Machine Learning by Stanford

Created by the co-founder of Coursera, this course will provide you with a broad introduction to Machine Learning. It is the #1 highest rated Machine Learning course on Coursera and an excellent choice for beginners with no programming experience.

Created by: Andrew Ng

Produced in 2011

What you will learn

  • What it means to teach a computer to learn concepts using data
  • Classify an email as spam or not spam with a logistic regression method
  • Use linear regression to predict housing prices
  • Implement your own neural network for digit recognition
  • Use a a Gaussian distribution to detect anomalies or defects
  • Build a pipeline to detect pedestrians, objects or text in an image
  • How to apply machine learning in practice, including SVMs and recommender algorithms
  • Learn Octave/Matlab
  • Understand K-Means clustering algorithm
  • Much, Much more!

Quality Score

Content Quality
Video Quality
Qualified Instructor
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Course Depth & Coverage

Overall Score : 96 / 100

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Course Description

machine learning Awards Best Course Overall

Machine learning is the science of getting computers to act without being explicitly programmed. In the past decade, machine learning has given us self-driving cars, practical speech recognition, effective web search, and a vastly improved understanding of the human genome. Machine learning is so pervasive today that you probably use it dozens of times a day without knowing it. Many researchers also think it is the best way to make progress towards human-level AI. In this class, you will learn about the most effective machine learning techniques, and gain practice implementing them and getting them to work for yourself. More importantly, you'll learn about not only the theoretical underpinnings of learning, but also gain the practical know-how needed to quickly and powerfully apply these techniques to new problems. Finally, you'll learn about some of Silicon Valley's best practices in innovation as it pertains to machine learning and AI.This course provides a broad introduction to machine learning, datamining, and statistical pattern recognition. Topics include: (i) Supervised learning (parametric/non-parametric algorithms, support vector machines, kernels, neural networks). (ii) Unsupervised learning (clustering, dimensionality reduction, recommender systems, deep learning). (iii) Best practices in machine learning (bias/variance theory; innovation process in machine learning and AI). The course will also draw from numerous case studies and applications, so that you'll also learn how to apply learning algorithms to building smart robots (perception, control), text understanding (web search, anti-spam), computer vision, medical informatics, audio, database mining, and other areas.



    • Highly recommended as your first course to dive into Machine Learning.
    • Although it requires hard work, the course is very accessible for beginners.
    • Presented by an expert in the field of Machine Learning and online teaching.
    • Well designed with simple explanations and comprehensive content.
    • Focused on the logic behind Machine Learning rather than programming and maths.
    • Experienced developers may consider lectures and assignments to be too basic.
    • Taught in Matlab/Octave, not Python.
    • Lacks practical examples.

Instructor Details

Andrew Ng

Andrew Ng is Co-founder of Coursera, an and Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University. His machine learning course is the MOOC that had led to the founding of Coursera! In 2011, he led the development of Stanford University's main MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) platform and also taught an online Machine Learning class to over 100,000 students, thus helping launch the MOOC movement and also leading to the founding of Coursera. Ng also works on machine learning, with an emphasis on deep learning. He had founded and led the "Google Brain" project, which developed massive-scale deep learning algorithms. This resulted in the famous "Google cat" result, in which a massive neural network with 1 billion parameters learned from unlabeled YouTube videos to detect cats. Until recently, he led Baidu's ~1300 person AI Group, which developed technologies in deep learning, speech, computer vision, NLP, and other areas.



133 total reviews

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By Robert G C J on 11-Aug-18

Overall the course is great and the instructor is awesome. Machine learning is fascinating and I now feel like I have a good foundation. A few minor comments: some of the projects had too much helper code where the student only needed to fill in a portion of the algorithm. I would have preferred to have worked through more of the code. Also, there were a few times when the slides didn't contain the complete equations so it was difficult to piece it all together when writing the code. Lastly, I wish that there was more coverage on vectorized solutions for the algorithms.

By Rishav S on 18-Jan-19

It would be better if it would have been done in Python

By Murali N on 15-Jun-16

Excellent starting course on machine learning. Beats any of the so called programming books on ML. Highly recommend this as a starting point for anyone wishing to be a ML programmer or data scientist.

By Vasily on 7-Apr-19

I've never expected much from an online course, but this one is just Great!Even if you feel like you have gaps in your calculus/linear algebra training don't be afraid to take it, because you'll be able to fill most of those right from the course material or at least figure out where to look.This course gives grand picture on how ML stuff works without focusing much on the specific components like programming language/libraries/environment which most of ML courses/articles suffer from.This leaves you with freedom to pick it yourself and apply gained knowledge however you want.Biggest takeaway for me as a person working on my own project is amount of attention professor Ng brings to methods of evaluating your ML methods efficiency and how this correlates with time/effort you should put into the specific system component. Because i feel like this is where most people slip up in practice.Great thanks for all of that!

By Deleted A on 18-Mar-17

This is an extremely basic course. Machine learning is built on mathematics, yet this course treats mathematics as a mysterious monster to be avoided at all costs, which unfortunately left this student feeling frustrated and patronized. So much time is wasted in the videos with arduous explanations of trivialities, and so little taken up with the imparting of meaningful knowledge, that in the end I abandoned the videos altogether. The quizes were basic (largely based on recall of, rather than application of knowledge), as were the programming assignments (nearly all of which were spoon-fed, with the tasks sometimes being simple as multiplying two matrices together).If you are serious about machine learning and comfortable with mathematics (e.g. elementary linear algebra and probability), do yourself a favour and take Geoff Hinton's Neural Networks course instead, which is far more interesting and doesn't shy away from serious explanations of the mathematics of the underlying models.

By anhhuy on 7-Nov-18

I am Vietnamese who weak in English. To learn this course I have to choose playback rate 0.75.But the teacher - Professor Andrew Ng talks clearly and the way he transfer knowledge is very simple, easy to understand. Myself is excited on every class and I think I am so lucky when I know coursera.This course provide a lot of basic knowledge for anyone who don't know machine learning still learn.Once again, I would like to say thank to Professor Andrew Ng and all Mentor.(I hope all of you understand my feeling because of my low level English, I cannot express it exactly)

By Pooritat T on 1-Sep-18

Sub title should be corrected. Since I'm not that good in English but I know when there're mis-traslated or wrong sub title. If you fix this problems , I thin it helps many students a lot. Thanks!!!!!

By rajeev a on 8-May-19

This course has of course (pun intended) built a formidable reputation for itself since it was laucnhed. I took the course in 2019 when it had been around for a few years and so what I am saying here may resonate with a lot of people who have taken the course before me. "Concretely"(!), Prof Ng takes the student on a very well structured journey that covers the vast canvas of ML, explaining not just the theoretical aspects but also laying equal empahsis on the pratical aspets like debugging or choosing the right approach to solving a ML problem or deciding what to do first / next. At that level this course is highly recomended by me as the first course in ML that anyone should take. I do have a suggestion to make regarding how some of the portions could have been explained more lucidly. These are portions that pertain entirely to the mathematics and programming problems, where I struggled for days and (for back propogation) for months before realising that maybe the explanation given in the slide wasn't clear enough and at times i just needed to try really random ideas to get out of the programmin rut that I was stuck in. An advise for anyone doing the course would be to write down the matrices in full detail and do the transformations of cost fucntion and gradient descent or back prop using pen and paper and attempt to write the code for it only after once one is clear about the exact mathematical operation happening. Thank you, Prof Ng for gifting this course to the online learners community and I would also like to thank the mentors who have replied to the queries patiently while stadfastly enforcing the honour code.

By on 25-Dec-18

It would be ideal course if instead of octave pyhon or r is used

By Olga K on 18-Apr-18

You need to know, what do you want to get out of this course. It gives you a lot of information, but be prepared to work hard with linear algeabra and make efforts to compute things in Mathlab/Octave.

By Fadi on 15-Apr-19

I just started week 3 , I have to admit that It is a good course explaining the ideas and hypnosis of machine learning . The instructor takes your hand step by step and explain the idea very very well.The thing is, there is no practical example and or how to apply the theory we just learned in real life.This course in to understand the theories , not to apply them.For someone like me ( far away from Algebra) it is really not for me. Despite i want to learn the applied ML

By Mike L on 19-Aug-17

Very helpful and easy to learn. The quiz and programming assignments are well designed and very useful. Thank Prof. Andrew Ng and coursera and the ones who share their problems and ideas in the forum.