IJMC - You've Seen What The Kids Say...
...so now it's time to hear what the big kids have been quoted as saying.
While it may not be quite as profound as the collection of silly exam
answers, these prof's could probably keep their classes awake! -dave
from an MIT student's web page...
These are some humorous (well, I think so) quotes by professors teaching
my various classes. Some of them probably lose a little in print, but
Prof. John Southard
12.001: Introduction to Geology
"Now, suppose we take 1000 magic navel oranges..."
Prof. Jacqueline Hewitt
Physics III (Waves and Vibrations)
"We're being a little wild and free with derivatives."
Prof. A.P. French
"I'm thinking about upgrading myself."
Prof. J.W. Harris
"There are bionic nipples that know the intensity and rate of sucking."
Prof. Daniel Rothman
12.006: Chaos and Complexity
"It doesn't matter what direction you bang it in...as long as you bang it."
Prof. Lisa Randall
8.05: Quantum Mechanics II
"Here I had a basis in which I labelled my flavor."
Prof. Samir Mathur
8.06: Mechanics II
"At this point, you close your eyes and pray for cancellations."
"So all we've seen so far is something suggestive."
"In the assignment we want to be more perverse."
Prof. Timothy Dowling
12.004: Introduction to Planetary Science
"An almost incestuous combination of the first two F=ma components..."
"Then I can just gleefully take all kinds of derivatives..."
"If I were clever -- and I'm not stupid..."
Prof. Paul Schechter
8.284: Modern Astrophysics
"It's like Microsoft Windows. It may not be the best, but it's
"But for a few milliseconds after that, you feel fine." (Prof. Schechter
on what happens when you fall past the event horizon of a black hole)
"Last time, our heros and heroines were in the midst of computing
"I just kind of defined away my ignorance here."
"One tau fits all."
"The beauty of shocks is that you bury all your ignorance in this
infinitely thin area."
"Psi to the psi? Golly!"
"Keep in mind you have these two IOUs that can be redeemed at your local
general relativity store."
"Once you get inside the Schwarzchild radius, there's no sending
"Now, suppose I'm diabolical."
"It just pops out every once in awhile." (Prof. Schechter on his NY accent)
"I would hope I wouldn't lose my temper making such an argument." (Prof.
Schechter on opposing the theory that low-brightness galaxies are the
"So, if you've got important things, get them done." (Prof. Schechter on
our galaxy colliding with Andromeda)
"Well, it's gotta be a mess." (Prof. Schechter on stellar collisions)
From Harvard, guest lecturing 8.284: Modern Astrophysics
"There are physical problems with the bottom half of balloons."
"Time delay surface is kind of the Mexican hat potential."
Prof. David Ralston
21H425: War, State, and Society
"South Carolina: Too small for a country, too big for an insane asylum."
"Keep firing machine guns at each other and you're going to get killed."
"I'm being sardonic, dammit."
"2/0 = infinity. I never quite understood that."
"I'm being a little cute. Forgive me."
"If you want to have a real Polish life, go to Detroit."
"That's the nice thing about massive retaliation...it's really cheap."
"This is how I make my living, in pedantry."
"Don't take notes. Please don't repeat any of what I've said publicly."
21H316: History of the Western World II
"Any number of people walk around manic-depressive all the time."
"I get almost lyrical about the railroad when I think of it as a 19th
"I think I may be lying to you."
"You'll damn well admire me for coming in from Newton in this weather."
"'Pretty good' is what you'll get in most of life." (On getting grades
that are "pretty good".)
Prof. Paul Joss
8.292/12.330: Fluid Physics
"...I have a tendancy to chalkos."
"The Earth from space is pretty darn spherical."
"But now we can do something really cool!"
Prof. Kerry Emanuel
8.292/12.330: Fluid Physics
"It turns out if you goto a laboratory and do this with a sufficiently
Prof. Brian Evans
12.005: Continuum Mechanics
"The implication...is that the mantle is squishy."
"If you think about your friend, the vector..."
"Well, this is so much fun, let's just continue."
"Then, when it reaches maximum stress, a miracle occurs."
"Well, he doesn't say it -- he's dead." (On the pronunciation of an
"How could I require you to do the derivation, because I didn't do it?"
"We were kind of differentiating everything that came within arm's length."
"...led us to start differentiating willy-nilly."
"Life is much easier with infinitesimal strain."
"And if I add these together, I get half-assed--I mean, 1/2 S."
"The strain stays mainly in the plane."
"I thought about breaking into song, but I don't have the moxie to do that."
"I thought I heard a hoarse cry of recognition..."
"I lost my colored chalk, so we'll just have to tough it out."
"...which is about as rank as we get." (On fourth-rank tensors)
"Compliance and stiffness are inverses." (On the relation between stress
"Or alternatively, you could write it on your hand." (On how to remember
"If by now I haven't confused you, I'm sure you're inconfuseable."
"So that's why corks are good." (On the explanation of the elastic
properties of corks)
"This function appears like the cavalry to save you at the last moment."
"Just when you're having problems and things look blackest, this
"Notice I waited until after drop date to tell you that."
"Whatever you say, you little weasel." (Jokingly to TA)
"You should eat these or something so that you know them."
"Lame's second parameter is our good friend, the shear rigidity."
"...make it equal zero if it doesn't already."
Prof. Alan Guth
8.286: The Early Universe
"So if two people kiss, their lips are at the same place at the same
"Don't try to think of the whole universe at once--you'll go crazy."
"And I'm not going to convince you, but I can ask you to believe."
"We all freeze to death if classical mechanics is right."