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Six Years Later, Coursera Co-Founder Andrew Ng Returns With New Deep Learning MOOCs

Six years to the day after the launch of his popular Machine Learning course, Andrew Ng is to launch a Deep Learning Specialization.

On August 15 2011, Stanford professor Andrew Ng uploaded an intro video on YouTube for his free online Machine Learning course. On the same day, The New York Times featured his ML class (along with two other Stanford courses). The popularity of his Machine Learning course would lead him and Daphne Koller (another Stanford professor) to launch Coursera a few months later.

Exactly six years later on August 15 2017, the first classes from Andrew Ng’s Deep Learning Specialization on Coursera will go live (though course materials for the first three courses are available right now). A lot has changed in the last six years.

1.8 million learners have signed up for his Machine Learning course. Andrew Ng is no longer at Coursera full time, but acts as the co-chairman of the board. He left Coursera in May 2014 to join Baidu. A couple of months before Andrew left, former Yale president Rick Levin took over the CEO role from Andrew and Daphne, who were acting as co-CEOs.

Back when Andrew first launched his ML MOOC, “deep learning” wasn’t really part of our vocabulary. But in the past few years, deep learning has exploded in popularity and real world application, along with the terms “ML” and “AI.” This might explain why Andrew Ng left Coursera to join Baidu and lead its AI lab.


Andrew left Baidu earlier this year to work on his own AI projects. In a post on Medium, he announced that he is working on three different AI projects with Deeplearning.ai being the first one. It is “a project dedicated to disseminating AI knowledge.”

Andrew’s Coursera Specialization on Deep Learning is being launched under deeplearning.ai instead of Stanford. It also lists Nvidia as an industry partner.

Deep Learning Specialization

The Deep Learning Specialization consists of five different courses. The courses are free to take, but you need to sign up for a subscription of $49/month if you want access to the graded assignments or earn certificates. There is a seven day free trial. The individual courses are free, but you need to visit the course pages separately; you cannot sign up to them from the Specialization page.

Though the courses officially start on 15 August, the course materials for the first three courses are already available. The individual courses are free to Audit, but you need to visit the course pages separately. You cannot sign up for these courses from the Specialization page. Follow the links below to sign up for the courses individually for free:

  1. Neural Networks and Deep Learning
  2. Improving Deep Neural Networks: Hyperparameter tuning, Regularization, and Optimization
  3. Structuring Machine Learning Projects
  4. Convolutional Neural Networks
  5. Sequence Models

The Specialization is targeted towards those learners who are trying to break into a career in Artificial Intelligence. Unlike his previous Machine Learning course which used Octave (an open source replacement for Matlab), Andrew’s new Specialization uses Python.

An interesting aspect of the Deep Learning courses is that learners don’t need to install anything to do the programming assignments. They are all done using Jupyter Notebooks hosted by Coursera. Coding can be done directly without leaving the browser.


Dhawal Shah Profile Image

Dhawal Shah

Dhawal is the CEO of Class Central, the most popular search engine and review site for online courses and MOOCs. He has completed over a dozen MOOCs and has written over 200 articles about the MOOC space, including contributions to TechCrunch, EdSurge, Quartz, and VentureBeat.

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