UMD Debuts Coursera 'MOOCs' for 2013
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland plans to offer four popular courses free this spring via Coursera – the international platform that hosts "MOOCs," massive open online courses:
Software Defined Networking
Recent trends in communications networking have made it possible to control the behavior of entire networks from a single, high-level software program. This course introduces "software defined networking (SDN)," an emerging paradigm in computer networking that allows a logically centralized software program to control the behavior of an entire network.
Separating a network's control logic from the underlying physical routers and switches that forward traffic allows network operators to write high-level control programs that specify the behavior of an entire network. Contrast this with conventional networks, whereby network operators must codify functionality in terms of low-level device configuration.
Although this new field of networking is still evolving, some common paradigms and application domains for SDN have emerged. We'll look at those in this class. Through video lectures and lab-based programming assignments, students will gain experience in the use of software programs to perform varying and complex networking tasks, ranging from usage management and resource control to implementation of more complicated network security policies.
Developing Innovative Ideas for New Companies
This course promotes "developing great ideas into great companies." With strong economies presenting rich opportunities for new venture creation, and challenging economic times presenting the necessity for many to make their own job, the need to develop the skills to develop and to act on innovative business opportunities is ever present.
Using proven content, methods, and models for new venture opportunity, students will learn how to analyze each part of a company and a customer development orientation to see if anyone really wants the product. Our goal is to demystify the startup process, and to help you build the skills to identify and act on innovative opportunities now, and in the future.
Women and the Civil Rights Movement
This course examines the U.S. civil rights movement from the vantage point of women, considering women's involvement in the legal campaigns, political protests and the impact of civil rights struggles on women's status and identity. Taking a "long civil rights movement" perspective, we begin in the late nineteenth century and consider events, organizations, and personalities through the twentieth century.
Throughout we will consider issues which have preoccupied historians, social movement theorists, and historians alike: developing and sustaining political commitment, assessing the strengths and weaknesses of various forms of political organization, maximizing influence and securing long-range objectives. We will also examine competing definitions of leadership; class, race, and gender dynamics within the movement; and the cultural dynamics of political organizing and social change.
In the process, we consider not only how the movement altered the status of African Americans in the U.S., but the legacy of these struggles as they changed understandings of citizenship and rights more broadly. Our concern throughout the course will be to not only understand the historical narrative, but also to see how historians work to make sense of the past.
Exploring Quantum Physics
Quantum physics is the foundation for much of modern technology, provides the framework for understanding light and matter from the subatomic to macroscopic domains, and makes possible the most precise measurements ever made. More than just a theory, it offers a way of looking at the world that grows richer with experience and practice. Our course provides some of that practice. Our course will provide some of that practice and teach you "tricks of the trade" (not found in textbooks) that will enable you to solve quantum-mechanical problems and understand the subject at a deeper level.
Richard Feynman once said, “I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics.” We say, that’s no reason not to try! What Feynman was referring to are some of the “spooky” phenomena like quantum entanglement, which are incomprehensible from the standpoint of classical physics. Even though they have been thoroughly tested by experiment, and are even being exploited for applications such as cryptography and logic processing, they still seem so counterintuitive that they continue to give rise to new extraordinary ideas such as the recently-discovered topological insulators. Quantum physics combines a spectacular record of discovery and predictive success, with foundational perplexities so severe that even Albert Einstein came to believe that it was wrong. This is what makes it such an exciting area of science!
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