Student-Led Courses

At CCS, students don't just take classes, they lead them too! From sharing their own knowledge to organizing speakers, students have created courses based on their diverse interests. Explore this page to learn more about past, current, and upcoming student-led courses. 

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Spring 2024

Stealing and Collaborating: A Fine Line
Instructor: Maya Salem

Course: W&L CS 5, Section 1
Enroll Code: 63826
Course Description: The lone genius may be an antiquated term. This is a non-traditional writing workshop focused on collaboration in storytelling and writing traditions. Even this syllabus is written as an overarching collaboration with every class I’ve taken and every syllabus I’ve read. Throughout this class, we will examine storytelling and its iterations, we will steal and remold media, and we will experiment in collaborative forms. 
How can we use collaboration to challenge our writing?
What does collaborative writing achieve, and does creativity require it or reject it? 
These questions are inquiries posed to understand the innate collaborative nature of storytelling and writing. There might not be an answer. 
In this class, we will grow, and we will fail. We will remember how to have fun in group projects. To forgo the value of the product and re-price the process of creating it. To explore both the inspiring and weird of collaborating. To question where inspiration comes from, to deconstruct the idea of its necessity. To rethink the idea of the lone artist.
In this spirit of collaboration, students should expect no single-authorship of work in this workshop. Though they may opt out of participating or sharing their work, writing, or at least the process, will be collaborative in nature.
This is a student-led colloquium led by Maya Salem ( under the supervision of Kara Mae Brown.
Day/Time/Location: R 9:30-10:45 AM, CRST 164B

Experimental Music in Ableton Live
Instructor: Lucian Parisi

Course: MUS CS 5, Section 1
Enroll Code: 63818
Course Description: This workshop based course explores techniques for creating experimental music and sound art in Ableton Live. Students will be familiarized with budget-friendly software tools, hardware, and modern composition processes. Topics include different experimental artists, non-traditional uses of effects chains and automation, audio manipulation, live-recording, midi and indeterminacy, and mixing, along with other subjects. This is a student-led colloquium led by Lucian Parisi under the supervision of Andrew Watts.
Day/Time/Location: F 1:00-2:30 PM, CRST 136

Advanced Topics in Quantitative Biology
Instructors: Matthew Unger and Griffin Kramer

Course: BIOL CS 5, Section 1
Enroll Code: 64428
Course Description: How do Scientists use quantitative approaches to solve complex biological problems? In this colloquium we will focus on two subfields of quantitative biology. The first half focuses on Therapeutic Design and Translational Research, covering topics such as modeling disease progression and drug responses, computational drug discovery, and protein design using Artificial Intelligence. The second half focuses on Bioinformatics and Genomics, focusing on analyzing biological sequences. This is a student-led colloquium led by Matthew Unger ( andGriffin Kramer ( under the supervision of Professor Claudia Tyler. Prior programming experience and introductory biology are recommended but not necessary.
Day/Time/Location: T 2:30-3:45 PM, CRST 160B

Introduction to Quantum Mechanics
Instructor: Simon Blanch

Course: PHYS CS 5, Section 1
Instructor: Tengiz Bibilashvili
Enroll Code: 67538
Course Description: The Stern-Gerlach experiment, two-state systems, mathematical formalism of quantum mechanics, uncertainty, wavefunctions, energy quantization, the Schrödinger equation, quantum entanglement, and other topics of interest to the class (time permitting). Recommended preparation: calculus (MATH 3B), linear algebra (MATH 4A), and physics to the level of PHYS 21. This is a student-led colloquium led by Simon Blanch ( under the supervision of Tengiz Bibilashvili.
Day/Time/Location: M 5:00-6:50 PM, PHELPS 1445