First pull request for khan-exercises got accepted!

My first pull request for khan-exercise merged into master today.

Several events happened over the last week that led me to dig into Khan Academy’s code for their exercises questions. First of all, I was an instant fan of when I first heard about them. When I used to tutor kids back in Seattle I told the teachers about the website as well. Several days ago I noticed the Khan Academy app on my Windows Phone, and I thought to myself that I wished the app would play videos directly from the app instead of sending users to the website. While I was playing with the app, I came across a TED video of Salman Khan’s talk. It’s a really eye-opening and exciting talk, so I recommend you check it out too!

Later on, I came across David Hu’s blog post about how they’re using machine learning at Khan Academy, which further piqued my interest. At the bottom of David’s blog, he included a little recruiting plug. He said, “Do you want to make 0.1% improvements in ad click-thru rates for the rest of your life, or come with us and change the world of education?” Personally I don’t want a job where my primary focus is to figure out how to make better ads. It simply goes against what I hate and I won’t be involved in it. David’s call to “change the world of education” is a far more exciting goal too!

I’m partially through reading the Steve Jobs book, and in the book it talks his upbringing and his drive to make the seemingly impossible possible. I consider myself lucky to have had defining moments when I was growing up to instill confidence and hope in me. I wish that all kids can grow up getting what they need to help them always have hope and the confidence that they can achieve what they set out to do. Typing this blog post up reminded me of a CBC radio I heard. The radio segment talked about an Olympic athlete volunteer to tutor kids. She use sports to help build confidence in kids by taking them through baby steps to achieve and improve their athletic ability, then applying the same confidence to their other work. Sometimes, kids just need more exercises and a bit more help to see that things are possible and that they absolutely have the ability to understand these concepts.

I think Khan Academy is a great idea and I look forward to contributing more.