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edu/ai news

From: Joe
Sent on: Wednesday, March 7, 2012 9:47 PM
Five thousand freshmen at Arizona State University enrolled in Knewton-powered Pearson courses for remedial math in August. Half of the students finished four weeks early. Another quarter finished early enough to move into regular freshman math. The portion of students withdrawing from the courses fell from 13% to 6%, and pass rates rose from 66% to 75%. The best part for the school, says ASU executive vice provost Phil Regier, is that teachers now have a dashboard to track who’s falling behind and needs help.


D’Aloisio figured he could do better with a “genetic” algorithm that could be trained to choose important sentences as a human does, in any language. The program detects the topic of a text and on that basis applies particular metrics to determine, say, if numbers are more important than descriptive words, and extracts critical sentences accordingly.


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