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Pattern recognition- teach your child this most important career skill

  • 3m guru
  • Jul 21, 2022
  • 0 comment(s)
Do you know about one foundational skill that forms the basis of many sought after careers like Data Science, Machine Learning, AI, Neural networks etc? It is pattern recognition. 

Why does Mukesh Ambani have a fortune of 100 billion dollars? More over he has been successful in all his business ventures from oil to telecom. One can always point to luck — and there certainly was some of it in his early days — but without his ability to see patterns in the market, technology and consumer behavior he would not have consistently increased his wealth over time.

Patterns. It’s all about patterns, and recognizing them. We value patterns more than everything else. Virtually every single job on the planet is based on how good someone is at recognizing patterns and to act accordingly.

What is Pattern Recognition?

Pattern recognition is a cognitive process that happens in our brain when we match some information that we encounter, with data already stored in our memory.

It is a process that happens when we experience something and our brain tries to make sense of it with information that we already know and understand.

Where do you use pattern recognition?

Nature is a starting point for identifying patterns. The patterns of a sea shell, the petals of a flower and the making of a beehive are all naturally occurring patterns. Toddlers will start to identify and make patterns with their play. Arranging toys in line is the start of a child’s pattern recognition  skills. School children learn patterns with numbers. Our number system is a pattern that is based on the multiplication of ten. Ten is ten times bigger than one, one hundred is ten times bigger than ten etc.

Algebra is filled with rules and number sequences, which are patterns. Knowledge of patterns is transferred into science fields where they prove very helpful. Patterns in stars become constellations. Understanding animal patterns has been used to help endangered species. Understanding weather patterns not only allows one to predict the common impact of climatic changes, but also in devising the appropriate response in emergency situations.

Why is pattern recognition important? 

It is a critical component of human intelligence and plays a key role in all kinds of human activities. Pattern Recognition is a special ability of the human brain to not only find patterns, but also to figure out in a logical way what those patterns suggest about what will happen next. In a broad sense, pattern recognition forms the basis for all scientific inquiry.

Compared to all mental abilities, pattern recognition is said to have the highest correlation with general intelligence. The ability to spot existing or emerging patterns is one of the most if not the most critical skill in decision-making, though we’re mostly unaware that we do it all the time.

Understanding and identifying recurring patterns allow us to make educated guesses, assumptions and hypothesis; it helps us develop important skills like critical thinking.

In what fields is pattern recognition used?

Pattern recognition is a branch of Artificial Intelligence and has applications in statistical data analysis, signal processing, image analysis, information retrieval, bio informatics, data compression, computer graphics and machine learning.

Google uses pattern recognition to transcribe spoken words to written texts. Facebook and Youtube uses pattern recognition to predict what content you will like to watch next. Amazon uses it to understand customer behaviour and what you might be interested in buying next. And the list goes on...

Pattern recognition and childhood growth

Children love to find patterns in the world around them. According to research, our brain, from an early age, is wired to recognize patterns. There is a pattern in everything from clapping hands to reciting rhymes with rhythm.

For example, when a mother teaches her child to count, she says, “One, two, three.” After multiple repetitions, when mom says, “One, two…”, the child can respond with “Three.” As we can see, the child recognized the pattern.

How can pattern recognition help your child’s academics?

Pattern recognition not only helps students in mathematics, but also in nature, art, music, and literature. It helps them understand change, make predictions, and make logical connections using their reasoning skills. 

The knowledge and understanding of patterns can be transferred into all curriculum areas and open many doors where this knowledge can be applied. 

It also helps children embrace change and understand that things happen over time. Patterns provide a sense of order in what might otherwise appear chaotic.

Pattern recognition increases concentration and observation skills in children. So let’s wire the thoughts of our children and channelize their energy in a pattern to develop their life skills and social awareness.

How can pattern recognition help your child’s career?

Kids with good pattern recognition skills, can do well in careers that demands making sense of complex data like data science, artificial Intelligence and those that have applications in statistical data analysis, signal processing, image analysis, information retrieval, bio informatics, data compression, computer graphics and machine learning.

If maths/science is about patterns, so are psychology, sociology, philosophy…. even arts, music, making a movie, writing a book. A language is a form of codified and organized patterns, which helps us transfer a mind-pattern — an idea, a thought, an image, an emotion — to someone else.

How can pattern recognition be improved?

Whether you call it problem solving, trouble-shooting or issue spotting, pattern recognition is undoubtedly a key to success in doing anything well. 

Like any other skill, pattern recognition skill comes through practice. Games such as chess, crosswords, puzzles etc. help your brain to remember patterns. While books and worksheets are also available to improve this skill, online courses with hands on activities are more helpful for children to master pattern recognition.

Patterns exist everywhere and it is safe to say that the benefits of understanding patterns open many doors where this knowledge can be applied. 

Pattern Recognition is one of our most important cognitive skills, yet it is surprisingly underrepresented in childhood education. Fortunately some avenues were developed to fill that void using fun learning activities.

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