Home on Nathaniel Raley Woodward
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Recent content in Home on Nathaniel Raley WoodwardHugo -- gohugo.ioen-usWed, 09 May 2018 00:00:00 +0000Basic Stats U Need #4: Correlation & Regression
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Wed, 09 May 2018 00:00:00 +0000/2018/05/09/basic-stats-u-need-4-correlation-and-regression/Correlation Correlation demonstration! Regression Deriving regression coefficients! Why normally distributed errors? Normal-errors assumption and homoskedasticity Sampling distributions of coefficient estimates Confidence (and prediction) intervals for a given X What’s the relationship between correlation and regression? Multiple regression: multiple predictors Multiple \(R\) and \(R^2\) \(R^2\) in one bang using correlation matricies Semipartial and Partial Correlations Semipartial correlations: the residuals approach Increments to \(R^2\) when adding predictors Multicollinearity Regression assumptions Partial correlations .Validity in Research
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Mon, 04 Sep 2017 00:00:00 +0000/2017/09/04/statistical-validity/What is an Experiment? Research in a Perfect World What is Validity? Internal Validity Threats to Internal Validity Random Assignment External Validity Threats to External Validity Construct Validity Threats to Construct Validity Statistical Validity Threats to Statistical Validity Power! Ways to Increase Power In this post I reboot a page I had written for my old website back in 2013. It is based almost entirely on the excellent text by Shadish, Cook, and Campbell (2002).Basic Stats U Need #3: ANOVA
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Sun, 27 Aug 2017 00:00:00 +0000/2017/08/27/basic-stats-u-need-3-anova/One-Way ANOVA by way of Two-Sample T-Test Sums of Squares Visualizing Sums of Squares Calculations Sums of Squares Plot The ANOVA Table Degrees of Freedom for \(SS_W\) and \(SS_B\) The F-Test Doing a One-Way ANOVA in R Effect Size Assumptions Post Hoc Tests One-Way ANOVA by way of Two-Sample T-Test If the hero of our last post was William “Student” Gosset, then the hero of this and the next few posts will be Sir Ronald Fisher.Basic Stats U Need #2: T-Test
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Wed, 23 Aug 2017 00:00:00 +0000/2017/08/23/basic-stats-u-need-t-test/Part 2: the t-Distribution We saw in the previous post that if X is a random variable and the population distribution of X is normal with mean \(\mu\) and standard deviation \(\sigma\) (variance \(\sigma^2\)), then the distribution of the sample mean \(\bar{X}\) for samples of a given size \(n\) is normal, with mean \(\mu\) and standard deviation of \(\frac{\sigma}{\sqrt{n}}\), which we can write \(\bar{X}_n \sim N(\mu,\frac{\sigma}{\sqrt{n}})\).1 More exciting, we saw that by the Central Limit Theorem, the sampling distribution will be normal regardless of the original population distribution if the sample size is large enough.Basic Stats U Need #1: Z-Scores, Sampling Distns, LLN, CLT
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Tue, 08 Aug 2017 00:00:00 +0000/2017/08/08/basic-stats-u-need-z-scores/Hello! This is the first in a series of posts that cover topics typically encountered on any Introduction to Statistics course syllabus (yes, that is to say frequentist). The idea was born out of a desire to blog about the Analysis of Variance and its many forms, but I soon found myself addressing pre-requisites, which led to tangents and lemmas that took on lives of (and ballooned into posts of) their own.Swapping an HDD for an SSD in a Low-End 2017 Laptop
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Mon, 17 Jul 2017 00:00:00 +0000/2017/07/17/swapping-an-hdd-for-an-ssd-in-a-low-end-2017-laptop/In less than two day’s time, I was able to purchase my third computer from a perfect-craigslist-stranger (without issue!) and replace the hard disk with a solid state drive, and I wanted to take a minute to document the experience here; if you are interested only in a rough guide for SSD installation for a 2017 HP laptop, you are heartily encouraged to skip down several paragraphs.
The computer in question is an HP 15-ba113cl that the original owner bought in February 2017 from our local Costco for around $400.Cleaning and Operating a 100-Year-Old Sewing Machine
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Thu, 04 Aug 2016 00:00:00 +0000/2016/08/04/cleaning-and-operating-a-100-year-old-sewing-machine/My wife Lindsay let me co-blog about fixing up a century-old sewing machine!
Check it out here:
http://www.lindsaywoodward.com/2016/07/cleaning-and-operating-a-100-year-old-sewing-machine.html/DIY e-books: Manipulating scanned PDFs with command-line tools
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Wed, 01 Jun 2016 00:00:00 +0000/2016/06/01/diy-e-books-manipulating-scanned-pdfs-with-command-line-tools/The Memory Dynamics Laboratory is having something of a book club this summer, but the crucial volume was proving difficult to find; it had been out of print for many years and the UT library system only has a single copy! I proudly volunteered to do the hunting-up and ferreting-out because I have at my disposal a skill-set unique to the hyper-stingy tech-savvy long-term student, i.e., time-honored and hard-won methods for coaxing any book I please from the depths of the internet (way too many hyphens going on here).♫ Summer Running: Not Very Fast! / Summer Running: Pain in my Ass! ♫
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Sun, 30 Aug 2015 00:00:00 +0000/2015/08/30/summer-running-not-very-fast-summer-running-pain-in-my-ass/Every couple of days I force myself to go outside and run about 2-4 miles. I do not enjoy it. It makes me feel like I am dying every time; I gasp and wheeze and, even after showering I stay uncomfortably sweaty for a few hours. Worse still, I do not feel “energized” or whatever other vital sensations people claim to derive from exercise; if anything, I feel especially fatigued afterwards, and this only gets more pronounced as the day progresses.Summary/Review of "How Can The Mind Occur in The Physical Universe?"
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Sat, 29 Aug 2015 00:00:00 +0000/2015/08/29/summaryreview-of-how-can-the-mind-occur-in-the-physical-universe/"...There is this collection of ultimate scientific questions, and if you are lucky to get grabbed by one of these, that will just do you for the rest of your life. Why does the universe exist? When did it start? What’s the nature of life?... The question for me is how can the human mind occur in the physical universe. We now know that the world is governed by physics.I Finally Read "A New Kind of Science"
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Wed, 01 Jul 2015 00:00:00 +0000/2015/07/01/i-finally-read-a-new-kind-of-science/This book made me think new thoughts; this is rare, so I am posting about it.
If you read nothing else in the post, read the end.
“A New Kind of Science” is a 13-year-old book preceded, and regrettably often prejudged, by its reputation. Many of the criticisms that have come to define the work are valid, so let’s get that part out in the open. The book can be read in its entirety here; it is enormous, both physically (~1,200 pages) and in scope, which has led to a limited and specialized readership lodging many legitimate, though mostly technical, complaints.Laudato Si Pope-pourri
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Sun, 21 Jun 2015 00:00:00 +0000/2015/06/21/laudato-si-pope-pourri/It’s not everyday that I want to read something a Pope wrote. In fact, today, June 19, 2015 was the only day I have ever wanted that, if memory serves. Today I read Papa Francesca’s second encyclical, entitled “Laudato Si – On Care For Our Common Home”. It was a unique experience to navigate to w2.vatican.va, download an essay the Pope just wrote about environmentalism, and then read it on my computer.Forgetting as "Interference" during Consolidation and Retrieval
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Sun, 14 Jun 2015 00:00:00 +0000/2015/06/14/forgetting-as-interference-during-consolidation-and-retrieval/"With one singular exception, time’s arrow is straight. Unidirectionality of time is one of nature’s most fundamental laws. It has relentlessly governed all happenings in the universe... Galaxies and stars are born and they die, living creatures are young before they grow old, causes always precede effects, there is no return to yesterday, and so on and on. Time’s flow is irreversible. The singular exception is provided by the human ability to remember past happenings.How many times I "googled it", June 2012 to present
/2015/04/03/how-many-times-i-googled-it-june-2012-to-present/
Fri, 03 Apr 2015 00:00:00 +0000/2015/04/03/how-many-times-i-googled-it-june-2012-to-present/Today at 4:13 pm I got the urge to google “google search history”.
I figured that google was keeping all kinds of tabs on me, but at google.com/searchhistory you can find a nice browsable catalog of everything you’ve ever searched for while logged into your google account. Many people disabled this feature when they noticed that they were getting targeted ads and personalized search results, but all my ads are blocked and I’ve never been bothered enough to disable it.Thoughts from one American mind upon closing "Closing of the American Mind"
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Tue, 27 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0000/2015/01/27/thoughts-from-one-american-mind-upon-closing-closing-of-the-american-mind/I have just finished reading a very strange book, and I want to try to make some personal sense out of it because it was a little unsettling. I’m really not sure what I just read, and I don’t think I agree with much of it. But I know that there were some extremely provocative ideas presented here and intellectual honesty compels me to confront them, hence the present post."The Greatest Equation of All Time"
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Fri, 19 Dec 2014 00:00:00 +0000/2014/12/19/the-greatest-equation-of-all-time/Sorry to have been so long away from the blog! The purpose of this post is to give some intuition for Euler’s identity (“the most beautiful theorem in mathematics”) to those who haven’t seen it before or to those for whom it is meaningless because they lack the math background.
This was never introduced to me in any class, and unless you majored in math or physics the same is probably true for you."Important Peculiarities" of Memory
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Thu, 18 Dec 2014 00:00:00 +0000/2014/12/18/important-peculiarities-of-memory/In my high school psychology class I was told that human memory capacity was unlimited …and it has bothered me ever since. How, I mean? Aside from the physical limitations on information storage, how could a system that remembers everything forever be evolutionarily advantageous?
This is a question I hope to explore in a deeper way sometime soon; for now, I want to talk to you about a few “peculiarities of human memory” that begin to shed some light on the situation (Bjork & Bjork, 1992).2 x 2 Statistics
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Fri, 31 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0000/2014/10/31/2-x-2-statistics/Modern data analysis has gotten very complicated! Let’s forget all that for a moment. I wanted to take this opportunity to examine several useful statistical techniques and measures of association that involve nothing more than a 2x2 contingency table. A 2x2 contingency table (also called a cross tabulation or cross tab) is a simple grid that displays the frequency distribution given two variables–one variable for the columnsand one variable for the rows.The Math of Secrecy: RSA Cryptography (and Shapes You Can Draw!)
/2014/07/13/the-math-of-secrecy-rsa-cryptography-and-shapes-you-can-draw/
Sun, 13 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000/2014/07/13/the-math-of-secrecy-rsa-cryptography-and-shapes-you-can-draw/When Gauss was 19, he discovered that of the infinite number of polygons that have a prime number of sides, a mere five of them can be constructed with a ruler and compass (i.e., using only straight lines and circles). These prime-sided polygons can have 3, 5, 17, 257, or 65537 sides, but only these five are possible (probably).
Indeed, the only shapes you can draw with an odd number of equal-length sides are the multiples of these 5 primes: 3, 5, 15, 17, 51, 85,…, 4294967295Circling the Square & Squaring the Circle!
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Thu, 26 Jun 2014 00:00:00 +0000/2014/06/26/circling-the-square-squaring-the-circle/In A Mathematician’s Lament, Paul Lockhart roundly decries the way our school system sucks the soul out of mathematics; what was forced down most of our throats was an insipid husk of repetitive calculation, plug-in formulae, and rigid formality, all of which we were called upon biweekly to regurgitate. Most painful for him to see is the way geometry is taught:
"All metaphor aside, geometry class is by far the most mentally and emotionally destructive component of the entire K-12 mathematics curriculum.Smart Drugs: Special Topics in The Neurobiology of Learning/Memory I
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Sat, 21 Jun 2014 00:00:00 +0000/2014/06/21/smart-drugs-special-topics-in-the-neurobiology-of-learningmemory-i/Smart Drugs & LTP: Enhancement of Long-term Potentiation Through Actions on AMPA-Receptor Initiation and CREB Consolidation Unlike the previous installment, this post presumes a great deal of background knowledge on the part of its readers. My intended audience has taken a class in general biology, neuroscience, or physiology at the college level and are familiar with terms like synapse, action potential (depolarization, ion channel, electrochemical gradient), neurotransmission (axons, dendrites, receptors, ligands, inhibition (IPSP), excitation (EPSP)), neurotransmitters (especially glutamate, GABA, acetylcholine, dopamine, serotonin, epinephrine), and gene transcription/translation.Base-10 Blocks to a Billion!
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Wed, 18 Jun 2014 00:00:00 +0000/2014/06/18/base-10-blocks-to-a-billion/Everybody who went to public elementary school in the USA after the mass production of plastics (1940s and 1950s) and before, say, the advent of the iPad, knows what these things are:
In case any of my readers do not meet the above criterion, these blue (sometime orange) plastic blocks are manipulatives used in classrooms to help teach kids all sorts of mathematical concepts, from addition and subtraction to place value and volume.Miles and Miles!
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Tue, 17 Jun 2014 00:00:00 +0000/2014/06/17/miles-and-miles/This post considers the humble mile. You know, the unit of distance. 5,280 feet… 1,760 yards… 8 furlongs of 660 feet a piece… Have you ever thought about how nicely divisible our mile is? I have two principal goals in writing this post; they are, in order of ascending importance, (1) to talk about the history of the mile, and (2) to demonstrate an effective algorithm for finding all the factors of a number.How Caffeine Does the Things It Does.
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Sat, 14 Jun 2014 00:00:00 +0000/2014/06/14/how-caffeine-does-the-things-it-does/I waste a lot of time preparing and drinking coffee. My coffee ritual (cleaning the press, filling it anew, boiling water, brewing, plunging the grounds, pouring) takes around 3 minutes of active attention, and I perform this holy rite 2-3 times each day. Reckoning roughly, at this rate I spend ~48 hours –two full days out of each year– making coffee, and this figure likely an underestimate…
Worse still, I don’t even notice the caffeine anymore!Introduction to the Neurochemical Foundations of Learning and Memory for Non-Science Majors
/2014/06/04/introduction-to-the-neurochemical-foundations-of-learning-and-memory-for-non-science-majors/
Wed, 04 Jun 2014 00:00:00 +0000/2014/06/04/introduction-to-the-neurochemical-foundations-of-learning-and-memory-for-non-science-majors/This first in a series of posts about the biology of learning and memory has been written plainly, with much care taken to ensure its general-audience accessibility.
TL;DR: neurons communicate with other neurons by releasing chemicals called neurotransmitters onto them; these chemicals bind to receptors on the neighboring neurons. When a neuron repeatedly “fires” on another neuron, this triggers the latter to produce additional receptors and can even stimulate physical growth toward the former; thus, the latter becomes especially sensitive to the former and more likely to fire when the former does.Productive Procrastination - gnuplot GIFs
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Sat, 03 May 2014 00:00:00 +0000/2014/05/03/productive-procrastination-gnuplot-gifs/As the semester draws to a close, assignments have this way of becoming suddenly due and needing immediately to be done… while everything else, literally anything besides these assignments has this perverse way of becoming, in equal measure, more enticing, distracting, rewarding…
So, having just completed a final project for my C/Fortran programming course, and as other deadlines loom like so much Damoclean cutlery, I just can’t quit tinkering with gnuplot!The Piteous and Worsening State of Keller's Academic Decathlon Program
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Thu, 27 Feb 2014 00:00:00 +0000/2014/02/27/the-piteous-and-worsening-state-of-kellers-academic-decathlon-program/I am writing to voice my concern about the seriously decrepit state of Keller High School’s once eminent Academic Decathlon team.
It’s been six years since I competed, but every February, about three weeks in, some sort of high school atavism reminds my unconscious that Academic Decathlon just had its Texas State meet and urges me online to acadecscores (which may be down; the servers are spotty this time of year…) to review the damage.Hey, Eigenface! (DIY face recognition)
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Sat, 15 Feb 2014 00:00:00 +0000/2014/02/15/hey-eigenface-diy-face-recognition/I’ve been recently acquainted with a statistical technique of amazing utility and versatility that has its roots in matrix decomposition, a basic—though profound—concept in linear algebra.
For the purposes of this discussion, we’re going to consider it a very elegant way of taking a large, confusing dataset with many variables and transforming it so that you can find patterns based on the correlations among the variables, thus allowing you to describe your data with fewer of them.Idea Density, or, "teenage essays predict old-age Alzheimer's"
/2014/02/11/idea-density-or-teenage-essays-predict-old-age-alzheimers/
Tue, 11 Feb 2014 00:00:00 +0000/2014/02/11/idea-density-or-teenage-essays-predict-old-age-alzheimers/Yesterday in the car I caught a couple intriguing snatches of NPR’s Radiolab, a program that has been, in my experience, very hit-or-miss (though I guess it’s got something for everyone). Anyway, the day’s topic was aging and dementia and they were reporting in their pop-sciencey way on findings from the “Nun Study”—a longitudinal study funded by the National Institute of Aging to examine the onset of Alzheimer’s disease in a population of some 700 nuns who have been participating in the study since 1986 (the youngest at the time was 75).How a computer works, briefly.
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Sun, 02 Feb 2014 00:00:00 +0000/2014/02/02/how-a-computer-works-briefly/This post is going to be a long one, because I need to be thorough and deliberate if I am to be understood; my target audience consists of people who don’t know much about computers, and frankly I’m just a dilettante with no formal training on the subject. But disqualification on both ends notwithstanding let’s forge ahead and see what comes of it. First, you have probably noticed that computers are everywhere: to use a colorful, if somewhat perplexing, expression, you can’t swing a cat without hitting one these days, and when I’m not staring straight into one of my own, I’m probably still using one in some way or other:This Week in R: Cluster Analyses
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Tue, 28 Jan 2014 05:50:00 +0000/2014/01/28/this-week-in-r-cluster-analyses/No Content FoundKIC Scanners and one of Lindsay's pictures
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Wed, 22 Jan 2014 00:00:00 +0000/2014/01/22/kic-scanners-and-one-of-lindsays-pictures/Earlier this month I presciently looked up and checked out the only non-reserve copy of a book that was required for one of my upcoming courses. Then, a few days ago, I got the dreaded but by now familiar recalled email, prompted by someone else’s request (doubtlessly someone else in my class who is just now getting around to reading the syllabus). I’ve got to return the book by the 28th, and I’m miffed about it.New Zealand: Late Updates
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Thu, 16 Jan 2014 00:00:00 +0000/2014/01/16/new-zealand-late-updates/I love it here! This really is an amazing country!
We got into Auckland in the early afternoon on NYE. Everything is beautiful: all of the plants are unique-looking and typical road-side terrain—berms and such—are often breathtaking. Driving on the left-hand side is like learning to drive all over again—not difficult really, but you feel that familiar tenseness and vigilance, with the car tending far too close to the curb. The weather is perfect, with both cool breezes and toasty sunshine.Going to New Zealand! Today!
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Sun, 29 Dec 2013 00:00:00 +0000/2013/12/29/going-to-new-zealand-today/These next few posts will chart our impending journey to New Zealand, which begins on a CapMetro bus this morning at 9:30am and ends with our arrival to Auckland Int. Airport at 12:50pm on December 31 (for us, there is no December 30th…) Along the way, we have two excellent layovers (Los Angeles & Nadi, Fiji) so expect to hear more about these places as well.
Below is a thingum I made that roughly maps out (and even animates!Ode to an Autobus
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Tue, 17 Dec 2013 00:00:00 +0000/2013/12/17/ode-to-an-autobus/As a student at the University of Texas, I am entitled to ride all Capital Metro public transportation completely gratis, and I wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude. I would’ve been paying $2/day almost every day this semester (about 72 days, according to this source), so I’ve saved $144 dollars so far.
I enjoy riding buses and trains; I like their consistency—the same times, the same drivers—but I also like their novelty—the strange new people you are exposed to from the safety of your seat.Typing Speed and the Woes of 1-β
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Wed, 11 Dec 2013 00:00:00 +0000/2013/12/11/typing-speed-and-the-woes-of-1-%CE%B2/My six-year-old macbook (a black one, before the pro) is still operational, but it has burned through (literally) several batteries, and, unless I pay apple the $129.00 they want for a new one, it is going to remain about as portable as your average desktop PC. That’s fine for around-the-house applications, but when your academic adviser (who is retiring this year) asks, “Where’s your computer!” every time you have a meeting with her, you know it’s about time to get a new, backpack-friendly means of computing.Blog-nauguration, take 2
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Sun, 08 Dec 2013 00:00:00 +0000/2013/12/08/blog-nauguration-take-2/Digital Citizenship as Identity-formation A few weeks ago, presaging (if not precipitating) my own entry into the blogosphere, I read a paper by Siles (2012) entitled “Web Technologies of the Self: The Arising of the “Blogger” Identity.” This article examines the emergence of online diarists and bloggers in the late 1990s through the lens of Foucauldian “technologies of the self” by considering the role of websites as artifacts in the process of self-formation online.ELM-ART, an online LISP Tutor
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Sat, 07 Dec 2013 00:00:00 +0000/2013/12/07/elm-art-an-online-lisp-tutor/A free web-based Intelligent Tutoring System that teaches you the basics of the LISP programming language: ELM-ART (http://art2.ph-freiburg.de/Lisp-Course)First post: a couple links
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Sat, 07 Dec 2013 00:00:00 +0000/2013/12/07/first-post-a-couple-links/“O Muses, O high genius, aid me now!” -Inferno, Canto II
While I’ve nothing interesting to say right now, I do have a few things to show you: a few tools I’ve found.
If you use the “highlighter” function in a .pdf reader, you might find this service helpful (sumnotes.net); with a click, it copies all of the text you’ve highlighted and combines it into a single file. This is certainly nontrivial, and it took me a good half-an-hour to find.About About
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Thu, 01 Jan 1970 00:33:33 +0000/aboutabout/Second-order self-presentation: a conceit on conceitedness I used to take great pleasure in writing these “About Me” minibios, primping my digital appearance for hours on end. In my misspent youth I agonized over a Xanga, a MySpace, a LiveJournal, a Facebook… leaving behind a digital footprint so contrived you can see the pedicure. Social networking? Pshaw! I just wanted a billboard for my posturing, and this was some prime ad space!About
/about/
Mon, 01 Jan 0001 00:00:00 +0000/about/Mini Bio? Site Personal Hello! My name is Nathaniel Woodward (né Raley). I am a sometime educator, researcher, and statistical consultant at UT Austin. In both my teaching and my research, my guiding purpose is to improve people’s lifetime learning outcomes—to provide students with meaningful learning experiences that lead to durable, flexible knowledge; to show them how enjoyable learning can be so that they are motivated to pursue knowledge for its own sake; and to give them the cognitive and meta-cognitive skills they need to pursue their independent inquiry effectively and efficiently.Research
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Mon, 01 Jan 0001 00:00:00 +0000/research/Teaching
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Mon, 01 Jan 0001 00:00:00 +0000/teaching/This page is under construction!
For now, here are twenty-five heuristics for promoting learning.
From: Winne & Nesbit (2010). The Psychology of Academic Achievement. Ann.. Rev. of Psych., 61(1), 653–678
Heuristic Description Contiguity effects Ideas to be associated should be presented contiguously in space and time Perceptual-motor grounding Concepts benefit from being grounded in perceptual motor experiences, particularly at early stages of learning Dual code and multimedia effects Materials presented in verbal, visual, and multimedia form richer representations than a single medium Testing effect Testing enhances learning, particularly when the tests are alligned with important content Spacing effect Spaced schedules of studying and testing produce better long-term retention than a single study session or test Exam expectations Students benefit more form repeated testing when they expect a final exam Generation effects Learning is enhanced when learners produce answers compared to having them recognize answers Organization effects Outlining, integrating, and synthesizing information produces better learning than rereading materials or other more passive strategies Coherence effect Materials and multimedia should explicitly link related ideas and minimize distsracting irrelevant material Stories and example cases Stories and example cases tend to be remembered better than didactic facts and abstract principles Multiple examples An understanding of an abstract concept improves with multiple and varied examples Feedback effects Students benefit from feedback on their performance in a learning task, but the timing of the feedback can depend on the task Negative suggestion effects Learning wrong information can be reduced when feedback is immediate Desirable difficulties Challenges make learning and retrieval effortful and thereby have posotive effects on long-term retention Manageable cognitive load The information presented to the learner should not overload working memory Segmentation principle A complex lesson should be broken down into manageable subparts Explanation effects Students benefit more from constructing deep coherent explanations (mental models) of the material than memorizing shallow isolated facts Deep questions Students benefit more from asking and answering deep questions that elicit explanations (e.