I have considerable interest on Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) for continuing education. Here are some of the courses I have been part of. Click for more descriptions of courses I have taken and certificates.
Introduction to Feedback Control Theory | MITx
Feedback control is a remarkably pervasive engineering principle. Feedback control uses sensor data (e.g. brightness, temperature, or velocity) to adjust or correct actuation (e.g. steering angle, motor acceleration, or heater output), and you use it all the time, like when you steer a bicycle, catch a ball, or stand upright. But even though applications of feedback are very common, the subject is an uncommonly compelling example of mathematical theory guiding practical design. In this engineering course we will introduce you to the theory and practice of feedback control and provide a glimpse into this rich and beautiful subject.
Each week we will begin with a mathematical description of a fundamental feedback concept, combined with on-line exercises to test your understanding, and will finish with you designing, implementing, measuring, and exchanging video of your own propellor-levitated arm feedback system. You will not need a background in calculus or software engineering to succeed in this class but you should be comfortable with algebra, mechanical forces, and modifying mathematical formulas in short computer programs.
Principles of Synthetic Biology | MITx
This introductory synthetic biology course starts with a brief overview of the field and then delves into more challenging yet exciting concepts. You will learn how to design your very own biological regulatory circuits and consider ways in which you can apply these circuits to real-world problems we face today.
From basic oscillators, toggle switches, and band-pass filters to more sophisticated circuits that build upon these devices, you will learn what synthetic biologists of today are currently constructing and how these circuits can be used in interesting and novel ways.
Nanotechnology: Fundamentals of Nanotransistors | PurdueX
The course is divided into four units:
- Transistors fundamentals
- Transistor electrostatics
- Ballistic MOSFETs
- Transmission theory of the MOSFET
The first two units provide an introduction for students with no background in transistors or a quick review for those familiar with transistors. The third unit treats the ballistic transistor in which electrons move without resistance (in the traditional sense). The last unit uses that Landauer Approach to electron transport, which was developed to understand some striking experiments in nanophysics, to develop an understanding of how electrons flow in modern nanotransistors. This short course describes a way of understanding MOSFETs that is much more suitable than traditional approaches when the channel lengths are of nanoscale dimensions. Surprisingly, the final result looks much like the traditional, textbook, MOSFET model, but the parameters in the equations have simple, clear interpretations at the nanoscale.
Principles of Electronic Biosensors | PurdueX
This electronics course will focus on the physics of biomolecule detection in terms of three elementary concepts: response time, sensitivity, and selectivity. We will use potentiometric, amperometric, and cantilever-based mass sensors to illustrate the application of these concepts to specific sensor technologies. Learners in this course will be able to decide what sensors to make, appreciate their design principles, interpret measured results, and spot emerging research trends.
Introduction to Power Electronics | University of Colorado Boulder
The course is an graduate-level introduction to switched-mode power converters. It provides a basic knowledge of circuitry for the control and conversion of electrical power with high efficiency. These converters can change and regulate the voltage, current, or power; dc-dc converters, ac-dc rectifiers, dc-ac inverters, and ac-ac cycloconverters are in common use. Applications include electronic power supplies, aerospace and vehicular power systems, and renewable energy systems.
Circuit and System Insights | IEEEx
These Previews are in the form of eleven, 10-to-18 minute modules taught by leading experts that establish the current state-of-the-art in several fields, including wireless and wireline communication, analog, digital, and memory. Each module includes a quiz to test the students understanding of the material covered.
Introduction to Probability | MITx
The world is full of uncertainty: accidents, storms, unruly financial markets, noisy communications. The world is also full of data. Probabilistic modeling and the related field of statistical inference are the keys to analyzing data and making scientifically sound predictions.
Probabilistic models use the language of mathematics. But instead of relying on the traditional “theorem – proof” format, we develop the material in an intuitive — but still rigorous and mathematically precise — manner. Furthermore, while the applications are multiple and evident, we emphasize the basic concepts and methodologies that are universally applicable.
The course covers all of the basic probability concepts, including:
- multiple discrete or continuous random variables, expectations, and conditional distributions
- laws of large numbers
- the main tools of Bayesian inference methods
- an introduction to random processes (Poisson processes and Markov chains)
The Analytics Edge | MITx
In the last decade, the amount of data available to organizations has reached unprecedented levels. Data is transforming business, social interactions, and the future of our society. In this course, you will learn how to use data and analytics to give an edge to your career and your life. We will examine real world examples of how analytics have been used to significantly improve a business or industry. These examples include Moneyball, eHarmony, the Framingham Heart Study, Twitter, IBM Watson, and Netflix. Through these examples and many more, we will teach you the following analytics methods: linear regression, logistic regression, trees, text analytics, clustering, visualization, and optimization. We will be using the statistical software R to build models and work with data. The contents of this course are essentially the same as those of the corresponding MIT class (The Analytics Edge). It is a challenging class, but it will enable you to apply analytics to real-world applications.
China Series (10 courses) | HarvardX
China Part 1: The Political and Intellectual Foundations of China
China Part 2: The Creation and End of a Centralized Empire
China Part 3: Cosmopolitan Tang: Aristocratic Culture
China Part 4: A New National Culture
China Part 5: From Global Empire to Global Economy
China Part 6: The Manchus and the Qing
China Part 7: Invasions, Rebellions, and the End of Imperial China
China Part 8: Creating Modern China: The Birth of a Nation
China Part 9: Communist Liberations
China Part 10: Greater China Today: The People’s Republic, Taiwan, and Hong Kong
ChinaX is organized into ten “Mini-Courses” that span over 6,000 years of history. Each mini-course consists of 4 to 8 weekly “modules,” each with videos, readings, interactive engagements, assessments, and discussion forums. The course offers you the opportunity to gain a more comprehensive understanding of China’s past, present and future. You will have access to reading materials, including primary sources, journal articles, images, interactive maps, as well as Harvard Business School cases. The course will also take you on virtual “Field Trips,” where you will have the opportunity to meet Chinese entrepreneurs, artists, administrators, among others, as they give you on-the-ground perspectives on such topics as infrastructure, higher education, agriculture and the environment.
Introduction to Systems Engineering | The University of New South Wales
Systems engineering is an interdisciplinary approach to design, implementation and evaluation that holds the key to the successful development of complex human-made systems. This course explores a framework encapsulating the entire systems engineering discipline, clearly showing where the multitude of associated activities fits within the overall effort and how the activities relate to one another. Systems engineering is a very broad discipline, so we also discuss how the concepts and procedures could be applied to individual projects.
Introduction to Finance | University of Michigan
This course is primarily devoted to the principles of financial valuation. We will first discuss the concept of time value of money in extensive detail with the use of several real world examples, and then apply the principles of valuation to value (a) real projects or ideas and (b) financial securities (stocks and bonds). Since decision-making virtually always involves risk and uncertainty, we will then introduce the concept of risk, and the relation between risk and return. This is followed by a discussion of the relation between financing and the weighted average cost of capital in a world without frictions. We will then integrate our knowledge of cash flows with our understanding of risk and financing to revisit valuation and decision-making. Although the concepts of competitive capital markets and market efficiency will not be covered in a separate session, they will be woven in the fabric of the course.
An Introduction to Operations Management | University of Pennsylvania
Certificate with Distinction. Practioner track with final project.
This course will teach you how to analyze and improve business processes, be it in services or in manufacturing. You will learn how to improve productivity, how to provide more choice to customers, how to reduce response times, and how to improve quality.
Health and Society | HarvardX
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the major social variables — social class, race, gender, poverty, income distribution, social networks/support, community cohesion, the work and neighborhood environment, and residential segregation — that affect population health. The course covers the theoretical underpinnings of each construct (e.g., “race” as a social category), and surveys the empirical research linking each to population health status. Methods are introduced to operationalize each construct for the purposes of empirical application in epidemiologic research.
Contracts | HarvardX
Contracts are an important and pervasive part of our daily lives, so it is a vital skill to understand the basic principles of contracts. This course starts by putting contracts into their human setting, analyzing why we form contracts and what aspects of our humanity contracts depend upon and serve. The course then moves onto the nuts and bolts of contracts—what promises do and do not form contracts, the principles of offer and acceptance, and what happens when contracts go wrong. Along the way, Professor Fried will introduce famous cases and judges, illustrating principles of contracts with some wonderful stories.
Entrepreneurship 101: Who is your customer? | MITx
You will learn, through the stories of MIT entrepreneurs, how to go from idea or technology to the necessary understanding of who and why will want to buy your product. Course assignments will be real-life exercises that will guide you through a series of concrete, practical, and effective steps that will help you make your idea very real.
Manuscripts of Medieval Spain | University of Colorado System
In this course, students will: (1) study the history of medieval Spain and the community of Plasencia, (2) explore the world of medieval manuscripts and texts, (3) learn to read historical documents, and (4) transcribe and evaluate these documents.
The primary source that students will be transcribing in this course is Book One (1399-1453) of the Capitulary Acts of the Cathedral of Plasencia, which is a census-like accounting document that details the activities and business transactions of the cathedral. Most students will work with the 19th century transcription of the original 15th century text. Students who wish to challenge themselves will be granted the opportunity to work with the original late fourteenth/fifteenth century text.