The 50 Most Popular MOOCs of All Time

“Unlike regular college/ university courses, MOOCs can attract many thousands of enrollees around the world. They can come in the form of active course sessions with participant interaction, or as archived content for self-paced study. MOOCs can be free, or there can be a charge – either on a subscription basis or a one-time charge. Free MOOCs sometimes have a paid “verified certificate” option.There are now thousands of MOOCs available worldwide from several hundred colleges, universities and other institutions of higher learning. For your convenience, we’ve compiled a list of 50 of the most popular MOOCs, based on enrollment figures for all sessions of a course. The ranking is based on filtering enrollment data for 185 free MOOCs on various elearning platforms…”

The 50 Most Popular MOOCs of All Time

Traffic Jams in Javascript

“Building bigger roads can make traffic worse. The usual explanation for this counter­intuitive and counterproductive outcome is that bigger roads attract bigger shopping malls, which in turn attract more cars. But that’s not the whole story. In the 1960s Dietrich Braess discovered a theoretical configuration of roadways where building a new connecting road can make everyone’s trip slower even when the number of vehicles is held constant. Conversely, closing a road in the Braess network can allow everyone to get home quicker. The behavior is weird enough to justify the term “Braess’s paradox.”…”

Think you’ve got a terrible memory? You don’t know the half of it…

“What happens when the technology for manipulation on the neural level becomes possible? Could there be a future therapy for people with depression or PTSD — or heartbreak? Do people really want to have their memories manipulated? Elizabeth Loftus, Steve Ramirez and Xu Liu grapple with some big questions…”

The Fermi Paradox

“There’s also a debate over what percentage of those sun-like stars might be orbited by an Earth-like planet (one with similar temperature conditions that could have liquid water and potentially support life similar to that on Earth). Some say it’s as high as 50%, but let’s go with the more conservative 22% that came out of a recent PNAS study. That suggests that there’s a potentially-habitable Earth-like planet orbiting at least 1% of the total stars in the universe—a total of 100 billion billion Earth-like planets.

So there are 100 Earth-like planets for every grain of sand in the world. Think about that next time you’re on the beach…”

The Fermi Paradox