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I have just received word back from ATCC regarding my cell lines and the contamination issue I faced. They said they are unwilling to give a refund on my cells because the tests they had previously run showed no signs of contamination. However, they did offer me a 10% discount from the original $492.00 it costs to purchase the cell line. I am going to discuss with Teacher Margaret regarding the state of my project since this will be the third time to purchase cells and roughly a 5 weeks is in not enough time to get cells confluent and run all of the tests I had initially planned. Additionally, it is very frustrating to have ATCC not refund or send me a new cell line since the tests we ran showed no signs of contamination on our part. This was not how I expected my project to be carried out and has been a very difficult and stressful time for me to figure out logistics regarding this project.

After discussing with T. Margaret we have decided that it may be best for me to write out the cell culturing procedures necessary for the NBT-ii cell line should a student wish to continue this project in coming years.

R (and my plan) – Baiting

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At the very beginning, I want to conclude my project in Abstract Algebra. As the second round of competition (Delaware Valley Science Fair) ended on April 4th, my work with Abstract Algebra has temporarily ended as well. In the second round, I won 3rd Place in 12th Grade Mathematics. In speaking of the result, it was worse than last year when I won 2nd place. However, I clearly understood bringing a theoretically based project to a science fair was risky. So, I feel lucky that I have done what I always wanted to do, no matter what recognition I won.

Following the week after the science fair, I started to work on R, a type of computer coding language. I choose R instead of other languages because it is extensively used in statistics. Since I will most likely major in Mathematics/Statistics in college, R is one of the most helpful coding languages to learn.

First, I want to address a question asked by T. Margaret for my last blog. T. Margaret asked about my final target of the semester and what I would do as a demonstration of learning. To be honest, I am not completely confident to bring an impressive project for several reasons. First, I spent my first half of the semester on Abstract Algebra so there are no more than 2 months left for R. Second, I had no foundation on any computer programming before. Since R is my first coding language, I have to start from the most basic knowledge. And finally, there are no obvious relationships between Abstract Algebra and R. This means it will be hard or not very meaningful to combine R with Abstract Algebra. As a result, my current learning plan is to go through the most basic algorithms in R as quickly as possible. Then, I will continue my work from last year on Alzheimer’s disease.

Last year, I studied Alzheimer’s disease from a data set on Kaggle. I used models including Odds Ratio, Logistic Regression, and ROC Curves to analyze which type of people are more likely to have Alzheimer’s disease. As I handed my paper to a Statistics Doctor, she advised me to think about other models. She said Logistic Regression is a popular model in public health. However, since different subjects in my data set had a different number of testings, there was no guarantee that each data is independent of each other. For instance, Subject #1 may have 5 testings while Subject #2 has only 3, then we cannot treat each of these 8 testings as independent data point. As a result, Logistic Regression wouldn’t provide the most accurate conclusions.

My final target for the semester would be researching on a new statistic model and run it through R codes on the same data set. Even though there may not be enough time for me to write a whole report, I will bring interesting conclusions. As my demonstration of learning, I am expecting to talk about my model, my codes, and my conclusions from both years. In specific, I am interested in comparing the similarities and differences between my conclusions. As of a long term plan, I am curious about why these differences exist and if there are ways we can identify the scales of these differences.

In addition to my plans, I really want to talk about some codes I learned. However, since this is not a tutorial, talking about each function and code in R would not be helpful. In general, I learned how to set variables, perform basic algorithms, identify data type, create vectors/matrix, and draw data plots or basic functions. I have also self-learned something about “if”. Once I have a better understanding of these codes, I will certainly share my experience with you! For now, I want to introduce the software and R in general.

R (for windows): The most fundamental structure and logic of R are here. If you are using Mac or Linux, then simply google R for Mac or R for Linux. It is free.

Some advantages of R are:

1, It is free.

2, It is open source so you can install any packages easily.

3, R is easy to install and is only 50 MB.

4, R is overall easier to learn.

R Studio: This is another coding platform for R. You can’t run R Studio without having R in the first place. It goes through the same logic and process as R, however, it is neater and easier. For instance, R Studio allows you to edit your codes while R doesn’t have this function. I feel R Studio is extremely important for beginners. The most basic version is free, and is well enough for users like me!

Works Cited

Boysen, Jacob. “MRI and Alzheimers.” kaggle, Accessed 15 Apr. 2019.

“Logistic Regression.” Carnegie Mellon University Department of Statistics, Accessed 15 Apr. 2019.

“Plotting and Intrepretating an ROC Curve.” The Darwin Web Server, Accessed 15 Apr. 2019.

R Programming. Coursera, Accessed 15 Apr. 2019.

R Studio. R Studio, Accessed 15 Apr. 2019.

Now You’re Speaking My Language: My story of transcribing and publishing the story of Katerina Šulková

We have recently published an article about Katerina Šulková, a young scientist from the Czech Republic who has worked across Europe in laboratories. Today, I will be talking about having a translator as apart of my process, and how I have had to translate things on my own, tying into the larger idea of me taking on multiple roles. Continue reading

An Ode to Toluwa/ Updates on my work- Bess

Hi everyone! Because of Westtown having a visiting poet, I decided to take the opportunity to interview and converse with her, and write a little mini-biography on her. (Along with updates on my work.)

Toluwanimi Oluwafunmilayo Obiwole is a Nigerian-born, Colorado-raised visual and performance artist, educator, and organizer. At Westtown, she went by Toluwa.

Toluwa performing at the poetry assembly, Friday April 12th, 2019.
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Medicine in the Early 20th Century Part 1–Yuchen

Medicine in the Early 20th Century Part 1

During the last decade of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, the world witnessed many advances in the medical field, especially the integration of modern technology into diagnosis and treatment. Classical patient history taking and physical examination were met with new technologies to diagnose various medical conditions. Continue reading

Communism in Czechoslovakia-Part I|Nina Wei

In this post, I plan to share part one of my research on the emergence of Communism in Czechoslovakia, covering the establishment of Czechoslovakia in 1918 to the rise of communist ideals and policies in the 1960s.

“Political union” of Czechs and Slovaks after WWI was feasible because the two ethnic groups were very much related in their language, religion, and general culture. Continue reading

Managing Algal Growth and Possible Solutions – Nick

Since my last blog post, there has been A LOT going on. However, I regret to inform you all that most of the events in the past couple weeks are not positive. Now, we must keep in mind that this is a biology project which means that there is going to be plenty of room for error in the experiment.

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RSA Algorithm – Baiting

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In this blog, I would like to provide updates on the M3 Challenge and my research project in Abstract Algebra for Chester County Science Fair. Then, I will introduce the RSA Algorithm, the most used information encryption algorithm in the world and how it relates to my project.

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Fake It Till You Make It


Inova Consultancy

I’ve been struggling to breathe recently: masks can be suffocating. I’ve just been putting on the face of the perfect CEO who has the best website, the best social media page, and the best articles. But the reality is that I have been exhausted recently. Additionally, I have been talking to other non-profits who are huge So what do I do? So It seems as if I have been fakin’ it till’ I’m makin’ it in two ways: pretending I am not tired and pretending we are a bigger organization. Continue reading