10 Reasons to Take Your Education Online

Happy Friday, Udacity!

Millions of people are getting inspired by a new era of online education, and we here at Udacity are absolutely thrilled to watch empowered students advance their education and their careers with our free, online courses. Virtual classrooms are filling up all over the interwebs!

We are so jazzed about online learning that we decided to make a list for everyone who needs a few extra reasons to take their education online. We polled the office and this is what we came up with!

Here’s one of the reasons: There’s no such thing as being late to your laptop.

This man has never been late in his life. Only early.

We care deeply about the future of education and believe that higher education is a basic human right — Udacity’s mission is to bring accessible, affordable, engaging and highly effective education to the world.

We also believe in having fun, so stay tuned for more lists.

College Algebra with Udacity and San Jose State University

Hi, I’m Miriam, one of the course developers for College Algebra, a course you can take this summer with Udacity and San Jose State University to learn the fundamentals of algebra — and earn college credit while you’re at it.

College Algebra, taught by San Jose State’s Dr. Julie Sliva Spitzer, fellow course developer Sarah Norell, and myself, will take you all the way from defining variables through finding roots of higher degree polynomials through solving exponential and logarithmic equations.

Learn to use algebra to predict panda population growth.
Learn to use algebra to predict panda population growth.

Whether you are new to algebra or want to strengthen your understanding of the subject, College Algebra will make concepts resonate on a deep level and will help develop your intuition for problem solving. The engaging, and often amusing, examples used will give you a chance to play around with math while also realizing its relevance for everyday life.

If you’d like to help out a startup that makes windshield wipers for glasses, determine the age of the Dead Sea scrolls, or predict how a panda population will grow, joins us in College Algebra!

One of the awesome things about Udacity is that once a course is created, it will always be available. Now that all of the lessons for College Algebra have been released, you can work through the entire course at your own pace, whether you want to zip through as quickly as possible or give yourself a generous summer vacation break.

Also, join me as I fly through the solar system!
Also, join me as I fly through the solar system!

Of course, if you want to earn college credit this summer at San Jose State University, you do have to enroll for credit by Friday, May 24th, so sign up today!

Miriam Swords Kalk
Udacity Course Developer

Entry-Level Mathematics with Udacity and San Jose State University

Summer is almost here! You might have travel plans or you might be staying in one place. Either way, I hope you’ll find time to learn something new and join me for Entry-Level Mathematics. My name is Chris Saden, and I’ve teamed up with not just one but two professors at San Jose State, Sandra DeSousa and Susan McClory, to create an exciting math course.

Now if you’re thinking, “Hey, Algebra is not for me” or “I’m no good at math”, then watch this clip about London’s Black Cab Drivers and see if you can change your mind.

These drivers learned an immense amount of knowledge over time, and the number of their neural connections actually grew. You have that same ability to make your own connections with math!

In this course, we will take a visual approach to learning Algebra. We’ll explain math symbols, like a cube root, by drawing perfect cubes, and we’ll draw diagrams to support our reasoning.

I’m much more of fan of showing rather than telling so here is a sample question from the course.


If this has you thinking, then come join us for Entry-Level Mathematics. Be sure to register by May 24th if you’re seeking to satisfy the the ELM requirement in California. While this course does not offer college credit toward a degree, successful completion of the course can allow you to take more advanced math courses.

This course will prepare you for our College Algebra course so if you are looking to brush up on the basics or wondering which course to take, this is a great starting point. I hope to see you in class!

Chris Saden
Udacity Course Developer

Summer School 2.0 with San Jose State University and Udacity

Calling all students! What are you doing this summer? Working on your tan or working on your programming, math and psych skills? If you’re stressing about choosing one option or the other, read on to learn how you can have the best of both worlds when you sign up for Udacity’s online summer classes!

If you’ve been debating whether you want to sign up for summer classes, we’ve got something that will tip the scales in favor of credit — actually, we’ve got FIVE things that will tip the scales in favor of summer school and college credit!

Come learn with Udacity and San Jose State University as we present these five summer courses:

  • SJSU_javaIntro to Programming (4 units) – Learn basic skills and concepts of computer programming in an object-oriented approach using Java.
  • SJSU_PsychIntro to Psychology (3 units) – Take a journey through all of the major psychological concepts and principles.
  • SJSU_StatsElementary Statistics (3 units) – Describe and interpret data to make the most of all the information we have at our fingertips.
  • SJSU_math8College Algebra (3 units) – Learn complex numbers, functions, graphs, polynomials, inverse functions, and exponential and logarithmic functions.
  • SJSU_math6Entry-Level Mathematics (5 units) – Join us to learn elementary and intermediate algebra.

Classes start on June 3, 2013, and end on August 9, 2013.

You want to enroll immediately, you say? Want more details? Head on over to our College Credit page for all the answers to your questions!  Enrollment is limited and the deadline to sign up is May 24, so hurry to get your spot.

Keepin’ it Udacious at She++

This weekend, Udacity proudly participated in the second annual She++ conference at Stanford University. The She++ conference is Stanford’s first conference on women in technology; we listened to experiences from women tech entrepreneurs, encouraged each other to follow our passions (even if we have doubts!), and rolled up our sleeves to broaden our tech horizons in fun workshops.

Udacity hosted a workshop called “Create Your Own Mini Online Course,” where we talked about one of our big passions – creating interactive online courses to teach principles from the STEM fields. We shared our experiences with online learning pedagogy, and attendees designed their own mini courses using our course creator technology!

We built up an appetite creating Udacious mini courses!

Attendees created out-of-this-world mini courses in making a salad, making paper airplanes, wilderness training, and raising awareness around including women in clinical trials. Big thanks to everyone who created courses with us!

A the end of the day, we left feeling inspired by the promise of an ever-more-inclusive tech community. Broadening access to education comes in many forms, and we’re psyched to see programs like She++ encouraging young girls to explore CS. If you want to learn more about issues surrounding women in tech, check out the She++ documentary here.

As always, stay Udacious!

Udacity Student Wins Grand Prize at Google Code-In 2012


We love shouting out to Udacity students who have used our classes as launch pads for truly amazing accomplishments, and we’re very excited to congratulate high school student Liezel Puzon for being named a grand prize winner in the Google Code-In 2012!

Liezel made her first appearance on our blog when her and her team at Freehold High School won the high school challenge at Udacity.  She has involved herself in projects beyond what she’s learned in our Introduction to Computer Science class.  Liezel applied her new programming skills by joining the Sahana Software Foundation, an open source mentoring organization, and participating the the Google Code-In 2012. During the 7 week contest, she completed 28 tasks for the open source project.

Out of the 334 students from 36 countries who competed in the contest, Liezel has been named one of 20 grand prize winners – Congrats Liezel, you rock!

We’d love to hear how other students have been inspired by our classes to “Learn. Think. Do.” Whether you’ve discovered a new passion, started a new project, or gained a few new friends, share your Udacity stories with us at social (at) udacity.com!

January Updates and Announcements

We hope everyone had a great holiday season. Here’s to a new year of learning and broadening access to education! It’s the beginning of the year but we have a lot of great things in the works. Here’s a summary of what’s happening.

College Credit

On January 15, 2013 we announced a pilot in conjunction with San Jose State University called SJSUPlus.  This partnership will make Visualizing Algebra, College Algebra and Statistics available available for U.S. college credit.  This pilot will be available to 300 students. In order to receive credit you must register on the SJSUPlus page to be accepted into the pilot.  These credits are accepted in the California State University system, and in the case of Statistics, in the University of California system as well.  Courses will also be available for those looking to learn or brush up on math skills.  Enroll for those courses on the Udacity site. These courses are open for enrollment and will begin on January 30, 2013. If you’re interested in seeing the full story of our press event and announcement visit our Storify page.

ACE partnership

We’re also working with ACE on a collaboration to explore college credit recommendations for four of our courses in addition to research initiative to look at impact and students served. This is all a part of wide-ranging research and evaluation effort to examine the academic potential of MOOCs and we’re pumped to be a part of it.


Thcrunchies2012ank you for your help and support in getting us nominated for a 2012 Crunchie. Now that we’re on the ballot please help us win Best Education Startup.  You can vote once a day.  The last day to vote is January 24th.  Vote here!

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