Miss California 2011: Preliminary Talent Award

It was an absolute honor to receive the preliminary talent award tonight! Thank you everyone for your kind words! I really wanted to make the Oakland committee and my family proud. They have put all their heart and energy into helping me prepare for Miss California.

Holding the certificate in my hotel room

Cell phone density map: Find out where people are, right now

It would be cool if I could always find where the most popular places people are going to are. I wish there was a technology that could anonymously track (via our cell phones) where people are and show it on a map. It could even be a smartphone application that we can download that displays where the popular venues are.

News sites like Hacker News feature stories that readers have given the most votes to. Similarly, it would be nice to have a system that tells us where the largest increases in foot traffic are. For example, we can  discover that there is a sale at our local store today because the number of people who went in increased 110%.

This system can also help law enforcement. They can start figuring out where criminals are meeting. For example, if it is 3am in the morning and there is suddenly a spur of cell phone signals in a mall parking lot, the police station can send someone there to check it out.

Of course, many might believe this as a violation of privacy. However, something like this has already been done. I just Googled “cell phone density map” and this article about MIT researchers came up: http://www.physorg.com/news6483.html

Now, let’s just make a map that neatly only shows the density of cell phones in shops and other recreational activity areas.


Restaurants: If I want a quiet place to eat and I check out the cell phone density map and it shows that the restaurant has tons of people in it, then I can just go somewhere else.
Theaters: It’s opening night of a movie and I want to find a theater with the shortest line. I can just simply check a cell phone density map.
Classroom: In college, I sometimes I forget if there is a quiz in a class or not. I can just check if there are a lot of cell phones in that classroom 5 minutes before class to determine if that class has something important going on that day.

Traffic: Instead of going to Google maps to see what the live traffic is like, I can just go to this one-app-includes-all cell phone density map.

Cute/romantic hacker codes I wrote for fun

For anyone who uses unix, hopefully you will get these simple command prompt jokes/romantic gestures. Feel free to use this or write it to someone you like (as long as they know unix!)

Romantic Code #1:

cupid-macbrook-pro: ~$ mkdir Max
cupid-macbrook-pro: ~$ mkdir Nanxi
cupid-macbrook-pro: ~$ cd ~/Nanxi
cupid-macbrook-pro: ~$ touch Love
cupid-macbrook-pro: ~$ cd ~/Max
cupid-macbrook-pro: ~$ cp ~/Nanxi/Love .

Romantic Code #2

happy-girl: ~$ cat > DearMax
happy-girl: ~$ sort > DearMax

Untitled 2 (version 1)

Finally! I have put one song I wrote into writing rather than just keeping it stored in my memory (which tends to forget things).

Here it is in PDF: Untitled 2

Here is the computer playing the piece in case you wanted to hear what is sounds like (I promise it sounds much better when a real person is playing!):

Disclaimer: This song was written in about 3 hours so it is a bit sloppy since it is the first draft. I will upload new versions onto here if I never decide to improve the piece.

Classical Music

I grew up learning and performing classical music. My favorite pieces to play before I began composing my own, were classical pieces. When I was 7 or 8, my dad took me to a classical piano concert. At that time, I thought it was one of the most boring activities I had ever been to. It wasn’t until I was older that I began to actually appreciate listening to classical music.

Here are songs I love playing. As you might notice, I like music of the romantic era the most:

Here are songs I love listening to. Most are performed by my favorite voilinist, Itzhak Perlman:

John Williams

John Williams is one of my favorite modern composers. His ability to capture the heart of the story and translate it into music is phenomenal. I think the theme music for E.T. is as well known as the film itself. This may be said for so many of the compositions of Williams, including the Star Wars music, Jaws, and Harry Potter. There is no type of music this composer cannot write! Here are a few of my favorites of his works: