Tag Archives: Independent Seminar

Our Social Media Presence – Sabrina

Screenshot (103)Through our posts, likes, and comments, our social media presence and maintaining it, is one of the most important parts of our business. Today, I am going to be talking about what we do on our social media pages, why it is important to do what we do, and how it has positively affected our business.

What We Do for Our Social media:

Our Posts

Using Tailwind, a post-scheduler app, The Girl Narrative schedules posts using our data on the most popular times our audience will be online, when we will get the most traffic, etc. The content that we post typically falls into one of three categories: Inspiring young women, programs or other media that talks about/educates women and/or girls or inspirational quotes. We have found that the mix and balance of these three types of posts most engage our three main audiences (young girls, programs that support/educate young girls, and the parents/mothers of young girls).

Our Engagement

Through our likes and comment on other brands and accounts, The Girl Narrative chooses to actively engage with other accounts through projects, likes, comments, and shares. This active engagement of other accounts has come back and promotes active engagement in our accounts. We have found that the more actively engaged we are, the more engagement we get in return, and thus the more traffic we get to our site in return.

Screenshot (104)Why We Use Social Media:

The reason that we have a social media page, particularly Instagram, is to connect with our three main audiences and create more traffic and excitement about our brand/nonprofit. As I stated before, our three main audiences include young girls, nonprofits/companies that support and/or educate young girls and women, and the parents (specifically the female guardians) of young women. We have found that Instagram is a good primary hub to connect to our first two audiences, as Instagram is a social media platform most used by young people and other organizations connecting to young people, and that Facebook is better for connecting to our third audience, the parents of young girls. Social media is, today, the prominent way of connecting and advertising, so it is only fitting that The Girl Narrative does the same in its outreach.

How Our Engagement Has Positively Affected Our Brand:

Since the launch of our 2018 Social Media Plan, The Girl Narrative has received an upturn of over 205% more traffic towards our site. If you are interested in seeing our 2018 Social Media Plan, please email, DM, or contact us through our social media pages or through our website, we’d be happy to share it with you! According to LYFE Marketing in an article titled The Importance of Social Media in Business, 71% of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand to others if they have a positive experience with it on social media. Because of the way that we continuously lift up, support, and otherwise give light to other lesser-known organizations, that we have received not only positivity and appreciation but heavy traffic towards our social media page and website as well.

Screenshot (105)

Whether it is through our liking, sharing, commenting, or posting, the active engagement of The Girl Narrative’s page has caused us to experience more traffic and customer engagement than ever, and we hope to continue this trend and only grow our engagement, and, in turn, our audience.  


Sabrina Schoenborn

CEO & Founder of

The Girl Narrative


Article Citation

Smith, Keran. “The Importance of Social Media in Business for Entrepreneurial Success.”

Digital Marketing Blog, LYFE Marketing, 12 Sept. 2018, www.lyfemarketing.com/blog/importance-social-media-business/.


Photo Citations

“The Girl Narrative (@Thegirlnarrative) • Instagram Photos and Videos.” The Girl Narrative

Instagram, http://www.instagram.com/thegirlnarrative/.

Adoption of Communism in the Revolutionary Cuba–Nina

As mentioned in my last blog post, this week I will be sharing my research on the development of Communism in the context of Cuba. Over the last two weeks, I learned the overall historical background of the introduction, proliferation, and application of Communist ideals in Cuba under the leadership of Fidel Castro. Similar to my last post, I will first discuss in-depth my findings and then offer my reflection and a snapshot of my upcoming plan. Continue reading

Population Study 101 – Jason

Before I get into analyzing the case studies of birth rates, I decided to get myself familiarized with the set of basic knowledge for population studies by making use of the e-library of University of Minnesota. Sociology: Understanding and Changing the Social World is a textbook used for courses offered by the Department of Sociology of the university, and the Chapter 19 of the book, titled “Population and Urbanization,” provides explanations for basic principles and vocabulary which will be the basis of the future case studies I will be conducting.

Continue reading

Euler’s Formula – Baiting

As mentioned in my last post, I continued to develop my algebraic skills for solving differential equations during the past two weeks. In this blog, I want to introduce Euler’s Formula, the most impressive piece of math work I have ever seen. In specific, I will dive deep into the mathematical proof of this formula and explain its broad application.

Euler’s Formula consists of a simple line:


In this equation, e represents the irrational constant 2.71828…, or more specifically WeChat Screenshot_20181009230402 , and i represents WeChat Screenshot_20181009230659.png. With an irrational number and an imaginary number involved, Euler’s Formula is not easy to visualize in the regular coordinate system. In order to make this blog more comprehensive to everyone, I will offer an algebraic proof, so that we don’t have to learn the complex Cartesian and Polar coordinate system from the beginning.

To prove Euler’s Formula, we have to prove it satisfies these three fundamental properties:

  1. WeChat Screenshot_20181007153513.png(Law of exponential)
  2. WeChat Screenshot_20181007153856 (Law and definition of constant e in calculus)
  3. Taylor’s series of the left should equal to Taylor’s series on the right as the number of terms approaches infinite.

So let’s start from the first one! Remember we are now assuming Euler’s Formula is correct and testing if it [actually] follows all of the properties.

WeChat Screenshot_20181007160416.png

After proving the Euler’s Formula follows exponential identity, we can move on to proving the identity of e.

The concept of constant e was first brought up by Euler himself,  and is sometimes referred to as “Euler’s Number.” The core definition of e is the rate of change always equal to its self. If you want to know more about this mysterious number, please visit here. Due to its ingenious definition, e is used in multiple areas including charging/discharging a capacitor or calculating quantities related to half-life.

Now here is a simple and straightforward proof for Part II.

WeChat Screenshot_20181007161023

In the last part, we are proving the polynomials of e^iθ equals the polynomials of cos(x)+i*sin(x) from Taylor’s series. If you remember some relevant knowledge from Calculus II, this would also be straightforward.

Now, we have proved the Euler’s Formula. And I will briefly and broadly cover its applications. If you are interested in knowing more about any of these topics, please tell me and I will discuss them in the future!

Trigonometry, Fourier transformation, Taylor’s series, …. the span of the impact of Euler’s Formula goes on and on. With Euler’s Formula, we can easily model rotations in complex coordinate system or even explain the spiral movements of the starts; with Euler’s Formula, the trigonometry relationships become easier than ever; and most importantly, with Euler’s Formula, we can, for the first time in history, cross the wall between transcendental numbers and algebraic numbers.

Euler’s Formula is a piece of math theorem, but also a piece of art. Like Mona Lisa’s Smile by Leonardo da Vinci, Euler’s Formula contains much more than it seems. When rewritten as e^(iπ)+1=0, the simple line involves plus/minus, multiplication/division, exponential, trigonometry, complex number, the concept of zero, and transcendental numbers. Even within itself, there is a sea of knowledge waiting for me to explore.

To me, Euler’s Formula is just a beginning. On my journey of learning, more fascinating math topics will be closely studied and researched. What I will not forget, however, is the excitement after seeing this beautiful math work. Like a line of a poem that eulogizes our life, Euler’s Formula thoroughly depicts the beauty of math.




Fourier Transforms [Illustration]. (2010, Fall). Retrieved from https://slideplayer.com/slide/10994153/

Arthur Mattuck, Haynes Miller, Jeremy Orloff, and John Lewis. 18.03SC Differential Equations. Fall 2011. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, https://ocw.mit.edu. License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.



Leonhard Euler [Photograph]. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.usna.edu/Users/math/meh/euler.html

O’Connor, J. J., & Robertson, E. F. (2001, September). The number e. Retrieved October 8, 2018, from MacTutor History of Mathematics archive website: http://www-history.mcs.st-and.ac.uk/HistTopics/e.html

Medicine the Early Middle Ages– Yuchen

Medicine during the Middle Ages

Similar to the cycles in an economy, the development of modern western medicine has never been a straight line. Influenced by cultural beliefs, political climate and the general global dynamics, medicine since the demise of the Western Roman Empire to the Renaissance period went through abrupt halts and astonishing accelerations. Continue reading

Big Bad Code – Dylan

As my class has really jumped into our work, everything has really taken off. We have jumped right in to coding and designing simple “game-like” projects. Our first being a simple maze-like machine in order to practice creating objects and effects. Effects are a lot of fun to work with, not much is quite as satisfying as creating an invisible black hole effect that sucks a marble in.

As you can see there was quite a complex system of parts that were both visible and invisible, allowing for effects that seem to appear out of thin air. This lead to quite a fun element of surprise as the marble was rolling through the maze. Though slightly challenging, that project was quite a lot of fun. Continue reading

Fundamental Theories of Communism–Nina


In last week’s blog post, I introduced the main topic of my independent seminar “Comparative Research on Development of Communism” and briefly explained my passion for understanding reasons behind varying interpretations of Communism in three countries. A theme of my research will be analyzing historical narratives of those people who experienced Communist rule, with consideration of people living under the systems and those outside of the systems. But before starting to examine Cuba, I believe exploring the basics of the Marxist Theory and different Communist ideologies will prepare me for in-depth research on the three countries. This week, therefore, I began to learn the fundamental theories of Marxism, Communism in Europe, Communism in Latin America, and Maoism.

marx-eng5The founder of Marxism is the German Philosopher, Karl Marx, who belonged to the larger group of Western thinkers that brought new, secularized solutions to questions regarding the human prospects. Inspired to initiate progressive changes pertaining to issues within institutions in Germany, Marx was determined to pursue his path in the field of philosophy. While working as a journalist in Paris, a center of European radicalism,  Marx began his critique on the revolutionary history of France. He soon discovered the “agent” of revolutionary change that was subjected to economic oppression at the time–the proletariat(working class). Due to the private-property-based economy, workers were unable to achieve satisfaction or attain self-development. Marx criticized this alienation of workers’ products and their producers(estrangement)and integrated this theory to later writings with Friedrich Engels. The video in the link above further explains the working conditions in which the more workers worked, the less they gained. This situation propelled Marx’s desire to unite the laborers for a revolution. Marx and Engels asserted in The Communist Manifesto that “the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.” According to them, historical process is propelled by class struggles through the evolution of modes of production. They together shaped an ideology of a socialist society and fundamentals of a communist society: devoid of a political state, private property, exchange, and an industrial middle class. But, this theory lacked practical accounts of actual operations in such a system.

The establishment of the Soviet regime in 1917 sparked the spread of communism across the European political sphere, forcing nations to decide whether to accept communism. Communism in Europe began to shift away from Marx’s and Engel’s original theory as the German Communist League collapsed in 1850. Non-Marxists include Peter Kropotkin, a Russian revolutionist who advocated for anarchism and elimination of state and Alexander Herzen, a Russian writer who suggested an agrarian form of socialism and galvanized the peasantry.


The rise of Leninism was also a prominent aspect of the development of Communism in Europe. Vladimir Ilich Lenin offered his interpretation of Marxism, considered social circumstances in Russia, and proposed the necessity of a centrally organized party to evoke revolutionary consciousness among the uneducated workers and dedication to promoting active efforts to overturn the capitalist society.


Different from the European historical context, the adaptations of Communist systems in Latin America were caused by severe exploitation of the peasant population and an influx of European immigrants. 1890s Latin America instituted a sharply divided two-class structure, increasing productivity, attracting foreign investment and foreign immigrants. Ideas of Marxism also spread through the continent with the arrival of Italian, German, and Spanish immigrants. Starting from the 1930s, leftists parties that supported anti-American nationalism prospered, leading to U.S. intervention in Guatemala to overthrow lefist rule. 

338-0418221405-fidel-obamalikeAs Cuba successfully became the first socialist country in Latin America following the Cuban Revolution, a “Cuban Model” of Communism was born. Under the leadership of Fidel Castro, the government forbade any political dissidence, endorsed improvement policies in areas of health, education, and social mobilization, and employed Guerrilla warfare techniques. However, it is important to note that diverse forms of Communism existed in Latin America, differing largely because of the various historical backgrounds and level of development in the countries themselves.

MaoAnother expression of Marxist ideology is Maoism, which is a broad term that includes Mao Zedong’s  ideologies, political philosophy, and vision towards party leadership in China. Born in a peasant family, Mao was intrigued by tales of rebelling peasants against exploitative middle class and bureaucracy. He became a leading force in rejecting the old Confucian norms of the society which were based on set of social relationships that placed high value on age and order. As Mao witnessed the deterioration of Chinese society under Japanese incursions, he joined the Chinese Communist Party(CCP) during his time in Peking University. His northern expedition and defeat of militarist leaders earned Mao a prominent role in the party. Ambitious Mao adopted series of strategies such as mass mobilization, the Great Leap Forward, and the Cultural Revolution. Mao’s emphasis on upholding the peasant class as the driving force of revolution distinguished Maoism from ideologies of Marxism-Leninism that believed in the strength of the urban proletariat. His personal background, China’s historical context, and Mao’s charisma with his tactics of promoting his theory shaped Maoism.

I discovered through my research last week that various socialists and communist leaders around the world all strived to achieve the “perfect” society proposed by Marx and Engels, but the nature of the societies these political leaders lived under and strategies they adopted were distinct from Marxist communism. For example, Lenin applied the fundamentals of Marxist ideology to Russia and brought forth a system ruled by an active, organized party; Castro utilized his understanding of Marxism in developing his Cuban Model based on a central government against the U.S. and directing movements against a divided class structure; Mao implemented his experience in the peasant class into constructing an ideology mobilizing a revolution. The Marxist ideology is indeed only posed as a general formula and a visionary theory that requires other countries’ own adaptations based on their circumstances. Reading overviews of Communism in different areas this week strengthened my understanding of the reasons behind varying applications of Marxist Theory. I also learned to be more aware of the danger of overgeneralizing the term “Communism” because of the underlying diversity that is often overlooked. With this realization in mind, I would begin my research this week on Cuban Communism and its expression of the Marxist Theory in depth!



Agastia, Dharma. Managing communist-phobia in Indonesia. The Jarkata Post, 3 Feb. 2017, http://www.thejakartapost.com/academia/2017/02/03/managing-communist-phobia-in-indonesia.html. Accessed 10 Sept. 2018.

Berry, Sam. Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels – The Communist Manifesto. 22 July 2015.Communist Leaders. 2 June 2017. Steam Artwork, Valve Corporation, steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=938329002.

Vladimir Lenin. 31 Aug. 2017. marinaamaral, MARINA AMARAL, http://www.marinamaral.com/blog/2017/8/31/vladimir-lenin. Accessed 24 Sept. 2018.

Rott, Ivan. Cuban communists approve landmark econ reforms. Freedom Phenix.com, Ernest Hancock, 18 Apr. 2011, http://www.freedomsphoenix.com/News/088028-2011-04-18-cuban-communists-approve-landmark-econ-reforms.htm. Accessed 24 Sept. 2018.

Mao Zedong. Liberapedia, liberapedia.wikia.com/wiki/Mao_Zedong. Accessed 24 Sept. 2018.


Karl Marx on Alienation. Produced by BBC Radio 4, 2015. Youtube, 2018 YouTube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZ4VzhIuKCQ. Accessed 23 Sept. 2018.


Jian, Chen. “Maoism.” New Dictionary of the History of Ideas, edited by Maryanne Cline Horowitz, vol. 4, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2005, pp. 1335-1341. Gale Virtual Reference Library, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/CX3424300450/GVRL?u=west66701&sid=GVRL&xid=24b05b85. Accessed 24 Sept. 2018.

Megill, Allan. “Marxism: Overview.” New Dictionary of the History of Ideas, edited by Maryanne Cline Horowitz, vol. 4, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2005, pp. 1357-1364. Gale Virtual Reference Library, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/CX3424300454/GVRL?u=west66701&sid=GVRL&xid=80088e12. Accessed 24 Sept. 2018.

Rees, Tim. “Communism: Europe.” New Dictionary of the History of Ideas, edited by Maryanne Cline Horowitz, vol. 2, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2005, pp. 414-421. Gale Virtual Reference Library, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/CX3424300151/GVRL?u=west66701&sid=GVRL&xid=18462c2e. Accessed 24 Sept. 2018.

Wiarda, Howard J., and Esther M. Skelley. “Communism: Latin America.” New Dictionary of the History of Ideas, edited by Maryanne Cline Horowitz, vol. 2, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2005, pp. 421-424. Gale Virtual Reference Library, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/CX3424300152/GVRL?u=west66701&sid=GVRL&xid=d26bb6c1. Accessed 24 Sept. 2018.

Socio-political research on birth rates – Jason

    I grew up hearing that my home country, Japan, is aging. I grew up being told that people of my generation would have to support older generations’ social welfare in the future. At the same time, however, I had never felt a serious sense of danger until I started studying abroad. As I lived 6000 miles away from my home, the notion of my country steadily aging and shrinking on the other side of the globe suddenly became alarming to me. The concern for my country eventually became a motivation for me to start conducting research on dissecting determinants of birth rates from an interdisciplinary approach.

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Genitourinary Cancer Research – Dhillon

From an early age, my family was touched by cancer, one of the most infamous diseases in the world and one of the leading causes of death in the world. I was first directly impacted by cancer when I was eight years old, and my grandfather was diagnosed with prostate cancer. I witnessed the struggles he endured both physically and mentally from his prostate cancer, and the chemotherapy treatment he underwent. However, he was undeterred and due to the great care he received and his strong will; his cancer went into complete remission.  

I continued to be fascinated by cancer and how our own bodies can seemingly create a disease out of itself. My interest in cancer, however, was further propelled when I was introduced to Dr. Sumanta Pal – an esteemed oncologist at the City of Hope Hospital in Duarte, California who specializes in genitourinary cancer, serves as the co-director of City of Hope’s Kidney Cancer Program, and has multiple patents. During the summer of my Freshman year, I was fortunate to intern under Dr. Pal, and analyzed the social dialogue of prostate cancer within Twitter. Since then I have continued my relationship with Dr. Pal and have continued to learn about cancer and the many different forms of treatment. Continue reading

Bank Account Model – Baiting

In the past two weeks, I continued my learning on First Order Linear Differential Equations. In this blog, I will focus on the Bank Account Model. If you find this blog is interesting and would like to learn more from my primary source, please go here.

Bank Account Model:

When you are putting money into your bank account, what would you care about the most? While I guess the answer for me and many will be the interest. So in this model, we will look at the logarithm behind the (theoretical) interest system. Continue reading