SummaryThis week I attended a very interesting talk at iSchool of Pittsburgh, given by Igor Labutov who is currently a postdoc in CMU in Machine Learning Department. The topic is about how to curate webpages into an organized way to help people better understand unfamiliar concepts. In this talk, Labutov indicated that more and more people would like to search for technical and academic resources using online search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. However, the retrieved webpages might have various degree of details and hold various assumptions that audience have mastered certain prerequisite knowledge. Therefore, we all have such frustrating experience that when you are searching for tutorials or lectures to understand one concept, you find yourselves encountering more and more unfamiliar concepts. To deal with this issue, Labutov and Lipson propose a task: “organizing heterogeneous educational resources on the web into a structure akin to a textbook or a course, allowing the learner to navigate a sequence of webpages that take them from point A (their prior knowledge) to point B (material they want to learn)”.
|Figure 1. In the excerpt which explains Expectation Maximization, solid-underlined terms are explained, and dash-underlined terms are assumed concepts.|
This talk only covered their preliminary work, their next goal is to find ways to customize searching results by considering a user’s personal features, such as prior knowledge, requirements and time etc. Their long-term goal is to develop the next generation lifelong learning tools that leverage all of the web. As indicated in the paper, “we hope that this work, in addition to the datasets that we release, will serve to inspire interest from the community in what we believe is a challenging and an important task.”
Details about talks:Talk URL: http://halley.exp.sis.pitt.edu/comet/presentColloquium.do?col_id=10562
Title: Web as a textbook: Curating Targeted Learning Paths through the Heterogeneous Learning Resources on the Web.
Speaker: Igor Labutov