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OCW Stories

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Photo of donor Larry Birenbaum.Larry Birenbaum
MIT Class of 1969 and OCW supporter
United States

Larry Birenbaum, a 1969 MIT graduate in Electrical Engineering, has an impressive history of giving back to his alma mater. In the past, his gifts – like those of many donors to Institute – have supported departments that transformed his own MIT experience. Read more.

Photo of donor Jon Gruber.Jon Gruber
MIT Class of 1964 and OCW supporter
United States

An enthusiasm for what's "cutting edge" in technology has molded Jon Gruber's life, and has now made its mark on MIT OpenCourseWare. Read more.

Photo of donor Abhay Parekh.Abhay Parekh
MIT Class of 1992 and OCW supporter
United States

Abhay Parekh decided to support OCW not only because of the potential he saw in the program, but also because of the challenges. "If this were done right," he recalls thinking, "it could have a tremendous impact on the world." Read more.

Photo of user Kunle Adejumo.Kunle Adejumo

Kunle Adejumo is finishing his fourth year of engineering studies at Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Nigeria. By all rights, he should now be in his fifth and final year, but local strikes and instability in Nigeria have added almost a full year to his studies at Ahmadu Bello. Read more.

Photo of user Clinton Blackburn.Clinton Blackburn
MIT Student
United States

In between studying for classes and working at the MIT Computing Help Desk, MIT senior Clinton Blackburn volunteers as an ambassador for OCW during his travels to Africa. Read more.

Photo of user Maria Karamitsou.Maria Karamitsou

A fifth-year civil engineering student at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece, Maria Karamitsou spent the summer of 2005 working at an institute of seismology, studying earthquake-resistant construction techniques. Read more.

Photo of user Ali Sheikh.Ali Sheikh
United States

When Ali Sheikh was studying for the AP Physics exam, his teacher directed him to MIT OpenCourseWare for additional help. "There are a lot of sites out there for taking classes online or studying. But OCW was comprehensive. Not just a couple of exercises, or one or two videos. It had all of those things and described the theory behind the concepts." Read more.

Photo of user Richard Hall.Richard Hall

Richard Hall received a Ph.D. in computer science from LaTrobe University in Melbourne, Australia, in 2002. Shortly thereafter, he found himself playing a different role in LaTrobe's laboratories and lecture halls: teaching courses in introductory information systems, beginning microprocessors, and advanced computer-aided software engineering. Read more.

Photo of user Triatno Yudo Harjoko.Triatno Yudo Harjoko

Triatno Yudo Harjoko has a long and close association with the University of Indonesia in Depok, Indonesia. A graduate of the institution, Harjoko has also been a professor of architecture at the school since 1979, and is currently head of the architecture department. In addition, Harjoko has designed several of the university's buildings, including the expansive Faculty of Engineering complex, and the stunning University Mosque. Read more.

Photo of user Shirley Harrell.Shirley Harrell
United States

Shirley Harrell, an assistant professor in the School of Management at Cambridge College in Cambridge, MA, speaks with pride of the educational environment of her institution. As an open-enrollment school, she explains, Cambridge has "a gate at the end, not the beginning," and welcomes students from a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and abilities. Read more.

Photo of user Kian Wah Liew with his students.Kian Wah Liew

A secondary school mathematics teacher in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Kian Wah Liew introduces his 18-year-old students to a range of complex concepts, such as matrices, determinants, and differential equations. Though his lessons are conducted in Mandarin, the students use an English textbook - which tends to make Liew's life more complicated, since his students possess a wide range of abilities in both English and mathematics. Read more.

Photo of OCW user Amy Santee.Amy Santee
United States

Homeschooling her daughters means that Amy Santee knows how to think outside the box. She takes them on field trips and finds a wide variety of outside activities for them like ballet and choir. Her freedom to step outside the classroom keeps the lessons fresh and exciting. "I realize that not all learning is fun," says Santee. "But I strive to make as much as possible enjoyable and educational at the same time." Read more.

Photo of OCW contributor Gilbert Strang.Gilbert Strang
MIT Mathematics professor
United States

Gilbert Strang was an early supporter of OCW, envisioning the benefits of making MIT courses freely available and accessible online. "A big part of my life is to open mathematics to students everywhere," says Strang, MIT class of 1955 and a Mathematics professor at the Institute. Read more.

Photo of user François Viruly.François Viruly
South Africa

As director of Viruly Consulting – a leading South African real estate analysis firm – property economist François Viruly has acquired extensive experience in the South African commercial real estate market over the past decade. Viruly is passionate about his field, and makes an effort to share his expertise with students at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, as well as the University of Cape Town and the University of Pretoria. Read more.

Photo of user Benjamin Goff.Benjamin Goff
Self Learner
United States

Benjamin Goff, a 27-year-old software maintenance engineer, plies his trade at Robins Air Force Base in Warner Robins, Georgia. A graduate of the University of Central Florida with a degree in aerospace engineering, Goff collaborates with a team of engineers to maintain aging software for the tactical electronic warfare systems on F-15 jets. Read more.