MIT - the Massachusetts Institute of Technology - is undoubtedly one of the most famous homes of advanced learning in the world. In the field of sciences and technology of all manners, it's the most famous, and it offers the most exclusive, the most sought-after education to the technological visionaries of the next generation. So it's a huge deal for self-learners and anyone for whom the many subjects taught at MIT hold fascination, when the Institute opens its doors to the public, for free.
Well, not exactly its doors, more like its filing cabinets and cupboards, wherein may be found course notes, lecture notes, video and audio multimedia and exam papers, in some cases going back a few years but still relevant, and in other cases much more up to date. It's what the Institute calls OCW, or Open Course Work, and anyone with an internet connection may simply come here and dive straight in to materials that nobody outside of a very small and fortunate academic community has been able to access before.
Amongst the most popular courses, it's no surprise to find Introduction to Computer Science at the top. But even Single Variable Calculus makes an appearance in third place, suggesting that I probably have nothing in common with the sort of people attracted to this site. Well, not based on my achievements in pure math at school, anyway.
I was surprised to find philosophy and language studies present here, as are several writing courses, as related to gender, womens' and race studies. A little something for the arts people at MIT? I wouldn't have guessed.
These are not, of course, full courses being handed out for free, nor are they all this year's courses. They are fragments and collections of artifacts, but none the less important for that. Here are opportunities to read, hear, and see the lectures you couldn't hope to experience in any other way or any other place. And all free, no registration required. A remarkably generous sharing of knowledge.
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