Mav vs Stanford - Week 1


A little while back, looking at reddit and hacker news, I noticed that Stanford was offering 3 courses: Introduction to Databases, Machine Learning and Introduction to Artificial Intelligence. Of course, all three courses were of interest of me, especially since I have no opportunity to take these courses as a Mechatronics student... Hopefully this will provide insight into how a student approaches these courses, as one who has some programming knowledge, but no formal training.

Stanford is offering 3 courses online: Introduction to Databases, Introduction to Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning. I plan on completing all the advanced tasks every week, and posting my thoughts / reflections every Sunday. This is week 1, Sunday October 16, 2011

Introduction to Databases

  • ?? units, 0 quizzes, 0 assignments
  • Naturally, no work was done on this course.

    Machine Learning

  • 3 units, 3 quizzes, 0 assignments
  • There is a lot more content to get through than expected, with about 3 hours worth of online lectures to get through to cover all the quiz material. Thankfully, the videos have a 1.5x speed function.

    Quiz 1: Introduction

    The material was pretty interesting, and suitable for an introduction. Unfortunately, I watched these videos right when the course opened, and did the quizzes much later.

    3 Attempts: 4/5, 3.75/5, 5/5

    Quiz 2: Linear Regression with one variable

    I tried this quiz without watching the videos and it didn't go so well. On my second attempt, I was just starting through the videos and I got impatient. Third attempt, got through most of the material. Fourth attempt, same thing. There seems to be some sort of correlation between how much of the content I go through, and my results.

    4 Attempts: 2.25/5, 4.25/5, 4.5/5, 5/5

    Quiz 3: Linear Algebra

    To be honest, I was quite pressed for time, and I have taken a bit of linear algebra before, so I skipped these videos hoping the quiz would be easy. It was.

    1 Attempt: 5/5

    Introduction to Artificial Intelligence

  • 2 units, ?? video questions, 1 homework assignment
  • Machine Learning and AI kind of go hand in hand, but apparently not their sites. AI uses youtube for their videos, which means I have no easy way to speed up the videos.

    Unit 1: Welcome to AI

    Seems like pretty basic background knowledge, but a lot of content. A bunch of videos with questions at the end, all easy. Note: I was running out of time, stopped halfway through.

    Unit 2: Problem Solving

    I skipped watching the videos for this unit, will return to later.

    Homework 1

    I was attempting this with little to no background knowledge. I was caught off guard when I learned the grade wasn't displayed, so I guess I will see how well I did afterwards. The first few questions were kind of repetitive, and I wish they were laid out in a better format.

  • ?? / ?? (will update)
  • What I've Learned

  • Start earlier
  • These courses require effort
  • The usual strategy of not paying attention in e-class will probably not work. I shouldn't be surprised, considering this is from Stanford, and is designed to be web versions of actual courses. I also seem to be working full time, so perhaps a suitable strategy is to tackle one course every two days.