3.091x is a first-year course where chemical principles are explained by examination of the properties of materials. The electronic structure and chemical bonding of materials is related to applications and engineering systems throughout the course. The on-campus version of the course has been taught for over 35 years and is one of the largest classes at MIT. The class covers the relationship between electronic structure, chemical bonding, and atomic order, and characterization of atomic arrangements in crystalline and amorphous solids: metals, ceramics, semiconductors, and polymers (including proteins). There is topical coverage of organic chemistry, solution chemistry, acid-base equilibria, electrochemistry, biochemistry, chemical kinetics, diffusion, and phase diagrams. Examples are drawn from industrial practice (including the environmental impact of chemical processes), from energy generation and storage (e.g. batteries and fuel cells), and from emerging technologies (e.g. photonic and biomedical devices).
3.091x was offered as a MITx on edX course in the Fall of 2012, by Professor Michael Cima.
Many participants in MITx on edX courses come with different intentions and levels of interest and many resemble shoppers and auditors in their course activity. This report identifies four subpopulations of participants (numbers below): those who registered, viewed some course content, explored the course, and were certified .