It’s Windy

For my fourth and final action project in Urban Planning (Math & Science) we were tasked with creating a presentation relating the atmosphere to a mathematical equation.  I did this by looking at wind resistance and figuring out how it changes the time it takes for a plane to travel.  This project was difficult because the equation for wind resistance is quite difficult.  You can learn about wind resistance by checking out my presentation below!


Dev Journal #004 — Defensive Design

For my fourth and final Dev Journal I read Defensive Design by 37 Signals.  What is defensive design? It’s a way strategy used when creating an app, website, program, etc. that attempts to stop problems before they happen.  A huge thing they talk about in the book is creating a great customer experience, and countering problems.  They say problems are due to happen, but the important thing is making it as simple as possible for the customer to get back on track.  I think it’s an excellent strategy, and if/when I am creating something in the future, I will absolutely take defensive design into consideration.  My idea for the GCE app was to create a homework app that any student in the class could add/change homework assignments.  I could absolutely see problems occurring  like if someone deleted the assignment, and another person tried to view it before it updated.  What would the error page look like, how would I help the person get back on track?  If I was to suggest GCE some changes, or things to think about when creating an app I would say:

Something that is overlooked was how we look at people who view our apps.  People who create applications, websites, etc. often think of the people using what they made as users, or conversions, other than what they actually are: people.  Another thing is error screens, most websites have error screens meant for professionals to read, the problem is people don’t know what they mean (ex: Error 404 page not found).  Professional developers create error screens that anyone can read (ex: This page was not found, click here to go to back).

Thanks for reading my last Dev Journal of the school year, who knows what will happen over the summer… maybe a Business Journal…


Crossing The Food Desert: A Hoop Dreams Production

For my final project in Policy we created a documentary about food deserts in urban areas of Chicago.  I created this documentary with SM, HP, and LN.  For this video we focussed a lot on Link Up Chicago, a program that tries to get farmers market vendors to allow LINK to be used, in exchange for a lower cost on products. This involved us going to a farmers market and interviewing the people working.  We had some great footage, great interviews, and we had a blast- you can see our video below.  

LN made a poem capturing the sense of our experience, you can read it below.

People walking on the ground, a ground full of seeds and weeds a ground desperate for trees. Trees where wind echoes like a curious hungry dog, that only becomes more hungry when a man bites an apple.  An unforgettable smell like garlic melting through my nose.  Making it difficult for me to smell anything else in the atmosphere, this is the farmers market.

Dev Journal #003 — An End of an Age

For the past trimester I have had the high hope of being able to learn Objective-C, Cocoa Touch, and the Apple SDK as well as using those languages to create an app for GCE; I had no clue what kind of task it would be.  While I wasn’t able to complete my goal, I did complete some (smaller) personal goals.  For start, I’ve learned the basics of Objective-C, and Cocoa Touch.  I also spent the better part of one night creating my best (and only working) application ever: an audio mixer.  I believe that with the current skills I have in app development I have the skills to be able to understand what I am looking at, which is the same amount of skill I have for web development.  I’ve decided to take a bit of a twist from what the app development and have decided to refocus on defensive design.  I’m happy that I’ve figured out something that I don’t want to do, as well as learned a new skill.  I hope to continue learning more in the tech field, and will continue to post my process here.

GCE Falcons Fantasy Draft

For my third milestone in 162 (economics and history taught through baseball) we compared five players against each other in order to find who was the best player overall, and who was most worth their current salary.  We did this by analyzing the players performance this season in relation to his total career.  I looked closely at stats such as Strikeouts, ERA, and WHIP.  Although I previously knew a lot about baseball, this assignment was difficult because it made me look at the sport from an angle I usually dont: the way a GM does.  I looked at five single pitchers, and you can see my thought process and the statistics I used to get an answer below.

Holes the GCE Adventure

For my Policy (English & History) class we were tasked with doing three hours of service to an  organization of our choice.  This project was inspired by a field experience we did to Lincoln Park Community Center (LPCS).  I had a great time doing my service, and you can read about it below!

After going to TedEx myself and my Policy class were tasked with doing three hours of service, and it couldn’t have worked any better. Durring TedEx we watched a speaker who advocated for public gardens with his slogan Grow Some Shit (see the Ted Talk here!).  Meanwhile at GCE there was word of us starting a public garden outside the school so we could have access to fresh produce, and flowers.  If this garden continues as planned I would hope we would be able to feed those who wouldn’t otherwise have access to healthy food, a human right that I think everyone should have.

To make this whole experience possible we were tasked with tilling the hard, trash-covered soil outside of our school in order to make it usable for summer when planting would begin.  I’m happy that I was able to be outside with my friends working on a project that will impact many people in the future.  I think I’ve got a new-found gratitude for where my food comes from and what people do to prepare and farm it.  I also have a new sense of awareness that not everyone has access to fruits and vegetables, and that many low income residents in Chicago are located in a Food Desert. I would hope with more awareness on public gardens the amount of food deserts around Chicago (and all of the US) could continue to decrease until everyone has access to healthy produce.

I’ve noticed that there were a ton of different options of community service to pick from in Chicago: from tilling a soon-to-be garden, to serving at a soup kitchen.  I’m hoping that what I did can have as big of an impact if not a larger one.  This project has inspired me to want to do more help and I will definitely continue working on the garden at school.  I’ve noticed that most kids tend to run away from the idea of community service (myself included) and I think that could change as I had fun with friends while helping!

I believe that being able to eat healthy food cheap (or even free!) is such a simple idea that could be solved for simply.  Everyone should have access to such basic rights like water, shelter, and food!  It makes me happy that what I am working on will one day help out many others, or even make other people want to do the same somewhere else.

Math in ComEd

For my first Action Project in Street Math our goal was to relate math to electricity using a real world application.  It was difficult to find an equation that could be related to the real world application of electricity. I did this project by using Pythagorean Theorem to find the length of angled streets. You can see my presentation below if you would like to learn more.

Dev Journal #002

I’ve noticed pretty quickly that learning Objective-C is an extremely huge task.  Previously I learned HTML, and CSS but Obj C is something totally different.  It really is like learning a new language, and although it is really difficult, I’m definitely making headway!  The endgoal of this project was (hopefully)  making an App for GCE.  Recently I made a survey, and sent it out to all students and staff members.  The idea for this app was to be a place where students can post what homework they have, and other students can add to it and edit it so it stays up to date.  Due to a huge response from students on the survey, I also plan to add a way to see the course websites.  Check out the data from the surveys below!



The War on Private Prisons

For my second milestone in Policy (English & History) we created an infographic about a monopoly that exists today in the US.  I did mine about the Private Prison system and how terrible of a system it is.  This was a extremely eye opening source and I learned why we hold  %25 of the world’s prisoners, yet only %5 of the world’s population.  If you would like to check out my narrative of my infographic about it, check it our below!


Right now in America one of the most lucrative businesses is making more people go to jail than ever before, and it’s legal.  What I’m talking about is the Private Prison market, which is a 70 billion dollar market.  It has grown by %350 in the past 15 years, and this isn’t a coincidence.  This industry is extremely corrupt, and is emptying the pockets of taxpayers, and imprisoning those for longer than is deserved.  Many Private Prison companies require that states keep the capacity of prisons at above %90 full for 20 years.

This puts pressure on the justice system to increase sentencing length, and increase the frequency at which people are incarcerated.  Over 2.27 million US citizens are in jail, that’s about 1 out of 100 people.  The US hold %25 of the world’s prisoners, while only having %5 of the world’s population.  Roughly 51.5% of prisoners are there for drug related offenses.  Roughly %81.9 of prisoners are in jail for possession of a controlled substance.  The US government spent over 15 billion dollars, equaling to $500 every second.

I’ve noticed from doing this report that Private Prisons are becoming much more lucrative and profitable over time.  While profitability has gone up, so has the amount of prisoners in the US.  There has been a %700 jump in US prison population, which is outpacing general population growth and crime rates (%44 population growth).

The amount of spending on prisons has been skyrocketing over the past thirty years, and private prisons have not been the only reason for them to jump so high.  State-ran prisons supply more than 800,000 jobs, so it is at the best interest of the government to keep prisons full as well.  I think that the private prison system is absolutely terrible, and terrifying.  I believe that prisons should be ran at who has the people’s best interest in mind.  Not a company who has themselves to worry about.

Works Cited
“American Civil Liberties Union.” American Civil Liberties Union. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2013. <>.
“BRIEFING: For-Profit Prisons.” WhoWhatWhy RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2013. <>.
“How Extensive Are Private Prisoners in Our Country? plus a Report on Private Prison Lobbying | Rortybomb.” Rortybomb. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2013. <>.
“International Centre for Prison Studies.” International Centre for Prison Studies. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2013. <>.
“Jailing Americans Becomes a Profitable Business – RT USA.” Jailing Americans Becomes a Profitable Business – RT USA. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2013. <>.
“PolicyMic.” PolicyMic. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2013. <>.
“Private Prisons Have Public Benefits: Newsroom: The Independent Institute.” The Independent Institute. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2013. <>.
Staff, NPR.
“How Louisiana Became The World’s ‘Prison Capital'” NPR. NPR, 05 June 2012. Web. 28 Apr. 2013. <>.

MJ vs Magic

For my second milestone in 162 (statistics and history taught through baseball) we had to rate two sports players.  I got two basketball legends Michael Jordan and Earvin “Magic” Johnson.  This was a very fun project because I got to learn more about a sport I love.  One of the hardest parts of this project was trying to rate two players who played at different times.  You can see who I found to be the best player below.