Author Archives: Linghao Yang

Why some people choose to give up before trying?

Now it is 1.32 am in the morning. I still try to finish my blog before the due, but my friend just gives up. He says it’s too late, it’s impossible for him to finish the blog before the due. However, we still have 11 hours, thus I think we still have a chance. If we give up and do nothing, at that time we do not have any chance.I have seen so many people give up easily, and I do not understand why they do not have a try?

They just reminds me a experiment that I learned in my high school. It’s called learned helplessness.”Learned helplessness is behavior that has repeated painful stimuli which it was can not be escape. After going through this experience, the organism can not escape in new situations where such behavior might be helpful. In other words, the organism learned that it is helpless in aversive situations,so it gives up trying. “(Wikipedia) In the first part of the experiment, researchers had three groups of dogs, and they were put in harness. In group one, the dogs just be put in the harness and be release later. In group two, dogs were given electric shocks, but they can stop it by pressing a lever. In group three, dogs were given electric shocks, but the lever in group 3 did not work. Thus it seems that in group three, electric shocks were unescapable. In the second part of the experiment, three groups of dogs were tested in a shuttle box apparatus. Dogs can escape shocks by jumping out of the box. In group one and two, all dogs jumped outside the box. However, dogs in group 3 failed to escape. Actually they did not even try to jump, and they just stayed in the box. They thought no matter how hard they tried, they could not escape.

Video about the learned helplessness experiment



My friend is like the dog in group three. I am very disappointed with him because he still has a chance to finish his blog, but he chose to give up. My father told me that giving up is the most easiest thing in our life but insistence is the hardest. Learned helplessness is related to mental illness that fails to control over the outcome of a situation. If people always give up easily, this is the signal of this type of mental illness. Hope everyone can try before giving up, hope everyone who is still trying to finish their blog can keep working on their blog, and good luck.





Learned Helplessness

Can animals can do crazy things after training?

Last month, I saw a amazing youtube video. A dog named Jumpy can write its name by having a brush in its mouth. I was amazed by that. Later I found more crazy videos. A cat can play piano, a dog can do simple math by barking, and a monkey can even drive. It seems that some animals can do crazy things after training. Thus I found some researches about this.

Video about the dog that know how to write 

I find that people usually give animals some food for reward after they do what human wants them to do. They repeat this for a long time, and later animals can do certain thing. This is called classical conditioning-animals learn to associate two stimuli and thus to anticipate events (principle of psychology). Ivan Pavlov, one of the most famous physiologist in 20 century, did a famous lab about classical conditioning. “In order to eliminate possible influences, they isolated the dog in a small room, secured it in a harness, and attached a device to divert its saliva to a measuring instrument”(principle of psychology).



(Ivan Pavlov)

In classical conditioning, there are five major parts, unconditioned stimulus, unconditioned response, neutral stimulus, conditioned stimulus and conditioned response. Before conditioning, they presented some food, which is unconditioned stimulus, in front of the dog. The dog began to salivate, which is unconditioned response. Then they sounded a tone, which is a neutral stimulus. However, this time there is no salivation. During conditioning, they sounded a tone first, and then gave some food to the dog. After many trials, the dog would salivate( conditioned response), when the heard the tone (conditioned stimulus). Neutral stimulus usually causes nothing, but if the unconditioned stimulus is repeatedly presented after neutral stimulus, then neutral stimulus would became conditioned stimulus that cause conditioned response. In this case, researchers always presented some food after sounded a tone, which let the dog associate the tone and the food. Therefore, when it heard the tone, it would think of the food and then began to salivate.



Theoretically, By giving animals some rewards,  we can teach them many simple things if we have time. If anyone is interested in this, you can definitely try this with your pets.



Should phones be banned in school?

I have heard many debates about this topic since high school. Many people think phones are distraction for us. My history teacher is one of them. She hates phones so much that she would fail the student if she found he or she use phone in class.  On the other hand, some people claims that phones are necessity in our daily life. Every morning my mom would remind to bring my phone.She thinks that it is really important to have phone with me when I go out.If something goes wrong, I can call her immediately. Personally, I do not think phones would be a serious problem for students. Thus I do some research.

I found a experiment in a website called The Conversation. In the experiment, researchers did a survey in 4 cities in England(Birmingham, London, Leicester and Manchester) since 2001. At that year, 90.3% of UK teenager have phone. Researchers took notes about the students academic achievement from their national exams. “After schools banned mobile phones, test scores of students aged 16 increased by 6.4% of a standard deviation, which means that it added the equivalent of five days to the school year”(The conversation). From the data, it’s very obvious that without phones, students pay more attention in class. If students have phone with them, they might take a look at their Facebook or instagram, play games or text their friends. They do not have distraction anymore after the school ban the phones. Thus students pay more attention in class, and they have a better academic performance.

More about that experiment


Pupil Sending Text Message On Mobile Phone In Class

However, I do not think phone is the major distraction in class. If a student do not want to pay attention to class, even though they do not have their phones with them, there would be other distractions for them. They might talk to their friends, draw something in their notes or even sleep. If they want to study hard, there would be no distraction for them. In addition, phone is the only tool for us to communicate with others. Now in America, there are many tragedies happen in school. Everything can happen. If something goes wrong, we can contact to others immediately if we have phone. If we do not have phone with us, we might miss something important or even be in danger. Thus I think it is necessary for us to have phone.

I agree with the idea that phones are distraction for class, but I also agree that it is necessary for us to bring phone with us. After my consideration, I think Andrew’s experiment is very helpful for this question. Students should give their phones to professor, and they can get their phones back after class. In this way, students can not only pay more attention in class, but also communicate with others if necessary. If all the schools can do this, I think we can solve this problem easily.




Would Uncanny Valley hypothesis affect the development of robots?

Nowadays with the development of technology, robots are no longer a novelty in our life. It is easy to see flexible in our houses, SCARA robots in factories and even robot waiters in some restaurants.  I have a crazy prediction that in the next 30 years, robots would completely be an indispensable part of our life. Although robots give plenty of convenience to our work and life, they are not accepted by all people. Recently, I noticed the famous Uncanny Valley hypothesis, that is, a computer-generated figure or humanoid robot with an identical resemblance to a human being arouses a sense of unease or revulsion in the person’s view. Thus, would this hypothesis affect the development of robots?

jules-uncanny-valley  (human liked robot)

First of all, I do not think the Uncanny Valley hypothesis would still exist after 30 years. For our grandparents, they would show a cold feeling to robots because those strange machine seems smarter than them and enjoy a high position in a family. In addition, in many adults’ eyes, those smart human-like robots may to some extend threaten our human’s ability and control of the world. However, we are all used to the life with robots because they have been widely used in our generation. And for the next generation, they are born in a generation when robots are increasingly popular. When they grow up, robots to them are just like laptop to our generation. Thus I do not think this hypothesis would exist in the next 30 years.

However, there might be some people afraid of robots. And my first suggestion is to reduce the cost of robots’ production. Now robotic products are very expensive, most people could not afford them. We can find hat a regular robotic vacuum cleaner would be about 500$, and a pool cleaner is about 700$. If the market can lower the price, and most people could have them in their house. Later most people would be comfortable with the existence of robots in their lives. Moreover, robots would not likely to be human liked with less budget. Uncanny Valley hypothesis talks about that people would afraid human liked robots. If the robots are not human liked, people would be less likely to be afraid of them.

Secondly, good appearance of robots would also help. We are familiar with the robots in science fiction movies. For example, T-1000 in Terminator is terrifying while the child-like robot David in AI is friendly. Thus we could see that a good appearance is really important. Maybe one day, one of your colleagues is a robot, or your assistant is a robot. If they have amiable figures, good-looking faces and proper facial expressions, I believe you will be happy to work with them every day. Besides, adding some cartoon characteristics to robots’ appearance would make them more acceptable. Imagining that a pikachu would wake you up in the morning, and a tom cat can be your pet, I do not think you would be frightened by robots anymore?

From my point of view, lower the cost if production of robots and make a better appearance for robots would be really help. Thus I do not think Uncanny Valley hypothesis would affect the development of robots.


(T 1000 from Terminator and David from A.I )

More about Uncanny Valley hypothesis


10 Creepy Examples of the Uncanny Valley

Why Chinese people do not believe in Christianity

In class, we talked about does prayer work. However, I do not think it would work. I come from China, which most of people do not have religion. However after I came to America, everything about religion is new to me. People pray when they have dinner, people pray when they have disease, and people pray when they have trouble. I do not understand why people pray a lot, and I also do not understand their belief. It seems that God is the most important person in their lives. Why America people have a strong belief in Christianity, while Chinese people do not? Thus I do some research and try to figure out why Chinese people do not believe in Christianity.

First of all, not all Chinese do not have religion. Most of us do not have religion, but some people do have. There are many kinds of religions in China. Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Islam and Christianity. Buddhism came to China in Tang Dynasty, which has more than 2000 years history in China. It not only becomes a religion, but also becomes a culture in some part of China. Also, about 49 percent of people who have religion believe in Buddhism. Confucianism is not a actual religion. It is a philosophical system based on Confucius’ ideas. In ancient China, Confucius’ ideas were golden rules for Chinese people, so people built temple and workshop him. Islam was introduced into China in 7th century. It has a deep cultural influence in northwestern China, and most of people in that region are muslims. Christianity has the least effect in China. In year 635, Christianity came to China. However, in 845, Emperor Wuzong stopped the spread of Christianity. Later, it came to China again. But in 1800, Western countries tried to divide China and brought endless wars and pains to Chinese people. Thus Chinese people started to afraid of things related to Western countries. People did not want to accept Christianity because they thought Western people are malice and bad, and if they believe in Christianity, other people would leave them away.


CHART I Religion in China (CGSS’s average 2012)[130]

(red) No organized religion (87.2%)

(black) Taoism (0.2%)

(yellow)Buddhism (6.2%)

(blue)  Christianity (Protestant) (2.0%)

(green) Islam (1.7%)

(pink) Catholicism (0.3%)

(white) Folk religion (0.2%)

Different religions in China


What’s more, there was a rebellion called Taiping Rebellion in China. It was a movement that leads 14 years civil war and 20 million people’s death. The leader of the rebellion, Hong Xiuquan, claimed himself as the Heavenly King and younger brother of Jesus Christ. He was a scholar in China, and one day he dreamed that an angel brought him to Heaven to see an old man and a young man. They gave him a sword and magic seal, and told him to purge China of demons. Several years later, when he was introduced to Christianity, he interpreted that the old man was God, the young man was Jesus Christ, and the demons were the officials of Qing government. Thus he began to introduced Christianity to people around him, had some speeches in other villages and started the rebellion in South of China. It was one of the biggest rebellion in China, and later Christianity was banned again in China.



Hong Xiuquan

Video about Hong Xiuquan

Although now people in China have freedom to choose religion, not a lot of people show interests in religion. Because of several prevention of Christianity in China, not a lot of people have a chance to know Christianity. In conclusion, there are some Chinese people believe in Christianity, and most of them who have religion would believe in other religion.



Why Chinese people good at math and science?

Why Chinese people  good at math and science?

First of all, the education system in China is different. In China, everyone has too much pressure. Chinese people usually think going to a good school means get a better education, and Chinese people really care about education for their children. In order to go to a good school, students need to do a lot of homework and practice questions, and teachers always gives a lot of tests and exams to students. Practice makes perfect, so later students begin good at solving math and science questions.

Secondly, Chinese students are two or three years ahead of students in other countries in math and science. In China, students begin to learn physics, chemistry and biology in grade 7. And they keep learning them until grade 12. But in America, students only learn science from grade 9. And each subject they only study for one year. When I came to high school in America, students are still struggling in algebra, while in China students are learning calculus. So when Chinese students come to America, everything become so easy for them.



What makes Chinese good at math


Quantum satellite

Quantum Satellite

Last month, China just launch the first quantum satellite in the world. Now China make the message into quantum level so that is impossible for other countries to crack.

How does quantum satellite work?

In order to make the messages uncrackable, scientists turn to subatomic world. In subatomic level, particles are strange. When they are separated, they continue to affect each other no matter how far they are away from each other. This is what Einstein call spooky action. To pass a message, the satellite will create a quantum key or random numbers that encode information. These would be sent or received to the Earth. Quantum key is able to travel in long distance and carry photons. Photons can not be copied, and photons are always bound with each other. People usually put message in photons. Therefore, no other things in the world can intercept the message. If the message is hacked, quantum key would change or cancel, and the transmission would fail. So that means people can only get some random number if they try hard to crack the message.

Now China launch the first quantum satellite, it not only prove some theories in quantum mechanics, but also is a big step in space race. With the development of technologies, I think more and more countries would be able to launch their own quantum satellite and keep proving the mysterious theories in quantum mechanics.

Chinese Quantum Satellite 墨子(mozi)



How quantum satellite work

Chinese report of quantum satellite

Video about Quantum Satellite

3D Printing


3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing (AM), refers to processes used to synthesize a three-dimensional object in which successive layers of material are formed under computer control to create an object.(Wikipedia) In order to make a 3d printing, you need to have a 3d printer and a software to make the model.  Generally, you just design a model in a program, and then use the printer to print your work.

3d printer

A 3d printer is like a regular printer. It makes 3d model a layer at a time. It starts from the bottom and goes to top repeatedly. It works automatically, but it takes a lot of time to print a object. The 3d printer does not need ink, it need some special plastic to print, such as ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene), PLA (Polylactic Acid) and PVA (Polyvinyl Alcohol).


There are many software to make 3d model. From my point of view, openSCAD is a good choice for beginner. It only has some basic tools and it’s not hard to learn.


Here is a photo of some 3d models that I made in my high school.




Some other software

how does 3d printer work

material for 3d printer




Not a science person

Hey everyone, my name is Linghao Yang, and my English name is James. I am from China, and I have been in America for almost 3 years. I am a freshman in DUS, and I want to major in finance later. I am good at chemistry and physics, but I am not really interested in them. And my friends told me that this class is easy and interesting, that’s why I choose this class. (I hate biology, and hope this class has nothing to do with biology..)

I am interested in business, that’s why I don’t want to be in science major. I hope to work in an investment bank in the future. Maybe is because my father and my grandfather both work in bank. It’s pretty cool to see them use money to make money. Hope I can be a successful banker like them, not a person who spend most of his time in his lab(I also hate lab report..)

Here’s a link of some awesome bankers.