Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Top 14 MIT OpenCourseWares (#11-14)

Earlier this month we talked about the "turn-key" OpenCourseWare. In a turn-key OCW, the student has all the materials they need to use the course. There's no need to buy a textbook, no gaps in information, and plenty of study materials available.

Maybe we gave MIT a little bit of short shrift. While it's true that some of their courses provide sparse materials, no other institute on the planet has opened their doors as wide as MIT. And among the materials there are some real gems.

Here's our list of MIT's best courses. Some might not completely classify as "turn-key" courses, they're pretty darn close (the top 5 definitely classify). All these courses have textbooks and/or detailed notes. Some have audio/video lectures or demonstration. Thanks to Steve Carson and Chris Johnson at MIT for providing a short-list that we used as a basis for these rankings.

Numbers 11 through 14 are listed today. The rest will be up in two future posts appearing over the next few days. As a reminder, these ranking are not based on the quality of teaching, but the extent and variety of materials provided.

14. Classical Mechanics: A Computational Approach, Spring 2002
Lectures: None
Readings: Free online textbook
Study materials: Problem sets

Course studying the fundamental principles of classical mechanics, with a modern emphasis on the qualitative structure of phase space. This course also has other course materials online, including downloads and supporting documentation for the Scheme Mechanics System.

13. Structural Analysis and Control (Spring 2004)
Lectures: Some notes
Readings: Free online textbook
Study materials: Problem sets

Course discussing computer-based methods for the analysis of large-scale structural systems. Free textbook and lecture notes totaling about 100 pages. Problem sets also available.


12. Inventions and Patents (Fall 2005)
Lectures: None
Readings: Free online textbook
Study materials: None

Course with full downloadable textbook, Create or Perish, and many exemplary student papers. Also lots of good links to relevant sites.


11. Managing Innovation: Emerging Trends (Spring 2005)
Lectures: Detailed notes
Readings: Free online textbook
Study materials: None

From the Sloan school of management, Eric von Hippel's Democratizing Innovation text takes center-stage, free to download under a CC license. To support the text, the course also provides lecture notes.

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