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home · events · colloquia · 2010-2011 · 

Colloquium - Mozer

ECCR 150

Study Less, Learn More: Optimizing Retention Using Computational Models of Human Memory
Department of Computer Science
Michael Mozer photo

In school and beyond, individuals need to learn facts: proficiency in a foreign language involves knowing the translation of English words; becoming a physician requires associating symptoms with diseases; surviving in the wilderness may depend on identifying whether a snake or berry is poisonous. We are developing techniques to assist individuals in learning and retaining knowledge. These techniques are based on computational cognitive models of memory, which predict recall accuracy under differing training conditions (e.g., duration, frequency, and spacing of study). Using queries to the model, Bayesian integration over uncertainty, and numerical optimization, we can determine the training conditions that are expected to obtain the most durable memories. We describe two cognitive models, one that predicts retention as a function of the temporal lags between study episodes, and another that predicts which individual item in a set will most benefit from additional study. We have validated these models using behavioral experiments, and we are currently developing web-based tutors that utilize model predictions to optimize retention of facts.

This work is a collaboration with Robert Lindsey and Owen Lewis (University of Colorado), Harold (Hal) Pashler, Sean Kang, and Edward Vul (UCSD), and Nicholas Cepeda (York University).

The Department holds colloquia throughout the Fall and Spring semesters. These colloquia, open to the public, are typically held on Thursday afternoons, but sometimes occur at other times as well. If you would like to receive email notification of upcoming colloquia, subscribe to our Colloquia Mailing List. If you would like to schedule a colloquium, see Colloquium Scheduling.

Sign language interpreters are available upon request. Please contact Stephanie Morris at least five days prior to the colloquium.

See also:
Department of Computer Science
College of Engineering and Applied Science
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0430 USA
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