Scott And His MIT Challenge

This post is about the current happenings of Scott H. Young, who I have mentioned here before.  This guy is really something.  On his blog, he has lately been cataloging his progress through his self-made MIT Challenge, where he is going through the courseware for a 4 year MIT course load in 12 months.  He is learning all kinds of material during the process, and sharing feedback with his readers.  I am quite supportive of this process of his.  He is currently on week 21 of his challenge which he aims to complete in less than 52 weeks(one year).  Not only is the material MIT-level content(not to say that MIT has the patent on high-level material), but he is also doing the work at 4 times the pace, as he is doing 4 years of material in 1 year.

A few great statements are being made by his progress.  One is that we are able to do a lot in a short time when we completely focus on something.  Why is Scott possibly the only one doing a challenge like the MIT challenge, when there are many who wish they could?  Certainly he has the ability as he is able to maintain his website with some weekly work, but it is also the fact that so many people throw away a large amount of their time.  Instead of throwing it away, Scott is putting the main share of it into this year-long plan.

Another statement Scott is making is about how education can be more optimized.  What he is doing is somewhat of a model for the way learning is going.  Curriculums are getting more and more optimized as we have more teachers and educators trying to make learning more efficient, from adding in online tools to help, or by targeting weak spots students have, or by trying new methods.  One of Scott’s methods for speeding up his learning is to watch lectures at 1.5 to 2 times the speed of the normal lecture.  We as people are able to keep up with faster speech, and any confusing parts can just be rewatched.

A last point I’d say that Scott is making is that it is becoming more and more able for someone to learn in their own home what was once thought to only be able to be learned in a classroom.  Lectures are being recorded on various campuses, and numerous tools and sets of sample problems are all over the internet.  There are some things that can’t be replaced in home, like performing scientific lab experiments, but a lot can be.

I like Scott’s process because he is doing a lot of learning, is showcasing it to his blog readers, and he has made it clear that he is a diligent go-getter.  You can see some example articles updating about his MIT challenge results on his site, such as:

Why Learn Math?

Thoughts on Learning a Degree, Without Going to School

Can You Learn Faster Without School?

Along with these updates on the challenge, he continues to post solid articles as always about an array of life-improvement topics.  I’ve enjoyed his articles from the first time I started reading them a few years ago, as he does and talks, whereas many writers just talk.

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