[School-of-data] Greetings to the new School

Peter Murray-Rust pm286 at cam.ac.uk
Fri Feb 10 16:55:47 UTC 2012

I am really excited about this venture. I've been involved in bottom-up
volunteer-led virtual education for nearly 20 years. The first course was
probably the first on the Web - "Object-Oriented Programming in C++" run by
Marcus Speh which won a BestOfTheWeb for education in 1994 and was held in
Diversity University / Globewide Network Academy and had 80 registrants.
The second, which I ran with Alan Mills from Birkbeck College was at
Masters level on "Principles of Protein Structure" and held in BioMOO. This
attracted 250 registrants.

There were no costs associated with these courses other than the provision
of web servers. In both of them the course members (in a sense we were all
students) built the course materials. We also had great input from national
centres such as the Protein Data Bank.

Course like this go very well when all the participants are excited, keen
to be part of something new, not worried by exams, etc. It's a great place
to meet other people.

It needs lots of work, but Hey! that's nothing new. I'm looking forward to

Peter Murray-Rust
Reader in Molecular Informatics
Unilever Centre, Dep. Of Chemistry
University of Cambridge
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