Eoin Lawless wrote me:
I’ve been reading your blog (and John Kruschke‘s) for several months now, as a result of starting to learn Bayesian methods from Doing Bayesian Data Analysis [I love the title of that book! --- ed.]. More recently I completed a Coursera course on Data Science.
I found learning through the medium of a online course to be an amazing experience. It does not replace books, but learning new material at the same time as other people and discussing it in the forums is very motivational. Additionally it is much easier to work through exercises and projects when there is a deadline and some element of competition than to plow through the end of chapter exercises in a book. This is especially true, I believe, when the learning is for a long term goal, rather than to be used immediately in work, for example.
My question: you are obviously evangelical about the benefits that Bayesian statistics brings, have you ever considered producing a Coursera (or similar) course?
And Flavio Nardi writes:
I am a PhD student in finance with a strong interest in Bayesian statistics. I have never taken a course in Bayesian stat before, but I did buy the Bayesian Data Analysis book for self study. Though very well written, I feel that supporting lectures would enhance the learning experience a great deal, of course. I have been looking for a serious online course dedicated to Bayesian statistics, but found none. I wonder whether you have considered teaching a free online Bayesian statistics course based on your book, maybe on Coursera?
I’m not quite sure what it takes to put together such an online course. If someone came to me with a plan, maybe I’d consider it.
In the meantime, I’m trying to set it up so that my course this semester at ENSAE will be a G+ hangout (each Friday 8h30, starting 18 oct). I will post the slides and homework assignments. If you’re not in the course, we won’t grade your homeworks.
But maybe those of you who are interested in taking the course remotely via G+ hangout will be able to organize something where you grade each others’ papers, or hire a local “teaching assistant” to do the grading for you? (Then these people are the ones who make the money from the course, but that’s fine with me. Maybe that’s a more sustainable model for such courses in any case, rather than having many thousands of people all pay to a central organization which then must hire TA’s etc.)