stands for Massive Online Open Course. Not exactly a very recent concept since some universities have already been making their courses online for years. The “novel” bit perhaps lie in universities or institutions going out to woo international audiences, even issuing certificates of participation. Could this lead to a mini revolution in education? If I can get a Stanford education in Timbuktu, why bother to attend the University of Timbuktu? Coursera has a page on press and media reports. I got interested from reading the May 3 and May 15 articles in NYT.
Curiosity in this case, nudged me into signing up for not one but two courses on Coursera. One on Mathematical Thinking by Keith Devlin not only because he is well known but also because I read his columns from time to time and he revealed that he was also doing this as a sort of an experiment to see where it could all lead. (See this report USA today.) I expect to be able to sail through that course — Stanford Certificate here I come — but I really want to see how this will work. The other course is on network theory — a personal interest — and that I figured I have to do some work and that’s make the “reading” more realistic. Now if only someone offers a course on Grobner Basis.