Monday, April 16, 2012

New Udacity Classes

Widdakay and I took an online class in Programming a Robotic Car that was quite impressive.  It basically taught us the techniques/technology used to create the cars that competed in the DARPA Grand Challenge and the Google self-driving car.  We took this class through a new online school called Udacity, which we've mentioned here before.  They teach classes in a style that I find very compelling where they use short videos, interactive quizes and an online programming environment.  These classes are about 7 weeks long, are college level and quite technical, but still (aside from a bit of math here and there) accessible.

Today, they are starting a new set of courses, so I wanted to pass on the information in case any of our readers are interested in trying them out.  Its all completely free, so all that it takes is a little bit of your time.  What have you got to lose?

Beginning April 16, Udacity will be offering four new courses, in addition to re-offering CS101: Building a Search Engine and CS373: Programming a Robotic Car.
All classes are available for enrollment at

CS212: The Design of Computer Programs
Peter Norvig will help students develop good taste as programmers by learning how to identify elegant solutions to problems.

CS253: Web Application Engineering
Taught by and co-founder Steve Huffman, this course will cover the things he wish he would have known when starting his websites while he teaches students to build a blog.

CS262: Programming Languages
Wes Weimer, Professor at the University of Virginia, will teach students about programming languages in the context of building a web browser. Students will learn to understand HTML and javascript from the inside out by writing a program that understands them.

CS387: Applied Cryptography
Udacity Professor David Evans will teach students the mathematical foundations behind cryptography and see how it is used to solve problems in computing. It's all about making and breaking puzzles!

All 200-level classes are good follow-ups to CS101 or the equivalent. CS387 requires some additional math background, but does not expect any programming beyond CS101.