The Girl Who Ran

16th February 2022

Cheery Friday Greetings to our Learning How to Learners!

Book of the Week (special for kids!)

The Girl Who Ran: Bobbi Gibb, the First Woman to Run the Boston Marathon, by Kristina Yee and Frances Poletti, illustrated by Susanna Chapman. Bobbi Gibb was the first woman to—despite staunch opposition—run the Boston Marathon.  (We still remember the newscasters’ shock at what she’d done.) Yee and Poletti have written an inspiring book about the story, with marvelous illustrations by Susanna Chapman. And here’s a wonderful video of children reading along with the story!

Barb speaking in San Francisco and Palo Alto

Register now for either or both talks—Barb would love to meet you!

Insights for the modern day from Scott’s disastrous attempt on the Pole in 1912

These two remarkable essays provide great insight into how the treatment for scurvy, which was discovered in the 1700s, was forgotten. Why?  Because of technological advances.  All this relates to Barb’s talk in Silicon Valley on February 21st, but these articles are of seminal importance to anyone interested in social progress or the history of science.

[Hat tip: Stephen W. Harmon

iDoRecall hiring educators to create flashcard sets for OpenStax textbooks

Learning How to Learners remember our favorite spaced-repetition flashcard app: iDoRecall. The core feature that makes iDR unique is the ability to link the flashcards to the concepts in your learning materials that you want to remember. When practicing memory retrieval, if you struggle with an answer, you are a click away from opening the learning content (be it a file, web page, Kindle highlight, or video) at the exact relevant location to quickly refresh your memory in the context where you first learned it.

iDoRecall is hiring educators to create flashcard sets for OpenStax textbooks. This opportunity comes with a full educator’s license, an honorarium, and the opportunity, if you like, to offer 1:1 paid tutoring to students who are using the flashcards that you created. To learn more and apply, check this out.

You can also watch this video for a 2:28 long overview of the opportunity.

A Learning How to Learner writes to Barb:

“You do not know me, but I am an alumni of Learning How to Learn from four years ago. I discovered the course long after my student days, but it was life-changing and I still use many of the techniques I learned in the course. After finishing Learning How to Learn, I graduated from a four-month programming bootcamp and became a full-time software engineer. One technique that is now a part of my daily routine is the pomodoro technique. I even programmed my own timer that has no distractions and is super simple to use: . Thanks again for all the work you and Dr Sejnowski put out there!” —Peter Trizuliak.

We have to say, we think Peter’s Pomodoro timer is simple and cool—you might want to check it out!

The science of mind-reading

This fascinating article by James Somers in The New Yorker provides a great overview of what is happening in the field of “mind reading” via neural imaging technology.  What’s particularly interesting is how work in this area has grown from older efforts to understand how human language carves the world, growing from the seventy-year-old work of psychologist Charles Osgood.  Osgood developed techniques for mapping words as clusters in “semantic space.” This technique, it became clear, could be useful for many purposes. The dimensions of the space described abstract or “latent” qualities that words had in common that English speakers weren’t actually conscious of. These more advanced approaches came to be called “latent semantic analysis,” or L.S.A.  These techniques are behind the rapidly improving translation abilities of Google, Apple, and Amazon.  What’s even more interesting is how all of this connects to the brain’s ability to parse story and events.  This is a great read! [Hat tip, Adam Trybus.]

That’s all for this week. Have a happy week in Learning How to Learn!

Barb, Terry, and the entire Learning How to Learn team

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