Learning Unlimited Cloud


Splash Biography



BARD COSMAN, Clinical Surgery Professor, sometime vexillologist




Major: ~4x @UCSD Splsh, 2 Rainstorms

College/Employer: Not available.

Year of Graduation: Not available.

Picture of Bard Cosman

Brief Biographical Sketch:

I'm a surgeon who teaches medical students and surgical residents at University of California San Diego. I have taught at UCSD Splash for the last 4 years, and once before at Rainstorm. I enjoy explaining surgery to interested students: it's one of the most accessible areas of medical science. It's also immediate for most people: who hasn't seen a family member go through an operation?

Then there's snake flags. That's an originally medical project--trying to explain the snake-on-a-stick symbol of medicine--which took a big digression. I do have something original and interesting to say here.



Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

S712: Ask a Surgeon about Appendicitis in Rainstorm Spring 2021 (May. 15 - 16, 2021)
10% of our population gets this disease, traditionally treated surgically. To explain appendicitis, we touch on anatomy, physiology, medical history, surgical technique, and the movable boundary between medicine and surgery. It's an interactive class (as in medical school) rather than a lecture, so I'll call on folks for responses. You don't need to prepare, just be willing to participate.


S713: Ask a Surgeon about Cancer in Rainstorm Spring 2021 (May. 15 - 16, 2021)
Talking about cancer, the family of diseases that is the #2 killer of Americans, means going into many different areas of medicine. To explain how these diseases are managed, we touch on anatomy, physiology, cancer staging, surgical technique, and the interaction between surgery and other medical specialties. It's an interactive class (as in medical school) rather than a lecture, so I'll call on folks for responses. You don't need to prepare, just be willing to participate.


H714: Snake Flags in Rainstorm Spring 2021 (May. 15 - 16, 2021)
Where does the Don't Tread on Me rattlesnake come from, and why is it so loaded with meaning? The brazen serpent (neḥushtan) that Moses raised in the Book of Numbers is a convincing ancestor for the American snake flag family, of which the Gadsden flag is the best known. The neḥushtan also seems to be the ancestor of the fouled-anchor emblems of the world's navies--like the anchor on the US Marine Corps flag. In tracing these stories, we'll touch on language, history, Jewish and Christian religion, and how symbols encode meaning, and we'll discuss flags and symbols without talking politics or religion.


H715: Snake Flags 2: Left Behind, Sort Of in Rainstorm Spring 2021 (May. 15 - 16, 2021)
While some of the snakes-on-crosses left the world of religion to become American revolutionary icons or the nautical fouled anchors, others stayed home, so to speak, and became symbols with the Christian church. The brazen serpent (neḥushtan) that Moses raised in the Book of Numbers became the 'type' for the crucifix, thus important in the depiction of Catholic saints and in the teachings of the Reformation. We'll trace what symbols in Christianity today reflect the neḥushtan, touching on history, the type/antitype idea and some key concepts of Judaism and Chritianity. Like the academics we are, we'll talk a little theology without talking religion.


S481: Ask a Surgeon about Appendicitis in Rainstorm Fall 2020 (Dec. 05 - 06, 2020)
10% of our population gets this disease, traditionally treated surgically. To explain appendicitis, we touch on anatomy, physiology, medical history, surgical technique, and the movable boundary between medicine and surgery. It's an interactive class (as in medical school) rather than a lecture, so I'll call on folks for responses. You don't need to prepare, just be willing to participate.


S482: Ask a Surgeon about Cancer in Rainstorm Fall 2020 (Dec. 05 - 06, 2020)
Talking about cancer, the family of diseases that is the #2 killer of Americans, means going into many different areas of medicine. To explain how these diseases are managed, we touch on anatomy, physiology, cancer staging, surgical technique, and the interaction between surgery and other medical specialties. It's an interactive class (as in medical school) rather than a lecture, so I'll call on folks for responses. You don't need to prepare, just be willing to participate.


H483: Snake Flags in Rainstorm Fall 2020 (Dec. 05 - 06, 2020)
Where does the Don't Tread on Me rattlesnake come from, and why is it so loaded with meaning? The brazen serpent (neḥushtan) that Moses raised in the Book of Numbers is a convincing ancestor for the American snake flag family, of which the Gadsden flag is the best known. The neḥushtan also seems to be the ancestor of the fouled-anchor emblems of the world's navies--like the anchor on the US Marine Corps flag. In tracing these stories, we'll touch on language, history, Jewish and Christian religion, and how symbols encode meaning, and we'll show that you can discuss flags without talking politics.


S371: Ask a Surgeon about Cancer in Rainstorm Spring 2020 (May. 30 - 31, 2020)
Talking about cancer, the family of diseases that is the #2 killer of Americans, means going into many different areas of medicine. To explain how these diseases are managed, we touch on anatomy, physiology, cancer staging, surgical technique, and the interaction between surgery and other medical specialties.


S372: Ask a Surgeon about Appendicitis in Rainstorm Spring 2020 (May. 30 - 31, 2020)
10% of our population gets this disease, traditionally treated surgically. To explain appendicitis, we touch on anatomy, physiology, medical history, surgical technique, and the movable boundary between medicine and surgery.


H417: Snake Flags in Rainstorm Spring 2020 (May. 30 - 31, 2020)
Where does the Don't Tread on Me rattlesnake come from, and why is it so loaded with meaning? The brazen serpent (neḥushtan) that Moses raised in the Book of Numbers is a convincing ancestor for the American snake flag family, of which the Gadsden flag is the best known. The neḥushtan also seems to be the ancestor of the fouled-anchor emblems of the world's navies--like the anchor on the US Marine Corps flag. In tracing these stories, we'll touch on language, history, Jewish and Christian religion, and how symbols encode meaning, and we'll show that you can discuss flags without talking politics.