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The Stanford School of Engineering, part of Stanford University, now offers free online courses through the Stanford Engineering Everywhere program. Stanford Engineering Everywhere (SEE) is an online portal that offers ten of their most popular engineering courses.
The ten free online courses offered come from the top three topics in the engineering program at Stanford. Students interested in the Introduction to Computer Science topic can choose from Programming Methodology, Programming Abstractions, or Programming Paradigms.
Interested in Artificial Intelligence? If so, you can choose from courses such as Introduction to Robotics, National Language Processing, and Machine Learning.
The third topic, Linear Systems and Optimization, offers courses in The Fourier Transform and its Application, Introduction to Linear Dynamical Systems, Convex Optimization I, and Convex Optimization II.
Some additional courses include Programming Massively Parallel Processors, and a course on iPhone Application Programming.
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How it Works
There is no registration needed to enroll in any of the free online courses. Interested students simply go to the website and click on the course they want to take and download the materials. Available materials include tests and exams, course notes, lectures on video, reading lists and class assignments.
Since there is no enrollment into the course, students will not be able to contact the instructor for help. However, there is an online community available for students within the SEE program to communicate with each other. The hope is that this online community will become a resource and support system to each student.
One of the perks of taking these online courses is that you can download only what you want to learn. You do not have to complete all the assignments, tests, or watch all the lectures. Pick and choose what you want to review. This makes the classes excellent studying aids for students already learning the subject.
Because of the nature of the program, courses cannot be taken for credit. Students in the SEE program will also not have access to the Stanford library or other on-campus activities.
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Educators can take advantage of Stanford’s free online courses through the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. This means that educators are able to download this material and use it in their own classrooms free of charge.
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If these courses have a good following, Stanford plans to offer more courses later. This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in engineering to add to their knowledge. Current students can use the materials as a study aid, professionals can refresh their knowledge, and those interested in engineering can get a taste of what a Stanford University class is like.