Saturday, March 30, 2013

I Discovered Coursera!

A week ago I discovered Coursera, a website that allows people to take classes on any subject they wish, for free. I was thrilled (how did I miss this site?) but reasonably cautious. Like I've mentioned before, I have this knack for jumping feet-first into a project.  Again, I'll be using this blog as a means to publicly commit. I signed up for four different courses over the span of the next few weeks, and I am committing to seeing this through! So basically, if I don't do what I said I'm going to do, I know that anyone reading this will know I can't commit!

So far I've signed up for...

A Beginner's Guide to Irrational Behavior, by the guy who wrote the book Predictably Irrational. I'd been meaning to buy it for the last couple months. Even luckier for me, as a result of this course, the guy put his books on sale! I've read about irrational behavior/cognitive biases, but I've been doing it on my own, in an unstructured way. I figure I can use this to fill in some of the gaps in my knowledge, (and figure out what those gaps are, to begin with.) It's 6 weeks long.

Next on my list is Statistics: Making Sense of Data. I'm taking a stat course next semester, and I figure a head start can never hurt. This one hasn't started yet (April 1st) and is 8 weeks long.

Starting on the same day as the Stat course is Gamification. Again, something I've looked into on my own, but have never bothered learning in a formal way. I'm curious. It's 6 weeks long. It doesn't seem nearly as intense as the first two, so I'm not really worried about the additional pressure.

The last course I'm taking is Genes and the Human Condition, and I'm taking it because I'm taking Genetics next semester at college, and I've been hearing people say it's intense, which makes me a little bit nervous. I've never had any problems with biology, but it's better to be safe. ...But that's only half of it: this course combines genetics with the social sciences!  This always fascinates me: the relationship between the environment you're raised in, and your genes. It starts on April 22nd (so far away...) and lasts for 6 weeks.

I'm not really recommending any of these, because I've not taken them yet/have only taken one of them for less than a week. I'm not sure what to expect, either. Hopefully, I'll be less bored in upcoming weeks, thanks to these courses. If there's one thing I dislike, it's being bored.