Friday Hacks #103, Nov 06

Posted on by Chu-Ming

This week, we’re focusing on education. Learn about the science of the mind and bring all your questions from engineering to machine learning to the director of engineering at Coursera.

Date/Time: Friday, Nov 06 at 6:30pm
Venue: Seminar Room 3, Town Plaza, University Town
Free pizza is served before the talks.

Facebook Event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/180677585609461/

As usual, pizza will be served before the talks. Hope to see you there!

Topic 1: Science of the mind The science of the mind has undergone a paradigm shift in the past 25 years. One measure of this shift is the number of scientific papers containing the terms “cognitive neuroscience” or “behavioral economics”: in 1990 there were 428 such papers; last year there were more than 20,000. This increase is partly a consequence of an array of new technologies: from single-neuron recording in humans to gene expression mapping to agent-based computational modeling. But the main driver of this increase is a fundamentally new way of viewing human behavior and decision-making. This new approach is mathematical at its core: viewing the brain as an organ whose evolved purpose is to process information and perform computations.

In this talk I’ll give a brief account of the concepts and discoveries at the heart this new view of the mind. I’ll then talk about some of our most recent research: rethinking education from first principles. Our effort started when we asked the question: “What would education look like if it were invented today, taking into account the latest discoveries in the science of the mind?” Our most recent results involve measuring ways in which students apply focused effort both inside and outside the classroom, the relationship between focused effort and learning, and factors that reliably increase both.

Speaker Profile: Shaun Martin is co-founder of Applied Cognitive Science, a company that applies cognitive science, behavioral economics and mathematical modeling to the real world. He has a doctorate in mathematics from Oxford University, and previously held lecturing and research positions at MIT and at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton.

Topic 2: Q&A with director of engineering at Coursera Jiquan Ngiam will talking about engineering at Coursera. How things got started, how we work in engineering, and the challenges we have. It will be an interactive session, bring all your questions from engineering to machine learning to education.

Speaker Profile: Jiquan Ngiam was on the founding team of Coursera, an education technology platform that partners with top universities to offer courses online. He currently leads the engineering team, overseeing product, infrastructure, and mobile development. He is invested in creating a future where education is scalable, personalized, and universally accessible. Prior to Coursera, he was pursuing a Ph.D. in Computer Science at Stanford where he co-created online machine learning class that was the genesis of Coursera.

Supported by:

NUS Enterprise

The HANGAR by NUS Enterprise — the campus hub for entrepreneurs.

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