During the last 3 months I’ve been doing Stanfords online machine learning class. This as a great experience, and I now at least have a solid feel on the subjects covered in the course.
I actually started off doing the Artificial Intelligence class, and then found that the Machine Learning one was more interesting for me, and even of higher quality. So I decided to do both classes. After a few weeks I found this was really to much to do on top of my regular work, and decided to drop the AI class, so I could focus on the ML class and get good results there, rather then mediocre results on both. The ML class is made up of 18 lessons, each consisting of a set of videos with in-video mini-quizzes, review questions and programming exercises (in GNU Octave, similar to MatLab). Although I don’t have the official score yet, by my own counting I have 800 of 890 points, of which 70 I lost by not making all of the last set of programming exercises due to being sick.
Stanford offered 3 such online classes during Q4 of 2011 (AI, ML and databases), and is tripping this number in Q1 2012. As a response, MIT is going to extend on it’s OpenCourseWare platform. This is great news for online education, which has made huge strides in the last few years with things such as Khan Academy, these online courses by universities and the Wikipedia Education Program (more on which in my next blog post). If you want to teach yourself some new things, definitely check out these awesome programs