Logging On to the Ivy League

Why top-tier universities are racing to give the public free online access to their best lecturers

Kathrin Miller for TIME

UC Berkeley biologist Marian Diamond, a legendary lecturer.

"Do you know what the most complex mass of protoplasm on earth is?" Marian Diamond asks her students on the first day of anatomy class as she casually opens a flowery hatbox and lifts out a preserved human brain. "This mass only weighs 3 lb., and yet it has the capacity to conceive of a universe a billion light-years across. Isn't that phenomenal?"

Diamond is an esteemed neuroanatomist and one of the most admired professors at the University of California, Berkeley. It would be a privilege for anyone to sit in on her lectures. And, in fact, anyone can.

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