How a Math Algorithm Could Educate the Whole World — for Free | Po-Shen Loh


Published on Feb 16, 2017

Po-Shen Loh is a Princeton-educated mathematician, Carnegie Mellon professor, the head coach of the U.S. International Math Olympiad team, and now he’s adding start-up entrepreneur to his knock-out resume. Loh has created Expii, a math and science education tool that aims to turn every smartphone into a tutor. Loh combines his mathematical expertise with crowd-contributing strategies from sites like Wikipedia and Quora to “deliver free education to all of the world using a system that self-organizes in the same way that mathematics self-organizes from its basic assumptions,” says Loh. He hopes it will bring some equity to U.S. education and be a learning revolution for those who could not traditionally afford a tutor. “The idea is that this should cure boredom at the high end and also cure confusion at the struggling end,” says Loh.

markusspiske / Pixabay

Po-Shen Loh is a Hertz Foundation fellow and recipient of the prestigious Hertz Foundation Grant for graduate study in the applications of the physical, biological and engineering sciences. With the support of the Fannie and John Hertz Foundation, he pursued a PhD in combinatorics at the Pure Math Department at Princeton University.

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Transcript: About three years ago I became the national coach of the United States International Math Olympian Team. I was very happy for a day thinking this is very interesting. But the next day I started to think that maybe I should do something with this. And I decided that I wanted to focus not only on training an elite group of students but trying to do as much as I could to boost the baseline mathematics capability in this entire country.

Unfortunately I had no money, no connections and only one person. So the only thing I knew was mathematics, algorithms and this probability and network theory. So after thinking for some time I actually came to an idea which was based on using these core mathematical areas that I’d been working with to actually build a solution for education that could be delivered for free on every smart phone. This is actually the project I’m working on right now called Expii.

Also see The Original Collection of Math Contest Problems: Elementary and Middle School Math Contest problems

Written for the student searching for new competition math tactics, the coach or teacher hoping to find a wealth of problems, or simply someone seeking to keep practicing and improving his math skills, The Original Collection of Math Contest Problems is used by elementary and middle school students to excel in MATHCOUNTS, Math Olympiads, and beyond. Covering the areas of Algebra, Geometry, Counting and Probability, and Number Sense, over 500 examples and problems with fully explained solutions represent the commonly seen competition questions and essential strategies experienced and developed by all the authors throughout their math careers from MATHCOUNTS to the USA(J)MO

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