MIT Gives It All Away

By Deane Barker on September 5, 2003

MIT OpenCourseWare: MIT is offering all their courseware online for free. Seriously.

“MIT OCW is large-scale, Web-based electronic publishing initiative funded jointly by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and MIT. Its goals are to:

  1. Provide free, searchable, coherent access to MIT’s course materials for educators in the non-profit sector, students, and individual learners around the world.
  2. Create an efficient, standards-based model that other universities may emulate to publish their own course materials.”

I snooped around for a while, but I couldn’t find anything I could really dig my teeth into. I did, however, get a glimpse into how hardcore MIT is.

In the assignment list for MAS 863: “How to Make (Almost) Anything,” one of them has a crude drawing of a machine part of some kind. Here are the instructions:

  1. “Make a 3D rendering of this part, including dimensions. For extra credit, use trueSpace to make a rendering of flying through it to show the threads.
  2. Machine it out of aluminum.
  3. For extra credit, model and animate its fundamental mode in ANSYS and find the resonant frequency.”

I love the nonchalance of the second instruction. Yeah, I’ll get right on that.

Has anyone else looked around here? Can you find any really good instructional content? Or are these just notes and assignments that aren’t worth much when taken out of context?