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Education Robotics

Stanford To Offer Free CS and Robotics Courses 247

DeviceGuru writes "Stanford University will soon begin offering a series of 10 free, online computer science and electrical engineering courses. Initial courses will provide an introduction to computer science and an introduction to field of robotics, among other topics. The courses, offered under the auspices of Stanford Engineering Everywhere (SEE), are nearly identical to standard courses offered to registered Stanford students and will comprise downloadable video lectures, handouts, assignments, exams, and transcripts. And get this: all the courses' materials are being released under the Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license."
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Stanford To Offer Free CS and Robotics Courses

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  • Hmm.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by russotto ( 537200 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @09:27PM (#25049205) Journal

    Does this mean one can now pad one's resume with "Studied at Stanford" or some such verbiage, without (much) guilt? Not an issue for me but for those newer to the field, it just might help...

    • Re:Hmm.... (Score:5, Funny)

      by Antique Geekmeister ( 740220 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @09:41PM (#25049323)
      It worked for both Presidents Bush.
    • Does this mean one can now pad one's resume with "Studied at Stanford" or some such verbiage, without (much) guilt? Not an issue for me but for those newer to the field, it just might help...

      You can pad your resume with whatever you like, but the second someone checks your references, you're fucked.

      Personally, I'd argue that you haven't "Studied at Stanford" unless Stanford can issue a transcript with your name & the courses you've taken.

      • Re:Hmm.... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by TooMuchToDo ( 882796 ) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @01:02AM (#25050959)
        So if I take the local community college welding classes levels 1-4 (which I am, just because I'd like to learn Mig/Tig/Oxyacetylene welding/cutting) but don't take the final examination where they rate my work, I can't say I've studied the material? If the material is online, you've studied it, and have it down cold, than just like in most cases, the degree/transcript doesn't matter.
        • True. But shouldn't you still tell the truth and just put down what you studied instead of trying to get some kind of second-hand recognition. If they quiz you a little bit on what you studied and what you've done with that knowledge it will become painfully evident if you know what you are talking about or not.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        Personally, I'd argue that you haven't "Studied at Stanford" unless Stanford can issue a transcript with your name & the courses you've taken.

        From TFS and TFA:

        Each course comprises downloadable video lectures, handouts, assignments, exams, and transcripts.

        Emphasis mine. I guess, personally, you could say you've "Studied at Stanford" if you take one of these courses.

  • by bugeaterr ( 836984 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @09:34PM (#25049277)

    "The Fourier Transform and its Applications" WTF!!

    My employer's lawyers protect us from the liabilities of open source and I don't see the in-house tools I'm forced to use *anywhere* on Stanford's course listing!
    How *exactly* are we supposed to find people with expertise in our proprietary crap if no one out there is teaching it???
    Universities are soooo out of touch.

    • by Horar ( 521864 ) <> on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @09:41PM (#25049335) Homepage

      It's not the universities that are out of touch. It's your employers that are out of touch, and the multiple-choice generation of wannabe professionals who can't see past their first half-dozen paychecks. If you get the education that you appear to want, you'll be unemployable in five years.

      Take it from someone who's been in the industry for 30 years and still going strong... you can't learn too much theory because theory doesn't go out of fashion the way technology fads and acronyms do.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Dishevel ( 1105119 )

        It's not the universities that are out of touch. It's your employers that are out of touch, and the multiple-choice generation of wannabe professionals who can't see past their first half-dozen paychecks. If you get the education that you appear to want, you'll be unemployable in five years.

        Take it from someone who's been in the industry for 30 years and still going strong... you can't learn too much theory because theory doesn't go out of fashion the way technology fads and acronyms do.

        Umm.... Whoosh...Really

      • by syousef ( 465911 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @10:56PM (#25049985) Journal

        It's actually scary what the average slashdotter thinks makes a competent coder. When I suggested that I spent some spare time exploring and extrapolating FizzBuzz for fun (and testing!!! my solutions), I got called incompetent because it was an "uninteresting" problem. Instant gratification, instant results seem to be the flavour of the day...leading to poor untested code resulting from poor and/or incomplete analysis. I wonder how many "uninteresting" business problems some of these jokers would code poorly and/or incompletely without testing for the sake of saying they're quick and switched on.

    • Universities are soooo out of touch.

      Proprietary crap is sooooooo proprietary.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by temugen ( 1247466 )
      You are being sarcastic, right? Most universities are out of touch and producing run-of-the-mill CS students BECAUSE they are under the impression that proprietary tools are all the students will need in the real world. Well, fortunately, the older schools like MIT realize that there is more to computing than just the top level proprietary software. Schools that teach low level languages, along with strong math, physics, and UNIX (due to the nature that it's embedded in nearly every device!) get my utmost
      • by Duffy13 ( 1135411 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @10:41PM (#25049863)
        Except that you tend to get the reverse situation also; I've met CS majors who couldn't make a simple top level user app in a relatively generic IDE.

        In principle I agree with your basic assessment, the core skills should be as you listed, but by no stretch should they be the limits of what is taught in colleges. From what undergrad programs I have seen you tend to get either one or the other, with a few exceptions here and there.

        I am personally a result of an undergraduate Software Engineering program that covered a portion of the CS curriculum, and to a lesser extent CE, along with just about everything else in the realm of top level programming from an SE point of view.

        In my opinion, software is one of the fields that benefits from the jack of all trades route and I believe more collegiate programs should follow this model.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by RockoTDF ( 1042780 )
        *cough* Java *cough*

        rant: I hate Java so much. Don't waste my time with GUIs, 10 years from now swing won't frigging matter. Some of us aren't going to be software engineers dammit! MIT has been using Lisp in some form for ages, I wish every other school in the country would take a page out of their book. Even Caltech teaches Java as their main language, which is surprising. My ideal curriculum would start with a semester of Python just to get students familiar with how programming works without wor
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by randomc0de ( 928231 )
          Lisp and Scheme are useless for learning Computer Science. There is one topic they can be used for - functional programming. This is not a useless topic, but it is not Computer Science. Data structures, compiler design, operating system design - all of these require vastly different languages than purely functional ones.

          C and Java are extremely powerful, robust languages. With just them you can do OOP, functional programming (what do you think the Lisp compiler is written in...), complex data structu
          • by pkaeding ( 1085893 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @11:45PM (#25050355) Homepage

            I'm afraid I have to disagree. Lisp and Scheme are excellent languages for beginning computer science students. Functional languages in general are great for beginners. Mutation is a difficult thing to wrap your head around when you are starting out; functional programming is much easier when you have no other exposure to programming.

            In high-school algebra, you learn that a function f(x) takes a single number as input, and returns another number. This idea of 'functions' translates perfectly to functional programming.

            Functional programming also teaches kids who may have limited experience in other languages to think differently. If you are used to loops, you learn recursion. If you have never used loops, recursion makes sense as a way to simplify a complex problem.

            I think that using C and Java to teach these concepts will introduce too much confusion, especially if these freshman students search Google when they get stuck with a problem. The solution on Google will be so much different that what they learned in class, and for a good reason.

            • Mutation is a difficult thing to wrap your head around when you are starting out; functional programming is much easier when you have no other exposure to programming.

              Sure, if you grew up with only pens, and no pencils/erasers or etch-a-sketch or MS Paint or legos or ...

          • by mstahl ( 701501 )

            Data structures, compiler design, operating system design - all of these require vastly different languages than purely functional ones.

            Then why is the Glasgow Haskell Compiler written in Haskell? You can do absolutely anything that you can do in an imperative language in a functional language, oftentimes with far less code and sometimes running faster (YMMV). If you need definitive proof of this, such proof does exist [].

            Computer Science departments must teach concepts, and those require languages flexible enough to express different paradigms.

            But functional languages use those very same concepts! Also, you can learn the nuts and bolts of programming without having to worry about segmentation faults and bus errors and java.lang.NullPointerExceptions. Newbies should

            • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

              by randomc0de ( 928231 )

              I should clarify things. I love functional programming, particularly agent based-modeling concepts (objects that are purely accessed via functional message passing). But it took me 4 years to learn this. I think people learning programming need to "cut their teeth" on simpler, less oriented programming languages. Like I said, it took me 2 hours of thinking for one Haskell function. The extreme typing of Haskell in particular is irksome for learning.

              That being said, beginners need to learn with something tha

              • by SQLGuru ( 980662 )

                And that 2 hours of "thinking" is one of the reasons that languages such as Haskell will ever make it in the corporate world. If your boss comes by and you are just sitting there "thinking" you will seem unproductive. Project plans never have a "thinking" task. Languages where a developer can sit down and "just wing it" will always gain preference in the business world. But, that's also why half the code is pure crap...........too many developers just winging it (especially when they aren't really good

                • by mstahl ( 701501 )

                  Yeah but most of the time that extra 10 or 15 minutes of thinking produces an elegantly simple function of only a few lines that replaces several dozen lines of equivalent C. And it's not that it requires tremendous amounts of thinking. Only when a problem has deviated from it's original mathematical basis does it become difficult to translate into functional style. Even the syntax of Haskell looks like math equations rendered into ASCII art. You can even have piecewise functions and write them in your code

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ultranova ( 717540 )

          My ideal curriculum would start with a semester of Python just to get students familiar with how programming works without worrying about the intricacies of a specific language.

          No. Start them up with Basic - and I mean the good old line-number one, not one of these new ones with procedures. Once their programs grow beyond the point where GOTO is practical, introduce the concepts of procedures and stack; then show how these can be managed automatically by the computer in, for example, C. Then wait again for

        • by upside ( 574799 )

          I blame Java courses. They all seem to push into GUI programming as quickly as possible. This put me off for a long time even though the rigour and wide range of applications of Java do appeal to me. I don't have much interest in GUI programming at the moment.

          In fact many Java coders never do any GUI programming as it's used a lot in embedded and server side applications.

  • by gsgriffin ( 1195771 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @09:45PM (#25049381)
    So what is better? Something free that everyone has access to or something that only the rich and privileged can attain? I would think that most \.ers would be cheering this since its akin to open source.
    • by zappepcs ( 820751 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @10:04PM (#25049569) Journal

      I'm cheering it. There are quite a few folks in the world that can neither attend the school, or afford it if they could attend physically. That said, they would love to have Stanford class material to learn from as part of their hobby ambitions. Hobbyists notoriously have a zero dollar budget and a zest for learning stuff. Even if it seems unlikely that you'd see Starbucks' employees logging on for a lecture during their lunch break, it's possible.

      Anything that educational institutes can do to generally raise the engineering awareness and savvy of the population is fulfilling their mission in a broad sense. I'm fully going to do these courses. I have more time than spare coin at the moment, and Stanford level courses are appreciated. Even if I got credit for them it would not affect my paycheck. What I know, and what I have accomplished do more to shape that number than anything I might have learned in school. When you are 24 that piece of paper is very important. When you put 10+ years on that, people are far more concerned with what you have done since graduation. Adding additional studies to your resume might sound hokey, but it shows what a lot of people want to see... effort, desire, and staying in-career with your interests.

      You might be a Windows system admin, but you only get to be a hero when you can also work on that new machine that the marketing guy set up and is now not working. Oh, yeah, it runs Linux. Specialists are passe' and the more you know how to deal with, the better you will deal with any one part of it. Continuing education is not a joke, and even this counts.

    • Not consequent. (Score:3, Informative)

      by erlehmann ( 1045500 )

      To view the course material, you need proprietary software or patented codecs - Silverlight ? Check. Flash ? Check. Itunes ? Check. WMV, MP4 ? Yepp.

      While this is truly an interesting development, I wish they would go the consequent route like Wikipedia (well, hopefully, (X)HTML5's video element will fix that).

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Looking at the CC notice at the bottom of the page (to Share -- to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work and to Remix -- to make derivative works), I don't see why you can't re-encode it in an open format and redistribute it so long as you give credit where credit is deserved.

    • by PCM2 ( 4486 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @10:44PM (#25049899) Homepage

      So what is better? Something free that everyone has access to or something that only the rich and privileged can attain? I would think that most \.ers would be cheering this since its akin to open source.

      To be fair to Stanford, it's not only the "rich and privileged" who have access to its degree programs. As of this year, Stanford no longer charges tuition [] for students whose family income is less than $100,000 per year. Most other "posh" American schools have similar programs -- Harvard, for example, waives tuition for families earning less than $60,000. In 2005, Yale announced that it would waive tuition for any musicians who wanted to pursue a Master's degree in music and were good enough to be accepted in the program. And so on.

      Education really doesn't put up as many barriers in America as people think. It's the people who are rich who put up the barriers, whether they're going to university or not.

      • by houghi ( 78078 )

        Education really doesn't put up [...] barriers [...] It's the people who are rich who put up the barriers, [...]

        It is still a barrier. Doesn't really matter who put it up.

      • by QuantumG ( 50515 ) *

        Yeah, you just have to pay for food.

        Here, in Australia, the government will pay you to go to university, and provide assistance with rent (most students live off-campus).

        The tuition is an interest free loan, which you pay back through your taxes once you've graduated and have got a job.

    • Open source is a great benefit in other ways in this case too. Because of Open CourseWear I've been able to listen to lectures and guest speeches by some influential and important people in many fields of interest to me. Its an important step because I think it can have a lasting effect and eye changing experience. I know I have and have gain great respect for some of the speakers. Having gone to a sub-par institution (!!!) I am really starting to appreciate the different class room setting and opportunitie

  • $chool (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Dgawld ( 1251898 )
    American Universities should be "open source", or at least 50% cheaper. Even then the average private school would still cost an average total of $80,000 USD (not including books, and the required spending money)
    • How are they going to fund all those babysitters?

    • So don't got to a private university? In state tuition shouldn't set you back more than $40,000 at least in my neck of the woods.
      • hahahahahahahahahahahahahah

        my flagship state university's tuition for my degree program is close to $40,000 a YEAR

  • MIT has many more... (Score:5, Informative)

    by fortapocalypse ( 1231686 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @09:56PM (#25049489)

    Good info on Stanford. In addition, don't forget that MIT has had many more courses available for a good while now: []

    And many schools/universities have their material online. Try Google.

    Those with thin wallets and empty pocketbooks can get a decent education as long as they have the time, the will, and with free access to a computer (via public library for example).

    • by hax0r_this ( 1073148 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @10:13PM (#25049647)
      Yes, but no one goes to school for an education, they go to school for a degree. I'm not saying thats how it should be, but thats just the sad truth of this country. I can go through and learn that material, same as a student at Stanford, I could outscore them on the test, but in the end they will get the job and I will be on the street because they paid.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        I don't know. If I had a choice between hiring somebody who got a 4-year BSEE the usual way, versus somebody who couldn't afford school but who instead downloaded all the lectures and book .PDFs and absorbed equivalent knowledge from those, I'd take the autodidact any day of the week. That's how you hire the next Wozniak.

        • Of course you'd hire them.... For peanuts.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by TooMuchToDo ( 882796 )
            I run a small business, and when I interview/hire people, I prefer people who know the material without a degree. Anyone can throw 4 years away at a "higher education institution". I want someone who learned how to run on their own. I also don't pay them peanuts.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by GuldKalle ( 1065310 )

            ...And then he turns out to be a good asset, and he gets some experience for his resume.
            Now you have the option of giving him a raise or letting your competitors have him. Yes, autodidact education forces you to take some alternative paths, but the point is that the paths are there.

  • If only all the topics one could find in a school, could be available like that, it would be great. Why? because at least, one could get to try it out and if they like it, they may or not complete the online course, but then, they would register for the actual course, or go for the exams. And let's face it, obviously, the exams would not be free. I would love to be able to see more of that type of service everywhere on academic topics.
    • That seems to be the direction it's going in. The open access movement in general is still somewhat young and is hitting opposition from more entrenched closed models, however.

      I think you'll see what you mentioned within the next decade or so.

      I do see the point of charging for credits, however. A university has to charge for something to remain financially solvent, unless it receives very large amounts of income from other sources (such as a huge endowment).

  • if taking 1xx to mean "freshman", 2xx to mean "sophomore" and 3xx to mean "junior", as is the case in most universities, then apparently the course on natural language processing is a junior level (second year) course.. wow, I really didn't know they got THAT much better of an education there.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Jophiel04 ( 1341463 )
      As an actual Stanford student, I can shed some light on this. The official statement from [] is:

      Stanford does not have a standard course catalog numbering system. Courses numbered from 1 through 99 are primarily for freshmen and sophomores. Courses numbered from 100 through 199 are primarily for juniors and seniors; some departments, however, offer courses numbered from 200 through 299 for juniors and seniors. Most courses numbered 200 and above
      • heh okay.. now i don't feel too lame for not having gone through a natural language processing course in my undergrad degree from a state school. i think i'll check that course out, it sounds fun.
  • IQ bell curve (Score:2, Insightful)

    by eagl ( 86459 )

    As slashdotters go ape over this sort of thing, one fact should be kept in mind...

    Slashdotters are largely made up of people on the far right side of the bell curve distribution of intelligence. Although our current federal government refuses to acknowledge that half of the people are "below average" and insists that everyone would benefit from a college education, the fact is that only a minority of people are actually capable of benefitting from the kind of advanced education Stanford can provide. The v

    • Re:IQ bell curve (Score:5, Insightful)

      by daemonburrito ( 1026186 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @11:13PM (#25050115) Journal

      We need to temper our response to these programs [...]


      What a strange response. I've read your comment three times now, and I still don't get it. That is, I don't get it because I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt; it seems like you're advocating for long-dead Social Darwinist tripe. But that couldn't possibly be the case, as you are one of those on the "right" side of the curve, right?

      You act as if this is your Harrison Bergeron fantasy (in which you are the protagonist, of course). This isn't the government forcing Stanford to admit cretins! It's just a school sharing part of their curricula on the web.

      If "you" are a member of "us", count me as a member of "them".

      Yay Stanford. Using the web to its potential for making civilization a little better for all of us. What's not to like? And what would we possibly have to gain by preventing people from learning?

      • Re:IQ bell curve (Score:5, Insightful)

        by eagl ( 86459 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @11:54PM (#25050441) Journal

        Simply by replying, and specifically by your spelling, you are NOT "them". You can benefit by a higher education that focuses not only on the practical application of our knowledge base that would be applicable in earning a respectable living doing a productive job (ie. a tech school), but on an education that uses theoretical considerations to go beyond simple application, towards synthesis that leads to new applications, new knowledge.

        A simple example is the requirement that algebra must be passed in order to get a high school diploma... I would argue that for a fairly significant portion of our society, passing an application-focused class such as auto shop is much more valuable and pertinent to graduating from high school than passing an algebra test. I grew up with a number of people who can't possibly grasp algebra, but who benefited greatly from various "tech school" high school courses, got their high school diplomas, and got decent jobs right out of school. They would have been very poorly abused by any system that required them to pass algebra to get their diploma, and they never would have graduated if the school system in place at the time had cut shop class in order to attempt to force these below average students to pass college-prep courses. They were much better served by being offered application-level courses that taught them practical skills that led directly to productive jobs.

        One friend of mine was particularly affected by the current philosophy that no student is "below average", and that all students deserve a college education. He got all the opportunities anyone could imagine including a free ride to a good university based on an intercollegiate athletic scholarship, and he was completely unsuited for the academic challenge. When he failed out of college, he found himself unsuited for any job other than fast-food shift supervisor because his high school refused to recognize that he was "below average", and refused to tailor his education towards something he could have actually used. He ended up with few practical skills since they forced him into math courses that he barely passed instead of letting him take skills-application courses, and was unable to get a job that paid well enough to support himself.

        That's what I'm talking about when I say as slashdotters we should temper our response to these education opportunities. They are not the answer to all our problems, because the vast majority of people in the US are incapable of benefitting from the and trying to tailor high school education to force the no-shit 50% of students who are "below average" to go to college, is a gross injustice. We need to recognize that an awful lot of people have absolutely no use for a Stanford level of education, and ensure that rather than trying to force them into a particular college-prep track that they are not prepared or capable of following, we should provide application-level educational opportunities that lead to jobs, not a future involving washing out of college and ending up on the street with a bruised ego and no practical education that they'll find useful in finding a job they can handle.

        • Re:IQ bell curve (Score:4, Insightful)

          by daemonburrito ( 1026186 ) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @12:57AM (#25050927) Journal

          I bet you say that to all the nerds... ;)

          I share some of your opinions, but I arrived at them from a different place. I've never feared greater access, but I have been saddened by our system's failures. I think these failures are more complex than the paradox of Lake Wobegon's test scores, though. Whatever the failures are, and whatever the details of the failures, it seems to me like putting material on the web is an excellent bypass.

          I think that the missing great students are still a bigger problem than an abundance of under-equipped students. Coping with some more of the latter is worth it to catch more of the former. In any case, putting this material on the web can feed the lonely minds of those that didn't make it, for reasons other than lack of intelligence.

          I totally agree with you about providing more of what you called application-level education; both for the lives of those who just need to learn a trade, and for the institutions who could put more effort into theoretical considerations. But I also get serious warm-and-fuzzies thinking about all humanity being able to access stuff like this someday.

        • Your posts, they have earned you a beer from me.
        • by borcharc ( 56372 ) *

          I agree with your sentiment but would like to point out that spelling has nothing to do with intelligence and is quite an ignorant position to take. It may be a indication of a successful English education, but I wouldn't pin that on intelligence either.

          Take those with Dyslexia for example, they almost always have IQ's in excess of 150, comprise some of he best Scientific, Political, Business, Art, and Military minds to have ever exist and all will struggle with spelling.

    • by goatherder23 ( 1189859 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @11:25PM (#25050207)

      Slashdotters are largely made up of people on the far right side of the bell curve distribution of intelligence.

      Have you actually read any of the comments on slashdot?

    • by PCM2 ( 4486 )

      The vast majority of people would be much better served with an education focused on practical application of the knowledge humanity has accumulated over the last couple thousand years.

      Er, you mean like a bachelor's degree? Or are you seriously implying that everyone who graduates from four years at Stanford goes directly to independent research on some "impractical" topic?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by eagl ( 86459 )

        I'm saying that an awful lot of people will not benefit from being forced into an educational track that leads to a bachelors degree, when they are not capable of achieving at that level. We must recognize that 50% of students are below average, and the education we offer them must be applicable to their future, not some fairy-tale future where everyone can pass differential equations and get a degree in aero engineering if they only had a fair chance. Guess what - even really smart people fail out of eng

    • Re:IQ bell curve (Score:4, Interesting)

      by mdfst13 ( 664665 ) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @12:06AM (#25050551)

      The reason why slashdotters go ape over this is that we might actually take a Stanford online course on robotics. That's why it's news for nerds. It's also worth noting that /. is probably heavy on Intuitive Thinkers [], the kind of people who are good at math and not interested in teaching. As such, it is often hard for us to find good real world teachers (teachers tend to be Empiricals [] rather than Intuitives). Replacing teacher and book courses with online courses makes sense for us, since teachers are scarce in our subjects and we are online friendly.

      Now, if you want to talk about how we could change the educational system to be more supportive of people who aren't going to go to college, let's start with making it easier to leave school earlier. The typical schooling in the US is 12 years of 180 days each. Move that around a bit, and you can get the same 2160 days in ten years of 216 days each. No more summer vacation to work the farm (and forget what was learned last year), but still about five weeks of vacation (which could be spread around the year in addition to the current four weeks of holidays).

      For those who aren't going on to college, offer better apprenticeship programs. Companies will need to provide this, but the government can help with tax incentives and some adjustments to labor laws.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Rayban ( 13436 ) *

      The solution is obvious: we need to work hard to increase the number of students above average!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by WetFreud ( 911489 )
      What??? I'm not exited because we can finally force graduate level engineering courses on the American masses. I'm exited because there may be someone in rural Sir Lanka or Cameroon or wherever else who can use this to make me a flying car. And I'm excited because in a few minutes I'll start watching my third Stanford CS course on the bus on my way to work. And I live in Norway.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Rakishi ( 759894 )

      This pertains to this topic how exactly? You're just as bad as the law makers because you seem to think that focusing on multiple issues is somehow inherently bad or impossible. Hyper focusing on whatever issue the "people" care about is how we end up in these cluster fucks to begin with. Not everything is supposed to be some sort of idiot one size fits all solution that in the end results in more damage than it solves. It seems that to you "we need to help the below average" == "fuck over many other people

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by DerCed ( 155038 )

      Of course you are right, but also consider people like me. I work in IT, but having not studied CS and living in Europe, the courses offered by a MIT and now Harvard enables me to learn and understand the theoretical underpinnings of CS from the comfort of my home. And I don't need a "certificate" afterwards, the personal and professional advantages I will gain from these courses will be reflected in my work skills.

      And I'm sure there are lots of others with a similar story like mine. For us, such courses ar

  • by engun ( 1234934 ) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @01:06AM (#25050983)
    This is in the spirit of a true university. A university is "supposed" to be a place for learning and furthering the knowledge acquired by humanity, not a money making scam or a means of positioning yourself in the dominance hierarchy.

    I'm glad that whatever the motivation, education is being opened up to bright, eager people who can't get access to the same quality of teaching as in Stanford/MIT etc. ADUni was also an attempt to do this same thing and really deserves kudos.

    Hope more comprehensive lecture material (including video lectures) are released eventually for other subjects too. Why fleece students when good universities can always earn money via grants and patents.
  • Comp sci/programming methodology is just java programming course :-(

    Comp sci/programing abstractions is a C++ programming course, ok that's a bit unfair, but why they chose C++ rather than C I don't know. They've got "OO" covered by the Java programming course, there doesn't seem to be any advantage to using C++ rather than C given the material covered (eg linked lists) and C++ is "nastier" than C.

    Comp sci/programming paradigms. Hooray! What appears to be a proper comp sci course at last.

    So, Stanford, drop

What hath Bob wrought?