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Natural and Social Sciences

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Earth Sciences
Date: 
Monday, October 2, 2017 to Monday, November 27, 2017
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About this course

This course teaches scientists to become more effective writers, using practical examples and exercises. Topics include: principles of good writing, tricks for writing faster and with less anxiety, the format of a scientific manuscript, peer review, grant writing, ethical issues in scientific publication, and writing for general audiences.

Who is this class for

This course is for undergraduate and graduate students; medical students; scientists; medical professionals; and science writers.

About the Instructor

Kristin Sainani (née Cobb) is an associate professor at Stanford University and also a health and science writer. After receiving an MS in statistics and a PhD in epidemiology from Stanford University, she studied science writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She has taught statistics and writing at Stanford for more than a decade and has received several Excellence in Teaching Awards from the graduate program in epidemiology.

Dr. Sainani writes about science and health for a range of audiences. She authored the health column Body News for Allure magazine for a decade. She is also the statistical editor for the journal Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation; and she authors a statistics column, Statistically Speaking, for this journal.

 

 


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Date: 
Tuesday, October 17, 2017 to Friday, December 1, 2017
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BRIEF COURSE DESCRIPTION

Former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry and a team of international experts explore the threat of nuclear terrorism in this 5-week long course, for which you can earn a signed Statement of Accomplishment.

ABOUT THIS COURSE

Welcome to “Living With the Danger of Nuclear Terrorism.”

“Today, the danger of some sort of nuclear catastrophe is greater than it was during the Cold War, and most people are blissfully unaware of this danger.”

I wrote these words three years ago, and the danger has only increased. I believe strongly that we must educate ourselves on these dangers; that belief led me to create my first online course, “Living at the Nuclear Brink.” It had a very broad range, from physics to history to politics and diplomacy. I am following up that course with this new one, which is focused on one particular danger: nuclear terrorism. The course is shorter, lasting five weeks, and goes into much more detail on this one topic. Our faculty consists of internationally renowned experts, scientists, political activists and scholars; the one thing they share is a strong commitment to the urgency of educating people on this important topic. In some of the sessions, you will also hear students actively participating in the conversation.

You will have an opportunity to obtain a Statement of Accomplishment, by watching the lecture videos and completing the weekly Peer Assessment tasks, but there are no prerequisites other than curiosity and a passion for learning. We do not have required reading, but under the Additional Resources tab you will find numerous books, articles, web links and videos to enhance your experience. In addition, we offer a Nukes in the News section to add topicality. The more you participate, the more you will get out of your experience.

Our course differs from most online courses in a fundamental way: our goal is not just to provide facts, but to inspire you to take action. You have the power to make a difference, and I believe this course will give you knowledge and hopefully motivation to do so. You can read more about the subject, and find ways to become involved, by visiting the website of the William J. Perry Project: www.wjperryproject.org.

William J. Perry

PREREQUISITES

There are no prerequisites for this course except for curiosity in the subject and a passion for learning.

COURSE OUTLINE

Week 1: Who Are the Terrorists? What Do They Want?

Dr. William J. Perry, Dr. Graham Allison, Dr. Martha Crenshaw

Week 2: What Are the Historical and Contemporary Security Issues with Nuclear Weapons and Materials?

Dr. William J. Perry, Dr. Graham Allison, Dr. David Holloway, Valerie Plame Wilson

Week 3: Could a Terrorist Group Make a Nuclear Bomb? If a Terrorist Group Made an Improvised Nuclear Device, Could They Deliver It to One of Our Cities?

Dr. William J. Perry, Dr. Stephen Flynn, Dr. Joseph Martz

Week 4: What Would Be the Consequences of an Improvised Nuclear Device's Detonation in a U.S. City?

Dr. William J. Perry, Dr. Lynn Eden, Dr. Alex Wellerstein

Week 5: What Has Been Done to Lower the Likelihood of a Nuclear Terror Event, or to Mitigate the Damage if We Experience One?

Dr. William J. Perry, Dr. Graham Allison, Dr. Rachel Bronson, Dr. Jeffrey Lewis, Rep. Ellen Tauscher

COURSE STAFF

 

William J. Perry

Dr. William J. Perry was the 19th Secretary of Defense for the United States, serving from February 1994 to January 1997. He previously served as Deputy Secretary of Defense (1993-1994) and as Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (1977-1981). Dr. Perry is the Michael and Barbara Berberian Professor (emeritus) at Stanford University. He is a Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute and the Hoover Institution, and he serves as Director of the Preventive Defense Project. In 2013, Dr. Perry founded the William J. Perry Project (www.wjperryproject.org) to engage and educate the public on the dangers of nuclear weapons in the 21st century.

 

Graham Allison

Graham Allison is the Douglas Dillon Professor of Government at Harvard’s Kennedy School and former Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. He is a leading analyst of U.S. national security and defense policy with a special interest in nuclear weapons, terrorism, and decision-making. His latest book, Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap?, was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in May 2017 and quickly became a national bestseller. Dr. Allison served as Assistant Secretary of Defense in the first Clinton Administration and as Special Advisor to the Secretary of Defense under President Reagan. He has the sole distinction of having twice been awarded the Department of Defense's highest civilian award, the Distinguished Public Service Medal, first by Secretary Cap Weinberger and second by Secretary Bill Perry.

 

Rachel Bronson

Dr. Rachel Bronson is the Executive Director and Publisher of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists where she oversees the publishing programs, the management of the Doomsday Clock, and a growing set of activities around nuclear weapons, nuclear energy, climate change and emerging technologies. She is the author of Thicker than Oil: America’s Uneasy Partnership with Saudi Arabia (Oxford Press, 2006). Her writings have appeared in publication such as Foreign PolicyForeign AffairsThe National InterestThe New York TimesThe Washington PostHuffington Post, and The Chicago Tribune. Dr. Bronson has testified before the Congressional Anti-Terrorist Finance Task Force, Congress’ Joint Economic Committee, and the 9/11 Commission.

 

Martha Crenshaw

Dr. Martha Crenshaw is a Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation and Freeman Spogli Institute and a Professor of Political Science by courtesy at Stanford. She is a world-renowned expert on political terrorism. In recognition of her work, the National Science Foundation/Department of Defense Minerva Initiative awarded Dr. Crenshaw a grant for a project on "mapping terrorist organizations" (see mappingmilitants.stanford.edu). In 2011, Routledge published Explaining Terrorism, a collection of Dr. Crenshaw's previously published writings. Most recently, she co-authored a book with Gary LaFree titled, Countering Terrorism.

 

Lynn Eden

Dr. Lynn Eden is a Senior Research Scholar Emerita. She was a Senior Research Scholar at Stanford University's Center for International Security and Cooperation until January 2016, as well as the Associate Director for Research. Dr. Eden's book, Whole World on Fire: Organizations, Knowledge, and Nuclear Weapons Devastation, explores how and why the U.S. government--from World War II to the present--has greatly underestimated the damage caused by nuclear weapons by failing to predict damage from firestorms. Whole World on Fire won the American Sociological Association's 2004 Robert K. Merton Award for the Best Book in Science, Knowledge, and Technology.

 

Stephen Flynn

Dr. Stephen Flynn is Founding Director of the Global Resilience Institute at Northeastern University where he leads a university-wide research enterprise to inform and advance societal resilience. At Northeastern, he is also a Professor of Political Science with affiliated faculty appointments in the College of Engineering and the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs. Dr. Flynn is recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on both critical infrastructure and supply chain security and resilience. Among his most influential publications are the critically acclaimed The Edge of Disaster: Rebuilding a Resilient Nation and the national bestseller America the Vulnerable: How Government is Failing to Protect Us From Terrorism. .

 

David Holloway

Dr. David Holloway is the Raymond A. Spruance Professor of International History, a Professor of Political Science, and a Freeman Spogli Institute Senior Fellow at Stanford University. He is an expert on the development of the Soviet nuclear program and has published widely on this subject. His book, Stalin and the Bomb: The Soviet Union and Atomic Energy, 1939-1956 (Yale University Press, 1994), was chosen by the New York Times Book Review as one of the eleven best books of 1994, and it won the Vucinich and Shulman prizes of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies.

 

Jeffrey Lewis

Dr. Jeffrey Lewis is the Director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. Previously, Dr. Lewis served as the Executive Director of the Managing the Atom Project at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Executive Director of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs, a Visiting Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and a desk officer in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy. He is also a Research Scholar at the Center for International and Security Studies at the University of Maryland's School of Public Policy (CISSM).

 

Joseph Martz

Dr. Joseph Martz is a physicist and 35-year employee of Los Alamos National Laboratory, who has focused on issues surrounding nuclear security, nuclear weapons, and stockpile stewardship. His early work led to a nationwide evaluation and repackaging of stored nuclear materials, and he was a co-developer of the ARIES system, a means to dismantle and safely recover plutonium from excess nuclear weapons. In addition to his research at Los Alamos, Dr. Martz has led national project teams, including the recent reliable-replacement warhead design competition and several complex nuclear material experiments.

 

Ellen Tauscher

Ellen O’Kane Tauscher represented California’s 10th Congressional District in the East Bay of San Francisco for seven terms from 1997-2009. She served on the House Armed Services Committee and was Chair of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee, overseeing the nuclear weapons stockpile and complex, among other forces, from 2006-2009. In 2009, Tauscher was nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the United States Senate as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs. As Under Secretary of State, Tauscher was responsible for successfully closing negotiations of the New Start Treaty with the Russian Federation in March 2010 in Geneva and representing the United States at the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference at the United Nations in May 2010.

 

Alex Wellerstein

Dr. Alex Wellerstein is an Assistant Professor of Science and Technology Studies (STS) in the College of Arts and Letters at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey. Dr. Wellerstein has been an Associate Historian (a postdoctoral position) at the Center for the History of Physics at the American Institute of Physics, as well as a postdoctoral fellow at the Managing the Atom Project (MTA) and the International Security Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

 

Valerie Plame Wilson

As a former career covert CIA operations officer, Valerie Plame Wilson worked to protect America’s national security and prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, in particular nuclear weapons. During her career with the CIA, Valerie managed top-secret covert programs designed to keep terrorists and rogue nation states from acquiring nuclear weapons. Her position involved decision-making at senior levels, recruiting foreign assets, deploying resources around the world, managing multi-million dollar budgets, briefing U.S. policymakers, and demonstrating consistently solid judgment in a field where mistakes could prove disastrous to national security.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The course has already started! Is it too late to join?

You will only be able to earn a Statement of Accomplishment if you enroll in the course before October 31st, and submit the Week 2 Assignment by that date. Students must complete at least 4 of the 5 Weekly Assignments to have a chance of obtaining a Statement of Accomplishment. Since October 31st is the deadline for the Week 2 Assignment, enrolling in the course later on would not allow you to complete that requisite (2 out of the 5 assignments would have already been due). Nevertheless, students are always welcome to join the course and participate in the forum discussions.

How do I earn a Statement of Accomplishment?

If you are interested in receiving a Statement of Accomplishment from Stanford University at the end of this course, please note that you must complete the following:

Peer Assessment: After each unit, there will be a discussion prompt to help you gauge your learning. You will write your own response and assess three other students' responses (peer assessment), in addition to your own (self-assessment).

Gaining a score of at least 55% allows you to receive the Statement of Accomplishment.

Please note that a Statement of Accomplishment is optional. We welcome all participants to this course, whether you seek a Statement of Accomplishment or not.

How do the deadlines for the Peer Assessments work?

Individual Response: As noted above, after reviewing the lecture videos for each unit, you will be required to respond to a discussion prompt to help you gauge your understanding of the course content. This individual response will be available from the same time the week’s videos are launched. You will have a week’s time to submit your individual response. This is the due date that is displayed on the Course Outline.

Peer Assessment: After submitting your individual response, you will be asked to grade three other students’ responses. Please utilize the Learner Training tool to assist your peer assessments; this tool demonstrates how the course staff would grade a variety of exemplars, which differ in their quality. The peer assessment component will also be available from the same the week’s videos are launched. Nevertheless, unlike the individual response, you will two weeks to fulfill your peer assessments.

Self-Assessment: To further enhance your learning experience, you will also be able to undergo a self-assessment process for each of your weekly assignments. The deadlines for the self-assessment component mimic those of the peer assessment (i.e., due two weeks from the assignment launch date).

Is there a textbook for the class?

No, but there will be suggested readings for each unit.

What is UTC?

Unless indicated otherwise, course deadlines are listed in Coordinate Universal Time (UTC). Please use your preferred time zone converter to make sure you are fully aware of when course items are due. We have added a 90-minute grace period for all submissions, to account for potential confusion concerning the UTC time zone.


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Date: 
Tuesday, October 3, 2017 to Friday, December 15, 2017
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ABOUT THIS COURSE

This 9 week course aims to teach quantum mechanics to anyone with a reasonable college-level understanding of physical science or engineering. Quantum mechanics was once mostly of interest to physicists, chemists and other basic scientists. Now the concepts and techniques of quantum mechanics are essential in many areas of engineering and science such as materials science, nanotechnology, electronic devices, and photonics. This course is a substantial introduction to quantum mechanics and how to use it. It is specifically designed to be accessible not only to physicists but also to students and technical professionals over a wide range of science and engineering backgrounds.

COURSE SYLLABUS

Introduction to quantum mechanics

How quantum mechanics is important in the everyday world, the bizarre aspects and continuing evolution of quantum mechanics, and how we need it for engineering much of modern technology.

Schroedinger’s wave equation

Getting to Schroedinger’s wave equation. Key ideas in using quantum mechanical waves — probability densities, linearity. The "two slit" experiment and its paradoxes.

Getting "quantum" behavior

The "particle in a box", eigenvalues and eigenfunctions. Mathematics of quantum mechanical waves.

Quantum mechanics of systems that change in time

Time variation by superposition of wave functions. The harmonic oscillator. Movement in quantum mechanics — wave packets, group velocity and particle current.

Measurement in quantum mechanics

Operators in quantum mechanics — the quantum-mechanical Hamiltonian. Measurement and its paradoxes — the Stern-Gerlach experiment.

Writing down quantum mechanics simply

A simple general way of looking at the mathematics of quantum mechanics — functions, operators, matrices and Dirac notation. Operators and measurable quantities. The uncertainty principle.

The hydrogen atom

Angular momentum in quantum mechanics — atomic orbitals. Quantum mechanics with more than one particle. Solving for the the hydrogen atom. Nature of the states of atoms.

How to solve real problems

Approximation methods in quantum mechanics.

PREREQUISITES

The course is approximately at the level of a first quantum mechanics class in physics at a third-year college level or above, but it is specifically designed to be suitable and useful also for those from other science and engineering disciplines.

The course emphasizes conceptual understanding rather than a heavily mathematical approach, but some amount of mathematics is essential for understanding and using quantum mechanics. The course presumes a mathematics background that includes basic algebra and trigonometry, functions, vectors, matrices, complex numbers, ordinary differential and integral calculus, and ordinary and partial differential equations.

In physics, students should understand elementary classical mechanics (Newton’s Laws) and basic ideas in electricity and magnetism at a level typical of first-year college physics. (The course explicitly does not require knowledge of more advanced concepts in classical mechanics, such as Hamiltonian or Lagrangian approaches, or in electromagnetism, such as Maxwell’s equations.) Some introductory exposure to modern physics, such as the ideas of electrons, photons, and atoms, is helpful but not required.

The course includes an optional and ungraded “refresher” background mathematics section that reviews and gives students a chance to practice all the necessary math background background. Introductory background material on key physics concepts is also presented at the beginning of the course.

COURSE STAFF

David Miller

David Miller is the W. M. Keck Foundation Professor of Electrical Engineering and, by Courtesy, Professor of Applied Physics, both at Stanford University. He received his B. Sc. and Ph. D. degrees in Physics in Scotland, UK from St. Andrews University and Heriot-Watt University, respectively. Before moving to Stanford in 1996, he worked at AT&T Bell Laboratories for 15 years. His research interests have included physics and applications of quantum nanostructures, including invention of optical modulator devices now widely used in optical fiber communications, and fundamentals and applications of optics and nanophotonics. He has received several awards and honorary degrees for his work, is a Fellow of many major professional societies in science and engineering, including the Royal Society of London, and is a member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in the US. He has taught quantum mechanics at Stanford for more than 15 years to a broad range of students ranging from physics and engineering undergraduates to graduate engineers and scientists in many disciplines.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Do I need to buy a textbook?

You do not need to buy a textbook; the course is self-contained. My book “Quantum Mechanics for Scientists and Engineers” (Cambridge, 2008) is an optional additional resource for the course. It follows essentially the same syllabus, has additional problems and exercises, allows you to go into greater depth on some ideas, and also contains many additional topics for further study.

How much of a time commitment will this course be?

You should expect this course to require 7 – 10 hours of work per week.

Does this course carry any kind of Stanford University credit?

No.

Will I get a Statement of Accomplishment?

Yes, students who score at least 70% will pass the course and receive a Statement of Accomplishment. Students who score at least 90% will receive a Statement of Accomplishment with distinction.

We recommend taking this course on a standard computer using Google Chrome as your internet browser. We are not yet optimized for mobile devices.

Quantum Mechanics for Scientists and Engineers 2  Course Image

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Date: 
Sunday, January 1, 2017 to Sunday, January 1, 2023
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ABOUT THIS COURSE

This is a self-paced version of the original course which ran in Fall 2016.

I have been living at the nuclear brink for all of my adult life, and throughout my career in academia, private industry, and the U.S. government, I have dealt first-hand with the evolving nuclear threat. Nuclear weapons may seem like 20th century history, but the choices we make about these weapons in the 21st century will decide your future in truly fundamental ways. Because most people do not understand just how serious these dangers are today, their governments are not taking adequate preventive actions: actions that are readily achievable. And so, we are drifting towards a nuclear catastrophe. This is why I have dedicated the balance of my life to educate the public about these dangers, and this is the reason I have created this course. I have been joined in this effort by an outstanding and uniquely qualified group of educators and public servants who share my concerns about nuclear weapons.

The key goals of this course are to warn you of the dangers you face and to give you some insight on what could be done to avoid those dangers. My challenge in this course is to make vivid to you that the dangers of nuclear weapons, far from being historical curiosities, are existential dangers today. You will have the opportunity to engage in discussions about these topics with both world experts and peers from around the globe.

You can take this course any way you wish. To earn a Statement of Accomplishment, you will view all of the lectures, participate in weekly forums, and complete quizzes on the course content. We have organized the course segments in a logical order, both chronologically and thematically. However, each segment stands alone and can be viewed independently, and still be a useful experience, even if you do not seek a Statement of Accomplishment.

The course differs from many others in a fundamental way: our goal is not just to provide facts for your education, but to inspire you to take action. You have the power to make a difference, and I believe that this course will give you the knowledge and motivation to do so. You can read more about this subject, and find ways to become involved, by visiting the website of the William J Perry Project: www.wjperryproject.org

PREREQUISITES

There are no prerequisites for this course except for curiosity in the subject and a passion for learning.

COURSE OUTLINE

Week 1: Introduction; What Are Nuclear Weapons and Why Were They Developed?

Dr. William J. Perry; Dr. Joseph Martz; Dr. Siegfried Hecker

Week 2: Nuclear Proliferation in the United States and Around the World

Dr. William J. Perry; Dr. Joseph Martz; Dr. Siegfried Hecker

Week 3: Under a Nuclear Cloud: Early Cold War

Dr. William J. Perry; Dr. David Holloway

Week 4: Fear and Loathing and Relief: Later Cold War

Dr. William J. Perry; Dr. David Holloway

Week 5: A Lack of Intelligence

Dr. William J. Perry; Philip Taubman

Week 6: Dilemmas of Nuclear Policy

Dr. William J. Perry; Dr. Scott Sagan; Dr. David Holloway; Dr. Andre Kokoshin

Week 7: New Nuclear Dangers: Nuclear Terrorism

Dr. William J. Perry; Dr. Martha Crenshaw; Dr. Siegfried Hecker

Week 8: New Nuclear Dangers: South Asia and Proliferation

Dr. William J. Perry; Dr. Scott Sagan; Dr. Martha Crenshaw; Dr. Siegfried Hecker; Dr. Andre Kokoshin

Week 9: What Has Been Done, and Can Be Done, about Nuclear Dangers

Dr. William J. Perry; Amb. James Goodby; Secretary George Shultz

Week 10: What Next?

Dr. William J. Perry; Joseph Cirincione

COURSE STAFF

William J. Perry

William J. Perry was the 19th Secretary of Defense for the United States, serving from February 1994 to January 1997. He previously served as Deputy Secretary of Defense (1993-1994) and as Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (1977-1981). Perry is the Michael and Barbara Berberian Professor (emeritus) at Stanford University. He is a Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute and the Hoover Institution, and he serves as Director of the Preventive Defense Project. In 2013, Perry founded the William J. Perry Project (www.wjperryproject.org) to engage and educate the public on the dangers of nuclear weapons in the 21st century.

 

Joseph Cirincione

Joseph Cirincione is the president of Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation. He is the author Nuclear Nightmares: Securing the World Before It Is Too Late, Bomb Scare: The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons and is the author or editor of five other books on nuclear weapons and national security policy. He has also published hundreds of articles on these topics and is widely cited in the media. Mr. Cirincione serves on the Secretary of State’s International Security Advisory Board and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He worked for nine years in the U.S. House of Representatives on the professional staff of the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Government Operations.

Martha Crenshaw

Martha Crenshaw is a world-recognized expert on political terrorism and is a Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) and Freeman Spogli Institute (FSI) and a Professor of Political Science by courtesy at Stanford. In 2011, Routledge published Explaining Terrorism, a collection of her previously published writings.

James Goodby

 

James Goodby has had a long and distinguished career in the United States Foreign Service. He has received five presidential appointments at ambassadorial rank, and notably, he has been intimately involved as a negotiator and policy adviser in the creation of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the negotiation of the limited nuclear test ban treaty, START, the Conference on Disarmament in Europe, and the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program.

Siegfried Hecker

Siegfried Hecker is one of the world’s experts on the Russian nuclear program, working with Russian nuclear laboratories to secure and safeguard the vast stockpile of ex-Soviet fissile materials. Dr. Hecker is a professor (research) in the Department of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford, a Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute, former Director of Los Alamos National Laboratory and former co-director of Stanford's Center for International Security and Cooperation.

David Holloway

 

David Holloway is perhaps the world’s expert on the development of the Soviet nuclear program and has published widely on this subject; his book Stalin and the Bomb: The Soviet Union and Atomic Energy, 1939-1956 (Yale University Press, 1994) was chosen by the New York Times Book Review as one of the 11 best books of 1994. Dr. Holloway is the Raymond A. Spruance Professor of International History, a Professor of Political Science, and an Freeman Spogli Institute Senior Fellow.

Andre Kokoshin

Andre Kokoshin has held many positions in the Russian government, including Deputy Minister of Defense from 1992 to 1997, when he played a key role in the implementation of the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program. He is currently a member of the Russian Duma; he holds a Ph.D. in History and is an associate member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Joseph Martz

 

Joseph Martz is a physicist and employee Los Alamos National Laboratory with a 25+ year career focused on issues surrounding nuclear security, nuclear weapons, and stockpile stewardship. In addition to his research at Los Alamos, he has led national project teams including the recent reliable-replacement warhead design competition and several complex nuclear material experiments.

Scott D. Sagan

Scott D. Sagan is widely-recognized expert on nuclear security issues; his books in this area include The Limits of Safety: Organizations, Accidents, and Nuclear Weapons (Princeton University Press, 1993), and with co-author Kenneth N. Waltz, The Spread of Nuclear Weapons: An Enduring Debate(W.W. Norton, 2012). Dr. Sagan is the Caroline S.G. Munro Professor of Political Science, the Mimi and Peter Haas University Fellow in Undergraduate Education, and a Senior Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation and the Freeman Spogli Institute at Stanford University.

George Shultz

George Shultz has had a highly distinguished career in government, academia, and the world of business: he has held four different federal cabinet posts; he has taught at three of this country’s great universities; and for eight years he was President of Bechtel, a major engineering and construction company. He is current Professor of International Economics at the Graduate School of Business and a Distinguished Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford.

Philip Taubman

 

Philip Taubman was a reporter and editor at the New York Times for nearly 30 years, specializing in national security issues; he published Secret Empire: Eisenhower, the CIA, and the Hidden Story of America's Space Espionage in 2004, and The Partnership: Five Cold Warriors and Their Quest to Ban the Bomb in 2012. He is currently a Consulting Professor at CISAC, and also serves as Stanford Associate Vice President for University Affairs, working on special projects for Stanford's president, John Hennessy.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The course already started! Is it too late to join?

No worries! You can start whenever you join the course, since it is self-paced.

How do I earn a Statement of Accomplishment?

If you are interested in receiving a Statement of Accomplishment from Stanford University at the end of this course, please note that you must complete the following:

Short Quizzes: After each unit, there will be quiz question to help you gauge your learning. You will have two attempts to answer the question correctly and unlimited time.

Gaining a score of at least 75% allows you to receive the Statement of Accomplishment.

Please note that a Statement of Accomplishment is optional. We welcome all participants to this course, whether you seek a Statement of Accomplishment or not. (NOTE: It will soon be possible to request a Statement of Accomplishment. Please check back in mid-March of 2017.)

Is there a textbook for the class?

No, but there will be suggested readings for each unit.

By exploring the course, you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Please read them carefully.

Living at the Brink

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Date: 
Monday, September 4, 2017
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About this course:

The objectives of this course are:

-To introduce participants to different concepts of love, to empower them to be conscious of the power of love and the possibility of practicing it in everyday life, and to highlight in particular the idea of love as a force for social justice.

-To communicate a sense of personal strength and empowerment by actively learning from each other and beginning to define how participants can apply their learning in service to society.

This course will explore the concept of agape love (compassion/kindness) as a force for social justice and action and as the inspiration for service and the application of knowledge to positive social change. Biological, psychological, religious, and social perspectives of love will be discussed, drawing on the expertise of people from a variety of disciplines.

During the six-week course, the following topics will be raised and discussed: kinds of love/defining love; non-violent communication; love and the biology of the brain; love as a basic concept of religious and ethical beliefs (e.g., Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Gandhian); love applied in action, and poetic expressions of love as a social force. This curriculum aims to foster a sense of the importance of love as a key phenomenon in creating community, connection, and functional societies among humans.

Course materials will draw from a variety of sources. One of the goals of the class is to provide participants with some knowledge of the literature of love, and readings for the course are listed in the outline of the course on the pages that follow.

Instructor:

Anne Firth Murray


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Date: 
Monday, July 17, 2017 to Monday, September 18, 2017
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PRINCIPLES OF ECONOMICS WITH JOHN TAYLOR

This course is designed as an introduction to the study of economics. Participants will be exposed to the economic way of thinking and learn about the functioning of a modern market economy. The early part of the course focuses on microeconomic analysis including the behavior of consumers and firms. We analyze markets for goods and services and policy choices that affect these markets. The later part of the course moves on to macroeconomic concepts such as national production, employment, inflation and interest rates. We explore models that determine long-run growth and short-term fluctuations in national economies. We then discuss the role of government regulation, monetary policy, and fiscal policy.

COURSE OUTLINE

PART 1

The Basic Core

Getting Started
Observing and Explaining the Economy
The Supply and Demand Model
Using the Supply and Demand Model

The Competitive Equilibrium Model

Deriving Demand
Deriving Supply
Market Equilibrium and Efficiency

Firms and Industries Changing Over Time

Cost and Changes at Firms Over Time
The Rise and Fall of Industries

Deviations from Competition

Monopoly and Market Power
Between Monopoly and Competition
Antitrust Policy and Regulation

Labor Markets

The Labor Supply and Demand Model
Labor Model Cont. – Min. Wage and Discrimination

Key Economic Policy Issues

Taxes, Transfers and Income Distribution
Public Goods and Externalities
Government Failure and Success

Financial and Capital Markets

Markets for Physical Capital
Financial Markets: Risk and Return

PART 2

Macro Facts and Measures

Getting Started with Macroeconomic Ideas
Measuring Production, Income and Spending of Nations

Long Run Macro

Determining Consumption, Investment and Govt. Shares
Employment and Unemployment
Productivity, Economic Growth and Determining Factors
A Look at Money, Inflation and the Fed

Short Run Macro

Introduction to Economic Fluctuations
Economic Fluctuations Model
Using the ADIA Model

Macro Policy Issues

Intro to Macroeconomic Policy
Fiscal Policy
Monetary Policy
Monetary Policy Analysis

International Economic Issues

Gains from Trade
International Trade Policy – Tariffs and Quotas

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is a textbook required for this course?

No. There is a strongly recommended textbook, but it is not required. The textbook is Principles of Economics, Version 8.0 by John B. Taylor and Akila Weerapana. The online version can be purchased here for $39.95.

Will I receive Stanford credit for this course?

No, but you can receive a Statement of Accomplishment.

Can I receive a statement of accomplishment for this course?

Yes. If you receive a 50% or better you will receive a Statement of Accomplishment. If you receive a 75% or better you will receive a Statement of Accomplishment with Distinction. You must complete this requirement by Sept. 18, 2017. No matter which option you choose, getting through the requirement is a major accomplishment!

Can I start the course after July 17, 2017 and still get a Statement of Accomplishment?

Yes, as long as you receive 50% of better you will receive a Statement of Accomplishment. If you receive a 75% or better you will receive a Statement of Accomplishment with Distinction. You must complete this requirement by Sept. 18, 2017.

Is there a deadline to complete the quizzes within the course?

The quizzes can be completed any time before Sept. 18, 2017.

COURSE STAFF

John B. Taylor

John B. Taylor is the George P. Shultz Senior Fellow in Economics at the Hoover Institution and the Mary and Robert Raymond Professor of Economics at Stanford University. He was previously the director of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research and was founding director of Stanford's Introductory Economics Center. He has a long and distinguished record of public service. Among other roles, he served as a member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors from 1989 to 1991 and as Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs from 2001 to 2005.

Tram Nguyen

Tram is a PhD student in Economics, and has two years of experience as a Teaching Assistant for Introductory Economics at Stanford.

Oriol Pons-Benaige

Oriol is a PhD student in Economics, and has three years of experience as a Teaching Assistant for Introductory Economics at Stanford.


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Date: 
Monday, April 3, 2017
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Course Overview

Nuclear weaponry has been a component of military defense since WWII, when the atomic bomb was launched on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  From the development of nuclear fission in 1938 to the present, nuclear weapons have globally created challenges and encouraged systematic reform.  All the while the threat of nuclear war lingers in the midst of international relations.

This course studies the history and politics associated with nuclear weapons and the role of technology transfer in developing nuclear weaponry from a political and military perspective.  It will study the varying ideologies and concepts of these weapons from different states, as well as the efforts to control and eradicate nuclear weapons through international institutions that were designed to reduce the threat of a global nuclear war.

Instructors

Topics Include

  • Nuclear Fission & World War II
  • The Berlin & Cuban Missile Crises
  • The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty
  • The US-Soviet Arms Race
  • Nuclear Weapons and International Order

Units

5.0

Prerequisites

No prior background in international relations is necessary to participate in this course.


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Date: 
Monday, April 3, 2017 to Tuesday, June 13, 2017
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About This Course

This interdisciplinary course encompasses the fields of rock mechanics, structural geology, earthquake seismology and petroleum engineering to address a wide range of geomechanical problems that arise during the exploitation of oil and gas reservoirs.

The course considers key practical issues such as prediction of pore pressure, estimation of hydrocarbon column heights and fault seal potential, determination of optimally stable well trajectories, casing set points and mud weights, changes in reservoir performance during depletion, and production-induced faulting and subsidence. The first part of the course establishes the basic principles involved in a way that allows readers from different disciplinary backgrounds to understand the key concepts.

The course is intended for geoscientists and engineers in the petroleum and geothermal industries, and for research scientists interested in stress measurements and their application to problems of faulting and fluid flow in the crust.

Recommended Background:

Introductory Geology and Geophysics
Familiarity with principles of drilling and petroleum production

Course Format:

  • 20, 90 minute lectures (in ~20 minute segments). 2 lectures will be made available each week.
  • Lecture 1 is a course overview to introduce students to the topics covered in the course. Lectures 2-17 follow 12 chapters of Dr. Zoback’s textbook, Reservoir Geomechanics (Cambridge University Press, 2007) with updated examples and applications. Lectures 18 and 19 are on topics related to geomechanical issues affecting shale gas and tight oil recovery. Lecture 20 is on the topic of managing the risk of triggered and induced seismicity.
  • 8 Homework assignments (and associated video modules) are intended to give students hands-on experience with a number of the topics addressed in the course.
  • The course grade will be based solely on homework assignments. There will be no quizzes or exams.
  • Homework assignments will be graded electronically and will consist of multiple choice and numerical entry responses.
  • There will be an online discussion forum where students can discuss the content of the course and ask questions of each other and the instructors.

Course Staff

Dr. Mark D. Zoback

Dr. Mark D. Zoback is the Benjamin M. Page Professor of Geophysics at Stanford University. Dr. Zoback conducts research on in situ stress, fault mechanics, and reservoir geomechanics with an emphasis on shale gas, tight gas and tight oil production. He is the Director of the Stanford Natural Gas Initiative and co-Director of the Stanford Center for Induced and Triggered Seismicity. He was one of the principal investigators of the SAFOD project, in which a scientific research well was successfully drilled through the San Andreas Fault at seismogenic depth. He is the author of a textbook entitled Reservoir Geomechanics, published in 2007 by Cambridge University Press. He is the author/co-author of over 300 technical papers and holds five patents. He was the co-founder of GeoMechanics International in 1996, where he was Chairman of the Board until 2008. Dr. Zoback has received a number of awards and honors, including the 2006 Emil Wiechert Medal of the German Geophysical Society and the 2008 Walter H. Bucher Medal of the American Geophysical Union. In 2011, he was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and in 2012 elected to Honorary Membership in the Society of Exploration Geophysicists. He is the 2013 recipient of the Louis Néel Medal, European Geosciences Union and named an Einstein Chair Professor of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. In 2015, he received the Robert R. Berg Outstanding Research Award of the AAPG and in 2016 he received the Outstanding Contribution to the Public Understanding of the Geosciences Award from AGI. He served on the National Academy of Engineering committee investigating the Deepwater Horizon accident and the Secretary of Energy’s committee on shale gas development and environmental protection.

Gader Alalli, Graduate Teaching Assistant

Gader is a 4th year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Geophysics at Stanford University. Gader works with Professor Mark Zoback to investigate the relationship between pore size distribution and permeability in unconventional gas shale reservoirs. His research can shed some insight into why certain ultra-low porosity gas shales with varying mineralogical compositions can have significant permeability variations, which can therefore impact recovery factors. Gader has a Master of Science in Geophysics from Stanford, where he worked on enhancing post-stack crosswell seismic profile (XSP) reflection imaging using AVO-Analysis of separated Up/Down wavefields, with Professor Jerry Harris. Gader previously worked for Saudi Aramco as a Geophysicist for 5 years working on special projects for both exploration and development wells in Saudi Arabia. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M University, where he majored in Geophysics and minored in Geology.

Jens-Erik Lund Snee, Graduate Teaching Assistant

Jens-Erik Lund Snee is a 3rd year Ph.D. candidate at the Stanford University Department of Geophysics. Jens works with Professor Mark Zoback to study tectonic stress in Texas. His research has implications for enhancing oil and gas production, mitigating human-triggered earthquakes, and understanding the factors that control the stress field. Jens has a Master of Science in Geological and Environmental Sciences from Stanford, where he studied the tectonic history of the Basin and Range Province, western USA, with Professor Elizabeth Miller. Jens previously worked for Statoil as a deepwater Exploration Geologist, and he studied fault zone geology with Professor Virginia Toy at the University of Otago in New Zealand as part of a Fulbright Fellowship. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Whitman College, where he majored in Geology and Politics.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I at least access the course materials, even if I can't take the course?

Yes. All course material is archived and available for download for non-commercial purposes. To do so, register for the course.

Will I receive a Statement of Accomplishment in this course?

Yes. A Statement of Accomplishment will be given to those students who obtain more than 70% of the maximum points on the 8 homework assignments.

When will my Statement of Accomplishment arrive?

The Statement of Accomplishment will arrive a few weeks after successful completion of the course.

Do I need to purchase a textbook for the course?

While it is not required to purchase the Reservoir Geomechanics textbook for this course, it is recommended. Lectures 2-17 follow the 12 chapters of the book. The book provides significant additional detail and explanation of the course concepts. It is available through:
Cambridge University Press:
http://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/earth-and-environmental-science/applied-geoscience-petroleum-and-mining-geoscience/reservoir-geomechanics
Amazon and Kindle:
http://www.amazon.com/Reservoir-Geomechanics-Mark-D-Zoback/dp/0521146194

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About this course

In this course we will seek to “understand Einstein,” especially focusing on the special theory of relativity that Albert Einstein, as a twenty-six year old patent clerk, introduced in his “miracle year” of 1905. Our goal will be to go behind the myth-making and beyond the popularized presentations of relativity in order to gain a deeper understanding of both Einstein the person and the concepts, predictions, and strange paradoxes of his theory. Some of the questions we will address include: How did Einstein come up with his ideas? What was the nature of his genius? What is the meaning of relativity? What’s “special” about the special theory of relativity? Why did the theory initially seem to be dead on arrival? What does it mean to say that time is the “fourth dimension”? Can time actually run more slowly for one person than another, and the size of things change depending on their velocity? Is time travel possible, and if so, how? Why can’t things travel faster than the speed of light? Is it possible to travel to the center of the galaxy and return in one lifetime? Is there any evidence that definitively confirms the theory, or is it mainly speculation? Why didn’t Einstein win the Nobel Prize for the theory of relativity? About the instructor: Dr. Larry Lagerstrom is the Director of Academic Programs at Stanford University’s Center for Professional Development, which offers graduate certificates in subjects such as artificial intelligence, cyber security, data mining, nanotechnology, innovation, and management science. He holds degrees in physics, mathematics, and the history of science, has published a book and a TED Ed video on "Young Einstein: From the Doxerl Affair to the Miracle Year," and has had over 30,000 students worldwide enroll in his online course on the special theory of relativity (this course!).
 

Who is this class for

This course is open to anyone willing to put in some time and effort to understand Einstein and his special theory of relativity. Although it will help you to have a basic understanding of algebra, much of the analysis is qualitative or only semi-quantitative. In addition, a math review video lecture is provided at the beginning of the course.
 
FAQ: 
  • Will I get a Statement of Accomplishment after completing this class?

    Yes. Students who successfully complete the class will receive a Statement of Accomplishment signed by the instructor.

  • What resources will I need for this class?

    For this course, all you need is an Internet connection and the willingness to think.

  • What is the coolest thing I'll learn if I take this class? Learning how an unknown patent clerk came up with the special theory of relativity is certainly a fascinating story. And there are many cool things we will learn that come out of the theory itself, such as that one person can age significantly more slowly than another, that it's possible to travel to the center of the galaxy and back in one lifetime, and that time travel into the future is possible. But perhaps the coolest thing is simply to learn more about, in Einstein's words, "the mystery ... of the marvelous structure of reality."
Instructor(s): 
Larry Randles Lagerstrom
Understanding Einstein

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Date: 
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
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ABOUT THIS COURSE

It’s a special moment in U.S. history in which income inequality has reached unprecedented levels, poverty remains extreme, and racial and gender inequalities are intransigent.
Why is there so much inequality and poverty? How might they be reduced? Find out from the country’s top scholars in “America’s course” on poverty and inequality.

So what makes this course different?

• Comprehensive: Features the 40 key research results that underlie our country’s policy and its new science of poverty and inequality.
• Up-to-date: Highlights the most recent findings and results on poverty and inequality.
• Scholar-direct delivery: The country’s leading scholars present their own research.
• Quick: Each video is short (approximately 5 minutes) and jargon-free.
• Modular: The course is divided into 8 standalone modules.
• Easy to follow: Each module is introduced and explained by David B. Grusky, the director of the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, and Lindsay Owens, Stanford University Ph.D. and Economic Policy Advisor in the office of Senator Elizabeth Warren.
• Excellent readings: Each video is paired with readings that elaborate the videos.
• Accessible: It's free, open to the public, and without any prerequisites.

PREREQUISITES

No prerequisites are required to take the course.

COURSE INSTRUCTORS

David Grusky

David B. Grusky is the Barbara Kimball Browning Professor in the Humanities & Sciences and Professor of Sociology at Stanford University, Director of the Center on Poverty and Inequality (CPI), Director of the California Welfare Laboratory, and coeditor of Pathways Magazine and the Social Inequality Series. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, co-recipient of the 2004 Max Weber Award, founder of the Cornell University Center for the Study of Inequality, and a former Presidential Young Investigator. His recent books are The Great Recession (with Bruce Western and Chris Wimer, 2011), The New Gilded Age (with Tamar Kricheli-Katz, 2011), The Inequality Puzzle (with Roland Berger, Tobias Raffel, Geoffrey Samuels, and Christopher Wimer, 2010), and The Inequality Reader (with Szonja Szelényi, 2011).

Lindsay Owens

Lindsay Owens is an Economic Policy Advisor in the office of Senator Elizabeth Warren, the 2014-2015 American Sociological Association Congressional Fellow, and teacher of a course on domestic poverty and inequality at Georgetown University. She received her Ph.D. in sociology in 2014 from Stanford University, where she was a National Poverty Fellow at the Center on Poverty and Inequality and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. She is a frequent author of opinion pieces and editorials, coeditor of a chartbook of 100 facts and figures on inequality (Inequality in the US: Understanding Inequality with Data), and a contributing author to the 2011 book, The Great Recession. Her research has appeared in some of the leading social science journals, including Social Forces, Public Opinion Quarterly, and The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.

COURSE STAFF

Catherine Sirois

Catherine Sirois is a doctoral student in Sociology at Stanford University, where she studies poverty and incarceration. She managed the Boston Reentry Study at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), directed by Bruce Western, Anthony Braga, and Rhiana Kohl, a longitudinal survey of 122 men and women recently released from Massachusetts state prison. Before joining HKS, Catherine worked on an evaluation of a prison reentry program in New York City and spent a year contributing to social justice initiatives in Uganda and Senegal.

Stephanie Garlow

Stephanie Garlow is the Communications Manager at the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality. She leads the Center's publication and dissemination efforts.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Do I need to buy a textbook?
The readings are suggested, but not required. Most of the readings come from Inequality in the 21st Century. All proceeds go to the Children's Defense Fund.
Is it possible to earn a Statement of Accomplishment?
Yes, it will be possible to earn a Statement of Accomplishment.
What's the time investment?
There are no deadlines in the course and you can work through the material at your own pace, but you should expect to spend roughly 2-4 hours per section on the videos and assignments, more if you choose to complete the recommended reading.

COURSE CREDITS

America's Poverty Course was developed by the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality; videos were produced by Ashley Tindell of Film Archer. We gratefully acknowledge the help of our fundeABOUT THIS COURSE
It’s a special moment in U.S. history in which income inequality has reached unprecedented levels, poverty remains extreme, and racial and gender inequalities are intransigent.
Why is there so much inequality and poverty? How might they be reduced? Find out from the country’s top scholars in “America’s course” on poverty and inequality.
So what makes this course different?

 

Poverty and Inequality MOOC

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