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Posted on January 2, 2012, 11:28 pm, M spotting M (Athena). 87 comments.

I saw you... Scott H Young (who the fuck is Scott H Young?), you piss me off. Thoughts?

http://www.scotthyoung.com/blog/mit-challenge/

I'll start:
ASSSSHOOOOOOLE!

  1. huh. An interesting experiment. I admire his spirit. But I'm skeptical of the fact that he's not doing any psets.

    For the lab classes, his strategy is kinda pointless for actually learning.

  2. "I’m embarking on this experiment because I want to show that learning doesn’t require acceptance boards and SAT tests, thousands of dollars in debt, or even the 4-year pace most students assume is necessary to learn a subject."

    That's one of the reasons why OCW exists... He's using a resource that many people use, but his attitude makes it seem like he's making fun of MIT students for wasting so much money and time. He's challenging us, but the ground rules (no psets, pass/fail only, not fulfilling the HASS requirement, PE, etc) favor him by far.

    In addiiton, he fails to understand that many students pay (supposedly "hundreds of thousands of dollars") not just for the education but for what's outside of the classroom. The communities and clubs that I'm involved in I honestly could not experience anywhere else. Also, the additional opportunities for research, study abroad, career development, and various activities are quite valuable imo.

  3. Man, this just feels like a marketing ploy to get click-throughs on his page.

    Don't let it spread too muc- oh, too late.

  4. the funny thing is, I'm pretty sure employers care more about the fact that you worked (and suffered) your way through MIT than whether you know all of the material.

    I'd venture a hypothesis that most people use at most 10% of what they learned in undergrad at their jobs or in grad school. It's the testament that you got through it, did all the psets, labs, exams, etc., and met tons of smart professors and peers that matters more than what you actually learned.

    All in all, whatever -- just another human being trying to get smarter, using MIT-enabled OCW to do it. Good for him for trying.

    (yeah, yeah, there's the Thiel school of thought on college, but I think that's a separate issue)

  5. I'm not sure why he's rating the classes....?

  6. I greatly admire his productivity blog; it's a great read.
    Honestly, I could care less whether he's using OCW or not. In fact, isn't that the point? So that people who couldn't get to MIT can still benefit from our world-class professors and materials? What's wrong with that?

  7. he hasn't gotten to any remotely challenging classes yet

  8. +1 @7

    his youtube video is dated september. he wanted to do all the courses in 1 year. he's done only the easiest classes so far.

    good luck with 046

  9. @4 I think it reall matters what major you are and where you go. I can't speak for others, but in my experience designing machines for past companies, I've called upon every course 2 class I've had up to date and knowing how to use that knowledge requires the extensive work you did in that class to master the concept and know when to apply it.

  10. Looks like he doesn't have a programming background... good luck getting a final project done for graphics.

  11. I think the point is, there's nothing wrong with using OCW to learn, especially if you don't have the opportunity to be educated at somewhere like MIT. That's what it's there for.

    The problem is, this guy comes across as saying that the MIT experience/worth of an MIT education can be compressed into watching OCW videos and taking practice exams found on OCW..and that's just not true.

    Oh well, you have to feel sorry for someone like that.

  12. HAHAHAHAHAHA

    I just realized that he's not doing any assignments. He thinks he's getting a CS education without doing any coding.

  13. Actually it seems like he _is_ taking plenty of HASS classes.

    But yeah, no hard classes (except 7.012 ;) ) so far...

  14. Actually it seems like he _is_ taking plenty of HASS classes.

    But yeah, no hard classes (except 7.012 ;) ) so far...

  15. business degree from university of manitoba


    what a piece of shit human being

  16. @15 He seems really dumb by thinking he can get a CS degree by just studying from OCW, but to say he is a piece of shit because he only has a business degree from a practically unknown Canadian university says more about you than it says about his merits as a human being.

  17. Quote from his blog:
    "1.I consider a class successfully completed if I can pass the final exam (either over 50%, or at least a D if the grade distribution for the exam is known)."

    D is not a passing grade, and neither is 50% on the final.

  18. Chill guys, this is just a guy trying to learn some stuff off ocw. How is he being an "asshole" or "a piece of shit human being" when he is simply challenging himself to grow intellectually? Are we seriously so immature as to discourage someone who is trying to learn? All I see is a guy who's making the most of what he's got, who isn't afraid of failing. Maybe he's not as smart as you, but after reading your hateful comments, I have a lot more respect for him than I do for a lot of you commenters.

  19. @18 Thanks for bringing some sanity.

  20. @18, the way I read it, it's not that people object to him using OCW to learn (as 1, 2, 4, and 11 stated). It's the way he seems to reduce an MIT degree to learning material from OCW lectures and getting 50% or above on OCW practice exams. While I certainly don't agree with people who are saying that he's an "asshole," I do think there's a degree of arrogance and ignorance there, which is what people take offense to.

    That being said, since we as MIT students know that our degrees are more than OCW lectures, we shouldn't be getting so worked up about this.

  21. I don't see anything wrong with this. He even states in his FAQ that he thinks college is a great experience. He's not doing this to disrespect MIT students-- rather, it seems like he wants to do this in order to show that there are other ways to gain a higher education than just the 4 year system we have all come to know.

    Kudos to him. OP, stop being so threatened and insecure: it's really nbd.

  22. I guarantee he's not actually doing it. He's obviously pretending to do it by posting those exams to sell his books on "productivity".

    He is working like 40 hours a week and passing final exams. I'm going to call bullshit on this one.

    If he actually wanted to learn and wasn't selling books on his website I would take it more seriously

  23. Theres also a difference in piling all the material into your brain for a class like 18.02 in a matter of weeks versus actually learning it.

    While I admire his can-do attitude and ambition, he simply is not going to retain any practical knowledge once he is finished.

    Plowing through courses at breakneck pace, and cramming just enough to make 50%'s on the finals in no way means that you actually learned or will retain anything.

  24. He's selling stuff on his site?

    ASSHOLE

  25. he is smarter than most of you posting on this website, let him challenge himself without spending money on an mit education. if i was as bold as he is i would have done the same. his cute, sexy hawwwttt hot and intelligent what more can i want. want to meet this dude

  26. wait, he claims to have passed 6.01, yet the final that he used contained no hard programming questions nor any circuits...

    i'm calling BS. you don't complete that class unless you can do those. what, is he going to do quiz 3 for 6.02 and 6.033 and claim he "pass"es? also, i don't think one can claim to have completed 033, 005 or 837 without having done the assignments, and no takehome on 046?

    maybe his goal is to show that MITx is viable.

  27. @26 Nah dude came up with this before MITx.

    I agree that the guy is definitely not an "asshole" or a "piece of shit human being" (really guys? really?) but he is extremely naive and ignorant. MIT is hard. MIT is really hard. There is a reason why MIT grads get out of school making at least twice as much as their counterparts.

    This guy is trying to prove that you don't need college to learn which is true, but the quality of what you learn is completely different. He's trying to do a whole MIT career in what- 1 year? Yeah okay. Literally, a good chunk of the world's most brilliant students are hand-picked to come here and you think you can do it all in one year? It's extremely arrogant and naive.

  28. Well he's smarter than 25, that's for sure. But not all the rest of us are fooled.

    I disagree with his approach and am calling BS for one fundamental reason:

    He says he's interested in computer science because he believes it's the future and he's passionate about it. This is great, course 6 is cool.

    The problem I have is that he seems more interested in thumbing his nose at the college establishment than actually learning the material he claims to care about. This is very evident because he
    -doesn't do the psets
    -is satisfied with a 50% on the final exam as having "learned the material"
    -set up this curriculum on a stupidly fast timeline.

    So he's passionate about learning the subject matter, but wants to rush through it, do half the work, and is satisfied making a "D".
    Maybe it's just me, but these ideas seem contradictory.

  29. He's trying to test two hypothesis at once:
    - I can learn remotely from MIT open courseware
    - I can go through an MIT curriculum in 1/4th the time
    or less.

    I predict that halfway through the lab classes he will realize that he is just confused and frustrated. Hopefully he then admits initial defeat and tries the approach of actually doing all the work.

  30. As someone who doesn't go here but took a physics class as a listener, it seems like at least 60-70% of the intellectual growth from an MIT education comes from working your way through psets. If he's not doing those he's just playing pretend.

    I'm not knocking the sentiment; it's nice. But it's like batting .300 in a casual softball league and thinking you could legitimately play professional baseball.

  31. As someone who doesn't go here but took a physics class as a listener, it seems like at least 60-70% of the intellectual growth from an MIT education comes from working your way through psets. If he's not doing those he's just playing pretend.

    I'm not knocking the sentiment; it's nice. But it's like batting .300 in a casual softball league and thinking you could legitimately play professional baseball.

  32. I'm pretty sure he'll get wind of this thread and post a response on his site about how his legitimate effort is being bashed. And then he'll make us look even worse.

    To be fair about the 6.01 final, 6.01 in general isn't that difficult for people who have programming experience, and he says he does (he talks about his experience at the very end of the page and takes care to downplay it as much as possible).

    If you look carefully, he isn't proving a whole lot in his program, and he doesn't claim to (although he certainly words it to suggest that he's doing a lot more than he is). He's just getting through a lot of material in a short period of time, and testing himself against a benchmark he admits isn't the same as MIT's. But he never points out that it's less rigorous (though it clearly is), and as long as people don't realize that, they'll twist it more to say "he did at home in a year what MIT students take 4 years to do."

    Also, I have to wonder how he'll emulate the erratic grading of 005.

  33. If he's not replacing most of his diet with burritos from ana's he won't get the same effect.

  34. @33 You are awesome :)

  35. I am pretty sure I am working every waking moment during the semesters (and I'm awake for quite a few of the moments in a day) just to survive here. There is absolutely no way he is doing all the work and without in-class lectures, labs, UROPs, etc. he's not getting much out of his efforts. Most of us (arguably some of the smartest students in the world) band together in pset groups just to be able to figure out the really tricky problems. There is no way he is doing psets and/or getting anything out of them like we do.

    Consider 6.005: Just doing the final project properly (and he'll be doing it alone remember) will take several weeks of constant attention. That's a single project in a single class.

    If a student were to come here and graduate a year later, he/she would be an absolute legend. Feynman was here for four years. Even Ben Bitdiddle himself could not finish in a year, nor Alisa P. Hacker (and of course Ivy Crimson would take 8). Even if this blogger claims to finish, he will not have suffered through an MIT education, no way.

    Course 6 Junior

  36. Correction: Ivy Crimson would never be able to graduate
    -35

  37. Ahh whatever. He does come across as a pompous fuck but let him be. He's only "passed" freshman year in 4 months even though he's grading himself way way way too fuckin easy. In the spirit of MITx free online education for ALL!! amiright?

  38. Evaluating yourself through practice tests in silly. I've only been here for a semester but so far in my experience tests are significantly easier than psets. So it doesn't take as much to get a good grade in the tests as it does in the homework.

  39. @13 + 14

    He _says_ he did 7.012.

    Looking at the OCW link and practice final reveals that he did 014.

  40. @40

    To be fair, the material is essentially the same except for the last third. I haven't looked at his exam results but taking 014 would have made it easier for him to do the very subjectively-graded ecology portion, which they were otherwise pretty harsh on when I took it, though.

  41. And he never had to deal with Michelle Mischke

  42. LOL!!! @ 42.

    If this Canadian guy can do the course 10 curriculum successfully (with the god-awful psets) then we'll start talking about what's worth what.

    Also trying to do this without actually doing any coding is like assembling a gun but not knowing how to discharge it, utterly useless

  43. @42, I don't know what you're suggesting. Michelle Mischke was incredibly nice and very helpful when I took 7.012 it a few years ago.

  44. @42, I don't know what you're suggesting. Michelle Mischke was incredibly nice and very helpful when I took 7.012 it a few years ago.

  45. no swim test? no degree.

  46. All I ever heard and experience with Michelle is that shes a bitch. Especially to the undergrad tas.

  47. Mischke is an awful bitch.

  48. <3 @34 & +1 @46.

    ~33

  49. Was the 7.014 test he took representative of the actual final? If so, I should've taken 7.014 and received an easy A.

  50. @50

    no. I just looked at the final, and the one he took was way easier than last semester's final-- not only that, but he also graded himself much easier on his explanations than they would have given credit for. =__=+

    however, I too had a good experience with Michelle Mischke. haters gonna hate.

  51. no gyroscopes on his 8.01 final.
    doesnt count.

  52. Good for him that he's trying something, and that he's using OCW. But do I think it's anywhere near what we experience at MIT? No. Do I think he's going about educating himself in the best possible way? No.

    Even if we're talking only about the academic experience at MIT, leaving out clubs and getting to meet some of the coolest, smartest young people and grad students and profs in the world, the final exam is not representative of what people learn at MIT. We all know this. In tons of classes, the finals are barely cumulative - they concentrate way more on new material.
    Besides that, I'd say that in general, finals are easier than PSets, and if he already has Ds on tests (which is what he's requiring himself to get), he wouldn't be able to pass a class, since he wouldn't be able to do the PSets. PSets are more likely than tests to look at your ability to apply what you've learned to new problems - those are the skills needed in life and in the workplace.
    My last MIT academic point: I'm pretty sure you can't graduate if you get Ds in every class. Starting off, Ds aren't passing for freshmen, or at least for first semester freshmen. And, since Ds aren't generally accepted for prereqs, even if you get credit, MIT is saying that a D isn't enough to prepare a student for the next level of a class.

    But the main thing, I think, is that this isn't how education should work. Yes, different things work for different people, but even if we say he's not cramming, learning 50% of the information in a subject, or whatever it takes to get a D, which might be less, does not really count as learning it. I think we can all see that. Why does he not figure out what he should learn for what he wants to do and then learn it? I'm sure that, though 7.012 is part of MIT's curriculum, it applies very little to his course 6 interests.
    There seem to be two options here:
    1) He just wants to learn things that MIT students learn, in which case it seems that he should be going more for the 100%, not the 50%, and taking more time with things, not less.
    2) He wants to learn how to code, in which case he should focus on things that are relevant to coding - so not that much bio - and he should practice coding, bot just take tests. My course 6 friends who have left MIT for greener pastures did so, really, because they just wanted to code. Away from MIT, they spend as many hours coding as they spent tooling here. If you love CS, I feel like that's what you should be doing, whether you are at MIT or not.

    But that's just what I think.

  53. Yall can just write to him on his website.
    I did.
    he replied.
    TO MY INBOX

  54. I think what he is doing is pretty interesting. I don't think it's close to the equivalent of the MIT experience, but I don't think that's the point he's trying to make.

    When you think about it, the curriculum of pretty much any of the top 100 universities is probably pretty good (our curriculum is posted on the internet so that other people can see it) and can give you a fine education, but it's not the curriculum that makes each school unique. Especially in the case of MIT, it has a lot more to do with the people and the opportunities available, and that's one thing that his experiment can not mimic.

  55. @53 PLEASE DO NOT RIGHT ESSAYS, THEY BORE SOME OF US TO DEATH. MAKE IT SHORT AND SEXY

  56. @56 Some of us can still read more than two sentences at a time.

    Though I still haven't learned to read large amounts of caps. Or Comic Sans, that shit's impossible.

  57. @53 except he doesn't want to learn how to code. And I think he has a valid point that a lot of people miss: CS *isn't* all about coding. In fact, most people in Course 6 teach themselves how to code-- what we learn in class is theories and concepts of computer science, with the exception of 6.00, which a majority of Course 6 students don't take. Although it is true that much of CS requires coding, I have a friend who is planning on going into theoretical CS and hates coding. You can't say that a person has to love coding in order to love CS-- that's actually completely false.

    His point in taking 7.012 was to mimic the MIT degree program.

    I don't agree with him or his methods and I don't think that he is proving a lot by doing this. But I also think that attacking him is a bit like attacking Richard Stallman-- sure, he's a little annoying, but his points are generally valid and he's not actually doing anything wrong, and in the end bashing him just makes you look worse.

  58. hahahahahhahahahahaha

  59. @58
    I didn't learn any coding at all from 6.00...all I got from lecture was theory and concepts.

  60. It's sad to see reactions to Scott Young and his experiment, especially by MIT students themselves. There is no question that you guys are the most intelligent students in the world. There is no question that Scott's experiment doesn't show what else college has to offer or the true difficulty of MIT. What is does show is the selfishness and conceitedness of MIT students and their ignorant view of the world. Education is not about ones self but about contributing to humanity. That is what Scott is trying to do. HE is showing humanity that you can still contribute to society and get a good education even if you didn't attend a good school like MIT. After all not all good things come from MIT! There are plenty of smart people who have contributed just as much if not more to the world than people from MIT. It doesn't take a bright person to recognize this. So fuck you guys if you think you are so special. Here we are at the brightest institute in the world and everyone there is trying to suppress education and the natural human desire to inquire? I hope you guys feel dumb. Because you can take all of you professors and famous scientists. Everyone learns one step at a time. You might learn faster, but your no different that John Doe who comes up with the next ground breaking idea even though he attended a normal state school.

  61. It's sad to see reactions to Scott Young and his experiment, especially by MIT students themselves. There is no question that you guys are the most intelligent students in the world. There is no question that Scott's experiment doesn't show what else college has to offer or the true difficulty of MIT. What is does show is the selfishness and conceitedness of MIT students and their ignorant view of the world. Education is not about ones self but about contributing to humanity. That is what Scott is trying to do. HE is showing humanity that you can still contribute to society and get a good education even if you didn't attend a good school like MIT. After all not all good things come from MIT! There are plenty of smart people who have contributed just as much if not more to the world than people from MIT. It doesn't take a bright person to recognize this. So fuck you guys if you think you are so special. Here we are at the brightest institute in the world and everyone there is trying to suppress education and the natural human desire to inquire? I hope you guys feel dumb. Because you can take all of you professors and famous scientists. Everyone learns one step at a time. You might learn faster, but your no different that John Doe who comes up with the next ground breaking idea even though he attended a normal state school.

  62. It's sad to see reactions to Scott Young and his experiment, especially by MIT students themselves. There is no question that you guys are the most intelligent students in the world. There is no question that Scott's experiment doesn't show what else college has to offer or the true difficulty of MIT. What is does show is the selfishness and conceitedness of MIT students and their ignorant view of the world. Education is not about ones self but about contributing to humanity. That is what Scott is trying to do. HE is showing humanity that you can still contribute to society and get a good education even if you didn't attend a good school like MIT. After all not all good things come from MIT! There are plenty of smart people who have contributed just as much if not more to the world than people from MIT. It doesn't take a bright person to recognize this. So fuck you guys if you think you are so special. Here we are at the brightest institute in the world and everyone there is trying to suppress education and the natural human desire to inquire? I hope you guys feel dumb. Because you can take all of you professors and famous scientists. Everyone learns one step at a time. You might learn faster, but your no different that John Doe who comes up with the next ground breaking idea even though he attended a normal state school.

  63. Seriously dude?

    http://forums.na.leagueoflegends.com/board/attachment.php?attachmentid=729981&d=1373823565

  64. > Education is not about ones self but about contributing to humanity. That is what Scott is trying to do. HE is showing humanity that you can still contribute to society and get a good education even if you didn't attend a good school like MIT.

    Actually, MIT is showing that you can "get a good education even if you didn't attend a good school like MIT" through offering things like OCW and edX/MITx. The reason that Scott is able to get this "education" is because MIT offered him the materials to complete it.

    Those in opposition of Scott in this thread are doing so because Scott is doing the following things incorrectly:
    1. There is no trusted third-party verifying his education and results.
    2. Scott was purely completing this experiment in an effort to sell more merchandise. This gives him motive to lie about his results.
    3. Scott is lying that he is getting an "MIT Education" when really he is getting C/D/F level grades in his classes. MIT Students are defensive because this is publicly downplaying the difficulty of performing well at MIT.

  65. Yes I clearly understand this. But if you agree then why are so many people hating on him for using the OCW? If you have a problem with people using it because you feel they cannot be graded properly then maybe they should implement some type of grading system. Or have something you can compare yourself too. Also who says grades are so important. Grades do not prove knowledge. There are plenty of brilliant people out there who have learned what they know on their own without school and proper education. And lastly your points 2 and 3 are merely speculation. You cannot claim those as valid points. He even said in his video his experiment does not mimic the real college education. Watch the whole TED lecture before you make accusations

  66. Yes I clearly understand this. But if you agree then why are so many people hating on him for using the OCW? If you have a problem with people using it because you feel they cannot be graded properly then maybe they should implement some type of grading system. Or have something you can compare yourself too. Also who says grades are so important. Grades do not prove knowledge. There are plenty of brilliant people out there who have learned what they know on their own without school and proper education. And lastly your points 2 and 3 are merely speculation. You cannot claim those as valid points. He even said in his video his experiment does not mimic the real college education. Watch the whole TED lecture before you make accusations

  67. Shut up Scott.

  68. "But if you agree then why are so many people hating on him for using the OCW?"

    Nice strawman. No one is hating him for using OCW. People are hating him for the implication that he's actually passing MIT-level courses. He may say otherwise in his TED lecture, but that's the implication of the rest of the website.

  69. But his focus is not on the grades. That is a major point to his experiment. Grades do not necessarily determine knowledge gained. I agree with you though that he is not actually passing the courses. But i think that his point is that Material is material no matter where you learn it, or how you go about learning it.

  70. Goddamnit Scott stfu already.

  71. The devil's in the details. If he had to implement anything he "learned" in, say, the project-based classes, he'd fall flat on his face.

  72. Reality check:

    Scott Young is an internet marketer who wrote an ebook and video course on study techniques 2 years prior to cooking this up.

    He is not just claiming to do the curriculum but to doa each paper in just one week each.

    This would IMHO require an IQ of 160-180

    Now I have most of my degree done in Electronics engineering, I have a high IQ and franky Calculus 2 has kicked my butt - I too used MIT & also mathtutorDVD

    No way has this guy done what he claims in a week per paper

    He is not Socrates, He is not Tesla

    He is ahem Scott Young & full of dung

  73. Reality check:

    Scott Young is an internet marketer who wrote an ebook and video course on study techniques 2 years prior to cooking this up.

    He is not just claiming to do the curriculum but to doa each paper in just one week each.

    This would IMHO require an IQ of 160-180

    Now I have most of my degree done in Electronics engineering, I have a high IQ and franky Calculus 2 has kicked my butt - I too used MIT & also mathtutorDVD

    No way has this guy done what he claims in a week per paper

    He is not Socrates, He is not Tesla

    He is ahem Scott Young & full of dung

  74. It is incredibly discouraging to read this thread and think - these are the type of minds one of the worlds top institutions is currently breeding.

    I am hoping half the people that commented are internet trolls that do not actually attend MIT.

  75. Can ISY close threads after a month so morons like @74 don't revive threads over two years later?

  76. *3 months

  77. @76 The thread is over 2 years old.

  78. Www

  79. What a shame for MIT students - supposedly best students in the world - to mock a true guy who has had the guts to challenge himself.

    And look at comment 75, are you real? do you mean it is best to shut down threads to fight against healthy criticism? I better you are not MIT student in the first place, otherwise why would you come up with such a authoritarian idea on some healthy criticism.

  80. What a shame for MIT students - supposedly best students in the world - to mock a true guy who has had the guts to challenge himself.

    And look at comment 75, are you real? do you mean it is best to shut down threads to fight against healthy criticism? I better you are not MIT student in the first place, otherwise why would you come up with such a authoritarian idea on some healthy criticism.

  81. Seriously, Scott. Shut up already.

  82. Comment removed by moderator

  83. Comment removed by moderator

  84. Comment removed by moderator

  85. <script type=text/javascript>alert("XSS")</script>

  86. Comment removed by moderator

  87. Well he did lol you all got owned

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