I finished my first semester at Harvard on December 16th, which was the date of my Economics 10A final. The past four months had been a whirlwind of change and new experiences. Now that I have had some time to rest and reflect, here are my personal thoughts on the first semester, as well as some outlooks on the upcoming semester.
The first few weeks of school dispelled many of the stereotypes I held about what Harvard was like. Before school started, I imagined that the majority of the students at Harvard were wealthy, disconnected from the rest of the world, and perhaps a little bit stuck up. This turned out to be quite false. No matter their socioeconomic background, my classmates were generally very down-to-earth, humble, and sociable. Sure, there were people I disagreed with, but the student body as a whole consists of friendly and social, if bright and driven, people.
Harvard students are incredibly involved. This applies both inside and outside the classroom. The school offers a wealth of extracurricular activities to enjoy, and most students really try to take full advantage of the given opportunities. Some of the clubs require newcomers to undergo a “comp” process before they become full-fledged members. What consists of as “comping” differs for each club. The Harvard Crimson has a semester-long comp process, during which newcomers learn about the various aspects of the newspaper, including design, publicity, writing, photograph, etc. On the other hand, The Harvard College Consulting Group (HCCG) is extremely selective, and the comp process is a series of interviews, much like in real-life corporate setting.
This past semester, I was a member of the Harvard quiz bowl team, as a continuation of an activity I much enjoyed during high school. I also played violin in the Harvard Pops Orchestra; Harvard has a wide variety of musical opportunities, whether it be a classical orchestra, jazz band, or a cappella groups. Pops Orchestra is a relatively low-commitment organization that combines classical repertoire with film soundtrack music, skits, and comedy.
I also comped for the Harvard Financial Analyst Group; the process lasted throughout the semester. The compers learned the basics of evaluating stocks and gave a stock pitch presentation at the end of the semester. At the conclusion of the presentation, the compers (including myself) became full-fledged members of the club. Lastly, I am also a part of the Harvard College Faith and Action, which is a Christian community within the school.
Overall, I had a successful semester. I made friends, involved myself in activities that I enjoyed, and also did well academically. I also learned to be more independent and manage my own time and resources better. I have also been challenged by those around me, not only by their intelligence and achievements, but also by their incredible drive and visions for the future.
There will be some changes occurring the next semester. First, I will be taking different classes. Right now, I am definitely planning on taking Economics 10B (Introductory Macroeconomics) and Statistics 104 (Introductory Statistical Analysis for Economics). This means I have to choose two more classes; I have a few in mind, and I want to sit it on them during Shopping Week, as well as consult my academic advisors before making a final decision. One of the two new classes I will be picking out is going to replace my Freshman Seminar class from first semester, meaning my academic workload will likely increase this semester.
At the same time, I will be taking on more commitments outside of the classroom. I will continue to be a part of the activities I joined in the first semester, and also plan on comping the Crimson, which is the famous Harvard student-run newspaper. I am excited to become a reporter, just as I have been writing for the Korea Daily Chicago since high school.
Overall, I am excited for the second semester. I want to continue to excel academically, make more friends, involve myself in extracurriculars, and grow as an intellectual and a professional.
Amazon Go is a service that uses a machine that learns and sensors the items a customer is picking up. The items then can be added to the virtual cart on the app. The benefit of this service is that customers do not have to check out or wait in line. Amazon Go uses the same technology used in self-driving cars such as computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning.
This technology automatically records when the item is taken from or returned to the shelf in a virtual cart. After picking out the items to take home, customers can simply go home and their receipts will be sent to them on their Amazon account. Anyone can be a customer at the Amazon Go store! All you need is a smartphone, Amazon account, and a free Amazon Go app.
Right now, Amazon Go is being tested at Seattle so that it could be open to the public early this year. Currently, it is just open to Amazon employees for test. It is opened as a 1,800-square foot store that sells prepared foods such as fresh breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.
Amazon also stated that they will sell grocery items like baked goods, cheese, and milk. Not only this, they are selling items from well-known brands and from artisanal merchants. The store also will provide Amazon Meal Kits which includes ingredients to make a meal for two in about 30 minutes. They haven’ t talked about their delivery and ordering service, but it was mentioned to be a new concept for Amazon Go.
With all these technology developing and making our lives more and more easier, we wonder if this service will be an hindrance to anything. Many are questioning if it will really make human life more convenient or if it will just cause more problems such as increase in unemployment and increase in the amount of debt to pay off after developing all the technology in stores all over the United States once it is open to the public. However, with the insufficient information given about the service Amazon Go, it is hard to assume. All we could do for now is hope for the best and wish for it to improve human life.