Unfortunately there was a bit of a scandal on... - Deepstash

Unfortunately there was a bit 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 find online than they used to be. But since nothing ever truly gets removed from the internet, I think they’re still worth watching if you want to learn physics.

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Economics is probably the subject I use most in my daily thinking. If you’re keen on learning mental models by which to see reality, economics is a really good place to start.

Cowen and Tabbarock write the popular economics blog Marginal Revolution and teach at George Mason University. Their foray into online education has produced some truly stellar video courses. Their micro and macro courses are quite good, and they manage to convey complicated ideas about the economy without veering into too much abstraction.

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Honestly, this course is worth watching just to witness one of the best teachers of all time. Sandel teaches moral philosophy, not always known for being the most gripping topic. Yet the lectures are compelling, as students debate real-world examples that illustrate philosophical principles.

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  • Intro Biology by Eric Lander — Great lectures on biology, especially those taught by Lander. The only annoyance is that this course is stitched together from multiple segments rather than complete lectures. Nonetheless, the sections on genetics are really well done.
  • Poker Theory and Analytics by Kevin Desmond — Fun class on the math behind poker betting. I took this when working on a poker programming project.
  • Being and Time by Hubert Dreyfus — Dreyfus has a ton of audio-only courses on Contintental philosophers. His one on Heidegger is the best.

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3.  Learning How to Learn — Terrence Sejnowski and Barbara Oakl

Coursera’s most popular course , this one also happens to be taught by my friend, Barbara Oakley. The course is engaging and easy to follow, using neuroscience and psychology to illustrate the principles for studying better.

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I have to admit, when this course first came out, I was a little nervous since my income depends a lot on my own, paid learning course . But, I’ve since come to appreciate that learning better is a pretty broad subject, so there’s always going to be more to teach (and learn). Nonetheless, I recommend this course as a useful resource!

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Walter Lewin’s physics lectures (both classical and electromagnetism) were the ones I followed during the MIT Challenge . They’re some of the finest classes I’ve ever taken online. Lewin manages to explain deep concepts about how the world works through exciting experiments. He’s also really good at drawing dotted lines .

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While I highly enjoyed Allan Adams MIT quantum physics class , the math requirements are fairly steep. The amount of people who both have the math and physics requirements, but somehow didn’t study quantum mechanics in their undergraduate education, might be fairly limiting so I didn’t include it here. (That said, the first lecture of the class is math-free and very well done, so I recommend it, even if you don’t know calculus.)

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Beautifully animated and tightly scripted, this is a course specifically developed for a YouTube audience. I enjoyed this course immensely when it first came out, giving a good overview of many different historical events.

Crash Course now has many courses on different topics , so they’re a great resource if you prefer this style to chalkboard or PowerPoint lectures.

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8. Immunology — Alma Novotny (Rice)

A four-part course series on the immune system , I coincidentally started taking this one shortly before the coronavirus pandemic began.

This course builds a great foundation for these topics. The cute illustrations of various immune cells too are also a plus, as someone who likes to communicate ideas visually can appreciate.

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I realized, after creating this list, how many good courses I’ve taken that couldn’t fit. So here’s a short list of some honorable mentions:

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6. Medical Neuroscience — Leonard White (Duke)

This course is the best one I’ve found on neuroscience. White gives a detailed walkthough of how the brain works. He even shows actual human brain tissue on camera, along with copious diagrams and slides.

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This was a course I just finished watching recently, after a reader suggested it for my effort to learn more biology .

I found the course really engaging, especially the first semester. While organic chemistry is often one of those feared courses for memorization and complexity, McBride manages to convey the fundamental ideas through the lens of scientific discovery.

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Richard Feynman is my all-time intellectual hero. He does a brilliant job here of explaining quantum mechanics — without using any math. I would have thought it was impossible, but somehow Feynman manages to pull it off. (And barefoot, no less!).

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This course started the MOOC explosion, with Ng leaving his Stanford teaching position to launch Coursera. This course has gone through 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 .

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  • Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos by Steven Strogatz — The math behind the Butterfly Effect and why reality can be inherently unpredictable.
  • Systems Biology by Uri Alon — Fascinating machinery of human cells, from gene regulation to why we get Type II diabetes.
  • Programming Paradigms by Jerry Cain — One of my first-ever online courses. Part of the impetus to do the MIT Challenge.

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Have an end goal in mind when you're learning.

  • What do you want to do with this information?
  • How is it going to improve your life?

Even if you just want to do it for fun, find a project you can't do without learning the skill.

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Monetization is the *final* phase of a project

Monetization is the last thing that happens in the whole creation cycle. All the work has to be done upfront though. And even if you have cash, all of this needs to happen without even a minimal reward to spur you on.

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Science explains nature rationally and logically

Science successfully explains natural phenomena through rational investigation and logical reasoning rather than by recourse to superstition and mysticism.

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