Splash@UCSD 2019


ESP Biography



BENJAMIN COSMAN, UCSD PhD student studying Computer Science




Major: Computer Science

College/Employer: UCSD

Year of Graduation: G

Picture of Benjamin Cosman

Brief Biographical Sketch:

I'm a 5th year PhD student in the CS department; I was at Caltech for undergrad. I love teaching, especially to Splash students who come to learn for the fun of it! I've taught at 12 Splash programs at 7 different universities, and founded Splash@UCSD in 2016.



Past Classes

  (Look at the class archive for more.)


Puzzles! in Splash Spring 2019
Learn to solve (and maybe write) puzzles like these: primepuzzles.wordpress.com


Voting Theory in Splash Spring 2019
In the voting system you're used to ("Plurality"), we ignore a lot of useful information by only asking voters to pick their favorite candidate. This leads to problems like vote splitting - a candidate that most people hate could win with just 10% of the vote as long as 10 other candidates split the remaining 90%. In this class we will compare the other voting systems that become possible if voters supply their full preferences instead of just their favorite.


Unrelated Math in Splash Spring 2019
3-5 mini-classes with no unifying theme. Sample topics include: - How many bears can you run away from forever? - Why is traffic so bad on your favorite roads? - How can physics prove the Pythagorean Theorem?


Analyzing Programs is Not Possible! (or is it?) in Splash Spring 2019
Some problems aren't just difficult for computers, they're impossible! Starting only with simple assumptions about what computer programs can do, we'll show that you can't reliably detect when a program has an infinite loop. Using that we'll prove Rice's Theorem, a shockingly powerful statement about the impossibility of many problems we might like to solve.