Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Autonomous Cars

In Patrick Lin's article about the upcoming release of an autonomous car he discusses many different scenarios that the cars must be programmed to react to.  These cars are self-driving so they need to be programmed for every scenario that could occur.  One of these scenarios is if the car was faced with the decision of crashing into a Mini-Cooper or an SUV, which one would it choose?  The programmers must "tell" the car what to do in that situation.  In my opinion, it should be programmed to crash into the car that would minimize the amount of harm done.  This choice would make it crash into the SUV, since it is larger and the people inside would have more protection surrounding them to decrease the amount of harm done.  Although there could be less people in the Mini-Cooper, you have to look at the amount of protection in the car.

Another scenario is if the car was faced with the decision of hitting a motorcyclist with a helmet or a motorcyclist without a helmet, which would it choose?  In my opinion there are pros and cons to each side.  At first, I thought that you should hit the motorcyclist with the helmet on because the person has more protection than the motorcyclist without the helmet.  However, why should he be punished for doing the right thing?  If you look at it this way, the motorcyclist without the helmet should be hit, because he is not being safe.  Although if you hit the motorcyclist without the helmet, he faces certain death.  Either side that you argue, there are positive aspects and negative aspects.

There is one option to the car where you can have it choose randomly.  The programmers won't develop the software in which it chooses one that it will continuously hit, but rather the car will randomly pick one spur the moment.  This option is no different than a car that has a person behind the wheel because a lot of the time, the person doesn't have enough time to consider the outcomes and weigh their choices so they just choose randomly.  One of the purposes of these cars is to ensure the safety of drivers, so if the car chooses randomly, it could be picking the unsafe option.

One important question is if the car gets in an accident, who is responsible: the driver or the programmer?  In my eyes, they are both at fault.  The driver should still have their eyes on the road, even if they don't have to control the car.  They should have enough control of the car that they could try their best to avoid the accident.  However, it cannot be entirely blamed on them because they didn't program the car to hit the target.  The programmers of the software had to set the car up to hit one or the other, so they have to take some of the blame.  Overall, both the programmers and the driver should take some of the blame, because they both had something to do with the accident.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Passion Project 3 Update 2

As I mentioned in my last post, my passion project this semester is on occupational and physical therapy.  Since last time, I have started to make my actual presentation and finished almost all of my focus questions.  In the beginning I had hoped to go into my brother's work, the Philadelphia Union.  Their season ended earlier than expected, so I was not able to go into there and watch the physical therapist/trainer.  My hope was that since I am going to go to an elementary school and observe an occupational and physical therapist work with children I could compare the different methods used with children and adults.  This was the only obstacle I faced.  After this I am waiting to be board approved at the elementary school and then I can go in there and be observed.  Once I do that I will only have to answer a few more questions and put together my presentation.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Passion Project 3 Update 1

For this passion project I am researching physical and occupational therapy.  This really interests me, and already, I am learning so many interesting facts!  I have been focusing mainly on physical therapy for these first two weeks.  I have watched a few videos of what they do and it really has made me even more interested in this topic.  In addition to that I have answered many of my main questions that I had.  I haven't faced any obstacles so far, so I am hoping that I can continue that.  In the coming weeks I need to begin diving deeper into the logistics of physical and occupational therapy and the effects of it.  I also need to schedule a time to meet with the physical and occupational therapists at my mom's school, and the physical therapist/trainer at my brother's work.  I am very pleased with what I have accomplished so far and I hope that I will be able to continue my good progress.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Passion Project 2 Report

Just in the few weeks that we have been working on our passion project I have learned so many new things.  So far I have done research on the expulsion of Germans from the many countries.  Also, I have begun to write the slides for my presentation.  I am learning so many things about my ancestry that I never knew before.  This project is definitely having a different affect on me than the other ones because it is more personal and thought-provoking than the past two that I have completed.

In the next few weeks I have to research the different towns that my Nana and her family visited.  Also, I need to meet with my Aunt Cathy, Aunt Gerda, and Aunt Helen to discuss their journey more in depth.  Once I do these last steps, I have to put my whole presentation together.  These few things are the only thins that I have to do and then my project will be complete.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Passion Project Progress

My passion project has been going very well so far.  I have researched the specialty dishes from each country that I am interested in.  Also, I have found many of the recipes and I am very excited to start making some of the dishes.  One problem that I have faced is that I sometimes can't find the recipes because they are from different countries.  However, once I looked at multiple websites I was able to find all of the recipes.  Since I have finished all of my research, I have to make up a sheet that is almost a "questionnaire" for each dish that I plan on making, comparing it to the U.S foods.  Also, I have to actually start preparing some of the meals and desserts.  I plan on making one entree and one dessert from each country.  I will then compare my answers on my questionnaire to answers that I find on the internet and in books that I can use about culinary arts from certain countries.  I will see if I pick up on the main differences, and if I didn't, I will try and see why I didn't.

Sunday, October 27, 2013


       100%. What does that mean?  To me, it means that I did an assignment perfectly.  However, I don't like how numbers define how much material I know.  Nothing goes into my head and can detect exactly how much knowledge I have on a scale from 1 to 100.  In my opinion, the current grading system is okay, but if we combined it with the "new and improved" system, Standards Based Grading, your grades would be represented more appropriately.

       What is the purpose of grades? Do we even need the current grades that we have?  I believe that the purpose if grades is for schools to assess your abilities.  Also, I think it helps them place you in the classes that you need to be in.  In addition to that, I think it is for other schools that you may be interested in attending to see if you are a good contender for their program.

       I don't think that the current grading system represents my knowledge.  For example, this year in my English class, the highest grade we can acquire is a 95%.  My teacher tells us that no writing is perfect, and I agree that you can always change at least one thing to make it better, however if we meet all of the requirements for the essay, I believe that we should receive the grade that we deserve, a 100%.  In this way, I think that our grade is "fake" and we can't go by what this grade is to assess our knowledge because we were in a way given a false grade.

       If we combined Standards Based Grading with the current grading system, I think that our grades would be more accurate.  We should still be given an overall grade, but that should be the only number grade that we have.  Under that should be the topics that were focused on with either a 1,2,3, or 4 next to it to tell is where we need improvement.  With that, I think that we would learn more and be able to know where we needed to spend most of our time studying.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

8th Grade Year

My 8th grade year has been going very well this year.  I have made many new friends in addition to the new friends that I made next year.  I enjoy all of my classes this year, especially ROGATE, because they are all so much fun.  Outside of school, I am on a dance team, and that is one of the things that makes me the happiest.  I love to be able to see my friends from New Egypt that are also on the dance team.  Without that team, my life would be kind of boring. It makes my life so much happier and so much better.