Are you taking Online Courses? Discuss here!

Talking about SolydXK, another distribution or totally off-topic but within the Rules ? It's the right place!
Deleted User 2764

Are you taking Online Courses? Discuss here!

Postby Deleted User 2764 » 03 Sep 2014 11:44

Since my topic on EdX Linux Intro course started veering into discussions of other courses, I thought to save it from going off-topic I'd start a separate topic on other courses (EdX and other online learning).

Are you folks taking other courses at EdX or other online learning places? Please let us know and also where you're taking the course. There are many online learning schools and it might be useful to know what is out there to help build skill level.

For example (and I'm actually going to take this course):

I'm going to take a new course on the Sept. 24, 2014 at EdX called CS_1156x Learning From Data (introductory Machine Learning course). It's put up by CalTech.

The prerequisites are "basic probability, matrices, and calculus" and also calls for some programming language experience. I only have the programming language experience and not the others so we'll see how I do since I'm so bad at math (as some here already well know! :lol: )

The course is a series of 18 lectures. This should be interesting and hopefully not boring! Actually, I think I learn better from watching video and seeing things presented visually than I do from reading.

I am taking the course to learn more about how to program a machine to learn on it's own. I've had an interest in artificial intelligence and robotics, and have an NXT Mindstorms 2.0 robot kit that I can program also in C in Linux. So this might be quite an interesting combination.

I'm also taking the course to get an Honor Code certificate.

What courses are you folks taking and why (hobby, build professional skills, etc.)?

It would also be nice to get a little review of the course while one is taking it and/or at the end of the course, if possible. I'll try to keep folks updated on the one I'm taking.

mhwelsh
Posts: 238
Joined: 15 Apr 2013 18:48

Re: Are you taking Online Courses? Discuss here!

Postby mhwelsh » 03 Sep 2014 14:22

Perhaps I should transfer my reports on C++ Bombay here.

As you say there are now numerous on line learning centres and this thread could be the hub for the Solyd(xk) club.

martin welsh

Deleted User 2764

Re: Are you taking Online Courses? Discuss here!

Postby Deleted User 2764 » 03 Sep 2014 16:49

That would be cool (both learning more about that C++ course you're taking and this being an online learning hub for the SolydXK community). :)

So how are you coming along with the C++ course?

User avatar
patzy
Posts: 398
Joined: 15 Dec 2013 08:32
Location: Australia

Re: Are you taking Online Courses? Discuss here!

Postby patzy » 04 Sep 2014 07:44

I recently completed the Natural Disasters course through Edx Magill University Montreal. I only went as an auditor, but I did most of the exam exercises. An utterly fascinating course. The two profs presented the lectures (a lot of short ones up to 10min long) in an engaging way.
It covered Volcanoes, Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Landslides/Avalanches, El nino, global warming and ice storms.
I recommend it for anyone who wants to know what sets disasters off and what can be done to protect against them. No previous knowledge needed.

Now I'm into Water and Atmosphere, Edx with Delft University, Holland. The lectures are longer with a lot of equations on the blackboard yes, calculus was there - haven't done that for years. But so far it is just what the equations are used for, none have been set for working out. Odd bits of info come up. eg Evaporation in Europe (including breathing out) is mainly precipitated in China!
Not so well presented as Disasters, but well worth the effort.

I've been 'hooked' by online learning! :D

Testing using 32bit SolydK
Pentium Dual CPU E2220 2Gb memory
Geoforce 8400 using Nouveau driver

Deleted User 2764

Re: Are you taking Online Courses? Discuss here!

Postby Deleted User 2764 » 13 Sep 2014 13:01

Just signed up for a new course:

https://www.coursera.org/course/interactivepython

This is an Introduction to Python. I been wanting to learn python. This course is by Rice University and is free. I'll post more here if I have much to report. This course starts on Monday so I just got in on time. I'll be busy for awhile with two courses! The EdX one I'm still going to take on the 24th and this one which goes from Sept. 15 - Nov. 16th it looks like.

mhwelsh
Posts: 238
Joined: 15 Apr 2013 18:48

Re: Are you taking Online Courses? Discuss here!

Postby mhwelsh » 15 Sep 2014 14:01

edx Bombay; Coding with C++

CS101.1x Introduction to Computer Programming, Part 1.

I have reached the end of the course but have far from completed it.
As with the previous edx course that I have taken their estimate of work required being 10 - 15 hours per week is certainly nowhere near enough for my 'brain'.

I was impressed by the quality of the presentation and indeed the course content which seems to be very thorough. I have enjoyed doing the course and shall persist with the study of software generation.

martin welsh

Deleted User 2764

Re: Are you taking Online Courses? Discuss here!

Postby Deleted User 2764 » 15 Sep 2014 16:06

Congrats on getting through the course. I think as with any course, when you get through a course you always have more to learn. That's where experimenting, Googling and practicing on your own comes in. :) I think one never really stops learning. These courses are a great jumping-off point (and a feather in one's cap for resume's) where one can be inspired to learn more.

oneleaf
Posts: 18
Joined: 06 Aug 2014 06:38

Re: Are you taking Online Courses? Discuss here!

Postby oneleaf » 17 Sep 2014 00:58

RavenLX,
How are you liking the Python course?
I just started my first Coursera course last night as well, and halfway through the week's assignments and lectures. It is on Functional Programming using Scala.

So far I am very impressed with the platform. The instructions are very clear, and the assignment submittal process is very simple. I love how the lectures are available on an app available for the iPad, making it even easier to keep up with the material!

I would be interested in doing a Python course eventually too, so definitely interested to hear how you like this course!

Deleted User 2764

Re: Are you taking Online Courses? Discuss here!

Postby Deleted User 2764 » 17 Sep 2014 02:43

Well, I only am on "week 0" and did the videos and the quizzes. I haven't had to do the evaluations yet. I don't know how I'll keep up with a 150-line program doing 5 evaluations of others' code and then my own on top of it. That'll be tough!

As for the course itself, how they run things was a little confusing at first until you actually start working in the platform. It is quite easy (the platform itself) but there is also extra stuff sprinkled here and there for additional reading. Also the videos contain links to things like the CodeSkulptor (which is what they use to have the students write and submit code in).

So far, I don't know if I can really tell if I like the course or not yet. I don't like evaluating other people's work though. Takes a lot of time. Plus having others evaluate and your score based on that, what if you get a troll? It can really hinder your score. Scoring/grading isn't really based too much on your own work in that case, but more on some honesty policy of other students' evaluation of your work. I think the eval may be useful but the grade shouldn't be based on that. It should be graded by an actual instructor that knows what they are doing.

They do have a point-system (Rubric) which asks questions and gives drop downs but still there's room for possible trolling.

Other than that, I think it will be informative if I learn a good deal of Python.

Another thing I'm not crazy about is that they use Python 2.7 and not Python 3. But they say that most things should convert over just fine.

oneleaf
Posts: 18
Joined: 06 Aug 2014 06:38

Re: Are you taking Online Courses? Discuss here!

Postby oneleaf » 17 Sep 2014 07:34

I hear what you are saying about the evals. Weird policy. I am glad my Scala class does not have that. Our assignments are automatically graded by a program.

I do find the automatic grading to be problematic though. I lost a couple points on a function I submitted due to an issue that I know a human grader would not have deducted points for. But with upwards of 10,000's of people taking these courses, I suppose these issues are expected. :)

Deleted User 2764

Re: Are you taking Online Courses? Discuss here!

Postby Deleted User 2764 » 17 Sep 2014 12:32

I guess that's one reason (which they mention in their FAQ I think) why the Python Course is evaluated. They mention that some things can't be checked via computer program and also they don't have enough staff teaching to grade all the people who submit their work.

But I will look at the eval and maybe have ideas on how they can make a program do some fuzzy logic (ie. AI) to do grading that takes a bit of "judgement". Maybe it can gain knowledge from a database of students evaluating their own work and 5 others as it is today and then slowly add the AI evals. Then they can drop the 5 after the database is well populated and have the AI do it.

With today's technology, I bet it could be done. Just takes a good programmer (I don't think I'm quite at that point yet, myself). I'll start the Machine Learning course at EdX next week so who knows what I'll learn in that one. Maybe I'll apply the two courses!

User avatar
excollier
Posts: 81
Joined: 13 Aug 2013 11:47
Location: Donegal, Ireland

Re: Are you taking Online Courses? Discuss here!

Postby excollier » 30 Sep 2014 10:55

I am taking the Cisco CCNA/CCENT course from eCollege in Ireland, having recently passed my CompTIA A+ and Network+.
Trouble is I am forced to use Windows (!) because I need Silverlight for the MeasureUp practice exam questions to run in a web browser and Cisco Packet Tracer for network simulations.
I thought Packet Tracer might work with Play on Linux (Wine) but it's no-go - it installs but it wont run, giving a "Serious Error" message before crashing. So despite my best efforts to escape Microsoft once and for all, I am still tied to Windows until my studies and exams are complete, and that could be over a year away yet :(
Also auditing the EdX Linux course - thankfully that isn't a problem.

Deleted User 2764

Re: Are you taking Online Courses? Discuss here!

Postby Deleted User 2764 » 30 Sep 2014 12:36

Sorry to hear you are stuck with Windows. Sometimes I have to do things in Windows for work, but most of the time I can get away with it by having the boss test code or I can use stuff in Play on Linux.

Deleted User 2764

Re: Are you taking Online Courses? Discuss here!

Postby Deleted User 2764 » 30 Sep 2014 23:50

I'm dropping out of the machine learning course CS_1156x on EdX put on by CalTech. Believe me you don't want me to express my real thoughts on the lectures and homework assignments. :twisted: Let's just say that for me personally, it was akin to listening for two hours to someone babble on nonsensically and without any logical thorough explaination of what he was trying to do. I didn't get it at all so I personally wouldn't recommend this course to people at all, really. If you do, you gotta have an IQ of 2,000 or you'll have scrambled brains at the end of the first lecture. Definitely by the end of the second lecture, that's for sure! Homework questions? Mostly vague. Made me think there for longer than a minute that there's no answer possible but that wasn't one of the answers (ie. no "none of the above" for a choice).

I'm still taking the Introduction to Interactive Python Programming put on by Rice via Coursera.org. That one is really good and I still can recommend that one for anyone wanting to learn Python. They don't require math skills in the course description but some math is probably needed. Algebra definitely (I think that's a given for any programming language). But they do a great job of explaining the assignments step by step and also in the video lectures as well.

Deleted User 2764

Re: Are you taking Online Courses? Discuss here!

Postby Deleted User 2764 » 01 Oct 2014 00:33

I've reviewed the Stanford Machine Learning course via Coursera (just looked at one of the videos) and it looks like that one they go into better detail and explain things better. Since it's already one week in and I'd be late. There is a lot of video to go through per week too. So I think I'll wait and see what their 2015 schedule of offerings will be (hoping they will have it next year too).

Here's the link for those interested:

https://www.coursera.org/course/ml

Deleted User 2764

Re: Are you taking Online Courses? Discuss here!

Postby Deleted User 2764 » 04 Oct 2014 21:13

Well, that didn't last long either. I dropped the Stanford course too. They started again spewing mathematical equations without explaing how they came up with it, instead explaining how they are going to use/apply it. I can't learn that way. I got to know what they are talking about. How they came up with it in the first place.

I don't get Math formulas. It seems too illogical or vague at best. Programming code seems far more logical to me, ironically!

I'm still taking the Python course and doing well in that (even the "math" parts are logical and understandable).

When I catch up with stuff I really fell behind on (because I was trying to keep up with school stuff), I may start a blog on my site on Machine Learning/AI and my take on it.

I remember way back when computers started getting into the homes and people were saying "You need to learn math in order to be a programmer! You have to know all these convoluted formulas or you won't get anywhere!" Guess what. They were wrong. Never once in all the years I been programming have I ever needed some convoluted algorythm to solve a problem. In fact, the more convoluted the algorythm, the less likely it would work.

So anyway, Python is it for now. And at least that is programming. And to me, programming is a lot of fun! :)

User avatar
patzy
Posts: 398
Joined: 15 Dec 2013 08:32
Location: Australia

Re: Are you taking Online Courses? Discuss here!

Postby patzy » 05 Oct 2014 00:23

I found that the first set of lectures on the Water and Climate course with Delft Uni was full of unexplained equations. The lecturer shot through them without explaining exactly how they worked.
I did manage to get the hang of them eventually, but anyone with no higher maths would have had a hard time.
There were complaints about it. I think the lecturer had no idea how to present online learning.

From week 2 on things have improved a lot and the whole course has become really interesting. I expect that if they offer it again they will rehash the first week.

Now I'm into World History through Architecture. I love it. The lecturer is very animated and entertaining.

Testing using 32bit SolydK
Pentium Dual CPU E2220 2Gb memory
Geoforce 8400 using Nouveau driver

Deleted User 2764

Re: Are you taking Online Courses? Discuss here!

Postby Deleted User 2764 » 05 Oct 2014 02:22

Maybe that's the problem with a lot of these universities. I mean it's not like they are entirely at fault because online learning is rather new still. But they still aren't totally sure how to present it without assuming the background and even if they state prerequisites, they aren't too specific. So people who don't have much or any "high" math background as it is called probably won't know what the heck they are talking about! To me, "high" math or "advanced" math seems more like just people trying to use equasions and formula like some kind of foreign language to explain things when you could probably explain these things better in another language like a programming language or a natural language (ie. English, Spanish, Japanese, etc.)

I think language itself can't explain anything, no matter what language is used (math, natural, programming, etc.) Some things can't be explained, but have to be experienced to be understood. And not everyone experiences things the same way.

Ah, isn't the universe a gloriously complicated and chaotic thing? :ugeek: :mrgreen:

User avatar
patzy
Posts: 398
Joined: 15 Dec 2013 08:32
Location: Australia

Re: Are you taking Online Courses? Discuss here!

Postby patzy » 05 Oct 2014 10:50

Every subject/job has its own language. I remember when I first had a look at programming, it took me ages to work out what "string" meant! It was just assumed that everyone would know. (Maybe I'm a bit dumb...) :roll:
RavenLX wrote:Ah, isn't the universe a gloriously complicated and chaotic thing? :ugeek: :mrgreen:
Now don't let's get into chaos theory!!!! :lol:
I agree the universe is gloriously complicated. One justs needs to look at the NASA picture of the day.
(I see there is a course on Astrophysics - quantum theory anyone? :geek:) :)

Testing using 32bit SolydK
Pentium Dual CPU E2220 2Gb memory
Geoforce 8400 using Nouveau driver

User avatar
Zill
Posts: 1850
Joined: 13 Aug 2013 14:28
Location: Lincolnshire, UK

Re: Are you taking Online Courses? Discuss here!

Postby Zill » 05 Oct 2014 12:11

RavenLX wrote:... To me, "high" math or "advanced" math seems more like just people trying to use equasions and formula like some kind of foreign language to explain things when you could probably explain these things better in another language like a programming language or a natural language (ie. English, Spanish, Japanese, etc.)
Unfortunately, some "real world" problems can only be solved by using abstract mathematical concepts such as, for example, "imaginary numbers".


Return to “Open Chat / General Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests