Online courses directory (457)
This free online learning course introduces the learner to the basic principles of Psychology from both a behavioural and biological perspective. The topics include classical and operant conditioning, the brain and the nervous system, stress and states of consciousness. All ALISON graduates are entitled to certification. This free Psychology course is an excellent complement to face-to-face classes and as a study guide or for those who would like to familiarise themselves with the fundamentals of Psychology.<br />
Taxonomy and the Tree of Life. Species. Bacteria. Viruses. Human Prehistory 101: Prologue. Human Prehistory 101 Part 1: Out of (Eastern) Africa. Human Prehistory 101 Part 2: Weathering The Storm. Human Prehistory 101 Part 3: Agriculture Rocks Our World. Human Prehistory 101: Epilogue. Taxonomy and the Tree of Life. Species. Bacteria. Viruses. Human Prehistory 101: Prologue. Human Prehistory 101 Part 1: Out of (Eastern) Africa. Human Prehistory 101 Part 2: Weathering The Storm. Human Prehistory 101 Part 3: Agriculture Rocks Our World. Human Prehistory 101: Epilogue.
This class is an interdisciplinary survey that explores the experiences of people of African descent through the overlapping approaches of history, literature, anthropology, legal studies, media studies, performance, linguistics, and creative writing. It connects the experiences of African Americans and of other American minorities, focusing on social, political, and cultural histories, and on linguistic patterns. Activities include lectures, discussions, workshops, and required field trips that involve minimal cost to students.
This course offers an introduction to the history, theory, and construction of basic structural systems as well as an introduction to energy issues in buildings. It emphasizes basic systematic and elemental behavior, principles of structural behavior, and analysis of individual structural elements and strategies for load carrying. The course also introduces fundamental energy topics including thermodynamics, psychrometrics, and comfort. It is a required class for M. Arch. students.
Course in French with English subtitles -- Ce cours introduit à la vie et à la pensée du réformateur Jean Calvin (1509-1564) ainsi qu’à son influence sur le monde moderne et contemporain. La démarche proposée se veut critique, il ne s’agit ni de canoniser ni de condamner Calvin, mais de comprendre sa pensée avec toute la distance requise et d’en analyser les enjeux. -- This course is an introduction to the life and thought of the reformer John Calvin (1509-1564) and to his influence on the modern and contemporary world. The approach we develop is critical: we intend neither to canonize nor to condemn Calvin or his thought. Our goal, rather, is to avoid any rash evaluation in order to understand his thought and analyze the issues at stake in it.
The causes and prevention of interstate war are the central topics of this course. The course goal is to discover and assess the means to prevent or control war. Hence we focus on manipulable or controllable war-causes. The topics covered include the dilemmas, misperceptions, crimes and blunders that caused wars of the past; the origins of these and other war-causes; the possible causes of wars of the future; and possible means to prevent such wars, including short-term policy steps and more utopian schemes.
The historical cases covered include the Peloponnesian and Seven Years wars, World War I, World War II, Korea, the Arab-Israel conflict, and the U.S.-Iraq and U.S. al-Queda wars.
This is an undergraduate course, but it is open to graduate students.
This course explores the causes of modern war with a focus on preventable causes. Course readings cover theoretical, historical, and methodological topics. Major theories of war are explored and assessed in the first few weeks of the class, asking at each stage "are these good theories?" and "how could they be tested?" Basic social scientific inference -- what are theories? What are good theories? How should theories be framed and tested? -- and case study methodology are also discussed. The second half of the course explores the history of the outbreak of some major wars. We use these cases as raw material for case studies, asking "if these episodes were the subject of case studies, how should those studies be performed, and what could be learned from them?"
This course is the continuation of 21F104/108. It is designed to further help students develop sophisticated conversational, reading and writing skills by combining traditional textbook material with their own explorations of Chinese speaking societies, using the human, literary, and electronic resources available at in the Boston area. Some of special features of Chinese society, its culture, its customs and habits, its history, and the psychology of its people are be introduced. The class consists of reading, discussion, composition, network exploration, and conversational practice. The course is conducted in Mandarin.
This course is the continuation of 21F105. It is designed to further help students develop sophisticated conversational, reading and writing skills by combining traditional textbook material with their own explorations of Chinese speaking societies, using the human, literary, and electronic resources available at MIT and in the Boston area. Some special features of Chinese society, its culture, its customs and habits, its history, and the psychology of its people are introduced. The class consists of reading, discussion, composition, network exploration, and conversational practice. The course is conducted in Mandarin.
Urbanization is reaching a new peak in the contemporary world with the rise of mega cities. Researchers try to make sense of these large urban areas using a variety of concepts. The class will review debates and present social science models of cities to analyse and compare contemporary developments.
Citizen participation is everywhere. Invoking it has become de rigueur when discussing cities and regions in the developing world. From the World Bank to the World Social Forum, the virtues of participation are extolled: From its capacity to "deepen democracy" to its ability to improve governance, there is no shortage to the benefits it can bring. While it is clear that participation cannot possibly "do" all that is claimed, it is also clear that citizen participation cannot be dismissed, and that there must be something to it. Figuring out what that something is — whether it is identifying the types of participation or the contexts in which it happens that bring about desirable outcomes — is the goal of the class.
What does it mean for an immigrant to become a U.S. citizen? Through a background of historical and policy perspectives, this course will examine U.S. law governing how citizenship is acquired, the constitutional and international law foundations underlying immigration regulation, the role of the federal government in regulating immigration, and immigration law reform.
City to City, as a class, will jump into the complexity of planning in New Orleans, a post-disaster city. City-to-City will ask how a post-disaster city grapple with its ideas of identity, what it is, who it represents, and how it projects its sense of self to residences, businesses, tourists, and to the outside world. In considering its people, how do city planners think about who lives where and why? At the same time, how can city planners celebrate a city's history and its culture and how can these elements be woven into reconstruction? Students will travel from Cambridge to New Orleans over Spring Break to meet and consult with their alumni clients, and continue to work on projects.
This class is intended to introduce students to understandings of the city generated from both social science literature and the field of urban design. The first part of the course examines literature on the history and theory of the city. Among other factors, it pays special attention to the larger territorial settings in which cities emerged and developed (ranging from the global to the national to the regional context) and how these affected the nature, character, and functioning of cities and the lives of their inhabitants. The remaining weeks focus more explicitly on the theory and practice of design visions for the city, the latter in both utopian and realized form. One of our aims will be to assess the conditions under which a variety of design visions were conceived, and to assess them in terms of the varying patterns of territorial "nestedness" (local, regional, national, imperial, and global) examined in the first part of the course. Another will be to encourage students to think about the future prospects of cities (in terms of territorial context or other political functions and social aims) and to offer design visions that might reflect these new dynamics.
This graduate seminar examines civic engagement in international, national and local environmental governance. We will consider theories pertaining to civil society development, social movement mobilization, and the relations that nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have with governments and corporations. During the course of the semester, particular attention will be given to the legitimacy and accountability of NGOs. Case studies of NGO and community responses to specific environmental issues will be used to illustrate theoretical issues and assess the impacts that these actors have on environmental policy and planning.
In recent years both scholars and policymakers have expressed a remarkable amount of interest in the concepts of social capital and civil society. A growing body of research suggests that the social networks, community norms, and associational activities signified by these concepts can have important effects on social welfare, political stability, economic development, and governmental performance. This discussion based course examines the roles played by these networks, norms, and organizations in outcomes ranging from local public goods provision and the performance of democracies to ethnic conflict and funding for terrorism.
This course surveys the social science literature on civil war. Students will study the origins of civil war, discuss variables that affect the duration of civil war, and examine the termination of conflict. This course is highly interdisciplinary and covers a wide variety of cases.