All posts by Xuemei Yang

Final Project-documentation


<script src=””></script>

google drive:


In this final project, I tried to use the tools that I learned in this semester as much as I could.  I use tracery to form the structure, and I used rhymes, corpora database, turtle and markovify model.

There are five outcomes, I named them “cat”, “pig”, “rose” “snow” “sakura”. Each outcome accompanies with a drawing made by turtle that is related to the text. The form of the outcomes are diaries, most of them are delightful but there is one that makes people (probably) feel sad.

I’m more like an invisible person who can see all those diaries which convey the writers’ emotions and feelings.  Every time I refresh the cells is like I pick out one diary (kind of old fashion). You won’t know what comes next, and I find a little bit excited about wondering which outcome it will be. I think it will be more interesting if there are more outcomes, which will bring much more variety.


PS: Peppa’s code comes from here:


# 6

github: <script src=””></script>

.ipynb document in google drive:

This assignment took me so long time to finish, but it doesn’t seem good though… I want to make a fairy tale generator and make its form looks like a poem( so that I can apply rhyme on it). I combine my #5 assignment which is about markovify model and the word vector together. First I generate some texts and print them out like last time. The problem I confronted is that after I use “for” to get a printed version output, I can’t make this output into a list/or a string. Because of this, I have to give up my original thought which is “replacing each noun a rhyming synonym”.  Then I insert the pronunciation thing before the final text was printed out. Even though it seems like the word vector largely change the poem(story?) it actually only occupies two lines of the entire code.

I get a very strange feeling when I was writing these codes, the word vector seems to have millions of ways of using it, but I feel like they are hard to use in fact. Probably because it cannot satisfy “meaning” and “rhyming” at the same time. If I want the text to be readable and make sense, it’s hard to find a rhyming word; on the other hand, if I just want to focus on the rhyming part, then the text becomes less logical.

There is so many stuff going on in “word vector”, I think the most important for me is “how to make good use of them”. Now each of the functions is more or less isolated with one another. I’m very frustrated by this work… I’m so sad.


github:<script src=””></script>

google drive ( .ipynb document):

I actually think a lot about how to combine two different stuff together, but it frustrates me. Several of my ideas was denied by the program…

In this assignment, I combine spacy with markov model.  For the markov model, I use three texts: Cinderella,  Sleeping Beauty, and Genesis.  And then I use spacy to identify the adjectives of my generated sentences, replace them with “fat”. I got very confused by the bug when I did the spacy process first, it shows that the markov model system is not able to accept my new “fat” version of my story, so I put spacy to the second part of the program. Furthermore, my last outcome turns out to be each word in a line, and I can’t make a list of it because I did not change the doc. However, when I try to use the replace function, it turns into an error. I wish I could make my outcome into a fluent single line sentence.

Assignment #4 3.12

github: <script src=””></script>

.ipynb document in google drive:


Sample poems:



Lightened immersive rancher
Eventually it deadened

Firing  humorously decelerates preparatory nervousness
Angelic infamy, however
Teared a bicycle that never sell

Bonus accelerate a transmitter that never increase
Unhappiness worsen the freestyle
Newest success
Nonsense legislation
Yearly  reload under the closeness



Happily  toughened
Unanimously  erased
Graciously  harmonized a mediator that never unbutton

Freestyle  accidentally rewinds a storey
Adjustable boasting, however
Thickened the standpoint

Drained in bolstered widget
Opposing tablespoon erodes



Kookily  widen the brainstorming that entwines
Improve the schoolboy
Standing Tuesday
Spiky fragmentation

Footing  supremely sickens a hoarding
Amorphous specification, however
Tired the terry that despawns

Crack a biology
The remorseless habitation

This arostic program uses tracery.  Originally I want to break down the words in Bible to see what will the poems look like, but the text is too long, so I give up and use the word lists that  we got in the class, then I google some adverb lists to satisfy the needs of the poems. In these poems, the first stanza and the third stanza(“I” and “FAT”) are fixed, but there are changes in the second and fourth stanza. The second stanza is behavior, and the fourth stanza is animals. I have to pick the kind of words I want and limited the word choice by using function “.startwith()”. So I think this is a combination of tracery and “fake” arostic.

I think if human did this same work, there will be less grammar mistakes, but it will take longer time to finish the arostic because finding appropriat words take time.

#3 2/26 mixed poem

.ipynb document:

GitHub: <script src=””></script>

I mixed three documents in this poem. “nouns.txt”,”adjs.txt” and “sea_rose.txt”. Originally I want to do the “austen” one, however I cannot break down the long sentences and I don’t think the words will make sense if I break them into single words (because there are long paragraphs and conversations going on, the quotation mark is also a problem that is hard to get rid of).

In some of the lines I randomly  combine the adjectives with the nouns. Those words can be refresh if users run the lines before them. I don’t want to make it a fixed poem because I think the uncertainty , randomness, the expectation and curiosity that readers feel when they refresh the lines are more important.


<script src=””></script>

My Original format is “A House of Dust”. I replace the word choices in the list and insert my personal interest: fat animals into the poem. I add some other word categories in the similar forms that have been given, such as clothes and wearing.


Copy and paste to a .txt file

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                                                                        |||||                         //》》                   《《《 \\__________                |||||  
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                                                                   |||||                    // === \            ===#          //           //      \\                 |||||
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What it is
  • Pinwheels + Fat Cats + Fish + Paper Plane
  • Objects controlled by sounds.
Why made it
  • Cross-dimensional interaction
  • Easy to play with
  • Different inputs lead to different outputs
  • // I LOVE FAT CATS 😀
Who uses it
  • Everyone
How it works
  • There is only one input : the microphone
  • Based on how hard the user blows to the microphone, the rotation speed of pinwheel and the wind sound will change.
  • By dividing the input into different stages, there will also be different reactions
  • Cats’ behavior
  • The fish rain
The process
  • Coding
  • Pinwheels
  • Fat cats
  • Volume of wind sound
  • Paper Plane
  • Fish rain
  • Buy the pinwheel & microphones
  • Settle the microphone on pinwheel



So far I have already make the pinwheels spinning on the screen. I also add a sound of wind that may change its volumes with how fast the pinwheels spins. However, I don’t know how to control the volume yet. I plan to add a fat cat on the opposite of the pinwheels, both of the scenes use the voices as input. But it will look interesting because it seems like it is the pinwheels blowing to the fat cat. I think I might use DOM to animate the fur of the fat cat so that it looks like it was blowing by the wind that the pinwheels create.


Algorithms actually have been used in many ways in our lives.  Not only on the internet but also in our daily life. Some of the uses, like the examples in the TEDx talk, can be identifying people’s faces and make the decisions. Obviously, it is the human who makes algorithms. And human, of course, have the ability to control and refine algorithms.

That’s the reason why I think the computer or any other technology can never entirely substitute human. Our human brains help the computer to have more functions, but without us, the computer itself cannot generate more functions. The algorithms limit themselves, and only if humans figure out a higher level of idea or concept or innovation can help refine it and make it better.

I think there will always be algorithm bias existed. The only thing we have to deal with is how to make this bias become smaller and smaller. Machines always have problems, that’s the thing we are hard to change. But we can make more people incorporate into the process of establishing the algorithm, test it in more environment to prevent some of the bias occurs.

Prior Art

An interactive artist, Scott Snibbe, did an interactive artwork at 2005, which called “Blow Up”. There is a small version of 12 fans on the desk, and a huge version. Once the viewer blows to the small version, the huge version will also begin spinning. What I did is kind of similar to that. But I will use a pressure sensor as a variable, and the output is the fan on the screen ( or projector shotting the wall). I think my idea breaks the border of 2D and 3D world, it’s like what you did is actually affecting another dimension.

Here is “Blow Up”

Project Progress

This week I made the drawing part of the project. Each layer of different fans has been separated in the document. I will try to upload the layers to p5. If I can’t do so, I will use Photoshop After Effect to make it an animation piece. I plan to buy the sensor next week and use the pressure sensor as a variable that changes how fast these fans rotate.

here is the scene



Even though technology is not the only reason that caused globalization, it is no doubt that technology plays a relatively important role in the process of globalization. During the Industry revolution, huge trucks were substituted by the steam trains, which were much more efficient and cheaper. Those trains connect different places together. Another good example of globalization is communication and the internet. In the past, the only way that people can convey messages were writing letters. It may take more than several months to get to the right place. But technology brings telephones, emails or even the possibility for people to discuss face to face. The online community also improved, allowing thousands of people to share their information on the platform.


Personally, I think globalization isn’t a bad thing. While every country shares their information together, we have more sources to access. Also, globalization is a process of combine different cultures and keep the harmony between cultures. It has been often said that globalization will finally make the countries unified into a whole, based on the foundation that every country keep their traditions but welcome to accept other cultures.

Brain Storming


Using both Arduino and p5 to make a game. The game should be appearing on p5, and the player has to use the Arduino to control it. The Arduino may use buttons, tilt sensor or distance sensor.

E.g.1.A golf game. Based on how long the player presses the button on the Arduino, the travel distance of the ball on p5 will change. Only if the player hit the ball into a specific area, he will win.

E.g.2. Using distance sensor to control the spaceship on p5, try to avoid all the obstacles and get points.


2.Online piano

Also, relate the Arduino and p5, but this time it is p5 to control the Arduino. There will be a piano keyboard on the screen. Once the person clicks on the piano key, the beeper on the Arduino will begin making sounds. The beeper will make different sounds using different frequencies. Meanwhile, a small character will dance on p5 with the pressing of keys.


3. puzzle

This one is only for p5. A picture will show up for 5 seconds, and then it will be divided into 9 or 16 pieces. Then you have 30 seconds to put them where they are supposed to be. The player doesn’t have to put the pieces exactly to field, as long as the piece is placed near its field, it will automatically place into the field.

4. Looking at me

I’ll select some famous artworks and put them together on the screen. Their emotion and eye focus will change when the player moving their mouse. If it is possible, there will be a camera to detect people’s faces. All the figures in the artworks will look at the player.

5.Super fat cat

Interactive with fat cats on the screen.  Pressing the screen, and the direction that the cat looks at will change. The cat will behave differently while the players are pressing different body parts of its body. Players can also feed the cat, etc.

Linear & Non Linear Thinking

Personally, I think I am not an exact linear thinker. But it is true that linear thinking always appears in my daily life. People like to interpret things simply based on the evidence they got, without considering other factors that may also play a role. Linear thinking is usually straightforward and clear. In the subject of math or physics, things happen exactly as it should be, so linear thinking will be very useful. However, in other fields such as history or psychology, there is no absolute connection between one factor and one result. My middle and high school teachers always tell us to consider things from different aspects in order to avoid linear thinking.


Of course, computers are a linear thinker. Or in another word, they won’t consider factors outside the data we give to them. Hypertext is a representation of linear-thinking. Once you click the link, it will lead you directly into the page. It is useful and convenient, which doesn’t require a lot of thinking process to use. Even though we need non-linear thinking in our real life, we also need things that are clear and easy to use in our online world.


Although a link is linear-thinking, I don’t think the collection of URL is linear. If someone searches something on the internet, there will be millions of URL for him/her to choose. There will be also a lot of related information which may not exactly for the word he/she search. Search engines are not linear thinkers.

Cultural Evolution-xuemei yang

I think communication is a kind of interaction, then we have to use our five senses to contact with each other. Obviously, the way we use the most is speaking, which relates to listening. But we do have visual expressions that utilize pictures to convey visual messages. Different ways of communication systems cause different effects. For example, the meaning of words that people speak in daily life are usually direct. But the communication between views and artworks may be much more implicit. They leave great space for viewers to form their own interpretation. From my point of view, the thing that makes communication more powerful is emotion. For example, tone of speaking will help to establish the mood and more powerful. Or, take painting for another example, the choice of color or the brush strokes that convey painters’ emotion are also powerful. I think future communication will be more convenient, accurate and efficient. In the past, we can only send letters to communicate, and this may take several weeks. But now, we can call each other by just pressing a button. This shows the importance of convenience and efficiency. In the future, maybe we don’t even have to carry a phone, and people can communicate in a more efficient way.


On the other hand, communication is not limited to one-on-one. I think we have already done a lot by establishing platforms that allow thousands of people to communicate online. But I think with the development of technology, we can add more elements to this area that will make the online community tightly connected as our daily life.


It is obvious that our five senses help us to understand our world. Listening, touching, smelling, tasting and watching play extremely important roles in our interaction process with the world. People with disabilities of these five senses have to pay greater efforts to overcome the difficulties in life, for example Hellen Keller.


I think it is hard to figure out how do we use our emotions to think, but emotions do affect our ways of thinking. People who are angry, usually feel anxiety about their tasks. On the other hand, people who are joyful seems to have more patience while dealing with the works.


The easiest way to interactive with computer is to touch. And actually, we have already done this a lot. So, we are now thinking about ways that are even more convenient and efficient. There are science experiments that can verify that when we are thinking, the Electroencephalogram will wave in a more dramatic way, this shows that our thinking can be measured. And by relating this measurable data, I think computers can reach our brain. There are also a lot of appearance features that computer can identify. Computers can recognize people’s facial expression by identifying subtle details of people’s faces. For example, one’s eyes will open bigger when they are surprise, and people will frown when they feel sad. By organizing these kinds of details, a computer can accurately reach to people’s emotion.

electronic piano

I want to make a piano with only three keys, once I press the button(switch), there will be different voices.



Here is the coding part. I looked up some references and change some essential data to make it work. However, the forth key doesn’t work whatever I change the data…


I want to add some LED light, and let them light up while I am pressing the buttons. However only one of the LED lights up, and some of them even makes a short circuit. I try to figure out why the forth key doesn’t work, I think this was probably because the power is not enough, since I can make the forth sound by changing the data for the third button.


About moral decisions

I think moral is a concept based on individual values. Moral standards form differently due to reasons such as living environment, life experience or social community, etc. Some of the occasions are easy for us to make decisions. For example, whether to help/save someone if you have the ability and time to do that. But there are also occasions that every decision has their own advantages and disadvantages, which make us hard to choose. Personally, I might first consider my intuition. I may also think about my social relationships or other factors. It is always struggle to make decision between two or more equally important choices. However, the fact is that in many occasions, we can only choose one and give up others. How to select depends on what I really care about more. Moral standards are just a representation of personal value.


From my point of view, machines cannot make moral decisions. They are just tools that human invented to achieve higher efficiency of working. They have neither thoughts nor emotion, all it can do is to follow human’s instruction. May be in the future, machines can make easy decisions on moral problem, but I believe this is just because machines are obeying specific moral standards or rules that human conveys, rather than giving the result after thorough consideration.


In many ways, technology makes us easier to make decisions. We can use technology to get rid of the controversial occasions that we must give up one of the choice, and receive a better result.

response to story & interaction

Interaction requires viewers to participate and get involved with the project, but a story is just telling by the author, viewers can only receive information passively. They will be more interested in interaction because this will bring them the feeling of achievement (because their interactions are part of the work). Interaction also motivates viewers to explore more about the project by stimulating viewers’ curiosity. Obviously, interaction and story do intersect in many fields. For example, games. Gamers are interacting with objects that game gives them, and the game tells a story through settings and plots. They can get different results depending on their different choices, this is a special way of storytelling.


From my point of view, it is technology who produces these media forms. With the development of technology, people have more medias to present their ideas. For example, million years ago, people can only draw on stones, but now we have computer to achieve better effects.


I don’t think there is actual a universal machine. Firstly, human’s idea or opinions cannot be formed by machines. Secondly, people’s needs are unlimited. Functions of the machine have to change and increase in order to satisfy people’s newer needs.

Using Ag as switch

Metals are conductive. I pick argentum as my switch. The materials I use are two pieces of silver pendants that contain argentum in them.

Firstly, I build up a regular circuit.

(This is not a closed circuit because I have to add my switch into it)


Then I hang two silver pendants by wires. Using a tape to fix the wires and make sure the pendants are parallel to each other.


I use a hair drier to blow the pendants. They touch each other and then LED  lights up.


From my point of view, computer is a tool that can make our life more efficiency. Computer can store data, search and collect informations, reduce the cost of time and money by calculation in a faster speed, and entertainment, etc. Right now, computer has already been a thing that is necessary to people’s daily life.

Computers are lack of  the ability of self-development and emotions. Human can make progresses by hard working and collective efforts to achieve higher standard of technology, but computers can’t. In another word, computers lack of innovation ability. Emotions are subjective. Computers can only do things that are objective, they may analyze the huge data base but they cannot capture inspirations like human did.

I think a more ideal inclusive device should be easier to operate and carry. It does not need to charge, and it will never crash…