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Finished Udacity's Introduction to statistics

I already finished this amazing free on line course at the beginning of this year, but I still wanted to do some of the optional programming exercises before printing the transcript. Then finally, last week I printed the certificate. Here it is:

Udacity's Intro to Statistics


About the course:
Prof. Sebastian Thrun  does a perfect job explaining what the course is about in below video:


This is how I viewed the course:
I already had a basic understanding of statistics. But I never enjoyed working with programs like SPSS. So what I found extremely liberating in this course, is that it activates you to (re-) think statistical problems and make them all about making decisions based on data. This makes statistics something you can actually use to solve problems. In the course you can optionally program the solutions in python. And by doing so, you are freeing your self of proprietary programs like SPSS. I have also used PSPP,  but I just love the flexibility python gives me in combination with the excellent libraries like matplotlib and numpy (just to name two).

The most interesting subject in the course I found Probability theory and then especially Bayes rule. I cannot say yet I have mastered the concept, but I have a basic understanding of it. And I understand that it is one of the main building blocks of machine learning and Artificial intelligence.
I will play around and try and code an application of Bayes rule. If I come up with something worth sharing, I will share it here.

Currently I am on track with the course Introduction to Physics. Although I already learned most of the stuff in that course in school, I still feel it is good to re-activate that knowledge. And besides it is really fun to do. And of course, as I am Dutch, I am reallly pleased to see that unit4 is about "keeping Holland dry". Here is a preview:


All in all I find Udacity's courses extremely valuable. I have done my share of "normal" and "distant" education (some psychology modules at www.ou.nl), but the way Udacity offers courses and the content of the courses are a better fit to my needs and personality then any other educator has offered me. And do not be misled by the fact the courses are offered free of charge.

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