Strathclyde Student Community for Optics, Physics & Engineering

Online Learning & Events

Hello everyone! It’s Matěj here. We hope everyone is keeping safe and healthy. As the time in the quarantine passes by, you may find yourself slowly finishing with all the processing of data, or just craving something new and different to look into.
I’m sure that all of you know about various opportunities for online learning, as well as about massive open online courses (MOOCs). In my mind, the goal of this list is not to introduce these opportunities, but rather to serve as a short list collecting some of the available options – so that you can have a look and check if something looks interesting or worth trying.

This list is by no means exhaustive, and if you have a good resource worth adding, we would be happy if you send it to us on our Facebook page or email (scope [at] Since my interests also lie in the field of machine learning & data science, there will probably be a few extra resources narrowly focused specifically on these fields. 🙂

General learning resources

The O.G. of massive online learning courses. Coursera courses are free, but you can pay money to get a certificate of course completion. I took one 14 weeks long course there, and the experience was overall really good and enjoyable.
TIP: One course which has been recommended to me multiple times is Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects

Very similar model to Coursera, hosts courses from top-tier universities.

Paid, although not very expensive. Offers great variety of courses – perhaps less “academic” than edX or Coursera, and more broad in scope.

Paid, but offers 2 months of free trial, which is a really good offer. Similar to Udemy.

– This is a very interesting concept, where the courses are created by very high-profile individuals in their respective fields. Imagine being taught how to write soundtracks by Hans Zimmer, or how to act by Natalie Portman. Being on the more expensive side (70 EUR for course, 150 EUR for unlimited yearly subscribtion), I reckon this is not for everyone, but it still deserves a mention.

The Great Courses Plus [free month trial link] [completely free]

Harvard University online courses [certain courses are currently free!]:

Courses from NPL [currently free, until 30 June 2020!]

Curated AI-specific list of courses from Ivy league universities

Elements of AI – a free introductory course on AI created by Swedish government 🙂 [free] – multiple “learning paths” involving couple of short courses. Themes such as big data & data science, programming.

Strathclyde online events

Stratchlyde Doctoral School Symposium
When: 26th – 29th May
The annual DSMS conference will take place completely via Zoom.
The conference was rescheduled from late April to May, and the information channel by DRG are yet to be updated.

StrathWide2020 conference
When: Wednesdays 27th of May and 3rd of June 2020
Registration deadline: Friday 1st of May, 2020

Other online events

POM2020 #2: The first Photonics Online Meetup, a free online-only conference for global audience, took place in January and proved that online-only conferences have lots to offer. It is now returning for a second round, again with keynote speakers from all around the world and Twitter poster session. Definitely worth checking!
Abstract submission: May 20

Due to the limits of gatherings and travelling imposed by governemnts all around the world, many of the large conferences and events hosted by the likes of SPIE and OSA were shifted to online-only format. This is an extremely good opportunity to take part in events where fees or travel costs would be otherwise too restricting.


List of all meetings hosted by OSA.

Namely, this event looks interesting for researchers in the optics/photonics fields:
OSA Advanced Photonics Virtual Congress

When: 13th – 16th July [Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)]
Topics: Integrated Photonics Research, Silicon and Nanophotonics, Nonlinear Photonics, Novel Optical Materials and Applications, Optical Devices and Materials for Solar Energy and Solid-state Lighting, Photonics in Switching and Computing, Photonic Networks and Devices, Signal Processing in Photonic Communications, Specialty Optical Fibers


List of conferences by SPIE.


Online leisure activities

Life does not only mean learning and working, and taking time off is an essential part of staying in a healthy, productive mood.
Here are few musical events that have recebtly moved to the digital domain, to bring you some good vibes even while staying at home. Have any more tips? Let us know!

Room Service Festival
When? 24th – 27th April, 8 pm UK time
In case you are into electronic music, a look on the line-up of this massive online event will very likely make you excited. Completely free and hosting some of the top performers on the scene, this almost looks too good to be true. First acts will play today in the evenining, and I’ll be tuning in for sure!

Rockdown 2020, a small musical event hosted by our beloved local Glaswegian brewery Drygate.
When? 25th – 26th April 2020, 11:00


That’s all from us at the moment, we will update the list in case we find additional opportunities.

Stay safe!




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