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Surfin’: Learning Circuits and Electronics Online


By Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
Contributing Editor

This week, Surfin’ goes back to electronics school, but it’s free and online this time.

This came from Bob Perlman, KG6AF, the other day: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) -- which has had an open courseware initiative for several years -- is now taking the next step and making courses available online. Called MITx, this initial effort should be of interest to a lot of hams: An online course in introductory circuits and electronics that’s free to anyone who is interested. And best of, it’s free!

Circuits and Electronics (Course 6.002x) is the course title; it is adapted from Course 6.002, which serves as a first course in an undergraduate electrical engineering (EE) and electrical engineering and computer science (EECS) curriculum (or to you Beavers out there, Course 6.1 and 6.3, respectively).

The course covers topics such as “resistive elements and networks; independent and dependent sources; switches and MOS transistors; digital abstraction; amplifiers; energy storage elements; dynamics of first- and second-order networks; design in the time and frequency domains, and analog and digital circuits and applications. Design and lab exercises are also significant components of the course.”

Circuits and Electronics begins on March 6 and runs through June 8. To access the course, registered students will log in at, where they will find a course schedule, an e-textbook for the course and a discussion board. Each week, students will watch video lectures and demonstrations, work with practice exercises, complete homework assignments, and participate in an online interactive lab specifically designed to replicate its real-world counterpart. Students will also take exams and be able to check their grades as they progress in the course. Overall, students can expect to spend approximately 10 hours each week on the course.

At the end of the course, students who demonstrate their mastery will be able to receive a certificate of completion for free. In future MITx courses, students who complete the mastery requirement on MITx will be able to receive the credential for a modest fee. Further courses are expected to become available beginning in the fall.

More information is available at the MIT Online Learning Initiative website. There are prerequisites, but this sounds like a great deal to me!

Until next time, keep on surfin’!

Editor’s note: Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, seeks the unusual in radio. To contact Stan, send e-mail or add comments to the WA1LOU blog.



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