Have some free time and want to use it to expand your knowledge?
You’re in luck. Thousands of free online courses are starting up in August, and two from Hebrew U are not to be missed.
MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are a great way to partake in lessons from top universities around the world, in the comfort of your own home.
If you’re interested in enrolling without earning credit, the classes are free. Just be sure to select the Audit or No Certificate option while signing up. Those looking for certification are able to do so, for a fee.
Open Culture has compiled a list of August MOOCs that covers everything from ancient philosophy to the music of The Rolling Stones – www.openculture.com/free_certificate_courses.
Here are 2 MOOCs from Hebrew University featured in the August list:
Israel is a country that draws a lot of attention around the globe. Both those who support Israel and those who are critical of its geopolitical standing and policies, often have a limited knowledge about Israeli society and its political system. This course presents Israel from multiple perspectives – political, social, economic and cultural – in an attempt to expose learners to cutting-edge academic research on the country.
Each of the 13 sessions focuses on one aspect of Israeli society. Every session starts with a general introduction of the issue at hand, hosting one expert or more, who share their most recent studies and insights on that specific field. Every 15 minutes or so, students are asked to answer an informative quiz comprised of a single question. Upon completion of each class, an online chat will be opened. Students studying for credit are expected to participate in it, ask relevant questions and answer questions about the required readings for this class.
Students will graduate from this course with a better understanding of Israeli society, better knowledge of its history, politics and economy, and a better acquaintance with the various groups which make up Israeli society.
These are unique times for brain research. The aperitif for the course will highlight the present “brain-excitements” worldwide. You will then become intimately acquainted with the operational principles of neuronal “life-ware” (synapses, neurons and the networks that they form) and consequently, on how neurons behave as computational microchips and how they plastically and constantly change – a process that underlies learning and memory. Recent heroic attempts to realistically simulate large cortical networks in the computer will be highlighted (e.g., “the Blue Brain Project”) and processes related to perception, cognition and emotions in the brain will be discussed. For dessert, we will deliberate on the future of brain research, including the questions of “brain and art”, consciousness and free will. For more information, see the course promo below and read “About the course.”