & small projects. After this class, you'll be familiar with the basic logic of CS, and you'll be ready to dive into learning any new language!

Done some coding before, but want to learn Python? Eager to try out some challenging computational puzzles? This is a great class for you!

Questions about the course? Want to say hi? Email Dylan at

M48: Ask A Mathematician!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: 7C Math Circle

What does it mean to be a mathematician? What do they do all day? What do people mean when they say they find mathematics "fun", "beautiful", or "exciting"? Do you have to be good at math to enjoy it? Do you have to understand math to enjoy it? How do people discover that they like it? What does math look like in college? What does college look like through math? How do mathematicians party? How do mathematicians eat their corn?

7C Math Circle is here to answer your questions! We are a group of mathematics enthusiasts across the Claremont Colleges. Anyone who likes math is welcome in our community, regardless of background.

We will also have a few panelists leading an interactive discussion about the mathematics they enjoy. This discussion will cover diverse topics under the broad umbrella of “paradoxes in probability”. However, in the spirit of inclusion that i central to the 7C Math Circle, all of the topics will be accessible for any student who has completed a first course in algebra.

Enrolled in or completed a first course in high school algebra.

Social Sciences

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P11: Implications of Fukushima
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Shosuke Hasegawa

Investigate the cause and consequence of Fukushima Nuclear Plant disaster.

P34: Microfinance
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Xinzhu Li

Are you interested in poverty alleviation? Have you ever heard about microfinance and impact investing? Microfinance has become the fastest growing financial offering to the global poor. Successful for decades but obscure as an industry, microfinance burst onto the global stage with the awarding of the 2006 Nobel Prize to Muhammud Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. Over time, microfinance continues to grow with all kinds of innovations. Come learn about microfinance’s unique structure, its fast growth, and the backlash it’s experiencing!


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S4: The Great Lesson
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Lenore Byers

From the Big Bang to Current Day and Beyond! We will look at how we came to be and what might the future hold.


S10: The Human Body - Food Processing
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Kate Arriola

In this class we will discuss the anatomy and physiology of the human digestive system. Primary digestive organs and their functions will be discussed, and we will use snacks explore the human gastrointestinal experience fully.

Basic Chemistry

S22: Yum, Bacteria! C. elegan's Favorite!
Difficulty: ***

That rotten apple you see on the ground doesn't just have probably also has thousands of worms--nematode Caenorhabditis elegans--consuming the bacteria for a delicious meal!

But C. elegans is picky, and it has a preference for certain kinds of bacteria. Learn and apply hands-on molecular biology techniques as we run an experimental assay to learn the food choice of C. elegans!

S44: Physics and Unicycling
Difficulty: **

We will talk about the physics of unicycling, ending with learning how to unicycle.


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X5: Comedy, Critical thinking, and Social Justice
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Andikan Archibong

You May Be broke But You're Never Too Broke To Pay Attention And Spare Some Change.

Question everything, Be hilarious, Cause Positive Changes

X12: Jane Austen's Impact on Today's Society
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Brianne Howell

This class will look at the life and legacy of Jane Austen and why her works continue to inspire and intrigue so many nearly two hundred years after her death. We will examine how Austen challenged social norms of her time, as well as some current interpretations of her writings in movies and literature. This will include a look at rom-coms, feminism, Regency Era games, a statue of Colin Firth, and zombie fiction.

X14: Chinese 101
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Yi li

Come learn basic Chinese!!


X16: The Culture of the Internet
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Renan Greca

For almost two decades, the Internet has been playing a major role in the formation of people's backgrounds. In this class, we will talk about the influence the web had in people's lives and I will talk about phenomenons I have participated in, such as the recent Twitch Plays Pokémon.

X20: Basic Financial Accounting
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Nicholas Eng

Learn the accounting equation, how to read a balance sheet and income statement, and see how transactions are recorded! For budding investors, accountants or entrepreneurs.

have an interest in business

X28: Relax and Juice Up Your Health Naturally
Difficulty: **

Does your body and mind need a vacation? Well we will provide you with the key ingredients to achieve a rested body and soul through juices, incense, herbs, and relaxation. We will teach you how to relieve your stress with various methods that are applicable to a school setting as well as show you the damage stress creates in the long run. Don't stress just sign up!

X36: Learning Japanese through Anime
Difficulty: **

We will watch a short anime piece and learn a few key phrases in Japanese from the piece. Later, if we have time, we will use the Japanese we learned to reenact a scene from the anime in a short skit!

X41: Figuring Out Fair Trade
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Ariana Stuart

Heard of Fair Trade but never really understood what that little logo on your chocolate bar meant? Using an "edible lesson" (yes real food) we will explore what Fair Trade means, what effect it has, and how people are addressing it here in Claremont.