Comments on a cultural reality between past and future.

This blog describes Metatime in the Posthuman experience, drawn from Sir Isaac Newton's secret work on the future end of times, a tract in which he described Histories of Things to Come. His hidden papers on the occult were auctioned to two private buyers in 1936 at Sotheby's, but were not available for public research until the 1990s.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

That's More Like It: Stanford Offers a Free Online Course in A.I. This Fall


This is so cool: the Chronicle of Higher Education is reporting that Stanford University, one of America's top undergrad schools and a leading university worldwide, is offering an opportunity to audit their first year undergrad course in Introduction to Artificial Intelligence - for free, online this fall. You can sign up, now, here.

If you complete all the assignments and the exam (online), you get a accredited with auditing a Stanford course:
A prominent robotics professor and a Google executive are opening up admission to their popular Stanford University course on artificial intelligence this fall to anyone online, and they have even promised to issue grades and certificates to those auditing virtually.

The course—which is taught by Sebastian Thrun, a computer-science professor at Stanford, and Peter Norvig, director of research at Google—is among the largest at the university, with nearly 200 students typically enrolling each term. Those who want to join online need not register with Stanford officials or make their way to Palo Alto, though.

The online course will run in tandem with the physical class from October to December, which means that online students will be expected to watch the same lectures, complete the same assignments, and take the same exams as their Stanford counterparts. Online students will not receive credit or formal recognition from the university—but they will receive grades for their assignments and exams, and those who complete the course online will get certificates created by the professors.

The professors are unsure how many will sign up for the free online class, but interest appears high—more than 8,000 people have asked to be put on an e-mail list for more details about it since the course was announced late last week. Official enrollment hasn’t started yet.

Mr. Thrun said the purpose behind grading the online students is to encourage them to work as hard as the Stanford students to meet deadlines and watch lectures. The benefit of having the courses run simultaneously as opposed to simply posting the course materials after the fact is that students can interact. “We wanted to synchronize the community of people taking the class,” Mr. Norvig said. “Nobody knows for sure what the right way is for courses to be run online.”

The course is an experiment in an idea called massive open online courses, where anyone with an Internet connection can take classes without paying tuition. The professors are recommending that students buy the class textbook, which is co-written by Mr. Norvig, and dedicate at least 10 hours a week to the course, which Stanford considers an intermediate-level class that requires some mathematical and programming knowledge.
Below the jump, see the instructors explain the course and its aims.

Video Source: Youtube.

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