Columbia University is a renowned Ivy League, established in 1754, making it one of the oldest educational institutes in America.
Columbia just announced a new online course titled “Artificial Intelligence,” which already has over 200,000 students enrolled, despite the first batch starting only on February 1st, 2021.
Incredibly, the course is free on edX without the certificate, and you’ll get a verified ColumbiaX certificate for just $249.
This hands-on course teaches across five main concepts:
- An intro to and history of AI
- Building intelligent agents
- AI algorithms
- Applications of AI
- Solving real AI problems with Python
The 12-week course is estimated to take 8–10 hours a week.
A popular complaint with online AI courses is that they don’t handle real-world use-cases, but that won’t be an issue here as two full weeks are devoted to AI applications.
Another common challenge with many online AI courses is a lack of qualified instructors. That clearly won’t be an issue here, as you’ll be taught by among the most prestigious technical instructors on the planet —a Columbia University professor.
Note that the course is not for a business audience, as you’ll be using technical tools. If you’re non-technical and want to build and deploy AI, you can easily do so with no-code AI tools like Obviously.AI.
Students are expected to have basic familiarity with the following before taking the course:
- Linear algebra (vectors, matrices, derivatives)
- Basic probability theory
- Python programming
This means you don’t need to be an expert in the above, but short crash courses in each would come in handy.
As per the edX page, you’ll be taught by Columbia University Professor Ansaf Salleb-Aouissi, who also teaches the edX course Machine Learning for Data Science and Analytics.
As per the Professor’s page on Columbia.edu, she has published peer-reviewed papers in leading venues such as JMLR, TPAMI, ECML, PKDD, COLT, IJCAI, ECAI and AISTAT.
Honestly, it’s incredible that anyone anywhere can get this quality of education, for free online.
As mentioned, the course comes with a “Verified Certificate” option for $249.
While certificates can act as a resume-boost and something to share on professional networks like LinkedIn, it’s really not necessary, and the best reason I can come up with to get a certificate is that it gives you “skin in the game.”
By forking over $249, you’ll feel incentivized to actually complete the course — which most MOOC students don’t do.
AI is here to stay — and some are predicting that we’ll reach superintelligence by 2030. In any case, artificial intelligence is quickly becoming a must-have skill, with important ramifications for every industry. This free, online Ivy League course is a great way to sharpen your AI skills.