Launch a Project Experiment: Gibberellin and Brassinolide

AP Statistics Project Proposal

(It has to be an experiment, no observational study will be accepted)

Group members:

Name ID
Jiayi Liu 2014530054
Ziyi Wang 2014530070
Fan Xu 2014530268
Junhui He 2014530723
  1. Topic (What is the research question)

Comparison of the Effects of Gibberellin and Brassinolide on Soybean Seed Germination

  1. Sampling (Be specific about how subjects might be selected)

Randomly select 120 soybeans that are purchased from the same source.

  1. Variables:

Explanatory variables:

Type of plant hormone being used: categorical, no plant hormone (control), Gibberellin, Brassinolide, or both.

Response Variable: the height of seedlings after 2 days; the height of seedlings after 7 days.

  1. Treatment:

We have 4 kinds of treatments.

For the selected seeds, randomly assign them to different treatments, which is soaking the soybean seeds in specified solution for 12 hours. Each treatment has 30 seeds:

No plant hormone 10-6 mol/L Gibberellin
10-6 mol/L Brassinolide 5×10-7 mol/L Gibberellin + 5×10-7 mol/L Brassinolide

After soaking, transplant the seeds to soil. Water the seeds every 12 hours, take an account of the proportion of germinated seeds. Also measure the height of seedlings after 2 days and 7 days.

  1. What extraneous variables might influence the response?

Environmental factors, like temperature, light intensity, water, and even soil conditions all could have impact on seed germination.

  1. How does the design protect against its potential influence on the response through blocking, direct control, or randomization?

We would use preliminary experiment to ensure the optimal conditions for plant growth. Despite that, we would also apply:

Direct control: All the seeds are grown in the same room and are expose to the same environmental factors so that the extraneous factors’ effects are not confounded with those of the experimental variables.

Randomization: Randomly assign the seeds to different treatment groups to ensure that the experiment does not systematically favor one treatment over another.

Replication: There is considerable amount of individuals for each treatment to achieve an adequate number of observations for each experimental condition.

  1. Statistical method (e.g. we plan to use…method to explore … We hope to have a …result)

Normally, we would apply what we learned from descriptive statistics: Calculating important statistics, like the mean heights of seedlings, and representing them in the form of a bar chart for comparison.

For the part of inference, we plan to use two-sample t-test to explore whether there is a significant difference in the effects of different plant hormones in the heights of seedlings. We hope that there is significant difference so that we could have evidence to support that one plant hormone is greater in promoting germination than the other.

We also plan to use regression analysis to explore whether there is a linear relationship between the heights of seedlings after 2 days and those after 7 days for a specific treatment group, thus implicitly see if each hormone has prolonged effect.


How gift should be mattered?

(It’s Christmas now, I see classmates are enthusiastically exchanging gifts with each other. Surely, I got some gifts. But was I satisfied? Is it necessary for me to be regretful if I do not get any present? Here I would like to share my little thoughts about this aspect.)

In the present society, gift, or material reward, has been regarded as a manifestation for someone’s accomplishment of different goals. Basically, the larger the gift given, the prouder the receiver will feel. However, this is too a stereotypical view for me since it does not guarantee a student to have a good perception about the gift itself. What’s more important should be how the “gift” means.

I remembered a time when I had a birthday party. As usual, one of my best friends came in my house and greeted me, presenting a cheap but elegantly-made artifact. Inside this gift hid a letter with encouraging words for my later campus life. I speculated that the present would enthrall me a lot, not on the size, but on the conveyance of positive thoughts.

At the same time, I saw other students arrived and carried big toys into the room. They really looked precious and treasurable. But what’s their meanings? Even though these presents were expensive, at least in my thoughts, I did not think they could impress deep into my mind, since these toys were of not great significances but just a representation of givers’ benign toward their friends.

Therefore, it is to the gift’s own significance, not its price or size, that manifest the purest friendship. No wonder people nowadays need expensive stuffs for maintaining relations. But don’t forget the core value of gift-giving. If people truly consider about what they are supposed to present, I think the world will be filled with positive energy.


Rejected by ED – Bad News, or Good News for me?

Today, the college I applied for early decision has notified the admission results for all its applicants. At the moment I clicked the mailbox, my heart bumped so tightly, then loosely, then tightly again. This awkward sensation continued until the result was clear in front of my eye: “Dear Fan … I regret to have to let you know that we are unable to offer you admission.” Suddenly, I did feel something constraint was released, but did not feel anything sad at all. The little sentence that came out of my mind was “Well, this college is so cool that it just rejected a student who is going to shade great lights on it.”

Or, maybe not? In fact, this college is not of my first choice, but I did throw out a chance to ED it, because its fancy description of its biology majors catches my eyes. The drawback is, however, that I may not be so well behaved in the not-my-favorite, and the tuition fee is a bit high. So, I just wait until now to see the consequence.

My objectives now seem stereotypical for those “perfect” Chinese applicants, but there is a little trick with ACT test. Because when I hand in the application form to that ED college, my October ACT has not been released, so I have to fill in my April ACT score. The April score is decent, but not satisfactory in the present moment, because I truly made a progress during the half year period. Logically deducing, using my April score to apply for that college is risky, because my April result shows I am in 96th percentile of the examinees, while that college requires, presumably, 98th, or even 99th percentile. This is the gap that seems small but actually very steep, as you know about the normal distribution: The number of top 4% students is four times the top 1% students. That seems that I have only about a quarter of those top 1% students’ chance to be admitted, while not all the top 1% are eligible for admission. Unfortunately, when the satisfying October score is released, there is no time for me to send the corresponding report to my ED college.

Subjective information? It should be taken in account too. Well, I am confident that at least there is nothing fake, wrong or disappointing with personal statements.

During admission, we are not fond of geographic conditions. But it turns out that we still need a temperature range that is fit for our body conditions. Do not judge me through my slightly chubby bear-like appearance; I am really not tolerant of even below 0 degree Celsius. Glad that my ED college decided not to make me solely stand in its cold air. Otherwise, my nose would get a tough time sneezing in that chilly temperate climate. I live in Shenzhen, and been to Israel… Experiences tell me that, subtropical monsoon or Mediterranean climates might be better.

All right, enough for chit chat. There is a phrase remind me: “Good things are a long time in coming.” Certainly, my personal history has a lot of situations that are similar in their influence in my emotions. Initially I am depressed, but as I progress toward, I will twist up to the summit and enjoy the fruits of success. Just like when I was in 9th grade. At the beginning, I was only, to say, in upper middle position of my junior school, and people around me did not expect that I could even get into the top 8 high schools in my city. Many excellent students had already get enrolled into some of the famous high schools through early decision. However, as I worked hard for preparing the entrance exam, I got in Shenzhen Middle School! ACT score, too, does give me a lot of enlightenment on that. And I think it is time to boost me up to a higher level of education that I look upon to. Wish me good luck in the following months!


Why biology?

When first encountering the discipline – biology – I felt greatly astonished by its ability to help me explore about wonderful secrets about life: I knew how people grow, live, and have their common physiological processes being fixed and integrated. But in the real world, there are much imperfection in human bodies such as illness. Nowadays, medical technologies have been developed to an advanced level, improving much better in their treatments toward serious diseases. However, this development still does not benefit congenital ones.

I have met a younger child called Rain who was the son of my mother’s good friend. The first thing I noticed was his strange appearance. He was shorter than I expected, possessing a stagnant eyesight. Having a round face, big nostrils, and thick lips which even let me thought he was an alien, he kindly smiled and said hello. Forging my fear of approaching him, I kindly introduced myself and talked about what are going around my daily life. Rain, in turn, started long speech about his experiences. Though his illogical flow of words, with murmured pronunciation, was once difficult for me to understand his sentences, I finally came to fathom what he was talking about. From that day on, we became friends and frequently trade information between each other.

Still, my mother, being aware of Rain’s abnormality, asked his parents about what’s the problems with his appearance and speaking. The response was shocking: Rain got Down’s syndrome since he was born. His parents, though could not initially accept his strange outlook, raise him with the regard that he is a normal child. But years passed by, his parents discerned that there might be some problems. After sending Rain to have a professional physical examination, his parents were stunned at the addition of a chromosome. I thought that he could be normal again, but my mother told me that this disease could not be cured since it was inborn.

I could not bear the truth even though it was strongly corroborated. Hiding this secret to Rain, I gained deeper approach to him after series of recreational activities. In definition, Down’s syndrome had its patients unable to cognize the world holistically. But I saw his painting, which once really enthralled me by the portrayal of the animals and plants. Beside this, I admired his dancing skills which had the paces being coordinated and rhythmed. Even I could not reach that high standard. In general, I could perceive many of the life’s best details being captured by his little body, sparkling great amount of his knowledge of the world to me. Nevertheless, I did know that he could get out of the sufferings of his inborn disease.

Through high school study about biology, I came to know about more things about the virtue of lifeforms. There always exist materials of inheritance – genes – that can determine people’s physical and behavioral traits since their birth. But when abnormality comes, such as the alteration in humans’ chromosomes which hold many of the genes, people’s traits will be disrupted, forming some distinct but negative characteristics for them that prevent their life from proceeding like a normal person. Though in the present, there have not been cure for such diseases, gene therapy, a branch of the bioengineering, started to apply in various treatment toward different inborn diseases that were caused by only small changes in people’s genes.

But what about those diseases resulting from the anomaly of chromosomes? Basing on this question, here I apply for the college I applied for with the aim to seek the answer. Through various fields of research opportunities offered by the university I applied for, I could gain a lot of insight into the solution of many of these human sufferings, not only for the theoretical one, but also in the realm of real-life application, which could authentically provide the innocently influenced people with hopes to live a happy life.


On the Current Situation of Chinese Business & Science Students: What’s our future?

This problem has long been controversial since the strong wave of studying abroad. Chinese students, especially those who are in high school, who would like to pursue their profession in an international setting, go to foreign countries for college.

However, recent statistics show that most of those kind of Chinese students take business as their major. At least in our school which sends them out of China, the percentage has been up to about sixty percent. No wonder that since most of the students in SMS have their parents being in high positions hoping their children to replace them year long, the competitions among us are rather intensive, yet destructive to certain kind of students. I do not mean to say that debate – the activity which is deliberately emphasized as the “most” valuable event among SMS students by those “authority figures” – is what makes someone extremely reputed. But we cannot escape the atmosphere of debate. Even during presentation of researches, students still want to debunk others in order to highlight their presenting skills.

Maybe I digress from the main topic. OK, so here is the problem: Students who are interested in business are naturally more capable of persuading. It is not an inborn attribute, but, in my opinion, due to their career requirement. Because in reality, businessmen are really charismatic, not only in their tidy appearance, but also in their grandiose speech making talent, they surely practice corresponding ideology a lot. Well, what about we science students? You probably think that we are dull, nerdish, and incapable of good communication. This prejudice, though we do not care about (Why we care?), can seriously influence our career procedure. High school, for instance, plays an important role in developing individual’s personality. And the business students, who have already been fluent in English, become leaders in various situations, for their charisma. Science students, though envy about this thing, cannot naturally achieve leadership. Just like what I mention about the debate matter, business students have their inspiring speech widely dispersed around the hall, beating up science students strictly (if science students really compete in debate). This makes the “nerds” hard to stay in a peaceful situation. They like peace, but business students despoil it.

What’s ironic is that in China, those who are sent abroad to study business have their jobs being fixed with high salary. Because of the lack of job opportunities, science students who are placed in passive situations, are forced to open up companies for themselves. That sounds weird, but it is true. Colleges are sites for science students to improve their knowledge scale, and, with the aid of philosophy, dedicate into academia. But applications have flaws. Business students are able to make what’s wrong to true, so they basically can walk through the process very easily. But science students, being relatively lack of experiences, have to look for certain materials to fit in the personal essays, and finally act as victims of the discrimination. If science students do not get their deserved education, what could they do for research?

Actually, science students are not so that bad in their school. We focus on the practical matters, and pay great respect toward different scientific researches. They, or we, can have already been unmoved by the turbulent competitions. Business students seek benefits for themselves, but science students seek benefits for human society. (There might be some charitable business people and selfish scientists, but here what I talk about is the majority.) Therefore, as applicants, business and science students, in fact, have reach the same point in a race. Though science students are not appealing for their school, they can express their intentions toward the college staff, making them really be recognized by talented individuals. As a result, we, science students, are confident about our life in high school, whenever in what occasion we are. We are prudent in field study, but we are also determined in society.


Statistics Q&A

A research paper believes that the use of 2.4 oz. as the average size of a burger sold at McDonald’s is “conservative,” which would result in the estimate of 992.25 million pounds of saturated fat being lower than the actual amount that would be consumed. Explain why the author’s belief might be justified.


       This paper conservatively (given progressively larger hamburger sizes) projected that the next 100 billion hamburger patties sold by McDonald’s would be a 2.4-oz. which is the average of the 3.2-ounce Big Mac and the 1.6-ounce hamburger patties. However, there could be some extraneous factors that, due to statistics from different agencies, influence the result. One factor is that the Big Mac was the smallest of the larger burgers that had been sold during McDonald’s most sales-intensive years since the 1980s, indicating that there might be some more heavy burgers that could influence the average weight. On the other hand, according to a survey of a 10% sample of Atlanta-area McDonald’s, the Big Mac now dominates burger sales, and it is reported to be the top seller worldwide. This survey shows us the huge impact of the Big Mac on the overall weight. Moreover, the research concerns about hamburgers’ health effects and their corresponding nutrition facts including saturated fats, so changes in the number of different kinds of burgers being sold could alter researchers’ results.

Do you think it would be possible to collect data that could lead to a value for the average burger size that would be better than 2.4 oz.? If so, explain how you would recommend collecting such data. If not, explain why you think it is not possible.


       Although it is commonly believed worldwide that McDonald’s top sale burger is Big Mac, we cannot ensure how much more extent does its sale superior than those of other burgers. Besides, McDonald’s burgers vary in weights and categories significantly, and the numbers of consumers are not the same in different nations either. For instance, Chinese McDonald’s top sale burger is not Big Mac, and China might contain some distinctive small size burgers which could not be brought from other places. Moreover, the burgers that are designed for a specific place(in this example, China) might receive more popularity than other burgers since these burgers are created to meet the favor of local people(Chinese). The above are some confounding variables that lead to confusion. We cannot keep track of the differences in various nations and get plausible value for the average burger size better than 2.4 oz if we could not solve the problems mentioned above correctly. Since these problems are extremely hard to be excluded without the help of McDonald’s, we might conclude that we could not collect the accurate data.


Adventure Time’s Impact on Myself

Since I was twelve years old, Adventure Time has been my favorite cartoon series. Not only for its social influence, this TV program is considered as one of the cartoons that fit people from different age groups. It mainly tells the story about Finn – a teenage boy born in the land of Ooo, and Jake – a magic dog having metamorphic power. They take various adventures to discover unsolved mysteries about the world. At the same time, a lot of troubles come to disrupt their original thoughts and leave me with suspense. Meanwhile, there are also a large amount of awkward matters that sometimes would be very important in pushing the entire story forward. With the development of Finn and Jake’s relationships with many other characters, this story gradually become more and more complex, and there are a lot of unanticipated incidents that would happen abruptly to change the audience’s mind.

Although the style of painting seems immature, the plot seems to be full of insights and there is almost no exaggerate depiction of those characters’ behaviors. For real, the main cause of my favor for this cartoon is that there are many moral questions worth being considered among the story line. However, those problems, with Finn and Jake’s ability to discern good and evil within specific occasions, could be quelled when certain effective actions are taken. For instance, some characters initially considered as antagonists actually do not intend to do something bad. On the contrary, there are a lot of story regarding these characters’ personal experience that shape their personalities and behavioral patterns. One of this kind of characters that I pay attention to is Ice King, who kidnaps a lot of princesses at the beginning of the story. At first, Finn and Jake seek to fight against him, but one day they discover that Ice King is originally an industrious archaeologist but faced a tragedy: After he put on the magic crown – discovered in an ancient site, which gave him power to produce ice, he became old and mad, leading to his wife’s divorce with him. From then on, Finn and Jake decide to help him out of the influence and successfully persuade him not to kidnap princesses. Moreover, as the story progresses, they find out that Ice King has been good to one of their friends during her childhood, which further explains that he, as well as other ostensibly vicious character, is able to be friendly if people change their viewpoints. Even though Ice King has done a lot of notorious deeds in the land of Ooo and troubled Finn and Jake a lot, the problem is eventually put to an end with peace.

In fact, there exists a lot of personal conflicts among different characters, including Finn, who always wants to find out what his family is, and Jake, who is born to be distinct and thought to be ominous. But due to the help from other characters, they come to understand that such issues are inevitable, and the best way to reduce the pain is to optimistically and bravely embrace them. As time goes by, people soon will diminish their negative comments and come to approach you without aggression.


On the Nature of Clubs

There are a lot of clubs that are very intriguing for students to join in. However, it is usually perceivable that the leader of the club, who takes the absolutely highest charge of the entire community, forces other participants to follow his or her instruction unconditionally. This phenomenon is very popular among the entire campus atmosphere, though a lot of students feel disgusted by the leader’s oligarchical will.

Generally, clubs are groups that contain certain members with similar interests to conduct such things that are very distinctive. Of course, they should not be considered as companies because they are not so relationship-based. But nowadays, many clubs in campus are acting like that, appalling a lot of potentially personalists to take part in the job. It is true that a personalist leader could be acclaimed by its mere ability to organize the entire club well, but this kind of ideology should not be perpetuated even in the campus community. Or I may consider them as caring too much about their fame and reputation.

Some cases are, obviously, that personalist leaders could lead the clubs into huge success. As we know about such reputed clubs for their grandiose works done by the entire staff, and those crafts are not solely created by the leaders, but by their fellows. The leaders just need to make some rumors or vocally decorate the entire clubs. But what about the common? They could only listen carefully to the leader’s dogma, ensuring their works are not intended to interest themselves, but to interest their leaders. Isn’t this a kind of humanitarian terrorism? Maybe the clubs could be famous for their production, but I’m sure that their members are not glad at seeing such effortless personalist leader being reputed by a lot of people who get acquainted with the clubs. Members need freedom, too.

A club shall be a place for students to take more charges on, regardless of what positions the participants are in. By doing this, the clubs may be more active in developing their professions and get more access to various resources because most of the members are willing to do jobs. Also, people make mistakes; it is less risky to let a lot people to have commissions about the plans rather than to make a leader directly command an army to recklessly fight for clubs themselves. It is more joyful for all the members being reputed if such a club like this get famous. Generally said, “Rose given, fragrance in hands.” If we get conscious about the development of clubs, it should be clear that certain club should not be filled with so many hierarchies, and students should take their full determination to get the clubs more efficient in order to fulfill their own interests.


Moral Dilemma – To Enrich Who?

To enrich the world or to enrich myself, this problem has been intrigued me since I started to consider what steps I should take to plan my high school life. In the large scale, it is necessary to think about the entire society that has some imperfect aspects, and as a part of the global community, I have the duty to take actions to provide solutions to these problems. But to the microscopic view, enriching myself seems to be the most important one, for it is truly a determinant of being permitted to get opportunities to improve the world with better insights and techniques.

This problem is significant since it decides whether I could be in the future. It is true that fulfilling my own goals could lead to a better life and then, a better world. However, the cost of merely enriching myself is enormous, for it is a selfish action and certainly violates my moral standard: Self-development should not be taken to solely benefit personal interests. Moreover, the selfishness behind the self-enrichment can cause further reputes from other people, which put limits to later enrich the community. But as I want to improve the world as possible as I can, the restriction due to lack of individual credibility and academic experience is also an obstacle to effectively develop the society. Meanwhile, competition among students is so intensive that they could develop strong insights to solve many problems simultaneously. These insights, however, usually lead to conflicts among individuals who advocate their own solutions while completely oppose others. That is regarded as another violation of my morality, since in my opinion, cooperation is important in today’s value and is truly helpful in ultimately create a comprehensive and sustainable set of plans. Furthermore, I am willing to learn from the advantages posed by other people’s ideas to reduce my own disadvantages, which seems contradicting to most competitors.

Nevertheless, to receive education is to apply what I learn from classes in specific areas, and I should be active to propose certain solutions to the world’s problems with my present knowledge scale. The world is in a dynamic situation with various people putting impact into it, so I should not be quiet and wait for opportunities to come and call me to improve the world. And through campus study, I could integrate the advantages into my own system and gain access to get rid of such issues that cannot be resolved due to the disadvantages I have previously. This progressive process, eventually, will lead to achievement of a perfect, optimistic and advancing life.

Therefore, rather than paying too much attention to reach the balance between the world and myself, cherishing the present is better to think about such problems in a simpler way. Whatever I have now, if I do what I can, my power will show that I am a person with no rigorous and absolute discrimination about what’s good and what’s bad.


Change and Continuity in Russian Politics and Culture During 1750-1914

During the period from 1750 to 1914, Russia, a land empire in the age of imperialism, sparked a series of political and cultural reformation that enhanced Russia’s power over much of its territory with preservation of some old monarchical rules that were later threatened by Western ideas.

The entire Russian Empire was under the rules of tsars at that time period, with Eastern Orthodoxy as the popular religion that was widely spread and accepted over the territory. But with respect to Western development, Russia faced problems that whether to put liberalism – a branch of enlightenment ideas – into this area. In 1750, Catherine the Great of Russia was at the height of her reign. Although she considered herself an enlightened despot and selectively tried to expose Russia to Western techniques, she was hesitant to let Western advances threaten her power. During this time, Russia was still relying on a method of serfdom that had been present in the country for many previous years. Catherine imposed tighter restrictions on the serf population, extracting labor from the masses and giving them little to no voice in affairs of the State. While she continued the method of serfdom in Russia, her reforms and restrictions on serfdom further exploited the working labor masses of her country which heightened their unrest. Suffered the disadvantages of being neighbors to the rising nations in Europe, Russia had its wins and losses during the era yet managed to retain its power.

In fact, the Russian Empire had turned its attention to the west under the late 17th and early 18th century rule of Peter the Great, but the change in attitude actually happened later. As exemplified by Alexander I, who undertook top-down westernizing reforms, a lot of western industrial technologies and enlightenment ideas were incorporated into this land. In the mid-19th century, due to the modernization efforts, Russia became a huge, diverse realm that was very difficult to rule from a central location, even with the power granted to an absolute tsar. However, later resistance to Alexander I’s bureaucratic reforms initiated the Decembrist revolt, which stiffened Nicholas I’s hostility to Western ideas. His suspicion of Western ideas stalled reform and slowed industrial development. What’s more, since Russia had been continually expanding, there existed some conflicts with regions east or south to Russian Empire. Frequent confrontation gave Russia a shortage of power distributed that kept them from expanding territories.

Rather, Russia got into trouble with powerful England and France, when its formidable army attacked the Ottoman Empire to seize access to warm water ports around the Black Sea. Fearful of an upset in European balance of power, England and France supported the Ottomans in defeating Russian troops in the Crimean War (1853-1856). This defeat clearly showed Russian weakness, and it led Tsar Alexander II to attempt reform by emphasizing industrialization, creating elected district assemblies called Zemstvos. Dissatisfied by Russian Empire’s rules that put itself into danger, a lot of intellectuals began seeking ways to save the whole society. For instance, after Russia’s humiliation in the Crimea, the Slavophile tendency, gave rise to Pan-Slavism, a militant political doctrine advocating unity of all the Slavic peoples, including those living under Austrian and Ottoman rule. Slavophile idea fostered Russophobia that kept Western Europeans from attacking Russian Empire any more.

There were also many people who thought the centralized government as malevolent force that impeded Russia’s economic growth. In 1861, Czar Alexander II reformed Russian society by emancipating the serfs, but the newly freed peasants still had limited mobility. Although the serfs had been freed and given limited rights, they continued to suffer poor working conditions as the majority of the work force in factories. Russia’s instability became apparent when Alexander II was assassinated by one of the many revolutionary groups that were growing rapidly within the country. Some of these revolutionary groups were Marxist, and their influence would eventually take over the country in 1917. However, Russia continued on under absolute rule until then, with an intense state-run industrialization program that did modernize Russia by the end of the 19th century.

Russian Marxists revolutionaries saw capitalism – or the free market – as an economic system that exploited workers and increased the gap between the rich and the poor. They believed that conditions in capitalist countries would eventually become so bad that workers would join together in a Revolution of the Proletariat, and overcome the bourgeoisie, or owners of factories and other means of production. They envisioned a new world after the revolution, one in which social class would disappear because ownership of private property would be banned. According to Marx, communism encourages equality and cooperation, and without property to encourage greed and strife, governments would be unnecessary. His theories eventually took new forms in early 20th century Russia. Nicholas II, the last tsar of the Russian Empire, though not an unsatisfactory emperor, was threatened, and, in 1917, eventually killed by internal ideological conflicts that would later shape Russia’s social and political status with brand new communism ideas that opposed imperial laws.