# 2023 Course Offerings

An Introduction to Cryptography: From the Caesar Cipher to the One Time Pad (FULL) – Pat Boland
(Session 2)
How do we transmit private information in a secure, yet feasible way? This question has challenged humans for thousands of years and has become increasingly more important with the technological advances of the 20th and 21st centuries. This course will study a number of cryptographic techniques and the mathematics used to implement and analyze each. We will attempt to pay homage to the work of former University of Michigan undergraduate student Claude Shannon in his development of modern cryptographic theory. For example, we will ponder: What technique should we use if the “enemy” knows the system? Mathematically we will introduce and use elements of combinatorics, probability and statistics, modular arithmetic, elementary number theory (including factorization as a means to study the RSA algorithm), and the concept of random number generation. This course will be interactive with a focus on group work and scholar presentations. We will also use the University computer labs to help implement and analyze ciphers.

Art and Mathematics (FULL) –  Martin Strauss
(Sessions 2 & 3)

With just a little historical revisionism, we can say that Art has provided inspiration for many fields within Mathematics. Conversely, Mathematics gives techniques for analyzing, appreciating, and even creating Art, as well as the basis for gallery design, digital cameras, and processing of images. In this class we will explore the Mathematics in great works of Art as well as folk art, as a way of studying and illustrating central mathematical concepts in familiar and pleasing material. And we’ll make our own art, by drawing, painting, folding origami papers, and more. Major topics include Projection, Symmetry, Wave Behavior, and Distortion. Projection includes the depiction of three-dimensional objects in two dimensions. What mathematical properties must be lost, and what can be preserved? How does an artwork evoke the feeling of three-dimensional space? We’ll study perspective, depictions of globes by maps, and the role of curvature. Turning to symmetry, we’ll study rotational and reflective symmetry that arise in tiling and other art and math. We’ll study more generalized symmetry like scaling and self-similarity that occurs in fractals as well as every self-portrait, and is central to mathematical concepts of dimension and un very different from the work at coarser scales—it is not self-similar. Describing light as waves and color as wavelength at once explains how mirrors, lenses, and prisms work and explains some uses of light and color in art. Finally, we ask about distorting fabrics and strings, and ask about the roles of cutting, gluing, and of stretching without cutting or gluing. Is a distorted human figure still recognizable, as long as it has the right number of organs and limbs, connected properly? Background in Math and interest in Art suggested. No artistic talent is necessary, though artistically talented students are encouraged to bring art supplies if they are inexpensive and easily transportable.

Brain and Behavior (FULL) –  Jen Cummings
(Session 2)

Ever wonder how that gelatinous blob in your head controls everything you do and think? What exactly are neurons? How do they talk to each other? And to the rest of your body? Have you ever wondered about things like: how does stress affect your body? Is exercise really that good for your brain? What happens if you miss a few nights of sleep? It makes sense that your brain affects your experiences- but can experiences actually change your brain?? We will answer these questions (and more!) in Brain and Behavior, as we explore the amazing field of behavioral neuroscience. We will begin with a section on the basic functionality of the brain and nervous system, and then will go on to investigate how the system can be affected by things like stress, learning & memory, hormones, and neuropsychiatric disorders. We will leave some time for a session on student-selected topics in behavioral neuroscience, so if there’s something else you’ve been pondering with respect to the brain, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered.

Catalysis, Solar Energy and Green Chemical Synthesis (FULL) – Corey Stephenson
(Session 2)

“Catalysis, Solar Energy, and Green Chemical Synthesis” will provide a fun and intellectually stimulating hands-on experience that instills a historical appreciation for the giants whose trials and tribulations have enabled our modern understanding of chemistry and biology. Students will learn modern laboratory techniques including how to set up, monitor, and purify chemical reactions, and most importantly, how to determine what they made! Experiments include the synthesis of biomolecules using some of the most transformative reactions of the 20th century and exposure to modern synthetic techniques, such as the use of metal complexes that absorb visible light to catalyze chemical reactions; an important development in the “Green Science” movement. Finally, industrial applications of chemistry such as polymer synthesis and construction of photovoltaic devices will be performed. Daily experiments will be supplemented with exciting demonstrations by the graduate student instructors.

Climbing the Distance Ladder to the Big Bang: How Astronomers Survey the Universe (FULL) –  Dragan Huterer
(Session 1)
The furthest objects that astronomers can observe are so distant that their light set out when the Universe was only 800 million years old; the light from these objects has been traveling to us for about 13 billion years. Even the Sun’s neighborhood – the local part of our Galaxy, where astronomers have successfully searched for planets around other stars – extends to hundreds of light years. How do we measure the distance to such remote objects? Certainly not in a single step! Astronomers construct the so-called “Distance Ladder,” finding the distance to nearby objects, thus enabling those bodies to be understood and used as probes of yet more distant regions. This class will explore the steps in this ladder, using lectures, discussions, field trips, and demonstrations. Students will learn basic computer programming, culminating in a project to model the motion of massive bodies interacting gravitationally. We will go to a nearby “mountain” near Ann Arbor to do night-time observing, guided by members of a local amateur astronomers’ club. We will cover concepts involving space, time, and matter that go far beyond the distance ladder, and involve some of the most fascinating mysteries in cosmology and astrophysics: What is it like inside a black hole? What is the Dark Matter? What is the Dark Energy that makes the Universe expand faster and faster? Is there other life in the Universe? The class is recommended for students with solid high-school mathematics background, including some exposure to vectors.

Dissecting Life: Human Anatomy and Physiology  (FULL) –  Mary Orczykowski
(Sessions 1 & 2)
Dissecting Life will lead students through the complexities and wonders of the human body. Lecture sessions will cover human anatomy in detail. Students will gain an understanding of physiology and histology and use these as a foundation to study human form and function. In the lab sessions, students will apply and reinforce concepts through comparative anatomy dissection, case discussions, self-experimentation, modeling, etc. In addition, students will have the opportunity to learn from osteological and dissected (plastinated and embalmed) human anatomical donors within the University of Michigan Medical School’s Gross Anatomy Laboratories.

Forensic Physics (FULL) –  Ramon Torres-Isea
(Sessions 1 & 3)

A fiber is found at a crime scene. Can we identify what type of fiber it is and can we match it to a suspect’s fiber sample, for example from a piece of clothing? Likewise, someone claims to have valuable ancient Roman coins, a newly-found old master painting, or a Viking map of America predating Columbus’ voyage. Are they authentic or fakes? How can we determine that using some physics-based techniques? (These are real examples the Viking map proved to be a forgery). Also for example, how is a laser-based molecular-probing technique used to stop criminals from trading billions of dollars of counterfeit pharmaceuticals and endangering thousands of lives? These are a few among many examples of experimental physics methods applied to several areas of Forensics. In this session, students will be introduced to these methods and have opportunities to make measurements using molecular, atomic and nuclear forensic techniques. In addition, applications to medical imaging and diagnostics will be introduced. Students will be working at our Intermediate and Advanced Physics Laboratories with the underlying physics for each method presented in detail, followed by demonstrations and laboratory activities, which include the identification of an “unknown” sample. Various crime scenes will challenge students to select and apply one or more of the methods and use their Forensic Physics skills to conduct investigations.

From Nuclei to Particles: Physics at the Smallest Scales (FULL) – Jianming Qian
(Session 3
)

Ever wonder how stars produce their energy? How the Universe evolved in its first second? What are the fundamental building blocks of Nature? How do particles interact with each other? How do we study physical phenomena at the shortest distances? These are example questions that this course will try to answer. The course will be divided into three distinct but related subjects: nuclear physics, standard model of particle physics, and particle-matter interaction and detection. We will begin with a short introduction of basic mathematics and conventions, followed by discussions of topics in nuclear physics including nuclear stability and decays, energy generation through nuclear fission and fusion processes, nuclear synthesis. We will then go over the standard model (SM) of particle physics, introducing quarks and leptons and reviewing major discoveries that led to the development of the SM. Finally, we will survey techniques and tools for studying physics at smallest scales including particle accelerators and radiation detectors.

Graph Theory (FULL) –  Doug Shaw
(Sessions 1, 2 & 3)

Ignore your previous knowledge of algebra, geometry, and even arithmetic! Start fresh with a simple concept: Take a collection of points, called vertices, and connect some of them with lines called edges. It doesn’t matter where you draw the vertices or how you draw the lines – all that matters is that two vertices are either related, or not. We call that a “graph” and you’ve taken the first step on the Graph Theory road! Graphs turn up in physics, biology, computer science, communications networks, linguistics, chemistry, sociology, mathematics- you name it! In this course we will discuss properties that graphs may or may not have, hunt for types of graphs that may or may not exist, learn about the silliest theorem in mathematics, and the most depressing theorem in mathematics, learn how to come up with good algorithms, model reality, and construct some mathematical proofs. We will go over fundamental results in the field, and also some results that were only proved in the last year or so! And, of course, we will present plenty of currently unsolved problems for you solve and publish!

Hex and the 4 Cs (FULL) –  Stephen DeBacker
(Session 1)

Human Identification: Forensic Anthropology Methods (FULL) –  Miranda Nicole Cosman
(Sessions 1 & 2)
Forensic anthropology methods are used to aid in human identification with skeletal remains. Applications of forensic anthropology lie in the criminal justice system and mass disaster response. In this course, we will address questions such as: What are important differences between male and female skeletons? Utilizing skeletal remains, how would you tell the difference between a 20-year old and an 80-year old? How do you distinguish between blunt force and sharp force trauma on the skull? In this hands-on, laboratory-based course, you will be become familiar with human osteology (the study of bones] and bone biology. Through our exploration of forensic and biological anthropology methods, you will learn how to develop a biological profile [estimates of age at death, sex, ancestry and stature], assess manner of death, estimate postmortem interval, investigate skeletal trauma and pathology, and provide evidence for a positive identification from skeletal remains. Additionally, we will explore various forensic recovery techniques as they apply to an outdoor complex, including various mapping techniques. Towards the end of the course, you will work in small groups in a mock recovery of human remains and analyze the case utilizing the forensic anthropological methods learned throughout the course.

Hunting for the Dark: Black Holes and Dark Matter in the Milky Way (FULL) – Monica Valluri & Leandro Beraldo e Silva
(Session 3)

This course deals with how astronomers determine the properties of two of the most mysterious “dark components” of the universe – dark matter and black holes. While dark matter is only known by its gravitational influence on normal matter, black holes make their presence known by swallowing material from their surroundings. Prior to being swallowed, the in-falling matter forms a glowing hot accretion disk whose spectrum tells us much about the black hole such as its mass and spin. This course will discuss stars, how they evolve and lead to formation of exotic objects like white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes. We will then move on to discussing the components and the structure of our own Milky Way Galaxy and other galaxies in the Universe, including dark matter and supermassive black holes. The course will focus on how astronomers gain information about these dark components of the universe using observations over the entire electromagnetic spectrum from radio waves, visible light, X-rays and gamma rays and from the recently discovered gravitational waves. The course will include an introduction to the basic physics and astronomy necessary to understand the advances that astrophysicists have made in our understanding of these strange and fascinating objects. It will include daily lab activities, Python programming and working with astronomical data. The class is recommended for students with a strong high-school mathematics background, including some exposure to geometry, trigonometry, logarithms and vectors.

Mathematics and the Internet (FULL) –  Mark Conger
(Session 1)
How can gigabytes of information move over unreliable airwaves using unreliable signaling, and arrive perfectly intact? How can I have secure communication with a website run by a person I’ve never met? How can a large image or sound file be transferred quickly? Why is Google so good at finding what I’m looking for? How do computers work, anyway? The answers to all these questions involve applications of abstract mathematics. In Mathematics and the Internet, we’ll develop the math on its own, but also show how it is essential to making the Internet operate as it does. Our journey will take us through logic, probability, group theory, finite fields, calculus, number theory, and any other areas of math that might come up. We’ll apply our results to coding theory, cryptography, search engines, and compression. We’ll also spend several days building primitive computers out of transistors, logic gates, and lots of wire. If all goes well, we’ll connect them to the Internet!

Mathematics and Music Theory (FULL) –  Lon Mitchell
(Session 1)

Mathematicians can create complex and beautiful theorems from relatively basic assumptions, while Music Theorists often try to identify basic patterns and rules in complex and beautiful music. In this course, we will explore some of the recent attempts to meet in the middle, connecting mathematical patterns and structures to music from the ancient to the modern. In Mathematics, we will explore topics such as group theory, graph theory, geometry, and metric spaces, encountering some of the most important structures in the modern discipline. Fundamental results of these areas will be discussed, and students will construct and explore examples and related patterns. In Music Theory, we will take existing music by composers such as Bach and Beethoven and use mathematical structures to provide a possible explanation of what they were thinking as they composed. In addition, we will investigate the techniques of modern composers such as Arnold Schoenberg who advocated composition based on prescribed axioms. Students will be given the chance to write music using these different techniques. Although we will use the modern (Western) twelve-tone scale as a reference, our explorations will take us into discussions of tuning, temperament, and the physics of sound. We will investigate mathematical theories of what makes the best scale, how some of those scales occur in the music of other cultures, and how modern composers have engineered exotic scales to suit their aesthetics. Software allowing students to experiment with creating their own musical systems will be provided. Prospective students should have a good command of (high-school) algebra and experience with reading music in some form.

Mathematics of Decisions, Elections and Games (FULL) –  Michael A. Jones
(Session 2)

You make decisions every day, including whether or not to sign up for this course. The decision you make under uncertainty says a lot about who you are and how you value risk. To analyze such decisions and provide a mathematical framework, utility theory will be introduced and applied to determine, among other things, a student’s preference for desserts and for the offer the banker makes to a contestant in the television show Deal or No Deal. Our analysis will touch on behavioral economics, including perspectives of 2017 Nobel Prize winner Richard Thaler. Elections are instances in which more than one person’s decision is combined to arrive at a collective choice. But how are votes tallied? Naturally, the best election procedures should be used. But Kenneth Arrow was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1972, in part, because he proved that there is no best election procedure. Because there is no one best election procedure, once the electorate casts its ballots, it is useful to know what election outcomes are possible under different election procedures – and this suggests mathematical and geometric treatments to be taught in the course. Oddly, the outcome of an election often stays more about which election procedure was used, rather than the preferences of the voters! Besides politics, this phenomenon is present in other settings that we’ll consider which include: the Professional Golfers’ Association tour which determines the winner of tournaments under different scoring rules (e.g. stroke play and the modified Stableford system), the method used to determine rankings of teams in the NCAA College Football Coaches poll, and Major League Baseball MVP balloting. Anytime one person’s decisions can affect another person, that situation can be modeled by game theory. That there is still a best decision to make that takes into account that others are trying to make their best decisions is, in part, why John F. Nash was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1994 (see the movie A Beautiful Mind, 2002). Besides understanding and applying Nash’s results in settings as diverse as the baseball mind games between a pitcher and batter and bidding in auctions, we’ll examine how optimal play in a particular game is related to a proof that there are the same number of counting numbers {1, 2, 3, } as there are positive fractions. We will also examine the Gale-Shapley algorithm, which is used, for example, to match physicians to residency programs and to match students to colleges (the college admissions problem). Lloyd S. Shapley and Alvin E. Roth were awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2012 for their work on matching.

Organic Chemistry 101: Orgo Boot Camp (FULL) –  Kathleen Nolta
(Sessions 2 & 3)

This course will introduce you to the techniques and concepts taught in the first term of organic chemistry at the University of Michigan. The emphasis is on lecture-based learning, small group learning, and independent presentation of problems that you have solved. While laboratory exercises will be done, they are not the main focus of the course. Topics to be covered include nomenclature and how molecules are organized structurally, including their connectivity, options for stereochemistry, and conformational manipulation. We will also explore chemical transformation by learning how to draw complete curved arrow mechanisms for some of the most fundamental reactions in organic chemistry: acid-base chemistry, nucleophilic substitutions, electrophilic additions, eliminations, and electrophilic aromatic substitutions. The emphasis will be on exploring concepts through problem solving (there will be lots of practice problems to do!), and you will have an opportunity to take examinations given to college students. Students will be able to explore the chemistry in various laboratory applications; we will also be covering the basics of infrared spectroscopy and NMR. By focusing on the concepts and trying some of the techniques, students will gain a better understanding of what organic chemistry is and how to enjoy it.

Relativity: A Journey through Warped Space and Time (FULL) –  Daniel Mayerson
(Session 3)

Einstein forever altered our understanding of the nature of space and time with his theories of relativity. These theories tell us that the speed of light is a universal constant, declare that the fabric of space and time is warped by matter, and demand that matter moves through spacetime by following its curvature. Introduced 100 years ago, these concepts clash mightily with our everyday physical intuition, but are nevertheless cornerstones of modern-day physics. In this course, we will explore the exciting world of relativity (both the special and general theories). After briefly reviewing classical mechanics (Newton’s laws), we will use thought experiments to understand the ideas behind relativity and see how they are actually ultimately simpler and more natural than classical mechanics. Along the way we will encounter strange paradoxes that push the limits of our understanding and learn powerful mathematics that will allow us to quantify our relativistic understanding of the universe. Using our knowledge, we will delve into black holes, learn how GPS systems work, and debate the possibility of time machines and wormholes.
Prerequisites: basic concepts in geometry (e.g. coordinates, distance formulae) and physics (e.g. position, velocity, acceleration). A working knowledge of elementary calculus is recommended (e.g. what a derivative is and how to take one). We will introduce a little bit of multivariable calculus (e.g. partial differentiation) and integration techniques, so prior knowledge of those is a bonus. An open, curious and interested mind is absolutely necessary; you must be willing to think deeply about physics and the nature of our universe!

Science of Happiness (FULL) –  Dina Gohar
(Session 3)

This course will introduce you to the exciting field of positive psychology–the scientific study of positive experiences, traits, relationships, and the institutions and practices that facilitate their development. Although psychological science has traditionally concentrated on “fixing what is wrong” (e.g., treating depression, anxiety, and other disorders), positive psychology focuses on “cultivating what is right” (e.g., promoting happiness and flourishing) and what makes life worth living. What truly makes us happy? How can YOU feel happier and more satisfied in your life? As you will learn, core research findings suggest that happiness is inextricably linked to: 1) using your strengths and contributing to something bigger than yourself, 2) staying grateful and optimistic, and 3) cultivating strong social connections. You will not only learn about but also practice some research-based strategies to improve both your learning and your own happiness and life satisfaction this summer. Through lively lectures, seminar-style discussions, activities, and interactive technology (e.g., documentaries, TED talks, etc.), we will examine the major topics of concern in positive psychology–pleasure, engagement, and meaning in life, and a critical source of these experiences: interpersonal relationships–and explore its applications to your everyday life as teenagers. We may also have some time to cover student-selected topics related to happiness in our last week.

Surface Chemistry  (FULL) –  Zhan Chen
(Session 2)

This course will be divided into three units: applications, properties, and techniques. The first unit will introduce students to surface science that exists within the human body, surfaces in modern science and technology, and surfaces found in everyday life. Our bodies contain many different surfaces that are vital to our well-being. Surface reactions are responsible for protein interaction with cell surfaces, hormone receptor interactions, and ling function. Modern science has explored and designed surfaces for many applications: anti-biofouling surfaces are being researched for marine vessels; high temperature resistant surfaces are important for space shuttles; and heterogeneous catalysis, studies by surface reactions, is important in industry and environmental preservation. The usefulness of many common items is determined by surface properties; contact lenses must remain wetted; while raincoats are deigned to be non-wetting; and coatings are applied to cookware for easy cleanup. The second unit will examine the basic properties of surfaces. Lectures will focus on the concepts of hydrophobicity, friction, lubrication, adhesion, wearability, and biocompatibility. The instrumental methods used to study surfaces will be covered in the last unit. Traditional methods, such as contact angle measurements will be covered first. Then vacuum techniques will be examined. Finally, molecular level in situ techniques such as AFM and SFG will be covered, and students will be able to observe these techniques in the lab. Multimedia PowerPoint presentations will be used for all lectures. By doing this, it’s hoped to promote high school students’ interest in surface science, chemistry, and science in general. A website introducing modern analytical chemistry in surface and interfacial sciences will be created.

Sustainable Polymers  (FULL) –  Anne McNeil
(Session 1)
From grocery bags and food packaging to contact lenses and therapeutics, there is no doubt that polymers have had a positive impact in our lives. Most of these polymers are made from petroleum-based feedstocks, which are dwindling in supply. And although some plastics are recycled, most of them end up contaminating our lands and oceans. Through hands-on lab work and interactive lessons, this class will introduce the future of polymer science – that is: polymers made from sustainable materials that ultimately biodegrade! Students will conduct research experiments to make, analyze, and degrade renewable plastics. We will also examine commercial biodegradable materials and plastics used for energy and environmental remediation, and practice science communication through a creative stop-motion animation project.

The Physics of Magic and the Magic of Physics  (FULL) –  Georg Raithel
(Session 1)
Rabbits that vanish; objects that float in air defying gravity; a tiger that disappears and then reappears elsewhere; mind reading, telepathy and x-ray vision; objects that penetrate solid glass; steel rings that pass through each other: these are some of the amazing tricks of magic and magicians. Yet even more amazing phenomena are found in nature and the world of physics and physicists: matter than can vanish and reappear as energy and vice-versa; subatomic particles that can penetrate steel; realistic 3-D holographic illusions; objects that change their dimensions and clocks that speed up or slow down as they move (relativity); collapsed stars that trap their own light (black holes); x-rays and lasers; fluids that flow uphill (liquid helium); materials without electrical resistance (superconductors.) In this class students will first study the underlying physics of some classical magic tricks and learn to perform several of these (and create new ones.) The “magic” of corresponding (and real) physical phenomena will then be introduced and studied with hands-on, minds-on experiments. Finally, we will visit a number of research laboratories where students can meet some of the “magicians” of physics – physics students and faculty – and observe experiments at the forefront of physics research.