Sep 2, 2014

Weekly MOOC Buffet 22 (1st – 7th Sep, 2014)


We have 38 courses coming at you this week! Coursera’s Data Science Specialization from John’s Hopkins starts its monthly run, along with another on Systems Biology from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt Sinai. Those contemplating an MBA in the near future can check out Wharton’s course on the Fundamentals of Accounting, which is also featured on our new Learning Path on MBA Essentials. Enjoy!

1. Automata
This course covers finite automata, context-free grammars, Turing machines, undecidable problems, and intractable problems (NP-completeness).

Provider: Coursera | University: Stanford U. | Duration: 6 weeks

2. Networked Life
This course will explore recent scientific efforts to explain social, economic and technological structures – and the way these structures interact – on many different scales, from the behavior of individuals or small groups to that of complex networks such as the Internet and the global economy.
Provider: Coursera | University: U. of Pennsylvania | Duration: 7 weeks

3. Introductory Human Physiology
The goal of this course is to provide an introduction to human physiology. The students learn to recognize and explain the basic concepts that govern each organ and organ system and their integration to maintain homeostasis, as well as some clinical aspects of failure of these systems.

Provider: Coursera | University: Duke University | Duration: 11 weeks

4. Generating the Wealth of Nations
In this course you will explore the spectacular (but uneven) story of economic development – beginning with the Malthusian era, moving on to the take-off of growth in the Industrial Revolution and the Great Divergence in living standards that followed, and finishing in the present with the Global Financial Crisis.

Provider: Coursera | University: U. of Melbourne | Duration: 10 weeks

5. The Fiction of Relationship
What is the nature of our relationship to others and the world? How can literature help us see these relationships more clearly? This course seeks to explore such questions through adventurous readings of ten great works of narrative fiction from the 18th to the 20th century.

Provider: Coursera | University: Brown U. | Duration: 14 weeks

6. Sports and Society
Sports play a giant role in contemporary society worldwide. But few of us pause to think about the larger questions of money, politics, race, sex, culture, and commercialization that surround sports everywhere. This course draws on the tools of anthropology, sociology, history, and other disciplines to give you new perspectives on the games we watch and play.

Provider: Coursera | University: Duke U. | Duration: 7 weeks

7. Introduction to Power Electronics
The course is an 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.

Provider: Coursera | University: U. of Colorado | Duration: 9 weeks

8. Foundations of Teaching for Learning 1: Introduction
Foundations of Teaching for Learning is a program of study primarily for people who are currently teaching but have had no formal teacher education. This course is an introductory one that considers the three domains of being a teacher: Professional Knowledge and Understanding; Professional Practice; and Professional Values, Relationships and Engagement.

Provider: Coursera | University: Commonwealth Trust | Duration: 4 weeks

9. Data Analysis and Statistical Inference
This course introduces you to the discipline of statistics as a science of understanding and analyzing data. You will learn how to effectively make use of data in the face of uncertainty: how to collect data, how to analyze data, and how to use data to make inferences and conclusions about real world phenomena.

Provider: Coursera | University: Duke University | Duration: 8 weeks

10. Making Better Group Decisions: Voting, Judgement Aggregation and Fair Division
Learn about different voting methods and fair division algorithms, and explore the problems that arise when a group of people need to make a decision.

Provider: Coursera | University: U. of Maryland | Duration: 7 weeks

11. Organic Solar Cells – Theory and Practice
The goal of the course is to give students awareness of the largest alternative form of energy and how organic / polymer solar cells can harvest this energy. The course provides an insight into the theory behind organic solar cells and describes the three main research areas within the field i.e. materials, stability and processing.

Provider: Coursera | University: Tech U. of Denmark | Duration: 6 weeks

12. Configuring the World: A Critical Political Economy Approach
The course is composed of eight modules that together will introduce students to the influences that shape the world in which we live today. It will examine the forces that explain the differences between success and failure in economic development and effective government in different countries. It will view how these forces also interact in the global economy.

Provider: Coursera | University: U. of Leiden | Duration: 8 weeks

13. Data Science Specialization from Johns Hopkins
This series of courses will teach you how to – formulate context-relevant questions and hypotheses to drive data scientific research;
Identify, obtain, and transform a data set to make it suitable for the production of statistical evidence communicated in written form, and build models based on new data types, experimental design, and statistical inference.

Provider: Coursera | University: Johns Hopkins | Duration: Flexible

14. Solid Science: Research Methods
This course, Solid Science: Research Methods (in the Social and Behavioral Sciences), will cover the fundamental principles of science, some history and philosophy of science, research designs, measurement, sampling and ethics. This basic material will lay the groundwork for the more technical stuff in subsequent courses from the University of Amsterdam.

Provider: Coursera | University: U. of Amsterdam | Duration: 6 weeks

15. Fixing Healthcare Delivery
Isn’t it time to end the loss of life from preventable medical errors? Each year 100,000 patients die from preventable errors in the U.S. How can you help to change this intractable problem? Knowledge is power, and this course will provide you with a deep understanding of the problems and the solutions. You can become part of the solution.

Provider: Coursera | University: U. of Florida | Duration: 8 weeks

16. Introduction to Systems Biology
Part of the Systems Biology Specialization, this course is an introduction to current concepts of how cellular molecules come together to form systems, how these systems exhibit emergent properties, and how these properties are used to make cellular decisions.

Provider: Coursera | University: Icahn School of Medicine | Duration: 10 weeks

17. Diabetes – a Global Challenge
Diabetes is a growing health problem in rich and poor countries alike. With this course you will get updated on cutting-edge diabetes research including biological, genetic and clinical aspects as well as prevention and epidemiology of diabetes. All provided by high-profile scientists from one the world’s leading universities in diabetes research.

Provider: Coursera | University: U. of Copenhagen | Duration: 5 weeks

18. Scandinavian Film and Television
In many ways Scandinavian film and television is a global cultural brand, connected with and exporting some of the cultural and social values connected to a liberal and progressive welfare society. This course deals with the social, institutional and cultural background of film and television in Scandinavia and in a broader European and global context.

Provider: Coursera | University: U. of Copenhagen | Duration: 5 weeks

19. Dino 101: Dinosaur Paleobiology
In Dino 101: Dinosaur Paleobiology, students will learn about the many kinds of non-avian dinosaurs that roamed the earth during the Mesozoic Era, from 250 to 65 million years ago. Numerous topics are covered in order to deliver a comprehensive survey of this important group of animals. These include adaptations for attack and defence, anatomy, appearances, behaviors, birth, deep time, evolutionary theory, feeding, fossilization, growth, integumentary structures, locomotion, major groupings, origins, paleogeography, plate tectonics, reproduction, species definition, stratigraphy, and the extinction event that brought their dominance to an end.

Provider: Coursera | University: U. of Alberta | Duration: 12 weeks

20. Understanding Violence
Violence is a complex problem and can only be understood and reduced though a multidisciplinary approach. The course will cover the epidemiology of violence; roots of violence including biological, psychological, and social causes (e.g., economic deprivation, religious factors); specific types of violence; media and the arts portrayal of violence; the business/economic impact of violence; physical and mental consequence; and ways to control and prevent violence in our communities, including criminal justice and public health approaches.

Provider: Coursera | University: Emory U. | Duration: 6 weeks

21. Social Entrepreneurship
In this course you will learn how to create societal impact through Social Entrepreneurship (S-ENT). S-ENT describes the discovery and sustainable exploitation of opportunities to create social change. We will introduce you to S-ENT examples and guide you through the process of identifying an opportunity to address social problems as well as outlining your idea in a business plan.

Provider: Coursera | University: Copenhagen Business School | Duration: 8 weeks

22. Creative Problem Solving
This course deals directly with your ability for creativity which is a critical skill in any field. It focuses on divergent thinking, the ability to develop multiple ideas and concepts to solve problems. Through a series of creativity building exercises, short lectures, and readings, learners develop both an understanding of creativity and increase their own ability.

Provider: Coursera | University: U. of Minnesota | Duration: 7 weeks

23. Understanding Video Games
Video games are a globally entrenched entertainment medium that entertains, informs and challenges us. These games are defined by, and define our modern culture. In this course, students will learn how to study games and engage in informed discussions about them. Ultimately, this course is about understanding the literacy of video games.

Provider: Coursera | University: U. of Alberta | Duration: 11 weeks

24. Algorithms, Part I
This course covers the essential information that every serious programmer needs to know about algorithms and data structures, with emphasis on applications and scientific performance analysis of Java implementations. Part I covers basic iterable data types, sorting, and searching algorithms.

Provider: Coursera | University: Princeton U. | Duration: 6 weeks

25. Useful Genetics Part 1
This college-level course gives students a thorough understanding of gene function, and enables them to apply this understanding to real-world issues, both personal and societal. This is Part 1 of a two-part course; Part 2 focuses on the study of of how genes and traits are inherited.

Provider: Coursera | University: U. of British Columbia | Duration: 6 weeks

26. An Introduction to Financial Accounting
This course will improve your fluency in financial accounting, the language of business. You will learn how to read, understand, and analyze most of the information provided by companies in their financial statements. These skills will help you make more informed decisions using financial information.

Provider: Coursera | University: Wharton | Duration: 10 weeks

27. Analysis of Algorithms
This course teaches a calculus that enables precise quantitative predictions of large combinatorial structures. In addition, this course covers generating functions and real asymptotics and then introduces the symbolic method in the context of applications in the analysis of algorithms and basic structures such as permutations, trees, strings, words, and mappings.

Provider: Coursera | University: Princeton U. | Duration: 6 weeks

28. Modern & Contemporary American Poetry
ModPo is a fast-paced introduction to modern and contemporary U.S. poetry, with an emphasis on experimental verse, from Dickinson and Whitman to the present. Participants (who need no prior experience with poetry) will learn how to read poems that are supposedly “difficult.”

Provider: Coursera | University: UPenn | Duration: 10 weeks

29. Anthropology of Current World Issues
This course will allow you to better understand the world around you through utilising the anthropological lens. You will learn about the way in which anthropology as a discipline can shed new perspectives on current world issues, from indigeneity to migration and material culture.

Provider: edX | University: U. of Queensland | Duration: 8 weeks

30. Solar Energy
This second edition of the course Solar Energy teaches you to design a complete photovoltaic system. It introduces you to the technology that converts solar energy into electricity, heat and solar fuels with a main focus on electricity generation.

Provider: edX | University: Delft | Duration: 14 weeks

31. Introduction to Global Sociology
Sociology offers us a powerful set of tools with which to interpret our relationship to a global social and cultural economy. This course extends conventional sociology to foster an understanding of how the conditions of our everyday lives fit in with broader trends of continuity and change in regions across the world.

Provider: edX | University: Wellesley | Duration: 10 weeks

32. Introduction to Solid State Chemistry
3.091x is a first-year course where chemical principles are explained by examination of the properties of materials. The electronic structure and chemical bonding of materials is related to applications and engineering systems throughout the course. The on-campus version of the course has been taught for over thirty five years and is one of the largest classes at MIT.

Provider: edX | University: MIT | Duration: 16 weeks

33. Visualizing Japan (1850s-1930s): Westernization, Protest, Modernity
This co-taught course looks at Japanese history and the skills and questions involved in reading history through images now accessible in digital formats. The course is based on the MIT “Visualizing Cultures” website devoted to image-driven research on Japan and China since the 19th century (

Provider: edX | University: MIT | Duration: 6 weeks

34. Mechanical Behavior of Materials
This subject provides an introduction to the mechanical behavior of materials, from both the continuum and atomistic points of view. At the continuum level, we learn how forces and displacements translate into stress and strain distributions within the material. At the atomistic level, we learn the mechanisms that control the mechanical properties of materials.

Provider: edX | University: MIT | Duration: 15 weeks

35. Exploring English: Language and Culture
The course will use short videos to present a different topic each week, including English as a global language, the environment, entrepreneurship and literature. Filmed in Great Britain, these videos will help you to develop your listening skills as you watch authentic examples of people speaking English.

Provider: Futurelearn | University: British Council | Duration: 6 weeks

36. Irish Lives in War and Revolution: Exploring Ireland’s History 1912-1923
The course looks beyond the familiar names and the famous faces – the traditional histories can tell us about them. Instead, it explores how the events that shaped the nature of modern Ireland – the Great War, the Easter Rising, the Irish war of independence and civil war – were experienced by the people who lived through them or in spite of them.

Provider: Futurelearn | University: Trinity College Dublin | Duration: 6 weeks

37. The Science of Medicines
Major health issues face the world’s growing population and medicines are a primary pillar to effect better health. Learn about the science of key medicines used to manage heart disease, depression, diabetes, pain control and smoking cessation.

Provider: Futurelearn | University: Monash University | Duration: 6 weeks

38. Inside Cancer: How Genes Influence Cancer Development
As an ‘Inside Cancer’ student, you will learn about the fundamental biological concepts that inform our current understanding of the molecular genetics of cancer development and its spread within the body. The course will be delivered by some of the University of Bath’s leading cancer researchers and clinical oncologists.

Provider: Futurelearn | University: U. of Bath | Duration: 6 weeks

As always, if you have taken any of these courses before, do give it a review on Springboard!

  • Almog

    Course #13’s link is broken (Data Science Specialization from Johns Hopkins).

    • Rajit Dasgupta

      Corrected. Thanks!

  • Steven Feeney

    Massive link list Rajit! Thanks 🙂

    • Rajit Dasgupta

      My pleasure Steven!