Imaginary numbers in the real world? Seems like an oxymoron! But, I don't think in terms of "real" or "imaginary". Everything exists. Just in different planes. Maybe my definition would be a language that attempts to explain things that another language cannot or is more efficitent at explaining things that other languages would be. But I personally don't see a use for such "high math" in what I want to do (or I guess I'd make other attempts to understand it first). It's a crypic language to me and here you have professors using natural language to explain math language to explain something else. It's just... wierd.Zill wrote:Unfortunately, some "real world" problems can only be solved by using abstract mathematical concepts such as, for example, "imaginary numbers".
But I'm not a mathemetician and don't intend to be.
Now many who are not programmers would think *I* am weird! (Ok, more than programmers but that's another subject entirely ) I mean I remember the days in FidoNet when we had a blast writing obfuscated code (anyone remember that?) That probably would have sent many heads spinning. Yet I can understand what the code is doing and sometimes even get a laugh now and then.
Like patzy said, each subject, etc. has it's own language. But in looking for courses to learn in areas of interest, I am finding one really has to pay attention to the "language" that it will be using. I thought "Machine learning" meant programming. Both courses mentioned you need programming knowledge. But the coureses both put too much emphesis on and use a lot of "high math" concepts and formulas and I can't see where the programming is going to fit in. That's like they are trying to convert high math formulas into natural language and from there into programming code or math into code into natural language. Too many languages. Too confusing. Imagine trying to start off in C then convert it into BASIC and from there into Cobol. Good luck with that. Yes, it can be done (heck, I don't know Cobol but I probably could do that somehow if I really needed/wanted to). But then tell a beginner who only knows a small amount of C and is proficient in BASIC and knows no Cobol to do it. Won't happen.
That's the analogy I use because these courses seem like they are doing that. I don't think their descriptions really accurately describe the prerequisites.
But online learning is still new so they probably need to tweak some things first. These new education sites are getting started and are competing for most courses offered, so they are right now taking anything the Universities (who are trying to "get out there in the internet") can give them, even if the courses aren't well made for the internet learning platform yet.
One thing I read in the Caltech course a few times (especially discussion area) is that they are giving the online learners exactly what they give to the students attending the bring-and-morter school. This is a big mistake because the student base online is very different with different learning backgrounds and abilities and goals than those who are going to the actual school. The course has to reflect that for the maximum best results.
They have a way to go yet. But hopefully this thread will help pick out the good ones from the not-yet-ready ones.