Courses

Academic Writing: Clarity, Power and Persuasion

Writing is a complex process drawing on a number of skills from analysis and invention to revision and style. To write clearly, persuasively and powerfully is a vital skill—in university and beyond. In this course, students will consider texts and current events, engaging in issues related to their own values and perspectives on the larger world. They will learn to effectively use library resources to conduct research and analyze writing models to express ideas with clarity, awareness, and engagement. Through this course, students will learn to read critically, gather information, hone arguments, and practice the rigorous level of writing necessary to succeed in a university environment.

Cryptology and Number Theory

The history of cryptology—the art of enciphering and deciphering—is one of the most exciting stories of applied mathematics. It is a story of conspiracies and intrigue, secret societies and intelligence services, war and peace, power and money. Governments and big corporations have been paralyzed by code breakers, and outcomes of wars have been influenced by cryptologists. The ongoing race between encrypters and attackers has led to ingenious and elaborate coding algorithms that make heavy use of classical results from number theory. Students will explore the elementary theoretical aspects of number theory, abstract algebra, and cryptology, and study monoalphabetic and polyalphabetic substitution ciphers, modular arithmetic and mathematical induction, basic probability theory, and elementary matrix theory.

Engineering Thinking and Design (grades 8 and 9 only)

To be a successful engineer, one needs to combine insights from math and science and develop a wide variety of skills and tools to find innovative solutions to challenges in a dynamic, rapidly changing world. One also needs to understand complex problems and propose creative solutions, and this requires the analytical, emotional, and social intelligence to work with others, take risks, and learn from failure. In this course, students will collaborate in the use of multiple strategies to brainstorm, design, and construct projects; practice modeling and estimation techniques; test and evaluate project performance; and practice persuasion skills in friendly competitions. The course will provide an opportunity to dream big, think differently, and problem-solve.

Historical Epidemiology: Pathogens, Plagues, and Patient Zero

From the Black Death to smallpox to HIV/AIDS to the Ebola virus, disease continues to profoundly impact human history and the progress of societies. Study modern epidemiological techniques for tracking and analyzing disease impact on human society and apply those techniques to historical epidemics to better understand them. Evaluate diseases throughout the ages and their impact on society. Use the lessons of the past to develop modeling techniques for fighting modern disease. Grasp the responsibilities of organizations like the World Health Organization and Center for Disease Control and the role of consumer, technology, and social media in the quest to fight current and future epidemics.

Psychology of Decision-Making: Behavioral Economics

Integrate insights from cognitive psychology, social psychology, and behavioral economics to understand why people make the choices they make. Examine how cognitive processes that help people make sense of complex information can also logically lead them astray in decision making. Investigate how emotion, motivation, and information-processing shortcuts interact with careful, rational weighing of information. As you study the surprising ways that individuals actually make decisions, gain insights about decision making in fields such as healthcare, finance, education, and government.

From Start-Up to Billionaire: Entrepreneurial Leadership

Identify the keys to entrepreneurial success, including effective leadership, critical thinking skills, and the power of persuasion. Learn to move from ideas to marketable concepts to a viable business. Students will explore the workplace of the future, understanding entrepreneurial successes and failures, learning to identify and adapt to changing external factors, and exploring the leadership challenges of start-up organizations. Topics will include strategy, finance, marketing, the influence of changing demographics on consumer models, ethics, communication, the power of a persuasive presentation, and the role of social entrepreneurs. As a final project, students will develop a feasible business plan for their entrepreneurial ideas.