T5E Vacation Guide 2014-2015: Online Courses

You can view the entire Vacation Guide here.

Squandering your time seems an intuitive choice during a holiday, and that uneasy feeling in the pit of your stomach when the last days of the holidays are at hand seems inevitable. If you’re driven by the determination–but not nearly as much as the world-changers and the summer-school-takers– to spend the remainder of your vacation productively, try sinking your teeth into a few of these online courses. You can learn at home, without burning a hole in either your shoes or your pockets.

Interested in Economics? What about Statistical Learning? It’s really not very math-heavy, and all you need are your fundamentals in linear algebra and computing. If it’s programming you have a sweet tooth for, how about learning how to develop android applications and getting to the backstage of the devices that today’s world runs on? Plenty of such courses are available online, taught by renowned professors of Stanford, Yale and other Ivy League universities.

Online courses

You could explore the courses on these sites:

Stanford Online

Open Yale Courses

MIT OpenCourseWare




These lectures were recorded in college classrooms and are available in video, audio, and text transcript formats. Some of these courses can even get you a certificate from these universities, provided you score well enough in the end. They can either be time-bound or self-paced — make sure to choose wisely based on your time constraints.

Another site boasting of a global classroom for students, parents and teachers is Khan Academy Though its humanities courses are more or less limited to western philosophy and western history, its science and technology courses are abundant ranging from third-grade math to programming.

If you have any particular courses in mind go ahead and search in SlideRule, founded by IIT and UCLA alumni. The versatile courses they host could in conjunction satisfy any of your academic needs. Some of the highly rated and free courses suggested by them are:

  1. Astrobiology and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life (University of Edinburgh)

  2. Digital Signal Processing  (Polytechnic college, Lausanne)

  3. Fantasy and Science Fiction:The Human Mind and Our Modern World  (University of Michigan)

  4. Cryptography  (Stanford University )

  5. The Language of Hollywood: Storytelling, Sound and Colour (Wesleyan University)

If you’re in need of something more close to home, check out NPTEL , the IIT’s and IISc’s free open online portal for web and video courses in science and engineering.

Finally, if you are in touch with your geeky side and want to get down with some decent programming courses, have a look at GCU: Google Code University has gathered a large collection of educational materials to help you learn how to program, whether you want to learn how to program in C++, Java, or Python, or program your website using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. So, now that you know about the latent academic potential residing in the internet, jump right in and tap into it! Have a wonderful and productive summer!

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