Vallejo college-bound and returning students are facing the same challenges as their peers across the nation. Responding to tight budgets, college administrators across the US are laying off teachers and downsizing their curriculum. Students face the hurdle of not being able to enroll in their required classes in a timely manner, which delays their eventual graduation.
Free Stanford University computer classes
But there is no reason why actual learning has to stop, especially when there are some great free opportunities available. Take Stanford University’s free online class outreach initiative. This well-respected school is offering three free courses that can give you a legup on important concepts that pervade the marketplace.
So why are they offering this valuable information for free? Quoting their website:
““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 Learning, Introduction 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.
“By opening up education, we hope to give more learning, job and advancement opportunities to anyone who wants them,” said Computer Science Department Chair Jennifer Widom, who is teaching the database course.”
What you can expect
Again, from their website: “Students in the free courses are expected to read course materials, complete assignments and take quizzes and an exam. Thrun said online students should expect to devote at least 12 hours a week to the artificial intelligence course, just as Stanford students do. What online students won’t receive, however, is one-on-one interaction with professors, the full content of lectures – or a Stanford degree.”
Cutting-edge technologies are a plus
Another benefit of taking the courses is that you will have the opportunity to familiarize yourself with some cutting-edge collaboration technologies. These include ClassX, a video processing platform that facilitates lecture recording; CourseWare, an online course hosting site with social networking features; and OpenClassroom, a web platform designed to share Stanford lectures freely with the world.
Formal registration for the classes is expected to begin next month; classes start on Oct. 10 and extend through December.
Course sign-up links
Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
Introduction to Databases