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Pegasus Voice | Philosophy Boy Accepted by the Pioneer Project! 23% Admission Rate and Only 3 in Shandong!

        Release Time:2022-03-07 09:32

Leo Grade 11
Leo was admitted to the online research program for high school students with exclusive credit qualification of the TOP 30 top universities in the United States. According to Pioneer's official report, in the summer of 2021, a total of 703 students were  accepted worldwide, with an acceptance rate of only 23%.
01 Leo has been accepted by Pioneer Research Program, the only online research program with global influence
My name is Leo, I came to PCS from a Qingdao public school in grade 9, and I am currently in grade 11.
Admitted to the Pioneer Research Program
I am so happy that I have been admitted to Pioneer's International Research Program in December this year. My research direction is Combinatorial Game Theory (Mathematics). My program advisor is Thomas Morley. He is a mathematics PhD at Carnegie Mellon University, and applied mathematician and emeritus full professor at Georgia Tech.
About Pioneer Research Program
Tips: Pioneer, with full name as Academic Global Research Program, founded in 2012 and affiliated to the American higher education system, is currently the only well recognized long-distance online research project in the world, and the only online dissertation research project qualified to issue credits recognized by top US universities. Pioneer's accreditation is a guarantee of the authenticity and rigor of academic standards, and is trusted and recognized by top universities.
The only online research program for high school students qualified for credit for the TOP 30 universities in the United States
The only online research program to include 28 subjects including technology, social sciences and humanities
The only online research program affiliated with the U.S. higher education system
The only online research project with global influence
Credits are recognized by top universities in the United States
Every year, Pioneer selects elites from middle schools around the world, accepts the guidance of top American university professors online, and conducts 1-1 interaction with experts to research and write their own research papers, and finally students complete university-level research papers, professors recommendation letters and academic certification letters are also issued to students. Pioneer insists that the ratio of professors and students should not exceed 1:5, which is a high-selection project.

It’s not easy to apply for Pioneer
The acceptance rate of Pioneer is only about 23%. It will go through a series of strict selection processes such as initial review, interview, impromptu writing, re-interview, and comprehensive review. Therefore, it’s said that applying for the Pioneer program is like a "small" university application. In fact, it is true. You need to provide the admissions officer with the GPA score, as well as the AP scores, TOEFL, and even SAT scores that you have taken, activities and growth experiences, and recommendation letters from the college counselor.
First of all, the GPA score must reach the TOP level, otherwise you will fail in the preliminary review. Secondly, TOEFL is also one of the standards for measuring English ability. In Pioneer's 1.5 - hour interview and impromptu writing session, it will really collapse. In addition, it is the presentation of your personal interests and majors in the essay. When Pioneer decides your research direction, just like a university application, you need to be understood deeply, which requires you to have enough motivation in the direction you choose and sufficient professional knowledge to base.
How to achieve "balance" between academic and research projects?
The Pioneer program lasts from February to July. Although I am currently in the busy stage of grade 11, I think I can plan my time reasonably. First of all, in terms of academics, I insist on classroom knowledge, solve problems in class, and control the time node of each subject, so that I can have sufficient time for scientific research and projects of my interest.
02 Participate in competitions and run school clubs , Strength from teachers and students
Yes, I have participated in some competitions in these three years, such as USAD in 9th grade, USACO in 10th and 11th grade, GMTK Game Jam 48-hour game development competition. During these processes, I truly realized the power of cooperation. Teachers and classmates helped and encouraged each other, with laughter and hardships.
For example, when I was in grade 9, Sam, Mace, Lucy and I bought instant noodles every day. After school, we ate a bowl of instant noodles, and then started to work (sometimes I was so busy that I couldn’t eat dinner). I remember one evening with Sam at midnight and we were still discussing online, and the instructor couldn't watch it anymore :) He forced us to take a rest.
There is also the GMTK Game Jam game development competition that Sam and I participated in. It is not easy to make a game within 48 hours. Because of the time difference, we started work at 3am and worked hard for 48 hours. During the period, the school gave us permission for working at night, and my mother even brought us meals. For 48 hours, Sam and I took turns taking naps. When we succeeded, I felt nothing but joy and success.
About “ON gaming studio”
"ON gaming studio" is not so much a school club, but it is essentially a studio. The school granted us a working classroom, we trained staff (classmates) in the club, and then we sent the trained staff  to the studio to work (paid), my mother encouraged us to operate the knowledge of economics and operate our studio like a company, hoping that our studio can continue to develop in the school for a long time.
Regarding the staff in charge of game products, scripts, digital art and programs, the script staff is responsible for making our games have a soul, the digital art staff is responsible for making the game scenes richer, and the programmers make these scenes express through lines of code. All in all, game development is a process with a very long timeline. The first 2D pixel game we have been making is still in the process of continuous polishing, and we will continue to improve it later.
At present, "ON gaming studio" has continued to grow and develop. As the co-founder, I have begun to focus on the coding part. Human resources, marketing, art, and script design are all charged by specialists. There are so many things that need to be painted as game design is in the art aspect. I will also advertise here, hoping that more students who are good at art will join us.
(For "ON gaming studio", you can refer to the previous content: Pegasus Voice | “Technology Light”: High school students develop their own games? World competition is favored? Members still have salaries?)
03 How the philosophy boy entered the world of philosophy , View "critical thinking"
I am very keen on reading, and my interest to philosophy was actually influenced by Wonderful Everyday. After that, I consciously searched for relevant books to read. And I am currently reading The Outsider by Camus, Thus Said Zarathustra by Nietzsche, Critique of Existential Reason by Kant and Treatise on Logic and Philosophy by Wittgenstein.
The plot in The Outsider has something in common with some literary works I have read, and it is more inclined to the category of literary works than philosophical speculation, so it is easier to understand, and Thus Says Zarathustra is more like a philosophy textbook written from quotations, Critique of Pure Reason and On the Philosophy of Logic are more obscure than Thus Spoke Zarathustra, I am trying very hard now to understand them.
I recommend Sophie's World as an introductory philosophy book. This book describes a little girl named Sophie who received a mysterious letter one day and started an exchange of philosophical issues. The book introduces the major schools of philosophy and ideas to readers from ancient times to the present. This book is actually a birthday gift from the author who is a philosopher to his daughter. At the end of the book, Sophie receives a mysterious letter, questioning whether the world that Sophie lives in or the world we live in is  the real world or not.
Philosophy and Game
In addition, in terms of games, I recommend a game called Stanley's Fables. There is a special term in the game field to define it - "meta game". The traditional games we know are defined by game designers, which is called "magic circle". Players control game characters outside the circle and perform various tasks in the circle, but "meta game" breaks this rule. "Circle" is a collection of rules established by game designers.  For example, only the characters in the game can perform "magic", just like you can't use the knowledge you learned in English class to solve math problems.
What the Stanley Parable questions is exactly "is the game playing you or you are playing the game". Some of the popular games are actually social tools under the guise of games. They use people's desire to constantly compete to promote players to gain an advantage by constantly buying equipment. We all know that most games have an "achievement system", that is, after players achieve certain goals, they will get corresponding rewards, prompting you to continue playing.
But Stanley's Fables has designed some very ingenious channels to guide players to question the so-called "achievement system". One of the achievements is particularly interesting: the narration will guide you to do something, similar to if you go to 430 and knock on the door twice, go to 502 and knock 20 times, go to 3206 and knock 50 times, then use the printer to print out the documents to the boss, then shred them and throw them in the wastebasket... After completing these "boring" tasks, you will get an achievement in the applause deliberately played by the narrator. You have completed the feat and achieved an achievement, but what is the meaning of this achievement itself?
What is real “critical thinking”?
I think real critical thinking should be a mode of thinking that recognizes the two sides of things, that is, things have a good side and a bad side, and produces constructive opinions. Today's so-called "criticism" is more about ignoring logic for a certain purpose and resorting to morality to criticize, which is more like "moral kidnapping".
For example, a public person donated RMB 50 million to an earthquake-stricken area, and people gave him a thumb up. In the second year, he only donated RMB 30 million for some reason, then he was criticized by public for being immoral according to their own standards. This is moral kidnapping, not criticism.
I think critical thinking is like this: first of all, abandon the stereotypes of things, and to observe from the perspectives of both the involved party as well as bystander at the same time, then establish your own point of view, and do not follow other’s opinion randomly. In other words, before establishing our own opinions, we must take the initiative to conduct comprehensive observation and rational thinking, and try not to let the material basis influence our judgment, as I like a sentence in The Great Gatsby very much: "Whenever you want to criticize others, you have to remember that not all people in this world have the advantages that you have."
04 The change that PCS brought to me , Advice for classmates
Plan your time early!
In terms of time planning, I don’t think I am very efficient in time, but I just do what I need to do in advance. For example, I will preview the subject knowledge in the winter and summer vacations and prepare for the TOEFL as soon as possible, so that my studies and hobbies can be paralleled, which can also help us to apply for the summer school and research program at Grade 10 and Grade 11. It is suggested that we can try to plan in a longer time span.
PCS gave me a new perspective and freedom
The biggest gain that PCS gave me is a brand new perspective and degree of freedom. Our school's educational philosophy is "to stimulate the potential of every child", which is basically impossible in public schools because of the heavy and repetitive coursework, in which we have no time to think about ourselves, let alone stimulate our potential.
But PCS is different. It encourages us to do time plan to have enough time to think, do our own thing, try what we like, and arrange the schoolwork that is more colorful. For example, we can study computer courses which belong to college curriculum in grade 10, we can study economics and sociology in grade 11, which equips us with enough knowledge background so that we can know where our potential lies.
Words to my classmates
First of all, do a good preparation for the courses, and you will find that the efficiency of listening in class will have a qualitative leap. Secondly, the standardized preparation needs to be planned in a long time span, and the accumulation of English learning requires a process. In addition, read a lot and acquire knowledge as widely as possible, but no matter what, take the initiative to do it instead of waiting for others to feed you.