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Matt Pierce

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  • 8 reviews
  • 8 completed
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I took this class hoping to expand my philosophical horizons with some new perspectives on Indigenous thought and philosophy. There was a good degree of what I was looking for (mostly in relation to Aboriginal ideas about knowledge, knowing, and education - which wa fascinating), but this course actually is more designed to speak to the social issues regarding First Nations (particularly those in Canada) including education, economics, and governance. It was still quite interesting, however, and the instructor provided an abundance of out-of-class resources in the form of videos and reading. You could tell a lot of effort went into putting this course together.
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I was taking this class purely out of interest and it was FASCINATING. Seriously, I enjoyed this course all the way through, from week-to-week my interest never wavered as is so common with MOOCs. Lots of interesting, well- informed speakers and lots of detailed figures presented without being overwhelming. They really get into the industrial agricultural systems of the U.S. in an objective (note, that doesn't mean neutral) way. They have a number of guest lecturers that are all also very informative. If it's offered again, I highly recommend it to everyone, it could really change the way you think about the food you eat.
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I've only recently developed any serious interest in film as an actual artform and I've gotta' say that this course, though almost painfully easy, really did a lot to expand my horizons. Before this course, I'd never been able to enjoy a silent film, but I was thoroughly entertained by both of the silent movies we watched in the first week. It's all about how much you engage with the material presented by Professor Higgins, who is very knowledgeable and passionate about the films presented. He presents a variety of films, some that I'd have never watched had I not taken this course, and provides some very thoughtful commentary on each, highlighting aspects of the film making process as they grow and develop. You have to take this class if you're a budding film buff.
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The first half of this course was a lot more engaging and interesting than the second half, but of course that could have just been me steadily losing interest. It was relatively dry, but quite informative. There was a bit of frustration surrounding some of the mathematics in the latter half of the course as well, which wasn't really covered at all in the lectures or in any resources given by the instructor (except for a short and somewhat unhelpful study guide given after a lot of the students had expressed their dismay). Overall, it is what it is. A basic overview of the fundamentals of personal finance. If you're interested in staying engaged with the material, it is a decent intro class.
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I actually enrolled in this course while taking a Greek Mythology course at my actual college. It was really interesting to have the juxtaposition of two VASTLY different approaches to the material, and to see what common threads emerged from the two. I will say, that purely on the level of familiarizing myself with Greek Myth, this course probably wins out over my school's course, which was more of a comparative myth class through the lens of the Greeks, whereas this course really got a lot more involved in the meat of what the Greco-Roman myths really are, at their core. The professor has an infectious enthusiasm that really engages you with the material, and this course had one of the most active, interesting, and helpful forums of any MOOC I've yet taken. Highly recommended!
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Great course. The instructors do a great job of explaining genetic and epigenetic concepts in ways that are readily understandable and they always give you some tangible way of connecting with the ideas presented. The lectures, quizzes, and exams are all very straightforward and fair. The professors also provide a wealth of additional readings every week (though usually the readings don't show up on the quizzes, you can watch the lectures and just be fine). There isn't really any prior experience with the material necessary (assuming you understand basic biology), because the professors manage to explain everything on it's own terms without presupposition of any prior knowledge.
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This course made me want to change my major to psychology. It is absolutely fascinating. I actually went into it because I had recently become interested in philosophy of the mind, and this course was one of the most singularly informative and interesting that I've ever taken. I felt as thought the professor was initially a little nervous in the presentations, but he quickly became one of my favorite professors on Coursera. This course is more philosophically than hard science oriented, but does a great job introducing and exploring concepts from both sides of that coin. The professor was also really great about interacting with the students via the forums.
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I can't even begin to say enough positive things about this course. It is the best course, hands down, that I've taken with Coursera so far, and Zelikow is one of the most competent and engaging instructors I've ever had the pleasure of learning from. He obviously has great passion for the material, and his enthusiasm was totally infectious. This is one of the few MOOCs so far that I've taken in which my interest never wavered. Every week, the material presented in the lectures was absolutely fascinating. He did a good job of giving you a truly global picture of most events, and fairly complex examinations of geopolitical and economic factors as well, without it ever becoming uninteresting or losing sight of the history.