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Assumptions in Advertising
When we stop to think about it, the sheer volume of advertising that we are exposed to every day is astounding. What are these images and sounds we hear every day trying to tell us? What assumptions do they make about who we are as people? And how do they affect our behavior? In this class, we'll study the relationship between consumption and citizenship, and try to develop the skills to identify the messages implicit in our advertisement-saturated society.

Time Is Relative
You're sitting on a moving train as another train goes past in the other direction. When the trains are right next to each other, you see that the windows line up exactly. When two people at the ends of your car clap at the same time, your friend in the other train also sees them clap at exactly the same time. And when you take the train back to the station you started from, you notice that your watch is three minutes off from the station clock, just like it was when you left.
In this lesson, we will discuss why none of these observations would hold if the train were traveling close to the speed of light, and learn about how physics understands motion that approaches light speed.

Dynamic Populations
How do animal populations interact with their environments? How do ecosystems influence how offspring are raised, how populations grow, and whether a given population will succeed or fail? In this lesson, we will examine these questions and others in an introduction to the study of population dynamics. We will discuss how individual species exist within their ecosystems, and explore interactions between different populations in the same ecosystem, shedding light on the question of how animal populations impact and are impacted by the world around us.

The Comics Scare
In the 1950s, the US Senate launched a show trial of comics in the form of hearings on juvenile delinquency. The result was that the Comics Code Authority was established, forbidding American comics to depict crime, horror, or dissidence. Why did this happen and how? What were the consequences of this sudden censorship? In this class, you'll learn the story of how an entire industry nearly disappeared, and how that affected both comics and American culture through the rest of the 20th century and to this day.

Home Chemistry for the Apocalypse
If the zombie apocalypse, the biblical apocalypse, or the nuclear apocalypse came tomorrow, you might know where to find family, friends, and even food. But would you know how to make your own electricity? We'll teach you some basics for recreating the benefits of modern civilization out of common household materials, along with the science behind them.

Interrogating the Text
All of us engage with texts on a daily basis - in pictures and screens as well as old-fashioned books. But how much do we really think about the process of reading texts? Why do the things we read mean what they mean? How do they have meanings at all? Close reading is a tool that provides ways to analyze texts and examine how a string of words can put forth ideas. It also enables us to "read" texts that don't have any written words at all - from pictures and music to film and dance. In this lesson, students will encounter some of the basic techniques for close reading and apply them to a variety of different kinds of text.

"Just Following Orders"
What choices do people make when instructed to hurt someone they don't know? Does it matter if everyone else is doing it? Social psychologists Stanley Milgram and Philip Zimbardo set out to answer these questions in their famous experiments. Students will compare the procedures and results of these experiments, and consider why they diverged from psychologists' expectations. In exploring the implications of such studies, students will gain insight into human nature and how situations can affect the behavior of individuals for both good and ill.

Infinity Plus One
"Infinity" is a concept that gets used very casually, but it has a rich and complex mathematical underpinning. In this lesson, we'll explore how we can reason about infinity, how we can "count" infinitely many things, and why the childhood cry "infinity plus one!" can in fact mean something bigger than "infinity". In doing so, we'll learn about the framework that all of modern mathematics is built upon: set theory.