Featured Course Archive: October-December 2010




December 29, 2010: Pricing

What will your money buy you? Pricing explains the rationale and analysis used in the pricing of consumer goods and services.




December 20, 2010: Nature, Environment and Empire

This class examines the relationship between the study of natural history, and exploitation of the natural world, focusing on the 18th and 19th centuries. Be sure to visit the image gallery.




December 17, 2010: Survival in Extreme Conditions

Bacteria can survive in almost all environments on Earth, including some considered extremely harsh. Survival in Extreme Conditions: The Bacterial Stress Response examines the systems bacteria use to adapt to and thrive in these environments.



Flooding of the Rock River closed Highway K in Fort
Atkinson, Wisconsin in 2008. Photo by jibby7 on

December 10, 2010: Science and Policy of Natural Hazards

Science and Policy of Natural Hazards looks at the causes and effects of natural catastrophes such as earthquakes and hurricanes, discusses their predictability, and examines how this knowledge influences policy making.



Photo by Photo by Michell Nyein.

November 30, 2010: Heading Off Trauma

The US Department of Defense has said that 130,000 US service members deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan have sustained traumatic brain injuries. MIT's Raul Radovitzky would like to change that.

Fundamental to solving this problem is sophisticated modeling, which Radovitzky covers in Introduction to Modeling and Simulation.



Photo by guerito on Flickr.

November 23, 2010: Energy Courses

Two MIT professors are among the 19 members of the U.S. Department of Energy's newly established Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Advisory Committee (ERAC).

MIT has long been a leader in energy research. We've collected courses related to energy topics in our Energy course list.




November 16, 2010: MIT OpenCourseWare Named WISE Award Laureate

The Qatar Foundation announced today that OCW has been selected as one of six laureates for the 2010 World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) Award. The Award is designed to reward, showcase and support outstanding and innovative educational projects from across the world and from all educational sectors.



Photo by JP Chan on Flickr.

November 12, 2010: The Surprise of Cats' Drinking

Roman Stocker and Pedro Reis of MIT's Department of Civil Engineering and Environmental Engineering (CEE) have discovered the surprising mechanics of how cats drink. CEE is the source of solutions to an incredible variety of challenges. Learn more by perusing CEE courses on OCW.



Photo of the interior of the Sagrada Familia by
Joe Martis on Flickr.

November 5, 2010: Form-Finding and Structural Optimization: Gaudi Workshop

Explore three-dimensional problems in the static equilibrium of structural systems under a variety of loads in Form-Finding and Structural Optimization: Gaudi Workshop. Be sure to check out the Projects section for two examples of student work.



Photo by Patrick Gillooly.

October 28, 2010: Teaching Real-World Programming

Professors Charles E. Leiserson and Saman Amarasinghe, who co-teach Performance Engineering of Software Systems believe that undergraduates should be taught to write clear code, not just running code. To that end, they have recruited Boston-area senior programmers to review the students' work.



Photo by Tomasz Tom Kulbowski on Flickr.

October 25, 2010: Hitting the Wall

Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology student Benjamin Rapoport is attacking the wall many long-distance runners hit mid-race. Rapoport has developed a model for figuring pace and carb consumption to help runners make it to the end of a race.

Interested in more of the science behind sports? Check out Chemistry of Sports.




October 21, 2010: Infrastructure in Crisis: Energy and Security Challenges

In Infrastructure in Crisis: Energy and Security Challenges students explore how an energy crisis can be an opportunity for making fundamental changes to improve infrastructure. Be sure to look at the sample student papers in the Projects section.



Fractals can be found everywhere in nature, such as
the florets of a cauliflower. Photo by Jose Maria
on Flickr.

October 18, 2010: Benoît Mandelbrot, Mathematician, Dies at 85

Benoît Mandelbrot, the mathematician who coined the term "fractal" to refer to mathematical shapes that mimic irregularies found in nature, has died at age 85.

Fractals are among the ranging concepts covered in Gödel, Escher, Bach, a course that "climbs mental mountains and crosses intellectual oceans."




October 13, 2010: MIT Economist Peter Diamond Wins Nobel Prize

Peter Diamond has won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. He shares the award with Dale Mortensen of Northwestern University and Christopher Pissarides of the London School of Economics. The Nobel Foundation cited these scholars "for their analysis of markets with search frictions."

Diamond has published two courses on OCW: Microeconomic Theory III and Public Economics II.



Photo by Matt Foster on Flickr.

October 7, 2010: Thermal Hydraulics in Power Technology

MIT's Center for Advanced Nuclear Energy Systems (CANES) is part of a team that recently won a major Department of Energy grant to run an Innovation Hub for Nuclear Energy Modeling and Simulation. Courses such as 22.313J Thermal Hydraulics in Power Technology provide a foundation to predict the safety and performance of reactors under varied conditions.



Photo by windsordi on Flickr.

October 4, 2010: Transportation Courses

Transportation@MIT is a coordinated effort to address one of civilization's most pressing challenges: the environmental impact of the world's ever-increasing demand for transportation. Our new Transportation course list provides links to courses on OCW that Transportation@MIT have identified for those interested in transportation-related issues.



Photo by Justin Knight.

October 1, 2010: Subra Suresh to Head National Science Foundation

Subra Suresh, dean of the School of Engineering, has been unanimously confirmed by the US Senate as the next director of the National Science Foundation.

Suresh has dedicated more than three decades of service to MIT as a leader, a researcher, and a teacher. His course, Fracture and Fatigue is available on OCW.