Fake Smiles :D

Empathy is something like being able to put oneself into another person’s shoes. It’s something like what profilers do. Thinking what the criminals are going to do next. What are the criminals thinking now?

I did two tests that Daniel Pink suggested: Empathy Quotient and Spot the Fake Smile. For the Empathy Quotient test, I received a score of thirty one. I scored ten points lower than average scores of men. However, I hear from many people that I am good at reading people’s faces and/or emotions. I also think that I am good at being in another person’s shoes. The low score, I think, came from the social related questions. Although I am good at empathizing, I am not a very social person. While I was thinking about the score and reading the chapter, I thought of a question. Would people with siblings be better at empathizing? I ask this question because whenever I got into a fight with my sister, my mom would tell me to get into my sister’s shoes and feel what she’s feeling.

For the second test, Spot the Fake Smile, I scored sixteen out of twenty. It was lower than what I expected but I think it was a decent score. At one point, while I was taking the test, I thought, “Some of these people must be really good at acting to look like they are smiling for real!” This is a “duh” statement, but it made me difficult to see if the person was smiling for real or not.

I really think empathy is a key component in business. Whenever a product or an invention is created, the designers of the product (or inventors) have to get into the lives of the consumers. Why do they need this? How will they use it? Will they use it? What would it do for them? Will they like the appearance of the product? I believe that good products/invention are ones that change every aspect of a person’s life. For example, the pencil we use is a great invention/design. Although we take it for granted, the idea of attaching eraser to the top of the pencil revolutionized the pencil industry and people who use pencil. When we say number two pencil, we automatically think of the yellow pencil with a pink eraser on top. The design of the pencil is embedded in our brain, our lives. Same with cell phones for people today. Twenty years ago, people didn’t feel the need to have a cell phone. Probably because the design of the cell phones back then were big and ugly. However, cell phones became aesthetically pleasing, light, and multi-functional. Now, almost everyone needs and wants cell phones. It became part of our lives. We communicate with it, we listen to music with it, we take pictures with it, and we wake up with it. It’s these products/inventions that become a part of life that become successful. To create such “thing”, designers, inventors, and engineers have to empathize and live the consumers life with the “thing” that they are making.


2 Cases

I did the 20-10 exercise from the “Meaning” chapter of the book.

Case 1. If I had $20 million

If I had $20 million, I would still do what I’m doing right now. I would compare this situation to summer vacation. During summer vacation, especially during childhood when there is no access to a car for transportation except your parents, people run out of things to do. Eventually, even the students who hated school wants to go back to school or do “work.” People have to do work. I could go off and use the $20 million and travel, eat, buy objects, and do things. First, using money is really easy. Like the Korean saying, using money can be like using water. Although, $20 million can seem like large amount of money, I would probably be able to use it really quickly. Second, I like what I’m doing. I am not at all saying that I like homework or tests. What I am saying is that I like exploring things. I like working hard. It is those little accomplishments that make me happy. Daniel Pink suggests that people are motivated by one’s meaning of life. The way I view meaning of life is the small moments of happiness that people get from everyday events. This is why I think that even if I had $20 million, I would still do what I’m doing right now. The large sum of money will allow me to use my time more interestingly, but it would not change what I would do for the rest of my life.

Case 2. If I had at most 10 years to live

For this case, I would still do what I’m doing right now. However, I will push myself to work harder to accomplish something. The fact that I only have ten years to live will be my motivation. I will be more desperate to be better than myself from yesterday. In addition, I will try to leave something for the people I care about, something that will help them. I will try to be more social. I think I will be a happier person up until I am about to die because every moment will be special and important.


For my Story activity, I decided to write mini sagas. I wrote two.

These are nightmares that I had when I was younger.



White Place

The girl could see herself in the place. The place was white. There was no one else but her. She did not know how she got in there. The floor started to roll. She ran from it. She could see herself running away. The roll became bigger. She kept running.


I went to my dentist for my daily checkup. He told me that my teeth were fine. My mom and I walked out of the dentist. Everywhere was dark. I looked down at my clock. It was twelve at noon. I looked closer at the stair railing. They were cockroaches.

My Plan

For my homework, I decided to organize what I have to do and brainstorm about what my final product would look like.

Here is what I organized. I made it so that I would see how much time I have for the assignment. This is something like project management for myself.


I was also thinking of what I should have for as the final product of this assignment.

Here is a list.

1. Big, detailed poster.

2. Interactive presentation of my feature plans and interviews I’ve done (clicks, pictures, flash media maybe??)

3. Booklet(?)

4. Slide shows


I’m currently leaning towards making an interactive presentation with flash. I might include audios I get from people I interview(with their permission).

Influential People

Mechanical engineering is defined as “a branch of engineering concerned primarily with the industrial application of mechanics and with the production of tools, machinery, and their products“(Merriam-Webster dictionary). Mechanical engineering is a very versatile and it can branch out into many different fields such as aerospace, biomedical devices, robotics, and more.


Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton made significant contributions to many fields of science, especially physics. Throughout the course of his life he wrote many books and developed theories and laws that influence our lives today.

In 1692 he wrote the book Opticks, which talked about how white light is a mixture of colors (spectrums), mathematical patterns in phenomenon of colors, and other important findings. In mathematics, as we all know, he developed the differential and integral calculus. In physics, he wrote series of books called Principia. The first book talks about the foundation of mechanics (three laws of motion, orbits, and centers of motion). The second book and third book were about theory of fluid and law of gravitation at work.

He is everywhere in Georgia Tech: physics classes, calculus classes, chemistry classes, and more. I am currently taking statics course (analysis of loads on bodies in static equilibrium) and if Newton had not come up with the three laws of motion this class wouldn’t even exist!


Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein is another person who made significant contributions to science. Over the course of his life, he published over 300 scientific works.

In 1921, Einstein received Nobel Prize for his discover of the law of the photoelectric effect which explains the interactions of light-matter interaction and also the wave-particle duality. Einstein is most known for his theory of relativity which includes the famous formula E=mc^2. The theory of relativity connected mechanics with electromagnetism. Einstein also extended his principle of relativity to non-uniform motion and provided new theory of gravitation.

One of the fields that mechanical engineering stretches to is nanotechnology. As the size of the things that we work with decreases, the physics of those “things” changes. This concept is related with the quantum physics and Einstein made significance contributions to this field of physics.


Henry Ford

As stated before, mechanical engineering is defined as “a branch of engineering concerned primarily with the industrial application of mechanics and with the production of tools, machinery, and their products.” In this aspect, the development of automobile is some-what a start of mechanical engineering. After automobiles, it was planes, then rockets, and so on.

Henry Ford was not responsible for the creation of the first automobile, but he was responsible for popularizing the gas-powered automobile and the assembly line for manufacturing automobiles. Ford was an engineer with the Edison Illuminating Company. Here, he was able to have enough time and money to experiment with internal combustion engines. Through these experiments he was able to crate the Quadricycle. He then established the Ford Motor Company which was incorporated in 1903. His famous automobile Model T was produced in 1908. In the factories, Ford combined precision manufacturing, standardized and interchangeable parts, and a division of labor and formed an assembly line.

Henry Ford, in a way, started the concept of affordable, efficient, and durable cars. Also, with the concept of standardized and interchangeable parts and assembly line, Henry Ford allowed people to develop machines that will replace human labor with machines that are more efficient.



6 A.M.

I chose my major based on what I enjoy doing and good at. I was always good in math since I was young and I liked and was good at physics in high school. Since mechanical engineering was heavily based on these two subjects, I chose mechanical engineering. I also liked making things so I thought engineering was a better choice than just majoring in physics or math.

I still don’t know if this is really the thing I want to do for rest of my life. I want to explore more of what I can do. I recently read a book that compared a person’s life (80years as life expectancy) to a 24 hour day. Currently my life clock is at 6 a.m. in the morning. Average person at this time is either sleeping and dreaming or getting ready for their day trying on different clothes or washing up. I still want to dream or try different things on myself.

Anyways, my current goal is to find a job that needs me. If a person feels that he or she belongs to somewhere or needed somewhere, he or she performs better and enjoys their work. I want to have this type of job. I still don’t know what I am really good at. I am still in the process of exploring my talents and my passion. I am still in search for my professional aspiration. But for now, my goal is to become a mechanical engineer and do what I am good at doing, physics and math, and make things that would make people’s lives easier or improved.


What’s Your Food??

Here is our final Video ! 😀

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