Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Feynman was not for first-timers

In response to my request for former students of Richard Feynman, Sydney Smith (aka medpundit), writes:
    I didn't go to Cal Tech, and I'm not a physicist, but my husband did his graduate work in physics at Cornell, where Feynman also once taught. He never had any close contact with him, but he attended some of Feynman's lectures which he says were the best physics lectures he's ever heard. They always provided a fresh angle and new way of thinking about things.

    The problem was that you had to already have a good grasp of the subject to get anything from Feynman's lectures. The consensus among students who were new to physics (i.e. "physics-for-poets" students) was that it was hard to learn anything from him for the first time. Which backs up Feynman's own observation about his teaching.


Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! (Audible.com)

Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character (eCampus.com)

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