Update, December 2010: Strang recently shared his thoughts on the first decade of open sharing with OCW's Steve Carson.
MIT mathematics professor Gilbert Strang was among the first faculty contributing content to the OCW site. "A big part of my life is to open mathematics to students everywhere," says Strang, MIT class of 1955 and a Mathematics professor at the Institute.
This open thinking has played a major role in his 50-year career. He has traveled extensively around the globe sharing his knowledge and passion for mathematics with others.
Strang says, "I'm very supportive of the whole idea of making these courses available to people around the world. Everyone has the capacity to learn mathematics, and if you can offer a little bit of guidance, the process of discovery has a valuable positive effect."
Strang's foundational 18.06 Linear Algebra has been one of the most popular courses on OCW since its publication in 2002. OCW users all over the world send their thanks, praise, and comments:
"I watched the 18.06 Linear Algebra lectures by Gil Strang and they are great. I am a Ph.D. student in hydrology, and I had never had this material formally, but I have taken several courses that rely heavily on its application. In this course the material is presented so clearly that it all just clicked... So well that I went out and bought Strang's Linear Algebra and Its Applications book, also very good. Thanks!" - Kris K., Ph.D. candidate at the University of Arizona
Strang has published a total of four courses on the site so far:
He also contributed his Calculus textbook to OCW. Published in 1991 and still in print from Wellesley-Cambridge Press, the book is a useful resource for educators and self-learners alike. It is well organized, covers single variable and multivariable calculus in depth, and is rich with applications. There is also an online Instructor's Manual and a student Study Guide.
"A real pleasure for me," says Strang, "was how helpful the OCW staff were in publishing my courses online. The topics appear in a clear and organized form, and students get started by themselves."
When OCW recently approached Professor Strang about contributing to the new Highlights for High School site, he offered support immediately. "I've always wanted to contribute to K-12. I think high school students taking Algebra or Calculus would find some of the study materials useful." Now high school students can access a great introduction to math courses taught at the college level.
"My life is in teaching. To have a chance to do that with a world audience is just wonderful."