Felice C. Frankel is an award-winning science photographer and research scientist based in MIT’s Department of Chemical Engineering. She’s also a skilled and passionate educator, whose OCW resource Making Science and Engineering Pictures: A Practical Guide to Presenting Your Work has freely shared her methods and insights with the world.
Felice describes making pictures as “an act of discovery” for both the scientist and his or her audiences. “[It] gets you, as the scientist, to look and see things that you would not ordinarily pay attention to.”
With instructional videos, hands-on tutorials, intriguing exercises and many supporting materials, one can learn a lot from this extensive OCW resource. But now there’s more: Felice has converted and extended the OCW course into a full-fledged book, Picturing Science and Engineering, now published by MIT Press.
If you’re new to making scientific imagery, or just curious to learn a little more, sample the topic and start exploring with the OCW resource. And if it grabs you (and it likely will), you’ll love the book.
In the second grade, Kelsey Moore became acquainted with geologic time. Her teachers instructed the class to unroll a giant strip of felt down a long hallway in the school. Most of the felt was solid black, but at the very end, the students caught a glimpse of red.
That tiny red strip represented the time on Earth in which humans have lived, the teachers said. The lesson sparked Moore’s curiosity. What happened on Earth before there were humans? How could she find out?
A little over a decade later, Moore enrolled in her first geoscience class at Smith College and discovered she now had the tools to begin to answer those very questions.
Moore zeroed in on geobiology, the study of how the physical Earth and biosphere interact. During the first semester of her sophomore year of college, she took a class that she says “totally blew my mind.”
“I knew I wanted to learn about Earth history. But then I took this invertebrate paleontology class and realized how much we can learn about life and how life has evolved,” Moore says. A few lectures into the semester, she mustered the courage to ask her professor, Sara Pruss in Smith’s Department of Geosciences, for a research position in the lab.
Now a fourth-year graduate student at MIT, Moore works in the geobiology lab of Associate Professor Tanja Bosak in MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences…
Start your own exploration of life’s origins on Earth, with the free lecture notes and more in OCW’s 12.007 Geobiology, co-taught by Professors Tanja Bosak and Roger Summons.
Like many scientific fields, oceanography has gone through big changes in recent decades. It’s been blessed with more high-quality data and powerful computing, leading to more accurate oceanographic models and underlying theories. It’s going through culture shifts, e.g. from male-dominated to one where women are increasingly prominent. And as oceanography has been central to our growing scientific understanding of climate change, it’s thoroughly embedded in the science communication challenges and cultural debate around this curiously contentious issue.
Wouldn’t it be great to hear an insider’s perspective on the evolving science and all these changes?
Let MIT professor Carl Wunsch be our guide. With a career starting in the mid-1960s, Professor Wunsch “is at the heart of many of the major advances in modern physical oceanography,” writes Nature climate science editor Michael White.
Professor Wunsch is the latest guest on Michael White’s “Forecast” podcast, which features long format interviews with climate scientists about climate science. Their conversation is a captivating “one-stop history of the field, and a deeply personal insight into how major science questions are conceptualized and addressed,” full of rich stories about the science, and the personalities, conflicts and connections, that make this world turn.
You can also learn some oceanography directly from Wunsch’s two courses on OCW – 12.842 Climate Physics and Chemistry and 12.864 Inference from Data and Models – and his popular online textbook Evolution of Physical Oceanography (also free on OCW). These are just a few of OCW’s extensive oceanography resources.
> Listen to “Carl Wunsch and the rise of modern oceanography” on the Forecast podcast.
By Sarah Hansen, OCW Educator Project Manager
For the past 26 years, the MacVicar Faculty Fellows Program has honored several MIT professors each year who have made outstanding contributions to undergraduate teaching, educational innovation, and mentoring.
This year’s awardees are Professors David Autor (economics), Christopher Capozzola (history), Shankar Raman (literature), and Merritt Roe Smith (history).
OCW is honored to share courses from all of this year’s Fellows.
Merritt Roe Smith
Through the OCW Educator initiative, we have also collected Instructor Insights from Professor David Autor about how he teaches 14.03 Microeconomic Theory and Public Policy. His roundabout path to teaching labor economics is both fascinating and encouraging to those of us on a winding path toward finding our passions!
- Learning to Think Like an Economist
- Offering Multiple Tools for Mastery
- Common Misconceptions about Economics
- A Roundabout Path to Labor Economics
Interested in more Instructor Insights from past MacVicar Fellows? Visit our OCW Educator portal to search for Insights from MIT Teaching Award Recipients. Delve into the minds of Lorna Gibson, Catherine Drennan, Arthur Bahr, Dennis Freeman, and many other MIT professors advancing teaching and learning in their fields.
It’s said that our ability to harness and use energy underlies the very development of modern civilization. Now, as the world grapples with climate change induced by many decades of runaway carbon emissions, our long-running quest for simply more and cheaper energy shifts toward cleaner and zero-carbon sources, and more just systems and policies to ensure that all people have fair access to essential energy resources. It’s no exaggeration to say that our future lives depend on it.
Ten years ago, the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) was launched to build momentum, coordinate efforts, and generate the innovations needed to fuel this energy system transition. A lot has happened in those 10 years, as MITEI’s Kathryn M. O’Neill reports in MIT News:
On any given day at MIT, undergraduates design hydro-powered desalination systems, graduate students test alternative fuels, and professors work to tap the huge energy-generating potential of nuclear fusion, biomaterials, and more. While some MIT researchers are modeling the impacts of policy on energy markets, others are experimenting with electrochemical forms of energy storage.
This is the robust energy community at MIT. Developed over the past 10 years with the guidance and support of the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) — and with roots extending back into the early days of the Institute — it has engaged more than 300 faculty members and spans more than 900 research projects across all five schools.
In addition, MIT offers a multidisciplinary energy minor and myriad energy-related events and activities throughout the year. Together, these efforts ensure that students who arrive on campus with an interest in energy have free rein to pursue their ambitions…
…What has MIT’s energy community as a whole accomplished over the past decade? Hockfield says it’s raised the visibility of the world’s energy problems, contributed solutions — both technical and sociopolitical — and provided “an army of young people” to lead the way to a sustainable energy future.
MIT OpenCourseWare is pleased to feature many of the subjects in the MIT Undergraduate Energy Minor on our Energy Courses page.
Congratulations to MIT computer scientist Regina Barzilay, Delta Electronics professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and a member of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL).
This morning, the MacArthur Foundation announced that she’s a 2017 Fellow, awarded for her leading-edge work “[d]eveloping machine learning methods that enable computers to process and analyze vast amounts of human language data.”
In one of her most recent projects, Professor Barzilay aims to bring machine learning assistance to the complex and constantly-evolving field of oncology.
You can sample Professor Barzilay’s teaching in these two OCW courses:
- Advanced Natural Language Processing is a a graduate introduction to natural language processing – the study of human language from a computational perspective.
- Computational Models of Discourse is a graduate level introduction to automatic discourse processing, whose applications range from dialogue systems to automatic essay writing.