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Professors without borders

Will online learning spell the end of universities?

By Kevin Charles Redmon   196

Stanford University: students from Bakersfield to Bangalore can now take its computer science courses online

Primm, Nevada, is a three-casino, one-rollercoaster town in the Mojave Desert, just across the California state line and 40 minutes south of Las Vegas’s shimmering neon. Road-weary truckers can choose between Whiskey Pete’s, Terrible’s Lotto, and Starbucks. The centre of town is a discount fashion megamall.

In spring  2005, preparing for that autumn’s Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Grand Challenge, Sebastian Thrun, a Stanford professor of robotics, and David Stavens, his undergraduate protégé, arrived in the desert for several months of off-road testing. In…

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