Saturday, 6 April 2013
On the way back to the airport a few days later, and as you can see from the photo above, I had a bit more luck with the weather. I stopped by in Cambridge once more, as Prof. John Guttag at MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory had kindly made time on his schedule to meet me. We talked briefly about my experience taking the 6.00x course and he gave me a signed copy of the Spring version of his book, the one which includes me in the acknowledgements.
Just by chance, I had bought the big book "The Human Face of Big Data" a few days earlier in Hartford (seriously, it´s really big and won´t fit on my shelves!). John Guttag and fellow researcher Collin Stultz appear in this book and their photo was actually taken in the Stata Center. As I needed a photo for an internal newsletter from my company, John agreed to have one taken and he suggested that we do it in the same spot as the one in the book. Quite memorable!
Finally, I also found time to visit the edX offices, just a few hundred meters away. I just showed up to the entrance and asked to see one of the staff, whose name I could remember from the forum discussions. Luckily she was there and, surprised as she was, she took some time to show me the offices and talk about MOOCs and the challenges they are facing. All in all, a great experience before rushing to the airport for my flight back home.
I am very grateful for the effort that goes into making these courses freely available, so when edX asked for stories from students, I sent mine hoping it would be useful. I don´t usually post photos of myself, but I felt this was worth it and I am very happy that my story has been featured on their facebook page.
If you have not done it yet, have a look at edx.org or any other of the platforms offering MOOCs. You will be stunned by the quality of the courses.