LONDON, November 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
Memrise - the online learning platform that provides courses in languages, history, science, trivia and more, built based on how your brain works to help you learn better and faster - has announced its first international competition, the Memrise Prize, in partnership with University College London. The Memrise Prize challenges everyone and anyone to create the most powerful methodology for memorising new information. The winning entry will collect a prize of $10,000 and feature in an article co-authored and shared with the scientific and business community.
While there are many theories and debates around what factors influence how effectively humans retain information, it is not yet known how best to combine these factors to maximise memorisation. The brainchild of Professor David Shanks and Dr. Rosalind Potts of the UCL Division of Psychology and Language Sciences, the Memrise Prize strives to stimulate progress, creativity and knowledge-sharing, and to set the bar for future research on the topic.
"We think there's every likelihood that the winning entries to this competition will propose new and unsuspected strategies for more effectively memorising information," said Ed Cooke, CEO and co-founder of Memrise and Grandmaster of Memory. "We hope that the discoveries thrown up by the competition will teach us new ways of going about studying, that can have a long-term impact on how education is conducted both online and off."
"We hope the competition will inspire everyone from schoolchildren to professors of psychology to enter as there is no telling which method will emerge victorious," said Prof. David Shanks. "Currently Memrise.com has very sophisticated algorithms under its bonnet which have a lot of psychology built into them but no one can say for certain what is the best way to retain information."
The aim of the competition is to find the optimal way of using an hour of study time to learn foreign language vocabulary. Entrants are required to develop an experimental task that is designed to achieve the best possible final test performance, and evaluate this, in their own laboratories, against a baseline condition which the judging panel will supply.
The competition is broken into two phases:
In the first phase of the competition, the competitors will test their proposed method against the standard control in their own laboratories, classrooms or elsewhere and will submit their experimental data and a description of their method to a panel of judges. The competition will be judged by a panel of leading researchers in the field of memory and neuroscience. The difference in scores for the two groups on the test phase will be used to identify the most promising learning methods.
After the initial judging period, the entrants will be narrowed down to the most promising four finalists, and these will be run on a controlled selection of 1,000 people on the Memrise website. The final winner will be determined statistically by the recall performance of those 1,000 after a one week gap.
- 28th February 2015: Deadline for entries
- 16th March 2015: Shortlist of 4 announced
- May 2015: Running of shortlisted entries on Memrise
- 31st May 2015: Winner announced
More information on the competition, how to enter and the rules can be found here: http://www.memrise.com/prize/
Founded in 2010 by Grandmaster of Memory, Ed Cooke and Princeton neuroscientist, Greg Detre in 2010, Memrise is a free online learning platform which takes the very best science of learning and combines it with engaging, playful design to make word-learning fun, fast and exceedingly effective. It uses the latest cognitive science to help you learn up to five times faster. Over the last four years, Memrise has helped more than 2.5 million people to learn more than 400 different languages.
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