Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Statistical Mechanics of Teaching

The physics preprint archive ( attempts to quarantine goofy/crackpot papers in sections like "Physics and Society." This new paper about online learning is typical of the genre. It models a student (a "perceptron") as learning infinitesimally slowly from infinitely many teachers, and uses the central limit theorem to "prove" various claims about how online learning works.

From the introduction:

"Using the same method, we also analyzed the generalized performance of a student supervised by a moving teacher that goes around a true teacher."

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