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Charity Concert for Zambia

By Stephanie Moon, VI Form

Charity Concert for Zambia

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The pads of my fingers were pressed against hard coils of wire, the Achilles heels of my feet were scruffed from the constant wear of dress shoes, and the lobules of my ears were vibrating to the waves of different pitches. My friends and sister were also going through the same experience; we were all performing Holst’s St. Paul’s Suite in front of a moderate-sized crowd at a chamber ensemble concert that we had directed and executed ourselves.

How was this so?

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It all went back to the middle of my junior year when I received the Class of ‘68 Fellowship Grant in the early spring. I was planning on running an entire production by myself in the summer to provide donations to a religious youth institution. This organization is dedicated to expanding the fundamental right of access to healthcare. With an ambitious mindset to perform with at least eight people and do repertoires such as the Prokofiev Sonata and Mendelssohn Octet, I was more than thrilled to have this all organized. I first contacted a good friend who was also a cellist that played with me in the Phoenix Strings Orchestra back in Korea and told him about my tentative plan. Assenting, we grew to contact other talented musicians, ranging from violinists to cellists. We discussed over the phone about our tentative program, the concert venue, and budget. Between then and June 9th, we planned out what pieces we would perform, who the ensemble members would be, when we would practice, and how to divide up the passion, work, and money. (more…)

Archaeological Excavation with Dorchester-On-Thames Field School

By Aidan White, VI Form

Archaeological Excavation with Dorchester-On-Thames Field School

I spent the first two weeks of last summer rummaging through a 2000-year-old garbage
heap, and it was great! Let me explain:

I plan to pursue archaeology in college and potentially as a career. Archaeology programs in the United States are rare and focus mainly on research topics within North and South America. For a broader archaeological education, I plan to head across the pond to the United Kingdom or Ireland, and in order to gain an advantage in the application process, as well as out of sheer interest in the field, I applied for the Mathews Fund Grant in order to take part in an excavation. The dig was put on by a company based in Oxfordshire, England, and focused on a tiny village just outside of Oxford called Dorchester-on-Thames. During Roman times, the village was the site of a Roman settlement. This particular excavation had been used for a number of years as a field school for university students, and I was lucky enough to get a spot. I was the only high school student there. I expected to be on the lower end of the age spectrum, but I had not been prepared for the fact that most of my fellow attendees would know each other already. After schlepping my backpack from Birmingham Airport to Oxford, finding a bus to a tiny village, and walking to the cowpaddy turned campsite, I was exhausted. As I set up my tent, the other members of the dig greeted their friends. After an hour of settling in, we were asked what we would prefer for dinner that evening. The choices were a Sunday roast, and the ever stereotypical English delicacy known commonly as fish and chips. I opted for the latter, and fantasized about the impending meal as we were given an exhaustive tour of the village which comprised an abbey, three pubs, and a Co-Op. (more…)

Casual Bike Rental Volume Prediction via Artificial Neural Network

By Jenny Shan, VI Form

 

Casual Bike Rental Volume Prediction via Artificial Neural Network

Abstract

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Aim: This study aimed to build a predictive model for casual bike rental volume using artificial neural network and compare its performance with traditional regression method, linear regression.

Method: The data set under study is related to 2-year usage log of a bike sharing system namely Capital Bike Sharing (CBS) at Washington, D.C., USA. There were some external sources that corresponding historical environmental values such as weather conditions, weekday and holidays are extractable. All the records were randomly assigned into 2 groups: training sample (50%) and testing sample (50%). Two models were built using training sample: artificial neural network and linear regression. For artificial neural network, the input layer has 11 inputs, the two hidden layers have 3 and 2 neurons and the output layer has a single output.  Mean squared errors (MSE) were calculated and compared between both models. A cross-validation was conducted using a loop for the neural network and the cv.glm() function in the boot package for the linear model. A package called “neuralnet” in R was used to conduct neural network analysis.
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Opening a Philosophy Café: Socrates Café in Seoul

By June Seong, VI Form
Opening a Philosophy Café: Socrates Café in Seoul

Click on Image for Podcast and SIte

This summer, I opened a chapter of the Socrates Cafe in Seoul. I created this venue with the intent to create a platform for rigorous and open discussions about questions that itch us under our skins: What is the value of art? What is love? I had previously crafted a model with Dr. Harwood for a Saturday class I will help teach in the spring semester called the Socrates Cafe. Essentially, the Cafe meets that happened in Seoul was a way for me to learn more about the nuances of moderating a philosophical and analytical conversation.

I was eventually able to get into contact with the founder of the Socrates Cafe, philosopher and writer Christopher Phillips. We did a podcast together that shed more light on the concept of the Cafe and our hopes and aspirations for widespread philosophical thinking.
Here’s the link for the podcast:

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Cross Country Running: A Lesson in Collaboration

By Kendall Sommers, III Form

Cross Country Running: A Lesson in Collaboration

Running is like a weight being lifted off your shoulders, pushing through boundaries and working through physical and mental obstacles.  The first day of cross country, I fell in love with the sport. The sweat dripping off my face after a half hour of the most intense cardio I had ever done. The feeling of cool water refreshing my parched throat. But best of all, the mutual feeling of accomplishment among my teammates and me. It was eighth grade, last year, and I had never been on a team for running before. In fact, I had never run more than in my middle school basketball games or during gym class fitness testing. But nevertheless, I was drawn into the sport after hearing how rewarding it was from friends. And those friends were right.

Running is powered by individual ambition, but supported by a team. Having never run on a serious, all-girls, competing team before, coming to Saint Mark’s I did not know what to expect. Arriving at preseason, I could tell right away that it was the type of team you could join having run a half marathon over the summer or half a mile, and still feel important and valued as a teammate and friend. The captains launched us right into stretching and warming up and then into running. We started by running for thirty minutes without stopping, and that grew to a challenging sixty minutes by the end of the season. I hadn’t realized how perfectly simple the sport of cross country was. Lace up your shoes. Hit the pavement. Work hard. Repeat. So I repeated, every day for ten weeks. Slowly becoming faster, slowly becoming closer to my teammates and quickly adjusting to life at Saint Mark’s. (more…)

National Identity in The Golden Fish Hook

By Lora Xie, V Form

National Identity in The Golden Fish Hook

Prompt:

Research and write about a foundation myth that has influenced the country’s national identity or that continues to influence its identity.

On April 24, 1970, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) used the Long March 1 rocket to launch its first satellite into Low Earth orbit, becoming the fifth nation to achieve independent launch capability.[1]Long March 1 belonged to a family of rockets named after the “Long March” (长征), a year-long military retreat is undertaken by the Red Army of the Communist Party of China (CCP) from 1934 to 1936 to escape from the pursuit of the Kuomintang (KMT or Chinese Nationalist Party) army.[2]The trek was apotheosized by the American chronicler Edgar Snow in his 1937 officially endorsed “Red Star over China.”[3]When the Communist Party founded the PRC in 1949, it adopted the legends about the tribulations and demonstrations of heroism that took place on the Long March as some of its most important foundation myths. These legends are taught in schools and broadcasted through media to promote the so-called “Spirit of Long March,” summarized by Jiang Zemin, the fifth president of the PRC, as “loyalty,” “sacrifice,” “practicality,” “collectivism,” and “popularism.”[4]This essay will analyze how one specific myth, “The Golden Fish Hook,” promotes those ideologies, offers citizens consolation and motivation for adversities, and cultivates patriotism through pride and gratitude.

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