Thoughts on open sourcing education

Over the past few months, with sufficient professional and personal motivation, I have learnt much and continue to learn more in the following areas, through the magic of Youtube:

Microfluidics from Prof. Suman, courtesy of the NPTEL. I am grateful that such a detailed and fundamental treatment of an area of ongoing development has been shared with the public for free. The course starts off with the motivation behind microfluidics and how it is being applied in nature, and how it benefits us to apply it in engineering. I skipped to the videos on pressure- and surface tension-driven flows which cover extensive derivations on parallel plate flows, infinite and finite width channel flow to the dynamics of contact line influencing surface tension-driven flow profile near channel walls. I admit I do not understand everything and, as an engineer, I am mostly interested in applying the final set of analytical equations. However, the fundamental treatment from first principles definitely provides a lot of insight into the assumptions made for each equation. Prof. Suman also gives interesting lectures in other related areas (one such is CFD).

I find that copying down what is written on the board or what is verbally mentioned in these lectures ensures a vicarious learning experience for me. Going through them afterward with my own thoughts ensures that I raise any doubts about what I have copied as I will either try to prove the derivations myself, replay the videos or read up elsewhere. I hope you find the most effective method of learning for yourself if this is not it.

I believe the goal of humanity and our successors should be to continually improve the quality of life for future generations. High quality educational courses like these should be made free to bridge gaps where they exist, or accelerate learning. I hope you found this useful.


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