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Stanford announces 16 online courses for fall quarter

online ClassesThe university, which pioneered massive open online courses, unveils two new homegrown software platforms to host the courses.

Sixteen courses and two new platforms for interactive learning will highlight Stanford’s free online offerings this fall, with more to follow during winter and spring quarters.

From cryptography to science writing, technology entrepreneurship, finance and a crash course in creativity, the courses are open to anyone with a computer, anywhere.

As the number of Stanford online courses has grown, so too has the range of fields, which now include computer science, mathematics, linguistics, science writing, sociology and education.

Stanford is unique among universities in that it is offering its online courses on more than one platform. Each has its own distinct features and capabilities, among them video lectures, discussion forums, peer assessment, problem sets, quizzes and team projects.

An open-source platform called Class2Go, developed by a team of Stanford engineers, will host An Introduction to Computer Networks, taught by Nick McKeown – an entrepreneur and a professor of electrical engineering and of computer science, whose networking startup, Nicira, was just acquired for $1.26 billion by VMware – and his colleague Philip Levis. Class2Go also will host a course on solar cells taught by physicist Bruce Clemens.

Also notable is a team-based course, Technology Entrepreneurship, taught by Chuck Eesley, assistant professor of management science and engineering; the course garnered 37,000 students when it first appeared last spring. It is hosted on another new platform, Venture Lab, developed by Stanford faculty member Amin Saberi specifically for classes in which students work in teams.

The most widely available online learning platform, Coursera, will host nine Stanford courses this quarter, among them a new course, Writing in the Sciences, taught by epidemiologist Kristin Sainani, as well as Scott Klemmer’s Human-Computer Interaction, which last spring enrolled around 29,000 students. Coursera was developed by two Stanford computer scientists who currently are on leave.

Students interested in registering should go to the course websites listed below or to the Stanford Online website, where updates will be available as new courses appear.

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