MIT alumnus uses OCW and MITx to enhance educational offerings in Turkey
Professor Taylan Akdoğan PhD ’03 teaches his physics students programming with 6.00x
Mark Brown
Office of Digital Learning
June 19, 2013

Taylan Akdoğan (Photo: Taylan Akdoğan)

Taylan Akdoğan (Photo: Taylan Akdoğan)

Not far from Gezi Park, the site of popular protests in Istanbul this summer, stands a beautiful, 65-acre, wooded campus bordering the Bosphorus. Originally founded as Robert College in 1863 by an American philanthropist, the university has since been donated to the Republic of Turkey and renamed Boğaziçi Üniversitesi (“Bosphorus University”).

It remains the oldest American school outside the United States and arguably the most prestigious university in Turkey — a striking symbol of the close cooperation between the two countries.
One of Boğaziçi University’s faculty, Associate Professor of Physics Taylan Akdoğan, is equally representative of the Turkish-American educational connection.

He studied physics and electrical engineering as an undergraduate at Boğaziçi, then earned a doctorate in experimental nuclear physics at MIT. While in the U.S., he participated in a number of important experiments concerning the subatomic structure of matter at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center and MIT-Bates Linear Accelerator, before returning to his native Turkey in 2006. At Boğaziçi, he teaches a range of introductory and advanced topics in physics, while pursuing his own research in nuclear physics.

Since his return to Turkey, Akdoğan has maintained close ties with MIT and closely followed the development of its digital learning programs. For example, he uses materials from MIT OpenCourseWare’s 6.050J/2.110J Information and Entropy as the foundation for a popular freshman physics course that he teaches at Boğaziçi.

He’s currently considering the creation of an elective course based on 8.21 Physics of Energy for both physics and non-physics majors. “OpenCourseWare is a tremendous resource for faculty,” Akdoğan explains, “because it allows you to understand not just the materials in a course, but to really observe the pedagogical approach that is used to teach physics, and selectively employ those materials for your own students.” Read more.