Machines learn math at Get with the Program
“This is a good way to reinforce critical thinking and problemsolving skills, and so we teach more to that than actual position titles.”
Schoolchildren from around Lorain County learned about artificial intelligence Oct. 12 at the Get with the Program Machine Learning presentation in Oberlin.
About 50 participants learned how to create a chatbot computer program capable of solving any math equation as well as some concepts that inform that field of study at Oberlin College.
Jason Williams, founder and CEO of Get with the Program, has used the events for the past three years to teach children, and get them excited about, STEM fields.
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math, a field that Williams said already makes up a large proportion of new jobs being created.
Get with the Program uses a two-pronged approach to get students excited about learning, and that was on display at the Machine Learning presentation.
Just after lunch, during the day-long session, older students started designing the chatbots and testing them with various equations.
Meanwhile, outside, the younger students were learning about probabilities by playing a game where they were tasked with running between different sheets of paper printed with the numbers found on a six-sided die while another student rolled an oversized die.
Those standing by the
— Jason Williams, founder and CEO of Get with the Program
number rolled were “out.”
Williams said these skills are important in getting jobs.
“This is a good way to reinforce critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and so we teach more to that than actual position titles,” he said. “Ten to 15 years ago, there was no such thing as a mobile web developer, no social media manager. And 10 to 15 years from now, there’s no telling what’s going to be there.
“So, it’s more so teaching them how to think and how to solve problems. So, whatever their title is in the future, they’ll need those basic problem solving and critical thinking skills.”
Students create a chatbot which can solve any math equation, Oct. 12 at Get with the Program at Oberlin College.