• Application Deadlines

    Horizon Labs Courses:

    Rolling Admission, Summer 2020 Application Open

     

    Horizon Academic Courses:

    Summer 2020 Application Closed

     

    Fall 2020: October 23, 2020 - February 21, 2021

    Application Deadline: October 12, 2020

     

    Spring 2021: March 1, 2021 - June 14, 2021

  • Horizon Academic Courses

     

    Horizon Academic allows high school students to complete a college-level research project under the guidance of a professor or lecturer with decades of teaching experience in their field. Students develop individualized research topics and attend small group classes, with an average class size of 4 and a maximum of 6 students. Our Senior Instructors lead 14 classes throughout the trimester, and our Teaching Assistants (who tend to be masters or PhD students in these fields) offer an additional 6 sessions for review, discussion, and feedback.

     

    How do ecosystems collapse? How can we engineer solutions to environmental catastrophe? Dr. Truncer’s course explores how human society can react to environmental systems collapse. Students may examine and research a variety of sustainability issues with regard to agricultural production, urbanization, infrastructure, resource use, and modern day engineering innovations. Dr. Truncer has previously taught his course at Harvard and Stanford University.

    How does our psychology influence the decisions we make ​every day and, ultimately, economic outcomes? Professor Gallo's course explores the heuristics, or rules-of-thumb, our brain constantly employs to makes choices, and how in some instances they systematically backfire leading to biases in our decisions. You will be a participant in live experiments and learn how social scientists use them to study how people behave. Professor Gallo has previously taught at Harvard and Oxford, and he is currently teaching behavioral economics as well as other courses at Cambridge.

    What are the causes of war and peace? Professor Rezvani’s course explores the theories, patterns, and frameworks of international relations. It critically examines controversies surrounding current phenomena such as world governance, state failure, international injustice, and great power competition. Professor Rezvani had previously taught this course at Dartmouth, Harvard, and Oxford University

  • Horizon Labs Courses

     

    Horizon Labs offers high school students the opportunity to work one-on-one with leading researchers and lecturers from some of the world's best known universities to develop highly specialized and unique research projects in interdisciplinary topics in the sciences and humanities. Horizon Labs allows students to get individualized mentorship from instructors who are on the front lines of PhD-level research, often who are in the process of completing their own PhD or postdoctoral research. These instructors are intimately acquainted with the latest studies, the most relevant data sets, and the most interesting perspectives being introduced in their respective fields. Through 20 hours of one-on-one mentorship with their instructors, Horizon Labs students can get access to useful and unique data sets, develop customized reading lists to enrich their writing, get individualized feedback about their paper drafts, and hear advice on publication opportunities from experts in their fields.

     

    Machine learning and predictive analytics can be used in a stunning number of ways. From predicting the price of a stock you buy, to estimating the chances that your flight will be delayed, to estimating how well your favorite sports team might do next game, to even guessing the outcomes of a Supreme Court case, machine learning can help us predict the world around us. This course examines interesting and unlikely applications of machine learning that advance social goals, improve economic efficiency, or better understand the world around us.

    What is a ‘mind’? How do our minds hook onto the world? This course uses philosophy and cognitive science to investigate the nature of mind and cognition, with a particular focus on perception and thought. Depending on their interests, students can focus on interpreting scientific experiments or focus on the more philosophical issues that thinking about the mind raises. This is an adapted version of a course that Mr. Craig has taught at Oxford University.

    What justifies the authority of the state? What are the basic liberties that a just society should secure? How should societies reckon with implicit bias, historical injustices, and structures of racism, classism, and sexism? Can meritocracy exist alongside entrenched privilege? We examine these questions and more in Mr. Cabezas's course, based on his section of the Contemporary Civilization (CC) course at Columbia University.

    How did life begin? What is the basis for human life and how are scientists learning to manipulate our genetic code? How can CRISPR allow use to control genetic expressions and human development? We examine these questions and more in Ms. DeBenedictis course, based on her section of the Biological Engineering course at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    What causes mental illness? Mr. Jones's course explores competing theories on the origins of emotional disorders such as depression, social anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. We examine how complexity approaches in statistics and machine learning, such as network analysis, can help us understand the problem. Depending on their interests, students can focus on a substantive area of mental health or delve deeper into the computational aspects. Mr. Jones has previously taught at Harvard University.

    Never before has there been so much available data about various diseases and possible genetic associations with them. At the same time, new machine learning tools and data science techniques are enabling researchers to identify patterns and linkages between genes and disease. In this course, we first begin by reviewing key concepts in data analysis and machine learning. From there, students may explore connections between genetics and cardiovascular disease, autism, heart disease, allergies or autoimmune diseases.

    As technology and medicine develop rapidly, our life expectancy has been increased massively in the last century. What are the implications for an aging population? Why are neurodegeneration disorders such a heavy burden for society and economy? Why are current treatments failing and why is it so difficult to find a cure? What are the genetic factors involved in neurodegeneration? What would make a good strategy to develop new treatments in the future? This course will address these questions by providing an overview of neurodegeneration and examining the most common disorders.

    How is it that you can smell a shampoo fragrance hours after cleaning your hair? What is the purpose of the long list of ingredients in your favorite snack? How can you control the release of new therapeutic drugs in human bodies? Mr. Brossault's class examines these questions and more, beginning with key concepts on formulation chemistry (emulsion preparation, system stability, encapsulation techniques, characterization methods) before studying concrete applications in food, paints & coatings, cosmetics or pharmaceutical industries. Projects consist of extensive literature reviews on a specific scientific challenge at the intersection of formulation chemistry and Material Science.

  • Research Questions by Each Course
     

    Below are the lists of pre-approved topics for each Horizon course. Please note that these lists are not restrictive or exhaustive: students at Horizon Academic often submit customized research topics or proposals. If a student wishes to research something else besides these questions but still related to the general course topic, then they should identify their proposed research question in their application. Prior to evaluating their application, we will consult with the course instructor to confirm whether the custom topic request is permitted.
     

  • Horizon Academic

    Small Group Classes. Individualized Research Projects. Taught by Professors and Lecturers.

  • Environmental Problems in Human Society:

    Lessons from the Past, Engineering Future Solutions

    【 James Truncer 】

    How do ecosystems collapse? How can we engineer solutions to environmental catastrophe? Dr. Truncer’s course explores how human society can react to environmental systems collapse. Students may examine and research a variety of sustainability issues with regard to agricultural production, urbanization, infrastructure, resource use, and modern day engineering innovations. Dr. Truncer has previously taught his course at Harvard and Stanford University.

     

    Pre-approved Topic List

     

    1. What advantages does organic farming have over conventional farming? Can organic farms compete with conventional farms in feeding the world?

     

    2. How can cities and their infrastructure be designed for the predicted changes in climate? Provide specific examples in your response.

     

    3. The recent tremendous growth of urban areas has created a multitude of environmental problems and challenges. Choose one area of urban design that can improve the urban environment – what costs and benefits are involved?

     

    4. What are the latest advances in hydroponic and vertical farming? Are these the food production methods of the future? What are the costs?

     

    5. Are the economic benefits of dam building worth the environmental costs?

     

    6. Sea level rise is expected to impact many coastal cities and islands (e.g. Andaman Islands) in the coming years. What are the advantages or disadvantages of relocating an island settlement or city versus building dikes and protective barriers such as in the case of the Netherlands?

     

    7. Are genetically modified organisms (GMOs) significantly different from the variation produced through more traditional methods of cross-breeding and the creation of hybrids?

     

    8. Oceans are absorbing increasing amounts of carbon dioxide and are becoming more acidic. How will this affect marine ecosystems and thus human society? What policies might be implemented to make the public more aware of this looming environmental crisis and what incentives would encourage governments to take action?

     

    9. Money and research are now being poured into the technology of self-driving cars. Is maintaining the concept of “car” an efficient means of transportation, or are there better, more sustainable systems for the movement of people?

     

    10. Soil erosion is severe in many areas of the world. What farming methods and other activities are creating this erosion? What farming methods can not only reduce soil erosion but build nutrient-rich soil that enhances crop yields and lowers carbon emissions substantially? What policies might encourage soil conservation on farmland?

     

    11. Renewable energy sources are gaining more and more attention, and represent an increasingly larger percentage of energy production. What is the most promising type of renewable energy and why? Can modern society completely convert to renewable energy sources from a largely carbon-based system? What further advances or changes in lifestyle might be required?

     

    12. Most large farms rely on mechanization and need to add massive amounts of artificial fertilizer to produce high crop yields. How did this situation come about, and is this a sustainable practice? What are the carbon costs of such agriculture and are there feasible alternatives?

     

    13. Can sustainable practices be successfully incorporated into current business models? If not, what might need to change in order to create a better fit?

     

    14. Are United Nations treaties and resolutions an effective means to pass worldwide sustainability measures or is a different system necessary?

     

    15. Some architects are now designing “walkable” cities. What does this mean and what are the advantages and disadvantages of such an urban design? Illustrate your response with examples.

     

    16. Aquaculture, or fish farming, is increasingly providing a major source of food for a growing world population. What forms of aquaculture are most sustainable, and which forms are the least sustainable? Why? Provide specific examples of aquaculture in your analysis.

  • Behavioral Economics

    【 Edoardo Gallo 】

    How does our psychology influence the decisions we make ​every day and, ultimately, economic outcomes? Professor Gallo's course explores the heuristics, or rules-of-thumb, our brain constantly employs to makes choices, and how in some instances they systematically backfire leading to biases in our decisions. You will be a participant in live experiments and learn how social scientists use them to study how people behave. Professor Gallo has previously taught at Harvard and Oxford, and he is currently teaching behavioral economics as well as other courses at Cambridge.

     

    Pre-approved Topic List

     

    1. What behavioral principles should be used to design a pension scheme?

     

    2. What type of policies mitigate the bad consequences of unemployment?

     

    3. Design an insurance policy that is going to attract consumers by exploiting psychological biases.

     

    4. Humans are prone to errors when making decisions under uncertainty. How can modern technology reduce these errors?

     

    5. Pollution is a problem affecting most large metropolitan areas. How may insights from psychology inform urban policy to decrease pollution?

     

    6. Top students from disadvantaged backgrounds often do not apply to the best universities. What are the potential reasons and what kind of actions can be taken to change this?

     

    7. Doctors routinely make recommendations that may have life/death implications for their patients. How can biases in decision-making affect their advice?

     

    8. How can we increase the rate at which individuals recycle?

     

    9. Describe how psychological biases may affect judicial decisions and propose policy changes to minimize their negative impact.

     

    10. Delays in paying income tax lead to significant financial losses from governments. What design changes could be made to tax collection policy to minimize these delays?

     

    11. Buying a house is an infrequent transaction with large financial consequences. In what ways can a prospective house buyer or seller avoid mistakes due to psychological biases?

     

    12. A new type of fertilizer has been invented that increases crop yields by 300%. Nevertheless, farmers are not adopting it. What could be the reasons and what policies can be implemented to increase takeup?

     

    13. A major supermarket chain has hired you as a consultant to apply behavioral principles to improve their sales. Write a report with your recommendations.

     

    14. You are a financial advisor for a wealthy individual. Come up with an investment strategy that avoids pitfalls from biases in decision making.

     

    15. Develop an idea for a phone app that uses insights from behavioral economics to improve an individual’s health.

  • Controversies in International Relations

    【 David Rezvani 】

    What are the causes of war and peace? Professor Rezvani’s course explores the theories, patterns, and frameworks of international relations. It critically examines controversies surrounding current phenomena such as world governance, state failure, international injustice, and great power competition. Professor Rezvani had previously taught at Harvard, MIT, and Oxford University.

     

    Pre-approved Topic List

     

    1. What is the greatest challenge to China’s “One Belt, One Road” project and how can it be overcome?

     

    2. Should other countries be happy or worried about the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)?

     

    3. Unlike the countries of Europe, why is there no East Asian Union?

     

    4. What were the most effective governmental responses to the East Asian financial crisis?

     

    5. What is the best type of free trade agreement for Asia?

     

    6. Should Catalonia become independent from Spain?

     

    7. In light of the US financial crisis in Puerto Rico, what is the best status option for the territory?

     

    8. Is it good or bad for countries (like the United Kingdom) to be a part of the European Union?

     

    9. What political outcome has the best chance of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

     

    10. In light of the massive flow of refugees from places like the Middle East to Europe, is international migration bad for host countries?

     

    11. Should the international community prohibit Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons?

     

    12. Is global poverty better reduced through free trade or international aid?

     

    13. Does humanitarian disaster justify military intervention?

     

    14. Is the balance of power still relevant in modern international politics?

     

    15. What should countries do to reduce problems from weak and failed states?

     

    16. Was it a right choice for America and its allies to have invaded Libya?

     

    17. What role should countries play in their policy toward Syria?

     

    18. What policy should America adopt toward ISIS?

     

    19. What strategy should the US adopt for managing its relations with Russia?

  • Horizon Labs

    One on One Mentorship. Specialized Research Topics. Flexible Timing.

  • Protein Biophysics

    【 Jared Weaver】| 【 Jacob Kirsh】

    Proteins are all over most introductions to biology and with good reason. Proteins are a, if not the, major result of the genetic code. Much of modern chemistry looks to proteins throughout biology as the “master chemists” to better understand the millions of chemical reactions they direct inside the bodies of all organisms, from humans to bacteria. But what are proteins and what do they really look like? How do enzymes speed up chemistry? What do the proteins in photosynthesis and the electron transport chain actually do to capture energy? What role do they play in the emerging antibiotic resistant bacteria which are increasing mortality in hospitals and how do they influence viral infection? Is there anything proteins can teach us about physics? In this course we will discuss these questions and more based on our own research and multiple biophysics courses we have taken from world leaders in these topics at Stanford. Biophysics is the application of physics to understand biology, and we aim to focus on its study of proteins for simplicity. We will begin by focusing on what proteins are, basic types of chemistry they perform, and the physical principles they use to control chemistry. From there we will review a few of the most common tools in biophysics and will introduce students to a variety of current topics of the field. We will focus on the topic our students are most interested in, the focus of their research project. The following (as well as those listed above) are examples.

     

    Pre-Approved Topics

     

    1. Is it possible to build better enzymes than those found in biology?

     

    2. What role do proteins play in the pharmaceutical industry?

     

    3. How are current computational efforts used to understand proteins and with them, chemistry as a whole?

     

    4. We produce many new industrial biological catalysts and drugs primarily by relying on methods which work but are random in nature and poorly understood. Could we ever understand these processes ourselves? What governs protein evolution? How does nature evolve on the molecular level?

     

    5. All proteins are made of essentially the same 20 building blocks, but could that change and were these 20 building blocks just a coincidence?

     

    6. How are proteins a part of viral entry into our cells?

     

    7. How does biology produce light? How much can it control the color of the different organisms throughout biology?

     

    8. Why are plants green and other algae brown? Is there any reason for the colors we see all around us?

     

    9. Green fluorescent protein and other fluorescent proteins are used ubiquitously throughout biology, but why do they exist in the first place?

     

    10. What controls the muscles in your arm? Why does your bicep bulge when you flex and what do proteins have to do with that?

     

    11. What can we see on the nanoscopic level (and smaller)? How fast do proteins and chemicals in general move?

     

    12. Many proteins are masters at producing electric fields to control chemistry, but how do they do so? Can we measure fields at such a tiny scale?

     

    13. What might we consider if we are interested in creating new proteins from a novel DNA sequence?

  • Topics in Neuroscience

    【 Marta Madureira 】| 【 Patrick Liu 】| 【 Andy S.】|【 Julian Day Cooney】|

    【 Andrew Stier 】| 【 Colin Quirk 】

    Our neuroscience courses examine a variety of different aspects of the brain and the nervous system. Despite the incredible complexity of human behavior, we are able to take a deconstructive analysis to break down and better understand the various facets of behavior. Some of our instructors focus on integrative neuroscience, combining insights from psychology, data science, and philosophy together with traditional neuroscience, to better understand and reckon with deep questions about the nature of consciousness, perception, and memory. Some of our instructors focus specifically on neurodegenerative diseases and techniques that can be used to better understand and cure diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinsons.

     

    Pre-approved Topic List

     

    Please note that topics offered by Mr. Patrick Liu are marked as "P". Those offered by Mr. Julian Day Cooney are marked as "J". Those offered by Mr. Andrew Stier are marked as "A". Those offered by Mr. Andy S. are marked as "S". Those offered by Mr. Colin Quirk are marked as "C". Those offered by Ms. Marta Madureira are marked as "M". Those offered by Carolina Castro-Rivera are marked as "R".

     

    1. A review of important neurobiology fundamentals. [P, J, R]

     

    2. How do genes and environment interact to shape who we are? How we determine their effects? Is one more important than the other? Where did our personality come from? [P, A, R]

     

    3. How can we study the brain? How do we know which brain regions are responsible for certain behaviors? What are the limitations to studying the brain? [P, J, A, C, R]

     

    4. How have evolutionary timescales and pressures carved human behavior? How can understanding the cellular basis of neural circuits explain our movements and the behaviors we make? Is human behavior entirely unique? What can we learn from the behavior of other animals in the evolutionary tree? [P, A]

     

    5. How did consciousness evolve? How do consciousness and intellect connect? Is there a limit to human consciousness? [P, J]

     

    6. How does the brain process and store information? How does emotion affect the brain’s judgment? More broadly, how do cognition, emotion, and memory mutually influence each other? [P, J]

     

    7. Where do empathy and sympathy come from? What can we learn about these from brain disorders and psychopathology? Does altruism really exist? [P, J]

     

    8. Why do humans and animals sleep? What purpose does it serve? How is sleep regulated? [P, J]

     

    9. As complex as decision making can be, what do we already know about its underlying processes? [P, J]

     

    10. How do we perceive? What happens between when light enters our eyes to when we see objects? What is the difference between sensing and perceiving? [J, C, R]

     

    11. What is attention? How does attention control what we perceive? Do we have control over attention? [J, C]

     

    12. Why do we think about the brain as having "circuitry"? Are electrical circuits a good metaphor for how the brain works? [J]

     

    13. What are the limits of neuroscience in analyzing and understanding consciousness. [J]

     

    14. Neuroscience and Law: How can neuroscience influence our rules and policies? [J]

     

    15. Neuroscience and Gender: What can science tell us (and not tell us) about sex and gender? [J]

     

    16. How does the physical environment impact cognition? Are there cognitive benefits to greenspace in cities? [A]

     

    17. How does the brain produce behaviors? Is computation local or is it spread out over large scale networks? What can we learn from human neuroimaging such as fMRI, EEG, and MEG? [A]

     

    18. How does the social environment influence the brain? What can we learn from Human studies? What can we learn from animal studies? [A]

     

    19. General overview of frameworks for thinking about interactions between the physical and social environment, the brain, and behavior. [A]

     

    20. What is neuroplasticity? How does it relate to learning and memory? [S, R]

     

    21. Is there such a thing as instincts or innateness? Or is all of our knowledge acquired during development? [S]

     

    22. What is the relationship between anticipation, motivation, and pleasure? How are dopamine signals involved? How does this relate to addiction? [S]

     

    23. How does the brain generate affective states and construct emotions? How is the brainstem and amygdala involved? [S]

     

    24. What role does the prefrontal cortex play in attention, self-control, and decision making? [S]

     

    25. How is the hippocampus and medial temporal lobe involved in episodic future thinking and knowing where you are in space? [S]

     

    26. How are music, dance, and language related by common neural processes? [S]

     

    27. How does the brain represent the semantics of language and process linguistic syntax? How does this relate to language disorders, such as aphasia? How can we understand the evolution of language by studying the brain? [S]

     

    28. How does the brain recognize faces? Why are people with prosopagnosia not able to recognize any faces at all? [S]

     

    29. How can we use neuroimaging methods to understand the function and structure of neural networks? [S]

     

    30. How can we use electrophysiological methods to understand neurons and information processing? [S, R]

     

    31. What are neurotransmitters, neuromodulators, receptors, ion channels, and synapses? And why are they so fundamental to brain function? [S, R]

     

    32. What are glial cells? Why are they so crucial to normal brain function? How are they implicated in many common diseases? [S, R]

     

    33. How do special adaptations in the brain allow bats to echolocate, owls to hunt in complete darkness, and birds to sing? [S, R]

     

    34. One of the most important qualities of the brain is its ability to change over time. What are the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in this process? How do they relate to memory and learning? [R]

     

    35. What are some common experimental techniques that can be used to study the brain? How do they work? [R]

     

    36. Of all the organs in the human body, the brain consumes most of the nutrients (glucose, oxygen, etc.) available at a given time. Why is the brain so metabolically demanding? [R]

     

    Topics in neurodegenerative diseases
     
    1. In a world where life expectancy has greatly increased, the population is aging. Why are neurodegenerative disorders linked to ageing? [M]
     
    2. What are the most common neurodegenerative disorders and are there available treatments? [M, R]

     

    3. Why are certain areas of the brain susceptible to neurodegeneration? How do neurodegenerative disorders affect other parts of the human body? [M]

     

    4. What are the mechanisms involved in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s Disease or Parkinson’s Disease? [M, R]

     

    5. Are there models to study AD and PD? What are their advantages? What are their caveats? [M]

     

    6. Can we use gene editing to study neurodegeneration? Can CRISPR be used as genetic therapy? [M]

     

    7. Why are current treatments considered ineffective? How can we develop new therapies for these disorders? [M, R]

     

    8. What are the genetic factors contributing to neurodegeneration? Are environmental factors also contributing? [M]

     

    9. Can we “predict” who is going to develop dementia? What are some of the approaches to tackle this problem? [M]

     

    10. Will personalised medicine fulfil its potential for neurodegeneration in the clinic? [M]

     

    11. Can we revert neurodegeneration? What would be some of the strategies for this? [M]

     

    12. Is adult neurogenesis the answer? [M, R]

     

    13. iPSC-derived neurons as a model for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. [M]

     

    14. LRRK2 is one of the most commonly mutated genes in Parkinson’s disease. But why is the role of LRRK2 still unknown? [M]

     

    15. What is autophagy and why is it so important for neurons? [M]

     

    16. The curious case of a sleeping disorder that “predicts” Parkinson’s Disease. [M]

     

    17. What is adult neurogenesis and why is it so unique? How is it maintained and regulated? Provide three good reasons to study this process. [R]

     

    18. What are some of the current debates in the field of adult neurogenesis? Provide a description of each side of the debate and highlight conclusions that can be drawn from each side. [R]

     

    19. Neuro-inflammation is one of the primary consequences of neurodegenerative diseases such as AD. What is neuro-inflammation? What cells participate in this process and how do they work? [R]

     

    20. What are the neurological mechanisms underlying the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease? Describe the neural circuit that is affected and which drugs are currently used to remedy this disease. How do these drugs work? [R]

     

    21. What is HIF-1alpha and how does it work? Why is it so important? What is its role in the brain? [R]

    1. The Philosophy of the Mind

      【 Alasdair Craig 】

      What is a ‘mind’? How do our minds hook onto the world? This course uses philosophy and cognitive science to investigate the nature of mind and cognition, with a particular focus on perception and thought. Depending on their interests, students can focus on interpreting scientific experiments or focus on the more philosophical issues that thinking about the mind raises. This is an adapted version of a course that Mr. Craig has taught at Oxford University.

       

      Pre-approved Topic List

       

      1. Perceptual Experience 1: What do perceptual illusions and hallucinations reveal about the nature of perceptual experience? In particular, do these phenomena show that we never ‘directly’ see the world as it is?

       

      2. Perceptual Experience 2: Can a person’s perceptual experiences be influenced by that person’s prior beliefs, expectations and desires? What is the best interpretation of experiments that purport to show that the answer to this question is ‘yes’?

       

      3. Explanation in Cognitive Science: What should cognitive scientists look for in a satisfying explanation of human behaviour?

       

      4. The Nature of Mind: Is the mind a purely physical or material thing? Are mental states physical states?

       

      5. The ‘Language of Thought’ Hypothesis: What is the language of thought hypothesis, and is it possible to understand mental processes as computational processes without a language of thought?

       

      6. The Nature of Consciousness: Describe Ned Block’s distinction between ‘phenomenal consciousness’ and ‘access consciousness’. Does scientific work show that phenomenal consciousness can exist in the absence of access consciousness?

       

      7. Delusions: To understand what is going on when people suffer from delusions, must we postulate abnormalities in how beliefs are formed and maintained, or does it suffice to appeal to abnormalities in perception or experience?

       

      8. Modularity: What is the modularity thesis? Assess the scientific case for the thesis that the mind is modular.

    2. Political Theory and Philosophy

      【 César Cabezas Gamarra 】

      What justifies the authority of the state? What are the basic liberties that a just society should secure? How should societies reckon with implicit bias, historical injustices, and structures of racism, classism, and sexism? Can meritocracy exist alongside entrenched privilege? We examine these questions and more in Mr. Cabezas's course, based on his section of the Contemporary Civilization (CC) course at Columbia University.

       

      Pre-approved Topic List

       

      1. What justifies the authority of the state? What are the problems associated with social life in the absence of government (i.e. a state of nature)? How does the "social contract" proposed by the likes of Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau work as a solution to these problems?

       

      2. What are the supreme principles (if any) that should guide our moral conduct? Do they admit of exceptions?

       

      3. What is implicit bias? Should we blame agents for having implicit biases even if they are outside their control?

       

      4. Can we explain the various aspects of social reality purely in terms of individual beliefs, actions and intentions? Or does an adequate explanation of social reality require reference to social phenomena such as organizations, social structures and social laws?

       

      5. Is morality merely a matter of personal (or group) opinion? Or are there objective moral facts that transcend cultures and historical eras?

       

      6. What are the basic liberties that a just society should secure? Is being free not having others interfere with one's personal affairs? Or is it to have the capacity to make one's own laws by participating in the collective process of government? Or is freedom a matter of not being subject to the arbitrary power of the state and/or other subjects?

       

      7. What is the role of privileges or unearned advantages in sustaining systems of oppression?

       

      8. What are our moral duties regarding injustices in which we participate indirectly (e.g. buying clothes produced in sweatshops)?

       

      9. Are we morally responsible for the moral failures of our ancestors (e.g. colonization, slavery, the Holocaust)? What about the present-day consequences of their moral failures?

       

      10. What are some convincing argument for the right to reparations for African-Americans?

       

      11. Why are epistemic virtues such as humility, open-mindedness, and curiosity important for our life in community?

       

      12. What is the importance of public deliberation and disagreement for a democratic society?

       

      13. Can people be willfully ignorant? If so, how does willful ignorance contribute to the maintenance of social injustice?

       

      14. Given that science has ruled out the existence of biological races, should we give up the concept of race? Or is there a plausible non-biological concept of race that can contribute to a better understanding of racial relations?

       

      15. What is the difference between race, ethnicity and nationality?

       

      16. Is racism a matter of individual beliefs, intentions and actions, or can racism also take place at the level of institutions and social structures?

       

      17. What is intersectionality? How does it contribute to a better understanding of gender, race and class?

    3. Research Topics in Psychology

      【 Payton Jones 】|【 Dr. Ema Tanovic 】|【 Sori Baek 】|【 Brian Earp 】| 【 Colin Quirk 】| 【 Erik N. 】

      Please note that topics offered by Ms. Baek are marked with "B" next to them. Topics offered by Mr. Quirk have a "C" next to them. Those offered by Mr. Erik N. are marked as "N". Those offered by Dr. Ema Tanovic are marked as "T". Those offered by Mr. Brian Earp are marked as "E". Those offered by Mr. Payton Jones are marked as "P".

       

      Topics in Cognitive Psychology

       

      1. How do people learn a new language? Is it different for adults and kids? [B]

       

      2. What helps a memory stick? What helps us remember things better? [C, B]

       

      3. What makes memories become more accurate or inaccurate? What does this mean for eyewitness testimonies? [C, B]

       

      4. Why are we so good at seeing “faces” from objects, like an outlet or a smiley face [ :) ]? Does this have an evolutionary reason? [C, B]

       

      5. Carrying a heavier backpack can make a hill look bigger. What are some other ways in which things change our perception? [B]

       

      6. What affects our attention, and what distracts us? How do we select what we pay attention to? [B]

       

      7. How do other people affect how we think? How do opinions of others change our own opinions? [B, N]

       

      8. Why are we so captivated by surprising and unexpected things, like magic? Does this have an evolutionary reason? [B]

       

      9. How do optical illusions work? How do they trick our brains? [also offered by Mr. Quirk]

       

      10. What happens in our brain when we make predictions that turn out to be wrong? How does this experience help us learn? [B]

       

      11. We’re really good at hearing our name, even if it’s said by someone standing really far away in a loud room. Why does this happen? [C, B]

       

      12. Are babies’ brains as good as adults’ brains? In what way? [B]

       

      13. What do babies do to learn? Are they good learners? [B]

       

      14. Can newborn babies tell their mothers apart from other people? In what way? [B]

       

      15. A lot of toys are marketed to be good for the brain. Is this true? Which toys? Why or why not? [C, B]

       

      16. What is our brain doing when we form memories and remember things from the past? [B]

       

      17. What is our brain doing when we see numbers and do math? [C, B]

       

      18. What is our brain doing when we see alphabets and read a sentence? [B]

       

      19. What is our brain doing when we’re not paying attention in class? [B]

       

      20. How does the brain change when we learn a new skill and become better at it? [B]

       

      21. What factors lead to differences in intelligence? Is IQ a good measure of how intelligent someone is? [C]

       

      22. What makes different education styles work better than others? What does it mean to be a certain type of learner? [C]

       

      23.What are the differences between short and long term memory? How do attention and memory interact? [C]

       

      Topics in Clinical Psychology

       

      Clinical psychology is concerned with identifying, understanding, and treating psychological disorders. This course will explore questions such as how we differentiate sadness from depression, why some people develop mental disorders while others don’t, what the best treatments for anxiety disorders are, and more. Students will have the option of focusing on specific mental disorders or studying basic psychological mechanisms that have clinical relevance.

        1. Uncertainty is a core feature of our everyday lives, especially during current times. How do humans respond to uncertainty? How does it affect our cognition, emotions, and behavior?

         

        2. How does the psychological trait of intolerance of uncertainty increase risk for anxiety disorders?

         

        3. Does it make sense to think of mental disorders are discrete categories or as dimensions that we all vary on?

         

        4. How do cognitive factors like attention, memory, and interpretation contribute to depression?

         

        5. What is the difference between fear and anxiety?

         

        6. How do we regulate our emotions? How does emotion regulation go awry in psychopathology?

         

        7. Is worry adaptive?

         

        8. Rumination refers to repetitive negative thought about the past, and worry refers to repetitive negative thought about the future. Are these two processes fundamentally the same or different?

         

        9. Why are we not better at treating mental disorders?

         

        10. Does it make more sense to call mental disorders (e.g., depression) a "brain disease"? Why or why not?

         

        11. What are the "active ingredients" in psychotherapies for emotional disorders? How do we know that these are really the mechanisms of change?

         

        12. What is depression, exactly? Is it one syndrome, or is it a collection of different syndromes that we've grouped under the same name?

         

        13. Are today's youth really more anxious and depressed than youth in the past? If so, what is contributing to this increase?

         

        Topics in Pathology and Data Science

         

        What causes mental illness? Mr. Jones's course explores competing theories on the origins of emotional disorders such as depression, social anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. We examine how complexity approaches in statistics and machine learning, such as network analysis, can help us understand the problem. Depending on their interests, students can focus on a substantive area of mental health or delve deeper into the computational aspects.

         

        1. The network theory of mental disorders states that mental disorders do not have a single underlying cause, but instead are the result of feedback loops in a complex system. How does this theory apply to depression? Anxiety? Trauma? Other psychological problems? [P]

         

        2. Why do mental disorder co-occur at such high rates? How can network analysis inform the comorbidity between them? [P]

         

        3. How can novel developments in data science (e.g., machine learning methods) contribute to the field of clinical psychology? [P, C]

         

        4. What can we learn from exploratory data analysis of mental disorder symptoms? What kinds of psychometric data analyses and visualizations are most helpful? [P]

         

        5. Why are rates of emotional disorders often observed to be more common in developed nations compared to less developed nations? [P]

         

        6. Does it make more sense to call mental disorders (e.g., depression) a "brain disease"? Why or why not? [P, T, N]

         

        7. One hallmark of anxiety disorders is avoidance. What factors lead people to avoid versus approach their fears? [P, T, N]

         

        8. Rates of violence across across the world have been steadily decreasing. If this is indeed the case, why are rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) stagnant or even increasing? [P, N]

         

        9. To what extent do mental disorders represent a "mismatch" between the modern world and our environment during evolution? What factors of modernity might influence mental illness? [P, E]

         

        10. What are the "active ingredients" in psychotherapies for emotional disorders? How do we know that these are really the mechanisms of change? [P, T, N]

         

        11. What is depression, exactly? Is it one syndrome, or is it a collection of different syndromes that we've grouped under the same name? [P, T, N]

         

        12. Are today's youth really more anxious and depressed than youth in the past? If so, what is contributing to this increase? [P, T, N]

         

        13. Why do some individuals with PTSD seem to compulsively revisit their traumatic past? How does this square with research on avoidance? [P, N]

         

        14. Are trigger warnings or safe spaces effective approaches to helping those with PTSD? Why or why not? [P, N]

         

        15. Today, phones and devices capture a huge amount of data about individuals (e.g., location, movement, texts, phone calls, app usage). Can this data be used for good when it comes to mental health? How? [P, N]

         

        16. Can people really experience "post-traumatic growth" after a trauma? If so, what does this growth look like? [P, N]

         

        Additional Topics in Psychology:

         

        1. Is psychology really a science? Should we trust findings in psychology more or less than in other fields? What is the "replication crisis" in psychology? [E]

         

        2. Some researchers believe that most published findings in psychology (and some other disciplines) are false alarms and so not reproducible. Why might they think that? Are they right? [E]

         

        3. How do psychologists use statistical information to infer the existence of invisible phenomena like psychological states or attributes? What are some of major problems with the way psychologists use statistics? [E]

         

        4. What does it mean to falsify a finding in psychology? If Researcher A runs an experiment and gets result X, and you run the same experiment and don't get that result, have you disproved their finding? Have you falsified their hypothesis or theory? Why does any of this matter? [E]

         

        5. What is the psychology of scientific communication -- and belief? Do people just believe whatever scientific findings they agree with morally? is belief in science politically polarized? What determines whether someone believes in climate science? Why do some people think vaccines are harmful? [E]

         

        6. What does it mean to be "the same person" over time? Are you the same person as you were when you were a baby? If so, in what sense? What factors influence the perception that someone is "a completely different person" after some big change in their life (like becoming addicted to drugs, or undergoing a religious conversion)? [E]

         

        7. Does Alzheimer's disease change who you are? If you sign a contract before the disease sets in, is it still valid if you lose most of your memories? [E]

         

        8. What is the relationship between moral intuitions and psychological traits or disorders? If someone is willing to sacrifice the life of one person in order to save a greater number of people, for example, could this have something to do with the trait of psychopathy? [E]

         

        9. How does relational context influence moral judgments? Why are some things okay to do in one kind of relationship, but not okay in other relationships? What explains our moral intuitions about different actions? Is it all about causing harm, or are there other reasons for judging a behavior as wrong? [E]

         

        10. Where does our sense of right and wrong come from? Why do we judge some things to be morally okay, and other things as NOT morally okay? When people from different cultures disagree about moral questions, does at least one of them have to be wrong? [E]

         

        11. Does believing in free will make you a more moral person? Does encouraging a belief in determinism make people more likely to me immoral (e.g., cheat on an exam)? [E]

         

        12. What is gender? Is it the same thing as sex? Are there more than two genders? Is your gender a matter of having certain feelings or psychological properties? [E]

         

        13. How does gender bias affect judgments about how much pain someone is in? Do stereotypes like 'boys don't cry' affect how we perceive the pain of others? [E]

         

        14. Can your brain start processing visual information -- for example, people's faces -- prior to conscious awareness? Is there such a thing as "unconscious perception"? How can you study the unconscious mind? [E]

         

        15. What is sexual orientation? What determines the sexual orientation a person has? [E]

         

        16. Is it possible to be addicted to love? [E]

         

        17. What is the reproducibility crisis in psychology? How can scientists work to make the field better? [C]

         

        18. What are emotions? What theories do psychologists and philosophers have for how our feelings – a cornerstone of human experience – function? What issues are there with our theories of emotions, and how can we improve them? [N]

         

        19. How do we best manage our emotions? What skills can people use to regulate what they’re feeling, and how can we make these skills most efficacious? [N]

         

        20. How do emotions change across age? When do children and adolescents start to have certain emotional experiences, and what does this mean for their well-being? [N]

         

        21. How does language relate to emotion? Do people of different cultures have different emotional experiences, and what does this mean about the mind? Can changing what words we use to talk about our feelings change how we feel? [N]

         

        22. How does language relate to mental health? Can we use linguistic methods in verbal communication to learn things about how well someone is doing psychologically? Can we develop tools to intervene when people aren’t doing well? [N]

         

        23. How does the brain represent and regulate emotions? What brain regions are involved in these processes, and can we connect dysregulations in brain functioning to mental health problems? [N]

         

        24. How does the brain develop across childhood and adolescence, and what does this mean for the development of emotions, mental health, or social functioning? [N]

      1. Gene Editing and CRISPR Technology

        【 Erika DeBenedictis 】|【 Alim Ladha 】|【 Zeynep Ozturk 】|【 Erin Berlew 】|【 Nadia Nasreddin 】| 【 Merrick S. 】| 【 Soufiane Aboulhouda 】| 【 Ana Queiroz】

        How did life begin? What is the basis for human life and how are scientists learning to manipulate our genetic code? How can CRISPR allow users to control genetic expressions and human development? What is CRISPR, how was it discovered, and how can it rapidly change our ability to understand and manipulate biology? how are CRISPR systems being applied to both detect and treat human disease? How do we find new CRISPR systems with ever expanding functionality? We examine these questions and more in this course, based on the sections of the Biological Engineering course at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that our instructors teach.

         

        Pre-approved Topic List

         

        Please note that topics offered by Ms. Erika DeBenedictis are marked as "E". Those offered by Mr. Alim Ladha are marked as "A". Those offered by Ms. Zeynep Ozturk are marked as "Z". Those offered by Ms. Erin Berlew are marked as "B". Those offered by Ms. Nadia Nadreddin are marked as "N". Those offered by Mr. Merrick are marked as "M". Those offered by Mr. Soufiane Aboulhouda are marked as "S". Those offered by Ms. Ana Queiroz are marked as "Q".

         

        1. How do CRISPR systems work on the molecular level? What was their original purpose? How did they evolve? [E, A, Z, B, N, M, S, Q]

         

        2. Why are CRISPR systems useful for modern genome engineering? How do they compare to other techniques such as zinc fingers? [E, A, Z, B, N, M, S, Q]

         

        3. CRISPR-based techniques rely on protein such as Cas12 or Cas9. Are some of the properties of these proteins undesirable? How might we engineer these proteins to work better? [E, A, Z, B, N, M, S]

         

        4. On a molecular level, what components in living organisms are used to implement the specific genetic code that exists? How can we modify these components to create new genetic codes? What benefits would different genetic codes have for engineering purposes? [E, A, B, M, S]

         

        5. What are recent developments in the field of CRISPR, such as CRISPR-guided base editors and prime editing? [E, A, Z, B, N, M, S]

         

        6. How can CRISPR systems be used to modify the genomes of entire wild populations using ‘gene drive’ constructs? What are possible applications of gene drives? What are the technical challenges to implementing gene drives safely? What are the ethical implications of using gene drives? [E, A, Z, M]

         

        7. Large-scale engineering projects require project management strategies. In biological engineering, what are good strategies for assessing the quality and feasibility of an idea? How should one go about rapidly de-risking and implementing a new engineering approach? [E, A, B]

         

        8. When our engineering goals require biomolecules with functions not found in nature, we can attempt to create these new components with rational or computational design approaches, with directed evolution, or both. How do these protein engineering techniques work? How do we assess which approach is likely to be successful in a particular situation? [E, A, B, M]

         

        9. How did life originate? How did the divide between genetic material (DNA) and functional biomolecules (proteins) come to exist? How did the genetic code come to exist? [E, Z, B, M, Q]

         

        10. Why is the universally conserved genetic code structured the way it is? In particular, why does it use three-base codons, why are the codons assigned to specific amino acids, why do some amino acids have more codons, and why were the specific 20 amino acids chosen? [E, Z, B, M, Q]

         

        11. What can directed evolution experiments teach us about how evolution works? Conversely, can evolution research of organisms in the wild guide best practices for directed evolution experiments in the laboratory? [E, B]

         

        12. If we want to add a new amino acid to the genetic code, or rearrange which codon encodes which amino acid, what engineering approaches are available to us? What are the strengths and weaknesses of these different approaches? [E, B, M]

         

        13. What inspiration can we take from computer science that may help us engineer biological systems? Do concepts like logic gates and abstraction exist in biology, and if not, how do we implement them? [E, M]

         

        14. Proteins are chemically complex, enabling proteins to perform diverse chemical functions in the cell, but be difficult to engineer and model. In contrast, DNA less chemically complex. How can we exploit the simplicity of DNA’s chemical structure to predict the shape that a strand of DNA will adopt? How do we use this predictive capability to engineer custom DNA shapes (like smiley faces), or processes (like an AND logic gate)? What are the limits of DNA nanotechnology? [E]

         

        15. CRISPR enzymes can have off-target effects that may have unintended side effects of a therapy. What are strategies that are used to identify these off-target effects. How are these off-targets avoided and how are CRISPR enzymes engineered to alleviate this problem? [A, Z, B, N, M, S]

         

        16. Some CRISPR systems don’t act on DNA but, instead, on RNA. What function do these proteins have and how are these interesting proteins being harnessed for treating human disease? [A]

         

        17. How can CRISPR systems be used to treat human disease outside of gene editing? How are CRISPR proteins being used to change the expression of genes and why would one want to do this? [A, Z, N, M, S]

         

        18. If you wanted to insert an entirely new gene into the genome, how would you achieve this? What current technologies are used for gene insertion, what are their limitations, and what new technologies on the horizon can transform this problem? [A, Z, B, M]

         

        19. How are CRISPR enzymes being used to treat humans today? What kinds of diseases are being treated, why were they chosen, and how are CRISPR enzymes critical to the success of the treatment? What are the limitations of CRISPR in the clinic that have limited its ability to treat more diseases? [A, Z, B, N, M, S]

         

        20. If you wanted to treat a genetic disease in a living human with CRISPR, how would you get the enzyme to the diseased tissue of interest? How and why are viruses commonly used to deliver CRISPR to cells? [A, Z, N, M, S]

         

        21. How can CRISPR enzymes be used to diagnose disease? SHERLOCK and DETECTR are two platforms for detection of diseases and viruses. What are these tools, why are they increasingly gaining popularity as diagnostics, and how are these platforms being applied to detect viruses like COVID-19? [A, Q]

         

        22. New CRISPR enzymes are found every day from nature using computational tools. What are these computational tools, how do they work, and what new enzymes have been found using these techniques? [A]

         

        23. Next-generation sequencing is a transformative technology used by companies like 23andMe and Ancestry.com, by enabling rapid and inexpensive reading of DNA. How does next-generation sequencing work and how is it applied in research and in the clinic? [A, B, N, M, Q]

         

        24. Is it ethically appropriate to modify genomes including humans? What are the risks and how can we foresee the potential outcomes? [Z, B, N, M, Q]

         

        25. How can we use online genetic data in order to study genetic diseases and roles of genes in cell biology? [Z, B, N, M]

         

        26. Why is DNA sequencing important for scientific research? How does next generation sequencing compare with the previous sequencing methods, such as Sanger sequencing? And how are they simultaneously used in research? [N, M, Q]

         

        27. How has the next generation sequencing transformed scientific research? What is the 1000 genome and 100,000 genome projects? [N, M, Q]

         

        28. Most testing for COVID-19 is currently done on viral genetic material from nose and throat swabs, using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The next big goal is to develop a serological test. What are the molecular principles qPCR and PCR. What might be the issues associated with this diagnostic technique? [N, M, Q]

         

        29. All cancers arise as a result of changes that have occurred in the DNA sequence of the genomes of cancer cells, but not all mutations in cancer cells are involved in the development of cancer. What are driver and passenger mutations and why is it important to differentiate between them? How is the cancer genetic research revolutionizing treatment and management of cancer patients (with regards to cancer in general or a specific cancer type)? [N]

         

        30. Some RNA molecules fold into well-ordered structures. Given RNA sequences, how can these structures be predicted computationally? Are there useful applications for “riboswitches” which change their folds in response to a molecular signal? [M]

         

        31. How is epigenetic information written and read during the life cycles of cells and organisms? What kinds of epigenetic information are transferred between generations? How can CRISPR technology be used to alter the epigenome? [M]

         

        32. Why are stem cells special? What different kinds of stem cells are there? How can stem cells be used in research and therapeutics? [M]

         

        33. What are the various ways CRISPR systems are used to dissect fundamental biology and understand the function of genes? [S]

         

        34. Can CRISPR be used to help edit RNA? What are the applications and benefits of RNA editing? [S]

         

        35. What are the various ways CRISPR is being used as a diagnostic, and what are the benefits of CRISPR based diagnostics? [S, Q]

      2. Machine Learning and Biotechnology

        【 Parsa Akbari 】| 【 Perman J. 】|【 Patrick Emedom-Nnamdi 】|【 Rida Assaf】|【 Emma R. 】|【 Angelina W.】

        Never before has there been so much collaboration between health researchers and computer scientists. This course examines applications of machine learning and predictive analytics in key areas of biology and health sciences. In this course, we first begin by reviewing key concepts in data analysis and machine learning and examine innovations in biotechnology enabled by machine learning. From there, we work with students in conducting original and novel analysis on large and complex data sets relating to a topic in health sciences such as cardiovascular disease, cancer diagnosis, epidemiological modelling, or drug discovery.

         

        Pre-approved Topic List

        Data Analysis and Statistics Based

         

        1. Utilizing predictive machine learning models to learn more about cardiovascular diseases such as stroke and heart disease.

         

        2. Utilizing predictive machine learning models to learn more about cancer prognosis and diagnosis.

         

        3. Applications of machine learning in modeling the spread of infectious diseases such as COVID-19 and Ebola.

         

        4. Applications of machine learning training a 'convolutional neural network' to predict skin lesions which are either benign or indicative of skin cancer.

         

        Literature Review Based:

        4. Is the drug industry going bust? A review of the scientific literature and economic data.

         

        5. A review of supervised and unsupervised Machine Learning models.

         

        6. A review into the role of data analysis in drug discovery.

      3. Applications of Machine Learning

        【 Parsa Akbari 】| 【 Perman J. 】|【 Patrick Emedom-Nnamdi 】|【 Rida Assaf】|【 Irene Li】|【 Derek S.】

        Machine learning and predictive analytics can be used in a stunning number of ways. From predicting the price of a stock you buy, to estimating the chances that your flight will be delayed, to estimating how well your favorite sports team might do next game, to even guessing the outcomes of a Supreme Court case, machine learning can help us predict the world around us. This course examines interesting and unlikely applications of machine learning that advance social goals, improve economic efficiency, or better understand the world around us.

         

        Pre-approved Topic List

         

        1. Applications of deep learning and reinforcement learning to train an autonomous agent to solve video game dynamics.

         

        2. Implementations of unsupervised learning to identify structure in social media data, for instance the structure of a group of followers of a popular Twitter account.

         

        3. Developing convolutional neural networks to learn to scan images, with applications in image recognition and self-driving vehicles.

         

        4. Applications of machine learning to predict socially important and economically useful outcomes such as:

        1)The probability of flight delays.

        2)Stock market prices and fluctuations.

        3)Studying and predicting real estate prices.

        4)Predicting scores and performance of sports teams.

        5)Incarceration, recidivism, and criminal justice outcomes; and ways that machine learning models can be deployed in this area to avoid replicating racial or socio-economic bias in the justice system.

      4. Formulation Chemistry

        【 David Brossault 】

        When Formulation Chemistry Meets Scientific Challenges

         

        Have you ever been curious about the chemistry in the products you use everyday? How is it that you can smell a shampoo fragrance hours after cleaning your hair? What is the purpose of the long list of ingredients printed on your favorite drink or snack? How can you control the release of new therapeutic drugs in human bodies? If so, this program on formulation chemistry is made for you. In Mr. Brossault's class, we answer these questions and more. We first examine the main concepts on formulation chemistry (emulsion preparation, system stability, encapsulation techniques, characterization methods) before studying concrete applications in food, paints & coatings, cosmetics or pharmaceutical industries. The research project will then consist of an extensive literature review on a specific scientific challenge at the intersection of Formulation Chemistry and Material Science. The course taps into Mr. Brossault's research on Formulation Chemistry at the University of Cambridge and at leading pharma companies like Sanofi.

         

        Pre-Approved Applications and Topics

         

        1. Food industry (e.g. Preparation of fat-free products with preserved textural properties)

         

        2. Cosmetics (e.g. Preparation of shampoos with sustained release of active principles)

         

        3. Plastics (e.g. Comparison of Plant-based vs oil-based materials)

         

        4. Paints & Coatings (e.g. Preparation of non-toxic paintings with enhanced drying and resistance properties)

         

        5. Pharmaceutical industry (e.g. Targeted drug delivery systems for controlled release of therapeutic compounds)

         

        6. Agriculture (e.g. Controlled release of herbicides on crops)

         

        7. Environmental applications (e.g. Composite materials for water pollutant removal)

         

        8. Buildings and roads (e.g. Development of self-healing concrete)

      5. Assessment

        Rather than evaluating the work completed by scholars in a vacuum, Horizon Academic uses a holistic evaluation system that measures a scholar's level of motivation and effort (attendance and class participation), desire and capacity to improve work through assessments of several stages of editing, as well as an assessment of their finished work.

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