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Don’t know which Great Courses to start with? Below, you’ll find some of our most popular courses in each of our fascinating subject categories. They’re the perfect way to start your adventures in lifelong learning.
Geological wonders are like great works of art. They are impressive, beautiful, mysterious, and surprising. Whether you are planning your next vacation or exploring the world from home, you owe it to your planet to know the places that make it exceptional throughout the solar system. The World’s Greatest Geological Wonders: 36 Spectacular Sites is your gateway to an unrivaled adventure. In 36 lavishly illustrated lectures that are suitable for nonscientists and geology enthusiasts alike, Professor Michael E. Wysession of Washington University in St. Louis introduces you to Earth’s most outstanding geological destinations. By the time you complete this course, you will have experienced more than 200 different geological wonders in nearly 120 countries.
Take this chance to get beyond the abstract dates and figures, kings and queens, and battles and wars that make up so many historical accounts in The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World. In 48 richly detailed lectures, Professor Robert Garland of Colgate University covers the breadth and depth of human history from the perspective of the so-called ordinary people, from its earliest beginnings through the Middle Ages. The past truly comes alive in this ambitious course, as Professor Garland takes a series of imaginative leaps to put you inside the world of history’s anonymous citizens, providing you with a fuller understanding of the distant past.
Discover the beauty and simplicity of science's most fundamental branch with Physics and Our Universe: How It All Works. Intensively illustrated with diagrams, experiments, animations, graphs, and other visual aids, these 60 lectures by engaging and award-winning Professor Richard Wolfson introduce you to scores of fundamental ideas such as Newtonian mechanics, waves and fluids, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, optics, and relativity and quantum theory.
Whether your goal is to live to be 100, run a marathon, reduce your waistline, or just get the most from daily life, functional fitness is the foundation for active and dynamic living and the best quality of life you can have. In Physiology and Fitness, international fitness expert Dean Hodgkin shows you a new, scientifically based way to reach your own optimum fitness and to keep it for life. This course presents a groundbreaking approach to fitness education that brings together scientific knowledge with results-driven practice in a wholly integrated system, allowing you to enjoy the rich vitality and health that prime fitness offers—whatever your age or current fitness level.
From prehistoric times to the 21st century, inventions have changed the world, enabling humans to produce more food and energy and to establish social order and cultural meaning. In fact, great inventions have marked a number of key turning points in human history, transforming society and our daily lives. Now you can learn the remarkable stories surrounding such monumental inventions—and how consequential these inventions were to history—in Understanding the Inventions That Changed the World. A dazzling introduction to the history of technology and innovation, these 36 lectures will change the way you see the world—and it will transform the way you think about business, economics, science, technology, and the course of human history.
Whether it’s chess, poker, or Sudoku, most games have this in common: Everything you need to win is rooted in mathematics. Now, using nothing more than a simple grasp of math, you can discover optimal ways to win games and solve puzzles with the speed and accuracy of professional players—many of whom attribute their professional gaming success to mathematical strategies—in The Mathematics of Games and Puzzles: From Cards to Sudoku. These twelve 45-minute lessons taught by Great Courses’ favorite Professor Arthur T. Benjamin will teach you a rewarding set of skills you can apply to countless games and puzzles.
Get a new perspective on two of the greatest achievements of human culture in the 12 dazzling lectures of How Music and Mathematics Relate, taught by award-winning mathematician and musician David Kung of St. Mary's College of Maryland. Understanding the connections between music and mathematics helps you appreciate both, even if you have no special ability in either field. By exploring the mathematics of music, you learn why non-Western music sounds so different, gain insight into the technology of modern sound reproduction, and start to hear the world around you in exciting new ways. No expertise in either music or higher-level mathematics is required to appreciate this astonishing alliance between art and science.
So much of our historical knowledge is rooted in Western civilization. But Eastern civilization has its own fascinating story, with consequences that matter deeply to our lives today. Now you can take a grand journey to explore the big accomplishments of Eastern civilization, from the material economy of day-to-day life to the political and religious philosophies that would bind Eastern cultures together for thousands of years, with Foundations of Eastern Civilization. Over the course of 48 lectures, Professor Craig G. Benjamin of Grand Valley State University introduces you to the many people, achievements, and ideas that came out of Eastern civilization and played a role in creating the modern world.
Famed for great thinkers, poets, artists, and leaders, ancient Greece and Rome were also home to some of the most creative engineers who ever lived. Modern research is shedding new light on these renowned wonders—impressive buildings, infrastructure systems, and machines that were profoundly important in their own day and have had a lasting impact on the development of civilization. Now, in Understanding Greek and Roman Technology: From Catapult to the Pantheon, get an appreciation for what the Greeks and Romans achieved and how they did it. Your guide is Dr. Stephen Ressler, a former professor at the United States Military Academy at West Point, a civil engineer, and a nationally honored leader in engineering education.
With record-breaking highs one minute and economy-rocking lows the next—not to mention arcane rules and ambiguous terminology—it can seem as if there’s no way to feel truly comfortable in the financial markets. But there is, and it’s more accessible than you might think. Financial Literacy: Finding Your Way in the Financial Markets is an essential primer on this domain, from its functions, strengths, and possibilities to its weaknesses and vulnerabilities. In 24 eye-opening lectures, award-winning Professor Connel Fullenkamp of Duke University reveals the interconnected workings of the financial markets and how society’s financial strength—and your own—depend on money continuing to move through these channels. You’ll come to understand just how interdependent the world’s markets have become; feel newly at ease in the realm of stocks, bonds, derivatives, and credit; and be better able to make informed decisions for your financial future.
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