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We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

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Deep Learning

The Big Idea for Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A fundamental aspect of deep learning is the ability to apply skills to the real world. There is deep risk, therefore, in teaching subjects like math without demonstrating its relevancy to our own world. 

Tom Hartsfield demonstrates in today's lesson that basic geometry is used "in almost every engineering project and every physics discovery that has ever been made." If we consider the related idea put forward by thinkers such as Conrad Wolfram that our economy is transitioning into a "computational knowledge economy," then math skills no longer seem abstract, but deeply relevant to a student's chance of success in life.

In such an advanced economy, Wolfram argues, "high-level math is integral to what everyone does." Still more profoundly, experimental research suggests that "our experience of beauty relates most strongly to mathematical language." Now it's time to put the beauty back in the teaching of math. 

Perspectives

  1. 1 Geometries of the Universe: The Math of Knowledge Advancement
    Big Think Editors Experts' Corner
  2. 2 Math is the Mind of God
    Michio Kaku Dr. Kaku's Universe
  3. 3 Blending Math With Beauty
    Benoit Mandelbrot
  4. 4 Reinventing Math for the Computational Knowledge Economy
    Daniel Honan Think Tank
 

Deep Learning

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