Categories: Science

The Algorithmic Approach to the Mathematics of Cramming

student-cramming

Students tend to take far from optimal ways to assimilate information, especially when it comes to exams. Scientists Tim Novikoff, Jon Kleinbert, and Steve Strogatz decided to take a mathematical approach to the way that students learn, in order to find the most effective way to succeed.

The new study was published in PNAS, and they first started out by examining different theories. One of the first ones they considered was the spacing effect, which entails spreading out learning so that a student is more likely to learn it. Then they considered the theory of expanded retrieval, which means that the more you are exposed to a subject, the more you retain it, and reduced them as much as possible in order to model them.

The model becomes complex when a student tries to learn a number of facts, each with its own time constraints. There are limits to what students can learn, as demonstrated by a ‘finicky slow student’, who is obsessed with constant review at a very slow pace. This kind of student will never perfectly learn a given subject.

This kind of approach could be very useful in order to tailor education to individual students, who will all assimilate information in a different way, and at different paces. The algorithmic approach would allow educators to schedule it optimally, so that the students would learn better.

Reference: “Education of a model student” by Timothy P. Novikoff, Jon M. Kleinberg and Steven H. Strogatz, 23 January 2012, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1109863109

Share
By
SciTechDaily

Recent Posts

Researchers Have Uncovered New Functions of the “Ancient Brain”

A multiregional hindbrain circuit enables animals to regain their pathing after deviating from it. A…

February 1, 2023

Deadly Consequences: New Research Reveals Dangers of Drinking Too Much Coffee With Severe High Blood Pressure

Green tea did not increase the risk of mortality at any blood pressure level, according…

February 1, 2023

A New Explanation for the Mystery of Jupiter’s Asymmetrical Asteroid Swarms

A rapidly migrating Jupiter mechanism offers crucial new insights into the early evolution of the…

February 1, 2023

The Most Dynamic and Impactful – How the Last 12,000 Years Have Shaped What Humans Are Today

The researchers analyzed the trends in evolution and adaptation. Humans have been evolving for millions…

February 1, 2023

Feeling Depressed? Scientists Have Found That Performing Acts of Kindness May Help

Helping others can reduce your focus on your own symptoms, according to a study. New…

February 1, 2023

A One-in-Ten-Billion Binary Star System – First Kilonova Progenitor System Identified

Astronomers using the SMARTS 1.5-meter Telescope uncover a one-in-ten-billion binary star system. Astronomers using the…

February 1, 2023