Columbia University professor and physicist Brian Greene launched a science education platform called World Science U today.
World Science U launches with two classes, dealing with Einstein’s theories of relativity taught by Greene. More courses are in the planning.
Greene is a professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University and the co-director of Columbia’s Institute for Strings, Cosmology, and Astroparticle Physics, where he specializes in superstring theory.
In addition to his teaching at Columbia University, Greene is the co-founder of the annual World Science Festival. He also wrote a number of books explaining abstract physics theories to a broader audience.
World Science U offers different learning modules ranging from short two minute video clips called explainers over short 2-3 week seminars to 8-10 week university level courses. Greene recorded 500 of the explainer clips for the project.
World Science U does not focus on being massive but on quality and innovation instead even if that means a smaller audience, Greene told Co.EXIST. Other than MOOC platforms that in most cases only transfer classic teaching approaches onto the Internet, the aim of World Science U is to turn abstract ideas into interactives that people can play with, says Greene.
Before launching World Science U to the public, Greene taught a course on special relativity at CU only based on the material that is now available on the platform. He is teaching the first two courses on World Science U and is looking for other professors to join the platform.
World Science U is free to use. Similar to the MOOC platforms Greene will experiment with different ways of generating revenue down the road, either through paid certifications like Coursera, Udacity and edX or through grants from foundations like Khan Academy.
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