I tend to prefer courses to books. Although the simplest books definitely beat mediocre courses, there’s a couple of reasons why an excellent course can leave an enduring impression.
For starters, courses tend to show foundational topics. Most books attempt to be original. But much of what’s worth knowing is really fairly old.
Courses tend to be more balanced. A professor teaching a basic course will attempt to explain most of the main viewpoints. Yet a well-liked book written by an equivalent professor could be completely one-sided, as they struggle to form the strongest case for his or her views.
Polemical works are often useful, but they will be misleading if you mistake a contentious issue for an open-and-shut case.
I also a bit like watching courses. Reading is sweet . But so are listening and watching. If you are doing all three, you’ll probably learn quite if you only stick with text.
Here are my picks for the simplest free online courses to observe .
1. Justice — Michael Sandel (Harvard)
Honestly, this course is worth watching just to witness one among the simplest teachers of all time. Sandel teaches ethics , not always known for being the foremost gripping topic. Yet the lectures are compelling, as students debate real-world examples that illustrate philosophical principles.
What impresses me most is Sandel’s ability to show esoteric points through Socratic dialog together with his students, using their own reactions for instance the philosophical principles he wants to show . There’s a reason this class is one among Harvard’s hottest among incoming freshman. Now you don’t got to attend Harvard to require it.
2. Physics — Walter Lewin (MIT)
Walter Lewin’s physics lectures (both classical and electromagnetism) were those I followed during the MIT Challenge. They’re a number of the best classes I’ve ever taken online. Lewin manages to elucidate deep concepts about how the planet works through exciting experiments. He’s also specialized at drawing dotted lines.
Unfortunately there was a touch of a scandal on MIT’s open platform which resulted in MIT removing any affiliation with Lewin for the course. Thus the lectures are harder to seek out online than they wont to be. But since nothing ever truly gets faraway from the web, I feel they’re still worth watching if you would like to find out physics.
3. Learning How to Learn — Terrence Sejnowski and Barbara Oakley (UCSD)
Coursera’s hottest course, this one also happens to be taught by my friend, Barbara Oakley. The course is engaging and straightforward to follow, using neuroscience and psychology for instance the principles for studying better.
I have to admit, when this course first came out, i used to be a touch nervous since my income depends tons on my very own , paid learning course. But, I’ve since come to understand that learning better may be a pretty broad subject, so there’s always getting to be more to show (and learn). Nonetheless, i like to recommend this course as a useful resource!
4. Machine Learning — Andrew Ng (Stanford)
This course started the MOOC explosion, with Ng leaving his Stanford teaching position to launch Coursera. This course has skilled multiple iterations, first as recorded lectures from an actual Stanford class, later as a simplified MOOC and now as a full-blown machine learning educational platform.
I’ve linked to the first Stanford class, as I like better to embed YouTube. The Coursera version is additionally a touch unclear on whether it’s actually free, or whether there’s a little fee. However, you’ll prefer the MOOC version here since it’s newer.
5. Quantum Mechanics — Richard Feynman
Richard Feynman is my all-time intellectual hero. He does an excellent job here of explaining quantum physics — without using any math. i might have thought it had been impossible, but somehow Feynman manages to tug it off. (And barefoot, no less!).
While I highly enjoyed Allan Adams MIT physics class, the maths requirements are fairly steep. the quantity of individuals who both have the maths and physics requirements, but somehow didn’t study quantum physics in their undergraduate education, could be fairly limiting so I didn’t include it here. (That said, the primary lecture of the category is math-free and really well done, so i like to recommend it, albeit you don’t know calculus.)