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100 Incredible Lectures from the World’s Top Scholars

by Staff Writers

No matter what school you attend or what field of study you are following, it is easy to learn from some of the top scholars when you watch their online lectures. From words of wisdom on business, literature, science, technology, psychology, and more, you can hear what professors and experts from prestigious colleges and universities have to say. Take some time to check out these lectures in the quest to expand your knowledge.

Business

Find out what successful businesspeople and business professors have to say about business and entrepreneurship.

  1. Trends in Venture Capital Interest. Beth Seidenberg discusses the future of VC investing at Stanford in this lecture.
     
  2. Starcraft Theory and Strategy. Alan Feng from Berkeley discusses decision-making strategies by studying war within the game Starcraft.
     
  3. Game Theory. Yale professor Ben Polak lectures on game theory and strategic thinking here.
     
  4. Understanding the 21st Century Consumer. This lecture from Stanford features Janice Roberts sharing her views on how venture capitalists are beginning to invest in companies where they can be at the heart of technological innovation.
     
  5. Economics of Free: A New Business Model. In another lecture from Janice Roberts, listen to what she has to say about the business model that depends on advertising as a source of revenue while giving product away for free.
     
  6. Education, Discretionary Power and Emerging Entrepreneurial Societies. From Stanford, Pedro Aspe shares his thoughts on removing discretionary power of finance and economics from government officials.
     
  7. Women and Entrepreneurship Introduction. Professor Linda Hill from Harvard Business School discusses the business school and shares real-life business models.
     
  8. Introduction to Copyright Law. Keith Winstein shares all you might need to know about copyright law and how to protect your business in theses lectures from MIT.
     
  9. Video of Cory Doctorow’s talk. Accomplished journalist, Cory Doctorow, speaks in this Cambridge Business Lecture on topics that range from Digital Rights Management to his experience in business.
     
  10. Adding Value to Companies. Bill Campbell, former CEO of Intuit, speaks at Stanford about adding value to companies at all stages of their development.
     

Economics

Economic experts discuss the past, present, and future of economics at home and globally.

  1. Understanding the Crisis in the Markets: A Panel of Harvard Experts. A panel of economic experts from Harvard describe developments in the US and world markets.
     
  2. Financial Markets. Professor Robert Shiller of Yale lectures on the theory of finance and its place in society.
     
  3. The Economics of Climate Change. Michael Hanemann asks his audience to consider the impact of climate change on policy and economics for years to come.
     
  4. Financial Crises. This lecture series features economists and political analysts speaking on various financial crises.
     
  5. Climate Change: Law and Policy. William Collins at Berkeley lectures on the political and economic ramifications of climate change.
     
  6. The U.S. and the World’s Recession. Roberto Rigobon of Sloan School of Management explains current research finding on global inflation and recession.
     
  7. The Coming Generational Storm: What You Need to Know about America’s Economic Future. From MIT, Laurence Kotlikoff talks about the poor state of Social Security and why Baby Boomers need to be nice to their children.
     
  8. Origins of the Financial Mess. Princeton’s Professor Alan Blinder discusses the current state of the economy and what lead up to it.
     

Literature and Writing

These writing and literature lectures are led by some of the industry’s top scholars.

  1. The American Novel Since 1945. Amy Hungerford shares her experience studying such writers as Flannery O’Connor, JD Salinger, and Cormac McCarthy in this series of lectures from Yale.
     
  2. Virginia Woolf’s Nose. Hermione Lee has extensively studied the life and works of Virginia Woolf and speaks at Princeton on this topic.
     
  3. Milton. Yale’s Professor John Rogers lectures on Milton’s poetry and its wide-reaching influence.
     
  4. Modern Poetry. Professor Langdon Hammer lectures on a range of modern poets, including Robert Frost and TS Eliot, at Yale.
     
  5. The Film Experience. Professor David Thorburn lectures in this literature class from MIT that explores film as a narrative vehicle.
     
  6. Understanding Television. In another class lead by David Thorburn, watch video lectures that examine the evolution of television as a technology and as a system of representation for society.
     
  7. Ian McEwan: Talking and Reading from his work. Ian McEwan speaks at Princeton about his work as an author.
     
  8. Film as Visual and Literary Mythmaking. Professor Irving Singer of MIT provides several lectures on how film can support myths surrounding character, life, death, and human nature.
     
  9. The Playworld and the Empire: The Twenty-first Century and the American Playwright. Playwright Paula Vogel lectures at Princeton on the role of drama in current society.
     
  10. Writing About Race. Dr. Rebecca Blevins Faery leads this writing class with audio lectures featuring the essays written by students as the culminating project of this class that explores race and ethnicity in modern society.
     

Neuroscience

Professors and scientists from some of the top schools lecture here on neuroscience.

  1. Grey Matters: Conscious and Unconscious Memory Systems. Dr. Larry Squire of UCSD discusses memory and memory problems in this lecture, including real-life examples of those suffering from memory issues.
     
  2. How Social Behavior Changes the Brain. Dr. Russell Fernald lectures at Stanford on brain changes that occur based on social behavior.
     
  3. Neuroscience and Behavior. Gerald Schneider lectures in this MIT class about the neural system and its functions.
     
  4. Brain Structure and its Origins. These audio lectures from a class at MIT by Professor Gerald Schneider covers the limbic system, the hypothalamus, taste, auditory and visual systems, and more.
     
  5. Music and the Mind. Aniruddh Patel of the Neurosciences Institute discusses the intriguing connection between music and the brain.
     
  6. Grey Matters: Understanding Language. Professor Jeff Elman at UCSD lectures on research exploring how language is different from other animals’ forms of communication.
     
  7. Structural Plasticity in the Adult Brain. As part of the President’s Lecture Series at Princeton, Elizabeth Gould speaks about how research on neurons can lead to solutions for brain illness or injury that have traditionally left those impacted with diminished brain capacity.
     
  8. Health Matters: Behavior and Our Brain. Neuroscientist Terrence Sejnowski lectures on what scientists have begun to understand about the ways the brain contributes to what people like, how they behave, and what skills people have.
     
  9. Animal Behavior. This MIT class provides audio lectures exploring adaptive behavior of animals and how this relates to humans.
     
  10. Personal Identity, Neuroethics and the Human Brain. Dartmouth’s Michael S. Gazzaniga explores neuroscience, ethics, and personal identity in this lecture.
     

Health and Medicine

From global health to menopause and heart disease to sexual health, find out what professors are saying about the field of health and medicine with these lectures.

  1. The Battle of the Diets: Is Anyone Winning (At Losing?). This Stanford lecture by Dr. Christopher Gardener examines the results of his study that looked at the effectiveness of four popular diets.
     
  2. Is Evidence-Based Medicine a Barrier to Cost-Effective Care?. Dr. Alan Garber of Stanford lectures here on what role evidence-based medicine should play in coverage decisions.
     
  3. The Mismeasure of Man. Dr. Ralph Horwitz of Stanford Medical School talks about how society’s desire for measurable results can often overshadow the complexities of medicine.
     
  4. Genomic Medicine. Professor Isaac Samuel Kohane of MIT provides these audio lectures that examine genomic technologies and computational approaches to diagnosing and treating patients.
     
  5. New Perspectives on Menopausal Hormones and Heart Disease. Dr. Marcia Stefanick, Professor of Medicine at Stanford, discusses the results of an ongoing study at Stanford that indicates hormone replacement therapy carries health risks previously overlooked.
     
  6. Culture, Politics, and Community: Living Public Health in Nigeria. Professor Bill Brieger of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health lectures on tropical diseases in Nigeria and the social implications of treatment.
     
  7. Hans Rosling shows the best stats you’ve ever seen. Be sure to watch this entertaining lecture given by Hans Rosling where he provides statistics of the developing world, including family size and life expectancy, and works to dispel common misconceptions surrounding these countries.
     
  8. Sexual Health, HIV/STI, and Human Rights. Chris Beyrer of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health lectures on sexual rights and human rights.
     
  9. Social Entrepreneurship in Medical Care. Tarun Khanna, a professor at Harvard Business School, discusses the power entrepreneurs have to implement social changes in the medical field, using a cardiac hospital in India to make his point.
     
  10. Global Health Equity and the Future of Public Health. Paul Farmer at Wellesley College speaks about the future of public health.
     

Science

Find lectures in chemistry, astrobiology, biomedical engineering, and more.

  1. Organic Chemistry: Structure and Reactivity. Peter Vollhardt introduces organic chemistry in these lectures.
     
  2. Fundamentals of Physics. Ramamurti Shankar of Yale lectures on everything from Newtonian mechanics to theromdynamics in this lecture series.
     
  3. Astrobiology and Space Exploration. NASA research scientist Lynn Rothschild and several other authorities in the field speak on space and astrobiology here.
     
  4. General Human Anatomy. Popular Berkeley professor Marian Diamond lectures on anatomy.
     
  5. General Chemistry. Kristie Boering lectures from this class at Berkeley on the basics of chemistry.
     
  6. General Biology I. Richard Malkin of Berkeley lectures on the basics of biology in this lecture series.
     
  7. General Biology Laboratory. Enhance Malkin’s General Biology I lectures with these accompanying lab lectures.
     
  8. General Biology II. Mary Power follows Malkin’s series and discusses biology in these lectures.
     
  9. Introduction to Biomedical Engineering. Yale’s Professor Mark Saltzman provides several lectures on biomedical engineering here.
     
  10. Molecular Biology: Macromolecular Synthesis and Cellular Function. From Berkeley, see what Qiang Zhou has to say about DNA, genome structures, RNA, and more.
     
  11. Introduction to Astrophysics. Charles Bailyn discusses planetary orbits, exoplanets, the problem of Pluto, and more in this series of lectures from Yale.
     

Technology

Watch lectures here from some of the top scholars at the top technology schools.

  1. The Fourier Transform and its Applications. Brad G. Osgood lectures from Stanford on recognizing when and how to use the Fourier transform for problem solving.
     
  2. Introduction to Robotics. Oussama Khatib of Stanford lectures on how to model, design, plan, and control robot design systems.
     
  3. Introduction to Computer Science I. From a Harvard class for majors and non-majors alike, David J .Malan speaks on the basics of computer science.
     
  4. Introduction to Linear Dynamical Systems. Stanford’s Stephen Boyd lectures on the basics of linear algebra and linear dynamical systems as they pertain to circuits, signal processing, communications, and control systems.
     
  5. Computer Science I: Programming Methodology. From one of the largest courses taught at Stanford, Mehran Sahami provides an introduction to programming.
     
  6. Computer Science II: Programming Abstractions. Julie Zelenski continues the lecture series from Stanford with lectures on advanced programming topics.
     
  7. Computer Science III: Programming Paradigms. Jerry Cain completes this series on computer science with more advanced topics.
     
  8. Machine Learning. Andrew Ng provides a broad introduction to machine learning and statistical pattern recognition in this lecture from Stanford.
     
  9. Understanding Computers and the Internet. No matter your level of understanding, you can appreciate these lectures from Harvard professor, David J. Malan, covering everything from hardware to programming.
     
  10. Convex Optimization I. Stephen Boyd of Stanford lectures on recognizing and solving frequently convex optimization problems.
     
  11. Convex Optimization II. Boyd provides more lectures here to follow up on the previous series.
     

Political Science

From the philosophy of politics to dispute resolution, find a wealth of information from these scholars.

  1. Whither the Middle East?. Dennis Ross talks about the Middle East from his experience working there for the American government in his lecture at Princeton.
     
  2. Introduction to Political Philosophy. Steven B. Smith of Yale lectures on the major thinkers from the Western political tradition.
     
  3. Shaping China’s Choices. Professor Thomas Christensen of Princeton lectures on US-China relations and China’s increasing global power.
     
  4. Politics, Strategy, and Game Theory. UCLA professor, Kathleen Baun, talks about the use of game theory and other strategies in relation to politics.
     
  5. Russia: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. Speaking at Princeton, Senator Bill Bradley speaks about Russia, where it came from, and where it’s going.
     
  6. The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century. Journalist Steve Coll lectures at Princeton about the Bin Ladens.
     
  7. Workshop on Deliberative Democracy and Dispute Resolution. dispute resolution professionals and political theorists discuss deliberative democracy in this workshop from the Harvard Law School.
     
  8. Current Issues in International and Area Studies. Paula Goldman speaks about global poverty, the media as agent of change, citizen activism, philanthropy, and human rights in this lecture at Berkeley.
     
  9. God and Country: A New Role for Faith in Presidential Politics?. This round-table discussion from Princeton focuses on the changing role of religion in presidential politics.
     
  10. The World is Flat 3.0. In this lecture at MIT by NY Times columnist Thomas Friedman, hear about the update of his 2007 book as well as his following book.
     

Psychology, Philosophy, and Culture

Find out what leaders in the field of psychology and philosophy have to say in these lectures.

  1. Media, Education, and the Marketplace. Shigeru Miyagwa as well as guest lecturers discuss media and learning in this class from MIT.
     
  2. Death. This lecture at Yale from Shelly Kagan examines philosophical questions of death and the possibility of immortality.
     
  3. Philosophy of Love in the Western World. Professor Irving Singer of MIT discusses the nature of love and sex from both a philosophical and literary perspective.
     
  4. The Nature of Creativity. Watch the lectures from this MIT class that explores human creativity and innovation.
     
  5. Feeling and Imagination in Art, Science, and Technology. Philosophy, psychology, and literature are the subject of these lectures from this class at MIT.
     
  6. Sigmund Freud. Yale’s Paul Bloom lectures on Freud and his theories here.
     
  7. Philosophy in Film and Other Media. These four lectures from MIT discuss how philosophy is handled in film, literature, and opera.
     
  8. Philosophy of Film. Following up from Philosophy in Film and Other Media, this class provides lectures on how film techniques communicate philosophical meaning.
     
  9. Evolution, Emotion, and Reason: Love (Guest Lecture by Professor Peter Salovey). Professor Peter Salovey from Yale lectures on love and attraction here.
     
  10. Communication and Conflict in Couples and Families. Benjamin Karney and Thomas Bradbury of UCLA discuss connection and discord in relationships.
     
  11. Happiness: Living and Thinking About It. Renowned psychologist and Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman lectures on a variety of topics pertaining to well-being here.
     

History

These history lectures by top scholars shouldn’t be missed.

  1. Science, Magic, and Religion. This class taught by Courtenay Raia at UCLA offers a series of lectures that cover how science and religion have shaped history.
     
  2. France Since 1871. John Merriman of Yale lectures on the social, economic, and political transformation and emergence of modern France.
     
  3. Introduction to Ancient Greek History. Donald Kagan lectures on Greek civilization from the Bronze Age to the end of the classical period in these lectures from Yale.
     
  4. The Civil War and Reconstruction Era, 1845-1877. Yales’ David Blight speaks about the causes and results of the Civil War.
     
  5. Darwin’s Legacy. Several Darwin scholars from Stanford examine the impact of his theory.
     
  6. Introduction to the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible). See three lectures from this class taught by Christine Hays at Yale that explores the Old Testament as a reflection of ancient Israel.
     
  7. Seminar in Historical Methods. Anne McCants of MIT lectures on how 20th century historians write about the past.
     
  8. African American History: The Modern Freedom Struggle. These lectures delivered by Clayborne Carson at Stanford cover African-American history from 1930 to present day by examining some of the major individuals involved in the quest for freedom and justice.
     
  9. Nonviolence: from Ghandi to Martin Luther King. Berkeley’s Michael Nagler lectures on the history of strategic nonviolence from Ghandi in the east to the civil rights movement in the west.