Neurasium tackles high school education problems

Silicon Valley startup motivates high school students through competitive games

Neurasium is a newly minted Silicon Valley startup that aims to tackle some of the fundamental problems high schools face. Bakhtiyar Neyman, the founder and CEO of Neurasium is a former Google engineer who has also been active in various mind sports communities, such as chess, competitive programming, and trivia contests. Now he and his team are working on adapting their underlying principles to formal education. According to Bakhtiyar, the excitement of competition is an essential factor missing from a typical high school experience.

“Classrooms are just too small and rigid,” says Bakhtiyar. “There aren’t enough kids in a typical class to organize a competition that would match contestants of similar aptitude. We are fixing it by building a nationwide community, where every kid will be able to play with bright peers, learn from them and teach them. We are not just teaching kids the class material, we are motivating them to teach themselves.”

Another innovation of the platform is the personalized touch that is difficult to achieve in a physical classroom. Educators, who are often overwhelmed with work cannot be expected today to keep track of each student’s progress in every detail of the subject. Neurasium sets the goal to change the status quo by leveraging AI to create an individualized study plan for every learner, in order to unlock their true potential.

Behind-the-scenes application of the learning techniques that were battle-tested by generations of law and medical students is among other ingredients of Neurasium. An example would be spaced repetition, a method of presenting a concept and testing on a schedule that has been shown experimentally to result in better retention of information per amount of time spent studying. “Unfortunately, techniques that have been known to improve the chances of success of university students have seen limited application in schools,” says Bakhtiyar. “They typically require a lot of self-discipline and intrinsic motivation. We can use them because we create motivation.”

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