Monday, September 21, 2015

Logic class

The next online course I'm planning to take: "Introduction to Logic."
In this course, you will learn how to formalize information and reason systematically to produce logical conclusions. We will also examine logic technology and its applications - in mathematics, science, engineering, business, law, and so forth.
Join me if you're interested. Notes on a previous MOOC experience here and here.

UPDATE 12-11-2015: I didn't do most of this course, mainly because I lacked the time (though as a secondary reason, I didn't particularly like the system where you fiddle with your answer till you get it right; such instant feedback supposedly has some pedagogical benefits but I prefer taking a weekly test, getting your grades, and then trying to do better next time as needed). By the way, I am planning to take another, relatively brief, course early next year, on prime numbers.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Skills for competing with robots

My latest at Research magazine is on robots, jobs, Wall Street and studying math online: "Will Robo-Advisors Be Good at Relationships?" Excerpt:
For advisors eager to understand what it takes to be competitive in the advice business (and other fields) as computers take on a growing array of tasks, I recommend a new book: "Humans Are Underrated: What High Achievers Know That Brilliant Machines Never Will," by Geoff Colvin, senior editor at large of Fortune magazine (the book is published under the imprint Portfolio/Penguin).
The skills that will be valued in the workplace increasingly will be those of human interaction, in Colvin's view — abilities to work in teams and to understand what other people are thinking and feeling. “Being a great performer is becoming less about what you know and more about what you’re like,” he writes.
Another excerpt:
An experience of mine early this year provided some insight into just how entwined personal and technical skills can be. I was taking a popular online course titled “Introduction to Mathematical Thinking,” taught by Stanford mathematician Keith Devlin. My fellow students numbered in the tens of thousands worldwide. The course's goal was to give a sense of how mathematicians think and work. 
While math might seem to epitomize a technical subject, interpersonal skills were crucial. The professor encouraged students to form and join study groups, which met online or off. The coursework put considerable focus on writing proofs and evaluating proofs written by other students — exercises in communication as well as analysis. 
I have taken some other math courses online that did not involve anything like the same degree of personal interaction, and I learned less in them.
Whole thing here.