Welcome to Physics, Class; Now, I Strip
Columbia professor's bizarre stunt gets his students' attention
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 19, 2013 3:25 PM CST
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(Newser) – Turns out, it is possible for a video of a quantum mechanics professor welcoming his freshman students to go viral. But as the Columbia Spectator explains, it requires said professor to strip to his skivvies to the backbeat of a Lil Wayne song while a montage of images of 9/11, Hitler, Saddam and the like plays on a giant screen in the background. Then the professor has to don black clothes and assume a fetal position as two ninja-ish figures come on stage and execute a stuffed animal.

That's how Columbia professor Emlyn Hughes got his students' attention on the first day of class, much to their bewilderment. "I didn’t know if it was the professor or some crazy person,” says one student in a typical comment. Why the theatrics? The Daily News quotes Hughes telling the class, “In order to learn quantum mechanics, you have to strip to your raw, erase all the garbage from your brain, and start over again." He added, "Nothing you've learned up til now is in any way going to help prepare you for this."

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Feb 19, 2013 6:56 PM CST
How else was he to get anyone to keep coming to a Quantum Physics class? That shit is brutal.
Feb 19, 2013 6:44 PM CST
How is this supposed to help them learn physics? showmanship isnt a substitute for good teaching skills. This is pretty much why university faculty need more teaching pedagogy training instead of believing they can just learn on the job.
Feb 19, 2013 5:24 PM CST
Prof. Weedlord Bonerhitler.