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By Alie Hyland, VI Form
Summer Photography: A Study Funded by the Class of 1968 V Form Fellowship
Editor’s Note: At their 25th reunion, the Class of 1968 created a fund to provide grants to V Form students for independent study during the school year or, more commonly, during the summer between V and VI Forms. Their intent in establishing this fund was to reward independent thinking, ingenuity, and planning and to encourage the student exploring non-traditional fields of inquiry or using non-traditional methods of investigation.
Photography has been a passion of mine for years and has only grown during my time at St. Mark’s due to the numerous opportunities to explore and learn more about this art form. When I took the “Art and Science of Photography” Saturday class, I learned the key elements of what makes a photo visually appealing and how to operate the DSLR camera that I borrowed from the St. Mark’s library. Turning in the camera at the end of the Saturday class term was painful, for I was losing a powerful tool that gave me the opportunity to freely express myself and capture the precious moments of life in outstanding quality. In the years following this educational experience, I captured random moments of life’s beauty with my iPhone camera; however, I was always craving a higher image quality and level of professionalism. When I learned about the Class of 1968 V Form Fellowship, I saw my opportunity to obtain a DSLR camera. I filled out the application as soon as it became available and, after weeks of anticipation, I was thrilled when I found out that I had been awarded the grant and would finally own a professional camera.(more…)
By Stephanie Moon, VI Form
Charity Concert for Zambia
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?
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…)
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…)
By Jenny Shan, VI Form
Casual Bike Rental Volume Prediction via Artificial Neural Network
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.
By Samantha Wang, IV Form
What Led to America’s Economic Prosperity After World War II?
Editor’s Note: Samantha utilized funds from the Kean Fellowship in the spring of 2018 to finance videos, programs, and books for her independent research project.
By the early 20th century, America had quietly become the world’s strongest industrialized country. But not for long. A huge crisis was brewing behind the exploding expansion of the U.S. economy: on October 24, 1929, a sudden storm swept across Wall Street, and an economic depression followed.The United States, as the birthplace of the Great Depression, became a major disaster area. American industrial production shrank by a third from 1929 to 1932, the unemployment rate was horrendous, pessimism pervaded the whole society, and many people came to doubt the capitalist system.In 1932, the Democratic Party candidate, Franklin Roosevelt, was elected President of the United States. Faced with a severe situation, President Roosevelt advocated for the repression of the domestic forces of Nazism and Communism and the execution of complete control over the national bourgeoisie through his New Deal policies. The American economy slowly got back on track afterward. (more…)