9 Free Online Courses from Stanford: For Computer Science in 2020

Stanford University is one of the best universities in the world. Students from all over the world are desperate to study at this university. Though very few are lucky enough to get this opportunity but here is another way for learners to become a part of this university through MOOC platforms. 

Free Online Courses from Stanford

MOOC platforms such as Coursera, Udacity, edX, etc. have removed the barriers of space and time and make these online courses from the world’s best universities more reachable to the Learners from all over the world.

Though education becomes an expensive commodity still many universities offer online courses free of cost so that learners can take advantage of these educational opportunities. 

9 Best Free Online Courses from Stanford 

Here are some famous and useful Computer Science courses from Stanford which are available at various MOOC platforms totally free for learners.

To make it more precise, 9 best online Computer Science courses are arranged according to the level of learners’ knowledge and understanding.

Beginners level:

  • Databases: Introduction to Relational Databases
  • Computer Science 101
  • Game theory

Intermediate level:

  • Algorithms: Design and Analysis, Part 1
  • Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
  • Machine Learning 

Advanced Level:

  • Game Theory II: Advanced Applications
  • Probabilistic Graphical Models 2: Inference
  • Probabilistic Graphical Models 3: Learning

Standford Courses for Beginners Level:

1. Databases: Introduction to Relational Databases

Being a beginner you want to learn the basics of computer science to make a hold on this area but you don’t know where to start, then this course can be a starting point.  The University of Stanford offers this course via edX to make you understand the role of databases behind any websites, software, or device.

This very short duration course is specially designed to make your basic concept clear by including topics such as introduction and relational databases, relational design theory, relational algebra, SQL, unified modeling language (UML), etc. This is a useful course that provides a strong base which as a result helps you to excel in all other computer science courses.

  • Provider: edX
  • Cost: Free Online Course
  • Duration: 1 week
  • Session: Self-paced
  • Effort: 5-10 hours a week
  • Language: English 

2. Computer Science 101

Computer Science 101 is the most famous online course at Stanford University which is available on edX. This is a beginner’s course where no prior knowledge is needed. This course gives you a chance to explore all the concepts of computer science which apparently look difficult and complex but easy in reality.

This course contents include definition and explanation of the various topics like what is Computer, Internet, hardware, software, hardware, security devices, Computer jargon, etc. This course also helps in increasing your familiarity with Computer codes and languages. In this course, you don’t need to download any software, everything will be done only through the browser.

In this 6 week course, learners have to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding by experimenting with short bits of “computer code”.

  • Provider: Edx
  • Cost: Free Online Course
  • Duration: 6 weeks 
  • Session: Self-paced
  • Effort: 4-6 hours a week
  • Language: English 

3. Game Theory

Via Coursera, Stanford offers free online courses ‘game theory’ for learners who have an interest in the gaming field.

Game programming is far beyond what we call games in everyday life such as chess, poker, soccer, etc. Game Theory is a standard tool for mathematical modeling of strategic interaction among agents. This course covers Basics of game theory, representing games and strategies, the extensive form, Bayesian games, and other classic games and a few useful applications. 

This 8 weeks course will provide great insight into Game theory and related concepts and also enhance your skills through practical application.

  • Provider: Coursera 
  • Cost: Free Online Course
  • Duration: 8 weeks 
  • Session: Self-paced
  • Effort: 5-7 hours a week
  • Language: English 

Standford Courses for Intermediate Level:

1. Algorithms: Design and Analysis, Part 1

Via edX Stanford gives you a chance to make your Algorithm concept more perspicuous. This free online course covers fundamental principles of algorithm design along with the divide-and-conquer design paradigm. This course also imparts knowledge about applications that help in fast sorting, searching, and multiplication and fast primitives for computing on graphs.

The concept of Flip coin and it’s practical algorithms and structure will also be covered in this course. Apart from the above topics a lot of information about algorithms and it’s design and analysis is packed in this online course for learners.

  • Provider: Edx 
  • Cost: Free Online Course
  • Duration: 6 weeks
  • Session: self paced
  • Effort: 2-4 hours a week
  • Language: English 

2. Introduction to Artificial Intelligence

With the advancement of technology, Artificial Intelligence is a field that influences our lives a lot. Udacity has brought a free online course of Artificial Intelligence from Stanford University to make you more aware of how Artificial Intelligence works.

This introductory course of AI will cover Fundamentals of AI such as Statistics, Uncertainty, and Bayes networks; Logic and Planning; Machine Learning, etc. and Applications of AI that includes probabilistic reasoning, robotics, image processing, computer vision, and natural language processing.

This 16 weeks long course will give you insight into this vast field and its role in our lives which is still increasing with time.

  • Provider: Udacity 
  • Cost: Free Online Course
  • Duration: 16 weeks
  • Session: Self-paced
  • Effort: 6 hours a week
  • Language: English 

3. Machine Learning 

Stanford University offers Machine Learning courses via Coursera for intermediate learners. Machine learning is a quite different type of programming course where you don’t have to give explicit instructions for your program to work. Here instructional programming has been done beforehand on which devices work efficiently.

By devoting 5-7 hours in a week you can excel in the field of Machine Learning. This course offers techniques of Machine Learning and the processes through which these techniques can be carried out effectively for the formation of actual Machine Learning programs. Some important topics that will be covered in this course are Machine Learning Algorithms, Logistic Regression, and Artificial Neural Network. 

The best thing about this course is that it not only provides theoretical knowledge but also gives you practical understanding and by implementing this you can design your own programming project. 

  • Provider: Coursera
  • Cost: Free Online Course
  • Duration: 11 weeks
  • Session: Self-paced
  • Effort: 5-7 hours a week
  • Language: English 

Standford Courses for Advanced Level

1. Game Theory II: Advanced Applications

Stanford University through Coursera also offers Game Theory II: Advanced Applications which is an advanced level course for those who have already done with Game Theory course for basic understanding and skills.

This course gives your knowledge a concrete form and takes you ahead with other concepts of Game Theory. In this 5 weeks long course you will cover the following main topics which also comprise many sub-topics: social choice theory, mechanism design, Effective mechanism, and auctions.

This course gives you a good insight into collective decision making and voting systems and shows some of the most important theoretical results in this area such as Arrow’s Theorem, Gibbard-Satterthwaite, and Muller-Satterthwaite Theorems. The last week of this course is totally devoted to your exam where you have to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding you have acquired in this course.

  • Provider: Coursera 
  • Cost: Free Online Course
  • Duration: 5 weeks 
  • Session: Self-paced
  • Effort: 5-7 hours a week
  • Language: English 

2. Probabilistic Graphical Models 2: Inference

Coursera brings a statistical programming course for advanced learners from Stanford University. Probabilistic graphical models (PGMs) are a tool for encoding probability distribution over complex areas. This is the second course in the series of  Probabilistic Graphical Models.

This course is a combination of statistics and computer science that covers concepts from probability theory, machine learning, graph algorithms, and many more. PGM is known as a very high dimensional distribution and its structure is designed in a way that allows questions to be answered efficiently. 

This course provides a clear understanding of probability distribution concepts which act as foundational tools in formulating and solving many machine learning problems.  PGMs provide both exact and approximate algorithms for different kinds of inference tasks, and also discuss the best way of applying it.

At the end of the course learners have to submit two hand-on assignments where they have to implement their knowledge of both exact and approximate algorithms in realworld problems.

  • Provider: Coursera 
  • Cost: Free Online Course
  • Duration: 5 weeks 
  • Session: Self-paced
  • Language: English

3. Probabilistic Graphical Models 3: Learning

This is the third course in the series of  Probabilistic Graphical Models. The first course in the series centered around representation, the second course focused on inference, and the third one addresses the questions of learning. 

This course explores the key problems of parameter estimation and structure learning tasks in both directed and undirected models. 

This course covers topics such as Algorithms, Expectation-Maximization (EM) Algorithm, Graphical Model, and Markov Random Field.

Similar to PGM 2: Inference course, PGM 3: Learning also contains two hands-on programming assignments, where you have to use two common learning algorithms that can be used to solve real-world problems.

  • Provider: Coursera 
  • Cost: Free Online Course
  • Duration: 5 weeks 
  • Session: Self-paced
  • Language: English 

The above enlisted free Computer Science courses with a certificate from Stanford have chosen on the basis of popularity and ranking. All these free online courses are designed in a way to serve knowledge to the learners in a very short span of time by the best professional of the University. These courses not only give you great knowledge but also help you to get a good job because these certifications courses add wonderful weightage to your resume. 

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