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Did you miss your chance to study Greek and Roman mythology with renowned Penn classicist Peter Struck?Would you like to figure out what “gamification” is all about, with Wharton’s Kevin Werbach? Do you have a hankering to brush up on integrals and derivatives with Robert Ghrist, the Andrea Mitchell University Professor whose “funny little calculus text” is strewn with cartoon drawings of sad clowns, Pac-Man ghosts, and something called “the breakfastplate of righteousness”? 

Now is your chance. Penn has joined forces with Stanford, Princeton, the University of Michigan, and UC-Berkeley in a partnership with Coursera, an online education platform that will host free courses featuring video lectures, interactive assignments, and, yes, the occasional quiz. 

“Expanding access to higher education both nationally and globally remains one of our most critical responsibilities,” said Penn President Amy Gutmann. “This initiative provides an invaluable opportunity for anyone who has the motivation and preparation to partake of a world-class education.”

Twelve Penn faculty members began teaching classes ranging from genome science to modern poetry in June. But even if you’ve missed your chance to study the Affordable Care Act with Ezekiel Emanuel, one of its architects, whose session started last month, there are still nine other courses set to begin between July and September. 

And the Gazette hereby pledges to take one of them with you. 

Which one? That’s up to you. The online version of this story has a link to our blog, where you can cast your vote for which course you’d like us to keep you company in. After each virtual class meeting, we’ll blog about it—sharing our notes, impressions, and when we can manage it, an extra nugget or two from the professor. 

Just don’t tarry. Several of the courses begin this month, so vote—and register—early. You can find the Penn courses, introduced by their professors with short videos, at Vote by visiting the Gazette’s website: 


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