284: TZ Discussion – Radical Acceleration at Scale

Justin and Jason discuss Justin’s new diabetes-reversing diet, the growing momentum of the Math Academy and Jason’s new madness, getting Lyte out the door, lessons learned through playing StarCraft that are useful in real life, using unfairness to your advantage, why IQ is more important than people like to admit and the status of Jason’sĀ dual-n back experiment.

  1. @jason

    Paul here going through the maths straightforward books you posted a couple of episodes ago.

    I’m on to algebra book 2 now and I’m still covering stuff I learnt at school, albeit a long time ago. i bombed out of school when I was 16 so I expect to find stuff I have not encountered before soon.

    I created this to refresh my geometry knowledge which uses elm which is a haskell like language for creating reactive UI’s that compiles to javascript. Just drag the mouse over the diagram to see the values update.

    It was a whole lot of fun but there is a bug with tan of 90 degrees displaying 16331239353195370 :).

    I’m also thinking of enrolling in a maths class at the local college.

    So thanks for the inspiration to do this. It has all been dormant in my head for a long time.

  2. Hey guys!

    Just wanted to chime in and say hi, really enjoyed the live stream.

    I’ve recently tried a couple of Techzing inspired things, my daughter got a hand me down android tablet from her cousins and Dragonbox being the only educational app I’m aware of that’s supposed to be good, I got that installed and she loves it! Totally didn’t appreciate how clever it was until I saw her playing it, despite all the good things Jason said about it. And as I type this, I’m trying some Miracle Noodles, thanks for the tip Justin! Feel like I really have to chew them, not because they’re chewy as such, but because I feel like they’d cling to my throat if I didn’t. That’s the best way I can describe them šŸ™‚

    Keep on techzingin’

  3. Justin says:

    @dave – Hey to cook those Miracle Noodles and make them taste good it requires a little process…

    1) Open bag into sieve and run water over them and swish them around for at least 60 seconds
    2) Dry fry them (on high) in a non stick pan until all the excess moisture goes (could take 3-5 mins)
    3) Add some chicken stock or veggie stock from a liquid carton of stock. A dash, but enough to cover them and re-hydrate them with a good base flavor. Keep frying till the moisture goes.
    4) Now use them as normal pasta,rice,etc

    You could skip step 3, possibly, but at least do the other steps to get them to a point where they are nice to chew and have the same consistency as regular pasta.

  4. Jason says:

    @Paul Cowan – That’s great progress! Also, that’s a really cool unit-circle demo.

    With the progress you’re making on your own, I don’t think you’ll need to enroll in a college course, at least until you’re done with single-variable calculus. My only suggestion is that whenever you sit down to do some problems, pull half of them from previously covered topics. It’s all about spaced memorization / distributed practice. Your brain is actively deleting the stuff you’ve already mastered and this is the best way to fight against that.


  5. Kevin Riggen says:

    @Jason: I feel like you should throw up a simple, explanatory web page about the Math Academy (or facebook group or whatever). Mostly so I don’t have to explain it to people who should know about it šŸ˜›

  6. Hi Jason,

    Sorry if you covered this already ( I guess I forgot :-O ), but I was wondering if you have done an overview of software which will schedule study with spaced repetition and modern learning principles in mind.

    A few years ago I was thinking a lot about building a system to do all this but never got around to it. This would have:

    1. A dependency graph between topics. So you could choose a topic like group theory or the p test, or homogeneous coordinates, or whatever, and it would be able to follow the dependencies all the way back to 1+1=2 and schedule a course of study to get you where you want to be. This would let a person who wants to learn something reasonably advanced avoid having to go through lots of unnecessary work, where without this you might say the prerequisite for a topic is three whole undergraduate maths classes. the prerequisite for those is all of high school maths, and the prerequisite for those is all of elementary school maths.

    2. A record of what you have studied and your confidence in those topics. This would let it avoid topics you know when planning a schedule through the prerequisites to get you to the topic that interests you.

    3. Knowledge of spaced repetition. This would allow it to schedule refreshers for topics you have already studied

    4. A store of topics you want never to forget. This would let it schedule learning sessions with spaced repetition to keep you fresh, and tests to confirm your understanding/competence is where you want to be. These would be prioritised and given desired expertise ratings (e.g., want to be 100% functional in that topic, want to know enough to use it when learning other things that build on it, want to remember the gist of it, want to remember it exists so I can look it up when I need to). Because it has the dependency graph, by saying that you want to remember a topic, it will not just schedule that topic but keep you fresh in the prerequisites too.

    Either in this podcast or the last you mentioned building software for your accelerated maths programme in Pasadena public schools so maybe you had a look around before building that? Is there anything like what I describe that you have come across? Maybe one of the online learning platforms like Khan Academy?


  7. Jason says:

    @Andrew Cox – A few years ago, I started working on a system exactly as you described called Snap Learn, but ultimately abandoned it due to the difficulty of getting a sufficient amount of content into the system. I talked about it on the show a number of times, so you might want to look back in our archive if you’re interested.

    My new plan is to utilize a more focused version of the system for the Math Academy since I have to create all of the problem sets anyway. Having a smart, adaptive system that can draw from a database of those problems would obviously be pretty powerful.

    But as far as learning platforms that currently exist, I haven’t seen anything that comes anywhere close to doing this kind of thing.

  8. Jason says:

    @Kevin Riggen – Yep, I’m working on the website. I should have something ready this fall.

  9. Doug says:

    Hey guys, how do I find out when you are live streaming via Periscope? I’d love to tune in live some time!

  10. Jason says:

    @Doug – Justin will send out a notification email. I can’t remember if he sends it out the day before or just a few hours before, but you should receive something. Anyway, we’ll add you to the email list.