Category Archives: Five-star professors

Adventures in MOOC-land

To hear Sebastian Thrun tell it, some folks like a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) even better than a real world lecture class. Thrun, the founder of Udacity, discovered that some of his Stanford University students liked the online version … Continue reading

Posted in Courses, Fantasy, Five-star professors, Literature, MOOC, Writing | Tagged , | 10 Comments

Shed a tear: UCLA erases courses

Yes, it’s happened again. UCLA did some housecleaning on its podcast website, and erased all courses prior to fall quarter 2011. That means some great content has faded into the ether, but it’s also a timely reminder to download online … Continue reading

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Interpreting the Bible

The Bible is one of the foundational texts of the Western tradition and Harvard historian Shaye Cohen’s course The Hebrew Scriptures in Judaism and Christianity (iTunes) gives a lively introduction to the different ways believing Christians and Jews have interpreted … Continue reading

Posted in Bible, Courses, Five-star professors, History, iTunesU, Jewish studies, Religion | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Spring classes now underway

Spring quarter classes are now underway at UCSD and UCLA. As usual, the UCSD podcast page offers an impressive array of courses (I count 89), but in a new and troubling development, some of the courses are hidden behind a … Continue reading

Posted in Academic podcasts, Courses, Five-star professors, History, Sociology | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The epic of the epic

The grand tale known as the epic is an ancient genre that goes back to the dawn of literature.¬† Think of the heroes battling for glory in the Aeneid, or the fall of Adam and Eve in Paradise Lost. To … Continue reading

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A new look at Rococo

The Rococo style of European art has always left me cold: too pastel, too frivolous, too pretty. I’m more into¬† the Renaissance painters and the Impressionists. But with UCSD art historian William Norman Bryson as my guide in his new … Continue reading

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New UC Berkeley classes on iTunes

The new spring semester UC Berkeley classes are up on iTunesU, and you can see them on the webcast.Berkeley site if you click here. A few old friends are back. Principles of Economics, J. Bradford DeLong (iTunes, course website) DeLong … Continue reading

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Classes to start at UCSD, UCLA

The new rosters of course podcasts are now online for UC San Diego and UCLA. A couple of my favorite profs are making return appearances. At UCLA, Thomas Bradbury will be teaching another edition of his great psychology course Intimate … Continue reading

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Kabbalah-the real deal

A New Age, pop-culture version of the venerable Jewish mystical tradition known as Kabbalah has been fashionable of late, attracting the likes of Madonna and other celebrities. But if you’re curious to find out what authentic Kabbalah is all about, … Continue reading

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Chaos helps explain biology

I’ve raved before about Robert Sapolsky’s fantastic Stanford course Human Behavioral Biology (iTunes), but I have to draw your attention to two stand-out lectures near the end of the course. In lectures 21 and 22, Sapolsky talks about how the … Continue reading

Posted in Academic podcasts, Biology, Five-star professors, iTunesU, Math | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments