Category Archives: Education

Reflections — William

My independent project for this semester aims to create a report which compares several of the usual deep learning architecture using a set of grocery pictures. I started by watching and reading through open course materials and videos, which I found on the website of Stanford University, course CS231n. I also get in touch with a mentor from my hometown and sought his guidance on this topic. He is a graduate student at Fudan University, Shanghai. We arranged meetings every other week via Zoom and he would be helping me to better understand open course materials.

After a week of introduction, he encouraged me to set up a computational environment so I could run the machine learning code in it. With his advice, I rent a cloud computing host offered by Alibaba, a Chinese cloud service provider. The set-up process took me quite some time: the install procedures require me to download and install numerous related programs and customize the environment specifically for my cloud host. At the same time, I obtained the image resource I need under the direction of my mentor from a public image database.

Then, I started to experiment with what I have learnt and put them into practice. Tensorflow is the programming language I use to build deep learning model. Though based on Python, one of my familiar computer programming language, Tensorflow took me quite amount of time to get used to, especially for me to understand the underlying structure and concepts. I have just started to implement basic machine learning models with Tensorflow, and I am looking forward to using it in my research.

I am currently consistent with my timeline, but the initial learning part, especially when I learn to use Tensorflow, took a bit too long. I did not expect to meet such difficulties putting what I have learnt from open courses into practice. Also, there are other issues: the connection to and from the cloud server, for example, is frequently disturbed. I had to figure out a way to keep my working session intact without being disturbed by the interruptions in the connections to my cloud host. Still, I learnt much from the progress I have made. I learnt about many basic tactics when setting up a cloud host in another operating system I am not familiar with. Moreover, I learnt about where to look for when I faced a new challenge. Before working on this project, I was limited to consulting my mentor or looking around on the Internet aimlessly. Now, I will join online communities to solve problems I face and read through open source projects documentation.

To achieve my goal over the rest of the semester, to produce a research report that is, I will keep working on my timeline planed. Starting from the Thanksgiving break, I will move away from how to implement deep learning models to the actual process of experiment and comparison among different deep learning models.

Works Cited

Brokaw, Alex. “Google’s TensorFlow is now available for iOS.” The Verge, The Verge, 8 June 2016,

Game Theory in the Norman Conquest–Summer

In my last post, I introduced you to a new form of game called Sequential Games. Today, I’m going to explore with you a historical application of Sequential Game, the Battle of Hastings during the Norman Conquest. Continue reading

The Four Failing Pillars of Sex Ed

Sex education needs serious renovations – dare I say an overhaul. We are failing to teach students how to keep their bodies happy, healthy, and safe. Here are four reasons why sex education is failing students in Pennsylvania and across the nation: Continue reading

Assistant Teaching- Alec B.

My whole goal in my project is to be able to see every grade between middle and lower schools. I want to know what it’s like being a teacher in all different directions. So far, I have only been in sixth grade English. I do not have problem with this whatsoever, but I believe it is time for me to move onto a different grade level and expand my horizons. Continue reading

Assistant Teaching – Alec

My time in the 6th grade classroom is quickly becoming a part of me in that I am connecting with the kids much more now. I feel like they trust me now and they are much more comfortable with asking me questions and having me help them. I feel more and more that this is no longer just a project, but something that makes me get up in the morning and smile while walking through the entrance of the middle school.

Continue reading

The Importance of Press – KC

On October 2nd 2017 a Q&A about the work I’ve been doing was posed on Vice News. It was later added to their national snapchat story. It’s hard to say how many people saw the article but this was national coverage which means a TON of people saw it all across the country and perhaps the world.

Let’s look at the numbers we do have:

We can use Facebook’s article tracking feature to see how many times it was simply shared on the popular social media site. In the past two weeks it has been shared by nearly 2,000 people and popular pages.

Screenshot at Oct 15 19-54-20.png

I don’t have any way to quantify any other post-based social media websites like twitter, but this gives an audience rage on one.

We can however extract a few numbers from Snapchat’s stories. Vice News is one of the most popular snapchat stories, and while the app does not release official viewership counts, NBC released their own count earlier this year.

Read more: Quakerism’s Influence on my Activism – KC

According to Variety, the multi-media giant garnered a whopping 29 million views in the first month of starting their new snapchat story. While this number is probably inflated because of first month promotion, it allows us to see the amount of people who are tuning into a specific story – a new one at that.

It is safe to say that over a hundred thousand people saw the story on Vice. We don’t have any way of quantifying the number of people who then chose to read the article, but they were all able to see this video:


So why do these numbers matter? It’s simple, good press is one of the most crucial parts of any organization or movement. Over the past two weeks since my article dropped, my mailbox has been flooded with new people wanting to get involved. Leading activist in my field have begun reaching out to partner.

Read more: Timing is an Art Form – KC

I’m really excited about working with these people and continuing to build my organization. To those trying to build something new, I suggest you start working on news coverage. Reach out to local reporters or people who frequently write about related topics. Start sending press-releases when new things happen inside your organization.

These kinds of articles will help propel your message and build a wider audience.

The Game Theory of Community Weekend Event–Summer

Today, I’m going to examine with you, in the lens of Game Theory, some of the most memorable times at Westtown, Community Weekend Events!

As we all know, as a boarder at Westtown, we are required to attend four community weekend events each year. In these events, we have the common goal to have a great time and build a tighter community. But, what makes these events fun? Continue reading

Assistant Teaching – Alec B

As I delve deeper into my project, I see that I am progressing at a much quicker rate than I had expected. I was planning on taking activities on myself towards the end of my time in this classroom, but now I am almost fully immersed in the class.

I took on an assignment that T. Lisa had already started. I hadn’t known the kids that much and I asked T. Lisa if I could develop a small writing assignment about what the students like to know them a little better. Luckily, this kind of activity was already in action. What she had the students lined up for was a blog post called Seesaw that was connected with another sixth grade English Continue reading