Makers by Cory Doctorow

New Batch of Online Classes from Stanford

Stanford University has released a new batch of free online classes starting in January 2012. This follows the success of this semesters extremely popular class on Artificial Intelligence.

Computer Science
Game Theory
Design and Analysis of Algorithms I
Software Engineering for Software as a Service
Natural Language Processing
Computer Science 101
Human-Computer Interaction
Probabilistic Graphical Models

Lean Launchpad
Technology Entrepreneurship

Open Science Summit 2011 Videos

The recordings of Open Science Summit 2011 are now available on This year we had a wonderful  of speakers. and I highly recommend watching all the videos if you have the time. But if you have to watch just one, I’d recommend the panel on Open Education and Science Education.

“Become a Computer Scientist” courtesy of Stanford.

We’ve talked about universities releasing lecture videos through ItunesU and occasionally offering full courses, as with Stanfords Intro to AI class. Well now courtesy of Stanford and their OpenClassroom project, anyone can learn all the skills needed to become a computer scientist. If you saw NASA’s recent API announcement and were saddened because you didn’t have the skills to mine that mountain of data for scientific goodies, now you have no excuse.

Course List:


NIH Challenges You to Create Lessons About BioScience

The NIH has put forth a challenge to the nation, asking anyone and everyone to send in their best science experiments oriented for kindergarden up to 12th grade. They plan on picking the best ones and releasing the procedures for the public to use for free. Aside from their horrible choice of prizes (An electronic badge, really?) this is a great initiative and I can’t wait to see the resource that comes out of this.

So, If you have an idea for an experiment that might be useful in educating people about science check out the NIH challenge site and enter.

Side note:  Also found out about the NIH’s curriculum supplements and I highly recommend checking them out if you are a teacher

How to make quantum dots

Charlie Dvorchak(apologies if misspelt name) of John Hopkins University walks us through how to make Cadmium Selenide semiconductor nanocrystals, also known as a type of Quantum Dot.

Caution: Cadmium Selenide is dangerous to human health, so be sure to take proper precautions if you choose to work with it.

P.s. Just one cool possible use of quantum dots is a BioLaser.

Stanford offers ‘Intro to Artificial Intelligence Class’ for Free

This fall, Stanford professors Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig will offer their “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence” class online for free. Most major universities already offer a selection of their class lectures online through their youtube channels or ItunesU. But this is the first times I’ve heard of a university opening up a class for anyone to enroll, get graded on the same curve as students and even receive a certificate of completion. This is a good sign for the citizen science movement, open access to Ivy league education independent of cost and location should prove groundbreaking.

If you’d like to attend the class, online enrollment closes on Sept 20th. And the class will take place from Oct. 10 ~ Dec. 16.