Schmidt to offer online computer science class through Coursera

Douglas C. Schmidt, professor of computer science and associate chair of the Computer Science and Engineering Program, will teach “Pattern-Oriented Software Architectures for Concurrent and Networked Software” in spring 2013 via the digital learning consortium Coursera.

Vanderbilt University announced yesterday it will make an institution-wide foray into offering worldwide, free, digital courses by some of its leading faculty members through Coursera. Coursera first began offering courses from partner universities in April 2012 and has since enrolled more than 1.3 million students worldwide.

Coursera, Inc., is an online platform for open-access, non-credit classes, available at no cost to participants. Such courses are commonly known as MOOCs, or massively open online courses. An independent company dedicated to working with high-quality university partners, Coursera was developed at Stanford University in fall of 2011 by computer science professors Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng.

Koller will deliver the John R. and Donna S. Hall Lecture, “The Online Revolution: Education for Everyone,” at Vanderbilt Oct. 2.

Doug Schmidt

“I think the quality and diversity of my class material will benefit from my participation with Coursera, as I alter it in response to questions from Coursera students, who have a broad range of backgrounds and perspectives,” Schmidt said. “The ability to draw upon a digital archive of my lectures will also help me tailor class materials to the particular interests and needs of my Vanderbilt students.”

Watch video of Schmidt discussing his Coursera course.

For more information about digital learning initiatives at Vanderbilt, visit For more information about Coursera, including a full list of participating institutions and courses, visit