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Winter 2014 Courses

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Stanford Online is offering free public courses taught by Stanford faculty. Registration is open now. Some courses start soon. Please visit a course's web page to learn how to participate.

CLASlite Classroom — Forest Monitoring

Greg Asner

Starting December 17th

This course is the world's first online course for mapping deforestation and forest degradation. Participants - whether they are members of government, academic, non-commercial or non-government organizations - will be provided with the knowledge needed to monitor forests using the Carnegie Landsat Analysis System-lite (CLASlite). The self-paced course begins December 17, 2013 and covers the scientific basis for each module in CLASlite as well as other essential information for making forest monitoring easy using Earth-observing satellite data.
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Cryptography I

Dan Boneh

Starting January 6th

This course explains the inner workings of cryptographic primitives (low-level cryptographic algorithms that are used to build computer security systems) and how to correctly use them. Students will learn how to reason through the security of cryptographic constructions and how to apply this knowledge to real-world applications. We will cover the relevant number theory and discuss public-key encryption and basic key-exchange. The 6 week course begins January 6, 2014 and exposes participants to many exciting open problems in the field.
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Social and Economic Networks: Models and Analysis

Matthew Jackson, Yoav Shoham, Kevin Leyton-Brown

Starting January 6th

This course focuses on the power and pervasiveness of social networks in our social and economic lives. Participants will explore the role networks play in the transmission of information about job opportunities and in the trade of many goods and services. The 9 week course begins January 6, 2014 and provides an overview and synthesis of research on social and economic networks, drawing on studies by sociologists, economists, computer scientists, physicists, and mathematicians.
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Introduction to Databases

Jennifer Widom

Starting January 7th

This course provides an introduction to databases - an incredibly prevalent tool that underlies much of the technology used by people every day. Participants will become familiar with the ways in which databases function as a crucial component to banking systems, video games, and just about any other software system or electronic device that maintains some amount of persistent information. The self-paced course begins on January 7, 2014 and uses a combination of lectures with in-video quizzes, multiple-choice quiz assignments, automatically-checked interactive programming exercises, midterm and final exams, a discussion forum, optional additional exercises with solutions, and pointers to readings and resources.
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Game Theory II: Advanced Applications

Matthew Jackson

Starting January 13th

This course is a continuation of Game Theory - the mathematical modeling of strategic interaction among rational and irrational agents - and covers how to design interactions between agents in order to achieve good social outcomes. Participants will focus on three main topics: social choice theory (i.e., collective decision making), mechanism design (a broad framework for designing interactions between self-interested agents), and auctions (a means of allocating scarce resources among self-interested agents). The 6 week advanced course begins January 13, 2014 and presents some of the most important theoretical results in the field.
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Child Nutrition and Cooking 2.0

Maya Adam

Starting January 13th

This course examines contemporary child nutrition in America from the individual decisions made by families to the widespread food marketing that targets our children. The health risks associated with obesity in childhood are also discussed. Participants will learn what constitutes a healthy diet for children and adults and how to prepare simple, delicious foods aimed at inspiring a lifelong celebration of easy home-cooked meals. The 5 week course begins January 13, 2014 and will help prepare participants to be leading health providers, teachers and parents of the present and future.
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Your Body in the World: Adapting to Your Next Big Adventure

Anne Friedlander with TA Corey Dysick

Starting January 13th

This course explores the human body as an amazing machine equipped to deal with the world's great stressors. Participants will be introduced to the basics of the science of physiology and get to examine the impact of extreme environments on the body by following, through high definition videos, Dr. Anne Friedlander and decathlete Corey Dysick into the cockpit of a fighter jet and parachuting from 15,000 feet. Participants will also be able to test their own ability to adapt to these and other extreme environments. The 6 week course begins January 13, 2014 and brings together key scientific concepts, compelling stories, expert interviews, and thought-provoking lectures.
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Convex Optimization

Stephen Boyd

Starting January 21st

This course concentrates on recognizing and solving convex optimization problems that arise in applications. Participants will be introduced to convex sets, functions, and optimization problems; basics of convex analysis; least-squares, linear and quadratic programs, semidefinite programming, minimax, extremal volume, and other problems; optimality conditions, duality theory, theorems of alternative, and applications; interior-point methods; applications to signal processing, statistics and machine learning, control and mechanical engineering, digital and analog circuit design, and finance. The 8 week course begins on January 21, 2014 and will benefit anyone who uses or will use scientific computing or optimization in engineering or related work.
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Introduction to Computer Networking

Phillip Levis, Nick McKeown

Starting January 21st

This course provides an introduction to computer networking, focusing specifically on the internet. Participants will learn how the internet works, from how bits are modulated on wires and in wireless to application-level protocols such as BitTorrent and HTTP. Participants will also be introduced to principles of network design and network protocols. The 8 week course begins January 21, 2014 and provides participants with experience in reading and understanding RFCs (Internet protocol specifications) and grounds many of the concepts in current practice as well as recent developments, such as net neutrality and DNS security.
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Statistical Learning

Trevor Hastie, Rob Tibshirani

Starting January 21st

This course is an introduction to supervised learning with a focus on regression and classification methods. Participants will be exposed to linear and polynomial regression, logistic regression and linear discriminant analysis; cross-validation and the bootstrap, model selection and regularization methods (ridge and lasso); nonlinear models, splines and generalized additive models; tree-based methods, random forests and boosting; support-vector machines; as well as some unsupervised learning methods such as principal components and clustering (k-means and hierarchical). The 3 month-long course begins January 21, 2014 and focuses on the important elements of modern data analysis (without a heavy focus on math).
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Mobile Health Without Borders

Eric Leroux, Homero Rivas

Starting January 27th

This course focuses on global health challenges, mobile health opportunities, and entrepreneurship in health care in order to address the fact that today, more people have access to a mobile phone than to clean drinking water while health systems around the world struggle to deliver cost-effective care. Participants will be exposed to a variety of health challenges and mobile entrepreneurship models that are reshaping how health care is delivered. They will also have the opportunity to work closely with classmates from around the world on small group assignments to prepare for the Health Innovation Challenge: an opportunity to work with a global multi-disciplinary team and world-class mentors to design a solution to a personally meaningful health challenge. The 3 month-long course begins on January 27, 2014 and functions like a conference, encouraging participants to increase their capacity to have a meaningful impact on global health.
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Technology Entrepreneurship

Chuck Eesley

Starting February 2nd

This course introduces the fundamentals of technology entrepreneurship, pioneered in Silicon Valley and now spreading across the world. Participants will learn the process technology entrepreneurs use to start companies, which involves taking a technology idea and finding a high-potential commercial opportunity, gathering resources such as talent and capital, figuring out how to sell and market the idea, and managing rapid growth. The 6 week course begins February 2, 2014 and provides practical experience alongside the theory through teamwork and startup projects. The last time the course was offered 40,000 participants from around the world formed teams and the top teams were matched with Silicon Valley mentors, and the best teams at the end of the class pitched their ideas to investors.
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Introduction to Mathematical Thinking

Keith Devlin

Starting February 3rd

This course is designed to develop a valuable mental ability - a powerful way of thinking that humans have developed over three thousand years and one that can help solve problems that arise in the everyday world. Participants will learn a key feature of mathematical thinking, which is thinking outside-the-box - a valuable ability in today's world. The 10 week course begins on February 3, 2014 and covers language analysis, working with quantifiers, proofs, elements of number theory, and mathematical analysis.
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Cryptography II

Dan Boneh

Starting February 17th

This course is a continuation of Cryptography I and explains the inner workings of public-key systems and cryptographic protocols. Participants will learn the constructions for digital signatures and their applications; protocols for user authentication and zero-knowledge protocols; privacy applications of cryptography supporting anonymous credentials and private database lookup; as well as advanced topics including multi-party computation and elliptic curve cryptography. The 6 week course begins February 17, 2014.
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Designing for Deeper Learning: How to Develop Performance Tasks for the Common Core

Raymond Pecheone, Daisy Martin, Ruth Chung Wei

Starting in March

This course builds on educators' capacity to use, develop, and implement curriculum-embedded performance assessments that fit local contexts. Participants will participate in activities that include evaluating sample performance tasks and developing and implementing a performance task that is aligned with a specific curricular unit as well as performance outcomes in order to ensure students use and apply critical skills and knowledge to demonstrate understanding. The nine week course begins in March 2014 and uses a learning-centered approach where assessments are not only about measuring learning, but are also learning events.
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International Women's Health & Human Rights

Anne Firth Murray

Starting soon!

This course provides an overview of women's health and human rights issues - beginning in infancy and childhood, then moving through adolescence, reproductive years and aging - with a focus on economic, social, political and human rights factors, and the challenges women face in maintaining health and managing their lives in the face of societal pressures and obstacles. Participants will explore "critical issues" such as poverty; discrimination; unequal access to education, food, paid work and health care; forms of violence, in the home and in war and refugee circumstances; maternal health; and sex trafficking of women. The course begins this winter and is designed to create a network of participants who are engaged in their communities.
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Mastering Language for the Common Core State Standards: Focus on Elementary Grade Mathematics

Kenji Hakuta

Starting soon!

This course uses instructional exemplars developed by the Understanding Language Initiative at Stanford University and explores principles for language-supported rigorous content instruction aligned to the Common Core. Designed for teachers of elementary grade mathematics for English Language Learners and for teachers of students with disabilities, the content of the course is equally applicable to teaching all students who are challenged by the academic uses of language. Participants will be provided with a range of practical tools to gather and analyze language products of student learning as a way to help assess and plan next steps in instruction - including listening to constructive classroom conversations, analyzing products of student engagement with academic materials, and analyzing characteristic of student writing about evidence and reasoning. The course begins this winter and will introduce practical ways of organizing instruction to increase students' use of academically productive language, and scaffold learning.
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Mastering Language for the Common Core State Standards: Focus on Middle School English Language Arts

Kenji Hakuta

Starting soon!

This course uses instructional exemplars developed by the Understanding Language Initiative at Stanford University and explores principles for language-supported rigorous content instruction aligned to the Common Core. Designed for teachers of middle school language arts for English Language Learners and for teachers of students with disabilities, the content of the course is equally applicable to teaching all students who are challenged by the academic uses of language. Participants will be provided with a range of practical tools to gather and analyze language products of student learning as a way to help assess and plan next steps in instruction - including listening to constructive classroom conversations, analyzing products of student engagement with academic materials, and analyzing characteristic of student writing about evidence and reasoning. The course begins this winter and will introduce practical ways of organizing instruction to increase students' use of academically productive language, and scaffold learning.
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Organizational Analysis

Daniel A. McFarland

Starting soon!

This course focuses on the ubiquity and variability of organizations and the resulting complexity and confusion in the organizational challenges we regularly face. Participants will consider cases of various organizational struggles: school systems and politicians attempting to implement education reforms; government administrators dealing with an international crisis; technology firms trying to create a company ethos that sustains worker commitment; and even two universities trying to gain international standing by performing a merger. The 10 week course begins this winter and provides a grounding in relevant organizational theories as a means of systematically identifying important features of an organization and the events transforming it, and predicting which actions will best redirect the organization in a desired direction.
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Classical Mechanics

Leonard Susskind

Self-paced

This course is the first course in the Theoretical Minimum series and explores the mathematical physics developed by Isaac Newton (1642 - 1727) and later by Joseph Lagrange (1736 - 1813) and William Rowan Hamilton (1805 - 1865). Participants will be immersed in a discussion of the allowable laws of physics; delve into Newtonian mechanics; and study three formulations of classical mechanics by Lagrange, Hamiltonian and Poisson respectively. This 11 segment, self study course began on December 7, 2013 and focuses on the relation between symmetries and conservation laws, with a consideration of electromagnetism and the application of the equations of classical mechanics to a particle in an electromagnetic field.
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Developing iOS 7 Apps for iPhone and iPad

Paul Hegarty

Self-paced

This popular course covers the most dramatic overhaul to Apple's operating system in years and the tools and application programming interfaces (APIs) required to build new applications for the iPhone and iPad platform. Participants will learn about user interface designs for mobile devices, unique user interactions using multi-touch technologies, object-oriented design using model-view-controller paradigm, memory management, objective-c programming language, object-oriented database API, animation, multi-threading and performance considerations. This 33 segment, self study course began on October 28, 2013.
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