Synchronous Independent Study Symposium Schedule


Session 1 (2:10 - 2:30) - Mandatory. See Cluster Assignments.

Session 2 (2:30 - 2:50) - Free Choice.

Could a 1835 treaty give us our newest delegate in Congress? "Tribes, Treaties, and Trust: Federal Indian Law and the Cherokee Nation’s Right to a Delegate in Congress" will examine history, law, and politics to tell the story of how the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma earned the right to a delegate in the U.S. House of Representatives, and what still needs to be done to get the delegate seated. The project was built through historical research and multiple interviews with Cherokee leaders and scholars.

For my Independent Study, I learned the basics of figure drawing to begin crafting my own fantasy graphic novel, Spyralis. I have never taken formal drawing lessons before, so I dedicated the first two months of this project to developing my skills as an artist. At the same time, I wrote an outline for my entire graphic novel and scripted the first chapter. As the months progressed, I developed character designs, storyboarded the first chapter, and finally drew it out.

Environmental Ethics is a relatively new field of philosophy and was founded because of a lack of consideration of non-humans in human decision-making around the environment. As a result of the Industrial Revolution, an awareness was formed around the vulnerability of nature to human action and that sparked the beginning of the environmental movement. However, there was a difference of opinions between environmentalists. Should the environmental movement reject human-centric thinking entirely and focus solely on the intrinsic value of nature? In this independent study, I investigated how that rejection of human-centric thinking inspired change, but also how it turned many environmental movements elitist.

Over the course of six months, David and Jesse studied books bound in human skin (anthropodermic bibliopegy), witchcraft, spellbooks, pulp fiction, translations of the Quran, QAnon, and the anti-mask movement. What do all these topics have in common? They're... all really interesting and have cool books written about them. David and Jesse read those books, and now your student president gets to cobble them into a semblance of a presentation.

Why is the Republican Party largely conservative, and why is the Democratic Party liberal? This independent study, which covers American politics in the early Twentieth Century (1912-1932), goes a long way toward answering that question. Starting with the Election of 1912, the project goes through the Wilson Presidency, the 1920s, and the election of Franklin Roosevelt. This independent study will explain how these events fundamentally changed both major political parties.

How can policymakers address one of the world's largest challenges? What important facts are missing from the public's understanding of climate economics? Is stopping climate change actually possible? This study examines the economic principles and policy tools that we have to work with as our society attempts to tackle the climate crisis.

Immunology is the study of the (human) immune system. It is connected with nearly all aspects of human health, and is one of the most complex biological systems. While we won’t be able to cover the whole subject in detail, come to hear about some of the immune system’s most interesting parts!

This independent project explores three artists the Impressionist and Post-Impressionists movements and their international influences. The rise of World Expositions created a new wave of interest from European consumers interested in gaining art influenced by culture overseas. From the Japanese fad in Paris in the late 19th century to Gauguin's obsession with Tahiti, these artists used the inherent "other" as a central part of their work. This study looks at the Impressionist movement through a contemporary context: were Impressionists appreciating or appropriating international culture? Were they pioneers or psychopaths?

In my IS I explored different facets of my identity through reading books that focused on specific aspects of how I define myself (e.g.: a woman, a POC at a private school). From there, I wrote reflection pieces and discussed guiding questions to help better understand both the positive and complicated aspects of claiming these identities. I hope to discuss what I've done and then ask you to share what resonates with you and what doesn't in a free-form discussion of intersectionality and how to find power in claiming ourselves, despite complications.

This is an examination of a physics system that generates the digits of pi from a seemingly chaotic system, and how order can come out of disorder.

Our goals are to destigmatize the art of spray painting, and open the UHS student body’s eyes to see spray painting as a meaningful form of art that can be used to express ideas and spread awareness to larger groups of people. We will also discuss prominent San Francisco based artists who have shown that spray painting can be more than vandalization. In addition, we will share our experiences in creating two murals over the past few month, including our struggles, observations, and what we learned along the way.

The Federalist Papers are the place where experts go for a window into the minds of out Founding Fathers. Over the past semester, I conducted an Independent Study Project in which I read, discussed, and wrote an analysis of all 85 essays in the series. The symposium presentation focuses on one paper in particular, which is unique in the fact that its message was rejected, and that its proposal would come off as unthinkable today. Therefore, it is the most fun to talk about!

Session 3 (2:50 - 3:10) - Free Choice.

Sevivon is a multiplayer dreidel game for iOS and Android, built with open-source tools like Godot Game Engine, Blender, and Inkscape. Celebrate Hanukkah with family and friends, no matter where you are!

As Christian and non-Christian women, we wanted to explore the question of whether or not someone can be a Christian and a feminist. We will be giving a presentation on the history of feminism within various denominations of Christianity. We will be discussing our learnings from the four books we read, which included studies on Adam and Eve, the Catholic feminist movement, and the history of the concept of biblical womanhood and subjugation.

We will be diving into the analytics of baseball, specifically saber-metrics and how it is used in baseball by professional executives, as well as any other intriguing analytical strategies. Saber-metrics is the analysis and gathering of baseball statistics and data. We'll be using real life examples from both the MLB and the UHS baseball team.

I spent the semester experimenting in different genres of writing, with all of my pieces focusing on how family dynamics can impact mental health. I wrote letters, vignettes, and longer narrative-style pieces. The project was inspired by both my appreciation for writing personal narratives in UHS english classes and one of my favorite books, On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong.

Over the course of the semester, we analyzed the healthcare systems in the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, and France. We looked at these systems with a focus on quality, cost, and accessibility in order to gain a better understanding of what aspects of healthcare systems are most effective in treating citizens.

In my Independent Study, I took one of the Norse myths (Thor's Journey to Utgard) and turned it into a graphic novel. Through this project I put a more modern spin on Norse Mythology in order to translate the stories into a medium that's more enjoyable for people now. In this graphic novel, I tell the story of Thor and his trip to the Land of the Giants, and the challenges he and his companions face along the way.

Homelessness is a very important issue in San Francisco, and in my project, I researched various types of sustainable housing units that have already been designed and learned about what makes these designs effective and perhaps not effective. I have looked into many factors that are economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable that help to reduce the amount of unhoused people in San Francisco, and I have researched what major changes need to be implemented into society to change the ever growing number of unhoused people. This multifactorial issue can't be solved through one independent study, but through my research, I learned what needs to be done to reduce the amount of unhoused.

Eradicating all disease, breeding pigs to create human organ transplants, designer clone babies, reviving the extinct wooly mammoth, genetic warfare - this all sounds like a dystopian future. Turns out that this future is here on our doorstep thanks to CRISPR, a genetic editing tool that can precisely cut and insert bits of DNA into other genomes. Learn more about how CRISPR works, how it’s been used to fight food insecurity to diagnosing COVID-19, and its ethical implications. Maybe this will inspire you to buy the $1600 micropigs and buff beagles coming out on the market soon.

Have you ever wondered why society labels specific books as classics? In this study we go through the reasoning as to why The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald is a classic novel. We go into why such an old book becomes considered a classic by members of society.

Americans spend an average of over 5 hours per day on their mobile phones. How do social media companies and other content providers keep people engaged? Engineers of Big Tech corporations carefully implement machine learning in platforms such as social media to make sure their apps recommend content that interests the user and keeps them engaged. This project explores and provides insight into how apps are designed to be addicting. The evolution of algorithms has changed how the computer understands the code by recommending content.

This year, Maya and Jasmine studied topics in linear algebra and differential equations that applied knowledge from previous math courses. The independent study consisted of textbook reading and problem sets with support from our sponsor, Megan!!

The magic that the tales of Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty possess is arguably what has cemented their places as truly iconic and fundamental pieces of American childhood. However, once the shimmering curtain of nostalgia is pulled away, the true problematic nature of these stories, and their consequential impact American culture, becomes only too clear. This project investigates the one dimensional female protagonists, mistreated female villains, and use and abuse of the phrases “once upon a time” and “happily ever after” that have plagued both the original and later versions of Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty, and what these outdated archetypes mean for the future of fairy tales in American society.

How did some of the most influential activists and social reformers of the 19th century descend from an elite, wealthy, Southern, slave-owning family? My project focuses on six members of the Grimké family who all dedicated their lives to fighting slavery, the patriarchy, racism, and inequality. Two of them were white women who rebelled against their family and became notorious exiles of the South, two of them were escaped slaves who fought for civil rights, and two of them were Black women who used their writing to create change. Although the Grimkés are little-known today, their work left a lasting mark on the United States.