Finding Gemstones: on the quest for mathematical beauty and truth
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Expii: Learning, connected

It’s been several months since I posted a gemstone, and the main reason is that much of my free-time mathematics energy recently became channeled into a new project: Expii.

Expii (currently beta) is a new online crowdsourced learning site that aims to fill the gaps in users’ understanding of topics, with the goal of making math, science, and other topics easy for everyone in the universe. Its motto? Learning, connected.

With an addictive, game-like format (hence the XP pun) in which users are awarded “fame points” for writing good explanations and “experience points” for successfully making it through tutorials, Expii is more interactive and community oriented than other online learning resources like Wikipedia. It is also more structured than question-and-answer sites like Quora or Stack Exchange, in that the primary “graph structure” for the topics is organized by our team, and users fill in the content in the nodes.

The first thing you see when you go to is the highest-level Universe graph:

This currently has two disjoint subgraphs: Expii Guide and Calculus. One can scroll or click to zoom in on Calculus:

And magically, other smaller subgraphs appear! Keep zooming in and eventually you get to the lowest level of detail, which has Topic nodes that you can click on:

Let’s click on Lines and Slopes. This brings us to a user-written explanation of lines and slopes!

It is easy for an explainer to write interactive questions, for the student to answer before moving on to the next part of the explanation. For instance, if you answer the first question correctly here, it gives you a green light and reveals the next part of the explanation:

But if you get it wrong, red light!

When you’re done with a topic or simply feel like browsing, you can scroll down for a seamless transition to a related topic:

And this is just the beginning. Expii was founded by Po-Shen Loh and Ray Li only a handful of months ago. They quickly drew in a fantastic team of mathematicians of scientists (including me) that care about education, outreach, and spreading the love of learning in a way that is fun and engaging. It will be exciting to see what Expii becomes over the next few years.

If you’d like to experiment with Expii yourself, write some explanations, or contribute to the project, contact me and I can get you a referral code so that you can log in. It’s the newest and shiniest gemstone in mathematics education!