Sunday, September 25, 2011

Free Computer Science Courses Offered Online by Stanford Engineering School

Stanford Engineering professors are offering three of the school’s most popular computer science courses for free online this fall, and at the same time launching an experiment that could transform the way online education is delivered.

The professors are taking technologies designed to enhance learning for Stanford students and extending them to a broad online audience. They are delivering lectures as short, interactive video clips that allow students to progress at their own pace through course materials. They are offering live quizzes with instant feedback.  And they are testing new technologies that allow students to rank questions that should be posed to the instructors.

The professors also hope to extend the benefits of Stanford-style education to those who lack access.

“Both in the United States and elsewhere, many people simply do not have access to a high-quality education.  By putting out this initial set of courses, we hope to teach some of the latest computing technologies to anyone who wants to learn it – for free,” said Andrew Ng, an associate professor of computer science who is teaching a new online machine learning course.

The three courses – Machine LearningIntroduction to Artificial Intelligence and Introduction to Databases – cover material that forms the basis of some of the most prevalent technologies today, from online shopping to web search and robotics.

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