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What is a MOOC ?

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are free online courses that anybody can take, and those who complete the course can earn an official certificate for a fee. Top universities around the world offer MOOCs, and the total number of registered learners on the Coursera and edX platforms has reached more than 130 million. Along with self improvement, learners are using MOOCs to improve their professional skills, and the individually validated certificates are helping learners advance in the workplace and make career changes.

Featured Courses

edX

Transnational Studies - Japan and the World

The contemporary world is marked by a curious state of tension. On the one hand, it is deeply globalized, with goods, people, culture and ideas circulating across borders on an unprecedented scale. Neither can two of the major crises we are facing, climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, be contained on the level of individual states. Yet, nation states are still the most powerful political entities in the world, and nationalism is resurging, mobilizing the imagination and aspirations of people everywhere. Academic knowledge, too, is still often aligned with national borders and categories. Transnational studies is an interdisciplinary field that lives in the interstices of this tension. It reflects on why the “nation” has come to have such a powerful grip on the human imagination and social organization. It offers approaches that follow the historical and contemporary movement of ideas, things, people and practices beyond (= “trans”) national borders, explores how they are transformed along the way, and analyzes what enables and limits these movements. In this course, you will gain foundational knowledge about how to think transnationally. An initial module which introduces key concepts and approaches in transnational studies will be followed by four modules that use concrete case studies centered on Japan to spotlight how the transnational can be fruitfully employed across different disciplines, from history to sustainability studies. In doing so, the course offers foundational knowledge in how to navigate the complexities of our globalized world.

Michael FACIUS (Associate Professor, TOKYO COLLEGE, The University of Tokyo) Hannah DAHLBERG-DODD (Project Assistant Professor, TOKYO COLLEGE, The University of Tokyo) HANEDA Masashi (Project Professor, TOKYO COLLEGE, The University of Tokyo) Marcin Pawel Jarzebski (Project Assistant Professor, TOKYO COLLEGE, The University of Tokyo)

edX

Four Facets of Contemporary Japanese Architecture: Theory

This series will explore four facets of contemporary Japanese architecture; theory, technology, city, and humans. It will also span five generations of architects since Kenzo Tange. Through lectures by instructors and discussions with the most influential Japanese architects, the course will trace the development of contemporary Japanese architecture and will consider its future direction. In this first course, we will focus on one of the four facets of Japanese architecture: theory. The theory portion will feature discussions with architects who played a significant role in influencing the development of theoretical frameworks that contributed to guiding contemporary Japanese architecture. Terunobu Fujimori, Arata Isozaki, Hisao Kohyama, Kengo Kuma, Hidetoshi Ohno, and Kazuyo Sejima will visit their buildings and discuss the ideas behind their respective works. In the coming courses on technology, city, and humans, the following leading Japanese architects will discuss their work — Tadao Ando, Shigeru Ban, Manabu Chiba, Sou Fujimoto, Hiroshi Hara, Itsuko Hasegawa, Toyo Ito, Kengo Kuma, Fumihiko Maki, Kazuhiko Namba, Yusuke Obuchi, Satoko Shinohara, Yoshiharu Tsukamoto, and Riken Yamamoto. Don’t miss the rest of this great series!

KUMA Kengo (University Professor, Office of University Professor, The University of Tokyo) OBUCHI Yusuke (Associate Professor, Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo)

Coursera

Words Spun Out of Images: Visual and Literary Culture in Nineteenth Century Japan

In their ambition to capture “real life,” Japanese painters, poets, novelists and photographers of the nineteenth century collaborated in ways seldom explored by their European contemporaries. This course offers learners the chance to encounter and appreciate behavior, moral standards and some of the material conditions surrounding Japanese artists in the nineteenth century, in order to renew our assumptions about what artistic “realism” is and what it meant. Learners will walk away with a clear understanding of how society and the individual were conceived of and represented in early modern Japan. Unlike contemporary western art forms, which acknowledge their common debt as “sister arts” but remain divided by genre and discourse, Japanese visual and literary culture tended to combine, producing literary texts inspired by visual images, and visual images which would then be inscribed with poems and prose. Noticing and being able to interpret this indivisibility of visual/literary cultures is essential in understanding the social and psychological values embedded within the beauty of Japanese art.

Robert CAMPBELL (Emeritus Professor)

Coursera

Interactive Computer Graphics

Computer graphics can be a powerful tool for supporting visual problem solving, and interactivity plays a central role in harnessing the users' creativity. This course will introduce various interactive tools developed in computer graphics research field with their design rationales and algorithms. Examples include enhancements to graphical user interfaces, authoring tools for 2D drawings and 3D animations, and interactive computer-aided design systems. Rich live demonstrations and course assignments will give you insights and skills to design and implement such tools for your own problems.

IGARASHI Takeo (Professor, Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo)

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