Online Learning: The Challenge - Sebastian Thrun
I'm one of those happy guys who participated in the legendary 2011 Stanford MOOC, Introduction to Artificial Intelligence. That course made me (and thousands of students around the world) discover a whole different and revolutionary method of learning. I think today there is no question that Online Education works, but sometimes the question still comes up, is it enough to just learn online? I think it depends heavily on the subject, CS happens to be particularly well suited for self and online education. I did a little throwback today by watching this talk from Sebastian Thrun where he mentions how ...
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Why I dropped a MS in CS from Germany and turned to self-education
I went with a pretty high expectancy [1,2] to pursue a Master's degree in Computer Science at one of Germany's best Universities in Computer Science. Soon I found that the education wasn't at all as good as I had expected. The main reasons are unnecessary complexity or pretended knowledge and academic arrogance. I will briefly explain some of these points here without going into much detail. As you may have heard, German education prices itself by an inherent theoretical complexity. Initially, I was amazed by that apparently great and deep understanding the classroom material and professors brought to us. That was until ...
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How to learn the fundamentals of Computer Science
Over the years I've observed two bad things when it comes to computer science education. First, it simply is bad in general, with bad I mean badly structured and incomplete. Focusing on one thing but missing many other which are necessary to grasp the whole picture. In case the education is good, it still is mostly focused on a single area. I'm a holistic thinker “The more basic knowledge you have the less new knowledge you have to get.” - Charlie Munger I'm a holistic thinker which means I always like to understand the whole picture. I don't just want to ...
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Elon Musk at the World Government Summit 2017 in Dubai. Conversation with Mohammad AlGergawi
In one of his latest Interviews at the World Government Summit in Dubai, Elon Musk got asked the question of what his biggest challenge in life was. Elon took some seconds to rank and filter all his challenges and then responded: "One of the biggest challenges I think is making sure you have a corrective feedback loop, and then maintaining that corrective feedback loop over time even when people want to tell you exactly what you want to hear..." - Elon Musk Corrective feedback just means that something or someone tells us if/how/why we mess up, and if we are ...
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Thoughts on the implications of social rating
I just watched the episode 3.1 Nosedive of Black Mirror [Wikipedia]. I was impressed by the philosophical deepness of the TV show so far, but this episode impressed me in particular due to its relevance in our society. Nosedive shows a society which is obsessed with rating. A rating can be incredibly useful, whenever we check Google Maps for a nice place to go out, a movie on Netflix, a hotel, an online service, or product on Amazon, we tend to base our choice on the rating of other people. Every major service nowadays has a way for customers to leave their feedback. Feedback often ...
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"Don't be, or hire a specialist" ?
Some thoughts on this quote mentioned by Jonathan Rosenberg. Don't hire specialists, especially in high tech. Change is the only thing permanent. “I have no special talent just passionate curiosity.” ~ Einstein. I find this statement so funny because it is like a bitch-slap to modern education. Of course the way the world works right now depends on specialists! If you want to go work for the industry, most likely you will have to specialize (at least for now). But if you want to become an entrepreneur, the contrary might be true. In fact, a study found that 40% of ...
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Recently I moved my blog away from Medium to be able to customize it. Luckily, Medium allows its users to be the owners of their content, which is why it is possible to export the content in a collection of HTML files and one XML file. The only thing which stays on the medium servers are the images, though, which is not such a big problem normally as they display just fine within the post's themselves. Where the problem starts is when you use a plugin to extract the images, for a gallery or preview for example. On my blog, I ...
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These are my favorite SMART READING points. The basics
  • Have one or several reading rituals every day.
  • Be in a comfortable position.
  • Make sure to turn off distractions.
  • Use a highlighter.
Before starting to read
  • Set a goal before starting to read. “Why am I reading this book?”
  • Start by the table of contents.
  • Read what people say about the author to unlock you authority bias.
Remember
  • Do not forget to re-read the best books. Only by repetition will you make the knowledge instinctual.
  • Read books about a variety of important topics which will help you get a better ...
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Jeffrey Karpicke is a cognitive psychologist from Purdue University. His area of research looks at strategies for long-term learning and comprehension. He published several interesting studies [1,2] in which he questioned college students on how they would study for an exam. After they had read their notes or textbook one time, they had three options to choose how they were likely to prepare.
  1. Go back and study all or parts of the material
  2. Try to recall the material without restudying after
  3. Do something else
Only 18 percent of students would choose to recall information after reading it. 57 percent said ...
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Ever since I learned complex concepts, I noticed a trend. Whenever my grasp of the basics was solid, or I could relate the new information to already known concepts, my learning and retention were much better. It always imagined that the brain is a type of data grid where new concepts have to be linked to already present ones in order to be remembered. Perhaps that is not a perfect analogy but it does a good job to get an intuitive understanding of how we learn. This study shows that concepts should be introduced to students in a way that they ...
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After watching this, your brain will not be the same | Lara Boyd | TEDxVancouver
I’m one of those individuals who often are uncomfortable and bored in traditional educational settings. I always learned better and had more fun doing it, when reading a book. Except when I got a very enthusiastic teacher, perhaps that’s one reason why I like MOOC’s so much, they tend to be made by teachers who are highly passionate about education. Today I happened to watch some talks about learning and the brain.In this part of the video, Dr. Lara Boyd mentions that due to the difference in our brain structure, our optimal learning settings differ from each other, there is no ...
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The logarithmic learning curve, why its possible to be good at many things
I’m always getting a kick out of learning something entirely new. Perhaps that’s why I like to read about things outside of my expertise. Conceivably that preference of mine has something to do with the fact that we learn new skills in a logarithmic time curve as I learned in this TEDx talk. The logarithmic curve means that initially, we get better very fast when we learn a new skill, and then our improvement slows down gradually like observed in the graph below. Another side effect of getting better at a task it that we take less and less time in ...
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Optimize your learning — advanced learning tips by Jim Kwik“Knowledge is only potential power; it becomes power when we act on it.”I made a short summary of Jim Kwik’s best tips about boosting brainpower and optimize learning.The most important points can be remembered easily by the acronym FAST. Fast stands for:F ForgetA ActiveS StateT TeachNow let’s go into the details about every state.Be present!Be an active learner
  • Ask questions! (how am I going to use this, apply this, teach this to others) Put comments etc.
Don’t outsource your brain ...
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