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-   -   How do you typically learn the material? (http://book.caltech.edu/bookforum/showthread.php?t=4168)

vikkamath 04-07-2013 10:16 AM

How do you typically learn the material?
 
I just wanted to find out how other people watch the lectures and absorb the material.
This is my second attempt at the course (I had to stop halfway during the first attempt due to exams).
But the way I typically watch the lectures is:
I download and print the lecture slides. While I watch the lectures, I take down notes and once the lecture is done, I spend about half an hour trying to put everything into place. Watching a one hour lecture takes me roughly 2.5 hours.

I just wanted to find out how other people are doing it.

yaser 04-07-2013 01:35 PM

Re: How do you typically learn the material?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by vikkamath (Post 10201)
I just wanted to find out how other people watch the lectures and absorb the material.
This is my second attempt at the course (I had to stop halfway during the first attempt due to exams).
But the way I typically watch the lectures is:
I download and print the lecture slides. While I watch the lectures, I take down notes and once the lecture is done, I spend about half an hour trying to put everything into place. Watching a one hour lecture takes me roughly 2.5 hours.

I just wanted to find out how other people are doing it.

Thank you for starting this thread. I would be interested in the answer from different participants.

gah44 04-09-2013 04:03 AM

Re: How do you typically learn the material?
 
Once I got the book, I didn't take notes, but would look things up in to book.
The later chapters aren't covered in the book, though.

A few things I looked up in Wikipedia.

vikkamath 04-09-2013 09:24 AM

Re: How do you typically learn the material?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by gah44 (Post 10263)
Once I got the book, I didn't take notes, but would look things up in to book.
The later chapters aren't covered in the book, though.

A few things I looked up in Wikipedia.

So did you keep the book in front of you while you watched the lectures or would you watch the whole one hour lecture at a stretch and then go back to the book?

bargava 05-06-2013 01:25 AM

Re: How do you typically learn the material?
 
This is an interesting question indeed. Of course, different people will have different studying habits. But, I guess, how to learn in MOOC is an interesting stuff to know.

This is what I do:

I first review all the prior lectures (by looking into the slides of the previous week's lectures). Then, I look into the current video's lecture slides. Then, to borrow Professor's term, I snoop into the homework questions. After the first homework - this became my assumption: the key learning the Professor wanted to impart on us for that week is present in the homework. The choices for the homework are so well chosen; So, this helps me to really concentrate more on the lecture and its key points.

Generally, I watch the videos just once. I take some notes during the lectures. I do pause very often and think on what has been told. So, approximately, the entire process would take close to 2 hours.

I try to finish off both the videos by friday and start the homework over the weekend (and finish it by tuesday morning)

alasdairj 05-07-2013 09:39 AM

Re: How do you typically learn the material?
 
Having taken a few MOOCs now, I find that taking notes as I watch the videos helps me to think through the material for myself. I also have index cards to keep the main points accessible for use after the course (or for revision prior to the exam!).

I love being able to pause the videos so I can catch up, or so I can try to understand the material better.

BTW I find the method in the homework of generating data to be particularly useful for this course as it gives you an insight into the real-world generation of data for a target function subject to a probability distribution.

cyberwillis 05-07-2013 11:21 AM

Re: How do you typically learn the material?
 
I started the course just trying to follow the videos. But the videos are nicely encoded, I mean that each word from professor Yaser spoke on the session have very high relevance. Then I bought the book to have some material to read also. At beginning after the first lecture I became lost and have lose some classifications homework's, some times about my disorientation and sometimes the difficult to get the intuition because my first language is portuguese, but after get the book and revisit the movies again and again, I started to get focus on the right direction. Now I stop each week to review all materials again and compare previous sessions may be I can catch some new word from the master that I didn't have paid attention. And this way is working fine for me.

So basically is Watch all the sessions again, and read the chapters involved and to my homework assignment. Also try to contact some fellows on the forum to clear my intuitions.

Michael Reach 05-07-2013 12:05 PM

Re: How do you typically learn the material?
 
I watch the videos, then go through the book more slowly. I'm often surprised to find that some subjects are covered much more thoroughly in the videos (neural networks was an extreme example). I rarely have the patience for the Q&A at the end of the lectures; usually I can't even tell what the question was. Then I do the HW, carefully checking the book again for the problems as it often has more details and extra problems that can help. Usually for the HW I need to keep the lecture slides in front of me for reminders.
Also, I look often at this forum, as difficulties that I have on the HW usually show up here.

By the way, I find the homework for this course very remarkable. Just send us off to program the problem any way we choose, and the answer is closest to which of these numbers... brilliant, and scary. I rarely know if I did it right till I submit.

PaulN 05-15-2013 05:34 PM

Re: How do you typically learn the material?
 
I typically watch each video only once, but I pause frequently to think about the concepts or to search about specific topics such as "Gradient Descent" or "Legendre Polynomials".

I found that the concepts, and most mathematical formulas and derivations, are remarkably well explained and I haven't had much need to look at the book (though I'm sure it will become a welcome reference).

I admit that a lot of the actual learning happens by doing the homework. This is when ideas, at least in my case, start to solidify, and when I have to address subtleties, that I hadn't even thought about, say in the definition of the "VC Dimension" or in the concept of "Deterministic Noise".


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