2011–2012 has seen many exciting developments in online education. One of the most promising ones is Stanford’s — and nowUdacity’s and Coursera’s- online courses in AI and Machine Learning that consist of free online lectures, exercises and other material. While most courses have concentrated on CS and AI topics, I am particularly excited about Scott Page’s is teaching a class on Model Thinking. This class will be useful to anyone who wants to learn how to use models to understand the world. As Page himself says

These models will help you to better understand the world, to be a clearer thinker, to better use data, and to make better decisions.

My goal is to use Scott Page’s material as the first rung of a ladder of ideas. I will be organizing the second rung of this ladder; think of it as “Model Thinking ++.” Our course will take the material offered by Scott Page, build our own thoughts and ideas on top of it, including annotations, projects etc. The goal is to treat Scott Page’s offering as a spur to our own thinking; in other words, we will learn what Scott teaches us, add our responses and develop new creative projects that emerge from discussion within the group. If you are interested, please join the google group for the course, where you will find more information about what we are going to do. Scott Page’s class started on February 20th; you can register for free on the course site.