At vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus qui blanditiis praesentium voluptatum deleniti atque corrupti quos dolores et quas molestias excepturi sint occaecati cupiditate non provident, similique sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollitia animi, id est laborum et dolorum fuga. Et harum quidem rerum facilis est et expedita distinctio. Nam libero tempore, cum soluta nobis est eligendi optio cumque nihil impedit quo minus id quod maxime placeat facere possimus, omnis voluptas assumenda est, omnis dolor repellendus. Itaque earum rerum hic tenetur a sapiente delectus, ut aut reiciendis voluptatibus maiores alias consequatur aut perferendis doloribus asperiores repellat.
he disappears quickly, too.
He is a cofounder of OpenStudy. Here is his website. www.parc.com/ashwinram
oh, okay. but why does he appear everywhere and disappear all of a sudden?
lol its name of the picture is ghost
look he appears!
and watch him dissapear!
hi ashwinram :) nice to meet you
nice meeting you too, sir. what you have done here is splendid.
hi sasogeek - i've been reading about you
but you have scared our dear pre algebra b/c he calles you a ghost
there are other "ghosts" out there, too. i sometimes see phantom threads appear and disappear. i will see if i can get a snapshot of them whenever i can.
awesome! good to know I heard about you too. Great we finally e-meet :D
hi pre-algebra - i'm real but maybe you're seeing my artificial intelligence avatar off and on :-)
hi karatechopper - nice to e-meet you - 101 fans? wow!
yea i guess so! u 2~
just one more medal!!!!
anyway how is life?
thank u!! i am level 52 now!
gosh. i better start leveling up so i can catch up with all of you! :P
it's been a while since you were active
imranmeah91 - illini, eh? i spent two years at u of i
yeah, my first year there
I have read about you, too, Mr. Ashwin Ram, and I agree with what pre-algebra said: what you guys have done here is superb. Keep up the good work!
thanks, across - what're you doing at mit?
doesn't it feel great to be with the founders of such a great place? everything is great! the people are great, the website is great, the resources are great, and it's all for a greater course! I hope this gets even better! :D
i think what's great about openstudy is all of you - it's a great community!
more like a family!
KC got that one right there
That is so true.
I just began my graduate studies in mathematics - specializing on applied analysis.
i have started calling many people brother and sister in hindi like ishaan, GT, Diya...
So glad you are here for our more advanced college level users!
i call preetha., preetha ji now
I know KC, I am so impressed. You are a real OpenStudy Ambassador!
thank u! i have been an ambassador for school. btu whats an ambassador for OpenStudy?
amazing site it has helped me ALOT
Hi, ashwinram I just read about you, nice to meet you :)
And KC is Chotti :D
thanks waheguru - in what ways has the site helped you? everyone's experience is different, what's been yours?
This post has been flagged as a suspected medal party. Ashwin - we're going to have to take a look at your levels after this =)
Its a Founders party here today!
(I kid all)
Great to meet the founder - good find pre-algebra! This has been the first online community that I have found that has really met my needs. I work as a software engineer and follow maths as a hobby. I also like to learn, teach and help whenever possible and its great that this site makes all these things possible for me in one place.
hi foolformath - good to e-meet you. which school are you from?
whats also great here is that the people running the site actually do /listen/ to their users.
Thanks asnaseer, we do take pride our community taking co-ownership of the site. You all are so helpful in both A. being our biggest asset B. Helping the team evolve the product.
On that note - any feedback burning at the top of your minds today? Suggestions/gripes?
yes, it's not just us running the site, it's you running the site. users like you who make the place what it is. thanks!
have you guys heard the song "We Are Fam-il-y!" <---- thts OpenStudy
LOL! karatechopper! :D
@Karatechopper - Owlfred and Preetha are putting together a turntable.fm back to school party for you all - we'll be sure to put that on the playlist =)
I like this site as I enjoy thinking about math, and solving assorted mathematical problems. I also enjoy talking about and explaining mathematical ideas, OS gives me opportunity to do all of this. :)
Wait, where's the bar at this party?
Owlfred is going to post a few messages about our Back to School party in OpenStudy feedback.
@JamesJ - let look on the bar-chart to find it! ;-)
Online Bar of course. Cant leave out our friends worldwide.
woo! im in!!
i wont drink but i will dance!
@karatechooper @everyone http://turntable.fm/study_break <-- I'm playing "We are family" right now in the OpenStudy turntable room
Yup, only good fun, music, prizes, contests, polls etc
karatechopper - we're discussing an openstudy ambassador program. would love your ideas on how you (and others in this thread) can help the cause.
@chris - that seems to be restricted to just US users :-(
i cant hear the music chris
whats and ambassador for openstudy to you?
question to all: have you told your friends and classmates to join openstudy? why or why not?
well i do tell some friends. but not all, because i know many of them r very inapropriate. and i just like being the only one who dicovered it
I have told EVERYONE and ANYONE I meet to join - that includes all at work, all my family and friends. And the feedback I got from all who did join was that they found it fantastic.
Chris, aside from the few, already-known tidbits regarding site behavior (LaTeX tags and such), everything else works magnificent; you guys are really good at what you do!
asnaseer - we're going to have to make you an openstudy ambassador!
Thanks across =). Do you mean LaTex tags from the reply box (or missing ones like fractions), or tags for categorizing questions?
I would consider it an honour to be an ambassador of such an auspicious organisation sir!
i have been opening up a bit tho. i have told all the students i my math class akthough no none is interested and in language arts
Interesting karatechopper - why do you think they're not interested?
I sometime send kids I tutor here
also -very interested in how you describe OpenStudy to your friends - what do you all tell friends when you're trying to get them on the site? @everyone
I have asked this before in the feedback group, but I will repeat it here: why don't you create a "donate" button on the site to allow people to donate to the running of this site?
i dont know! i think that they think they have better things to do than be on here. and sometimes i think they think its not safe
An Ambassador spreads goodwill and information and represents their country in a foreign land. So asnaseer is an Ambassador of OpenStudy, when s/he spreads good will about OpenStudy to others. An OpenStudy host/Welcomer is someone who greets and helps people adjust to OpenStudy, tells them how to do things, and helps by setting up expectations. KC plays that role well.
karatechopper - an ambassador is (a) a greeter, someone who welcomes noobs and makes them feel at home, (b) an evangelist, someone who spreads the word to everyone and engages them to want to join, (c) you tell me...
Safe how karatechopper? As in cheating? Or working with strangers?
Asnaseer, "donate" is something we may have to start to do. Thanks for the suggestion.
@karatechopper - both cheating and working with strangers?
more like strangers
and im not supposed to tell people in school about it. my teachers wont allow. so i have to tell off of school campus
well i think they wont allow
@karatechopper - I think if you show this site in use to your teachers then they will more than welcome the idea of other students joining as well.
people need andwers and all the answerers are here!!!
but some sites are blocked on their computer
Ok, thanks for that @karatechopper. How does everyone explain OpenStudy to their friends?
well when i was telling one of my friends about it i said it was free safe and like a family. its a safe community all subjects are available to help. and you can get live help! when they were frustrated they could get all the help they needed and that they could always count on the people there. the people are nice and friendly. they didnt have to give any personal info if they didnt want to.
well i gtg catch yall later! nice talking to all of you
Thanks Karatechopper et al! It's been great speaking with you - we appreciate your awesome work on OpenStudy.
hi aroub - where are you at?
hi hero - where's mafia u?
The way I /generally/ describe this site to others is along the lines of: 1. If you have kids, then OS is the perfect place for them to pose their questions as there are many many people who are more than willing to not only answer the questions but also spend time in explaining the concepts around it. 2. If you like to help, then OS is also the perfect place as it has a wide range of abilities so you can always find a range of questions here to which you can make a positive contribution towards.
Got it asnaseer - what are the usual reactions for 1 and/or 2?
to 1. I usually get the standard "but is it safe" - and I try my best to reassure them that it is by logging in and showing them various questions and how they were addressed. One thing I will say though is that I do not personally approve of the "chat" windows on the site as I have seen a lot of inappropriate conversations taking place there. to 2. I usually get a very favourable response.
hi ashwinram, well I just read about you...wow! really nice to meet you & chris :D
Thanks asnaseer. What is the typical age of the children for the parents you tell? Also re:chat - we're going to be relaunching our code of conduct with some clearer guidelines. This will allow moderators to police anything inappropriate more effectively.
I am mostly, if not only, here for asnaseer’s second reason; I have a teacher’s heart, and OS has proved to be a good place to practice one’s skills at explaining, and above all, at knowing how to be patient. ;) Oh, my.
age range is from 8 years old all the way up to 18 year olds
And hello aroub - I've seen you around plenty, but nice to formally meet you =)
Haha, being patient how across? With different learning styles/paces, prior knowledge, attitudes, or both? Anything you think we can do to encourage others to be more patient or as engaged?
@across - I totally empathise with you there - this site is a "jewel" when it comes to teaching you how to be patient while teaching :-)
I hear ya! Its because we have such a range of ages.
@chirs - I /think/ what @across was getting at is because the site has such a wide range of abilities, you sometimes end up in a question where you start answering at a certain level and then realise you need to down shift several gears and explain in more detail. It is very easy to just the question at this stage out of frustration - but I tend to stick on and persevere as I always keep in mind that I was also at that stage at some point in my life.
good to e-meet you aroub - which school are you in?
*just leave the question
Thanks asnaseer - would love to have more patient helpers like you and across. I burned hours on here once on a basic fractions question - the longest but also most rewarding help I've given. Can you think of any way to encourage more answerers to be as patient or thorough? Either product or community wise?
personally, i like the range of ages. if you segment people by age and subject and course, it becomes more like a classroom or a structured help session, which you can get at school. the diversity now makes it more like a community - people of all ages, experiences, interests, countries coming together to help each other study and learn. as they say, "it takes a village..." —interested if you folks feel that way too or would you like more structure.
Oh, you got it, Chris! The array of learning styles here is so vast that no specific teaching approach will suffice, in my opinion; you have to learn how to mold/adapt yourself to each guy that decides to come in here and ask a question. Regarding the encouragement of others to be more patient, I believe nothing else but a “try to engage the student in conversation” will suffice; very often, when a question is posed, several people will lunge into it and, within seconds, blurt out a number – the answer – to then proceed with their hunt for more; that is not a bad style, in fact, a student may prefer it that way, but it discourages me from helping that person further, as they all leave the thread (and often elicits me to erase the elaborate answer I was typing)! I guess I am an advocate for eloquence. ;)
@ashwinram - I totally agree - the "village" feel is far better
@across - I have also suffered the pains of medal hunters :-)
@chris - I think it is a difficult "art" to master and comes with experience. and getting the reward system correct is also a very difficult thing to do (in terms of discouraging medal hunters)
Thanks across - we're revising our code of conduct now and will be sure to put something in there encouraging answerers to engage askers. Anything we can do product wise to encourage answerers - maybe a special reward for outstanding explanations?
hi hoblos - where's LU?
hi ashwinram LU is the Lebanese University
Chris, I have a few thoughts in mind regarding this matter, but I’ll post them later on Yammer as I have to bid adieu for now. It was a pleasure chatting and getting to know you guys!
i notice many users have not filled out their profile with their name or school info. why? isn't it nice to know who you're helping or getting help from?
sorry :-( - I guess I'm just lazy
Thanks across =)
Really look forward to that feedback.
not picking on you in particular :-) just thinking out loud, how to encourage more people to tell us something about themselves
@ashwinram - It really was just laziness - I have put something in there now that you have scolded me ;-)
I don't know how you could encourage people to fill in their profiles though
cool - london is one of my favorite cities :)
yes - I like it a lot as it is central to many other places.
although I miss the hot sun from when I was a child in Uganda in East Africa
must dash now - it was great meeting all of you! and I never knew that the founder of such a large organisation could be so humble - good to see :-)
you should get Sal Khan here
@chris, I think the idea of giving some sort of points/recognition for a well-explained answer is good one. The issue is how do you execute that and avoid 'recognition inflation'. It seems to me it's very hard to get away from the idea that you should have some limited sub-set of users who are recognized explainers who would be the ones to give that recognition. I'd also suggest that for each question/answerer pair it would be a binary attribute: recognized, not recognized.
yes - sal is doing great work creating personalized educational content - we're focusing on building a community who can help each other understand the content
@JamesJ - First, thanks. Here are a few possible solutions: 1. The question asker can give a special medal for the "best" explanation for a particular question. Under this view "best' is subjective, but the idea is that over time askers can especially award askers that meet their needs (could be a long explanation, could be just the answer). 2. Users can give X special medals a day depending on their own reputation. Levels 0-9 can give 1 per day, 11-20 can give 2 per day, etc.. 3. Moderators/community managers/appointed experts are the only ones that can officially recognize a great answer.
any thoughts on those? By special medal I mean something like a "gold medal", or a virtual "lifesaver".
Worth more, but limited in supply.
I like #2.
also, why there is no medal for question? Sometime this site do get few very interesting ones :)
#3 will be (probably) difficult to manage (if implemented).
And one more thing, can we have tags?
@FoolForMath - "good question" medals are coming - next week in fact =) Also - you mean tags within a study group? e.g. "calculus" or "algebra" tags within this group?
Tagging would help us to archive like questions properly and thus limiting exact and abstract duplicates.
I think option 1 would be a mistake. There are a number of users who come here quite regularly and they are clearly using OS to finish their homework quickly. Some of them even resist efforts to explain to them the problem. Having them able to reward those who only give them answers would encourage the wrong sort of behavior. (For the record I'm not saying that every question requires an explanation; "How do you write 1^2 + 2^2 + ... + 9^2 in summation notation" is an example of a question that doesn't require a long explanation. But if a user has asked five questions in a row about the surface area of a sphere and don't even know the formula for it, then that person is clearly trying to short-circuit learning.) Option 2 isn't bad. The only problem I see is there are quite a number of high level users who are not good explainers and are probably not the best judges. Option 3 is my preferred solution. Audit the last 10 questions answered by the top 20 high level active users and you'll quickly see who are good explainers. Ultimately the choice has to be comes down to what you want the site to achieve. I have strong bias towards teaching and people walking away haven't learnt something and hence a bias against facilitating the serial h/w short-circuiters. My niece is a high school student and the main reason I haven't told her about this site is I don't think she has enough self-discipline not to use this site to short-circuit her homework, and I don't think she's unusual in that regard.
That's a nice expatiated answer James, btw what's your opinion on duplicates?
have you guys tried programming a question parser that identifies the most asked subjects/questions?
could there be some sort of a search engine such that I can search for a question or when I ask a question, I can be referred to a certain related topic that explains how to solve that type of question and my question can be added as a worked example to that topic after it is answered? so that say if search for "compound interest" I can be referred to a topic that explains how to solve compound interest questions and beneath the explanation on how to solve compound interest questions, I can ask my question and when it is solved, it is added to a "worked examples" sort of thing. when other people search on that, look through the worked examples, they can get a fair idea how to solve their question aside the explanation, given that there are some questions solved on that topic. in the long run, the questions would be in a sorted manner instead of just being under the broad math group.... just an idea i want to put out there... any thoughts?
@James good points. I naturally lean towards your preferences, however I wonder if the best ways to help with short-circuiters is to get them engaged in a community that evinces solid values first, and hope to transition them to more and more engaged over time.
The most asked would IMO is factor the polynomial; only the degree of the polynomial changes from time to time...
@sasogeek - I do like the suggestion - makes sense, and search/recommendations are a highly requested feature.
@sasogeek: That's exactly what tagging would do for you.
chris, just out of curiosity, we know os is basically a huge math database. do you guys run data mining algorithms on it?
So regarding tagging - do you think anyone can create any tag or does the system decide on available tags by study group? e.g. in Math you can only choose from "calculus", "algebra" etc...
the most common ones and perhaps an "other" option would be a good start
if the system should decide the tags based on groups, there is some sort of limitation here as you may not know exactly what someone may be searching for... you never know but if people should also create their own tags, you can only imagine what some people will put out there... especially the people who need "fast help" it's a bit of a gamble
I really liked James point: "Ultimately the choice has to be comes down to what you want the site to achieve."
@sasogeek: Taggs could be moderated.
I think you let people make their own tags. The site that was just used for the (somewhat famous) Stanford Artificial Intelligence course allowed user-generated tags, with some guidance given. www.aiqus.com It worked well, but the user base was more sophisticated than here. aiqus did a ver y good job of layering permissions based on your karma, their equivalent of medals. On the question of tagging, perhaps the best thing to do here is let users of say level 20+ create and edit tags but those below use existing tags.
and im back! whats new?!
the others are..
Breezing through, saw this. Hero, you are a good citizen!
see! preetha ji is here!
could you guys come up with a "google-like" system were users could create their own tags and OS would list possible "close matches"? e.g. lets say the user creates a tag called "angles" OS could then reply with: Did you mean: "geometry", "triangles", etc or do you want to use the tag you entered "angles"? based on past matches? (not a clear explanation but I hope you get the idea)
o i get it! tht would be cool! but do you mean that they could look up questions that have been asked before? and get some help from there?
both - asking new questions and trying to look up previously asked questions related to some tag(s). there must be some way of building up a knowledge base of tags and use this with some AI engine to get related tags offered to the user.
that would be good!
while we are at it - the ability to "edit" the question you've just asked would be invaluable. especially if you start introducing tags. it seems to be a common occurance that users make a small mistake in their question and they tend to raise it agin and delete the original one. with tags this problem could be exacerbated.
i dont understand that concept... can you explain that a little better?
@chris - is what I suggested even possible or am I living in the clouds? :-)
looking up old questions/answers is useful, especially if there's a particularly good explanation you want to review. but it does have a downside: it's better to ask your question in your own way and have someone explain it to you, versus looking up a canned answer. how to balance—preserve the live interaction while highlighting good content.
I think allowing the user to look up previous answers would solve both issues @ashwinram. they can review the "pre-canned" answers and, if they are still unsure, can raise a new question with a link to the "pre-canned" answers saying they need more help.
when they post their question, some box can pop up saying, "need more help? Try referring to...."
is this math ?
an alternative might be to allow each user to easily "call up" one of their previous answers to use as an example when helping someone else. this would require a good UI to be able to look up the previous answer easily.
@EarthCitizen - good point - maybe this should move into the feedback group?
YH, it's fine..AWESOMMEE! ACTUALLY
you may also make if someone answers to question it goes to the up aka BUMP so you could even ask to clarify things in the same question
126 medals - that's quite a lot!!! Anyway I want to thank ashwinram for such a great website. Thanks a lot!!!
Its great to see such talks on OS. I miss @chris and other admins :(
@mathslover Stalkin', eh? :-P
:P Parth, no dude :)
@mathslover It's such a coincidence that I was stalking this as well.
Its funny to see what all the mods were like before they became moderators :P