26 mai 2013

Speech Recognition vs. Language Processing

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/icons/lingua-franca-nameplate.pngBy Geoffrey Pullum. I have stressed that we are still waiting for natural language processing (NLP). One thing that might lead you to believe otherwise is that some companies run systems that enable you to hold a conversation with a machine. But that doesn’t involve NLP, i.e. syntactic and semantic analysis of sentences. It involves automatic speech recognition (ASR), which is very different. ASR systems deal with words and phrases rather as the song “Rawhide” recommends for cattle: “Don’t try to understand ’em; just rope and throw and brand ’em.” Labeling noise bursts is the goal, not linguistically based understanding. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 22:41 - - Permalien [#]


What Colleges Can Learn From K-12 Education

http://chronicle.com/img/subscribe-footer.pngBy Richard Kahlenberg. Our higher-education system is often thought of as a model for elementary and secondary education because top American universities rank among the very best in the world. But maybe it’s the reverse that is true. After all, only about half of first-time college students earn certificates or degrees within six years, a completion rate much lower than among high-school students. At community colleges, while 81 percent of first-time entering students say they would like to earn bachelor’s degrees, only 12 percent do so within six years. Why are completion rates so low in higher education, especially community colleges? One reason, according to a blue-ribbon panel assembled by the Century Foundation, is that higher education has not directly confronted the growing economic and racial separation of students within its ranks. Largely separate sets of institutions for white and minority students—and for rich and poor—are rarely equal, either in K-12 schooling or in higher education. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 22:37 - - Permalien [#]

An Open Letter to a Founder of Coursera

http://chronicle.com/img/subscribe-footer.pngBy Robert Meister. An Open Letter to Daphne Koller
Co-Founder and Co-President of Coursera and
Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University
Dear Professor Koller,
Because I share your vision of creating a world in which all have access to an excellent and empowering education, I would like to propose a new online course for you to make freely available through the Coursera platform. Its title is “The Implications of Coursera’s For-Profit Business Model for Global Public Education.”
You and your company’s compelling pitch to consumers suggests that the private sector—that is, venture capitalists and not taxpayers—can deliver a more equal world in which income will be based on the skills and knowledge people actually acquire rather than the unnecessarily-scarce credentials for which they are eligible and can afford to pay. It is natural to hope that in this more equal and  more productive world, incomes could rise for everyone willing to acquire the necessary academic knowledge and take the tests to prove it. This, in fact, was exactly what was promised by the original California Master Plan for Higher Education, using taxpayers’ money, when it was adopted, in 1960. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 22:29 - - Permalien [#]

MOOC Professors Claim No Responsibility for How Courses Are Used

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/icons/wired-campus-nameplate.gifBy Steve Kolowich. Robert Ghrist, a professor of mathematics and electrical and systems engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, knows that wielding vast networks on behalf of nonuniversity benefactors can be tricky business. Mr. Ghrist specializes in applied topology, an abstract math field. In practice, topological math can help someone harness huge collections of sensory inputs—like those collected by cellphones, for example—to model large environments and solve problems. The Department of Defense has enlisted Mr. Ghrist to do research along those lines. The Penn professor knows he has little power over how the Pentagon might use his insights. But he says that no longer bothers him. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 22:26 - - Permalien [#]

MOOC Provider edX More Than Doubles Its University Partners

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/icons/wired-campus-nameplate.gifBy Jeffrey R. Young. Fifteen more universities have agreed to offer free massive open online courses through edX, a nonprofit provider of MOOCs founded by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University, more than doubling its membership, from 12 to 27. Tuesday’s announcement came as the group celebrated its first anniversary and as its leaders said it was bringing in revenue and was on track to financial sustainability. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 22:23 - - Permalien [#]


Harvard Professors Call for Greater Oversight of MOOCs

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/icons/wired-campus-nameplate.gifBy Steve Kolowich. Several dozen professors in Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences have signed a letter to their dean asking for formal oversight of the massive open online courses offered by Harvard through edX, a MOOC provider co-founded by the university. While “some faculty are tremendously excited about HarvardX,” the professors wrote, referring to the university’s brand within the edX platform, “other are deeply concerned about the program’s cost and consequences.” The letter, published on Thursday in The Harvard Crimson, the student newspaper, was signed by 58 professors in the university division, which is known as the FAS. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 22:18 - - Permalien [#]

Education Dept. Releases New Data on College Tuition Across Sectors

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/icons/the-ticker-nameplate.gifBy . The National Center for Education Statistics, the Education Department’s statistical arm, on Tuesday released a “first look” report at new data on college pricing across sectors, finding that tuition and required fees for in-state students at four-year, public institutions rose by 6.7 percent from 2010-11 to 2012-13. That increase outpaced the rise in tuition for out-of-state students over the same period, which the report said was 4.1 percent. Four-year, private nonprofit institutions saw an increase of 3.1 percent. At four-year, private for-profit colleges, tuition and fees dropped by 2.2 percent. The report also includes data on 2011-12 enrollments as well as degrees conferred. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 22:16 - - Permalien [#]

Wilson College Details Unusual Loan-Buyback Program

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/icons/bottom-line-header.pngBy Lawrence Biemiller. Wilson College has released details of an unusual debt-buyback offer that is one of the keys to a plan its trustees adopted in January in an effort to attract more students and keep the tiny Pennsylvania liberal-arts institution in business. Under the offer, the college will pay back up to $10,000 of a student’s federal Stafford student-loan indebtedness if the student earns a degree at Wilson within four years, participates in new financial-literacy programs the college will offer, and takes part in “activities and community services that would benefit the Wilson College community.” Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 22:13 - - Permalien [#]

Governor Cuomo Seeks to Turn SUNY Campuses Into Tax-Free Zones

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/icons/bottom-line-header.pngBy Don Troop. The 64 campuses of the State University of New York system would become tax-free zones under an economic-development plan announced on Wednesday by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. According to the governor’s office, the “Tax Free NY” program would seek to lure technology companies and other businesses that could make use of the intellectual capital produced by SUNY’s colleges and universities. In a statement released by Governor Cuomo’s office, Nancy L. Zimpher, chancellor of SUNY, said, “The governor has said many times that SUNY is the economic engine for New York, and these new tax-free zones will further our campuses’ ability to innovate, create jobs, and attract new companies through public-private partnerships.” Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 22:10 - - Permalien [#]

What Professors Can Learn From 'Hard Core' MOOC Students

http://chronicle.com/img/subscribe-footer.pngBy Jeffrey R. Young . If people who sit at their computers for tens of hours each week zapping virtual monsters are hard-core gamers, then massive open online courses have led to a similarly obsessed breed of online student: the hard-core learner. Nearly 100 students using Coursera, the largest provider of MOOCs, have completed 20 or more courses. And more than 900 students have finished 10 or more courses, according to the company. That means taking several courses at a time, and racing through as many lecture videos and robot-graded assignments as possible to collect certificates that carry no official credit. The term "MOOCs" is meant to parallel the video-game acronym "MMOGs," or massively multiplayer online games—collaborative worlds, like World of Warcraft, that have attracted millions of devoted players around the world. So perhaps it is no surprise that some MOOC students are driven to win as many certificates as possible and treat online lectures as a consuming pastime that keeps them from going outside to hang out with friends. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 22:08 - - Permalien [#]