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Old 12-19-2007, 04:49 PM   #1
TheMercenary
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Join Date: Mar 2007
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The Nutty Professor

He is on YouTube, pretty good stuff if you like science.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Walter H. G. Lewin, 71, a physics professor, has long had a cult following at M.I.T. And he has now emerged as an international Internet guru, thanks to the global classroom the institute created to spread knowledge through cyberspace.

Professor Lewin’s videotaped physics lectures, free online on the OpenCourseWare of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, have won him devotees across the country and beyond who stuff his e-mail in-box with praise.

“Through your inspiring video lectures i have managed to see just how BEAUTIFUL Physics is, both astounding and simple,” a 17-year-old from India e-mailed recently.

Steve Boigon, 62, a florist from San Diego, wrote, “I walk with a new spring in my step and I look at life through physics-colored eyes.”

Professor Lewin delivers his lectures with the panache of Julia Child bringing French cooking to amateurs and the zany theatricality of YouTube’s greatest hits. He is part of a new generation of academic stars who hold forth in cyberspace on their college Web sites and even, without charge, on iTunes U, which went up in May on Apple’s iTunes Store.

In his lectures at ocw.mit.edu, Professor Lewin beats a student with cat fur to demonstrate electrostatics. Wearing shorts, sandals with socks and a pith helmet — nerd safari garb — he fires a cannon loaded with a golf ball at a stuffed monkey wearing a bulletproof vest to demonstrate the trajectories of objects in free fall.

Continues:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/19/ed...19physics.html
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Old 12-19-2007, 04:58 PM   #2
glatt
 
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My dad used to use a 22 rifle in his physics labs, but stopped about a decade ago for fear of lawsuits. Now he uses a spring loaded gun that shoots large ball bearings.

Last edited by glatt; 12-19-2007 at 05:13 PM.
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Old 12-19-2007, 05:02 PM   #3
smoothmoniker
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He is amazing! A phrase from one of his lectures that was mentioned, "And now, I beat you with the cat fur", has become a catch phrase here on our campus. I first found Lewin when I was brushing up on my understanding of electro-magnetic induction for a seminar on microphones, and got hooked. I finished out watching the entire course, and even have a notebook full of outlines.

I love how MIT has committed to Brewster Kahle's mission of "Universal Access to all Knowledge". I don't thing we've gotten far enough away from the moment of shift to yet recognize how monumental it is, but the move away from knowledge as protected unit of power, traded as a commodity, to knowledge as common property of the human race, is rather astounding. Nowhere is that more obvious than the move by internationally renown institutions to essentially give away for free the core content of a $200,000 education.
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Last edited by smoothmoniker; 12-19-2007 at 05:03 PM. Reason: kale > kahle
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