BLOODY GOOD ... Donating blood is a way to give back to the community and maybe even help save a life, but donors who give blood via Stanford Blood Center during the first two weeks of September will receive a bonus besides good karma and brownie points: access to a networking event for those seeking a new career. The Giving Blood Works event, held Tuesday, Sept. 13, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at 3373 Hillview Ave., Palo Alto, will feature Career Generations counselors, representatives from Foothill College Career College Connection, individual resume critiques and recruiters from institutions including the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Option 1 Staffing and others. The blood center hosted two identical drives in 2009, after it saw a decline in blood donations due to a decrease in workplace drives, according to the Wall Street Journal. Spokesman John Williams said he believes the center is the only one in the world offering the program.
FREE FOR ALL ... Close to 88,000 people from more than 175 countries have expressed interest in taking a free, online course, "Introduction to Artificial Intelligence," offered through the Stanford School of Engineering. Even if they all ultimately register, there should be no problem accessing the short video lectures, according to Jamie Beckett, director of communications and alumni for the School of Engineering, because not all will be "in class" at the same time. The course, taught by Sebastian Thrun, a Stanford research professor of computer science and a Google fellow, and Peter Norvig, Google director of research, requires about 12 hours a week of reading, completing assignments and taking quizzes and an exam, just like the course aimed at Stanford students. What students will lack will be one-on-one interaction with professors — and a degree. Stanford is billing the project as "an experiment that could transform the way online education is delivered." Another 31,000 have expressed interest in two other computer-science courses, "Machine Learning" and "Introduction to Databases," which will also be offered online. Classes start Oct. 10. Students should have some knowledge of linear algebra and probability theory before taking the course, Beckett said.