Articles tagués education

A bold experiment in distributed education

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A bold experiment in distributed education, « Introduction to Artificial Intelligence » will be offered free and online to students worldwide during the fall of 2011. The course will include feedback on progress and a statement of accomplishment. Taught by Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig, the curriculum draws from that used in Stanford’s introductory Artificial Intelligence course. The instructors will offer similar materials, assignments, and exams.


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A bold experiment in distributed education, « Machine Learning » will be offered free and online to students worldwide during the fall of 2011. Students will have access to lecture videos, lecture notes, receive regular feedback on progress, and receive answers to questions. When you successfully complete the class, you will also receive a statement of accomplishment. Taught by Professor Andrew Ng, the curriculum draws from Stanford’s popular Machine Learning course.


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A bold experiment in distributed education, « Introduction to Databases » will be offered free and online to students worldwide during the fall of 2011. Students will have access to lecture videos, receive regular feedback on progress, and receive answers to questions. When you successfully complete this class, you will also receive a statement of accomplishment. Taught by Professor Jennifer Widom, the curriculum draws from Stanford’s popular Introduction to Databases course.

Via @dvalin33

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Improving Science Education and Understanding through Editing Wikipedia

Improving Science Education and Understanding through Editing Wikipedia

Cheryl L. Moy, Jonas R. Locke, Brian P. Coppola and Anne J. McNeil

J. Chem. Educ., Article ASAP doi: 10.1021/ed100367v10.1021/ed100367v


Well, one lesson that should be learned is that the authors could provide a version link to their final result! But anyway, the very same result could be achieved without sing Wikipedia, any wiki could be used to do the work and any blog would be a better support. Particularly if advertised by science bloggers.

I got the info about this paper through Hank Campbell blogpost titled « Can Wikipedia Be Fixed?« . You should go and read it, his experience with Wikipedia’s moderation system is quite informative.

I experienced directly shear stupidity with Wikipedia’s moderation system and I repeat it one more time here: if you see any conribution from me in the future, either my account was hacked or you may suspect I’m suffering Alzheimer.

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mémétique – notes #4

Je suis biologiste et j’ai une nette tendance à ranger tout ce qui relève du vivant dans l’ensemble biologie, sans prétendre que ça fait de moi quelqu’un de compétent pour en discuter à fond pour autant, conscient que je suis de la diversité du domaine. Ceci, combiné avec le fait que ça fait longtemps que j’ai abandonné l’anthropocentrisme aussi bien en ce qui concerne le discours scientifique que mes positionnements philosophiques, fait que je vois les sciences humaines comme un sous-ensemble de la biologie, que je rangerais volontiers sous la rubrique éthologie. Et pour ne pas vexer de façon spécifique, j’ajoute que je pense la biologie comme un sous-ensemble de la physique au sens premier du terme.

Ceci étant mis à plat, je reviens vers les mèmes. Des ensembles d’information donc (par définition), qui correspondent à une fonction (restriction que j’impose pour limiter ma réflexion à un type de mèmes identifiables relativement aisément), qui peuvent changer (évoluer) et s’adapter à divers environnements en conservant leur fonction, qui rentrent en compétition pour l’occupation du terrain.

Par définition également, la réplication/propagation des mèmes se fait par imitation et mème en tire son nom.

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Opening minds by Sue Blackmore

Via Richard Dawkins Net

Sue Blackmore have a somehow weird point of view published at the Guardian. It’s not that I disagreed with opening minds of children via education, but I think evidence is the better way to consolidate understanding. It must come immediately after explaining whatever you try to educate a child to, and should help him to accept the explanation the teacher provided.

If a teacher don’t provide evidence supporting whatever lesson he is teaching, he is not reaching for acceptance, but for belief. And that doesn’t make him better then a mere religious teacher and there is a possibility for the kid to equate science and religion and that would be the worst possible lesson to learn: then he can go lazy and bring the « God Did It » explanation (or that this is just some preexisting platonic Form which was waiting to be revealed) for whatever lays in front of him, thinking that this is good science.

Theory and supporting evidence must come together.

[addendum] There is another problem in the text, secondary, but worth to pinpoint.

Once you get it that’s that! How can you go on believing that God created humans in his own image when you can see, because you really understand the principle, that nature’s cruel and wasteful selective process can create all that design without him?

(emphasis mine)

Cruel? Wasteful? Cruel implies that somebody, some conscious process defined morality. Wasteful that somebody defined economy.

On the other hand, it is not the understanding of how a process works that raise incredulity about the existence of an agent supposed to make it work. It’s absence of evidence of the existence of the said agent which preclude credulity, otherwise than through an irrational belief.

I think that Ken Miller is dead right wen he claims that God could use evolution as the process to produce and evolve life. I defended him on this point, because I know of a few intelligent agents doing so in the lab, either to produce a protein from scratch of to change more or less its characteristics. What lacks from Miller’s interpretation of the world is the evidence supporting the claim that the process was built and is supervised by God, and the evidence that his God exists. Miller chosen the a priori of the existence of God, a mere belief, and superpose it to his understanding of data, believing that there is purpose in the world and that this is enough evidence for the existence of the God of the Roman Catholic Church who created the universe.

Who could claim that Miller don’t understand biological evolution? He demonstrated several times that he do, and done so clearly. But still, he needs his beliefs to the supernatural. He is a well known example of understanding science and still hold irrational beliefs.[/addendum]

Sue, on this one either you lost a step or two, or you didn’t made yourself clear.

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Universities for children expand ac… – Research – European Commission

Universities for children expand across Europe – Research – European Commission: « Children’s universities are the latest innovation occurring in some countries of Europe. Aimed at young girls and boys, this concept gets young children interested in science and research at the earliest age possible. Now, this exciting concept is about to launch itself across Europe. » [Continue reading]

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