Friday, March 12, 2010

Khan Academy

I came across a great website for brushing up on little ideas, like the the Laplace Transform, Ideal Gas equation; everything from Algebra to Evolution to the Geithner plan. Short snippets are done Camtasia-style, with no face, just talking over Khan Academy was founded by Salman Khan (Sal) with the goal of using technology to educate the world. Everything is free. An NPR interview with Khan is here. He worked for a hedge fund, and has technical degrees from Harvard and MIT.

I think in the long run, these are going to replace technical teaching. Khan is a very good teacher, and he's teaching things that aren't smushy like history or economics, so I think the subject is more like a commodity.

7 comments:

Michael Meyers said...

Eric,

The Khan site is terrific...

Thank you!

Regards,
Michael

Mark Schreiner said...

Eric: Sorry to contact you in this way, but the following link has gone dead:

http://www.defprob.com/publications/DefProb.pdf

Is there another link to your DefProb paper? I cite it regularly, and like to help the reader by putting the URL in the references.

Kind regards,

Mark Schreiner, Director
Microfinance Risk Management, L.L.C.
http://www.microfinance.com
mark@microfinance.com

Paul said...

Eric, thanks for the link. I'm a big fan of The Teaching Company. Stuff like this would have made my school experience much more meaningful. Hopefully this represents the beginning of the end of the public education monopoly...

Paul

Anonymous said...

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Mahalanobis said...

This is exactly the reason why such programs like the CFA, CAIA, FRM, etc. will become ever more powerful. They tell you what to study and make the exam. You figure out how to prepare. Take the Financial Risk Manager (FRM) exam as an example. Either you prepare on your own or you go to e.g. bionicturtle.com and receive video lectures for a small fee.

So far most people do such programs to complement an existing education and afaik you actually must have at least a B.S. (and some work experience) to earn the designation. But as you pointed out, teaching technical stuff that has no relationship to present day events over and over again just doesn't make any sense. The MIT (ocw.mit.edu) taped Gilbert Strang's lectures on Linear Algebra (101) and put them online. For the foreseeable future every professor who teaches the same stuff is wasting time and money.

In the future, professors will spend their time mentoring and not teaching students. Will teaching and mentoring go entirely online? No. Rich people always knew that meeting other rich people is important to stay rich.

Anonymous said...

Mark:

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1103404