During this past week, I devoted the majority of my time to working on the next Polaris major release (codename “NX”). Among the numerous features that will be made available, “remote printing” is the most requested. It will allow duty crew members to print attendance sheets directly through the Polaris cloud printing service, eliminating the need for the driver take attendance by hand with the van sign-out form.
WEST CHESTER, Pennsylvania — January 31, 2018 — Today, The Polaris Team released the Polaris February Update. The primary goal of this update is to improve the user experience of the administrators and weekend duty crews.
WEST CHESTER, Pennsylvania — January 31, 2018 — Today, Kevin Wang, developer of Argus and Count: A Very Simple Counter (Count), released Count 3.0 to the general public on the App Store. Originally released in 2015, Count is a simplistic and intelligent counter that allows users to count with gestures. The new Count has been completely rebuilt from the ground up and comes with new features including an improved UI, Sense, Random, and various bug fixes and stability improvements.
Usually, I begin my independent project with a blog post containing a detailed plan for the semester. This time, I feel compelled to write about an interesting experience with submitting my app to Apple’s App Store and getting it rejected twice by the App Review Board.
You might remember linear regression from statistics as a method to produce a linear equation that models the relationship between two variables. Not surprisingly, linear regression is quite similar in machine learning, except that the focus is on the prediction rather than the interpretation of data. Regression is a supervised learning algorithm (if you remember from my previous blog) that predicts real-valued output when given an input. In this blog post, I will discuss the model representation of simple linear regression and introduce its cost function.
As we discussed in the previous post, machine learning is one of the main branches of artificial intelligence, in which we aim to build a rational agent. Machine learning is essential to implementation of artificial intelligence, for it allows agents to adapt to different scenarios, as well as predict changes in evolving environment around them. Continue reading
Through the last summer and over the course of the past few weeks, music has become an increasingly huge part of my life. It started for fun and has developed slowly (but not that slowly) into absolute devotion. In this time, I’ve made 8 songs. And as each one passes, I see myself growing tremendously. Just two weeks ago, I decided to bet on myself, I invested in my own work, and, with my mother’s assistance, upgraded my music equipment to a more professional level. Continue reading
I titled my first blog here for this semester’s independent research on the commercial aviation industry “the stories behind the metal birds.” The past few months were a blink. Now, at the end of May, I am sitting in front of my laptop composing my last blog entry. But before I revisit the “stories” I have looked over the course of my work, I want to first share a story about how I personally came to be fascinated by the airline industry.
Afternoon view of the Hollywood Hills (picture taken by myself in January 2017)
Part II: Implications
As a continuation of my previous discussions about United Express Flight 3411, Part II includes a closer examination of the incident from perspectives of both United Airlines and today’s commercial aviation industry.
The end of Part I seems to suggest an easily-reached conclusion: since clauses regarding overbooking are specified in the contract of carriage, airlines could as easily deny a passenger to board if they see a greater economic interest in selling more tickets or accommodating other last-minute top-tier frequent flyers or VIPs. As long as airlines see a smaller marginal cost to denying a “regular passenger” onboard, they are free to do so within the legal frame. And in the case of United Express Flight 3411, the “VIPs” were four “deadhead crew” who needed to fly from their base in Chicago to Louisville to serve another flight. Again, what the crew on that flight did was perfectly legal: after 9/11, for security reasons, on U.S. commercial aircrafts, crew members are given the absolute authority and failure to comply with any of their instructions could result in the intervention of law enforcement. But this time, with the rapid spread of this incident’s footage on the Internet, the marginal cost of denying David Dao skyrocketed.
Lufthansa 747-8 at Frankfurt Airport (picture taken by myself in March 2017)
Part I: From Event Recap to the Common Practice of Overbooking
Monday, Apr.10, in the afternoon. I was waiting in line at Washington Dulles Airport, ready to board a United Express flight back to Philadelphia. The TV screen near the boarding gate was showing some CNN sports news, which I often pay the least attention to. Suddenly, I noticed a few people raising their heads almost unanimously from their private tiny screens, casting anxiously surprised looks onto that CNN channel. A video of a wounded passenger being dragged off a plane was shown on the screen, with that male passenger screaming. The caption was: United forcibly dragged a passenger off an plane in Chicago. The gate agent stood in front of me, not at all unnerved by the small commotion, and spoke into her microphone with professional smile: welcome to United Express flight 6138 with service to Philadelphia. We are now pre-boarding customers with disabilities, uniformed military personnel, family traveling with children under 2, and our Global Services members.
United aircrafts in Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) (picture taken by myself in November 2016)