Announcing the public beta of JuliaAcademy


#1

Hello everyone!

I’m pleased to announce that Julia Computing is launching the free public beta of our new learning platform: JuliaAcademy. JuliaAcademy bundles interactive notebooks with instructor videos so you can follow along at your own pace. We’re kicking off with four courses and will be adding more over time. Our vision is that JuliaAcademy will become a place where you can not only learn Julia, but you can also learn about the many domains where people are doing amazing things with Julia. The current courses focus on Julia or Machine Learning, but expect to see more diversity in the future.

Example screenshot

This is a free public beta; as we iron out the kinks and add more courses, we will be making it a paid service in the near future. We want to build a sustainable platform that can not only serve as a great resource for folks learning Julia, but also make it enticing for potential authors to create and post their materials on JuliaAcademy through revenue sharing. If you’re interested in becoming a JuliaAcademy instructor, please contact me (either here, on Slack, or via email — it’s my username at juliacomputing.com).

I encourage you to try out these courses! I hope to see you at JuliaAcademy.

Happy learning!


#2

This looks great! I’d be happy to subscribe to this once it comes out of beta. One quick question:

When opening the link, I’m immediately prompted to download Chrome, as my browser is “incompatible”. When will this be fixed (if ever)? I imagine you don’t plan to make Firefox users use an inferior browser for long :grin:


#3

Also, another 2 questions:

  1. How far “out there” are you guys willing to go in terms of third-party contributed content? Will you allow pretty much anything Julia-focused, in any domain (assuming it’s “appropriate” and in lines with the CoC)?
  2. Can third parties provide content that is free of charge, such that anyone can sign up, login, and interact with certain content without plugging in a credit card or paying a single penny?

#4

Very good questions!

We’re hoping to support all the major modern browsers by the time we leave beta status. I know it’s a pain - I like to use Safari myself. It’s on our roadmap.

As far as content creation goes, we’re not exposing an automatic interface for folks to upload courses themselves. We’ll be making sure the courses in our catalog are high-quality. But, yes, I would love to see content applying Julia across a very diverse set of domains.

We have discussed the possibility of allowing some courses to be freely available, but if that happens it’ll probably be farther down the road.


#5

This looks cool! Is there a process worked out for how people will apply to make content and, if everything will be behind a paywall, will the people that make content get some type of compensation?


#6

Yeah, datacamp.com has a working business model. Maybe Julia can do the same or join forces with them?


#7

The original post mentioned revenue sharing.


#8

I’m curious why did you decide in favor of a new platform instead of partnering with or using a large existing one like Coursera, EdX, DataCamp, …?


#9

So it did, missed that.


#10

Yes, that’s the big motivation for moving to a paid service after the beta period — we want to be able to share our revenue back with the content creators. The content is the most important part, and that’s where the real value is.

So for that reason we’re not completely tied to this particular backend. As we’re getting started, there have been advantages to deploying on this particular open source portal ourselves, but there would indeed be advantages to getting the content out to larger communities on these existing sites (I’d be open to chatting with them if you have a connection). We actually started out elsewhere but found the integration with the notebooks more awkward than we would have liked. As we continue to iterate we’ll be adding exercises and grading, so keep your eyes peeled for that!


#11

Looks like links to notebook tutorials are getting a 404 Not Found (it tried Deep Learning with Flux, and Foundations of Machine Learning). I sent a bug report to academy@juliacomputing.com … happy to provide more info here or to a repo.
EDIT
I authenticated through github, which uses a different email than my chrome email was logged-in as.


#12

What kind of content are you looking for? I’d most likely be interested in creating some ecology/biogeography tutorials, possibly with @kevbonham @tpoisot @richardreeve (if they’re interested too)


#13

Yes, I would be interested (and I give a few classes using Julia, so I have some ecological material already).


#14

Tested (using github to login), but notebooks continue to remain on “loading…” (both Forefox/Chrome, Linux/ Android, Univ campus/4G mobile… so basically, it’s a server side problem ;-).

Please consider that using edX/Coursera would give you much more visibility.


#15

Very good,

I suggest you to use use dark/grey colors for the background as watching withe videos can be very eyes tiring and lead to Eye Fatigue.


#16

Haven’t been able to get notebooks working


#17

me neither, but I am on Firefox, are you using Crome?


#18

Yeah, I’m using Chrome. It will eventually load the notebook but none of the cells will successfully run.


#19

Looking great! I thoroughly enjoyed the ML and the Flux courses.

Small problem: the session expires while watching the video and then some things stop working (you need to refresh the window to get the login screen).

Big problem: attempting to open the notebooks ends up in 504 gateway timeout (including right now).


Can the notebooks be downloaded for running them offline?


#20

Can you clear the cookies for juliabox.com domain and re-try ? If there is still an issue, can you send an email to academy@juliacomputing.com with the a/c details ?