Online courses directory (5)
This class is divided into a series of sections or "modules", each of which concentrates on a particular large technology-related topic in a cultural context. The class will start with a four-week module on Samurai Swords and Blacksmithing, followed by smaller units on Chinese Cooking, the Invention of Clocks, and Andean Weaving, and end with a four-week module on Automobiles and Engines. In addition, there will be a series of hands-on projects that tie theory and practice together. The class discussions range across anthropology, history, and individual development, emphasizing recurring themes, such as the interaction between technology and culture and the relation between "skill" knowledge and "craft" knowledge.
Culture Tech evolved from a more extensive, two-semester course which formed the centerpiece of the Integrated Studies Program at MIT. For 13 years, ISP was an alternative first-year program combining humanities, physics, learning-by-doing, and weekly luncheons. Culture Tech represents the core principles of ISP distilled into a 6-unit seminar. Although many collections of topics have been used over the years, the modules presented here are a representative sequence.
Furniture making is in many ways like bridge building, connections holding posts apart with spans to support a deck. Many architects have tried their hand at furniture design, Wright, Mies Van Der Rohe, Aalto, Saarinen, Le Corbusier, and Gerhy.
We will review the history of furniture making in America with a visit to the Decorative Arts Collection at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and have Cambridge artist/craftsman Mitch Ryerson show us his work and talk about design process. Students will learn traditional woodworking techniques beginning with the use of hand tools, power tools and finally woodworking machines.
Students will build a single piece of furniture of an original design that must support someone weighing 185 lbs. sitting on it 12 inches off the ground made primarily of wood. Students should expect to spend approximately 80 hours in the shop outside of class time.
Preregistered architecture students will get first priority but first meeting attendance is mandatory. Twelve student maximum, no exceptions.
The last century ushered in significant progress. Philosophers, scientists, artists, and poets overthrew our understanding of the physical world, of human behavior, of thought and its limits, and of art, creativity, and beauty. Scientific progress improved the way we lived across the world. Yet the last century also brought increased levels of war, tyranny, and genocide. Man pushed boundaries of good and evil, right and wrong, justice and injustice – and people lost faith in values. Now, thinkers and leaders are reconstructing theories of value and creating institutions to embody them. Join this thought-provoking, broad-sweeping course as it draws intriguing connections between philosophy, art, literature, and history, illuminating our world and our place in it. Before your course starts, try the new edX Demo where you can explore the fun, interactive learning environment and virtual labs. Learn more.
This course is being offered in an experimental format. Students are welcome to audit the course, and participate in all course activities. Certificates will not be issued.
This course is designed to help you become a more effective and confident public speaker. We will demystify the process of writing, practicing, and performing a clear and engaging speech, work through the unique traits of oral versus written communication, and learn how to prepare speeches that are easier to deliver orally and understand aurally.
One of the best ways to refine your own speech ability is through a close study of others' speeches. We will have a number of opportunities to examine and discuss sample speeches and speakers. Growing out of our analysis of speakers, we will discuss who you hold up as a model speaker and analyze what makes that speaker effective. We will critically examine our own speeches and the speeches of others. By becoming a student of public speaking, you join a long history of rhetorical study dating back to ancient Greece.
This course is adapted from a similar class offered by the Bachelor of Arts in Integrated Social Sciences, a fully online degree completion program from the University of Washington.
This course will introduce you to the field known as Science and Technology Studies (STS). STS is an interdisciplinary field that examines how science and technology shape societies, cultures, and the environment and how social, cultural, and environmental factors shape the development of science and technology. These rich connections are most easily seen in areas such as the Internet and other digital technologies; the biological sciences (including biotechnology, genetics, and genomics); medical sciences and technologies; energy sciences and technologies; and ecological and environmental sciences. STS also studies the history of science, focusing on how social and cultural values and interests have shaped science and technology. This course begins with an introduction to STS and continues by examining the nature of science according to various philosophical perspectives. In the process, you will be introduced to key terms necessary for understanding those perspectives. When you have finished this course,…