Stanford Online is offering free public courses taught by Stanford faculty. Registration is open now. Some courses start soon. Please visit a course’s web page to learn how to participate.
You can find out more about Stanford programs and the courses we offer at online.stanford.edu.
Larry Diamond – (Just Started)
This course is intended as a broad, introductory survey of the political, social, cultural, economic, institutional, and international factors that foster or obstruct the development and consolidation of democracy. This course is primarily intended for individuals in college or beyond, who have an academic background or some preparation in political science or the social sciences. However, it also meant to be accessible and useful to a diverse international audience, including educators at the secondary and college levels, government officials, development professionals, civil society leaders, journalists, bloggers, activists, and individuals involved in a wide range of activities and professions related to the development and deepening of democracy. It is hoped that students in developing or prospective democracies will use the theories, ideas, and lessons in the class to help build or improve democracy in their own countries. The course will run for eleven weeks.
Practice Based Research in the Arts
Leslie Hill, Helen Paris – (Just Started)
This unique online course in practice-based research is designed to facilitate and advance the work of students pursuing an arts practice within an academic framework. Using the online space as an open forum to make this work accessible to peers, the course will help equip artist-scholars with tools, frameworks and peer networks that will help them articulate their practice within the academy and beyond. This course will run for ten weeks.
The Finance of Retirement & Pensions
Joshua Rauh – (Starting October 14th)
This course focuses on the financial concepts behind sound retirement plan investment and pension fund management. Course participants will become more informed decision makers about their own portfolios, and be equipped to evaluate economic policy discussions that surround public pensions. Participants will do calculations in Microsoft Excel as part of the coursework. This course will run for eight weeks.
Andrew Ng – (Starting October 14th)
This course provides a broad introduction to machine learning, data mining, and statistical pattern recognition. Machine learning is the science of getting computers to act without being explicitly programmed. In the past decade, machine learning has enabled the development of self-driving cars, practical speech recognition, effective web search, and a vastly improved understanding of the human genome. Many researchers think it is the best way to make progress towards human-level Artificial Intelligence. The course will draw from numerous case studies and applications, so participants will learn how to apply learning algorithms to building smart robots (perception, control), text understanding (web search, anti-spam), computer vision, medical informatics, audio, database mining, and more. The course will consist of lecture videos, quizzes, and programming assignments, and will run for 10 weeks.
Kevin Leyton-Brown (University of British Columbia), Matthew O. Jackson, and Yoav Shoham – (Starting October 14th)
Game theory is the mathematical modeling of strategic interaction among rational (and irrational) agents. Beyond what we call “games” in common language, such as chess, poker, and soccer, game theory considers incentives and includes the modeling of conflict among nations, political campaigns, competition among firms, and trading behavior in markets such as the NYSE. The course covers the basics: representing games and strategies, the extensive form (which computer scientists call game trees), repeated and stochastic games, coalitional games, and Bayesian games (modeling things like auctions). The course will consist of videos, slides, quizzes, online lab exercises, problem sets, screen-side chats, and a final exam. Participants must be comfortable with mathematical thinking and rigorous arguments. The course will last nine weeks.
Constructive Classroom Conversations: Mastering the Language of the Common Core State Standards
Kenji Hakuta, Jeff Zwiers, and Sara Rutherford-Quach – (Starting October 21st)
This short course, ideal for educators, looks closely at student-to-student discourse and addresses how to facilitate student engagement in the types of interactions required by the new Common Core State Standards for English ELA and Mathematics. The overall goal is for participating educators to better understand student-student classroom discourse and use what they learn to facilitate higher quality interactions that build disciplinary knowledge and skills.
Jeff Ullman – (Starting November 4th)
This course focuses on Automata Theory, the study of mathematical objects and the computational problems that can be solved using them, and it is based on material taught at Stanford in the Computer Science course CS154. The course covers four broad areas: finite automata and regular expressions; context-free grammars; Turing machines and decidability; and the theory of intractability, or NP-complete problems. Participants will have access to screencast lecture videos, are given quiz questions, assignments and exams, will receive regular feedback on progress, and can participate in a discussion forum. The course will run for six weeks and requires background in computer science and mathematics.
Environmental Physiology: Your Body in The World
Anne Friedlander with TA Corey Dysick – (Starting January 13th, 2014)
Learn how the human body is an amazing machine that is equipped to deal with the world’s great stressors. This science of physiology course is geared toward the general public and examines the impact of extreme environments on the body, offering practical tips on how people can mitigate some of these effects. High-definition video takes participants along for the ride as Dr. Friedlander and decathlete Corey Dysick climb into the cockpit of a fighter jet, parachute from 15,000 feet, and test their own ability to adapt to these and other extreme environments. The course covers key concepts and includes compelling stories, expert interviews, and thought-provoking lectures. This course will run for six weeks. Buckle up!