Program Overview

Are you interested in learning more about the science and engineering behind the electronic, optical, and magnetic materials that make up our modern world? Are you an undergraduate studying chemistry, physics, or engineering, or are you a graduate of one of these fields looking to grow your knowledge base? Would you like to explore a new field while building upon your knowledge in your primary field of specialization?

The MIT Department of Materials Science and Engineering would like to invite you to pursue an Materials for Electronic, Optical, and Magnetic Devices xMinor on edX. This program includes intermediate and advanced level undergraduate coursework that, together with your undergraduate science or engineering degree, will prepare you for employment or graduate study in fields relating to electronic, optical and magnetic materials science and engineering.

The first course in this series, 3.012Sx: Structure of Materials, will provide you with an introduction some of the most fundamental concepts in materials science. You will learn to describe the underlying structure of materials, develop a basic understanding of crystallography, and learn how structure influences the properties of materials. You will explore the structure of various types of materials– crystalline, non-crystalline, and liquid crystalline, and this knowledge will lay the groundwork for more advanced coursework. In the second course, 3.024x: Electronic, Optical, and Magnetic Properties of Materials, you will learn to use the principles of quantum mechanics, solid state physics, and electricity & magnetism to describe the origins of the electronic, optical, and magnetic properties of materials. In the final course, 3.15x: Electrical, Optical, and Magnetic Materials and Devices, you will take the fundamentals that you learned in previous courses and learn how these principles are applied in the design of electronic, optical and magnetic devices. Finally, you will demonstrate your learning by completing a comprehensive, proctored final program examination.

What is an xMinor? An MITx xMinor is a sequence of intermediate and advanced undergraduate courses, plus at least one proctored exam. xMinors are valuable additions to an undergraduate education; they may open additional career options for you or may strengthen your preparation for a Masters program. The courses are drawn from MIT curricula; some universities may incorporate them into their own curricula, offering them to their students as ways to enhance their undergraduate experience.

Recommended prerequisites: one year of introductory college-level calculus, chemistry and physics; differential equations.

What you will learn

  • You will develop an understanding of the materials and devices essential to modern display technologies, such as the structure of liquid crystals and the design principles used to tailor light emitting diodes
  • You will receive a solid grounding in electronic, optical, and magnetic materials science, which will give you the background to undertake future studies fields such as advanced materials and electronic materials
  • You will have knowledge of the science of photovoltaic technology and design, preparing you to contribute to the future of clean energy solutions
  • You will know the fundamental operating principles of optical fibers and optoelectronic devices
  • You will understand the origins of the magnetic behavior of materials and the operating principles behind magnetic storage media

Program Class List

Structure of Materials

Course Details
Discover the structure of the materials that make up our modern world and learn how this underlying structure influences the properties and performance of these materials.

Electronic, Optical, and Magnetic Properties of Materials

Course Details
Discover the physical principles behind diodes, light-emitting devices, and memories.

Electrical, Optical & Magnetic Materials and Devices

Course Details
In 3.15x we will explore the electrical, optical, and magnetic properties of materials and learn how electronic devices are designed to exploit these properties.

Capstone Exam – Materials for Electronic, Optical, and Magnetic Devices

Course Details
Take the Comprehensive Exam in Materials for Electronic, Optical, and Magnetic Devices to earn the MITx xMinor credential.

Meet your instructors

Polina Anikeeva

Class of 1942 Associate Professor in Materials Science and Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Polina Anikeeva received her BS in Physics from St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University in 2003. After graduation, she spent a year at the Los Alamos National Lab where she developed photovoltaic cells based on quantum dots. In 2004 she enrolled in a PhD program in Materials Science at MIT and graduated in 2009 with her thesis dedicated to the design of light emitting devices based on organic materials and nanoparticles. She completed her postdoctoral training in neuroscience at Stanford University, where she created devices for optical stimulation and electrical recording from neural circuits. Polina joined the faculty of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT in July 2011, where she is now a Class of 1942 career development associate professor. Her lab focuses on the development of flexible and minimally invasive materials and devices for neural recording, stimulation and repair. Polina is also a recipient of NSF CAREER Award, DARPA Young Faculty Award, Dresselhaus Fund Award, and the Technology Review TR35 among others. If you would like to learn more about Prof. Anikeeva’s research interests, take a look at her talk at TEDx Cambridge.

Silvija Gradečak

Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Caroline Ross

Toyota Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT
Caroline Ross is Toyota Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She received her undergraduate and PhD degrees from Cambridge University, UK, was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard, and worked at Komag, a hard disk company, before joining MIT. Prof. Ross studies the magnetic properties of thin films and nanostructures for data storage and logic applications, and methods for creating nanoscale structures based on directed self-assembly and lithography.

Jessica Sandland

Lecturer & Digital Learning Scientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Jessica Sandland is a Lecturer in the Department of Material Science and Engineering and an MITx Digital Learning Scientist. Jessica leads online learning initiatives in DMSE, creating MOOCs and designing blended courses for MIT students. She has coordinated the development of a wide variety of DMSE’s online courses.