steven q zhang

Quantified Self research + talk


I spent a good portion of 2014-2015 recovering from three ultimate frisbee-induced concussions, and experimenting with how to decrease my resulting fatigue and migraines using the Quantified Self approach. I gave a talk about it at the Quantified Self global conference in 2015 .

Fulbright research year in China blogs and articles


I spent the 2012-2013 academic year doing environmental ethnography research in Hangzhou, China. Here's my personal blog . And here's my research blog. One of my research articles was published on The Atlantic.

Autonomous Sailboat

Spring 2012

As part of Olin's robotic sailing team, I worked on sensor signal processing and helped on mechanical fabrication of the hull. Checkout some pictures/videos of the boat here .

Redesign Amazon Kindle for environmental sustainability

Spring 2012

For our Sustainable Design class, Jason Curtis '12, Rebecca Leung '12 and I redesigned the e-book reading experience in the context of reducing environmental impact. We first sought to understand user's needs. We then measured and analyzed the Kindle's environmental impact . Using this information, we came up a redesign that minimized environmental impact while still meeting user needs.

Study Away in France

Spring 2011

I spent the semester studying at Ecole Polytechnique in Palaiseau, France (a suburb of Paris). Here is my blog documenting my studies and travels.

Computer Architecture using K'Nex

Fall 2010

Evan Morikawa '12 and I created a K'Nex differential AND gate . See our video and report . We were inspired by Olin alums Jeff DeCew and Matt Donahoe, who created this 4-bit adder/subtractor out of K'Nex.

Designing for Subway Musicians

Spring 2010

For our User Oriented Collaborative Design class, Chris Gallello '12, Jaime McCandless '12, Rose Zeller '12 and I studied subway musicians. After investigating their values and needs, we designed with the musicians to come up with a solution to address one of their biggest problems: finding a spot to play in. Here are two posters showing how our product addresses their needs and fits in their daily life . Finally, here is a picture of our product mockup.

A Collaborative Text Editor in Python

Spring 2010

For our Software Design class, Matt Huang '12, Jason Poon '12, Reyner Crosby '13, and I created PyPad, a real-time collaborative text and sketch editor in Python. Think Etherpad with drawing. Here is our final paper . Code is available on Github here .

Organizing conference

Spring 2010

I led multi-disciplinary team of five Babson, Olin, and Wellesley College students to organize the Grand Challenge Student Conference . One-day conference was attended by around 100 students from over 10 different schools. I also designed the website promoting the conference.

Mechanical prototyping/design

Fall 2009

In Mechanical Prototyping class, I, along with fellow teammates, designed and fabricated a sheet metal whale , a rapid prototyped seahorse , and a tractor-in-a-box .

Automated Humor using signals processing

Fall 2009

Our Signals and Systems final project allowed Connor Stokes, Tom Lamar '12 and I used speech analysis to create a humor automator . See our video demo to see what I mean.

Wiimote controlled robotic arm

Fall 2009

For our Principles of Engineering course, Zach Brass '12 and I created a robotic arm controlled by a WiiMote. Here's a video .

Music compositions

Fall 2008

As part of my music composition class, I composed several pieces, including a string quartet, a piano solo, and a brass duet.