Algebra is the language of modern mathematics. This course introduces students to that language through a study of groups, group actions, vector spaces, linear algebra, and the theory of fields.
Harvard Extension School
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Modern China presents a dual image: a society transforming itself through economic development and social revolution; and the world’s largest and oldest bureaucratic state, coping with longstanding problems of economic and political management. Both images bear the indelible imprint of China’s historical experience, of its patterns of philosophy and religion, and of its social and political thought.
In this free Chinese studies online course, these themes are discussed to understand China in the modern world and as a great world civilization that developed along lines different from those of the Mediterranean.
Photography has exploded in recent years as digital cameras have become affordable and easier to use. There are many courses that teach students the artistic aspect of "how to become a better photographer" or "how to improve your eye," but this is not one of them. Instead, students—from one-time users to professionals—become better photographers through an understanding of the technical aspects and terms of a digital camera. Learn why photos look blurry at night, why color management is important, what the difference between sports mode and portrait mode on the camera's dial is, and how to manipulate the camera without the need of these modes in the first place. Topics include exposure and metering, flash, dynamic range, CMOS and CCD sensors, color filter arrays, RAW versus JPEG formats, color spaces and profiles, editing photos with Photoshop, and optical and computational artifacts. Through lectures and hands-on assignments, students understand the jargon and compromises of digital photography that ultimately expose the workings of digital cameras. You are not required to own a digital camera, but if you do, one with a manual mode and an option for RAW is recommended.
The true “hero” of this ancient Greek literature course is the logos, or word, of logical reasoning, as activated by Socratic dialogue. The logos of dialogue requires careful thinking, realized in close reading and reflective writing. The last “word” read in the course comes from Plato’s memories of the last days of Socrates. These memories depend on a thorough understanding of concepts of the hero in all their varieties throughout the history of Greek civilization and beyond. This course is driven by a sequence of dialogues that lead to such an understanding, guiding the attentive reader through some of the major works of the ancient Greek classics, from Homer to Plato.
This online math course develops the mathematics needed to formulate and analyze probability models for idealized situations drawn from everyday life. Topics include elementary set theory, techniques for systematic counting, axioms for probability, conditional probability, discrete random variables, infinite geometric series, and random walks. Applications to card games like bridge and poker, to gambling, to sports, to election results, and to inference in fields like history and genealogy, national security, and theology. The emphasis is on careful application of basic principles rather than on memorizing and using formulas.
This course is all about understanding: understanding what's going on inside your computer when you flip on the switch, why tech support has you constantly rebooting your computer, how everything you do on the Internet can be watched by others, and how your computer can become infected with a worm just by turning it on. In this course we demystify computers and the Internet, along with their jargon, so that students understand not only what they can do with each but also how it all works and why. Students leave this course armed with a new vocabulary and equipped for further exploration of computers and the Internet. Topics include hardware, software, the Internet, multimedia, security, website development, programming, and dotcoms. This course is designed both for those with little, if any, computer experience and for those who use a computer every day.
The course World War and Society in the Twentieth Century: World War II is a thematic exploration of the war and its time through feature films, primary sources, and scholarly interpretations.
It seeks to provide a means for analyzing and evaluating what one reads or sees about World War II in terms of historical accuracy and for gaining a broader understanding of different perspectives. Themes include the impact of war on soldiers and civilians, on the home front, women in war, the Japanese and German viewpoints, and postwar issues. Films include Mrs. Miniver, The Pianist, The Winter War, So Proudly We Hail, Taking Sides, The Hiding Place, and The Cranes Are Flying.