Udacity is a private educational organization founded by Sebastian Thrun, David Stavens, and Mike Sokolsky, with the stated goal of democratizing education.
It is the outgrowth of free computer science classes offered in 2011 through Stanford University. As of June 2012, Udacity has eleven active courses. Thrun has stated he hopes half a million students will enroll, after an enrollment of 160,000 students in the predecessor course at Stanford, Introduction to Artifical Intelligence, and 90,000 students had enrolled in the initial two classes as of March 2012. Udacity was announced at the 2012 Digital Life Design conference. Udacity is funded by venture capital firm, Charles River Ventures, and $300,000 of Thrun's personal money.
Thrun's work on Udacity was noted by The Guardian in a list of people championing open internet.
List of courses offered
CS101: Building a Search Engine
PH100: Intro to Physics: Landmarks in Physics
ST101: Introduction to Statistics: Making Decisions Based on Data
CS215: Algorithms: Crunching Social Networks
CS221: Logic & Discrete Mathematics: Foundation of Computing (Unavailable as of 07/07/2012)
CS212: Design of Computer Programs
CS253: Web Application Engineering
CS258: Software Testing: How to Make Software Fail
CS262: Programming Languages
CS373: Programming a Robotic Car
CS387: Applied Cryptography