Spring 2024

Splash Spring 18
Course Catalog

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Arts Engineering
Humanities Math & Computer Science
Social Sciences Science


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A307: Introduction to Music Composition
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Joshua Yang

Want to learn how to compose a catchy tune or two? This course will supply you with the basic tools needed to compose music! This course is for beginners, so no previous experience is necessary; however, experience with a musical instrument is highly encouraged, as this will make music composition easier to grasp. Also, at the end of the class, we will try to perform everyone's compositions, so bring your instruments!

Course contents: Music chords and basic harmony, song structure, writing melodies, arranging, and notes on the creative process.

None. Highly encouraged: Previous experience with an instrument or with voice.

A342: Flamenco
Difficulty: **

Flamenco is a dance originating from Spain. If you want to learn the basics of Flamenco come on over! Be prepared to learn a bit about the history of flamenco and to dance.


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E304: Architectural Engineering: A Crash Course in Building Design
Difficulty: **
Teachers: John Stuart

Buildings come in all shapes and sizes. From the tallest tower on earth to your very own home, each is a complicated work of both art and engineering that takes an enormous team of specialists to design, construct, and operate. If you've ever wondered how skyscrapers can be so tall, how a building can possibly use ZERO energy, or how to even design your dream home, this is the class for you.

This class will cover the basic principles of architecture, structure, construction, and sustainability but the majority of the time will be dedicated to hands-on challenge labs that allow students to collaborate, build scale models, and apply the concepts to real design problems.

Previous coursework in algebra and geometry is recommended but not required.

E311: Spacecraft Structures

Learn about the basics of aerospace engineering, then put what you've learned to the test by building an engine mount structure for a rocket! Will your structure survive a launch to orbit?

Basic knowledge of forces

E327: How Race Cars Work
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Daniel Zu

Ever wonder how race cars are developed to storm around tracks at mind-boggling speeds? This brief course can give us a brief glimpse into the engineering that goes into these race cars.

In this course, we will learn how a driver behind the wheel of a race car can convert gasoline into incredible lap times. We will begin with descriptions of how vital parts of a normal car work, and then explain how engineers optimize these parts so race car drivers can thunder 200+ miles down a straight, stand on the brakes, and then pull over 2 g's of lateral acceleration through the following corner.

We will explain how these parts differ from those found in everyday cars seen on the streets as well as what technologies were developed on the track and then implemented into commuter cars.

Knowledge of basic physics is recommended, but not required.

E347: Explorations in Bioprinting

3D printing is a rapidly growing field, with applications to many different disciplines. Get ready to explore the application of 3D printing in the area of medicine, in this new area: bioprinting.
Bioprinting is the process of creating 3D cellular constructs using 3D printing technology; a technique that is commonly used to print tissue and organs for regenerative medicine.

E351: Harnessing Solar Energy
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Serena Patel

Ever wondered exactly how we capture energy from the sun and produce electricity? What are the latest solar technologies? Come out to learn how to build a solar cell from common household items, discuss solar technology, and the issue of energy access in the California and the world!


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H297: Yoga, mantra, and meditation
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Mona Jain

Laughter yoga, meditation, and yoga for healthy eyes.


H346: Faith and Reasons
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Ryan Kenneally

Faith and Reasons provides a space for people of faith and atheists to rationally discuss the big questions: what is the nature of our universe, where do we come from, and what is next?

We will talk about world religions, free will, morality, and much more!


H354: Philosophy of Friendship
Difficulty: ***

It is often said that friendship is a particular bond that is difficult to define. In the movies or in literature, we always see the same vague definition : it is a long-standing bound based on a reciprocal affection. This common thought is not different from what Montaigne asserted in 1572 AC. Since he was unable to give a formal definition, he argued that the bond between two friends can be compared to sewing (« couture »). However, if friendship is a binding link we must ask ourselves : is it a constraining link or a voluntary sign of freedom? What are our duties to our friends ? What is the difference between love and friendship ? In the age of technology and fast-paced lifestyles, it is crucial to have a long-term thinking. Friendship is a fundamental notion of our existence and understanding it is a great step towards the ‘good life.’ (Aristotle)

H317: Ancient Writing Systems
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Benjamin Daniels

An introduction to the Ancient Egyptian and Ancient Chinese writing systems, and what you need to know before deciding to study them. The course is in two parts. 1) How writing developed in these places. 2) What is special about these wriitng systems and what you need to know, if you decide to embark on the long task of learning one of them.


Math & Computer Science

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M300: Introduction to Abstract Algebra
Difficulty: **

Learn why 2 + 2 is sometimes 0, and why two wrongs can sometimes make a right.

Curiosity. Previous exposure to proofs would be useful, but is certainly not necessary.

M302: MapReduce, the Big Data Workhorse
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Vyassa Baratham

An Intel Core i7 980 XE processor can run 100 billion floating point operations every second. But some data processing jobs require astronomically huge computing resources, which require tasks and data to be distributed over several machines. Often, this means using an algorithm called MapReduce, which deals with the fact that two pieces of data sent to two different machines may, in fact, depend on each other. In this class, we will explore some basics of distributed computing, and then talk about the MapReduce algorithm conceptually, before seeing a basic example and discussing some practical aspects of the algorithm and its open source implementation, Hadoop, and Amazon's MapReduce service, EMR.

I will show some pseudocode, so programming knowledge (any language) would help, but you should be able to follow most of the talk even without this

M303: Edge Detection: How Computers See
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Vyassa Baratham

Edge detection is a fundamental problem in computer vision which provides a good opportunity to learn some basics of image processing. In this course, we will talk about some of these basic tools (convolution, Gaussian smoothing, and spatial differentiation), then use this foundation to study the Canny Edge Detection algorithm and some of its optimizations. It is my goal for everyone in the class to be understand the Canny edge detector well enough to implement it on their own, although we will not do this during the class. If time permits, we will also take a brief high level look at some more modern approaches to edge detection, including an overview of machine learning.

I will use a tiny bit of calculus. If you know what a derivative is, you will be fine. If you don't, you may still be able to follow most of the talk with some difficulty. This could be an interesting way to learn what a derivative is!

M309: Web Development 101
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Nathan Wong

What is a website? How do you make your own website? How can you get other people on the internet to view your website? We will explore these questions and students will have an opportunity to create their own website in this class.

Previous programming experience is not required.

Topics include: HTML/CSS/JavaScript, Wordpress, Hosting, Domain, SSL, SEO.

Class website: https://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~nathanwong/splashwebdev/

M310: Coding and Understanding The Mandelbrot Set
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Ravi Dashputre

The Mandelbrot set is a cool visualization often used by teachers to spark inspiration in the minds of young math students. But what actually is it, and how can we make it for ourselves? I'll give you some intuition for the math behind the set and teach you how to write a computer program that draws it.

Basic Algebra. Familiarity with complex numbers is useful but not necessary for this class.

M313: Exciting math puzzles (and their exciting math)!
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Efe Aras

Suppose we give three people black and white hats by tossing a fair coin; then we ask individually what their hat color is. They can either guess it or pass. Now, how can you maximize your chances that one person gets the correct answer if we need to make sure that noone is wrong? One caveat: noone hears the other peoples' answer. What if we had 7 people? 255?

How about the following: 10 people are lined up tallest the shortest on a line, and we ask from back to front what their hat color is; how can you ensure that at most one person gets their hat color correctly? What if we had 100 people? 1000?

Maybe this puzzle? We have n people, and m possible colors for hats, and m < n; how can you make sure that at least one person guesses their hat color correctly?

There are loads more puzzles (Alice and Bob are sending a suitcase to each other with padlocks; 100 prisoners in a room opening 50 boxes to find their number; the classic blue eyes-green eyes puzzle; the checkerboard puzzle; the last card trick of the game of SET), and each of these relies on various interesting branches of mathematics and computer science! (Abstract algebra, combinatorics, algorithms, information theory, probability, logic, random graph theory etc.) While we cannot hope to explore all of these puzzles to a sufficient depth (and the associated mathematical fields) in an hour, we can do a few of these to get a taste of some of the puzzles!

Basic probability would be helpful (By basic, I expect you can understand and answer the following two questions: a) What is the probability that a fair coin lands heads? b) I toss the fair coin four times, it landed heads on all four times; what is the probability that it is going to land heads again?) Most important prerequisite is enjoying doing maths! If you are getting excited about the course description, I think you have already satisfied this!

M314: Congruent Numbers
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Dylan Yott

A positive rational number is called congruent if it is the area of a right triangle with rational sides. Since $$3^2+4^2=5^2$$, it follows that $$6$$ is a congruent number. In this class I talk about the congruent number problem and how you can win a million dollars.


M315: Sums of Two Squares
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Dylan Yott

Which positive integers are the sum of two integer squares? Well $$5=1^2+2^2$$, but $$7$$ doesn't seem to be a sum of two squares.

In this class we will determine exactly which positive integers can be written as a sum of two squares using a relatively uncommon lattice point technique called Minkowski's theorem.

Algebra, Geometry, Modular arithmetic helpful

M323: Let's play some (solved) games!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Taylor Cookmeyer

In the field of math known as game theory, methods of analysis are used to correctly predict the outcome of games. If, from any position, a game's outcome can be predicted, the game is solved. We will "solve" some games (familiar and not familiar) where the solution is short, and we will learn how to play some other solved games.

M324: Introduction to CyberSecurity
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Thomas Zhang

This course provides a survey overview of general cybersecurity principles. You will learn not only practical skills on how to stay safe online, but also why cybersecurity is important and how it drastically affects today's world.

M331: Digital Logic and Circuit Building
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Rebecca Czyrnik

Puzzle through circuit building challenges and learn how to breadboard at this introductory course. No math and no prerequisites, just hands-on learning.

M332: Complex Numbers
Difficulty: **

Take a square root of -1 and open up a new dimension

M339: Strategies for Survival: Game Theory in Mathematical Biology
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Theo McKenzie

In many models of evolutionary growth, we test how likely individual players are to cooperate when they have some incentive to betray the other members of their population. In this class, we look at the prisoner's dilemma, strategies of cooperation versus betrayal, and some real world examples.

M341: Counterintuitive Properties of High Dimensional Space
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Marc Khoury

High dimensional spaces (4D, 5D, and beyond) are very weird places indeed! As 3D beings our intuition about geometry usually fails us in high dimensional space. Come learn about just some of the weirdness that occurs when we venture past the comfort of our usual three dimensions and into the vastness of high dimensions.

M343: Cryptography: a Mathematical Arms Race Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Mahrud Sayrafi

After defining few concepts from cryptography, we will delve into a whirlwind of mathematics. Departing from high school algebra, we will talk about prime numbers, cubic equations, and elliptic curves. Eventually, we will use these concepts from mathematics to go back and build prototypes of the concepts from cryptography that we defined.

High School Algebra

M345: Probability and the law of large numbers
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Michael Lindsey

It might surprise you to hear that the 'law of large numbers' is not merely an empirical observation about our world, but in fact a mathematical theorem! To get there we'll introduce you to a new (and perhaps counterintuitive) way of thinking about probability.

Social Sciences

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O316: Everybody Poops: What Trace Amounts of Human Waste Tell Us About the Past
Difficulty: *
Teachers: AJ White

It's true! Defecation is a universal practice, yet it has received very little academic attention. Learn how archaeologists use human waste to understand changes in human population due to warfare, environmental change, and social instability. Design your own research project inspired by a real archaeological site and leave with an understanding of how science is used to answer historical questions.

Not eating a large breakfast (jk)

O319: Advancing Equity and Excellence: Transforming Education Policy, Practice, and Reform

Through simulations and activities, students will learn about current issues in education research, teaching, policy, and reform. Students will also learn about cutting-edge research on adaptive equity-oriented practices conducted by the Design for Equity Lab. We will discuss how to address achievement gaps, opportunity gaps, access, and equity. By exposing students to multiple perspectives surrounding these issues, we hope students learn more about the root causes, institutions, and policies that perpetuate the current problems. We will further introduce and ask students to analyze various policies, teaching practices, organizations, and current ‘solutions’ through different viewpoints. Students will then work with the class to build upon the strengths and limitations of these approaches to reimagine public policy and improve the prospects for social change.

O322: The Science of Everyday Thinking
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Thomas Zhang

How do we make choices? How do we reason about everyday events?

Based on the University of Queensland's Think101, this course gives a brief overview on how the mind works and provides insights on the fallacies that our brain perceives about everyday situations.

Soft Requirement (for best experience): AP Statistics or equivalent statistics knowledge

O326: A Critical Understanding of Global Health
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Penelope Johnson

This is an intro class to learn more about what public health is, and how you can make a difference in your community!


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S301: Why do pirates wear eye patches?

From pirates who wear eye patches to dresses that look blue and black, wait no, white and gold, our visual world has illusions in every corner. We're here to explain the science behind these phenomena and give you a peek into what the world of vision science looks like.

S305: Quantum Weirdness Mechanics
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Thomas Mittiga

Can objects exist in multiple places at once? How do we perform spooky actions at a distance--apparent faster-than-lightspeed travel?
Quantum Mechanics seems weird on the surface, but a closer look reveals the real weirdness may not be where you expected.

Willingness to interrupt me to ask for clarification or questions.

S306: The Diving Bell and the Quantum Butterfly
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Thomas Mittiga

All humans are locked-in to a superficial world: our minds are perfectly intact, but we have limited means of communicating beyond the surface on which we trod, that is, in the Quantum Realm.
In this class, find out how it is that scientists triumph over nature and transcend into the world of Quantum Mechanics.

Willingness to interrupt and ask questions

S308: How To Unzip Your Genes
Difficulty: ***

We are two aspiring scientists excited about new advances in gene editing and stem cell technologies. Come learn more about what the future of medicine might have in store! And if we have time, we’ll teach you how to juggle.

Some exposure to biology is recommended.

S320: Physics of Black Holes
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Ben Horowitz

How does a black hole form? What is an event horizon? What is the difference between a Kerr and Schwarzschild metric? In this course we will discuss these topics, and maybe get into some of the still open questions.

Algebra would be very useful. Basic physics knowledge would also be helpful.

S321: Mysteries of Time Travel!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Brendan Henrique

Time Travel, material for Star Trek and Dr. Who right? Through activities, videos, discussion and lecture, we'll learn that we can prove the possibility of time travel! A riveting, mind-blowing lesson about the cutting edge of quantum physics and science.


S328: Vitamins, Minerals, and Everything in Between! Full!
Difficulty: *

Sure you know what ingredients are in your foods, but do you really know what's in it on a deeper level? Come learn about the wonders of nutrition from the foods we eat everyday. Expand your nutritional knowledge and have fun while doing it!

S329: The Curvature of the Universe
Difficulty: **

Do all the angles in a triangle add up to 180 degrees and do parallel lines never touch? Sure, but that requires the preconception that the universe has a flat curvature. What does this all mean? Join us on a journey to explore the science behind the curvature of our universe.

Algebra I (Basic Algebra)

S330: Applied Household Chemistry Full!
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Anmol Sidhu

Learn how to do cool things with everyday chemicals, and why they do what they do.

We'll go over a lot of fascinating chemical reactions that take place in your everyday life that are often overlooked.

Learn about the surprisingly dangerous process of soap making (ever watch Fight Club?), and how every time you clean your drain out, you are actually... making soap!

We will learn how nitroglycerin (dynamite) is made and why it is so explosive, and how Alfred Nobel made a fortune out of tweaking the process.

Time allowing, we will go over a variety of other topics as well- some straight out of the movies and Breaking Bad!

There will be demonstrations of reactions that are visually interesting at the end of the class.

Basic chemistry recommended but not required.

S334: Measuring the Heavens: Or, How the Greeks Figured Out the Distance to the Sun
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Stephen Chen

You've heard that the universe is 13.7 billion years old, the black hole at the center of the galaxy is a hundred thousand light years away, and light takes eight minutes to reach us from the sun.

But how do we know any of this? Well, a few clever Greeks figured out how to take a tape measure to the heavens. With the help of a little geometry, we will too!

Some basic geometry, such as knowledge of the Pythagorean theorem, will be helpful.

S335: Statistics, Probability, and Analytics (A): A hands-on intro
Difficulty: **

Section A: Through demonstrations and entertaining activities you will gain an essential understanding of statistics and probabilities.

Weather forecasts, marketing, medicine, the Lottery, Vegas, Google search autocomplete, biological systems, and even the curve on your last exam- we will explore unbelievable, fascinating, amazing, factual, and improbable examples from everyday life that provide statistical insights and the tools you need to make logical predictions. Topics include combinatorics, statisticulation (statistical manipulation), Pareto’s 80/20 rule, as well as causation, correlation and coincidence and their connection to science, pseudoscience and superstition.

S336: Statistics, Probability, and Analytics (II): The sequel
Difficulty: ***

Section II: For those who can’t get enough, Section II will exercise and strengthen your critical thinking skills, provide deeper understanding, insight, and the ability to visualize data.

Discussion and demonstrations will include mind-expanding probability theory concepts and principles in statistical mechanics, quantum mechanics, and the Schrödinger equation.

*Sections A and B are not required prerequisites.

S338: Statistics, Probability, and Analytics (B): Big data in sports
Difficulty: **

Section B: The use of statistical methods is revolutionizing the world of sports! As sensor, optical tracking, and wearable technologies continue to improve, tremendous amounts of data are available for analyzing, predicting, and enhancing player and team performance.

Sabermetrics, 3-point shots, 2-point conversions, and pitch framing are just a few of the data-driven strategies we will examine. We will discuss their effectiveness, why some coaches seem resistant to popular analytic and statistical tools, and other ways the collected data could be utilized.

*Section A is not a required prerequisite.

S356: How to Solve Hard/Interesting Problems in Physics
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Andrew Sharo

Here's a not-so-well-kept secret: the most interesting problems in physics are not blocks sliding on ramps. Yet, many physics problems in high school are restricted to mechanics.

Come learn about a whole world of fascinating physics concepts that advanced high school students are equipped to tackle but are never taught in class.

High School AP Physics Mechanics Course (recommended)

S318: Drugs and the Brain
Difficulty: **

In this course, we investigate how psychoactive substances work in the brain, at the receptor and neurotransmitter level, then follow from this foundation to teach about the effects, dangers, and health risks associated with each one of the most common drugs in modern society (as well as some less common ones), especially those that have become more popular with young people today.

A. Introduction:
1. What is a drug?
2. Discuss LD50's and therapeutic indices

B. Neurobiology foundation
1. Explain the lock-and-key model of receptors
2. Discuss endogenous neurotransmitters (ex. dopamine, GABA, etc.) and their respective receptors and functions
3. Sympathetic vs. Parasympathetic nervous system
4. Different types of agonism (partial, reverse, full, and antagonism)

C. Specific drug classes
1. Alcohol, cannabis, caffeine, tobacco, hallucinogens, stimulants, opioids
2. For each class, discuss their specific:
a. Neuro-/cardio-/hepatotoxicity risks, among others
b. Mental/neurological dangers from both acute and chronic use
c. Mechanisms of action and routes of administrations

D. Q&A

Basic knowledge of neurobiology might make section B easier to digest, but is definitely not required. The course is designed to be completely accessible to someone with no background in chemistry or biology.


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X296: Yoga, Mantra, and Meditation
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Meena Jain

Yoga for body, mind, and spirit. Includes laughter yoga and eye movements!


X312: How to be Happy | Positive Psychology & Happiness
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Abhinav Kejriwal

In this class, we will briefly look at the common threads among different philosophies and researches on happiness. We will try to synthesize all the information on happiness there exists out there and will see what we can do in our daily lives to, well, be happy!


X325: How To: Puzzle Hunt!
Difficulty: *

We'll talk about what puzzle hunts are, look at examples of puzzles and common solving techniques, and then try solving puzzles together!

We can also talk about how to write your own puzzles!

X340: The Economics of Obesity in America
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Tabya Sultan

Obesity is a growing public health concern and also a large part of U.S. healthcare costs. This course will introduce the obesity epidemic and discuss its economic impact.

X344: Digital Marketing Today
Difficulty: *

Course Overview:
Within the last few years, new technologies have revolutionized the marketing industry at a fast pace. Iconic social media platforms are quickly changing and companies are rushing to adapt the new marketing fields via focused content, storytelling, and creative campaigns. In this course, we will explore social media marketing strategies, campaigns, personal branding, and careers.

Course Instructor's Background:
I am currently a fourth year student with a focus on marketing. This December I was chosen as one of the LinkedIn Top Voices for Marketing & Social Media (https://lnkd.in/gkKNY6s). I have managed social media presence for NBCUniversal’s Telemundo 52. Additionally, this past summer I used my Google AdWords certifications to help local businesses advertise with digital platforms. I write on everything marketing via LinkedIn.
Learn more: bit.ly/juliangamboa. You can follow him on Twitter (@juliangumbo)

X348: Restorative Justice Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jose Fernandez

This Decal aims to train students in the art and processes of Restorative Justice and Restorative Practice in the context of social justice and community building. During weekly meetings, students will discuss the meaning of justice and its applications in our society, and consider ways of disrupting cycles of violence and oppression through restorative responses to harm and crime. We will also tackle issues of campus climate, while building community and relationships through circle practice. We see social justice and community building connecting through the creation of safe and brave spaces for solidarity and action planning in response to the real world issues people are facing while at UC Berkeley and in their communities. Through restorative processes, people learn that they are not alone with their concerns and struggles, and can share resources and strategies for micro and macro-level change.

The course will utilize an experiential learning model that emphasizes the processes themselves. Class meetings will take the form of circles, each with its own unique theme and style. Guest speakers with experience in the social justice arena, restorative justice and community building for solidarity will bring their unique knowledge and expertise into the circles. Participants will be required to develop research projects discussing campus and community issues with an emphasis on the potential for responses based in Restorative Justice and Restorative Practice.

X349: Tech Time: Revamping Your Life with Technology
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Katie Willett

This class is a modified version of a course taught on the Berkeley campus that teaches students how to optimize their time with tech! Essentially this class will teach students how to use technology to be more productive and will introduce a bunch of helpful life hacks!


X350: One Health
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Caitlin Ongsarte

Want to learn more about the relationships between human, animal, and environmental health? Curious about ethnobotany, disease mechanisms, or conservation biology? Come join our class, One Health Education for Action, to learn about holistic and interdisciplinary approaches addressing modern human and environmental health issues, comparative translational medicine, climate change and health, and more!

X352: Persuade with Power
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Sharu Iyer

A participation-intensive course on everything you need to know to make a real impact with your voice and your words, anywhere from your home to your work space.

X353: Dating 101
Difficulty: **
Teachers: isabella blanco

Wanna learn how to date in college? Then sign up for our workshop! Our workshop will cover dating strategies, healthy relationships and how college dating is different from dating in high school!

X355: Community-Organizing for Social Change
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Shahana Farooqi

Want to learn how to make a concrete impact on a social issue you're passionate about? Take our class! We will be covering the actors that affect norms and the Norm Life Cycle followed by a community-organizing strategy workshop! We will then present an overview of a social issue that you are passionate or curious about. Finally, we'll give you the chance to apply your newly acquired leadership and community-organizing strategies to this issue, which you can pursue outside the classroom. This class is an exciting opportunity to learn skills that you can use in the future to make a real impact. Join us!