edX is a non-profit founded by Harvard and MIT that aims to create an open-source learning platform that allows anyone with an internet connection to take classes for free.
We welcomed edX students to EPD in a previous post, but Enthought’s own Josephine Dickinson has been auditing the class since then. Short lectures, exercises, and problem sets are the name of the game. Subjects such as “Recursion and Objects” have recently been introduced with students exploring polynomials, derivatives, the Newton-Raphson Method for root finding, and (of course) the venerable challenge of implementing Hangman. Good luck on those midterms!
Enthought is proud to be a part of this education initiative and was happy to issue the following statement:
Enthought, Inc., the Python-based technical computing solutions company, announced today that it has supplied over 20,000 downloads of its Enthought Python Distribution (EPD) Free to students taking MITx’s “6.00x: Introduction to Computer Science and Programming” on edX, the online learning initiative founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).The free introductory course provides students with a survey of basic computer science concepts and an introduction to the Python programming language. EPD Free gives students a robust and reliable tool for learning Python.
“Enthought’s generous offer of free Python downloads is enabling tens of thousands of students around the world who are taking edX 6.00x to improve their understanding of basic computer science concepts,” said Anant Agarwal, President of edX. “We’re grateful for Enthought’s support of edX’s mission to improve access to higher education for students worldwide.”
EdX is a not-for-profit enterprise of its founding partners, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University that offers online learning to on-campus students and to millions of people around the world. To do so, edX is building an open-source online learning platform and hosts an online web portal at www.edx.org for online education. EdX offers HarvardX, MITx, BerkeleyX, and soon UTx classes online for free. These institutions aim to extend their collective reach to build a global community of online students. Along with offering online courses, the three universities undertake research on how students learn and how technology can transform learning – both on-campus and online throughout the world.
“edX’s mission to provide high-quality education worldwide using open-source software meshes very well with our mission to provide open-source technical computing software and solutions,” says Dr. Eric Jones, Enthought’s CEO. “Enthought contributes to the development of numerous Python tools and works hard to bring the benefits of open-source to companies and developers worldwide. We’re very excited to help edX provide its students their Python programming environment.”
Enthought Python Distribution (EPD) Free is a lightweight distribution of scientific and analytic Python essentials: SciPy, NumPy, iPython, MatPlotLib, Traits and Chaco. EPD Free provides a free, cross-platform installer of the libraries Enthought considers fundamental for scientists, engineers, and analysts. It is ideal for beginners who seek a simple but powerful Python stack and developers who want to distribute a small, reliable environment for their applications.
“Many MIT students have used EPD Free in their computer science courses over the years and we’ve supported the instructors and the students.” said William Cowan, Enthought’s COO. “When edX told us they had over 70,000 registrants for the class we knew this was major milestone for edX and for Enthought, and we are thrilled to see so many students downloading and getting started with Python.”