An ultra-low-cost college degree?

At the online University of the People, anyone with a high school diploma can take classes toward a degree in business administration or computer science — without standard tuition fees (though exams cost money). Founder Shai Reshef hopes that higher education is changing “from being a privilege for the few to a basic right, affordable…

dread of public speaking

Megan Washington is one of Australia’s premier singer-songwriters. And, since childhood, she has had a stutter. In this bold and personal talk, she reveals how she copes with this speech impediment—from avoiding the letter combination “st” to tricking her brain by changing her words at the last minute to, yes, singing the things she has…

Giant Websites

13:00 minutes · Filmed Mar 2014 · Posted Aug 2014 · TED2014 Facebook’s Like and Share buttons are seen 22 billion times a day, making them some of the most-viewed design elements ever created. Margaret Gould Stewart, Facebook’s director of product design, outlines three rules for design at such a massive scale—one so big that…

How we found the giant squid

Humankind has been looking for the giant squid (Architeuthis) since we first started peering underwater. But the elusive deep-sea predator could never be caught on film. Oceanographer and inventor Edith Widder shares the key insight — and the teamwork — that helped to capture the squid on film for the first time. And see their…

How books can open your mind

In this lovely, personal talk about the magic of books, Lisa Bu tells the story of how thoughtful reading helped her create a new life for herself in the United States. She shares her unique approach to reading for better meaning and understanding — try it yourself! Watch »Method

Cells in the human brain

Our brain is puzzling. It is curiously large given the size of our bodies, and uses a tremendous amount of energy for its weight. No other animal’s brain compares. Neuroscientist Suzana Herculano-Houzel put on her detective cap to lead us through these mysteries, starting with a big question: Exactly how many cells are in our…

at home in the deep sea

When he was young, artist Shih Chieh Huang loved taking toys apart and browsing the aisles of night markets in Taiwan for unexpected objects. Today, this TED Fellow creates madcap sculptures that seem to have a life of their own—with eyes that blink, tentacles that unfurl and parts that light up like bioluminescent sea creatures.…