Like many self-directed adult learners, when I become interested in a new topic, I try to start with an introductory article or book. This may work just fine if you happen to be the exact target audience. But the author of that text assumes a certain profile for the reader — it is assumed that they’re familiar with certain concepts and skills. Sometimes, the text seems to go over a bunch of concepts I already know all about, and before I get to the meat of it, my eyes glaze over. At other times, the text contains terms I have…

In my previous post, concepts were extracted from an electronic textbook. The next step is to simulate an expert’s mind map based on the concepts extracted. For that we would need some way of computing which concepts are important, which concepts are related, how they’re related, and how important those relationships themselves are. I’m using a wikipedia article on stars for this exercise. The text was obtained with BeautifulSoup.

Concept Importance:

Ranking the concepts by their importance shows the student on which concepts to focus their efforts. …

I have been interested in how learning and thinking occur for almost as long as I have been a student. I find that when I diagnose my own performances (particularly failures) in assessments (quizzes/ back of the chapter problems), it comes down to the following:

When I was thinking of the answer to a problem:

1. I did not have the relevant facts in my long-term memory: lack of learning

2. I had the facts in my long-term memory, but my brain didn’t cue them as relevant to the problem, or the connections formed were not strong enough: lack of…

Note: The code for the complete analysis below can be found on my github page here.

This is the second post in a series describing my experiments in knowledge extraction from textbooks. I was excited to see how many out-of-box tools already existed to process text, and the many online resources to learn how to use them. A very useful resource for starting out was Natural Language Processing with Python, by Steven Bird, Ewan Klein and Edward Loper.

My first raw text sources were from electronic textbooks I had purchased and converted to text format. I had been meaning to…

Arati Santhanakrishnan

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