WWW Paper Got Accepted!

My paper just got accepted! The acceptance rate of International World Wide Web Conference is 15% so this is really exciting.

First I want to thank Himel and Professor Sundaram for giving me chances to collaborate in the research and training me the necessary skills. They have been very helpful by always giving me clear directions.

The next step for me is to learn from reviews, summarize this paper’s strength and weakness, and pay more attention to factors such as the presence of spammers or inactive users in the model. I will continue my research next semester because I find this subject is interesting and promising.

Bronze Tablet and My Name Inscribed on a Wall in the Main Library!

Based on my this semester’s GPA, which is again 4.0/4.0, I have maintained 3.98/4.0 Overall GPA, and 4.0/4.0 Major GPA throughout my undergraduate study. According to honors upon graduation provided by UIUC,

Also conferred in spring semester, Bronze Tablet honors the top 3% of graduates from each college. These students receive special recognition and regalia at graduation ceremonies, and their names are inscribed on the tablets in the first-floor corridors of the University Library.

I have won the Bronze Tablet due to the fact that I’m top 3% student in the most competitive college in UIUC, the college of engineering. Also according to common knowledge in my community in the university and newspaper,

University Honors and Bronze Tablet induction are the University’s highest honor for graduating students.

Although I don’t deliberately pursue high GPA during these years because I don’t believe it can fully represent a student’s academic aptitude and passions for research, I feel extremely satisfied as my name will be inscribed on the Bronze Tablet, which hangs on a wall in the Main Library Building, according to my department website. I love leaving marks in my beloved university, and this is the first step for me to leave marks in this world.

Scholarship Awarded

The department website has finally updated my information, as I’m the recipient of Emma L. Marshall Scholarship in the year of 2017-2018. The recipient of this scholarship is determined by the committee and it is awarded to only one senior student in each year for an outstanding scholastic record and active involvement in the student activities. Every spring the department honors its scholarship recipients at a banquet which I am invited to attend. The year’s banquet will be held on Friday, April 20th, 2018.

During these years, I have held numerous office hours, review sessions, and advising sessions for students in ECE department as an IEEE-HKN member, a teaching assistant, and a grader for many courses.

In the office hour, I mainly helped students understand difficult concepts and shared my unique way of understanding certain materials. For example, my special way of memorizing necessary steps to solve a dynamic programming problem. I also provided advice about which courses to take according to each student’s interest and performance in his or her previous courses, since I have attended or learned about all the courses in the ECE and CS departments.

I also held review sessions for hundreds of students. Before the review session, I went over all the materials in the slides in the course and connected them to my knowledge in the field and any related classes that I had taken. After making my own slides with all the difficult and important concepts that had appeared in the course, I also designed some original questions. For example, in a review session for assembly language class, I designed a question about filling out the missing codes of a stack calculator.

One specific instance when I helped my student understand a difficult concept is about a problem in Math. When I was holding regular office hours, one student asked me about one question in a Linear Algebra class. The question was that she couldn’t get how change of basis works. Instead of teaching her the trick to memorize the formula, I decided to build her intuition first. Although the question is in a 3D world, I reduced the question first by introducing a similar question in a 2D world. Then I drew something she must be familiar with, a typical rectangular coordinate system aligned with edges of the paper. After I drew another coordinate system and showed how one line could be interpreted differently in different coordinate systems, and taught her the ways to understand the formula through the models we just constructed, she said she understood the concept and was able to proceed in the homework, where the question was in a 3D world. I checked her answer to make sure it was correct, then I designed another question in a higher dimension world. I found she was able to solve it perfectly, and that made me feel extremely satisfied. She told me that after listening to my explanation, she just needs to remember how to solve a problem in a 2D world intuitively, then uses an extended version of the steps to solve the problems in higher dimensions, instead of having to memorize the whole formula. More importantly, she said she could “feel” how everything happens now.