Is Andrew Ng’s Machine Learning Course Worth Your Time And Money?

Machine Learning by Andrew Ng

If you are a beginner in machine learning, and you are interested in starting a career in this exciting field, you definitely want to sign up for Machine Learning course by Andrew Ng on Coursera. This Stanford University sponsored online ML course has been created with easy to understand videos and tutorials. However, if you already know the basics of ML algorithms like SVM, logistic regression, and basic neural network, you may skip this course and move on to the deep learning specialization. Also, learners who are conversant with the basics of neural networks can skip the first three courses and move on to the 4th and 5th courses where they will learn about CNN and RNN.

Who is Andrew Ng?

Andrew Ng is the co-founder of Coursera and a former chief scientist at Baidu where he was responsible for driving the search engine’s global AI infrastructure and strategy. He is also a professor of computer science at Stanford University. Andrew was also the founding lead of the Google Brain deep learning project. He has authored hundreds of papers in ML, robotics, and related fields.

Is Andrew Ng’s machine learning course right for you?

 If you are keen to learn about Machine Learning and are looking to gain a deeper understanding of the inner working of the algorithms, then this ML course by Andrew Ng is a great fit for you. While this is one of the oldest online ML courses, it does an excellent job explaining the basic concepts in order to help you better understand the Machine Learning algorithms that are currently in use.

If you are hoping to gain a general overview of how Machine Learning works and learn some tool or library to perform basic ML tasks then you are better off signing up for other online courses like Udacity Machine Learning Nanodegree.

This course is prepared with technically-focused learners in mind. It heavily applies Mathematics to explain algorithms. As such, it is important that you have a basic understanding of Linear Algebra and Calculus in order to have a grasp of how the algorithms work. And unlike most ML courses that use Python, all the assignments in this course are in MATLAB.

Andrew Ng online Machine Learning course structure

Overall, this course is divided into five sections that complement each other. Time allocation for each section varies between 2-4 weeks with a recommended study time of 4-5 hours per week. This online ML course has been organized into several lectures that span over 11 weeks. And since the course is self-paced, you are free to set learning program that fits into your work and family schedules. Here is the course outline:

Week One

  • Linear Regression with One Variable
  • Linear Algebra Review

Week 2

  • Linear Regression with Multiple Variables
  • Octave/Matlab Tutorial

Week 3

  • Logistic Regression

Week 4

  • Neural Networks: Representation

Week 5

  • Neural Networks: Learning

Week 6

  • Advice for Applying Machine Learning
  • Machine Learning System Design

Week 7

  • Support Vector Machines

Week 8

  • Unsupervised Learning
  • Dimensionality Reduction

Week 9

  • Anomaly Detection
  • Recommender Systems

Week 10

  • Large Scale Machine Learning

Week 11

  • Application Example: Photo OCR

Andrew Ng Machine Learning course prerequisites

Programming experience and basic knowledge of machine learning and mathematics are listed as the course’s prerequisites. Python is the programming language of choice for this course and much of deep learning. So Python proficiency is highly recommended.

As far as math go, you need to be conversant with the following topics:

  • Multivariable calculus
  • Statistics and probability
  • Matrices
  • Linear algebra

How much does this Machine Learning Course by Andrew Ng Cost?

This course is free. However, you will be required to pay $79 for the certificate.

What previous learners say about this course:

“This is course just awesome. You get everything you wanted from this course. It covers on all topics in detail, helps in getting confidence in learning all the techiques and ideas in machine learning.” Nitin Gupta 

“Exceptionally complete and outstanding summary of main learning algorithms used currently and globally in software industry. Professor with great charisma as well as patient and clear in his teaching.”John Johnson

“This is the best course I have ever taken. Andrew is a very good teacher and he makes even the most difficult things understandable. A big thank you for spending so many hours creating this course.”Paolo Perrotta

Machine Learning by Andrew Ng: Final Thoughts

It is a wonderful time to be alive. Machine Learning is proving to be one of the most sought after technologies in history. If you are looking to join the bandwagon and ride in the tail ends of society, then sign up to Machine Learning by Andrew Ng on Coursera today and start learning.

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