Stanford and Harvard offering free online courses

Both Stanford University and Harvard University are now offering a selection of free online courses. While some courses offer a statement of accomplishment, actual course credit is not awarded for completion. The real value comes in the quality of education you will receive.
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Free online courses from Harvard and Stanford

Free Online Courses from Stanford University

Stanford’s free online education courses are taught by Stanford professors, and require students to sign up in order to attend for the duration of the class. Some professors recommend textbooks and suggest prerequisites or basic backgrounds. Many others require only a desire to learn and participate.

  • Lean Launchpad
    In this class you’ll learn how to turn a great idea into a great company.
  • Technology Entrepreneurship
    For undergraduates of all majors who seek to understand the formation and growth of high-impact start-ups.
  • Computer Science 101
    CS101 teaches the essential ideas of Computer Science for a zero-prior-experience audience.
  • Machine Learning
    Learn the science of getting computers to act without being explicitly programmed. Gain practice implementing effective machine learning techniques.
  • Software as a Service
    Teaches the engineering fundamentals for software using the Agile development method for Software as a Service using Ruby on Rails.
  • Human-Computer Interaction
    Learn how to design technologies that bring people joy, rather than frustration.
  • Natural Language Processing
    Explores the technology for dealing with our most ubiquitous product: human language.
  • Game Theory
    Game theory is the mathematical modeling of strategic interaction among rational (and irrational) agents.
  • Probabilistic Graphical Models
    Learn the basics of the PGM representation and how to construct them, using both human knowledge and machine learning techniques.
  • Cryptography
    This course explains the inner workings of cryptographic primitives and how to correctly use them to protect information in computer systems.
  • Design and Analysis of Algorithms I
    In this course you will learn several fundamental principles of algorithm design.

Free Online Courses from Harvard University

Harvard’s Open Learning Initiative brings a selection of noncredit online courses featuring Harvard faculty to the public for free. Courses are delivered in the form of video lectures, and may be accessed without registration. A detailed syllabus and additional class materials is made available on each course page.

  • The Heroic and the Anti-Heroic in Classical Greek Civilization
    This course is driven by a sequence of dialogues that lead to such an understanding, guiding the attentive reader through some of the major works of the ancient Greek classics, from Homer to Plato.
  • Bits: The Computer Science of Digital Information
    This course focuses on information as quantity, resource, and property. We study the application of quantitative methods to understanding how information technologies inform issues of public policy, regulation, and law.
  • Intensive Introduction to Computer Science
    This course is an introduction to the intellectual enterprises of computer science. Topics include algorithms, software development, architecture of computers, computer systems, and computers in the real world.
  • Shakespeare After All: The Later Plays
    This course focuses on Shakespeare’s later plays beginning with Measure for Measure and ending with The Tempest.
  • China: Traditions and Transformations
    Students discuss the indelible imprint of China’s historical experience, its patterns of philosophy and religion, and its social and political thought.
  • World War and Society in the Twentieth Century: World War II
    This course is a thematic exploration of the war and its time through feature films, primary sources, and scholarly interpretations.
  • Sets, Counting, and Probability
    This course develops the mathematics needed to formulate and analyze probability models for idealized situations drawn from everyday life.
  • Abstract Algebra
    Algebra is the language of modern mathematics. This course introduces students to that language through a study of groups, group actions, vector spaces, linear algebra, and the theory of fields.

To those of you considering taking a course, but are unsure whether it’s worth you’re time, consider this quote by Henry Ford:

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.

So what are you waiting for? Go sign up! And if you’re interested in online education, take a look at some of the schools that offer online degrees to see if it’s the right fit for you.

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