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AI Class 2011

January 12, 2012

One of the things I did last year was enrol in Stanford’s online AI class. University was almost 20 years ago for me now and I don’t even remember if AI was covered in any great detail at the time. When they announced the free availability of this course I thought (like many others) that it would be a good opportunity. I also enrolled in the machine learning course on the basic track. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to manage to fit the two courses in but I figured there was no harm in enrolling. As it turned out I didn’t really have the energy for both so the ML class fell by the wayside.

Overall the class was a lot of fun. The subject matter was very broad but not particularly deep. This unfortunately ment that many of the subject areas were covered in a lot less detail than they deserved. Despite this, I think there was still plenty to be learned from the course. The biggest drawback to my mind was the lack of programming exercises. These were apparently originally planned but got cut. The ML-class, which did include programming assignments, seemed to be preferred by the people doing both. I ended up doing some of the material in Clojure to help solidify the concepts.

One thing that I found difficult was getting back into the math. It’s been some time since I did any non-trivial math so there was a bit of catching up to do. This is where having some programming examples would have helped. After 20 years of coding professionally I think much more clearly in programming concepts than in math notation.

This year I plan on doing the natural language processing class. Given some of the things we’ve been doing in the past year at work I wish this had been available a year ago. It is really great to have so many high quality courses on offer for free now.

From → Technical

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