With the proliferation of information technologies the obstacles to obtaining good education are quickly disappearing. Some of the best American universities have decided to upload entire classes online including video lectures, lecture notes, exercises with solutions and reading materials. Among the universities taking the lead in this revolutionary approach to education are MIT, Stanford, Harvard, Yale and many others. Although most videos can be found on popular video sharing sites like YouTube a somewhat better first stop is the website www.academicearth.org. The site tries to organize and rate the educational resources available freely online. Links to the video lectures and other materials can be found on the site. The website contains resources on virtually all standard subjects taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels including statistics, mathematics, economics, computer science, the natural sciences and many more. Here is a brief overview of some of the materials available online.

  • Mathematics
  • Differential equations(http://academicearth.org/courses/differential-equations). A great introductory class on differential equations taught at MIT. The class includes the lecture notes, exams and solutions. It is taught at the undergraduate level but it can be useful even for some graduate students who need to brush up on some solution techniques.
  • Linear algebra: There are two wonderful resources available. The undergraduate MIT class on linear algebra taught by Gilbert Strang (http://academicearth.org/courses/linear-algebra) starts with the basic concepts but quickly builds to more complicated ideas and methods. On the other hand, Stanford’s graduate course on Linear Dynamical Systems (http://academicearth.org/courses/introduction-to-linear-dynamical-systems) may be challenging for undergraduate students but provides many real world examples and the lecturer, Stephen Boyd is very engaging and fun to watch. This course will be very helpful to graduate students in statistics and econometrics.
  • Computer Science
  • A great introductory course in computer science is provided by MIT (http://academicearth.org/courses/introduction-to-computer-science-and-programming). The class uses Python as a programming language so lectures 2 to 7 are a wonderful introduction to programming with Python. The class also covers major computer science topics such as sorting, efficient algorithms, memory management and others.

A list of all subjects can be found here: http://academicearth.org/subjects/