For centuries we have collectively marveled at plant diversity and form—from Charles Darwin’s early fascination with stems and flowers to Seymour Krelborn’s distorted doting in Little Shop of Horrors. This course intends to present an intriguing and scientifically valid look at how plants themselves experience the world—from the colors they see to the sensations they feel. Highlighting the latest research in genetics and more, we will delve into the inner lives of plants and draw parallels with the human senses to reveal that we have much more in common with sunflowers and oak trees than we may realize. We’ll learn how plants know up from down, how they know when a neighbor has been infested by a group of hungry beetles, and whether they appreciate the music you’ve been playing for them or if they’re just deaf to the sounds around them. We’ll explore definitions of memory and consciousness as they relate to plants in asking whether we can say that plants might even be aware of their surroundings. This highly interdisciplinary course meshes historical studies with cutting edge modern research and will be relevant to all humans who seek their place in nature.
This class has three main goals: 1. To introduce you to basic plant biology by exploring plant senses (sight, smell, hearing, touch, taste, balance). 2. To introduce you to biological research and the scientific method. 3. To get the student to question life in general and what defines us as humans.
Once you've taken this course, if you are interested in a more in-depth study of plants, check out my follow-up course, Fundamentals of Plant Biology (https://www.coursera.org/learn/plant-biology/home/welcome).
In order to receive academic credit for this course you must successfully pass the academic exam on campus. For information on how to register for the academic exam – https://tauonline.tau.ac.il/registration
Additionally, you can apply to certain degrees using the grades you received on the courses. Read more on this here –
Teachers interested in teaching this course in their class rooms are invited to explore our Academic High school program here – https://tauonline.tau.ac.il/online-highschool
Presented by Professor Daniel Chamovitz, Ph.D., and Aviva Katz, Ph.D, both at Tel Aviv University, the course explored plant biology from the cellular level all the way to the function of the part of a plant. I had only a passing interest in this subject, and my reasons for signing up for the course could be boiled down to, "Well, it sounds like would be interesting." As the weeks passed, I not only became more and more interested, but I started to learn a few surprising things about plants and how humans have experimented with them, on them, and otherwise tinkered with them through the centur…
Presented by Professor Daniel Chamovitz, Ph.D., and Aviva Katz, Ph.D, both at Tel Aviv University, the course explored plant biology from the cellular level all the way to the function of the part of a plant. I had only a passing interest in this subject, and my reasons for signing up for the course could be boiled down to, "Well, it sounds like would be interesting." As the weeks passed, I not only became more and more interested, but I started to learn a few surprising things about plants and how humans have experimented with them, on them, and otherwise tinkered with them through the centuries.
It turned out that the simple appearance of most plants belied the great complexity of their design. For example, while I knew plants somehow detected light and would bend in the direction it came from, the exact mechanism and photoreceptors involved had been a mystery. Plants cannot think or reason in the same way humans and other sentient beings do; what they can do, however, indicates that they do have memory. It's not the neuron-based memory we are familiar with, and is thus a rather alien concept to many, but it is memory nonetheless.
I started the class on a whim and became really interested. I usually dislike MOOCs with a talking head and slides, which this one, for the most part, is, but somehow Prof. Chamovitz kept my attention and was really enjoyable to listen to. He also is that rare presenter who knows how to use slides to illustrate a point with a picture or diagram.
The videos are clear and moderately technical, but not so detailed that I got lost. It's worth noting that the class is about the science of plants. The exams are well suited to the level of the lectures.
All in all a beautifully-designed class. L really enjoyed it and learned a lot.
One of the very few moocs I enjoyed, and most importantly, that i finished. You can retake your test as much as you can, and since they are challenging, it really brings you to a point where you actually master the knowledge. The design is cool. The content is extremly interresting. The teacher is tallented. I took his second mooc, which was a bit more challenging. I recommand 100% this mooc (it sound extatic, but this is really a VERY good mooc)