My High School (IB Diploma Programme) Papers

First, a disclaimer that this is not going to be a blog post in the conventional sense.

Looking back, I discovered a handful of papers I wrote back in high school, as part of my IB Diploma Programme coursework. I was (and still am) very proud of these papers, although they’re admittedly not as rigorous as actual academic research. Still, all of them did receive full scores by moderators, for what that’s worth.

I was particularly proud of my Extended Essay and Math IA at the time because writing them involved learning robotics concepts (homogenous coordinates, Denavit-Hartenberg parameters, forward & inverse kinematics) from actual research papers which was truly going above and beyond expectations at the high school level.

Since I don’t want my essays to simply rot away on my hard drive, I decided to archive them here online. Check them out if you’d like!

And as a note to any other IB kids, I was in the IB May 2017 cohort.

Extended Essay (Physics)

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“To what extent does the number of degrees of freedom in an articulated robot manipulator influence the payload, repeatability and work envelope?”

Word Count: 3897

Here I model how different parameters of articulated robots are affected by changing the DOF. I calculate payload capacities based on torque, repeatabilities with a simple RMS error calculation, and I compute work envelopes numerically using a MATLAB script I wrote. I attempt to fuse all these findings to find the ‘optimal’ number of DOF to balance the trade-offs – my techniques are not extremely rigorous, but I think it shows an interesting perspective.

Math IA Essay

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“Modelling the Inverse Kinematics of a 6 DOF Articulated Robot”

Here I analytically calculate inverse kinematics for a 6 DOF robot using homogenous coordinates and by decoupling the triple-roll wrist. This is essentially my replication and re-derivation of a commonly shown result in the robotics literature.

Chemistry IA Essay

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“Modelling Vapor Pressure of Molecules with Intermolecular Forces – How does the polarizability and dipole moment of a primary straight-chained molecule affect its vapor pressure?”

Here I try to numerically fit a simple model to predict the vapor pressure of most straight-chained organic molecules based on measures of the three major intermolecular forces.

Physics IA Essay

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“Investigating a Large Amplitude Pendulum – How does the amplitude of a pendulum’s oscillation affect its period?”

Here I derive a more accurate model of a pendulum’s oscillation period, by foregoing the assumption that it is isochronous. I verify this model with experimental results.

Theory of Knowledge (TOK) Essay

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“Prescribed Title 2: “Facts are needed to establish theories but theories are needed to make sense of facts.” Discuss this statement with reference to two areas of knowledge.”

Here I reflect on and argue a point about a philosophical question regarding knowledge.