IBL News | New York
Nearly one-third of STEM students fail or drop Calculus on their first semester of college.
Experts explain that students understand the concepts of Calculus but don’t have the assumed knowledge of algebra, trigonometry, and exponential functions.
“Calculus is an unseen barrier to STEM careers. It’s a leak in the pipeline,” Milena Marinova, Vice President of Artificial Intelligence Products and Solutions at Pearson, said.
In an attempt to tackle the students’ struggle, London-based Pearson introduced an AI-powered calculus tutor this month.
It’s an iOS mobile app called Aida that offers real-time, specific feedback and personalized recommendations on students’ work on Calculus 1. It tracks learner progress and provides suggestions for what to learn next.
Learners can type formulas directly on the app’s keyboard or take a photo of their handwritten homework. Aida will then analyze their calculations line by line, telling the student if they got each step right and prompting them to review instructional resources.
The app also features videos of calculus in the real world, step-by-step demonstrations, and practice questions.
Using numerous AI techniques, such as deep learning and reinforcement learning, Aida can understand handwriting, analyze a student’s reasoning, and determine whether or not it is correct.
Logically, it needs a lot of data to auto-improve: the more students engage with these materials, the more specific the app’s recommendations for future study will become.
The app is available for free until the end of the year. Next year, Pearson plans to introduce a subscription at $2.99 a month.
Aida is not the first tool for solving mathematical equations (PhotoMath is another popular free online tool), although it is one of the most sophisticated ones using AI.