Featured Course Archive


Each week we feature courses on OCW that relate to current events, highlight accomplishments of MIT's extraordinary teaching and research, or are just plain interesting.



June 27, 2011: Finite Element Procedures for Solids and Structures

Finite element analysis is now widely used for solving complex static and dynamic problems encountered in engineering and the sciences. In these two video courses, Prof. Bathe teaches the basic principles used for effective finite element analysis and more.




June 24, 2011: Popular Culture and Narrative: Literature, Comics, and Culture

How do familiar aspects of comics trace their origins to literary texts and broader cultural concerns? How have classic comics gone on to influence literary fiction? Readings and materials for Popular Culture and Narrative: Literature, Comics, and Culture range from the nineteenth century to the present, and include novels, short stories, essays, comics, and films.



Photo by DavidR_ on Flickr.

June 16, 2011: The Mathematics in Toys and Games

Explore the mathematical strategies behind games, toys and puzzles in The Mathematics in Toys and Games. Topics of this course include basic fundamentals of game theory, probability, group theory, and elementary programming concepts.



Photo by Kate James.

June 13, 2011: People and Other Animals

People and Other Animals provides a survey of the ways people have interacted with their closest animal relatives: hunting, domestication, scientific study, and pet keeping.




June 6, 2011: Mathematics for Materials Scientists and Engineers

Prof. W. Craig Carter and a team of researchers have developed a new battery design that could provide a lightweight and inexpensive alternative to existing batteries for electric vehicles.

If you want to tackle research projects such as this, you'll need a strong handle on mathematics. Check out Prof. Carter's Mathematics for Materials Scientists and Engineers.



Image by Specious Reasons on Flickr.

May 27, 2011: Teaching Algae to Make Fuel

Prof. Shuguang Zhang is one step closer to large-scale production of a clean and carbon-free fuel. The MIT News Office explains how he is making algae produce hydrogen at 400 times their normal rate.

Learn more about bioengineering from Prof. Zhang in Molecular Structure of Biological Materials on OCW.



Image by Argonne National Laboratory on Flickr.

May 20, 2011: Fusion Power

Why can't fusion energy solve the global energy crisis? One day it might, but we're still decades away, according to Jeffrey P. Freidberg, professor of nuclear science and engineering. Read his full explanation in Ask an Engineer.

For more from Freidberg, take a look at MHD Theory of Fusion Systems.



Photo by luca.m. on Flickr.

May 17, 2011: Explained: Measuring Earthquakes

Professor Robert van der Hilst explains why the moment magnitude scale has replaced the Richter scale as the universal tool for measuring the size of earthquakes.

Learn more about seismology from Prof. van der Hilst in Introduction to Seismology on OCW.




May 12, 2011: For the Love of Physics

On May 16 at 7pm, Walter Lewin will return to MIT classroom 26-100 for a physics talk and book signing, complete with some of his most famous physics demonstrations to celebrate the publication of his new book, For the Love of Physics. The event is free and open to the public.




May 9, 2011: The Challenge of Global Poverty

MIT professors Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee have just published Poor Economics, a study of the roughly 850 million people who live on 99 cents per day. The book offers what Duflo and Banerjee consider realistic solutions to the challenges facing this population.

Duflo's The Challenge of World Poverty is for those who are interested in the challenge posed by massive and persistent world poverty, and are hopeful that economists might have something useful to say about this challenge.




May 2, 2011: Synthesis of Polymers

MIT researchers have developed a removable "cloak" for nanoparticles that helps them target tumors. The new MIT particles are cloaked in a polymer layer that protects them from being degraded by the bloodstream. Learn more about polymers in Synthesis of Polymers with Prof. Paula Hammond, a member of the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research team that developed the technology.




April 29, 2011: Under the Dome

Can't make it to the MIT campus this weekend for Under the Dome? Get a taste of the MIT experience with our audio and video courses.



Photo of Walden Pond where Henry David Thoreau
went to live simply and through self-sufficiency
by Matt Kowal on Flickr.

April 26, 2011: Major Authors: America's Literary Scientists

Global exploration and an emphasis on natural history had a profound impact on authors of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Major Authors: America's Literary Scientists examines some of the most remarkable of these, including Melville, Thoreau and Wharton.




April 19, 2011: Learning Science through Gaming

Thousands of middle-school students have been playing an interactive science-mystery game, "Vanished." Created by MIT researchers on behalf of the Smithsonian Institution, the game is a novel experiment in alternative science education.

For more on how students learn through interactive computer environments, check out Computer Games and Simulations for Investigation and Education.



April 12, 2011: The Civil War and Reconstruction

150 years ago, the first shot of the American Civil War was fired. The Civil War and Reconstruction focuses on the causes and long-term consequences of this conflict, including to what extent it was America's defining moment.



Photo by velfaerdsteknologi on Flickr.

April 11, 2011: Seminar in Health Care Systems Innovation

In this seminar course, students are introduced to the systems perspective on health care delivery, its stakeholders and problems – as well as opportunities.



Photos by Darwin Bell, Clair Sambrook and esteban
on Flickr.

April 4, 2011: OCW's First Decade

April 4, 2011 marked ten years of MIT OpenCourseWare. With more than 2,000 courses and 100 million individual users, we think it's been a pretty great decade.



Photo by G. Andrew Boyd.

March 25, 2011: MIT Professor and Innovative Filmmaker, Richard Leacock

Richard Leacock, who helped create the cinéma vérité style and was a driving force behind the film program at MIT, died on March 23 at his home in Paris.

Leacock's work and influence appear throughout many courses on OCW. In particular, Media and Methods: Seeing and Expression and Documenting Culture.




March 17, 2011: Nuclear Engineering

A panel of MIT nuclear engineering, public health and risk assessment specialists convened to explain how nuclear reactors work and the unfolding situation in Japan.

The Nuclear Science and Engineering department at MIT have published more than 30 courses on OCW, covering introductory overviews to special topics on the subject.




March 9, 2011: Life Sciences at MIT

The expansion of Life Sciences has been enormous over the last decade. Many departments at MIT now offer majors, minors or courses that have a Life Science focus. We've gathered some of these in our new Life Sciences course list.




March 7, 2011: David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research Dedicated


The David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research was dedicated last week. The Institute includes 40 laboratories and more than 500 researchers working to revolutionize the diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of cancer.

The 7.43X series on OCW provides a window into the education of future cancer researchers here at MIT.