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Natural and Social Sciences

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Earth Sciences
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

Res Geomechanics Course Image

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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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Date: 
Tuesday, October 4, 2016 to Tuesday, December 13, 2016
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ABOUT THIS COURSE

Living at the Nuclear Brink: An Introduction by Dr. William J. Perry

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. However, we will be having a number of interactive sessions throughout the course, so it is worthwhile to “catch up” so that you can participate knowledgeably in these sessions.

How do a 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:

Reflective Writing: Each week, you will answer a "thought question" about what you are learning and how it applies to your own beliefs about nuclear weapons.

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.

Is there a textbook for the class?

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

Living at the Brink

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Overview

Welcome to the Stanford Online Mini-Course "Interactive Microbiology and Foundations of Scientific Practice." In this course you will learn about some fascinating phenomena at the microscopic living world - and at the same time practice the key aspects of the scientific method.

Also, note that the total number of participants is restricted for each session. If a session is already full - please try to sign up for another one.
 

Upcoming Sessions:

Session 7: August 30 - September 4

Session 8: September 6 - September 11

Session 9: September 13 - September 18

About This Course

This is a mini-course with short identical week-long course sessions that will give you a firsthand experience on how microscopic single celled organism can propel themselves through water and detect light - and then ultimately swim towards or away from this light source. At the same time you will lean and practice the key components of the scientific method.

The goals of these course sessions are three fold:

(1) Become fascinated by the wonders of these small organisms and the world they live in - features that are usually hidden from the naked eye.

(2) Gain a quantitative understanding of how a microscopic cell can propel through water, how to detect light, and how these activities are enabled by some building blocks ("organelles") of the the cell. You will also explore interactive models that help you understand how all these parts work together to achieve robust light response behavior.

(3) Be (or become) a scientist and practice the essential components of the scientific method! Explore yourself - perform your own experiments, observations, analyses - and draw your own conclusions. These skills translate to many other scientific projects you may undertake in the future.

Requirements

There are no special requirements to take this course. We expect some curiosity about biology and interest to perform some simple data analysis. You need to work with (the freely available) "google spreadsheets" (or similar data processing program like MS Excel).

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will the sessions be available?

Each session will run for one week. You can enroll in them during that time. Sessions will become inactive and archived after they are run.

Do I get any credit or a certificate?

No, the course sessions do not offer any kind of credit or certification.

Do the course sessions include the ability to earn a Statement of Accomplishment?

Yes.

Do you have an attendance limit - and what should I do if the course is already full?

Yes - we do have a limit of how many participants we can accommodate in any give course offering. If you first choice is already full - then sign up for another one. In case of very high demand - we will make more course offerings avaiable in the near future.  

Course Staff

Ingmar Riedel-Kruse

Assistant Professor, Bioengineering Stanford

Instructor

Zahid Hossain

Graduate Student, Bioengineering and Computer Science

Instructor

Microbiology

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Date: 
Tuesday, March 29, 2016 to Friday, June 10, 2016
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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, starting March 29, 2016.
  • 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 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 currently serves as a Senior Executive Adviser to Baker Hughes. 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. He recently 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. He currently serves on a Canadian Council of Academies panel investigating the same topic. Dr. Zoback is currently serving on the National Academy of Sciences Advisory Board on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

Fatemeh Rassouli, Graduate Teaching Assistant

Fatemeh Rassouli is a 4th year Ph.D. student in the Stress and Crustal Mechanics research group in Stanford's Department of Geophysics. She runs a laboratory based research project studying time-dependent behavior of shale rock samples at reservoir stress and temperature conditions. Fatemeh completed her B.S. in Mining Engineering at University of Tehran, Iran, with honors in 2008. She also holds a master’s degree in Mining Engineering from University of Tehran and a master’s degree in Geophysics from Stanford University. Fatemeh was a visiting scholar at Tokai University and Toyota National College in Japan in 2010 and MIT in 2015. She currently collaborates with the Stanford Rock and Borehole Geophysics consortium.

Noha Farghal, Graduate Teaching Assistant

Noha Farghal is a 5th year PhD candidate in the Geophysics Department at Stanford University. She is a member of the Zoback Stress and Crustal Mechanics Group, working with Prof. Mark Zoback on identifying and characterizing faults and fracture networks in 3D seismic data from tight gas reservoirs. She graduated Summa Cum Laude in Physics from the American University in Cairo, Egypt, and holds a Master degree in Physics and a Master degree in Geophysics. Noha's teaching experience include 3D seismic processing (GP224 at Stanford), nuclear physics and solid state physics laboratories as well as scientific thinking courses.

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.

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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