Doriz's Portfolio

Doriz's Blog: Shodor from the POV of a rookie apprentice

Spring Project: Ft. COVID-19 Once Again

"Now we just haaad to do a physics and chemistry based topic when there's an actually physicist in the call." - Me

April 18, 2020

It's one thing to do online classes but to present the project my partner and I have been working on virtually is something else. As I have said before, there's a first time for everything I guess. Today was our spring module project presentation but on google hangouts! My partner and I had completely finished everything up after countless calls and downloading errors. Our final product looked way better than we had planned and although there could be room for improvement, we have done the best we could. Even Dr. Panoff said so when we had presented our project. The presentation went by smoothly and it was great to be present the entire project without having to have our cameras on because showing my face would have been a lot more terrifying. So that just leaves us to resume Shodor lessons for the next meeting instead of working on our projects now! FYI, for anyone trying to access our spring project, I'm having trouble trying to download it properly so it's going to take a while until I can finally get things looking more smoothly.

COVID-19 Chronicles

"Stop putting me on pause during FaceTime." - Me

April 4, 2020

And the quarantine continues and so does virtual Shodor. I had grown quite used to atmosphere at Shodor and it's still weird doing work from my kitchen. It's even weirder that our only interaction is just saying "Hello" on Google Hangouts to check-in with Aaron and Ernie. Not to mention Dr. Panoff sends out a message into the groupchat from time to time and they happen to mostly be jokes or references to shows that nobody probably knows and it is the highlight of my day. Same as last week, my partner and I continue to work on finishing our project. We have made significant progress as we have our plan, version plan, story, parameters, all down as well as having progress on the actual program. We have buttons to play and reset, sliders to change the temperature to demonstrate the movement at different phases, RGB values of our website, and really bad internet for when we video call.

Shodor at Home

"Hello... Hi... Good Morning... Hello" - All of us

March 21, 2020

Never in all my years have I ever had to experience quarantine because of a mass pandemic. There's a first time for everything as well as the first time of doing the Shodor program at home! Because of COVID-19 and safety precautions, doing Shodor work is completely virtual from the safety of our own home. Not going to lie, I do enjoy this new set up and I'm not upset about it because we are not missing any new assignments because it is just individual work between my partner and I for this project. Speaking of, after a week of brainstorming, the best idea that fits well with the model we have built from the programming concepts introduction, we decided to model atomic movement at different phases. Just as the name implies, the objective of our model is to demonstrate the different molecular movements of the atoms as the temperature increases, changing the substance from one phase to another. My partner and I have utilized FaceTime to discuss plans for the project and although it's hard being on different ends of the screen to do work, we have made quite a bit of progress.

Computing Concepts Continuation... Part 2

"We can include that in our notes as well." - Aaron

March 7, 2020

Throwback to last week's post from when I said that this lesson would take several meetings to finish up because it is indeed very dense. It took us up until after lunch and almost the end of the meeting to be completely done with the lesson! Though, today's lesson was very impressive because we learned how to add more life to our program. By that, coding velocity and loops to make the particles bounce off the walls of the canvas along with adding numerous particles of different sizes using arrays and increment variables. Although There was a lot to take from today's lesson, it has served to be the foundation of our spring module project to which we officially begin today! I'm excited because I get to work with a fellow friend from my high school and we get along very well!

Computing Concepts Continuation

"Alright, time to add that our notes... Again." - Aaron

February 15, 2020

Aaron wasn't kidding when he said that this lesson would take several weeks to finish up, especially at our rate. There's a lot more to programming concepts that we have to keep revisiting our notes to add more. Last week we left off by having adding a stationary particle in our latest trunk version. This week's lesson is a continuation of it, but with more enhancements such as movement. We finally got around to having the particle move around the canvas randomly and adding the step feature so that every time the user clicks the step button, the particle moves across the x-axis to mimic the velocity movement. Another component that was heavily emphasized was the DRY principle. The DRY principle is to make sure that we didn't have several bits of the same code appear multiple times throughout the program. The DRY principle resulted us having to make several functions.

Spring Module Salutations

"Bro, I miss python language." - Me

February 8, 2020

Today is our first day of the spring module, otherwise meaning... New concepts! Long gone are the days of modeling on VENSIM and today, we begin on programming concepts. Essentially, all of the modeling of we were doing in the fall module was to provide us a strong foundation in order to conceptualize the concepts we're being taught. For our introduction to programming concepts, we're going in depth with the language of JavaScript with the end goal of creating a program to make colorful particles move randomly without any human input. Throughout Aaron's lecture, we had to keep all our notes on a separate tab in TextWrangler which entails programming principles, programming tools, and programming language. All of this serves to not only benefit us when we're dealing with JavaScript but so we can apply it to any language we work with.

Sayonara Fall Semester

"You're up next." - Aaron @ us to go next

December 21, 2019

The day finally came. The day where our hard work will be shown off to the entire batch. It's the dreadful day known as our fall semester presentation. Abrianna and I have been doing nothing but working around the clock doing intensive research and programming for our project. Our countless hours on this have not been in vain because our final product was very much adequate. Our project covers the large-scale issue of climate change and more specifically on how the burning of fossil fuels affect carbon concentration in the atmosphere. In the end, we made our project less complex to make it easier to model and display data as accurate as possible. Our presentation went by very smoothly and I do believe that we went in depth as much as possible.

Project: Problem

"Let's keep it simple because this will be... difficult"

December 14, 2019

Full gears are ahead because the project is due and presented by next week. Researching is over and modeling has commenced! My partner and I have decided to divide up the work by having me focus on the VENSIMPLE model while she works on the agentcubes model and while we both collectively work on our project website. Initially, we had this complicated idea for our project where we would have different greenhouse gases as different variables, but then once we actually started building a model, we realized that getting all of these formulas and equations working and resemble the real-life data would be a little too complicated. Thus, simplicity is key. The final story of our project explains how the emission of fossil fuels changes the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, directly affecting the average temperature change per year.

SAT Sadness and Shodor Sorrows

"You have five minutes remaining for the calculator inactive section." -Sentence that will haunt me forever

December 7, 2019

It is every high schooler's dread, the SAT. Unfortunately, that meant that I had to miss the Dec. 7th session because of this dreadful standardized test that determines how worthy I am to colleges! On a side note, in order to make up for lost time, I did my own research on my own accord in order to contribute for my portion of the project. So far, I don't have a single regret on choosing to model climate change. There is so much we can do, especially with greenhouse emissions. Based on all of the websites I have done my research on, I have made a correlation between change in CO2 concentration and change in average temperature change and I feel like that will be the flavor to our project. It will all boil down as to whether or not I can execute our goal on VENSIM, especially when I'm mediocore for when it comes not only building the model, but having the formulas display data that resembles the data we found online. For the remaining sessions we have until the project is due, we are given full session days to collaborate and work on our project. I can say with confidence that at the rate we are going and since our background information research is done, we are right on track.

Modeling the end of the world as we know

"Science is like an onion... It has layers!" -Dr. Panoff

November 23, 2019

There's a lot to the modeling world... Not the kind of modeling where there are people displaying the season's catalogue on a runway in France. Computational modeling! In today's session, we explored about a different kind of simulation modeling, otherwise known as an agent model using the platform AgentCubesOnline to build. The objective of an agent model is the same universal object of a model, but instead of using graphs and having slider bars and other features that VENSIM offers, AgentCubesOnline runs a simulation of a story by using cubes (frankly, they're squares but whatever) and a legend to run in real random time. This kind of modeling is otherwise known as a behavioral model, bottom-up, or local modeling because it acts on the behalf of something telling them what to do, whereas system models are characterized by one driving equation [HAVE = HAD + CHANGE]. For our first agent model, we based it on a healthy vs. sick epidemic scenario, and this is called a SIR model. The purpose of this scenario is to show how the close contact contact of a healthy person and a sick person can turn a healthy person into a sick person.

Later on in today's session, we learned about our major fall project! Given what we have learned about system modeling and agent modeling, my assigned partner and I must create both a system and agent model based on a real-life scenario that represents some sort of relationship (Ex. Predator/Prey). After a brainstorming session, my partner and I have decided that the scenario that we would like to simulate is human activity that contributes to an increase in greenhouse gases, thus leading an increase in the average global temperatures.


"Disney+ is out and so is the Princess Protection Program." -Unnamed apprentice for safety reasons

November 16, 2019

Unfortunately, Dr. Panoff was out at NCSSM and so I couldn't quote him for today's blog post but on the other hand I made another friend and now I have an even better quote during his absence. Aaron took the lead today which is different because it's always been Dr. Panoff leading and his anecdotes. I must say, although I could not obtain an life-shaping quote from him, I do like the change in pace and learning style from Aaron and it was in today's session, we did A LOT. Literally, we created and completed 3+ models in Vensim all in today's session.

The plethora model and graphs we have made is part of a category of system dynamics. Many of which range from population growth, exponential decay examples such as Fermium 252 and decrease in temperature. Our session on Vensim today was a testament on how much I was able to retain from last week and spoiler alert, there wasn't that much I was able to retain. In all honesty, I was in confusion from trying to understand and set up the equations for the variables and levels. Being further honest, I was confused on how to set up the scenarios. Though, I'm glad to say that in the end I finally got the gist of it... That is after watching last week's session video. What I found to be interesting from today's session was the fact that we came up with an equation for carrying capacity and integrating limits.

Modeling! Just not for clothes!

"Right answer = Wrong answer + Corrections"

November 9, 2019

I'm proud to say and possibly add in my college resume that I am proficient in Excel at this point. I gess you can all me EXCELlent in Excel. In today's session we did a lot on Excel to learn about all kinds of of modeling, such as stochastic, deterministic, and recursive models. In the beginning the lecture, we first dabbled into learning about stochastic models, which is a model that has an aspect of randomness otherwise meaning we coded rand() into the cells (Ex. if(can()0.5, "Dominant", "Recessive"). In this particular lesson, I spammed command = for more than what was necessary.

Later on, we set up an Excel sheet to demonstrate the dispersion of heat and air conditioning within a room, an example of recursive modeling, meaning that something keeps reoccurring because you keep stepping into it. This was my favorite activity because when we kept spamming command =, you watched the gradual change of colors on that sheet to show the spread of hot to cold from one side of the room to the other. In all honesty, I was in awe from watching the ombre effect of the colors.

Most importantly, we learned the ways of a new program! VenSIMPLE! Despite what the name hints it, this program is anything but simple, but it can be conquered once getting you get the reins. The objective of this program is to provide a visual representation, a model, of the scenario you are given. In this case, we were dealing with the growth of the rabbit population, an exponential increase in this case. The finished product, our model, is ever so aesthetically to look at. On the other hand, I'm very excited to create and see all the models we will create from this program.

How do you know? I don't.

"Excel is LYING to you!" -Dr. Panoff

October 26, 2019

Today was a continuation of last week's "How do you know?" but it was otherwise marked as "Introduction to Numerics" which was learning about the difference between a number and a numeral. Yeah, those concepts flew over my head. From this, we exercised our minds by going in depth with algorithms, pattern recognition, and function representation, and this was all demonstrated through card tricks and Shodor creations, Mastermind and decode. I never thought there can be so much more to a number itself, quite literally.

Essentially, what really stuck with me the most from these activities is that EVERYTHING IS A LIE. Well, with numbers at least. This was exemplified in a later activity we did in Excel where we created a conditional statement to do some computing and we learned that there's more than what meets the eye, especially when you just have to enlarge the cell size and realize that there's a lot more numbers that follow the zero.

Ethically Speaking

"I finally get why math makes me sleepy! Because it makes me numBER and numBER!" -Dr. Panoff

Octoboer 19, 2019

It's interesting to note how quickly I have adjusted to the Shodor environment, given that this is only my second time back at the place. Bathrooms here, break room there, exits there, and so on. I was getting more comfortable, is what I thought until Ron's presentation about ethics and professional came to play. To say at the very least, it was very interactive. It was very theatrical. He had props, a whole anecdote, and although it was over the top, it did help with his thesis and really resonated with everyone. I like him!

Later on, Dr. Panoff lead us on with an activity called, "How do you know?" We all had to look up the answers to questions and type in our answers but later on, we all saw just how our answers very often very different from each other even though we had to answer the same question. The objective of this game is to shed light on how important it is to fact check or just how reliable our data can be.

Orientation Day

"Change is inevitable... But improvement is by design." -Dr. Panoff

October 12, 2019

October 12, otherwise known as orientation day. The most grueling day to begin the year-long adventure of this apprenticeship. This day as Ernie states, "Doom and Gloom" was to go over the tedious little rules and procedures of this establishment that will be forever drilled in us. All the little details ranging from where the bathroom is, where to go for breaks, how to not get kicked out and such. Along with other important things, we set up our routine for the rest of the year and this includes mailboxes, emails, logins, and schedules.

It's a bit comforting to see how much more relaxed it is here at Shodor. The calming atmosphere here has made me slightly less nervous as to what to expect from this place. The only issue that I've experienced so far in the past five hours are these computers and mice. Everyone in the room has been battling with connection issues, login issues, the failure in the structural integrity of the mouse, and so far, we've had more troubleshooting than anything else.

I'm excited to see how this program will be for the rest of the year and see what skills I can develop to later then utilize for upcoming projects or even at school!