Metafilter Stanford Study Group October 10, 2011 11:48 PM   Subscribe

Interest in joining a Metafilter Study Group(s) for the now Stanford Online Courses? (Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Databases)

As a follow up to this FPP from a few months ago, a few of us thought that it would be good to see if any other mefites want to work on one or more of the offered classes together.

As assignee to cat-herding duty; I am just taking numbers of people interested in each course, and given the response weighing proposals for an online way that we could use to do study groups: a mix of google+ and (as yet) non-defunct google-wave is my first thought, but open to suggestions.

Thoughts and interest, fellow nerds for life?
posted by stratastar to MetaFilter-Related at 11:48 PM (58 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

posted by dfriedman at 11:49 PM on October 10, 2011

Machine Learning, though I am still trying to get a handle on the time commitment.
posted by cgk at 12:12 AM on October 11, 2011

Hells yes. This post served as a timely reminder! I'm now enrolled for the "basic" tracks of AI and Machine Learning. w00t
posted by speicus at 1:01 AM on October 11, 2011

I'm intrigued by both the classes and an online study group.
posted by Pronoiac at 1:32 AM on October 11, 2011

I am interested in the first two but I will have to check the details with more time before committing.
posted by CautionToTheWind at 2:50 AM on October 11, 2011

Yes. In a display of drunken egotism, I upgraded from Basic to Advanced in the AI class.
posted by yerfatma at 5:18 AM on October 11, 2011

Whew! From the post title, I was afraid you were going to divide us up into prisoners and guards.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:19 AM on October 11, 2011 [11 favorites]

posted by empath at 5:26 AM on October 11, 2011

N = 10.

(I am in the AI.)

Thank you stratastar for being the lead cat.
posted by bukvich at 5:47 AM on October 11, 2011

I'm in for Machine Learning.
posted by bluefly at 5:49 AM on October 11, 2011

a mix of google+ and (as yet) non-defunct google-wave is my first thought, but open to suggestions.

I'm interested in the study group, but not in handing google my private data (not to mention learning new technologies to talk about the stuff I don't understand--what a morass of new learning!). What about plain email lists + IRC + pastebin or something?

That said, I'm not sure how necessary a study group is going to be. Apparently there won't be any programming assignments. So all the "studying" is just going to be "when he said X did he mean A or B?" not any actual "how did you implement Y?"
posted by DU at 6:06 AM on October 11, 2011

Oh and I'm in the AI class. I've already started reading/working through the book. I've been doing Scheme but thinking about switching to Common Lisp.
posted by DU at 6:07 AM on October 11, 2011

I signed up for the database class, which should be interesting since I'm a database administrator. Heh. I don't know if I'll have time to participate in a study group, but anyone taking that class should feel free to MeMail me with any questions.
posted by Maisie at 6:36 AM on October 11, 2011

Also, why no love for the database class?

/stomps off
posted by Maisie at 6:47 AM on October 11, 2011

I'm interested! I am signed up for both machine learning and AI. Right now, I am hoping to do AI at the advanced level and machine learning at the basic, but we'll see what I actually have time for.
posted by amj at 7:17 AM on October 11, 2011

DU: "I'm interested in the study group, but not in handing google my private data"

The lecturers are using Google Moderator (background) which is designed to crowdsource discussion -- anyone in the room can ask a question, and then the crowd can up- or down-vote it in the queue. Presumably it won't be required to observe the class, but one would likely need it to participate.
posted by zarq at 7:19 AM on October 11, 2011

posted by iamkimiam at 7:23 AM on October 11, 2011

I just signed up for the database class and would be up for a study group.
posted by yarrow at 7:29 AM on October 11, 2011

Do you accept auditors? Can I be the SeƱor Chang in your study group?
posted by benito.strauss at 7:46 AM on October 11, 2011

If benito.strauss gets to audit, I would like to sign up for the position of smug, deadbeat study group partner. I can over-promise and under-deliver like nobody's business. And I can be smug. Hell, I'm probably overqualified to be in your little group, anyway.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:05 AM on October 11, 2011 [2 favorites]

I've just signed up for the database course. I'd definitely be interested in being part of a study group, provided that I can play the role of Troy.

posted by auto-correct at 10:41 AM on October 11, 2011

Thanks, I had missed the original post. This looks like it will be interesting. I'm signed up for the AI course.
posted by rakish_yet_centered at 10:51 AM on October 11, 2011

I'm doing ML and AI at advanced level, I'd definitely be up for this.
posted by atrazine at 10:52 AM on October 11, 2011

> The lecturers are using Google Moderator

From the comments in zarq's cnet link:

"Keep El Goog in check... or soon you'll be sending them your paychecks in order to survive."

Actually the cnet writer had a good point.
posted by bukvich at 11:01 AM on October 11, 2011

I'm doing all three at advanced level, but I fully intend to drop at least one of them to basic.

A study group/discussion sounds like lots of fun!
posted by jdherg at 12:16 PM on October 11, 2011

I'm signed up for all 3 at advanced right now. We'll see if I drop any or all down or out. But I'm up for a study group too.
posted by Opposite George at 12:49 PM on October 11, 2011

Does this make me Annie? Because that is so not my personality.

For logistics, I made a check-in form here (for those of you scared of great lord cht-googl-u play along from the sidelines / memail me your info).

From experience these things always go better with specific responsability delegations; and maybe given three classes, a head of class type responsability for wouldn't be a bad idea (from there we can figure out weekly group leadership, discussion, or whatever type of response works for the specific class). I can volunteer to head up either the DB or the ML class, but it would be good if someone took up the other two classes.

On computer infrastructure, The only reason I bring up google+ and google-wave and is that the former's hangout feature seems like a great way for a study group to happen (with mock whiteboard action) and the latter, as a decent space for organizing group notes. I am cognizent of interest in non-google and facebook solutions, (even something with math markup?), but I think these decisions should be left to people within each class. Still the barriers for non-centralized work seem lowest with these things.
posted by stratastar at 1:48 PM on October 11, 2011

I'm enrolled in the DB class. I like study groups. Thanks for thinking of this.
posted by theora55 at 4:15 PM on October 11, 2011

Yes. Artificial Intelligence wooo!
posted by lollusc at 4:40 PM on October 11, 2011

Wait, what? I thought this was going to be like the MIT open courseware. But looking at the site, you have to pay tuition? I changed my mind.
posted by lollusc at 4:45 PM on October 11, 2011

But looking at the site, you have to pay tuition? I changed my mind. you don't.
posted by DU at 5:56 PM on October 11, 2011

WTF, they already have two units up?? Were they planning on, like...telling anyone they had started?
posted by DU at 6:00 PM on October 11, 2011

And I've already missed quizzes???

*checks to make sure has pants on and this isn't one of those dreams*
posted by DU at 6:01 PM on October 11, 2011

They put stuff up for people who wanted to work ahead, but deadlines aren't near. Calm down peoples!
posted by stratastar at 7:20 PM on October 11, 2011

Enrolled in DB and AI and I am sure I am over my head, but I'm going for it!
posted by misha at 8:32 PM on October 11, 2011

But looking at the site, you have to pay tuition? I changed my mind. you don't.

I was looking in the wrong place.

But I do see that it already started 10 days ago, so I don't think I'd be able to catch up.
posted by lollusc at 10:02 PM on October 11, 2011

And now I see that I have a fundamental inability to understand anything that is going on with these courses. It looks like you can just work through the material at your own pace?

Maybe I should practice reading before posting.
posted by lollusc at 10:05 PM on October 11, 2011

It didn't start 10 days ago in any case. I got the "the AI class has started!" email this morning.
posted by DU at 2:45 AM on October 12, 2011

I'm in the AI class, defo up for a study group. The second lesson ramps the difficulty more quickly than I am entirely happy with. Hmm.
posted by StephenF at 5:34 AM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Just filled out the form. I'm confused about the level thing. I enrolled in the db class and have watched one lecture but I don't see how levels come into it. I guess if I can't figure that out it means I'm basic.
posted by yarrow at 10:27 AM on October 13, 2011

I think the levels are more pronounced in the AI and again less so in the ML classes because they have programming lessons. Really its just about the amount of homework/grading you're signing up for. Not that big a deal.

I'm going to put a post up later today for study group logistics, as most people seem happy with google tools for web meetings. And also check out the reddit subgroups for each class.

aiclass, mlclass, dbclass
posted by stratastar at 11:15 AM on October 13, 2011

If it's not too late I'd like to join the Databases study group. It seems there's only one level for it, according to one Reddit message. Is that right?
posted by Hardcore Poser at 5:20 PM on October 13, 2011

Poser, the best I can tell, yeah, there's only one level for DBs.

I'm helpless with organizing groups so I'll leave it to somebody else to do that but I'm still interested in joining groups for all three classes. The reddit groups are good for getting news, but at least the AI one also seems to attract whiners and rules lawyers (I guess this is inevitable when you have this many people signed up for a class) so being able to discuss the classes with mature folks would be most welcome.

Anybody who hasn't signed up yet: AI and ML both have stuff due on Oct. 16, so you want to get cracking. The first due date for DBs isn't until the 23rd. As for time commitment: I am finding I am putting as much time into these courses as I would for a typical college course of comparable difficulty. I think about 10 hours per week per class is about right.
posted by Opposite George at 6:36 AM on October 14, 2011

I just made some google+ groups and shared them. Most people seemed ok with google+ so that's what we're going with at least for early facilitation. The "Huddle" a continuous IRC seems perfect for chatting I've also sent out mefi messages to individuals who voiced interest but didn't fill out the webform.

I am personally behind on the AI class sooo...
posted by stratastar at 1:56 PM on October 14, 2011

If you've any trouble with installing octave using MacPorts under Mac OS X, just try "sudo port -v selfupdate" again, or try skipping the atlas dependancy.
posted by jeffburdges at 3:45 PM on October 14, 2011

Stratastar, I filled out the webform but didn't get a google+ share or mefi message. Am I the Todd of this study group?
posted by speicus at 4:37 PM on October 14, 2011

hey speicus, you didn't leave an email address, don't worry you're not the only one. I've been going through and personally memailing people who didn't fill out the form or leave their email, but I missed you.

memail me your email address and I'll throw you in the group.
posted by stratastar at 6:02 PM on October 14, 2011

I started setting up waves for each class as well and giving them a little bit of structure. Edit to your hearts' content! (man this is like being a TA in grad school all over again)

posted by stratastar at 6:11 PM on October 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

I tried to look at those waves, but it says I'm not a participant in those waves. I sent you my email address via MeMail. Can you add me?
posted by bluefly at 1:50 AM on October 15, 2011

What bluefly said. Google+ is only letting me into the ML wave right now. I'd like to be included in all three. Also, I got one circle shared with me but I'm not sure which class it's for. Please hope me.

Most of my confusion is no doubt due to the fact that I don't know the first thing about
Google Plus apart from my friends use it to send me cat pictures. Technology! Ack!

So, how's everybody doing on the AI homework?
posted by Opposite George at 10:46 AM on October 15, 2011

I'm not on the Waves yet. It's great material, though there have been a couple of times where I wanted a bit more explanation, or to participate more.

If I were in ML class in person, I likely would have said, "oh, so theta 0 is the slope, then?"
posted by Pronoiac at 7:52 PM on October 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

I had no idea that google waves weren't public by default. I tried something that should have opened them up please try to re-enter and let me know if they work. Otherwise wave doesn't seem to like you adding people's emails who aren't in your contact list. Ugh.

And yes! write out thoughts like those, Proniac if there's some insight you get there's a good chance that someone else will appreciate it.
posted by stratastar at 9:20 PM on October 16, 2011

Thanks for setting this up, stratastar.
posted by bluefly at 8:11 AM on October 17, 2011

OK I did the first week class; I did the homework; I read the book.

I joined the wave; I added back everybody that added me on google+.

I joined Reddit after procrastinating that for years and am ready to get contaminated by the unwashed masses there. I read some of the class discussion on this page. One of the discussions on there was about the number of people who signed up for the class and how few of them actually watched the lectures and did the homework.

I am gearing up for week two. I hope to get to see at least one of you on the wave!
posted by bukvich at 7:14 AM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

I still get an error about not being a participant in the wave.
posted by atrazine at 1:27 AM on October 19, 2011

fixed? I started adding notes to the DB class wave. Will do ML and maybe AI as time allows.
posted by stratastar at 3:59 PM on October 19, 2011

Ah, works now!
posted by atrazine at 1:53 PM on October 20, 2011

I'm impressed by the pedagogical thought that went into the course design, answering questions frequents looks like a brilliant idea. Andrew Ng has a extremely good lecturing style too, although you gotta press the speed up button.
posted by jeffburdges at 10:06 AM on October 28, 2011

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