MIT OpenCourseWare videos on YouTube have been restored

MIT OpenCourseWare’s videos on YouTube, which had been blocked around the world since last Thursday evening, are once again viewable.

Just before midnight (EDT) on Thursday June 14, over 5,000 OCW videos on YouTube — including classroom lectures, MIT faculty interviews, and student project presentations — were suddenly blocked to viewers all around the world. Visitors to the OCW channel on the YouTube website, or on the YouTube app, saw an error message: “This video contains content from MIT. It is not available in your country.

While this error message implied that the blockage was somehow dependent on the viewer’s country, we believe the blockage was worldwide.

Visitors to the OCW website, where these videos are embedded within course webpages, got a similar error message that videos could not be played.

OCW immediately requested help from YouTube Support to fix the issue.

On Monday June 18, the YouTube team informed OCW that the videos would be restored upon approving a new “Subscription Offerings Amendment” to our YouTube Partner Agreement. After discussions between MIT and YouTube legal teams, an approved agreement is now in place.

We are glad that YouTube has restored access to OCW’s videos. YouTube has long been a valued partner to OCW in freely sharing our open course materials around the world. We look forward to working with YouTube to ensure that our content remains available to all, without barriers.

NOTE: This post was updated on June 25, 2018, to reflect the approved agreement between MIT and YouTube.

Statement on OCW Videos Blocked on YouTube

At around midnight on June 14, a number of OCW videos on YouTube suddenly became unavailable for many learners.  Instead, they saw the following message from YouTube: “This video contains content from MIT. It is not available in your country.”

As of 3:00pm EDT Monday June 18, we still don’t have a solution.  Learners from the United States, India, China, Egypt, Belgium, Serbia, Kazakhstan – from all around the world – are still unable to access this MIT content. YouTube support is investigating the issue, and we eagerly await a fix.

Media reports show that OCW is not alone in this video blocking problem. Among others, it’s hit the popular YouTube channels of Blender, India’s Press Information Bureau, Czech soccer club AC Sparta Praha, and England Rugby.

We are deeply concerned about the blocking of these videos, as we know that so many OCW visitors rely on this content every day. We appreciate how the YouTube platform has allowed OCW to reach millions of learners from around the globe for free, consistent with our mission: to freely and openly share MIT course materials with the world.

While our YouTube videos are blocked, you can still access our videos through iTunes and the Internet Archive, via links on the OCW pages hosting each video.

We appreciate the outpouring of concern from our global community of passionate learners and educators. You’re the reason we’re here!

We’ll continue to work with YouTube to ensure that our videos are restored and accessible to all, without any barriers.

The Facts Don’t Speak for Themselves

Graphic with thin vertical color bands going from dark blue to lighter to red.

What story do you get from this visualization of annual global temperatures from 1850-2017? (Image: Ed Hawkins, License CC BY-SA)

By Joe Pickett, OCW Publication Director

Big data is the signature feature of the Information Age. It reveals patterns we could never see before, patterns in consumer behavior, medical treatments, weather events, just about anything we can think of.

But those patterns have to be discerned, and their stories shaped before they can have an impact.

Shaped how? By collection and presentation methods, and then by researchers who interpret and explain what they have discovered.

Or so says Rahul Bhargava, the instructor of CMS.631 Data Storytelling Studio: Climate Change, a course just published on OCW:

“…The idea that facts could ever speak for themselves is a total misunderstanding of data. Everything from data collection (decisions about “who counts”) to presentation (choices about what kind of chart to use, where the vertical axis starts, what colors to use, etc.) comprise rhetorical decisions that change how someone understands what you’ve done. The minute you make the smallest decision about how to gather or present information, you’ve already turned data into speech. It’s not objective truth; it’s rhetoric.”

So if you want to use data to change the world, you need to devise a compelling argument. How to formulate and share that argument is the subject of this course, which uses climate change as its special focus.

The OCW course site has a full set of readings, lecture slides and notes, plus a variety of assignments to foster creative thinking.

Webpage screenshot with martini glass image, "The Olive," and photo of young blond white woman in exercise clothes.

This student project shows that satire and data do mix!

Sample coursework highlights how the students put their learning into practice, including a board game about the refugee experience, an online quiz about bikeshare programs, and a satire in the style of The Onion whose humor points are backed by creative data presentations.

Teaching with a Compass instead of a Map

Photo of a smiling man standing by desk and workspace, looking to the side.

Instructor Rahul Bhargava.

CMS.631 has its roots in workshops taught by Bhargava, and needless to say, teaching students who spend a lot of their time working on projects requires a flexible, somewhat improvisational approach. As Bhargava explains in one of his Instructor Insights:

“The Data Storytelling Studio is a compass-led course. I point students in the right direction, and then follow where they go. My role is to be with them on the journey to make sure they don’t fall into a giant crevasse…I’m definitely the guide in the classroom and I’m in charge of the course, there’s no question about that. But I respect and honor the skills that students bring into the classroom. It’s an essential part of the course design.”

In other Insights, Bhargava shares tips for building student confidence in working with data and for getting students to work productively in teams.  He notes further how he engages participation by having students create “data sculptures” with craft materials and by getting them to write in a common blogspace.

In their own series of Insights, several students identify the data storytelling techniques they found most compelling, and they offer their advice for future students and educators.

We think it makes a fabulous success story! But don’t take it from us. Look at the data yourself!

Good Vibrations Making Big Waves

Photo of water drop rebounding off surface of water, with several circular waves rolling out.

Vibrations and waves caused by water drops. (Image courtesy of erwan bazin on Flickr. License CC BY-NC-SA.)

By Joe Pickett, OCW Publication Director

Good, good, good, good vibrations . . . are not just fundamental to love, but to the structure of the universe itself.

In fact, “without waves and vibrations, we would not be able to even recognize this universe,” says Professor Yen-Jie Lee, in his introductory video to Physics III: 8.03SC Vibrations and Waves, a course just published on OCW. Think about it: light, sound, brain activity, and even gravitation all involve vibrations and waves. These phenomena are everywhere. To understand them is to understand the universe.

The latest OCW Scholar course, 8.03SC has a tsunami of resources for those interested in discovering the physics that describe these phenomena. The course site has full video lectures, lecture notes, problem sets, exams with solutions, and a free online textbook. A second series of videos by Professor Wit Busza shows how to think about and solve problems.

Like other Scholar courses, 8.03SC is arranged sequentially, by learning units, so you can progress through the semester just the way Professor Lee’s students did. But there’s also a handy resource index to help you quickly zero in on specific resources that might be of interest.

As the description says, “This course will provide you with the concepts and mathematical tools necessary to understand and explain a broad range of vibrations and waves. You will learn that waves come from many interconnected (coupled) objects when they are vibrating together. We will discuss many of these phenomena, along with related topics, including mechanical vibrations and waves, sound waves, electromagnetic waves, optics, and gravitational waves.”

Demos to Make It Real

Man gesturing at a table with a wave demonstration apparatus, saying "Let's see what is going to happen."

Professor Lee conducts one of his many in-class demonstrations which are part of the course videos.

In most lectures, Professor Lee conducts reality-checks for the mathematics he presents by including a variety of physical demonstrations. You’ll see how sound waves can propagate across different systems, how a moonwalk works by having one wave moving forward over another moving backward, how optical fiber transmission is made possible by the way light waves bounce off surfaces, and much, much more. For user convenience, each lecture section also lists the demos separately, so you can go directly to the demos if you like.

Insights into How It Is Taught

In his video Instructor Insights, Professor Lee explains why these demonstrations are so important, how he weaves them into his lectures, and how they must be carefully staged before each lecture. In other insights, he shares further pedagogic stratagems, like how he uses humor to enliven his lectures and reinforce student learning, how he employs questionnaires to adjust the pace of the course to the particular mix of students in a given class, and how and why he has changed the course from the way it was previously taught.

So why not explore 8.03SC? You might catch a wave and find that you’re sitting on top of the world!

Brains, Minds and Machines: An Interdisciplinary Tour-de-Force

Diagram of human brain highlighting different regions; a process flow diagram about understanding a visual scene; and photo of a humanoid robot.What is the nature of intelligence?

How does the brain produce intelligent behavior?

How can we apply this understanding to build wiser and more useful machines, for the benefit of society?

By Curt Newton, OCW Site Curator

If these questions grab your interest, check out OCW’s just-published Brains, Minds and Machines Summer Course. It’s an interdisciplinary tour-de-force, presenting some of the latest thinking in neuroscience, cognitive science, computation, artificial intelligence, and robotics.

These questions are animating some of the world’s brightest minds — especially here at MIT, with the recently-announced Intelligence Quest initiative.

Consider the challenge of self-driving vehicles. Safe driving is plenty hard for humans…can we build machines which are better drivers? There are myriad challenges, like sophisticated vision, the ability to understand scenes, learn, and make predictions, and acting instantaneously on feedback. We need to understand these sophisticated behaviors, and many others, in “engineering” terms before we can build and use them in systems.

That’s precisely what this course is about. Through video lectures, panel discussions, and tutorials, you’ll get a state-of-the-art perspective from 40 faculty and research leaders: what do we know, what’s going on in labs right now, and where are we heading?

The course is organized by the Center for Brains, Minds and Machines: a National Science Foundation-funded multi-institutional collaboration for the interdisciplinary study of intelligence, headquartered at MIT’s McGovern Institute for Brain Research, and with managing partners at Harvard University.

The course is designed for graduate students, postdocs, faculty and professionals who may be well-grounded in one field, and want to develop a grasp of the synergistic interplay among all these related fields. Its goal is to “create a community of leaders in the science of intelligence who are equally knowledgeable in neuroscience, cognitive science, and computer science.”

The OCW course site is organized into 9 units. It’s chock full of video, over 46 hours in all, and with extensive linked reading lists for each unit.

Here are just a few of the many highlights:

Recognizing it’s hard to be an expert in every one of these fields, the OCW course site includes a set of background tutorials to bring you up to speed on topics like neuroscience, machine learning, and neural decoding.

Students enrolled in the summer course put their learning into practice by working on an open-ended project of their choice. Learn more about these projects through short video interviews with some students.

This new OCW course site enriches our Supplemental Resource collection of materials from outside the official MIT curriculum. The summer course also forms a basis for the on-campus MIT course 9.523 Aspects of a Computation Theory of Intelligence. Instructor Insights from Ellen Hildreth, the summer course coordinator, describe the summer course’s conversion into a focused full-semester MIT course.

Participants in the Brains, Minds and Machines Summer Course have an intensive non-stop learning experience. Fortunately, OCW lets you explore the materials at your own pace, in your own sequence, and return to it again and again. There’s a LOT to learn here, and the future world awaits!

More of OCW’s Greatest Hits: Political Science and Global Studies and Languages

By Joe Pickett, OCW Publication Director

In this post, we continue our Greatest Hits series, highlighting here the most visited OCW courses from the departments of Political Science and Global Studies and Languages.

As with other departments, introductory courses get the most visits.


Photo of a wooden gavel on a tabletop.

(Photo courtesy of Daniel Bersak.)

Political Science

  • 17.03 Introduction to Political Thought taught by Sarah Song
    “This course examines major texts in the history of political thought and the questions they raise about the design of the political and social order. It considers the ways in which thinkers have responded to the particular political problems of their day, and the ways in which they contribute to a broader conversation about human goods and needs, justice, democracy, and the proper relationship of the individual to the state.”
  • 17.158 Political Economy of Western Europe taught by Professor Suzanne Berger
    “This course examines the role of European states in postwar period of rapid economic growth and current crisis. Includes analysis of different state traditions (“etatist,” liberal, authoritarian); government’s role in decline of some economies and rise of others; why and where Keynesianism, indicative planning, and state enterprises were introduced; alternative conceptions of contemporary economic problems . . . and of policies to deal with them.”
  • 17.881 Game Theory and Political Theory taught by Professor James Snyder
    “This course aims to give students an entry-level understanding of the basic concepts of game theory, and how these concepts have been applied to the study of political phenomena. Because an important component of game theory in political science and political economy is the analysis of substantive political phenomena, we will cover illustrative examples each week in combination with methodological developments. The political and economic phenomena that we will examine include legislative rules, nuclear deterrence, electoral competition, and imperfect markets.”
  • 17.20 Introduction to American Politics taught by Professor Devin Caughey
    “This course provides a substantive overview of U.S. politics and an introduction to the discipline of political science. It surveys the institutional foundations of U.S. politics as well as the activities of political elites, organizations, and ordinary citizens. It also explores the application of general political science concepts and analytic frameworks to specific episodes and phenomena in U.S. politics.”
  • 17.000J Political Philosophy: Global Justice taught by Professors Joshua Cohen, Thomas Scanlon, and Amartya Sen
    “This course explores the foundations and content of norms of justice that apply beyond the borders of a single state. We examine issues of political justice, economic justice, and human rights. Topics include the case for skepticism about global justice; the idea of global democracy; intellectual property rights; the nature of distributive justice at the global level; pluralism and human rights; and rights to control borders.”

Photo of a Japanese temple gate with red-leaved maple tree out front.

(Photo courtesy of eien no dreamer on Flickr. CC-BY-NC-SA.)

Global Studies and Languages

  • 21G.701 Spanish I taught by Margueritas Ribas Groeger and Solivia Márquez
    “This course deals with all basic language skills: aural comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing. This class assumes no previous knowledge of Spanish . . . The central component of the text and workbook is a series of 26 half-hour video episodes. The videos allow students to learn authentic Spanish and experience its cultural diversity while following a good story full of surprises and human emotions. Students also listen to an audio-only program integrated with the text and workbook. In the classroom, students do a variety of activities and exercises, which include talking in Spanish about the video program, practicing pronunciation and grammar, and interacting in Spanish with classmates in pairs and small groups.”
  • 21G.501 Japanese I taught by Masami Ikeda-Lamm and Yoshimi Nagaya
    “The main objective of this course is to build up four basic skills in Japanese: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Students will acquire the basic understanding of the Japanese language structures as well as learning kana and some kanji, the Japanese characters. It is important to keep in mind that you are expected to develop the ability to communicate in the Japanese language appropriately in the given social situations. Therefore, you will be given a lot of oral practices aiming at cultivating active command of Japanese.”
  • 21G.223 Listening, Speaking, and Pronouncing taught by Isaiah WonHo Yoo
    “This course is designed for high-intermediate ESL students who need to develop better listening comprehension and oral skills, which will primarily be achieved by detailed instructions on pronunciation. Our focus will be on (1) producing accurate and intelligible English, (2) becoming more comfortable listening to rapidly spoken English, and (3) learning common expressions, gambits, and idioms used in both formal and informal contexts.”
  • 21G.101 Chinese I (Regular) taught by Dr. Haohsiang Liao
    “This subject is the first semester of four that forms an introduction to modern standard Chinese, commonly called Mandarin, the language with the largest number of native speakers in the world . . . The course presupposes no prior background in the language. Course objectives are to master Mandarin pronunciation, including the recognition and writing of Pinyin romanization, basic reading and writing skills . . . and to develop the ability to participate in simple, practical conversations on everyday topics.” This course features video Instructor Insights in both English and Chinese in which Dr. Liao explains how he teaches.
  • 21G.301 French I taught by Cathy Culot, Gilberte Furstenberg, Johann Sadock, Laura Ceia-Minjares, and Sabine Levet
    “This is an introductory course that is conducted entirely in French. The goals for this semester are: to be able to understand, speak, write and read in the present, future and past tenses; to be able to write short compositions without the use of a dictionary; to become acquainted with French and Francophone customs, history and civilization on a simple scale; and to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for your own culture as well as others’.”

Greatest Hits of the Humanities, Part IV: Music and Theater Arts

By Joe Pickett, OCW Publication Director

Sing! Play! Dance! Make a Scene!

Get ready for the fourth and final installment in our survey of the most visited courses in the Humanities, this episode featuring courses from the MIT department of Music and Theater Arts. We present courses from each of these disciplines, which are combined in one department at MIT.

As with our other lists of most popular OCW sites, introductory courses stand out. These courses are distinguished by fascinating reading and listening and by creative activities and projects!


Photo of two singers on microphones with a recording engineering in the background.

21M.380 students run a recording session with the MIT Ohms acapella singing group. (Photo by MIT OpenCourseWare.)

Music

  • 21M.051 Fundamentals of Music taught by Pamela Wood
    “This class introduces students to the rudiments of Western music through oral, aural, and written practice utilizing rhythm, melody, intervals, scales, chords, and musical notation. The approach is based upon the inclusive Kodály philosophy of music education. Individual skills are addressed through a variety of means, emphasizing singing and keyboard practice in the required piano labs.”
  • 21M.011 Introduction to Western Music taught by Professor Ellen Harris
    “This course gives a broad overview of Western music from the Middle Ages to the 20th century, with emphasis on late baroque, classical, romantic, and modernist styles (1700-1910). It is also meant to enhance students’ musical experience by developing listening skills and an understanding of diverse forms and genres. Major composers and their works will be placed in social and cultural contexts.”
  • 21M.351 Music Composition taught by Professor Peter Child
    “This course features directed composition of larger forms of original writing involving voices and/or instruments. It includes a weekly seminar in composition for the presentation and discussion of work in progress. Students are expected to produce at least one substantive work, performed in public, by the end of the term. Contemporary compositions and major works from 20th-century music literature are studied.”
  • 21M.380 Music and Technology: Recording Techniques and Audio Production taught by Professor Christopher Ariza
    “This course covers foundations, practices, and creative techniques in audio recording and music production, including microphone selection and placement, mixing, mastering, signal processing, automation, and digital audio workstations.”
  • 21M.301 Harmony and Counterpoint I taught by Professor Brian Robison
    “…[W]e will study the basic harmonic, melodic, and formal practices of western music, principally the classical music of central Europe during the eighteenth century. Topics will include diatonic harmony, simple counterpoint in two parts, and tones of figuration. The coursework will combine composition, listening, analysis, and work in sight-singing and keyboard musicianship.”

Photo of a student wearing assortment of costume elements.

A student in 21M.715 The Craft of Costume Design models various costume elements. (Photo by Leslie Held; costuming by an MIT student. Used with permission.)

Theater

  • 21M.732 Beginning Costume Design and Construction taught by Leslie Cocuzzo Held
    “This is an intermediate workshop designed for students who have a basic understanding of the principles of theatrical design and who want a more intensive study of costume design and the psychology of clothing. Students develop designs that emerge through a process of character analysis, based on the script and directorial concept. Period research, design, and rendering skills are fostered through practical exercises. Instruction in basic costume construction, including drafting and draping, provide tools for students to produce final projects.”
  • 21M.604 Playwriting I taught by Laura Harrington
    “This class introduces the craft of writing for the theater. Through weekly assignments, in class writing exercises, and work on a sustained piece, students explore scene structure, action, events, voice, and dialogue. We examine produced playscripts and discuss student work. This class’s emphasis is on process, risk-taking, and finding one’s own voice and vision.”
  • 21M.603 Principles of Design taught by Karen Perlow, Leslie Cocuzzo Held, Michael Katz, and William Fregosi
    “This course deals with advanced design theories and textual analysis. Emphasis is placed on script analysis in general, as well as the investigation of design principles from a designer’s perspective. Students also refine technical skills in rendering and presentation, historical research, and analysis. Class sessions include interaction with student/faculty directors and other staff designers. The goal of this course is for students to approach text with a fresh vision and translate that vision into design for performance.”
  • 21M.715 The Craft of Costume Design taught by Leslie Cocuzzo Held
    “This class provides an overview of some of the techniques used in creating costume pieces that are crafted rather than sewn. We will use a variety of materials and techniques to create specific costume pieces while at the same time exploring alternative applications possible for each material/technique. Students should come to class prepared to be painted, dyed, gilded, dusted and dirtied.”
  • 21M.675 Dance Theory and Composition taught by Thomas De Frantz
    “This course introduces students to the art and formal ideologies of contemporary dance. We explore the aesthetic and technical underpinnings of contemporary dance composition. Basic compositional techniques are discussed and practiced, with an emphasis on principles such as weight, space, time, effort, and shape. Principles of musicality are considered and developed by each student. Working with each other as the raw material of the dance, students develop short compositions that reveal their understanding of basic techniques. Hopefully, students come to understand a range of compositional possibilities available to artists who work with the medium of the human body.”

See all Music and Theater Arts courses on OCW >