Sebastian Thrun is a Google Fellow and VP, a Stanford Professor, and the co-founder fo Udacity.com. He’s also on the Project Glass team, which last week, unveiled the much talked about Google glasses. He was one of the names that signed the initial announcement post for Project Glass on Google+.
It just so happens that he is also involved with Google’s driverless cars, and actually teaches a class about how to program them.
“This class, taught by one of the foremost experts in AI, will teach you basic methods in Artificial Intelligence, including: probabilistic inference, computer vision, machine learning, and planning, all with a focus on robotics,” the description says. “Extensive programming examples and assignments will apply these methods in the context of building self-driving cars. You will get a chance to visit, via video, the leading research labs in the field, and meet the scientists and engineers who are building self-driving cars at Stanford and Google.”
“The instructor will assume solid knowledge of programming, all programming will be in Python. Knowledge of probability and linear algebra will be helpful,” the syllabus says.
It’s a seven-week course, which includes: basics of probability, gaussians and continuous probability, image processing and machine learning, planning and search, controls, putting it all together and a final exam. This is enough time, according to Thrun’s Udacity site, to learn the basics of all the primary systems involved in programming a robotic car.
“First of all, this is a fascinating subject,” it says in a FAQ section. “The technologies involved are cutting edge, but the theories behind them are simpler than you might think. In addition to learning the math and science behind these technologies, you will also improve your coding probabilities as you solve the same problems that scientists at places like Google, Stanford, and MIT have been working on for years.”
With Thrun on the Project Glass team, perhaps there will be a programming for glass class at some point. Hopefully, some tips will be shared at Google I/O at least.
Oh, and by the way, the class is free.
Other free classes ad udacity.com include: building a search engine, design of computer programs, web application engineering, programming languages, and applied cryptography.