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About The Great Courses
Tom Rollins, the founder of The Great Courses, was a law student at Harvard University and was facing an important exam on the U.S. Federal Rules of Evidence--an exam for which he wasn't prepared.
Dreading the notoriously boring subject but knowing his success depended on understanding the material, Rollins obtained videotapes of 10 lectures by a noted authority on the subject, Professor Irving Younger. Rollins planted himself in front of his television late at night and put the first tape into his VCR. What he discovered changed his life.
The tapes were unlike anything Rollins had experienced in his Harvard lecture halls. Professor Younger's lectures were outrageously insightful, impressively thorough, and engagingly witty. Most important: They hammered home the concepts in a way that made the subject both accessible and interesting. They made learning not a chore to be accomplished but an adventure to be experienced.
Rollins played all 10 hours of those lectures nearly nonstop. A few days later he passed his exam and went on to make an "A" in the course.
He never forgot the unique power of recorded lectures by a great teacher--the way that a bright mind could ignite a passion for lifelong learning. And years later, in 1990, Rollins founded The Great Courses to share that unforgettable experience with the rest of the world.
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"It doesn't take an Einstein to understand modern physics," says Professor Wolfson at the outset of these twenty-four lectures on what may be the most important subjects in the universe: relativity and quantum physics. Both have reputations for complexity. But the basic ideas behind them are, in fact, simple and comprehensible by anyone. These dynamic and illuminating lectures begin with a brief overview of theories of physical reality starting with Aristotle and culminating in Newtonian or "classical" physics. After that, you'll follow along as Professor Wolfson outlines the logic that led to Einstein's profound theory of special relativity and the simple yet far-reaching insight on which it rests. With that insight in mind, you'll move on to consider Einstein's theory of general relativity and its interpretation of gravitation in terms of the curvature of space and time.
From there, you'll embark on a dazzling exploration of how inquiry into matter at the atomic and subatomic scales led to quandaries that are resolved-or at least clarified-by quantum mechanics, a vision of physical reality so profound and so at odds with our experience that it nearly defies language.
By bringing relativity and quantum mechanics into the same picture, you'll chart the development of fascinating hypotheses about the origin, development, and possible futures of the entire universe, as well as the possibility that physics can produce a "theory of everything" to account for all aspects of the physical world. But the goal throughout these lectures remains the same: to present the key ideas of modern physics in a way that makes them clear to the interested layperson.
science and society relate to each other, especially with regard to criminal
investigations. The lectures use a case-based approach—including some of
Dr. Murray’s own forensic casework—to focus on historic forensic issues
and show how new evidence or more advanced technology can sometimes
be used to develp alternative conclusion or finally solve cold cases. At
times, we consider how historic crimes would have different outcomes if
they occurred today
This practice is closely related to "mindfulness," which Professor Muesse defines as "a deliberate way of paying attention to what is occurring within oneself as it is happening. It is the process of attentively observing your experience as it unfolds, without judgment or evaluation."
"Meditation," he adds, "refers to certain exercises that can be used to enlarge and refine mindfulness." Meditation cultivates mindfulness by training you to develop deep attention to the present moment, allowing the mind to become settled and centered. These 24 detailed lectures teach you the principles and techniques of sitting meditation, the related practice of walking meditation, and the highly beneficial use of meditative awareness in many important activities, including eating and driving. You will also learn how to use the skills of meditation in working with thoughts and emotional states, in deepening sensory awareness of the body, and in becoming deeply attentive to the operation of your mind.
You'll come away with a solid basis for your own meditation practice and for bringing meditation's remarkable and empowering benefits to every aspect of your life.
Whether you're huddled around the campfire, composing an email to a friend, or sitting down to write a novel, storytelling is fundamental to human nature. But as any writer can tell you, the blank page can be daunting. It's tough to know where to get started, what details to include in each scene, and how to move from the kernel of an idea to a completed manuscript.
Writing great fiction isn't a gift reserved for the talented few. There is a craft to storytelling that can be learned, and studying writing techniques can be incredibly rewarding - both personally and professionally. Even if you don’t have ambitions of penning the next Moby-Dick, you'll find value in exploring all the elements of fiction.
From evoking a scene to charting a plot to revising your drafts, Writing Great Fiction: Storytelling Tips and Techniques offers a master class in storytelling. Taught by award-winning novelist James Hynes, a former visiting professor at the famed Iowa Writers' Workshop, these 24 insightful lectures show you the ins and outs of the fiction writer's craft. Get tips for developing believable and memorable characters, explore how to craft plausible dialogue that serves the purposes of your narrative, compare the advantages of different points of view, and more. A wealth of exercises will inspire you to practice the many techniques you learn. Professor Hynes is an able guide, showing you what has worked for him and other novelists, and pointing out pitfalls to avoid. Writing Great Fiction is truly an exceptional course for anyone interested in storytelling.
Great music is a language unto its own, a means of communication of unmatched beauty and genius. And it has an undeniable power to move us in ways that enrich our lives - provided it is understood.
If you have ever longed to appreciate great concert music, to learn its glorious language and share in its sublime pleasures, the way is now open to you, through this series of 48 wonderful lectures designed to make music accessible to everyone who yearns to know it, regardless of prior training or knowledge. It's a lecture series that will enable you to first grasp music's forms, techniques, and terms - the grammatical elements that make you fluent in its language - and then use that newfound fluency to finally hear and understand what the greatest composers in history are actually saying to us.
And as you learn the gifts given us by nearly every major composer, you'll come to know there is one we share with each of them - a common humanity that lets us finally understand that these were simply people speaking to us, sharing their passion and wanting desperately to be heard. Using digitally recorded musical passages to illustrate his points, Professor Greenberg will take you inside magnificent compositions by Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Verdi, Wagner, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, and more. Even if you have listened to many of these illustrative pieces throughout your life - as so many of us have - you will never hear them the same way again after experiencing these lectures.
Discover an essential handbook for strategies, concepts, and insights into the dynamics of transformational leadership in these 24 lectures, which take you on an in-depth examination of the leadership behaviors and capabilities essential to creating positive change in teams and organizations. Filled with case studies and lessons from leaders in business, politics, sports, and the military, as well as a range of specific skills and strategies you can put to use in your own career, this lecture series is an authoritative guide to successful leadership.
You'll learn why, unlike management, which focuses on achieving consistent and reliable results, transformational leadership focuses on producing change - sometimes very substantial or even radical change. After an introductory lecture on the definitions of effective, transformational leadership, you dive right into the nuts and bolts of this important professional skill. In order to make the subject well organized and easily accessible, Professor Roberto has arranged Transformational Leadership into four key modules, each of which offers a focused look at a particular aspect of leadership: models of leadership (which surveys critical issues such as human behavior and long-term goals); the change process (which focuses on resistance to change as well as ways to institutionalize it); critical skills and capabilities (including motivation, persuasion, negotiation, and teamwork); and creativity, innovation and learning (which is devoted to everything from after-action reviews to systems thinking to mentoring).
Taken together, Professor Roberto's lectures are a stirring call to responsible leadership and a learning experience that's as informative as it is inspiring.
With this exciting and historically rich six-lecture course, experience for yourself the drama of this dynamic year in medieval history, centered on the landmark Norman Conquest. Taking you from the shores of Scandinavia and France to the battlefields of the English countryside, these lectures will plunge you into a world of fierce Viking warriors, powerful noble families, politically charged marriages, tense succession crises, epic military invasions, and much more.
Your journey starts in the 10th and early 11th centuries, when power in England and Normandy was very much up for grabs - and when the small island nation was under continuous assault from Viking forces. Professor Paxton helps you gain a solid grasp of the complex political alliances and shifting relationships between figures such as Emma of Normandy, Cnut, and Edward the Confessor. She also recounts for you the two seminal battles that pitted England against the Scandinavians and the Normans: the Battle of Stamford Bridge and the Battle of Hastings. Throughout the lectures, Dr. Paxton opens your eyes to continued debates and controversies over this year and offers her own take on the Norman Conquest's enduring legacy and the fascinating results of this epic clash. By exploring the year 1066 – what led up to it, what happened during that fateful year, and what changed as a result - you'll gain a sharper perspective and a greater understanding of everything that would come afterward.
This course teaches you how to be an entrepreneur and how to think like one - skills that are essential whether you are starting a business, expanding an existing business, boosting your career as an employee, pursuing a social cause, or seeking to increase your impact as a teacher, coach, minister, or other professional. Packed with fascinating lessons from legendary entrepreneurs such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, and Henry Ford, these 24 lectures are entertaining as well as practical.
You begin by investigating what makes a good business idea. Then you learn how to turn that idea into a successful enterprise by defining the market and the customers you will serve, attracting backers, building your brand, and growing your venture to the point where you can sell it, if you want, for an impressive profit.
Topics covered include market research, choosing a business structure, the all-important business plan, financial statements, running a home office, family businesses, franchises, intellectual property, employee and customer relations, and entrepreneurial exhaustion. Professor Goldsby also discusses different entrepreneurial styles, and he looks ahead to your career options after you succeed and are ready to try another challenge. He notes that entrepreneurs play an indispensible role in society: they are the ones who find problems, recognize the opportunities in those problems, then fix them and make the world a better place.
Grasp the important ideas that have served as the backbone of philosophy across the ages with this extraordinary 60-lecture series. This is your opportunity to explore the enormous range of philosophical perspectives and ponder the most important and enduring of human questions - without spending your life poring over dense philosophical texts.
Professor Robinson guides you through more than 2,000 years of philosophical thinking and gives you a coherent, comprehensive, and beautifully articulated introduction to the great conversation of philosophy. Every lecture contains substance that can change your view of the world and its history.
You'll journey from the early philosophical ideas of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle; chart the origins of Christian philosophy and investigate the Islamic scholars who preserved and extended Greek thought during the Middle Ages; and venture through Enlightenment contributions to philosophy, from Francis Bacon to Locke, Hume, Kant, Mill, and Adam Smith.
Then shift your attention to the modern era, where you see groundbreaking ideas like psychoanalysis, pragmatism, and nihilism, as well as the collision between the inherently social understanding of meaning created by Wittgenstein, the vastly different estimation of human thought developed by the code-breaking genius Alan Turing, and the subtle response to him made by the American philosopher John Searle.
While the lectures cover an enormous range of key thinkers and ideas, they always focus on the most important ideas. The result is a course that gives you everything you need to finally grasp humanity's exciting philosophical history - without years of intense academic study and piles of dense reading.
Why is it so hard to lose weight, stop smoking, or establish healthy habits? Why do couples argue about the same issues over and over? Why do so many people lie awake at night, stricken with worry and anxiety? Why is it so difficult to come to terms with a loved one's death, even if it's after a long illness?
The answers to these questions - and the path to lasting change in your life - lie in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a well-tested collection of practical techniques for managing moods and modifying undesirable behaviors through self-awareness, critical analysis, and goal-oriented change. CBT illuminates the links between thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and physical health and uses those connections to develop concrete plans for self-improvement. Built on a solid foundation of neurological and behavioral research, CBT is an approach almost anyone can use for promoting greater mental health and improving quality of life.
In 24 engaging half-hour lectures, you'll build a robust and effective self-improvement toolkit with the expert guidance of Professor Satterfield of the University of California, San Francisco. You will explore CBT's roots in Socratic and stoic philosophy, build a toolkit of CBT techniques, and hear about the latest research about its outcomes. Additionally this intriguing and practical course allows you to take on the role of medical student, physician, psychologist, and patient.
Throughout the course you'll explore issues that cause people to seek out therapy. In some cases you'll get to hear Dr. Satterfield working with a patient, and in others you'll be delving into research to find what causes issues and how CBT helps to resolve them.
Everyone has something about their life that they would like to improve. With the tools in CBT and the desire to make your situation better, you can create lasting change in your life.