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Free Online Courses

The internet’s offering of information is nearly unlimited, but this is not always a good thing. Many people get lost with this overflow of information and don’t manage to recognise good qualities information from bad ones. Hopefully we have Google which never stop improving their search engine and Wikipedia who provide answers to most questions we have in mind. These two websites revolutionise the world, more precisely the access to information.

This post is about a new kind of information revolution. This post is about the democratisation of university level courses provided for everyone and for free.

This revolution gently started in October 2011 when the two most famous teachers in AI start an online course program. To a huge surprise more than 160’000 students registered for this course. There were children, single parents, PhDs… People from all around the world were following the course. I know that because I was one of them. This was an incredible experience, so many views and ideas were sharing in a respective and productive environment.

After the big success of this course and two other ones launched at the same time, an incredible thing happened: Many teachers from different universities started to propose similar free online courses.

And I am not talking about slides and exercises put online but real courses with lectures taught by world-class professors who work in universities like MIT, Stanford, Princeton, Berkeley and so on.

Lessons are presented as interactive videos with quizzes, there are also exercises, exams, active communities, slides, etc. Even if there are thousands of students, by a voting system student can vote for most interesting questions and teachers will answer them on YouTube.

Every course is free and for everyone.

Here is a listing of courses I have found.

Course Category University Duration Next Session
A History of the World since 1300 Humanities and Social Sciences Princeton University 12 weeks 17 September 2012
Algorithms, Part I Computer Science Princeton University 6 weeks August 2012
Algorithms, Part II Computer Science Princeton University 6 weeks November 2012
Analytic Combinatorics, Part I Mathematics and Statistics Princeton University 5 weeks February 2013
Analytic Combinatorics, Part II Mathematics and Statistics Princeton University 5 weeks March 2013
Automata Computer Science
Mathematics and Statistics
Stanford University 6 weeks TBA
Basic Behavioral Neurology Healthcare, Medicine, and Biology  University of Pennsylvania 4 – 5 weeks July 2012
Calculus: Single Variable Mathematics and Statistics University of Pennsylvania 12 weeks 27 August 2012
Cardiac Arrest, Hypothermia, and Resuscitation Science Healthcare, Medicine, and Biology  University of Pennsylvania 4 – 5 weeks July 2012
Compilers Computer Science Stanford University 10 weeks TBA
Computer Architecture Computer Science Princeton University 10 weeks September 2012
Computer Science 101 Computer Science Stanford University 6 weeks TBA
Computer Vision: From 3D Reconstruction to Visual Recognition Computer Science Stanford University
University of Michigan
TBA September 2012
Computer Vision: The Fundamentals Computer Science University of California, Berkeley 10 weeks 23 April 2012
Cryptography Computer Science
Mathematics and Statistics
Stanford University 10 weeks TBA
Design and Analysis of Algorithms I Computer Science Stanford University 5 weeks TBA
Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World Humanities and Social Sciences University of Michigan 10 weeks 23 July 2012
Fundamentals of Pharmacology Healthcare, Medicine, and Biology  University of Pennsylvania 4 – 5 weeks June 2012
Game Theory Computer Science
Economics, Finance, and Business
Stanford University 7 weeks TBA
Gamification Economics, Finance, and Business University of Pennsylvania TBA TBA
Greek and Roman Mythology Humanities and Social Sciences University of Pennsylvania 10 weeks September 2012
Health Policy and the Affordable Care Act Economics, Finance, and Business
Healthcare, Medicine, and Biology 
University of Pennsylvania 4 weeks June 2012
Human-Computer Interaction Computer Science Stanford University 5 weeks 28 May 2012
Internet History, Technology, and Security Society, Networks, and Information University of Michigan 6 weeks 23 July 2012
Introduction to Finance Economics, Finance, and Business University of Michigan 10 weeks 23 July 2012
Introduction to Genome Science Healthcare, Medicine, and Biology  University of Pennsylvania TBA TBA
Introduction to Logic Computer Science
Mathematics and Statistics
Stanford University 7 weeks TBA
Introduction to Sociology Society, Networks, and Information
Humanities and Social Sciences
Princeton University 6 weeks 11 June 2012
Listening to World Music Humanities and Social Sciences University of Pennsylvania 7 weeks 23 July 2012
Machine Learning Computer Science
Mathematics and Statistics
Stanford University 5 weeks TBA
Model Thinking Economics, Finance, and Business
Society, Networks, and Information
University of Michigan 10 weeks September 2012
Modern & Contemporary American Poetry Humanities and Social Sciences University of Pennsylvania 10 weeks September 2012
Natural Language Processing Computer Science Stanford University 8 weeks TBA
Networked Life Computer Science
Society, Networks, and Information
University of Pennsylvania 10 weeks September 2012
Networks: Friends, Money, and Bytes Computer Science
Economics, Finance, and Business
Society, Networks, and Information
Mathematics and Statistics
Princeton University 10 weeks September 3, 2012
Probabilistic Graphical Models Computer Science
Mathematics and Statistics
Stanford University 10 weeks TBA
Securing Digital Democracy Computer Science
Society, Networks, and Information
University of Michigan 5 weeks 3 September 2012
Social Network Analysis Society, Networks, and Information University of Michigan 8 weeks September 2012
Software Engineering for SaaS Computer Science University of California, Berkeley 5 weeks May 18 2012
Statistics One Mathematics and Statistics Princeton University 6 weeks 3 September 2012
Vaccines Healthcare, Medicine, and Biology  University of Pennsylvania 4 – 5 weeks June 2012
You can find other courses here.
There is also Khan Academy which have more than 3’200 great videos for college and high school level.
 
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Posted by on May 25, 2012 in Thoughts

 

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2012 Week 11 – Keep acquiring new knowledge

Bucket Challenge: Keep learning

(Ending Sunday 18th March 2012)

A lot of people stop learning when they finish their study. It’s understandable that after years of learning, most people are fed up with learning. But there is so much to win if we continue to learn and acquiring new knowledge.

Memory is like a muscle; if you stop learning, your ability to remember things will weaken. However this also works the other way around. The more you learn, the better is your memory. With time, you develop better strategy at learning and integrating knowledge. Learning is incremental, so don’t give up.

Put your money into learning is probably the best investment you can ever make.

Bellow is an extract from an interview with Warren Buffett:

`At a time when many college graduates face uncertain futures and are struggling to find jobs, Buffett said he still believes that “investing in yourself is the best thing you can do. Anything that improves your own talents. And I always advise students to do that, high school students, college students and obviously investing in your children is, in some ways, investing in yourself.” No matter what happens in the economy, “if you have true talent yourself, and you have maximized your talent, you have a terrific asset” ´ [source]

Learning new knowledge brings new possibilities and opportunities. 

Many prestigious universities like the MIT, Stanford offer free resources and lessons (pdf, recording of lessons) to everyone to download. Recently some universities offer interactive courses made to be given online. 

In these interactive courses, there are not only pdf and recording of lessons, but also quizzes, forum, exercises, study group, videos, reading material, exams and even more. All courses are given by teachers among the best in the world and for free.

So why not take classes with the most eminent teachers in the world? There are lot of courses for any subjects and any levels.


Let’s go!

Challenge: Keep acquiring new knowledge
It can be anything.

Extra Challenge:

Master this field of interest

Goals:

Continue learning and improving yourself
Time required: A lot :p
Energy level: Medium to high
Preparation: Find out what you want to learn.

Some links of free online courses:

Coursera
Academic Earth
Udacity
Khan Academy


 
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Posted by on March 12, 2012 in Weekly

 

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