Dedication to innovation in education | 为教育创新

In Kaggle machine learning competition discussions, teams spent huge effort in order to have 0.00001 gain in performance working with masked datasets to try to predict something real or hypothetical.   Have any teams tried anywhere half as hard trying to have 0.01 gain on education?   What if they do? That ratio of 0.01 and 0.00001 is 1000. When you multiple the ratio of 1000 to the number of children you want to help, it becomes your calling.

To make that 1% change, 10% or more in improvement need to proved and shown.   That means to get kids better jobs that make more money than their peers in shorter time along with equipping them with essential surviving skills: money management, basic life sciences, social skills, and a set of strong guiding principles.   These are our focuses in education.

Sam Walton | 山姆沃顿

Sam made his senior executives share hotel rooms🏨, and he drove around in a pickup truck🚚. He and his wife went to church⛪ every Sunday. They sat anywhere just like others. Mr. Walton would even quietly wash dishes🍽 at the church after meal.

One of the best things he ever said was that he made partners of every employee, and the success of Walmart was due to ideas of all the employees. In today’s buzz word, he meant that the success of the company was due to relentless innovation.

But what makes Mr. Walton so special is not just lowest price or best service to customers, but a true genuine humbleness: the belief that all people are equal in front of God.

What is social credit score | 什么是社会信用分

Social credit score 社(shè)会(huì)信(xìn)用(yòng)分(fēn) means rating how trustworthy you are based on your spending habits, social connections and your online behavior on social media. Traditional credit scores are what lending institutions use to judge how likely you will pay back the money before they lend you. Traditional credit score use information such as whether and how long you have a job, how much money you owe relative to how much you earn, and so on. Social credit is being used in similar ways with a different set of data. Tencent Credit 腾讯信用分 and Sesame Credit 芝麻信用分 are the prime examples.

For example, social credit score can be like a test score number that ranges between 300 and 850 and made up of five dimensions/categories 5 个维度:

  • social connections
  • consumption behavior
  • security
  • wealth
  • compliance

WSJ reported in 2016 on social credit in China with an article title “China’s New Tool for Social Control: A Credit Rating for Everything“. The words “social control” and “Big Brother” have bad connotations. However, politics aside, we do appreciate people who have good social credit.

What can social credit scores be used for? Traditional credit scores are used by banks or other lenders to approve loans, used by employers to screen candidates, and some other kind of approvals. Likewise, social credit scores can be used for similar purposes. Alibaba’s affiliate Ant Financial opened a strictly online bank called MyBank that serves small businesses and individuals. This online bank takes deposits the same way as Synchrony or AlyBank in the US do. But it also gives out unsecured loans (without any collateral) up to $850,000. That is a lot of money to lend without collateral (by the way, mortgages are secured loans collateralized by the house). Underlying the decision to lend or not to lend is social credit score, calculated based on huge amount of online transaction data.

Back to the US, which companies may have data that can generate a full or partial social credit score? I think Airbnb, Amazon, Facebook, Lyft, UBER and etc. all have huge amount of data that can be used for credit scoring. Due to the high regulatory cost (banks are highly regulated), it is not likely that any of them would want to become a bank. But they can take some of the businesses that banks always have been doing. For example, Amazon has Amazon Cash and variations of it in various countries such as the U.K. Also, UBER has recently offered UBER cash. These are banking businesses: they allow people to shop or ride without a credit or debit card as long as you load your account with cash.

To see a world in a grain of sand | 从沙粒看世界

Professor ShouCheng Zhang “passed away”. He is forever with us, seeing a world in a grain of sand, holding infinity in
hand.

这是张首晟所有视频里我们最喜欢的一个视频。 张教授深入浅出,循循善诱。尽管已经“离世”, 张教授永远和我们在一起从沙粒看世界,把永恒留在刹那时光。

We won’t quote any physics or mathematics from the video, except the title of the lecture, originally from William
Blake, and dedicate them to Professor Zhang:

To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour.
一颗沙里看出一个世界
一朵野花里一座天堂
把无限放在你的手掌
永恒在一剎那里收藏

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First Kindle book | 第一本Kindle书

很久前我们想在kindle出版儿童电子书,但是买回kindle一看,真的很不喜欢。 黑白没有彩色,而且屏幕很小,有时下载速度也有问题。完全不像iPad 那么生动有趣。最近发现有彩色儿童版的Kindle了,于是出版了我们第一本电子书: Chinese Poems for Kids by A Kid.

A long time ago we thought about Kindle publishing kids’books. But we scrapped the idea after buying a kindle home: it was only black and white, the screen too small. Lately we found that Kindle has color version for children. So here is our first Kindle book: Chinese Poems for Kids by A Kid.

Copyright © Magic Math Mandarin

Chinese poems for kids by a kid

Fruits | 水果

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

Fruits 水果(shuǐguǒ) are colorful, delicious and healthy. We hope you are eating lots of fruits in this holiday season!

红(hóng) 红(hóng) 的(de) 苹(píng) 果(guǒ)
弯(wān) 弯(wān) 的(de) 香(xiāng) 蕉(jiāo)
紫(zǐ) 色(sè) 的(de) 葡(pú) 萄(táo)
圆(yuán) 圆(yuán) 的(de) 大(dà) 西(xī) 瓜(guā)
水(shuǐ) 果(guǒ) 好(hǎo) 吃(chī) 又(yòu) 营(yíng) 养(yang)

Chinese style education & empty basketball courts |中国式教育和空荡荡的蓝球场

I was in China this November to conduct surveys on education.  I had a few chances of sitting in some after school education programs and cram school classes, including XDF新东方, and was shocked by the amount of work Chinese kids have to do and was saddened by the way they are learning.

Let’s talk about the amount of work first.   I saw very few kids out and about any time of day except commuting hours.   Basketball courts are empty, even on weekends.   Where are all the kids?  They are in endless cram school 补习班 classes.

A middle school child routinely gets up before 7 am and does not go to sleep until midnight or after.   Middle school students stay in school until 8 pm, and work on additional homework from 8 pm till midnight.   Younger students are often working similar hours.
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Innovation in education | 教育创新

We don’t hear about startups in education in America as we hear about them in other industries. Why? There are multiple reasons. One is the belief that superior education and profit making are conflicting.  Are they?

Superior customer service in other industries seems to lead to higher profit. People don’t have any issues with that. Then why with education?

It shouldn’t.

So why?
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Do more for real intelligence | 为真人智慧加油

The word AI (artificial intelligence) is everywhere these days. Some of the best young minds are pouring into the field, and industry need is so dire that graduate🎓 schools can hardly keep PhD students until graduation.

In the craze of the artificial, real intelligence seems to have been forgotten. Here, the word “real intelligence” means intelligence from real human being.
American k-12 education continues to go downhill regardless of funding, more and more homeless people in New York City are begging in the streets (many are young and able), and millions of prime age citizens are not looking for work where many jobs are left unfilled.
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小蛇 | Little snake

(cǎo)(zhōng)(yì)(gēn)(shéng)
(wān)(wān)(qū)(qū)(háng)
(hóu)(zi)(kàn)(jiàn)(máng)(duǒ)(kāi)
(qīng)(wā)(kàn)(jiàn)(máng)(táo)(mìng)

A snake can look like a rope.  Don’t get bitten by a snake!!!  It might be poisonous!!!!!!!