OpenFiction [Blog]

Differential Equations now available in MIT OpenCourseWare’s innovative OCW Scholar format

Posted in MIT OpenCourseWare, open education, Open Educational Resources, OpenCourseWare by scarsonmsm on February 8, 2012

18.03SC is the second of seven courses OCW will publish this spring specifically to meet the needs of independent learners.

CAMBRIDGE, MA, February 6, 2012—MIT OpenCourseWare has released a new version of Differential Equations in the innovative OCW Scholar format designed for independent learners. Organized by Professor Haynes Miller and Dr. Jeremy Orloff, 18.03SC Differential Equations includes lecture videos, exams and solutions, and interactive Java® demonstrations. Differential equations are important to scientists and engineers who need to model natural systems and solve engineering problems.

The original version of 18.03 Differential Equations was first published on OCW in 2004 and has regularly been among the most visited courses on the site, attracting more than 30,000 users each month. Both the original version and the new Scholar version include video recorded in the MIT classroom by renowned math professor Arthur Mattuck. In 1992, Professor Mattuck was among the first group of faculty to be designated Margaret MacVicar Fellows, which recognizes faculty who have made exemplary and sustained contributions to the teaching and education of undergraduates at MIT.

“It’s a real thrill to integrate these outstanding lectures into a format specifically designed to support online learning,” said Professor Miller. “It brings the best of the classroom together with new learning approaches enabled by the Internet.” Professor Miller is also a MacVicar Fellow.

OCW Scholar courses represent a new approach to OCW publication. MIT faculty, staff, and students work closely with the OCW team to structure the course materials for independent learners. These courses offer more materials than typical OCW courses and include new custom-created content. In addition to the lecture videos, exams, and demonstrations, the OCW Scholar version of Differential Equations includes course notes, problem sets and solutions, and a unique series of video problem solving sessions recorded specifically for this publication.

The first five of a planned 20 OCW Scholar courses were launched by MIT OpenCourseWare in January 2011, and have collectively received more than 800,000 visits in less than a year. The initial OCW Scholar courses included Classical Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism, Solid State Chemistry, Single Variable Calculus, and Multivariable Calculus.

Linear Algebra was published earlier this year, and Differential Equations is the second of seven OCW Scholar courses that will be published in 2012. Other upcoming OCW Scholar courses include Principles of Microeconomics, Introduction to Psychology, Fundamentals of Biology, Introduction to Electrical Engineering and Computer Science I, and Introduction to Computer Science and Programming. OCW Scholar courses are published on the OCW site with the support of the Stanton Foundation.

About MIT OpenCourseWare

MIT OpenCourseWare makes the materials used in the teaching of substantially all of MIT’s undergraduate and graduate courses—more than 2,100 in all—available on the Web, free of charge, to any user in the world. OCW receives an average of 1.75 million web site visits per month from more than 215 countries and territories worldwide. To date, more than 100 million individuals have accessed OCW materials. MIT OpenCourseWare is supported by donations from site visitors, grants and corporate sponsorship.

About the Instructors

Arthur Mattuck has been Professor of Mathematics at MIT since 1965. He has been widely recognized as one of the Institute’s most effective and innovative lecturers. His lecture videos on Differential Equations, which are a part of this course, were first published on OCW in 2004 and have been seen by millions of people around the world.

Haynes Miller is a Professor of Mathematics at MIT. In 2005 he was made an MIT MacVicar Faculty Fellow in recognition of his outstanding contributions to undergraduate education. He has taught Differential Equations many times and was the prime mover behind its current design. Professor Miller contributed many of the materials used in this OCW Scholar course. He was also the principal investigator behind the development of the Interactive Java Demonstrations called Mathlets used in this course.

Dr. Jeremy Orloff is a lecturer in the Department of Mathematics and in the Experimental Study Group at MIT. He has taught Differential Equations many times. Dr. Orloff was the lead content developer of this OCW Scholar course and worked closely with MIT OpenCourseWare on its development.

About the Stanton Foundation

The Stanton Foundation was created by Frank Stanton, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest executives in the history of electronic communications. During his 25 years as president of CBS, he turned a lesser-known radio network into a broadcasting powerhouse. Stanton made many historic contributions to the industry and to the society it served. In 1960, he initiated the first televised presidential debates—the famous Nixon-Kennedy “Great Debates”—which required a special Act of Congress before they could proceed. He also spearheaded the creation of the first coast-to-coast broadcasting system, allowing CBS to become the first network to present a news event live across the continental United States, a speech by President Truman at the opening of the Japanese Peace Conference in San Francisco. Frank Stanton was the commencement speaker at MIT in 1961.

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