This is a free course in English, with subtitles in Portuguese and English. It is suitable for a wide international audience. The course itself has very little mathematical content.

The focus of the course is to develop a valuable mental ability: to learn to think like a mathematician, a skill that our ancestors  developed over three thousand years ago.

Mathematical thinking is not the same as doing mathematics – at least not in the way that mathematics is typically presented in school. School maths typically focuses on learning procedures to solve highly stereotyped problems. Professional mathematicians think in a certain way to solve real problems, problems that can arise from the everyday world, or from science, or from within mathematics itself.

The key to success in school maths is to learn to think "inside the box". In contrast, a key feature of mathematical thinking is thinking outside the box – a valuable ability in today’s world. This course helps to develop that crucial way of thinking.

says Keith Delvin, who will be hosting the course.

The course is offered in two versions

The eight-week Basic Course is designed for people who want to develop or improve mathematics-based, analytic thinking for professional or general life purposes.

The ten-week Extended Course is aimed primarily at first-year students at college or university who are thinking of majoring in mathematics or a subject dependent on mathematics, or high school seniors who have such a college programme in mind.

The final two weeks are more intensive and require more mathematical background than the Basic Course. There is no need to make a formal election between the two. Simply skip or drop out of the final two weeks if you decide you want to complete only the Basic Course.

Start date: 14 February, 2015

Language: English, with subtitles available in English and Portuguese.

Length: 8-10 weeks

School: Stanford University

Professor: Keith Delvin

Platform: Coursera