barnaby
Posts: 76
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Re: Udacity

Sat Feb 04, 2012 7:54 am

From Sebastian Thrun, one of the leaders of the online AI Class:

"Thank you for your interest in AI Class and congratulations to those who
successfully graduated. We were totally amazed that over 23,000 students
made it all the way to the end in a Stanford graduate-level class.

Due to popular demand, we are teaching a follow-up class: AI for
Robotics at http://www.udacity.com . Also due to popular demand, we now have
a programming environment, so you can develop and test software. Our
goal is to teach you to program a self-driving car in 7 weeks. This
is a topic very close to my heart, and I am eager to share it with
you. (This class builds on the concepts in ai-class, but ai-class is
NOT required).

We are also launching an introduction to programming class, where
students will learn to program a search engine, without any prior
knowledge of programming. This will be great for students new to
computer science.

We are doing this with a new university: Udacity. In the next months,
we will offer an entire computer science curriculum through Udacity,
and offer certification services so that an entire degree can be obtained
online.

I would love to see you in class again! I would also love if you could
help us spread the word and recruit students. Udacity is an experiment
in democratizing education, in making free education available for
everyone in the world. It can only succeed if you join us and help
spread the word.

Sebastian"

Sounds good to me! Pity I"m self employed and a little too busy to get a degree in computing online (then again, if I can ace the anti spam questions here I may stand a chance of doing it really quickly ). Might try the other stuff though…

Cheers,
Barnaby

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scep
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Re: Udacity

Sat Feb 04, 2012 8:23 am

I'm signed up for both the computing one (to see if I can use it for teaching) and the AI one.The AI course was excellent.

Note that you do not get any qualifications from these - the OU is your best bet for an accredited online degree course IMO. Not cheap though

barnaby
Posts: 76
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Re: Udacity

Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:07 pm

I did the AI one and loved it. I"m not planning on seriously committing to any others.

Note that seb mentions that they are planning to run certifications as well — scarily, you will be able to get a degree out of this!

Cheers,
Barnaby

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scep
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Re: Udacity

Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:42 pm

Barnaby Walters said:


Note that seb mentions that they are planning to run certifications as well — scarily, you will be able to get a degree out of this!


Didn't spot that. As long as they make it robust enough I don't see a problem. An OU degree is pretty well thought of, for example. Will be interesting to see how much it costs and who is accrediting it.

Piw32
Posts: 82
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Re: Udacity

Sun Feb 05, 2012 7:17 pm

Excellent ! How do they manage to offer this for free ?

jamesh
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Re: Udacity

Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:47 pm

Piw32 said:


Excellent ! How do they manage to offer this for free ?


They don't. I imagine it's paid for by the American taxpayer.
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scep
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Re: Udacity

Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:22 pm

The Thun/Stanford one I guess was funded as an experiment. But once you have 100 000 people sign up for your course I suppose that you might see a business model in there somewhere

I will personally treat these free courses as a "Doom model" - hook you with the first few levels free and then charge you for the full game . Unacity is a for profit company – they're going to have to break even somehow  – be this through partnerships, philanthropy (viz Khan Academy) or by charging for advanced courses.

Still  – exciting stuff and definitely a kick up the bum for universities who have had a monopoly on charging what the hell they want to for the last few hundred years for a bit of paper that says you are good at summat.

Game changing? I hope so.

foo
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:49 am

Re: Udacity

Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:46 pm

I personally thought the AI class with Norvig & Thrun was far worse than the (quite excellent) ML class also being taught, in terms of communication, clarity and general teaching capability.

Hopefully Thrun has learned from the various mistakes and does this venture better.  It's a shame that he can't continue to work with Stanford because their other free classes seem to be quite top-notch.  But I don't think Stanford has it in their roadmap to do what Thrun wants.

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scep
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Re: Udacity

Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:55 pm

foo said:


I personally thought the AI class with Norvig & Thrun was far worse than the (quite excellent) ML class also being taught, in terms of communication, clarity and general teaching capability.


This may wll be an issue with this MMPODL model. I've taken some really bad classes in my time, taught by awful lecturers. The difference is only 40 people attended those.

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jojopi
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Re: Udacity

Sun Feb 05, 2012 11:32 pm

Piw32 said:


Excellent ! How do they manage to offer this for free ?


The longer-term goal is definitely to charge. The idea is that the larger class sizes will allow them to provide world-class lecturers at a price well below traditional university fees.

The current classes are serving both as publicity and systems testing. I would advise fans of free education to sign up as guinea pigs now.

JamesH said:


They don't. I imagine it's paid for by the American taxpayer.


As far as I can tell Stanford is a privately-funded university, and nobody mentioned in this thread receives public money.  But feel free to imagine.

EricMiddleton
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:47 am

Re: Udacity

Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:48 am

I signed up for the robotic car class. Hopefully I can apply some of the concepts (machine vision, routes, sensors, ect) to my RPi UAV project...

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mkopack
Posts: 242
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Re: Udacity

Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:45 pm

Yeah, I just signed up for the car one as well... Don't know how the heck I'm going to have time to work on the assignments given that I'm also in grad school (Drexel U) taking  classes online while working full time, and we're going to be in the thick of the quarter by the time this starts up. I've actually already done a lot of what Seb is going to cover in my Advanced AI and Robotics Lab classes last year, but this will be a good refresher and maybe I'll pick up something new that I can use for my robotics club competition bot.

jamesh
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Re: Udacity

Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:33 pm

jojopi said:





JamesH said:


They don"t. I imagine it"s paid for by the American taxpayer.


As far as I can tell Stanford is a privately-funded university, and nobody mentioned in this thread receives public money.  But feel free to imagine.


Ultimately, it's all paid for by the tax payer (everything is). The private donations made to fund it? Reduces the donators tax burden. That needs to be paid for elsewhere by the taxpayer. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with it. The more education the better.
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
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I've been saying "Mucho" to my Spanish friend a lot more lately. It means a lot to him.

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mkopack
Posts: 242
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Re: Udacity

Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:42 pm

Udacity isn't affiliated with Stanford... Thurn WAS a professor at Stanford, but after seeing how well received the online stuff this past fall was received, he decided he couldn't teach in a traditional environment anymore, and started up Udacity. He's left Stanford (or maybe taken a LoA ?)

I honestly don't know how they're planning to make money at this or support it, but I'm sure there will be something... Maybe a grant from Dept of Ed, who knows....

S0litaire
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Re: Udacity

Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:47 pm

Biggest problem is if the qualifications gained for doing these courses will be recognized by any (UK or other country's) establishment as valid accreditation.

You never know it may end up tagged with the same reputation as those "P.O.Box" Universities people use to scam their way into countries!!

Saying that, I'm going to go through as many as i can towards a degree ^_^
--
Laters

Bill "Solitaire" C

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