- Is this course open on demand? You can work through it at any time and at any pace, and the autograder will keep track of your progress. If you organize a study group on piazza, you'll have a live community to interact with and learn from, week by week. Upon completion of the course, we can email you a completion certificate. And do sign up on piazza, even if you do not intend to do the homeworks - following the chatter on the course forum you might inadvertently learn something that your professor does not know.
- In my country YouTube.com is blocked? If YouTube.com is blocked in your location, course videos can be downloaded from here: http://pan.baidu.com/s/1gd5riEn. Many thanks to Lili Mou who has volunteered to keep taking care of that!
- Are there any other text books you might recommend? I wish there was a book - but this is an advanced, active research area, so I am reading a broad range of books and asrticles myself: here is my library, here are the working notes for ChaosBook, and here is how you could help the project :) Try clicking through links on ChaosBook.org/FAQ. General references are discussed here. And then in every chapter, I try to cite the sources I found helpful in the remarks. I'll update that whenever students tell me that they found some other sources helpful.
- Is statistical mechanics a prerequisite? No. But every little bit helps.
- Is it OK to cheat? On internet nobody knows you are a dog. Short of retinal scan verification while you are typing in homework answers, there is no way to make grading foolproof. And that would be easily fooled. At advanced graduate level, only “exam” that works is one-on-one conversation. Fortunately, no money is changing hands here, only knowledge. We are in this together and we trust each other.
Is this course available in the Power Point format?
If you do not get it, here is the blackboard version for 4th graders (yes Olivia, the zeta function on the blackboard is taken from the ChaosBook.org)