Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
MIT Video lectures - Introduction to Algorithms (mit.edu)
132 points by niyazpk on Oct 2, 2010 | hide | past | web | favorite | 32 comments

Question: would people be interested in summarized transcripts for these lectures?

The reason I ask is because I know I'm not going to watch 20 hours of the videos, and when I take a look at the transcripts they are good, but they are also long. It would take a while to even skim them.

I've been doing some work around machine text summarization, and it seems like these transcripts would be a great candidate to put it to work.

What do people think? Would you like summaries of the transcripts of these lectures?

EDIT: Thanks for the positive feedback, I'll submit them as a story here in 24 hours (right now I'm supposed to be getting ready for a big dinner tonight).

The thing about 6.046 is that a lot of the lectures are taken straight from CLRS chapters. Reading the book is equivalent to what you're saying.

When you start having classes without textbooks, some upper level algorithms classes at MIT have what they call 'scribes' to do almost exactly what you're planning on doing.

For example, here is the Advanced Algorithms home page (http://courses.csail.mit.edu/6.854/current/) and here for example are the scribe notes on Min-Cost Flows. http://courses.csail.mit.edu/6.854/06/scribe/s11-minCostFlow...

Worthwhile searching around if you're looking for this kind of thing.

Peteris Krumins posted notes on his blogs, http://www.catonmat.net/category/introduction-to-algorithms

Thanks for linking! :)

thanks for making the notes :)

Being a person that studies this lecture (but not on MIT), I would love to have summarized transcripts as long you don't remove examples which would help in understanding how things work. Nothing is better than looking at a problem in different perspectives to understand it better.

I'm also pretty sure that there are many people here who want to (or at least, should) refresh old courses and algorithms.

I see your concern. I'm approaching this as an experiment, so I'm not entirely sure how it'll work in terms of your concern about examples and other context. Let's see how it plays out.

Here are an excerpt from Lecture 1 transcript http://dpaste.com/252190/plain/, and a version of it bastardized by MacOS X Summarize service set to up to produce a very short paragraph summary below.

> There is always going to be some point n_o where for everything larger the Theta(n^2) algorithm is going to be cheaper than the Theta(n^3) algorithm not matter how much advantage you give it at the beginning in terms of the speed of the computer you are running on.

Or maybe not so much bastardized. That is to say – it can probably be done.

Yes, it would be immensely useful. The reason being our proxy/firewall in the university doesn't allow to stream or download videos.

On the other hand, generalizing this, making text copies on videos would enable search not only on the metadata of the video, but its content as well. Imagine trying to search for a movie by a particular dialogue you remembered. Other trivial case would to be to generate subtitles for the video, or feeding the output to a language translator enabling me to watch, say an academic video spoken in chinese without available subtitles.

I don't get it - concentration span not sufficient to read a book anymore, so you watch a movie instead. Except you don't have the patience to watch a movie, so you end up reading the transcripts?

I had an idea that may be more helpful for you (given your automatic summarizing technical knowhow) and just shot you an email. Please respond to my email if interested.

I've been doing some work around machine text summarization

Does this mean developing your own code or playing around with something like libots or Copernic Summarizer?


OpenCourseWare is great but I sort of feel like it's been so hyped over the years. Think about how long its been around, now look at how few courses have videos or any content worth mentioning at all. I could understand some of the other disciplines lagging behind in content but really it's the computer science stuff that is quite sparse. They have a big list but most of the courses just have some assignments without solutions or some lecture notes, which are available from most university web sites anyway.

I agree with you on that point. The nptel by iits and iiscs is much better than ocw. I say this because I have used both and found that the nptel videos cover the subject more broad while ocw courses lack in number as well as some in depth stuff.

I'm going to take this opportunity to plug my OpenCourseWare app for boxee. You can enjoy a lot of what OpenCourseWare has to offer (including this course) from the comfort of your couch (Currently the app has courses from MIT, Yale, Stanford, Berkeley and UCLA).

why would this ever get downvoted? a link would be nice though.

Unfortunately, boxee doesn't have a way to link to apps. The best I have is a link to my site - http://www.roshweb.net/projects/ - which is also very light on details. I need to work on getting more information up there.

Doesn't look like there is one - maybe it's a boxee specific thing. This was the closest I could find: http://blog.boxee.tv/2009/06/14/opencourseware-on-boxee/ but it's a bit light on detail.

You can get a lot of CS lecture series on Academic Earth including MIT's Intro to Algorithms:


There are other disciplines there too:


http://videolectures.net/ has some interesting lectures as well.

You can't replace CLRS as a reference, but I recommend the following free draft if you're looking for an algorithms text to start out with: http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~vazirani/algorithms.html.

That's a good set of lectures.

My girlfriend recently did several as she was learning about CS as a postgrad, and found them very useful.

They, and many more, are also available on 'iTunes university' from within the iTunes interface. The Stanford CS courses that are up are also well worth a look; there's a good Machine Learning course up there.

The only issue is that the videos often aren't properly edited for the Internet. They don't strip out the class administrative parts, and the lectures would go a lot better with a navigable text index to allow you skip to different parts of the video. The Khan Academy is also worth a look as a similar project.

With a little more care and attention to editing and presenting for the web, this could have a big impact on education.

Aw, no video for the "Ethics, Problem Solving" lecture? Now I'm really curious!

I had the good fortune of taking this course from Prof. Leiserson a good many years ago -- and ended up having him as my Masters thesis advisor.

His ethics pep talk, which is a mainstay of all his courses, are about not cheating on the take-home exams. I still remember him saying to the class, in a fatherly, earnest way: "You've got to learn to make friends with that feeling in the pit of your stomach" and to face the fear rather than give in to the temptation to cheat. One of the MIT CS department's great teachers.

Yeah, I'd like to see someone's lecture notes or something. "Mandatory Attendance"...

Not to hijack the thread too much, but are there good resources on learning about algorithm correctness, complexity, recurrence relations, automata and proving techniques? At the moment I'm not doing so well in the proof by induction department, and the course material at UToronto is quite lousy.

I think those lectures can be summarized a lot if the audience has some advanced background. The authors could put some tag in the content, revealing what type of content is about background and core material. Going directly at the core is great when you know well the background material.

I just watched the first lecture.

What is a recitation assignment? I am not familiar with the american school system.

There are two types of classes, Lectures and Recitations. Lectures are large (hundreds). Recitations are small (~20).

The recitation assignment is simply which recitation you are in.

Now I know what I'm doing with my Sunday afternoon.

IMHO I feel that CLRS is a great book. I consider it to be my bible of algorithms. I have viewed almost all the videos the course ware apart from the last few which constitute of advanced topics. :)

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact