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Education general, but also with covid

#61 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-21, 11:22

From Tyler Cowen's conversation with Michael Kremer:

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COWEN: Let’s say the current Michael Kremer sets up another high school in Kenya. What is it that you would do that the current high schools in Kenya are not doing? What would you change? You’re in charge.

KREMER: Right. We’ve learned a lot in education research in recent years. One thing that we saw in Kenya, but was also seen in India and many other places, is that it’s very easy for kids to fall behind the curriculum. Curricula, in particular in developing countries, tend to be set at a fairly high level, similar to what you would see in developed countries.

However, kids are facing all sorts of disadvantages, and there are all sorts of problems in the way the system works. There’s often high teacher absence. Kids are sick. Kids don’t have the preparation at home, often. So kids can fall behind the curriculum.

Whereas we’ve had the slogan in the US, “No Child Left Behind,” in developing countries, education system is focused on kids at the top of the distribution. What’s been found is, if you can set up — and there are a whole variety of different ways to do this — either remedial education systems or some technology-aided systems that are adaptive, that go to where the kid is . . . I’ve seen huge gains from this in India, and we’re starting to see adoption of this in Africa as well, and that can have a very big impact at quite low cost.

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Michael Kremer is best known for his academic work researching global poverty, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2019 along with Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee. Less known is that he is also the founder of five non-profits and in the process of creating a sixth. And Kremer doesn’t see anything unusual about embodying the dual archetypes of economist and founder. “I think there’s a lot of relationship between the experimental method and the things that are needed to help found organizations,” he explains.

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#62 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-November-25, 08:23

David Lipomi and Tyler Cowen discuss aspects of remote learning in covid times that will stay with us after on-site learning returns: https://youtu.be/cFcvzbJKWgw?t=1931 (starting at 32:11)
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#63 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-May-05, 03:32

Elsewhere, there was a discussion about maths training and Bayes theorem.
I referenced a site that ranked countries according to success in a standardised maths test.
Here is a graph that compares rank in maths (Y-axis) against the number of Bridge players per 1,000,000 of population.
Turns out there is quite a decent relationship!
http://bit.ly/MathEdBridge


For added fun, here is a Geo Heat map of where Bridge is most popular/1,000,000 of population.
The data was taken from the WBF.
https://bit.ly/BridgePopularity

Obviously, the data from the WBF could underestimate some countries that do not pay subs for their full WBF membership - I note that Russia has exactly 1000 members - which suggests that the numbers are not completely reliable.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#64 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2021-May-08, 09:37

I refuse to take seriously a graph that pluralizes "math". :)

#65 User is online   hrothgar 

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Posted 2021-May-08, 10:28

FWIW, I heard back from my nephew about Bayes theorem.

He did encounter it during his high school curriculum, but not until his multivariate calculus class (I have no idea why it showed up here).

For the sake of reference, he went to one of the top public high schools in New Jersey and will be attending Princeton next year. So, my guess is that most high school students in the US never receive any formal instruction on this topic.
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#66 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2021-May-08, 10:35

View Posthrothgar, on 2021-May-08, 10:28, said:

He did encounter it during his high school curriculum, but not until his multivariate calculus class (I have no idea why it showed up here).

When I was in high school (late 70's), my guess is that less than half the students took any calculus at all. And this was in an upper middle class school district.

#67 User is online   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-May-08, 11:29

View Postbarmar, on 2021-May-08, 10:35, said:

When I was in high school (late 70's), my guess is that less than half the students took any calculus at all. And this was in an upper middle class school district.


I can't resist using this to illustrate just how much things have changed.

Brad Efron and I grew up in St. Paul, both finishing high school in 1956. We were not close but we both belonged to a teen-age discussion group (The Philosophers) and he was at my house a couple of times. He went to Central HIgh, the best public high school in St. Paul, I went to Monroe, which was, well, not the best. By my senior year, most of my friends went to Central. Greg (another Central friend, we still see each other) and I were talking about Brad and he told me that the math teacher (a trig course) brought in a calculus book, handed it to Brad, and said, here, read this, you are finding trig too easy.
I knew of no other high school senior anywhere who was involved with calculus. Greg and I had taken a non-calculus based physics course at the University of Minnesota the summer before (his parents paid for his enrollment, I asked the prof to sit in for free, permission granted). Greg, I, and others attended a free lecture series at the U of M, given by Paul Rosenbloom on Saturdays. But none of us knew any high school kid, except Brad, that was studying calculus.

What a difference, then and now.

It's great that kids are taking calculus now, or I suppose it is. I enjoyed working on cars, my car and cars that my friends owned, if I had to pick I think I would stick with the cars. But it would be nice to do both.

One problem that really bugs me. In the 50's, Monroe and Central were not all that much different. Central was better, a fair amount better, but today the gap between the good public high schools and those that are not so good is a chasm.

My apologies to Brad for telling this story w/o asking if it is ok to do so. Seems harmless enougjh.
Ken
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#68 User is online   hrothgar 

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Posted 2021-May-08, 15:32

So, here's MY Brad Efron story

Back when I was working at The MathWorks, I wrote up an amusing little app that I called "FitIt".

It used cross validation to select the optimal span for a smoothing spline and then used a bootstrap to generate confidence bounds. (Cleve Moler - one of the company's founders) was doing a walk about and really liked the application. he stopped to talk to me and asked me how I figured this all out. I explained that I had been reading a book called "An Introduction to the Bootstrap" by Brad Efron and it contained a very similar use case. The only thing that I had done was re-implement this all using MATLAB, added in GUI, and included an object to store the results of the fitting operation so folks could use it for interpolation.

Cleve gave a chuckle and said that Brad had been his roommate back in the day and that he knew the book and the example quie well. (He just wanted to see if I was dumb enough to try to claim credit for someone else's work)
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