Harvard Course on Positive Psychology: Watch 30 Lectures from the University’s Extremely Popular Course

Several years back Tal Ben-Shahar taught a course on Positive Psychology at Harvard, which became, at least for a while, the most popular course at the university. About the course NPR wrote: "Twice a week, some 900 students attend Tal Ben-Shahar's class on what he calls 'how to get happy.' ... His class offers research from the relatively new field of positive psychology, which focuses on what makes people happy, rather than just their pathologies."

Available in an admittedly grainy format, you can watch the 30 lectures from that course above, or over on YouTube. According to the original syllabus, topics discussed include "happiness, self-esteem, empathy, friendship, love, achievement, creativity, music, spirituality, and humor."

If you're interested in delving deeper into Positive Psychology, we'd recommend reading the works of Martin Seligman, the University of Pennsylvania professor who effectively invented the field. Or better yet, you can sign up for a Coursera course that Seligman helped create--Positive Psychology: Well-Being for Life. The next round of that course starts on August 21st.

For related subjects visit our collection of Free Psychology Courses, a subset of our meta collection, 1,250 Free Online Courses from Top Universities.

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New Deep Learning Courses Released on Coursera, with Hope of Teaching Millions the Basics of Artificial Intelligence

FYI: If you follow edtech, you know the name Andrew Ng. He's the Stanford computer science professor, who co-founded MOOC-provider Coursera and later became chief scientist at Baidu. Since leaving Baidu, he's been working on three artificial intelligence projects, the first of which he unveiled yesterday. On Medium, he wrote:

I have been working on three new AI projects, and am thrilled to announce the first one: deeplearning.ai, a project dedicated to disseminating AI knowledge, is launching a new sequence of Deep Learning courses on Coursera. These courses will help you master Deep Learning, apply it effectively, and build a career in AI.

Speaking to the MIT Technology Review, Ng elaborated: "The thing that really excites me today is building a new AI-powered society... I don’t think any one company could do all the work that needs to be done, so I think the only way to get there is if we teach millions of people to use these AI tools so they can go and invent the things that no large company, or company I could build, could do."

Andrew's new 5-part series of courses on Deep Learning can be accessed here.

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Google Launches Free Course on Deep Learning: The Science of Teaching Computers How to Teach Themselves

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Google Launches Free Course on Deep Learning: The Science of Teaching Computers How to Teach Themselves

Last Friday, we mentioned how Google's artificial intelligence software DeepMind has the ability to teach itself many things. It can teach itself how to walk, jump and run. Even take professional pictures. Or defeat the world's best player of the Chinese strategy game, Go. The science of teaching computers how to do things is called Deep Learning. And you can now immerse yourself in this world by taking a free, 3-month course on Deep Learning itself. Offered through Udacity, the course is taught by Vincent Vanhoucke, the technical lead in Google's Brain team. You can learn more about the course via Vanhoucke's blog post. Or just enroll here. (You will need to create an account with Udacity to get started.)

The free course takes about 3 months to complete. It will be added to our list of Free Computer Sciences courses, a subset of our larger collection,  1,250 Free Online Courses from Top Universities.

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Herbie Hancock to Teach His First Online Course on Jazz

MasterClass is on fire these days. In recent months, the new online course provider has announced the development of online courses taught by leading figures in their fields. And certainly some names you'll recognize: Dr. Jane Goodall on the EnvironmentDavid Mamet on Dramatic WritingSteve Martin on ComedyAaron Sorkin on Screenwriting, Gordon Ramsay on Cooking, Christina Aguilera on Singing, and Werner Herzog on Filmmaking. Now add this to the list: Herbie Hancock on Jazz.

Writes MasterClass:

Herbie Hancock’s jazz career started in his family’s living room, listening to his favorite records and trying to play along. Now, he’s one of the most celebrated musicians in the world. Join Herbie at the piano as he shares his approach to improvisation, composition, and harmony.

The course won't get started until this fall, but you can pre-enroll now. Priced at $90, the course will feature:

  • 20+ video lessons where Herbie teaches you how to "improvise, compose, and develop your own sound."
  • 10+ original piano transcriptions, including 5 exclusive solo performances.
  • A downloadable class workbook.
  • And the chance to have the 14-time Grammy winner critique your work.

Apparently this will be the first time Hancock has ever taught a course online.

Learn more about Herbie Hancock Teaches Jazz here. And find more MasterClass courses here.

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Take Free Philosophy Courses from The Institute of Art and Ideas: From “The Meaning of Life” to “Heidegger Meets Van Gogh”

Back in 2014, we told you about how The Institute of Art and Ideas (IAI) launched IAI Academy -- an online educational platform that features free courses from world-leading scholars "on the ideas that matter." They have since put online a number of philosophy courses, many striving to address questions that affect our lives today. We've listed a number of them below, and added them to our list of 150+ Free Online Philosophy courses. For a complete list of IAI Academy courses, visit this page.

  • Heidegger Meets Van Gogh: Art, Freedom and Technology - Web video - Simon Glendinning, London School of Economics
  • Dark Matter of the Mind - Web video - Daniel Everett, Bentley University
  • Fear and Trembling in the 21st Century - Web video - Clare Carlisle, King’s College London
  • Knowledge and Rationality - Web Video - Corine Besson, University of Sussex
  • Life, Meaning and Morality - Web video - Christopher Hamilton, King’s College, London
  • Minds, Morality and Agency - Web video - Mark Rowlands, University of Miami
  • On Romantic Love - Web video - Berit Brogaard, University of Miami
  • The Human Compass - Web video - Janne Teller
  • The Meaning of Life - Web video - Steve Fuller, University of Warwick
  • The Universe As We Find It - Web video - John Heil, Washington University in St Louis
  • Unveiling Reality - Web video - Bryan Roberts, London School of Economics
  • Why the World Does Not Exist - Web video - Markus Gabriel, Freiburg Institute of Advanced Study.

Note: The courses are all free. However, to take a course you will need to create a user account.

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1,250 Free Online Courses from Top Universities

Introduction to Python, Data Science & Computational Thinking: Free Online Courses from MIT

FYI: MIT has posted online the video lectures for an essential series of courses. In the playlist of 38 lectures above, you can get an Introduction to Computer Science and Programming in Python. Recorded this past fall, and taught by Prof. Eric Grimson, Prof. John Guttag, and Dr. Ana Bell, the course is "intended for students with little or no programming experience. It aims to provide students with an understanding of the role computation can play in solving problems and to help students, regardless of their major, feel justifiably confident of their ability to write small programs that allow them to accomplish useful goals. The class uses the Python 3.5 programming language." Find accompanying course materials, including syllabus, here.

The follow up course, Introduction to Computational Thinking and Data Science, is again intended for students with little or no programming experience. "It aims to provide students with an understanding of the role computation can play in solving problems and to help students, regardless of their major, feel justifiably confident of their ability to write small programs that allow them to accomplish useful goals. The class uses the Python 3.5 programming language." Find related course materials here, and the 15 lectures on this playlist.

Both courses will be added to our collection of Free Computer Science Courses, a subset of our collection, 1,250 Free Online Courses from Top Universities.

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If you'd like to support Open Culture and our mission, please consider making a donation to our site. It's hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us provide the best free cultural and educational materials.

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Dr. Jane Goodall Will Teach an Online Course About Conserving Our Environment

A quick heads up: The great primatologist and anthropologist Dr. Jane Goodall--now 83 years old--will soon teach her first online course ever. Hosted by Masterclass, the course, consisting of 25 video lectures, will teach students how they can conserve the environment. It will also share Goodall's research on the behavioral patterns of chimpanzees and what they taught her about conservation. The course won't get started until this fall, but you can pre-enroll now. The cost is $90.

Other courses currently offered by Masterclass include:

Find more courses taught by star instructors here.

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