Stanford University Computer Science Courses — Review

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

Stanford University introduced several free online course starting in late 2011. There are about 10 of them, mostly in the field of computer science. The course are basically a series of pre-recorded videos, each about 10 min long. All free. You don't need to buy textbooks etc. You basically just watch the videos, do homework that is asked. These are for self-learning and for general public. They are not related to social approval and sanction. i.e. it does not give you university credit for certificate.

I've looked the intro video of each. Here's the courses and my impression.

Computer Science and Math

Computer Science 101

This is the most basic one, for those of you who have no idea what computer programing is. (if you are a reader of my programing blog, then you are already quite beyond it)

“Computer Science 101” By Nick Parlante

Cheerful teacher. Seems a good class if you never coded before.

“Computer Science 101” By Nick Parlante. At

Human-Computer Interaction

“Human-Computer Interaction” By Scott Klemmer.

“Human-Computer Interaction” By Scott Klemmer. At

The teacher seems a bit boring. Note that human interface design is a fishy subject. Not quite sure what exactly this course teaches, but if you are a long time programer (such as on linux) and have no idea about what's good UI design (yet you probably think you know a lot), you might check this course out.

Machine Learning

“Machine Learning” By Andrew Ng.

“Machine Learning” By Andrew Ng. At

Good. Wikipedia Machine learning

Natural Language Processing

“Natural Language Processing” By Dan Jurafsky, Christopher Manning.

The teachers seem mechanical and boring. One of the guy is wussy, but he wrote a popular book, so i think it's competent class.

The book he wrote is: Foundations of Statistical Natural Language Processing By Christopher D Manning, Hinrich Schuetze. Buy at amazon

“Natural Language Processing” By Dan Jurafsky, Christopher Manning. At

Wikipedia Natural language processing

Game Theory

This is more of a math class.

“Game Theory” By Matthew O Jackson, Yoav Shoham.

I like this one. I like the teacher. Both of them. Very confident and engaging.

“Game Theory” By Matthew O Jackson, Yoav Shoham. At

Wikipedia Game theory

Probabilistic Graphical Models

“Probabilistic Graphical Models” by Daphne Koller

“Probabilistic Graphical Models” By Daphne Koller. At

Wikipedia Graphical model


“Cryptography” by Dan Boneh

“Cryptography” by Dan Boneh. At

Wikipedia cryptography

Entrepreneurship Courses

[video deleted]
“The Lean Launchpad” by Steve Blank

“The Lean Launchpad” by Steve Blank. At

[video deleted]
“Technology Entrepreneurship” by Chuck Eesley

“Technology Entrepreneurship” Chuck Eesley. At

Pseudo-Science Fad Garbage

This is Pseudo-Science Fad Garbage.

“Software as a Service”, by Armando Fox, David Patterson. At

Why is this course garbage? See: