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As someone doing the course i would say its a decent way to identify some candidates but it wont be a really high correlation. It depends a lot on the time you have to invest and how rigorously you go through your answers and study the material the questions are drawn from. Some programming challenges would be great to better separate whether people really understood the material despite being harder to mark.

Personally I've always got a bit wrong in most of he homeworks but usually felt that while I understood the material I didn't recite enough time to rigorously check my answers and rewatch the materials to pick up on some of the subtle things you need to remember or some questions.




I took this course casually as well (wanted to fill in some gaps in my undergrad education). But my guess is that people that complete this course casual probably already have a lot on their plates. For me it was family, working, teaching and taking a grad class. I never double checked my hws, could only do a single pass through the lectures, and didn't spend any time checking for nuance in many of the Qs and my grade shows accordingly. However in the end I'm really excited that I was able to continue through it despite all this (I'm really curious to see the percentage of participants who saw the course through completion compared to those who signed up).

The correlation will be interesting. Undoubtedly the top 1000 is made of many of the type of people that must be the best at whatever they try (not exclusively of course) and with a decent amount of time on their hands, after all there is no disincentive whatsoever for not completing something and no previously known reward for perfection (I guess a piece of paper can count). Given some wording in some of the Qs (actually my only complaint about this course) a lot of care must be taken to ensure that every question is right, so being in the top 1000 is no small effort.


Same here in regards to time, family, etc. I'm hoping they keep the videos up for some time after the last week, I missed a few during the more hectic times. Regardless I've learned tons that I'm already implementing in code (and daily life, like actual planning methods and such.)

That said I have a job I like already, and plan on using what I learned here.

Those 1000 with more time and drive to be the best probably are some of the best job candidates though. Plus chances are they do need a job after all.


Yeah I would agree, I have been allocating a block of time on a Saturday or Sunday to get through the content.

Definitely learnt a lot, which surprised me because I did 3 classes that were based around AI and probability in my course. It has enlightened me a bit on the difference between a top of the range CS college and where I did my degree just it terms of how much ground can be covered and covered well.


They may be trying to collect resumes (and job placement performance) from the top 1000 students to see what the correlation is. If they can prove that correlation, then they could essentially run the courses as a recruiting tool for paying companies.


They are also looking for people to work with Professor Thrun's company. So maybe they are looking for people who are passionate about the class.


I'm passionate about the class but I also have to juggle it with a new job and family life which made approaching the class casually the best option for me.

So their metric isn't ideal for identifying passionate poeple ;-)


I'm sure it's not perfect, and there are exceptions. But I'm willing to be there will be a high correlation between high scores and passion.




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