Plugged In

Plugged In

More than wires - exploring the connections between energy, environment, and our lives

5,000 students and counting - "Energy 101″ course tops the charts


Registration for Dr. Michael E. Webber's Energy 101 course at The University of Texas at Austin opened on Thursday. Today, the course roster has more than 5,000 names on it.

This massive open online course ("MOOC") is free and open to anyone with an internet connection. And the response has been tremendous.

According to the course description:

"This multidisciplinary course will give students an overview of energy technologies, fuels, environmental impacts and public policies. Topics will be interdisciplinary and will include an introduction to quantitative concepts in energy, including the differences among fuels and energy technologies, energy policy levers, and the societal aspects of energy, such as culture, economics, war, and international affairs. This course will cover brief snippets of energy history, use real-world examples, and look forward into the future. The course will have interactive learning modules and lecture-oriented around current events related to energy."

[Note: Dr. Webber was the graduate advisor for two of Plugged In's authors - Melissa C. Lott and David Wogan - while they were studying at The University of Texas at Austin. From personal experience with Dr. Webber's lectures and teaching style, they can highly recommend that you consider registering for this course.]

This course is one of four in the initial offering from The University of Texas at Austin in its new partnership with edX, a non-profit company that was founded by Harvard and MIT last year. Through the edX website, you can take courses on quantum mechanics, computer graphics, the challenges of global poverty, or the "ancient greek hero."

Courses through edX are available to any student who wants to learn. Each will be taught by top universities including MIT, Harvard, and UT Austin are TU Delft, The University of Toronto, Australian National University, and even EPFL - one of the two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology.

Facebook Announcement by the Webber Energy Group at UT Austin

H/T to the Webber Energy Group and the Texas Tribune.


The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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