Monday, October 24, 2005

Who got admitted to Harvard?

Here is an article from Seattle Times Jun 3 2004, featuring a student now in his 2nd year at Harvard.

Jie Tang, Bellevue High School

"Jie Tang could probably teach a class or two at Bellevue High School, no problem at all.

The 18-year-old understands the language of math and science like few young people in the whole country, his teachers say.

As a junior, he was one of just 54 U.S. students chosen to participate in a six-week intensive Research Science Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Another internship took him to Beijing, where he worked with grad students in computer science.

"I'm on the edge of my seat to see what he ends up doing in this world," said school counselor Yvette Cook.

A semifinalist in the national Presidential Scholars competition, Tang graduates with a 4.0 grade-point average and starts at Harvard University in the fall. His intellect is stunning, teachers say. He can easily play with esoteric concepts like "combinatorics" and "Cauchy properties." Yet Tang practices humility. "I'm into the whole math-science thing," he says simply.

Born in China, Tang has spent most of his life in the U.S., first in Ohio and later in Washington state. His plans after college aren't clear, though for him a career as an entrepreneur has a certain ring to it.

As president of Bellevue's Youth Link, a city service that funds activities for youth, Tang has maintained its Web site, dispatched volunteer drivers for Safe Rides, and created and taught an introductory computer class for older residents. He's also raised about $20,000 for cancer research as part of a 10-person Relay for Life team.

School has sometimes been a challenge even for Tang. He credits one teacher in particular, Mary Park Christie, for inspiring him, and said he carries one simple message: "Don't give up. That's the most important thing."

Source (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/education/2001955004_04grad-tang13m.htm)

Who got admitted to Harvard?

Here is an article from Seattle Times Jun 3 2004, featuring a student now in his 2nd year at Harvard.

Jie Tang, Bellevue High School

"Jie Tang could probably teach a class or two at Bellevue High School, no problem at all.

The 18-year-old understands the language of math and science like few young people in the whole country, his teachers say.

As a junior, he was one of just 54 U.S. students chosen to participate in a six-week intensive Research Science Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Another internship took him to Beijing, where he worked with grad students in computer science.

"I'm on the edge of my seat to see what he ends up doing in this world," said school counselor Yvette Cook.

A semifinalist in the national Presidential Scholars competition, Tang graduates with a 4.0 grade-point average and starts at Harvard University in the fall. His intellect is stunning, teachers say. He can easily play with esoteric concepts like "combinatorics" and "Cauchy properties." Yet Tang practices humility. "I'm into the whole math-science thing," he says simply.

Born in China, Tang has spent most of his life in the U.S., first in Ohio and later in Washington state. His plans after college aren't clear, though for him a career as an entrepreneur has a certain ring to it.

As president of Bellevue's Youth Link, a city service that funds activities for youth, Tang has maintained its Web site, dispatched volunteer drivers for Safe Rides, and created and taught an introductory computer class for older residents. He's also raised about $20,000 for cancer research as part of a 10-person Relay for Life team.

School has sometimes been a challenge even for Tang. He credits one teacher in particular, Mary Park Christie, for inspiring him, and said he carries one simple message: "Don't give up. That's the most important thing."

Source (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/education/2001955004_04grad-tang13m.htm)

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Take College Tours On DVD

I read about the DVD project from the Chronical of Higher Education website. THE U is a new DVD series featuring high-energy video tours of America's 50 most popular colleges. The DVDs can be ordered from http://www.theu.com/site/index.htm.

There are five of them:
The Ivy League
The Northeast
The South
The Midwest
The West

The DVDs provide a cost-effective way to tour universities. I'd like to review them and report my findings later in the blog.

Take College Tours On DVD

I read about the DVD project from the Chronical of Higher Education website. THE U is a new DVD series featuring high-energy video tours of America's 50 most popular colleges. The DVDs can be ordered from http://www.theu.com/site/index.htm.

There are five of them:
The Ivy League
The Northeast
The South
The Midwest
The West

The DVDs provide a cost-effective way to tour universities. I'd like to review them and report my findings later in the blog.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Baby Name Voyager

Baby Name Voyager is a very interesting tool that shows the trend of baby names. For expecting parents, especially those not growing up in USA, it is very helpful to see which names are popular and which might be outdated. For example, boy's names like Ethan and Owen are getting a lot of popularity, while names like Arthur and William are losing attractions.

For parents with older students, this is an ingenious tool to diaplay large amount of information in a way common people can understand and appreciate. It is simple, elegant and useful. Studying how it is done could be a satisfying math/computer science project.

The author, Martin Wattenberg, holds a PhD in Mathematics from the University of California at Berkeley. This shows how creative and fun mathematians can be.

Baby Name Voyager

Baby Name Voyager is a very interesting tool that shows the trend of baby names. For expecting parents, especially those not growing up in USA, it is very helpful to see which names are popular and which might be outdated. For example, boy's names like Ethan and Owen are getting a lot of popularity, while names like Arthur and William are losing attractions.

For parents with older students, this is an ingenious tool to diaplay large amount of information in a way common people can understand and appreciate. It is simple, elegant and useful. Studying how it is done could be a satisfying math/computer science project.

The author, Martin Wattenberg, holds a PhD in Mathematics from the University of California at Berkeley. This shows how creative and fun mathematians can be.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Good book for parents: "Conversationally Speaking" by Alan Garner

I picked up this book for a job reason and ended up finding many good advices in this book applicable to communication with my two teen boys.

Two chapters are especially worth mentioning -- Chapter two, Delivering Honest Positives and Chapter 10, Requesting Change.

Many parents complaint to me that their children do not listen to them. I found it is largely due to parents tend to nag on the behaviors that they don't like. I also do that from time to time and have learned my lessons repeatedly on how unpleasant and ineffective the experiences can be. Fortunately, asking kids to change is possible if you follow these simple rules.

One of the most important points is the three R's (Reinforced Responses Recurs), i.e.
Behavior -> Rewarded -> Increases
Behavior -> Ignored -> Decreases

I was fortunate to learned this principle when my kids were very young and they have grown up to be well-behaved individuals. In short, this really works!

However, it is still possible to have problems among us. For instance, I dislike my kids doing homework while talking with their friends through instant messaging at the same time. Chapter 10 in the book talks about how to identify who owns the problem. According to this book, a problem is yours whenever you are the person whose needs are not being met. My kids do not listen simply because they have their way of thinking and doing. In this case, I own the problem for I don't like what I see, but it does not mean they ought to change to meet my needs. Telling myself to focus on something else (reading books or watching TV) has been a good way to reduce tension among us.

This is one of those books very practical to parenting but it is not in the parenting books section. I encourage you to read this book and comment on what you think.

Good book for parents: "Conversationally Speaking" by Alan Garner

I picked up this book for a job reason and ended up finding many good advices in this book applicable to communication with my two teen boys.

Two chapters are especially worth mentioning -- Chapter two, Delivering Honest Positives and Chapter 10, Requesting Change.

Many parents complaint to me that their children do not listen to them. I found it is largely due to parents tend to nag on the behaviors that they don't like. I also do that from time to time and have learned my lessons repeatedly on how unpleasant and ineffective the experiences can be. Fortunately, asking kids to change is possible if you follow these simple rules.

One of the most important points is the three R's (Reinforced Responses Recurs), i.e.
Behavior -> Rewarded -> Increases
Behavior -> Ignored -> Decreases

I was fortunate to learned this principle when my kids were very young and they have grown up to be well-behaved individuals. In short, this really works!

However, it is still possible to have problems among us. For instance, I dislike my kids doing homework while talking with their friends through instant messaging at the same time. Chapter 10 in the book talks about how to identify who owns the problem. According to this book, a problem is yours whenever you are the person whose needs are not being met. My kids do not listen simply because they have their way of thinking and doing. In this case, I own the problem for I don't like what I see, but it does not mean they ought to change to meet my needs. Telling myself to focus on something else (reading books or watching TV) has been a good way to reduce tension among us.

This is one of those books very practical to parenting but it is not in the parenting books section. I encourage you to read this book and comment on what you think.