Columbia Digital
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Fathom Disseminates Knowledge from Columbia and Other Members of the Fathom Consortium to a Global Audience

Columbia Online Learning

Columbia DKV works with Columbia faculty to produce online learning based on faculty content in a variety of formats both independently and in collaboration with CCNMTL and Fathom. The following are some examples:

Three- to Five-Hour E-Seminars

All e-seminars are available to Columbia faculty, students and staff without charge on Columbia Interactive. They are also available to the general public for a fee on Fathom.

Liberty and Slavery in the Early British Empire
Online seminar featuring Columbia University Professor Simon Schama on the 17th- and 18th-century struggles with liberty and slavery covers the American war of independence and the British presence in the Caribbean and Africa.

The Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons Guide to Surgery
Eric A. Rose, Morris and Rose Milstein and Johnson and Johnson Professor of Surgery, chair of the Department of Surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, and surgeon-in-chief at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, empowers patients with the necessary set of tools to make informed decisions about surgery.

The History of the City of New York E-Seminar I
History as Destiny: The Case of New York City

Kenneth T. Jackson, Barzun Professor of History and Social Science and president of the New-York Historical Society, recreates the experience of his History of the City of New York course, one of the most popular among Columbia students, with a series of online lectures and primary sources. This seminar is the first of a series.

How Predictable Are Natural Disasters?
Dr. Art Lerner-Lam, senior research scientist and associate director of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, focuses on types of natural hazards, their prediction and their impact on human societies, as well as the impact of human society on Earth.

The Shakespearean Sonnet and the Modern Voice
Kristin Linklater, famed speech specialist and professor at the School of the Arts, explores William Shakespeare's sonnets and takes students on a personal journey of finding the power of the human voice through her innovative approach to "speaking" Shakespeare.

Environmental Sustainability: Perspectives on the World
Marc Levy, senior staff associate at the Center for International Earth Science Information Network, brings together the perspectives of nine Columbia University faculty members associated with the Center for International Earth Science Information Network in a conference-style format.

Digital Learning Communities: Promoting Democracy Through Education
Robbie McClintock, professor of history and education and co-director of the Institute for Learning Technologies at Columbia Teachers College, provides students with a roadmap to the future of education, which includes the continuous presence of a high-quality electronic "Education Zone" that supports natural educational conditions.

Earth's Variable Climate
Dr. Joe Ortiz, associate research scientist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, discusses processes that drive climate change on time scales ranging from the seasonal cycle to variations in Earth's orbital geometry and explains the issues behind anthropogenic (human-induced) climate change.

America's Battle for a Cure: The Culture and Politics of Breast Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment
Barron Lerner, Angelica Berrie Gold Foundation Associate Professor of Medicine and Public Health at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons and Mailman School of Public Health, reveals how America's fight against breast cancer has shaped our treatment of the disease from the turn of the nineteenth century to today.

"Pops," Out Here in the Cause of Happiness: The Story of Louis Armstrong
Robert O'Meally, Zora Neale Hurston Professor of English and Comparative Literature and director of the Center for Jazz Studies, explains the connections between Armstrong's life experiences and his artistic sensibilities and the sound and feel of his music.

W.E.B. Du Bois and the Black Experience
Manning Marable, professor of history and director of African-American Studies, explores the life and work of W.E.B. Du Bois, the leading African-American writer and political activist of the 20th century.

Journalism in the Digital Age
John Pavlik, professor at the Graduate School of Journalism, discusses the ways that digital technologies have had an impact on journalism, from how reporters gather information and present news stories to how news organizations structure themselves to do business.

Life After Death: Malcolm X and American Culture
Manning Marable, professor of history and director of African-American Studies, considers the image of slain civil rights leader Malcolm X after his death by focusing on the popular view of his life and his treatment by historians and scholars.

Mathematics of Finance
Mikhail Smirnov, assistant professor of mathematics, teaches master's-level mathematics of finance in this seminar, which includes basic theories of probability and finance, the Black-Scholes formula for pricing options and the theory of Brownian motion, among others.

Medical Ecology: Environmental Disturbance and the Origins of Disease E-Seminar I
Normal Environment: How Things Got This Way

Dickson Despommier, professor of microbiology and professor of public health at the Mailman School of Public Health, explains the interconnectedness of life on Earth by exploring the evolution of life itself and the cycles of nutrients that link us to all other life on the planet. This seminar is one of an eight-part series that shows connections between the disruption of ecosystems and eruptions of human disease.

Nonviolent Power in Action E-Seminar I, II, III
Gandhi: Discovering the Power of Nonviolence
Dennis Dalton, professor of political science at Barnard College, examines the roots of Gandhi's ideas, from Henry David Thoreau and Leo Tolstoy to the Jainist culture, and discusses Gandhi's concept of the power of nonviolence. This is the first of a three-part series based on Dennis Dalton's popular and oversubscribed course on the nature and power of the Gandhian political philosophy and practice of nonviolence.
An American Gandhi
In his second e-seminar, Dalton examines the practice and theory of Martin Luther King Jr., who was familiar with Gandhi's writings and became a critical leader in the nonviolence movement.
Gandhi's Disciples
In his third e-seminar, Dalton examines the legacy of Gandhi and how his philosophy of nonviolence was adopted by a variety of 20th-century social movements.

The Impact of Technology on the Legal Profession
School of Law Professors Conrad Johnson and Brian Donnelly provide students with the theoretical underpinnings of how technology affects practice and the profession.

One-Hour E-Seminars

Free one-hour e-seminars give learners access to expert knowledge in a multimedia format and help them acclimate to a new way of learning online. Here are some examples:

Women's Health: Not for Women Only

Marianne J. Legato, M.D., professor of clinical medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons and director of the Partnership for Women's Health at Columbia, explains how gender studies show great differences in cancer rates, heart problems and intestinal disorders, and details differences in brain chemistry between men and women that affect their susceptibility to ailments.

Hungary in Transition
David Stark, Arnold A. Saltzman Professor of Sociology and International Affairs, examines Hungary's political and economic structures before and after the fall of Communism.

Experiential Marketing and Branding in the Digital Age
Professor Bernd Schmitt of Columbia Business School explains his theory "experiential marketing" using sensing, feeling, thinking, acting and relating in marketing and branding, and its applications in today's world of commerce.

George Washington and the Legacy of Character
Three leading experts on George Washington reveal the man behind the legend through an examination of the actions and attitudes of this founding father, as documented by friends, observers and the man himself.


Semester-length Columbia e-courses, some for-credit, are available directly through Columbia Interactive or through Fathom. Here are some examples:

English as a Second Language
Columbia's American Language Program provides high-quality academic courses in English as a Second Language. E-courses include American Business Writing, Technical Communications.

Columbia Video Network and The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science provide off-campus engineers access to a Columbia education. E-courses include Discrete Mathematics, Network Security, Artificial Intelligence, Computer Architecture.

Business and Finance
Columbia Business School courses provide executives with experience solving real-world business problems and continuing education through online for-credit courses available through Cardean University. E-courses include Shakespeare's Lessons for Business Leaders, Exploring Financial Statements, Learning to Speak Accounting, Financial Accounting.

Teachers College Distance Learning Project offers online learners professional development and semester credit in multimedia instruction, teaching and learning with technology, and technology leadership. E-courses include Computer Mediated Communication, Instructional Design of Education Technology, Hypermedia and Education.

Information Technology
Columbia Continuing Education and Special Programs offers professional advancement in the field of information systems through a series of online information technology courses. E-courses include Introduction to C++, Introduction to Java, Introduction to Web Design.

Philosophy and Religion
The Jewish Theological Seminary offers for-credit graduate online courses in Jewish studies. E-courses include Women in Rabbinic Literature, Intensive Elementary Hebrew, Methods of Teaching Jewish Prayer.

Free One-Hour E-Seminars on Fathom

One-hour free e-seminars from Fathom member institutions are also available on Fathom. Here are some examples:

Early Contributions to Aviation
Aviation expert Randy Johnson explains why navigational instruments were necessary for the advancement of commercial aviation and describes the first successful blind flight made by aviator James H. Doolittle with first-hand accounts from Columbia University's Oral History Research Office.

The Conflict in Kashmir
Professor Sumantra Bose, Department of Government, London School of Economics and Political Science, provides a clear and balanced introduction to the origins of the conflict in Kashmir.

Heading West: Mapping the Territory 1540-1900
Alice Hudson, curator with the New York Public Library map division, adds cartographers to the story of the American West, as they chronicled routes of westward expansion and recorded the lay of the land.

Toxic Blooms: Understanding Red Tides
Don Anderson, a senior scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and an expert on red tides, harmful algae blooms that introduce toxins into the food chain that can cause sickness and death, explains their basic biology and ecology.

Kidspeak: How Children Acquire Language
Jean Aitchison, Rupert Murdoch Professor of Language and Communication at the University of Oxford, who has researched and written extensively on the topic of child language acquisition, explains language acquisition. The seminar is drawn from her lectures at the BBC's 1996 Reith Lectures, subsequently published as "The Language Web" by Cambridge University Press.

The Theatrical Baroque
Based on an exhibition at the University of Chicago's David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, this seminar provides an introduction to some of the themes that dominated the dramatic and visual arts in the 17th and 18th centuries.

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