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100,000+ Sign Up For Stanford’s Open Class on Artificial Intelligence. (singularityhub.com)
64 points by ph0rque on Aug 19, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 26 comments



If I'm not mistaken all people did was sign up for a mailing list to receive updates about the course.


Exactly. Very few of these people will actually listen to the first lecture, and very few of those people will put in the work to complete the course and master the material.


How is this new? The stanford iPhone course (http://www.stanford.edu/class/cs193p/cgi-bin/drupal/) has been downloaded more than a million times.

http://news.stanford.edu/news/2009/may20/million-052009.html


I believe you actually submit assignments etc for this. It's not just a recording you passively watch.


Is the Stanford iphone class interactive? It seems like something you just download and watch.


It is not


I'd be interested to see stats of how many people actually finish it. Seeing as its free its easy to say 'yeah ill do it' and then not find the time.


wow..This is unbelievable. This clearly shows how much progress we are making in terms of the way we are getting educated. Thanks Stanford.


Damn. AI 3rd ed on amazon is $115. Assume the authors get $50 so Norvig gets $25. He may have just banked $2.5MM.

No disrespect meant -- it's awesome to see Stanford experimenting with education like this. But still... wow.

Edit: reminds me of the $24MM house Stewart -- of Stewart's calculus -- built with earnings from his calc texts [1]. I'm not hating on educators being paid well, but particularly stewart seems a little... unseemly, particularly in light of the constant churn of new editions. Has calculus or calculus pedagogy seriously changed in the last 10 years in a way that requires a stream of new calc book editions?

[1] http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123872378357585295.html#proj...


> Has calculus or calculus pedagogy seriously changed in the last 10 years in a way that requires a stream of new calc book editions?

Speaking as a math prof: No. No. NO. It is a ripoff of our students, pure and simple.

When teaching calculus at a previous job we used the eighth edition of this calculus book by Varberg et al., and the statement of Taylor's theorem (one of the major theorems of calculus) was wrong. You figure, eight editions, you could get it right. But evidently I was naive.

However, a couple of universities I have taught at have explicitly told publishers that if they go to a new edition, and stop selling the old one, then the department will move to a different book entirely. I've finally moved up to a tenure track job; I'm going to enjoy this game of hardball :)


"Speaking as a math prof: No. No. NO. It is a ripoff of our students, pure and simple."

As a math prof, which texts(old or new) do you think are good? (fwiw I like Spivak)


The best introduction to Calculus is classic "Calculus Made Easy" by Silvanus P. Thompson. It is in public domain, is a de-facto standard and is praised by many working scientists (Antony Zee, for example).

The book itself http://djm.cc/library/Calculus_Made_Easy_Thompson.pdf

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calculus_Made_Easy

It gives you a working knowledge to get going with almost any practical problem you may encounter that needs to be approached with mahtematical analysis.

I would say that Spivak books are more about learning the culture of working mathematicians, and while with its merits one must be careful with commitment of investing her personal time to it.

Also, here is a great page to learn about good (and usually public) books for different branches of mathematics and physics by a Nobel-winning theoretical physicist G. t'Hooft http://www.staff.science.uu.nl/~hooft101/theorist.html


Have not seen any of these public domain books yet, but I hope they catch on!

I don't have a favorite yet; Thomas was good, I expect to also like Stewart (which I am using for this first time this fall). As is typical, the math department as a whole chooses which book to use.

I'm not familiar with the `aristocratic' books (Spivak, Apostol), but I have heard they are excellent. I don't need to learn calculus anymore :) -- but I will check them out if I ever teach an honors class.


From the class page - "Peter Norvig is co-author of this text and is donating all royalties earned from his text to charity."


Thank you for pointing that out.


In America people shouldn't be able to get rich selling education? I guess we're ok with movie stars, athletes, and rock stars making crazy money but it just doesn't seem right that educators can make their fortune? Maybe we should encourage them to move into finance if they really want to make lots of money?


This is your conclusion from reading about a class at the top university in the US offering completely free courses from renowned experts to anyone in the world who wishes to sign up? They are greedy bastards getting rich? That is really what you conclude from this story. Amazing.


Did you realize that melling was being sarcastic?


> AI 3rd ed on amazon is $115. Assume the authors get $50 so Norvig gets $25. He may have just banked $2.5MM.

I suspect their deal is not so sweet with publishers. The professors I knew only got $1-$2 on $75 book.


In fairness to Stewart, his calculus book is actually pretty awesome. I had a class that used another book, written by one of the professors, and went out and bought another copy of Stewart's book because I could actually follow it. He does a very good job of explaining something that can be difficult. Trying to learn from a poorly constructed book really increased my respect for the quality of Stewart's explanations. There is a very good reason that his book is so well used.


They won't sell a thousand text books, though.


They might sell a thousand (then he would get $25k) but the certainly won't sell anywhere near 100k.

I doubt more than 1 in 10 will even do two assignments.


Considering I can only get about sixty percent conversion to making a bingo card if I catch you in the same session as signup, and that making a bingo card is vastly easier than programming, I think you're overestimating by probably 100x or so.

People are, statistically, flakes.


It should be noted that outside the US, the international 3rd edition of the book (supposedly containing some undisclosed differences) can be had much cheaper. I bought a new copy from a seller in Malaysia back in April for about $50 USD.


It should be noted that on the class page it states that a book is not necessary. Also, the 2nd edition is similar to the third.


That's the future of education. Udemy is going to rock it.




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