Today’s post is very similar to one of my earlier posts titled “How to teach Algorithms ?“. In that earlier post, I announced an Algorithms App for iPad. Recently, I ported Algorithms App to Mac. Today’s post is about “How to learn Vocabulary efficiently ?”.
This summer, I went to a local bookstore to checkout the vocabulary section. There are several expensive books with limited number of practice tests. I also noticed a box of paper flashcards (with only 300 words) for around $25 !!! After doing some more research, I realized that the existing solutions (to learn english vocabulary) are either too hard to use and/or expensive and/or old-fashioned.
So I started building an app with ‘adaptiveness’ and ‘usability’ as primary goals. The result is the Vocabulary App (for iPhone and iPad). Here is a short description of my app.
Vocabulary app uses a sophisticated algorithm (based on spaced repetition and Leitner system) to design adaptive multiple-choice vocabulary questions. It is built on a hypergraph of words constructed using lexical cohesion.
Learning tasks are divided into small sets of multiple-choice tests designed to help you master basic words before moving on to advanced words. Words that you have the hardest time are selected more frequently. For a fixed word, the correct and wrong answers are selected adaptively giving rise to hundreds of combinations. After each wrong answer, you receive a detailed feedback with the meaning and usage of the underlying word.
Works best when used every day. Take a test whenever you have free time.
Go ahead and download the Vocabulary App and let me know your feedback/opinion (or) suggest new features.
At any given waking moment I spend my time either (1) math monkeying around (or) (2) code monkeying around. During math monkeying phase, I work on math open problems (currently related to directed minors). During code monkeying phase, I work on developing apps (currently Algorithms App, Vocabulary App) or adding new features to my websites TrueShelf or Polytopix. I try to maintain a balance between (1) and (2), subject to the nearest available equipment (a laptop or pen-and-paper). My next post will be on one of my papers (on directed minors) that is nearing completion. Stay tuned.
Hi, is there any reason why your apps are only for iOS? Is it hard to convert them to Android/Windows? Also, it is great that vocabulary is free, I wonder why Algorithms isn’t. IMO such apps should be made free, maybe you can apply for some grant to make it free, which is the way most free books/programs are maintained.
I am looking for volunteers to help develop Android / Windows versions. Currently these apps are not supported by grants. In future, if they are supported by grants, I will make them free.
Great, I keep my fingers crossed!
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