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I’m in the Mood for MOOCs

To describe new massive open online college courses, we need new words

3 min read
I’m in the Mood for MOOCs
Illustration: Roman Muradov

We started talking about what it meant to have lots and lots of people learning together. Somewhere in there, I called them a massive open online course, for which I have been often chastised. —Dave Cormier, education researcher


If you decided to learn a piece of music, a piano concerto, say, you’d likely start by getting a copy of the score to study. However, what if you came away from that study with only the knowledge that the score consisted of 1432 A notes, 1268 Es, 745 G-sharps, and so on? Have you learned the piece? No, of course not—it’s not the number of notes that matters.


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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

His pivot from defense helped a tiny tuning-fork prevent SUV rollovers and plane crashes

11 min read
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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

In 1992, Asad M. Madni sat at the helm of BEI Sensors and Controls, overseeing a product line that included a variety of sensor and inertial-navigation devices, but its customers were less varied—mainly, the aerospace and defense electronics industries.

And he had a problem.

The Cold War had ended, crashing the U.S. defense industry. And business wasn’t going to come back anytime soon. BEI needed to identify and capture new customers—and quickly.

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