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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)

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)

edX

Quantum Mechanics of Molecular Structures

Knowing the geometrical structure of the molecules around us is one of the most important and fundamental issues in the field of chemistry. This course introduces the two primary methods used to determine the geometrical structure of molecules: molecular spectroscopy and gas electron diffraction. In molecular spectroscopy, molecules are irradiated with light or electric waves to reveal rich information, including: Motions of electrons within a molecule (Week 1), Vibrational motions of the nuclei within a molecule (Week 2), and Rotational motions of a molecule (Week 3). In the gas electron diffraction method, molecules are irradiated with an accelerated electron beam. As the beam is scattered by the nuclei within the molecule, the scattered waves interfere with each other to generate a diffraction pattern. In week 4, we study the fundamental mechanism of electron scattering and how the resulting diffraction images reveal the geometrical structure of molecules. By the end of the course, you will be able to understand molecular vibration plays an important role in determining the geometrical structure of molecules and gain a fuller understanding of molecular structure from the information obtained by the two methodologies.

YAMANOUCHI Kaoru (Professor, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo)

edX

Basic Analytical Chemistry

Analytical chemistry takes a prominent position among all fields of experimental sciences, ranging from fundamental studies of Nature to industrial or clinical applications.Analytical chemistry covers the fundamentals of experimental and analytical methods and the role of chemistry around us. This course introduces the principles of analytical chemistry and provides how these principles are applied in chemistry and related disciplines - especially in life sciences, environmental sciences and geochemistry. This course, regardless of your background, will teach you fundamental analytical concepts and their practical applications. By the end of the course, you will deeply understand analytical methodologies in a systematic manner. Finally, this course will help you develop critical, independent reasoning that you can apply to new problems in chemistry and its related fields. This course is for anyone interested in analytical sciences.

OZAWA Takeaki (Professor, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo) CHIU Liang-da (Project Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo)

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