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Canada: University of Toronto to offer free IT courses

University of Toronto

University of Toronto

Starting this fall, the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto (U of T) will be offering three free courses online via the education technology company Coursera.

Coursera, a platform for offering Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), was started earlier this year, and in only six months has enabled 650,000 students from 190 countries to gain access to 43 different university courses.

The University of Toronto is the first Canadian university to join the international initiative. The computer science department in U of T’s Faculty of Arts & Science will offer three courses, while U of T’s Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work and Ontario Institute for Studies in Education will offer a course each.

The computer science courses will be taught by celebrated instructors: the beginners’ courses will be designed and taught by senior lecturers Paul Gries and Jennifer Campbell. Gries has received the university’s top teaching award and Campbell is co-author of a popular textbook.

The neural networks course will be offered by University Professor Geoffrey Hinton, one of the world’s leading researchers in machine learning and artificial intelligence, and winner of the 2011 Herzberg Gold Medal, Canada’s top award in science and engineering.

In addition to U of T, other top universities joining Coursera to offer courses this fall are Cal Tech, Duke University, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, the University of Edinburgh, Georgia Tech, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Johns Hopkins University, Rice University, the University of California San Francisco, the University of Virginia and the University of Washington.

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