Anyone taking any of the free Stanford classes? March 14, 2012 2:11 PM   Subscribe

The next round of free Stanford classes have been starting up at Coursera. Is anyone taking any of them? How is it going for you? Anybody want to start a mefi study group?
posted by empath to MetaFilter-Related at 2:11 PM (38 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

I signed up for all of them (because why not), but I'm mostly focusing on actually doing assignments for Algorithms and Cryptography, and I'll keep up with others as I have time--- If anyone wants to talk about the homework on those, I'd be happy to have someone to work with -- the programming problems are no joke, even in the first week...
posted by empath at 2:15 PM on March 14, 2012


Did you get any course docs yet? I want to take the Crypto course but it's been a while since I've done any of the linked discrete probability stuff.
posted by griphus at 2:34 PM on March 14, 2012


I haven't looked at the docs, but the video lectures and a little bit of wikipedia were enough for me to get through the first week's homework in Crypto. You're supposed to be able to get by with only the pre-requisites and the video lectures. I think if he gets into heavy probability, he'll go over it in the lecture and not expect you to just know it, but we'll see.

Of the 4 classes I've dug into so far, Crypto seems like it's going to be the most 'fun', so you should do it :) Code cracking is just inherently neat.
posted by empath at 2:39 PM on March 14, 2012


I've been doing SaaS which has been going for a few weeks, though I started late. Also signed up for NLP, but not sure I have time to do the assignments for both.

I signed up for all of them (because why not)


It never occurred to me to sign up for things and not do the the assignments though. There certainly are a bunch of interesting ones.
posted by philipy at 3:48 PM on March 14, 2012


I just signed up for the Stanford classes. Currently unemployed, so ti-i-i-ime is on my side. Yes it is. I'm a night owl, so I'll be getting into these later tonight.
posted by Ducks or monkeys at 4:06 PM on March 14, 2012


Game theory is something I've always wanted to learn more about, but I'm sort of put off by not having had calculus in 9 years and having never taken a formal statistics course. Also being in a full time master's program and all that.
posted by codacorolla at 4:20 PM on March 14, 2012


It never occurred to me to sign up for things and not do the the assignments though.

Wow, that basically describes my college career 2002-2004.
posted by griphus at 4:23 PM on March 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


(...class of 2011, represent.)
posted by griphus at 4:23 PM on March 14, 2012


Also, thanks for posting this! I would have had no idea this existed otherwise.
posted by Ducks or monkeys at 4:38 PM on March 14, 2012


I'm enrolled in the Game Theory class provided by Stanford. It's starting up March 19, though some initial info is already up (syllabus, intro video, etc.).
posted by asciident at 7:10 PM on March 14, 2012


I just signed up for the game theory class. I'm working full time and going to grad school full time, so I'm not sure how much time I'll have to do this, but I'm very interested and hope I can complete a decent amount.
posted by jeoc at 7:15 PM on March 14, 2012


I've signed up for NLP and Algorithms. Not sure if I'll manage to follow through on both--my time-management skills have historically been very shaky--but so far, so good. I'd be up for a study group.
posted by DaDaDaDave at 7:19 PM on March 14, 2012


I'm on the notification list for when Human-Computer Interaction gets up and running; I may enroll in Cryptography to give me something to do, except I have actual real grad school courses to finish up first.
posted by subbes at 7:45 PM on March 14, 2012


Hot damn I'm in

I was actually going to burn a question on the green asking for crypto resources for dummies, so thanks for saving me a question!

hahahaha let's see if my work ethic is better on this than my actual university classes
posted by zennish at 11:08 PM on March 14, 2012


I signed up for the Cryptography class (although I honestly wanted to sign up for all of them... maybe I can quit my job...).

I am really hoping that it won't be too over my head since I just started to learn programing.
posted by littlesq at 11:11 PM on March 14, 2012


Shout out for MITx Circuits and Electronics, going now until mid–June. Textbook is available for free as a browsable ebook. Lectures, labs, problem sets and tutorials add up to a much more thorough theoretical grounding than when I actually took Circuits at $StateSchool. There's still time to hop in - 1st homework and lab due on Friday, plus you can miss two with no penalty.

I was all jazzed to take Probablistic Graphical Models from Stanford before I got utterly captivated by the circuits class. Maybe I can do them both with less sleep...

I love these self-directed classes. So eager to see how they evolve.
posted by SakuraK at 12:01 AM on March 15, 2012


First impressions:

1. wow this is really, really neat
2. My handwriting has mutated into unreadable chicken scratch. Can't read my god damn notes.
3. I am way, way too dumb for some of these courses.
4. Lectures are much more enjoyable when your cat decides to curl up next to you and purr away.
     4b. Universities need to start funding study cats for all students.
posted by zennish at 12:03 AM on March 15, 2012 [9 favorites]


Shout out for MITx Circuits and Electronics

Gah, so many classes, and only so much time. I wish real college would work this way -- just sign up for 30 classes, drop out of the least interesting 27 of them, and nobody cares.
posted by empath at 12:34 AM on March 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


Wow, this is fantastic! Signed up for game theory and Probabilistic Graphical Models; have always wanted to study this in greater detail. This is amazing; I (heart) the Information Age!
posted by the cydonian at 2:58 AM on March 15, 2012


I'm taking the Algorithms Class. My first two attempts at the first problem set were scored 1 and 4 (out of 8). Uh oh.
posted by mkb at 6:58 AM on March 15, 2012


Certainly let me know if there's a Mefi study group for anything.

Now that it has dawned on me that I could sit in without doing the assignments, I might do more. I was thinking about the Machine Learning one anyway, if it had started first I'd probably have picked it over the others.

How is it going for you?

The course material is good but a lot of time gets eaten up by ancillary matters like trying to install and configure stuff, wrestling with unfamiliar tools, searching for documentation and the like. I started blogging some of my experiences.

Be warned, I did not get *any* notification that the NLP course had actually started! I only stumbled across the fact that it was already going when I was reading a forum about something else.
posted by philipy at 6:58 AM on March 15, 2012


I'm taking the Algorithms Class. My first two attempts at the first problem set were scored 1 and 4 (out of 8). Uh oh.

I think I got all of them right except one.... if you need help with anything (especially the programming problems), feel free to memail me. I may need someone to return the favor for me later :)
posted by empath at 7:02 AM on March 15, 2012


The course material is good but a lot of time gets eaten up by ancillary matters like trying to install and configure stuff, wrestling with unfamiliar tools, searching for documentation and the like.

Yeah, I'm a self-taught programmer, and I don't get much opportunity to do it, so while everyone else was talking about optimizing their brute-force algorithm in C, I was looking up how to do a 'while' loop in python. Whatever, it still worked, even though mine took 5 minutes to their 2 seconds...
posted by empath at 7:03 AM on March 15, 2012


Btw, the forums for the classes are very useful, though rather chaotic.

You may need to dig around a fair bit, but you can often find out answers to things that have you tearing your hair out. (Like... the supplied version of rake is buggy and will fall over horribly when you try to build the program you're supposed to enhance.)
posted by philipy at 7:09 AM on March 15, 2012


Intriguing, though I'm not sure I have the time. Really wish there was an available course in UI design.
posted by middleclasstool at 7:16 AM on March 15, 2012


I also am glad to help people out where I can, time allowing.

I know a bunch of stuff, but a lot of my knowledge is very rusty.
posted by philipy at 7:19 AM on March 15, 2012


Really wish there was an available course in UI design.

Human Computer Interaction is coming up.
posted by empath at 7:23 AM on March 15, 2012


Signed up for NLP. The MIT class turned out to really need the pre-reqs, so I've depressed myself by dropping out of that. Not sure why I care, but it's got me down. If anyone else is taking the NLP and wants to figure out a way to study together, that would be awesome. Or if you can just wire up a kick in the pants via the Internet, that would be awesome too.
posted by yerfatma at 7:48 AM on March 15, 2012


I'm doing Model Thinking and Game Theory - I'd 100% be up for a study group if anyone else is taking those. Even just to keep myself on track...
posted by mrs. taters at 8:03 AM on March 15, 2012


All of the discussion forums for the coursera classes have 'study group' sections. Since there seems to be interest, I'm going to start 'metafilter' groups for all the classes that I'm taking, so look out for those if you're interested.
posted by empath at 8:16 AM on March 15, 2012


I hope you're not going to rely mainly on talking in all the different course forums for Metfites to communicate with each other. That would be unwieldy as there are lots of them.

Also, the reason I'm not doing Algortihms for example is in theory I should already know all that stuff (minus rustiness and forgetting). Which also means I could probably help you out in your study group, even though I'm not taking the course.
posted by philipy at 8:46 AM on March 15, 2012


study.metafilter.com. Make it happen, Matt.
posted by subbes at 2:18 PM on March 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Okay, I signed up for Cryptography because I'm an idiot. Hit me up, study buddies. Especially if you're good at maths. I'm rubbish at maths.
posted by subbes at 2:21 PM on March 15, 2012


Okay, I'll start a google group for all the mefites taking any of these classes. Anyone that wants in on it, memail me your email address and which classes you're taking and I'll add you to the list. Especially crypto people, because that's basically right on the edge of what I think I'm capable of figuring out by myself, so I could definitely use the help. Even better if you're using python or ruby :)

If a single group for all the classes gets too unwieldy, I can split them off later...
posted by empath at 3:06 PM on March 15, 2012


If a single group for all the classes gets too unwieldy

Umm.... I meant having a separate group for each class would be unwieldy.
posted by philipy at 3:15 PM on March 15, 2012


The group is here.

You can request an invite on the page or just memail me and I'll invite you.
posted by empath at 5:58 PM on March 15, 2012


and discrete probability is reminding me very sharply that I am and never shall be any good at or even approaching to decent at maths.
posted by zennish at 7:12 PM on March 15, 2012


I'm taking the Algorithms course.

On a related note, is anyone taking the robot car class on Udacity?
posted by speicus at 12:49 AM on March 16, 2012


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