Nanotechnology: The Basics

Nanotechnology is an emerging area that engages almost every technical discipline – from chemistry to computer science – in the study and application of extremely tiny materials.  This short course allows any technically savvy person to go one layer beyond the surface of this broad topic to see the real substance behind the very small.

About The Course

Nanotechnology is an exciting research area that spans disciplines from electrical engineering to biology.  Over the last two decades the basic science of this area has launched new technologies, the first examples of which are finding their way into commercial products.  This four week course will provide students with a bird's eye view into this fast moving area and leave students with an appreciation of the importance and foundation of super-small materials and devices.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the format of the class?

    This course offers two distinct tracks. To receive a statement of accomplishment, students will complete basic quizzes and a final exam. For those who wish to receive a receive a statement of accomplishment with distinction,  they will need to complete  in-depth quizzes and a peer-graded project  in addition to the statement of accomplishment criteria. 

    Regardless of track, students are given two weeks to complete every assignment after posting.  Also the late policy provides students with 8 days to apply as needed.

  • Are there any prerequisites?

    This course requires that students (a) have ready access to and facility with a spreadsheet program like Excel; (b) have had a freshman level science class and are familiar with college level chemistry and physics.

  • What resources do I need for this class?

    This course requires that students (a) have ready access to a spreadsheet program like Google Spreadsheet, Excel or Open Office; (b) have had a freshman level science class and have familiarity with advanced high school or college freshman chemistry and physics.

  • Does Rice award credentials or reports regarding my work in this course?

    Rice University does not issue transcripts but does support certificates of accomplishment associated with classes as described on the course page.  Coursera will maintain limited data regarding student progress and performance in this course and, with your permission, provide authorized third parties with access to such data.

Recommended Background

We expect some knowledge of freshman chemistry and physics, as well as algebra.  Access to a spreadsheet program would also be of value.  However, we recognize that for some interested participants this knowledge may be rusty and will provide where possible optional review videos to go over terminology and concepts relevant to the week's material.