AP Research Exemplary Case
SMIC-I alumnus, Jason Qiu ('19) is currently serving in the Singaporean military. Impressively his research project "Using Sentiment Analysis to Predict Google Stock Prices" was chosen as an exemplary paper to be shared with AP Research students on the College Board's website. To better understand how Jason achieved this success, please read his thoughts below:
Jason Qiu (second from the left) is serving in the military.
My project's purpose was to discover how social media news regarding a specific company, Google, impacts its stock prices. By using Python programming, I derived the sentiment of online news articles mentioning Google and created a machine learning model to predict the company's stock price changes.
The implementation of the machine learning (ML) model befuddled me most as I had no experience in the area. Then, in a casual conversation about my project, a teacher introduced me to an alumnus working on machine learning in college. Through a quick chat, the alumnus enlightened me on how to start on ML, and enabled me to complete my paper.
What I Learned 我所学到的
Although my model produced inadequate result, only 1% better than a random guess, the process of self-exploring machine learning proved to be more valuable. Since then, I have continued pursuing ML through an online course. To me, learning ML became more than just completing another school assignment. Instead of waiting and being spoon-fed knowledge, actively pursuing knowledge reeled me deeper into the area. AP Research undoubtedly expanded the horizon of how I perceive learning.
A Score 100% in AP Chemistry
SMIC-I alumnus, Alan Wu ('19) is currently studying at UCLA. In 2018, the result from Alan's AP Chemistry Exam placed him in a superior category. He not only received the top score of 5 but was one of the only two students worldwide (amounting to just 0.001 % of 2018 AP Chemistry Exam takers) to earn every possible point in this difficult assessment — an extraordinary achievement.
吴道博，于 2019 年毕业于中芯学校英文部，目前就读于加州大学洛杉矶分校。2018 年，吴道博同学的在AP 化学考试中拔得头筹，彰显出其卓越的学术水平。他不仅获得了5分的最高分，而且在这个充满挑战的考试中拿到了满分，和另一位学生并列全球第一，位于2018年AP化学考试学员的前0.001%的排名——非同寻常的成就。
Alan Wu's Words
The academics at UCLA are unquestionably rigorous - the first-year classes are huge (around 200-300 people), the courses move at a very fast pace, and the professors are often too busy to offer you any personalized help. Despite these factors, I would say SMIC really prepared me well for this challenge.
A night in the 100-Acre Woods - freshmen dress up appreciation event. Alan Wu (second from left in back row).
Whether it was general chemistry, biology, math, or any first-year STEM-related course, I found myself already knowledgeable in many of the topics due to the extensive content that the AP classes at SMIC covered. Moreover, I found it was pretty easy to approach any new problems with all the critical thinking skills that I have gained from my AP classes. Finally, the teachers at SMIC have certainly shaped my work ethic, which is to try my very best for every assignment. As a result, I found myself consistently performing at the top of my class.
无论是普通化学、生物学、数学，还是其他与 STEM 相关的第一年大学课程，由于中芯学校 AP 课程涵盖的内容广泛，我发现自己已经精通许多课程。此外，我发现用我从 AP 课程中获得的批判性思维来处理任何新问题都相当容易。最后，中芯学校的老师们已经塑造了我的敬业精神，那就是尽最大的努力应对每一个挑战。因此我始终在班上名列前茅。
The freshman bros at a UCLA group's winter retreat. Alan Wu (second from left in back row).
What I think about AP Chemistry
AP Chemistry is definitely one of the more challenging AP classes at SMIC - the concepts are not easy to understand immediately, and the class has a heavy workload. Yet, AP Chemistry is also one of the most rewarding classes you can take at SMIC for those same reasons.
AP 化学绝对是中芯学校最具挑战的 AP 课程之一 ——课程中的概念不容易立即理解，并且该学科的作业量很大。然而，正因如此，AP化学才称得上是中芯学校最有裨益的课程之一。
AP Chemistry Full Score Report from College Board
First, AP Chemistry at SMIC teaches you so much content, beyond what you need to know for the AP exam. From my personal experience in college classes, this is extremely helpful because general chemistry is the foundation for basically all the sciences. Having this extra knowledge early on puts you ahead of so many other students in college, even those who took AP Chemistry in other schools but didn't learn as much. The knowledge I gained from AP Chemistry has also helped me in my more advanced college organic chemistry and laboratory courses. Therefore, if you plan to major in anything related to STEM, AP Chemistry is undoubtedly a class you should take.
Second, AP Chemistry at SMIC has truly developed my work ethic. Since the concepts are relatively difficult to understand, I often had to spend numerous hours practicing problems until I fully understood a topic. My teacher back then, Dr. Hegde, even encouraged us to practice with the FRQs (Free Response Questions) of all the past AP exams released on College Board. The process was grueling, but with all the practice, almost everyone in the class earned a 5 on the AP exam. More importantly, I am now ready to approach any difficult class in college with maximum effort because AP Chemistry has taught me that hard work will always pay off.
So to future students: please don't be afraid to take AP Chemistry. It is a challenging class, but I guarantee that you will succeed if you put in the work. Work hard in high school and make college easier for yourself. You'll thank yourself for taking this class when you get to college.
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