To Notice and to Learn

Observations on ideas, human mind, and the world around us


MOOC Discussions at SXSW edu 2014

I spent this week at SXSWedu, my first time. It was exciting and quite inspiring. The conference is huge, so much so that if you talked with someone, there’s no guarantee you will run into them again the rest of the 4-day conference. There is an interesting mix of academic researchers, policy folks, nonprofits, ed tech entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and foundations. They all have different perspectives on education (which often, […]

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Where intuition falls short–example: The discipline of finance

One of the recent trends I’ve seen in business over the past decade is an increasing reliance on “data”. You hear people talking about basing decisions on data, ‘crunching the numbers’, doing A/B testing, etc. This doesn’t guarantee being free from bias (indeed, flimsy rationalizations often cite ‘data’), but this is better than thinking that relying on our gut instincts is the best way to go. We’ve learned enough from […]

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Interview about new MOOC: Intro to Recommender Systems

Here is an excerpt from an interview I conducted with Professor Joseph Konstan on his upcoming MOOC about recommendation engines/systems, which has more than 20,000 people signed up.  It starts today, is free & open to anyone online, and is also the source of lectures for his semester-long on-campus class at the University of Minnesota.  He’s an early pioneer in this space, and the class should be highly informative.  People […]

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