Featured Course Archive: April-June 2010

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June 25, 2010: X PRIZE Workshop

X PRIZE Workshop: Grand Challenges in Energy examines the intersection of incentives and innovation in technology challenges such as the X PRIZE, which offered $10M for a reusable suborbital spacecraft.




June 21, 2010: Advanced Macroeconomics I

This course covers Macroeconomics in three parts: business cycle models with imperfect information, models of investment with credit constraints, and models of decentralized trade applied to labor markets and financial markets. Be sure to check out the course's extensive reading list.



Image by NASA/JPL-Caltech.

June 17, 2010: Hands-On Astronomy: Observing Stars and Planets

A team led by Prof. James Elliot have used stellar occultation to determine the size of a bright Kuiper Belt Object orbiting billions of kilometers from the sun. The method employed a network of 20 telescopes around the world to calculate the object's mean radius at 143 kilometers.

You may not be able to perform stellar occultation in your backyard, but much can be observed with just an 8-inch telescope. Learn more in Hands-On Astronomy: Observing Stars and Planets.



Photo by Prof. Kim Hamad-Schifferli.

June 14, 2010: A New Use for Gold

Gold nanoparticles have become useful tools in modern medicine, but have a property that makes nanotechnological development difficult: they're sticky. Now MIT researchers Kimberly Hamad-Shifferli and Sunho Park have found a way to turn this into an advantage.

Hamad-Schifferli covers more on the challenges of working at the molecular level in Statistical Thermodynamics of Biomolecular Systems.




June 10, 2010: Introduction to Solid State Chemistry

Interested in learning the basics of chemistry but not planning to pursuing chemistry as a career? Introduction to Solid State Chemistry is for you. Prof. Sadoway covers the basic principles of chemistry and their application in engineering systems. Topics include organic chemistry, solution chemistry, biochemistry, and chemical kinetics.




June 7, 2010: Recognition

What are the circuits, mechanisms and representations that permit the recognition of a visual scene from just one glance? In this one-day seminar on Scene Understanding, speakers from a variety of disciplines address a range of topics related to scene recognition. (See related MIT news today, How the brain recognizes objects.)



Photo by Judith M. Daniels.

June 3, 2010: Former Dean John de Monchaux Retires

Former Urban Studies and Planning dean John de Monchaux has announced his retirement from MIT after many years of service. De Monchaux will teach one final studio in the fall, but he leaves behind two courses on OCW for future scholars: Urban Design and Big Plans.



Photo by Herr Olsen on Flickr.

May 31, 2010: Update Your Links to OCW

Our new publishing environment is up and running, and we've completed migration of all courses. We've taken advantage of the move to improve the site architecture. Unfortunately, that means most of the URLs on the site have changed. Please take a moment to update your links, and let us know if you have any questions.



Photo by Thomas Hawk on Flickr.

May 12, 2010: A New Publishing Environment for OCW

OCW is adopting a new, open-source publishing environment, Plone. Moving 1,981 courses along with all associated PDFs, images and other resources is going to take some time. For the next few weeks, you won't see any new courses on OCW, and we won't have a new feature in this space. But the whole site will still function as usual while we perform work behind the scenes, and you can look forward to new courses again in early June.




May 7, 2010: The Art of the Guess

The Chronicle of Higher Education says that calling MIT's Sanjoy Mahajan "a good guesser doesn't do him justice." Mahajan uses calculations, observations and gut feelings to arrive at guesses that tend to be very close to the mark.

You can learn the art of the educated guess from Mahajan in Street-Fighting Mathematics.




May 3, 2010: Highlights of Calculus

MIT Professor Gilbert Strang has created a series of videos to show ways in which calculus is important in our lives. The videos, which include real-life examples to illustrate the concepts, are ideal for high school students, college students, and anyone interested in learning the basics of calculus.



Prototype pedal-powered washing machine is one of
the student projects in D-Lab.

April 29, 2010: TIME 100

TIME has named MIT's Amy Smith one of the people who most affects our world. The recognition comes for Smith's ongoing work in service to the developing world.

Three of Smith's courses are available on OCW: D-Lab: Development, Design and Dissemination, D-Lab: Development, Dialogue and Delivery and Wheelchair Design in Developing Countries.




April 21, 2010: Bill Gates Visits MIT

Philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates visits MIT as part of a three-day tour of five universities across the country. At each campus, he will give a short talk aimed at inspiring students and teachers to focus on issues of inequity. You can study along with Gates on OCW:


Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab Executive Training: Evaluating Social Programs

Special Topics at Edgerton Center: D-Lab Health: Medical Technologies for the Developing World

D-Lab: Development, Dialogue and Delivery

D-Lab: Development, Design and Dissemination

D-Lab: Disseminating Innovations for the Common Good

Introduction to Solid State Chemistry

Physics I: Classical Mechanics

Energy Courses by Topic




April 16, 2010: Understanding Lasers and Fiberoptics

Lasers are used in bar code readers, compact discs, materials processing, computer printers, data processing, 3D-imaging, spectroscopy, navigation, chemical processing, color copiers, and many other devices and processes. But how do they work? This brief video course uses plain language, graphic illustrations, and video demonstrations to explain the basic characteristics of lasers and fiberoptics.



Photo by sabinesabine on Flickr.

April 13, 2010: Enhancements to MIT OpenCourseWare and How You Can Help

As OCW enters its ninth year, we continue to enhance our publication, extend access to our materials, and develop sustainable approaches to fund our efforts. The MIT faculty continue to share the latest classroom materials with increased depth and richness...

Read more of the Executive Director's Letter



Photo by jl_noguer on Flickr.

April 9, 2010: Campus Preview Weekend

It's Campus Preview Weekend here at MIT, the time when prospective students and their parents come to campus to find out what MIT is all about. But if you can't make it to campus, watching one of our many video lectures is a great way to sample life in the MIT classroom.




April 6, 2010: The X in Sex

Explore a diverse collection of striking biological phenomena associated with the X chromosome in The X in Sex: A Genetic, Medical, and Evolutionary View of the X Chromosome.




April 1, 2010: A Manufacturing Renaissance

At an discussion this week titled "The Future of Manufacturing: Advanced Technologies," more than a dozen MIT faculty shared converging ideas about how to reinvigorate America's goods-producing businesses. Among them was Prof. Christine Ortiz, who discussed bio-inspired synthetic materials. Ortiz covers this topic in detail in Nanomechanics of Materials and Biomaterials.