Coursera, an upstart company working with selective universities to offer free online courses, announced this week that it had reached one million registered students. A rival company, Udacity, which also offers what have become known as Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOC’s, says it has more than 739,000 students.
Coursera works with some of the world’s best-known universities, such as Princeton University and the University of Virginia, while Udacity works with individual professors rather than institutions.
Udacity’s founder, Sebastian Thrun, said in an e-mail interview that his company planned to remain focused on computer science and related fields. “We are not doing humanities,” he said.