THE HAWKING INDEX. This article by Joseph Brean in the National Post has a good explanation of how the Hawking Index is calculated. The Index, which was devised by Jordan Ellenberg, a mathematician at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, is a rough guide to how much of a book is actually read. The Index is calculated using a feature of Kindle that allows readers to highlight passages in a book. Professor Ellenberg explains that: The Index “averages the page number of the five most highlighted passages in Kindle versions, and ranks that as a percentage of the total page count”.

Professor Ellenberg recognizes that the Index is a “quick and dirty approximation”.

Professor Ellenberg named the Hawking Index in honor of Stephen Hawking’s A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME, “famous as the most unread book of all time”.

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